Farewell to the fat and the fads: Lucy Atkins weighs up the shape of di­ets to come, while, overleaf, celebri­ties share their home­spun slim­ming tips

The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - - Front Page -

Ex­hausted fad di­eters will be re­lieved to hear that weight loss prospects look pos­i­tively sen­si­ble for 2008. Self-de­pri­va­tion will be of­fi­cially out. For slim­mers, says Denise Bates, pub­lish­ing di­rec­tor at Collins, it will be “all lifestyle and hav­ing fun”.

“The forth­com­ing diet books are about avoid­ing guilt, not fol­low­ing a regime,” she ex­plains. In How to Eat Like a Hot Chick, for in­stance, glam­orous au­thors Jodi Lip­per and Ce­rina Vin­cent will of­fer tips on which cock­tails are less calorific than oth­ers and why we should avoid any­thing with “Frap” or “Mocha” at Star­bucks.

“The trends for 2008 are def­i­nitely mov­ing away from re­stric­tive di­ets,” agrees Sue Baker of Pub­lish­ing News, af­ter sur­vey­ing the new crop of diet books for next year. Thank­fully, we will no longer have to eat like French or Ja­panese women. French Women Don’t Get Fat, one of this year’s best­sellers, ex­horted flabby Brits to take the stairs and never swal­low more than a sliver of brie at a sit­ting. This was then trumped by Ja­panese Women Don’t Get Old or Fat, which had us cy­cling around eat­ing fish.

Such di­ets are out be­cause 2008 will be about in­tro­spec­tion, not de­pri­va­tion. “Peo­ple want to look at why they are gain­ing weight and to work out how to eat sen­si­bly with­out de­priv­ing them­selves,” says Baker. For in­stance, The Diet Delu­sion, to be pub­lished in Jan­uary, ex­plodes the ap­par­ently im­per­fect science be­hind the anti-car­bo­hy­drate and low-fat eat­ing trends to which we have blindly clung for years.

Of course, there will al­ways be a mar­ket for the lu­natic quick fix. No doubt many slim­mers will spend large pro­por­tions of next year at­tempt­ing to eat like a cave­man (see our Diet Trends panel, overleaf). But the real hard-core di­et­ing loons are more likely to seek so­lace in surgery than the Stone Age. There are al­ready signs of a scary boom in obe­sity surgery (“stom­ach sta­pling”): the Bri­tish Obe­sity Surgery Pa­tient As­so­ci­a­tion cur­rently re­ceives around 4,000 queries a month from peo­ple des­per­ate for gas­tric bands or by­passes. For the rest of us, 2008 could be more about ex­er­cise than ex­trem­ism. In­stead of strain­ing our brains try­ing to work out whether a potato has a lighter “glycemic load” when mashed or whole, we will be strain­ing our mus­cles dig­ging up the home-grown Maris Pipers. “In­te­gra­tive ex­er­cise” — burn­ing off calo­ries do­ing ev­ery­day tasks — has re­placed the gym.

We will also be far too busy sourc­ing lo­cal foods from or­ganic farm­ers’ mar­kets to bother with the aus­tere di­ets that were so pop­u­lar this year. Af­ter all, we now know that those raw food regimes, in­ter­mit­tent fasts and juic­ing di­ets did not work. Next year is also un­likely to see a resur­gence of the car­bo­hy­drate-free Atkins Diet (or The South Beach Diet, or The Zone). Th­ese crashed and burned af­ter Oprah Win­frey, the Amer­i­can celebrity guru, started to eat bread again and they are un­likely to re­turn.

Not ev­ery­one, of course, will man­age to slim down sim­ply by cut­ting back on Frap­puc­ci­nos. The “vir­tual diet” could be next year’s other weight-loss boom, with on­line groups such as EDi­ets, Weight Watch­ers or Tesco Di­ets of­fer­ing the chance to buddy-up on the in­ter­net with fel­low slim­mers, shar­ing tips and morale-boost­ing chat, with­out the hu­mil­i­a­tion of pub­lic weigh-ins.

Fi­nally, the new em­pha­sis on healthy eat­ing could mean a pro­lif­er­a­tion of so-called “func­tional foods”: prod­ucts con­tain­ing vi­ta­mins or pro­bi­otic and pre­bi­otic bac­te­ria for gut health, or omega-3 for con­cen­tra­tion. Science, then, is the new self-dis­ci­pline. Fad di­ets RIP?


I loathe this time of year be­cause I can’t get any­where near a type­writer for about 10 days and I be­come pan­icky. There­fore I mis­ery-eat and put on about a stone, which is quite dis­gust­ing. When peo­ple hug me, I know I’m far too cud­dly and that they can feel roll af­ter roll of flesh.

