28 Jan, 2016 @ 10:08
2 mins read

Wishful shrinking


BelindaIT’S the same old bah humbug every January. No sooner than you’ve scoffed the last sweetie in your Christmas tin of Quality Street than everyone you meet is on about getting back into shape.

I am in shape. Round is a shape. So count calories, cut carbs, monitor your glycemic index or become a martyr to macrobiotics if you must. Just keep it to yourself.

Dieting, whether scientifically by blood type or esoterically by star sign, is a fool’s game, unless you are a published ‘health guru’ churning out diet books by the dozen and living, quite literally, off the fat of the land.

But their advice should be taken with an unhealthily large pinch of salt.

Even if half of Hollywood is endorsing it, no one’s going to persuade me to don a wartime gas mask for a more heightened hypoxic workout, or down a beaker of bentonite clay for breakfast (a substance also contained in cat litter that swells in the stomach to curb hunger pangs).

Then there’s the Cookie Diet, still huge Stateside (as, no doubt, are many of its exponents). Rocket science it ain’t. On six cookies and one 300-calorie meal per day, who’s NOT going to lose weight and come out in spots from the low nutritional content?

As for the fat-burning KEN Diet ( Ketogenic Enteral Nutrition), it involves eating nothing at all. Victims are intubated and have to walk round with an electric pump and two litres daily supply of liquid protein. Fine, but can going out in public wearing a nose drip ever be considered a good look?

The harsh truth is that over a lifetime of yo-yo dieting, the average female will actually gain 215 pounds for the 120 she sheds while expending £700 a year on diet books/spinning classes/ sports equipment she’ll have lost interest in by March. Hands up if, like me, you use your cross trainer as an indoor clothes dryer.

So this January, forget weighing lettuce leaves and give your tummy muscles a workout with a good belly laugh at my Top Five Fatuous Fitness Fads:

The Thigh Master:  Two pieces of metal tube bent in a loop, connected with a hinge that you squeeze between your legs to tone thighs. Be careful it doesn’t fly out and knock the cat unconscious.

Stiletto Calisthenics: Trash the Nikes and don your best Jimmy Choos for a high-heel workout. You’ll improve balance and strengthen core muscles if you don’t fall flat on your face

Eat Yourself Slim: While you stuff your face at the dinner table with the 1.5-pound Knife and Fork Lift, a weighted cutlery set that makes every forkful a trial of strength.

Sauna Suits: Connect with your inner Michelin man in a rubber workout suit. You’ll squeak like a whoopee cushion, but no pain, no gain.

The Shake Weight Upper Body Workout:  A phallic-shaped dumbbell with a thrusting action so hilariously suggestive, the infomercial clips went viral on YouTube. The manufacturers were also laughing – all the way to the bank.

Belinda Beckett (Columnist)

Belinda Beckett is a qualified journalist and freelance writer based in the Campo de Gibraltar, specialising in travel & lifestyle features and humour columns.

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