So despite the glossy mags’ regular fawning over every press release claiming to be a miracle-worker for the heavier-bottomed among us, the truth has finally, er, outed. There is no quick fix for losing weight. Well duh.
I’m no stranger to the surge of hope these articles generate at times of self-disgust or post-prandial regret, nor the wave of surprise and prick of curiosity that the approved foods listed consist of more than alfafa sprouts, linseed and the obligatory ‘handful of nuts’ snack. But I’m also far too familiar with the suspicion and growing disappointment felt when, once committed to said diet, you’re weighing out 100g of granola and realise you’re staring at starvation itself. And I seem to be the only person on first name terms with the ‘small potato’ – it’s real identity is always, always revealed as a new potato and makes you want to weep for the casually cruel euphemisms bandied about by magazine editors.
I once decided to detox my body in order to lose half a stone in three days and kick-start a new way of living, as recommended by Mireille Guiliano in French Women Don’t Get Fat. To do this, Mademoiselle Guiliano advised me to boil up a large pot of leeks and eat portions of the leeks and the cooking liquid at regular intervals for three days. AND NOTHING ELSE. I dutifully trotted off and bought two kilos of leeks. Later that day, my housemates returned to a house floating on a cloud of leek-scented steam (and a faintly manic housemate).