I’ve tried this year to steer clear of crys­tallised fruit and choco­lates. I have a charis­matic Pol­ish carer to help me look af­ter my hus­band, Leo [who has Parkin­son’s dis­ease], and he does a lot of won­der­ful cook­ing, which keeps me out of the kitchen. Be­ing in the kitchen is fa­tal.

In or­der to feel slim when I’m hugged on Valen­tine’s Day, I will go on my usual diet, eat­ing mostly cab­bage soup. My PA, Pam, makes a mirac­u­lous one with Oxo cubes and ev­ery veg­etable un­der the sun: cel­ery, pep­pers, leeks, onions broc­coli and, of course, cab­bage. I’ll have the soup for lunch, fish or chicken and a bit of yo­gurt for sup­per and then an­other bowl of soup later on. If I do that for a fort­night and come off the booze, the pounds melt away.

LAU­RENCE LLEWE­LYN-BOWEN De­signer, TV pre­sen­ter

Hav­ing reached my for­ties, I have dis­cov­ered, to my ut­ter hor­ror, that there is one thing above all that will make me lose weight, some­thing that scares the liv­ing day­lights out of me. It’s fright­en­ing to ad­mit but, if I ac­tu­ally lay off the Ply­mouth gin, it’s amaz­ing how my love-han­dles de­plete. But is life with­out gin worth liv­ing?

Any­way, there’s some­thing rather lovely about love­han­dles, par­tic­u­larly when they are ex­pen­sively fur­nished by food from all around the world.

SARAH BEENY TV pre­sen­ter

When I want to lose weight, I think about all the food I can eat, rather than the food I have to avoid. I eat a lot of things, such as an­chovies and olives, that some peo­ple might think dis­gust­ing. I like strong-flavoured food and spoil my­self with lux­ury, avoid­ing the carbs and fats. I’ll eat toma­toes, mus­sels, lob­ster and crab. If I’m in a restau­rant, I’ll or­der a dou­ble serv­ing of oys­ters. You must never go out and or­der a salad. You’ll just feel sad and de­prived. Strong tastes and glam­orously-served food makes me lose weight and feel fab­u­lously self­ind­ul­gent.

I never let my­self go hun­gry, ei­ther, so I reach for the bis­cuit tin. But it’s bet­ter to have one de­cent sand­wich. I eat a lot of fruit. A ba­nana is great for last­ing en­ergy. An avo­cado is an­other great healthy filler.

GABBY LOGAN TV sports pre­sen­ter

As we have rel­a­tives to stay over the hol­i­day, we have loads of baby-sit­ters to amuse our twins. This means my hus­band, Kenny, and I can coun­ter­act the calo­ries by go­ing for a run in the evening. Apart from run­ning, if I need to lose a few pounds I go for long walks with the dog, drink a lot of wa­ter and try to drop the al­co­hol for a few days. The big­gest in­cen­tive to slim down af­ter overeat­ing is the thought of the New Year cel­e­bra­tions. I try on the slinky out­fit I plan to wear for the party and, if it is tight, that def­i­nitely keeps me away from the cake and bis­cuits.


My per­sonal weight-loss plan re­ally works. I never eat break­fast and only ever have two meals a day. But when I want to lose weight, I eat what I like for lunch — in­clud­ing meat or fish — and then just have veg­eta­bles for the evening meal. My pre­ferred veg­gie dish is toma­toes and cu­cum­bers with their skins left on and flavoured with a lit­tle salt. Some­times I add a piece of whole­meal bread with­out but­ter. It’s all good roughage. If I get bored with that, I’ll have broc­coli and sweet­corn or a veg­etable soup.

Stren­u­ous ex­er­cise is equally im­por­tant. When I fin­ished my latest book, The Chameleon’s Shadow, I ate my cu­cum­ber and toma­toes ev­ery evening but also got stuck into some heavy-duty DIY. I di­vided a room and built a walk-in larder, fix­ing the walls and ev­ery­thing. I also spec­tac­u­larly re­dec­o­rated my large kitchen and lost 10 pounds in two months.

BEN FOGLE Ad­ven­turer, TV pre­sen­ter

I am happy to say that I have a weak­ness for food, but I am health-con­scious and, as the years tick by, prob­a­bly a lit­tle more body-con­scious. I’m at an age when lit­tle paunches and bumps can start to ap­pear. My fit­ness se­cret, which is not par­tic­u­larly wicked but works in­cred­i­bly well, is that James Crack­nell in­tro­duced me to the hideous world of row­ing ma­chines when we were in train­ing for our At­lantic cross­ing.

