Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Slimmed Down and Feeling Dreadful

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Slimmed Down and Feeling Dreadful

Article excerpt


ABOUT to jet off to that long-awaited sunshine holiday? Scared of dusting off the bikini and the Speedos in case you frighten the natives? Fear not. I have found the solution.

Two weeks ago I was a near-obese 15st 5lb; yesterday I'd dropped to 14st 8lb. See, it's not only the England football team and Andy Murray who've lost a lot in the last fortnight. In my case, the loss is a triumph: 11 pounds and a whole two inches off the waistline. And you know how I feel? Absolutely dreadful.

In a previous column I wrote how I S happened upon a French doctor called Pierre Dukan being interviewed on Woman's Hour. Please don't ask me why I was surreptitiously listening to a programme from which half the population is excluded, but the item has transformed me.

I've already tightened my belt to the last hole, the black baggy shirts are packed away and I can look down and see parts of me that have been hidden for years, if you get my drift. Sadly I also know it's only the first chapter of what is fast becoming a horror story.

The idea behind the Frenchman's diet is that you eat only protein for five days. That sounds easy enough: as much lean meat, fish, egg whites as you can bear, together with the odd fat-free yoghurt. Then you can add vegetables every other day until, like a deflated hot air balloon, you gently land on your chosen new weight.

Apparently this whole process takes a couple of months, and then there's another period called "stabilisation", which takes even longer. Sadly this new diet fails to warn of some important drawbacks. In order to do it properly, you have to give up all social life, get divorced and become the grouchiest, most unpleasantly gloomy individual on the planet, grumpier than even Gordon Brown at his worst. Oh, and your body and breath begin to smell like a decomposing bison. …

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