JOHN Torode says he puts on a stone in weight whenever he films a MasterChef series – despite how on telly it looks like he “only takes one mouthful” when judging the dishes.
“Because, you know, we eat so much food. And then when I’m not filming I don’t eat as much because I’m not filming.
“I put on a stone. I put on a stone, on average, probably.
“It’s funny actually, somebody said the other day, ‘wow you guys actually get stuck in don’t you!’
“Because on telly it only looks like you’re taking one mouthful. But we have to taste everything. And then if something doesn’t quite work out then you’re going to taste it again – to try and work out what’s in it.
“So you’re going back and tasting the dish at least three or four times. Now, if you’ve got five plates of food and you’re tasting five or six mouthfuls of each one, well that means you had 25 mouthfuls.
“Well that’s quite a lot of food.”
Meanwhile, Gregg admitted his tip for maintaining a trim frame is cutting down on booze.
He said: “I exercise every day for an hour. I reduce the booze. I stop the takeaways. There you go.
“There are three big handicaps to weight loss. Snacking, boozing and takeaways.
“And if you can reduce those three, not give them up, but reduce them, then that’s enough for you to start losing weight.”
But John said he tried to curb the weight gain filming the new series by cycling to and from work most days.
He added: “I think every year I get better at not piling the weight on. I think in the earlier series I probably put on a stone and a half, on a big series.
“Now I’ve tried to get to the stage where I stabilise my weight a little bit because I just don’t want to go up and down all the time.”
MasterChef returns to screens next week for its seventeenth series.
The competition will no doubt rest on a knife edge as the fresh set of cooks grab their aprons and show off their signature dishes in a bid to please the Aussie chef and EastEnd foodie – who calls himself “the spoon-for-hire”.
The dynamic duo also revealed they have no intention of ever throwing in the towel making the show – MasterChef fans will be delighted to hear.
Gregg explained: “I love, love, love MasterChef. I’m never going to stop doing it. I expect to be doing that when I’m 90 years old.
“You know what, I’ve been doing it for nearly 20 years. I really like the people there. I like doing it. I’m comfortable there. I’m happy.
“That’s my happy place that is, Masterchef. I’ve got a dressing room that’s a porter-cabin and I love it. A little fridge. A couple of heaters, two sofas, a rail, a desk. I’m really happy there.”
John added: “The thing is, I love what we do on MasterChef for many reasons.
“I love to see the expressions on people’s faces when they succeed.
“I love to see the change in them as cooks and to see them hone their skills and to just come out a little bit better.
“I think that with the amateur show, especially with the new series coming out, you see this absolute want and I think more than ever, there’s people who have gone into lockdown and had an epiphany.
“And they’ve gone to their homes and they’ve had the time away from their workplace and thought, I’m not happy in my job. What do I really want to do with my life?
“And MasterChef is one of the greatest vehicles for people to change their lives and enables people to have time to spend thinking about what they want to do for the rest of their lives.
“Do they want a career in food?”
The new series of MasterChef begins March, 1, 9pm on BBC1