I now have that self-same row­ing ma­chine at home. It’s the most dull piece of gym equip­ment you could pos­si­bly get, but it’s also won­der­ful be­cause 30 min­utes a day row­ing away in the gar­den or in my hall keeps me in good shape. I use it ev­ery day for two months, then have a break be­fore go­ing back to it. My brain is oxy­genated, the calo­ries are burnt away and I get time to think. And I can still have a bar of choco­late. I firmly be­lieve that we should al­low our­selves a lit­tle bit of ev­ery­thing.

JEN­NIE BOND TV pre­sen­ter, writer

If I need to lose weight, the first thing I do is try to cut down on the booze. If you can’t give up what­ever your tip­ple is al­to­gether, then at least re­duce it. The only fool­proof way I have found of los­ing weight th­ese days is to throw my­self into work. I need to­tal stress and, if my stress lev­els are too low, I in­vent some more and throw my­self into loads of house­work. I clean out cup­boards, run up and down the stairs and vac­uum high and low. Hard phys­i­cal and men­tal work soon sorts out the ex­tra pounds. Ev­ery now and then I also have to talk to my­self se­verely. I say: “Now you are not a per­son who eats choco­lates and crisps (my big weak­ness) ev­ery day. That’s just not you! Get back to nor­mal­ity.”

TOYAHWILL­COX Ac­tress, singer

At this time of year, I al­ways do panto, which does won­ders for my fig­ure. This year, I’m play­ing Jack in Jack and the Beanstalk at the Hexagon in Read­ing and we do two shows a day most days. I get so fit on stage and want to keep it up af­ter­wards.

I have very sen­si­ble eat­ing habits and my tip is the most ba­sic and sim­ple law in the world: do not eat more calo­ries than you can burn. I find it stag­ger­ing that peo­ple don’t get that. Be­cause I’m go­ing to hit 50 next year, I have a sen­si­ble break­fast of green tea and a bowl of bran flakes, and a good lunch such as a piece of salmon with spinach and fruit. I drink wa­ter all day, al­low my­self one more cup of tea and then I’ll have a bowl of soup in the evening and a bowl of ce­real be­fore go­ing to bed. No one can sleep if they are hun­gry and you need car­bo­hy­drates to help you re­lax.

I only al­low my­self 1,500 calo­ries a day be­cause that’s all I need. If I go over that, I put on weight. I have worked that out for my­self. I be­lieve you can look bet­ter and bet­ter as you get older. I think peo­ple who go on about age be­ing a bad thing are peo­ple who have lost their fig­ures. If you can stay fit and slim, life is far more en­joy­able.

LULU Singer

Con­scious eat­ing is the key. There are times when we shovel in the choco­late or cake so fast that we don’t re­ally taste any­thing. I am very greedy, but I try to be con­scious of slow­ing down and ac­tu­ally en­joy­ing what I’m eat­ing. I also ask my­self: “Do I re­ally want this ex­tra bit?” But it’s eas­ier said than done.

A rare few peo­ple have a fast me­tab­o­lism and stay the same weight no mat­ter what, but when you get to a cer­tain age fat is harder to move. I no­tice my mid­dle is thicker and so, as bor­ing as it sounds, ex­er­cise is the key. I do yoga, walk and I love to dance. I’ve just fin­ished a tour with Jools Hol­land and on stage I am never grownup, de­mure and so­phis­ti­cated. I let loose like a crazy child, danc­ing around the stage. I dance around my house, too. Ev­ery­one should keep on danc­ing. It’s a fun way to keep slim. It’s joy­ous.

ALANTITCHMARSH Gar­den­ing ex­pert

My own six-word mantra for los­ing weight is sim­ple: “Eat less, drink less, ex­er­cise more.”

GRA­HAM NOR­TON TV pre­sen­ter, agony aunt

When I want to lose weight, I only eat green and white things and I only drink things I can see through, such as vodka, gin and Cham­pagne. For the pur­poses of the diet, toma­toes and beet­root are green, salmon and tuna qual­ify as white. You’re al­lowed pota­toes (boiled or mashed, not chips or crisps), but you’re not al­lowed bread or pasta.

Peo­ple laugh, but it works. I re­cently lost about two stone this way.

Weight and mea­sures: celebri­ties Gra­ham Nor­ton andToyah Will­cox (above, left), Minette Wal­ters and Ben Fogle (above, right) and Lau­rence Llewe­lyn-Bowen (be­low) have their own ways of scal­ing down the flab

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.