With Christmas fast approaching, our office full of women is already talking about their New Year detoxes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fine about that – I intend to do one myself, but I can’t stand the way people turn to quick-fix miracle diets to drop a few pounds.
Exhibit A) The Dukan diet. This book has been doing the rounds for a few weeks now and I’m frankly speechless that anyone can take it seriously. You have to eat nothing but low-fat protein for the first five days. They promise you will lose between five and ten pounds. Well, yes. If you cut out four food groups and all booze then you will lose weight. If I ate nothing but cheese for five days I would probably lose weight too. That doesn’t mean it’s doing your body any good or that it will stay off once you start eating anything but turkey mince again.
Exhibit B) The half-an-avocado-three-tomatoes-and-a-double-espresso diet. Now, I’m a little hazy on the details here, but one of our team does this every year and loses up to a stone in a week. Why? Is she slimming down to fit into a dress? No, it’s just for new year, and I’m pretty sure that it doesn’t stay off as she’s been doing it for a few years now, and if she was losing a stone every year she’d probably have snapped.
If these diets were being followed merely as a jump-start to a sensible healthy eating plan, I really wouldn’t have a problem with it. Well, probably a small one, but I’d at least keep quiet. But to follow them for a couple of weeks then just go back to normal eating habits seems non-sensical. All it does is render you miserable for a fortnight, and unable to enjoy the few comforts that January allows us, namely wonderful hearty food, and huge glasses of red wine. And try going out for the evening with someone on a January detox. It’s tedious, to say the least. Not to mention the fact that 90% of the women planning these penances really, really don’t need to – they’re beautifully slim to begin with.
So please, friends, colleagues, any women out there tempted by the quick-fix, resist with all your might. Just cut down on the chocolate and booze, do a little light exercise and enjoy yourselves every so often. I promise the weight will come off, and stay off.