My January diet and detox – anything to stay in the middle class

9 January 2014

Like many of you folks out there, I’m currently engaged in the thinly-disguised admission of alcoholism that is ‘Dry January’. I’m also on a diet, and this week have eaten what looked like two shrivelled gonads for lunch, (they were boiled potatoes, I think) and yesterday a ‘salad’. The goal is to be down to Class I Obese by the summer.

The diet means no white bread, no pasta (white pasta but I don’t recognise brown pasta as such) and most of all no sugar, which is now thought to account for a large number of deaths from heart disease. The Telegraph’s Tom Chivers makes the perfectly sensible, if thoughtcrimey, point that it’s reasonable to make some laws restricting our consumption because we don’t all have the same power of impulse control: ‘We are not equally “free”. And addiction and compulsion are obstacles to our freedom.’


Indeed, although the same could be said of a range of issues relating to the permissive society; progressive education, sexual freedom, reduced prison sentences, the liberalisation of gambling and drinking laws, plus the proliferation of payday lenders, all of which have a disproportionately harmful effect on the poor, who tend to have lower levels of impulse control.

But does poverty damage your ability to control yourself or does lack of control and judgment lead to poverty? That seems to be a clear case of one of those things where people have invested a lot of their worldview in believing it must be all of one, when it’s most likely a mixture of the two. Life is one big drinking game – the more you lose, the harder it is to win.

It’s harder still when the ruling dogma, a secular heresy of Christianity, refuses to recognise the disadvantages people have been born with not just in their circumstances but with their minds. (As with intelligence, it also suits those blessed with better impulse control to pretend that their advantage is entirely due to nurture.)

Anyway, that’s the only thing keeping me going; heart disease and Type-2 diabetes I could handle, but dropping out of the middle class really would be the end.

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  • madasafish

    I recommend yoga classes. Bending down to touch your toes gives you an incentive to reduce your waistline – so you can see your toes..let alone touch them.

    Dieting on its own is a waste of time if your metabolism is used to a life of transport and sitting. And if you exercise enough, you can get to a stage where you can eat what you like..

  • Daniel Maris

    May I recommend my own steak and muffin diet.

    Muffin with proper butter – only 150 calories but very satisfying for those who crave fat and mouthfeel. You’re allowed 4 of those in day, eaten singly, whenever you get peckish = 600 calories

    Breakfast: slice of bacon, egg and tomato with (small) slice of toast. = 350 calories

    Lunch: Slice of cheese, tomato and salad (no dressing – just a drop of mayonnaise). Eat it with knife and fork (good psychology) = 250 calories

    Dinner: (not too large) steak, mushrooms and salad = 350 calories

    Whenever: Choc bar = 250 calories

    1800 calories – for a man who exercises moderately, that’s 700 short of their daily allowance. So you should definitely lose some weight.

    • HJ777

      Not exactly healthy, is it?

      No fruit, not a lot of veg, not much fibre.

      I have a very sedentary occupation, but I exercise hard (required for my sport) most days and eat a sensible diet (I also consume alcohol most days and have a liking for chocolate and crisps). Result: not overweight.

      • Andy

        Chocolate is the food of the God’s !

        • John Border

          And good punctuation is the mark of the educated!

  • CharlietheChump

    Ice cream, crisps and Guinness. Best diet ever.

    • The Red Bladder

      Substitute pickled eggs for the ice cream and you will never, ever suffer the curse of trapped wind. The other huge advantage is that you can consume the lot in the establishments where the boring health fanatics, vegetarians and preaching harpies never go!

  • Swanky

    Valuable point, Ed. Poverty can’t be eradicated any more than sporting accidents, drowning, or illness. It’s a fact of life, partly because of factors beyond human control, and partly because poor reasoners have a hard time pulling themselves out of it. If, indeed, they even try.

    The best help for poverty — a proven remedy throughout the world — is capitalism.

    Life is one big drinking game – the more you lose, the harder it is to win. Very true.

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