Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

My diet will leave you green with envy

I've lost half a stone. In 10 days. Yes, that made you spit your Honey Nut Loops across the room. I'll shock you further: I've lost a stone altogether in the last year. Half a stone came off when I gave up booze, and the other half legged it thanks to a secret that I'm about to reveal to you now.

Well, maybe not now. A few more sentences perhaps. What's that you say? "Please tell us." Oh, I don't know. Do you really want to know? You sure?

All right, the secret to dieting is: eat less. No, come back! I'm only half-joking. There's a way to do this: substitute green smoothies for your lunch. You say: "Green smoothies, eh? Sounds challenging."

True, but I'll tell you how to do it. First, you can go online and Google it or bung the name into Amazon's search engine. There are many books about green smoothies.

But here's the gist. First, purchase a smoothie maker. This needn't break the bank. I went to Mr Argos, the proletarian Harrod's, and got one for 25 quid.

It uses travel jugs too, so if you're unfortunate enough to work in an office you can take one in for lunch.

Then you bung in fruit, greens and some liquid (I use pomegranate juice), whisk it up, and Robert is your uncle. The key is to add cinnamon. Cinnamon makes anything taste good.

Unfortunately, you can't use hard stuff like ginger, which I like to put in juices. But juices are good too. Jason Vale's books tell you about that.

I lost several pounds quickly and looked slimmer around the coupon.

That encouraged me to go on, and I started trimming my evening meals too.

Don't fret. After imbibing the healthy stuff, you don't feel like a burger.

Ditch the habit of making every evening meal an old-fashioned Sunday dinner. Keep Sunday dinners for Sunday, and eat lightly through the week.

You'll find you really enjoy richer foods when you're not stuffing them down your throat routinely.

Currently, I'm having toasted pitta bread with tuna, eggs or salmon and rocket leaf (the peppery green that's almost tasty) through the week, then pigging out on curries and ice cream at weekends.

I'm not an ascetic. Every night, I have one square of dark chocolate and a small packet of toffee popcorn.

Knowing there's only one square of chocolate makes you savour it. You get more joy from that one square than you would from a whole bar.

I witter thus in the wake of a study by the British Nutrition Foundation which identified 100-odd different factors that influence your weight. For my money, exercise isn't one.

Exercise is good for the healthy toning of the body. It has no effect on your weight. That's my experience.

From running about daft at footer to three times a week down the gym, amount of weight lost: not one ounce.

All right, half a stone ain't much, but it's been quick and took me by surprise, particularly as I started having smoothies for health (you can ingest greens without the horrible taste) rather than dieting. Who knows where it'll all end?

Obituary: 'Shortly after writing about his new health diet, McNeil died while watching a DVD of The Waltons. He'd a piece of popcorn stuck in his throat.'

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