Claudia Winkleman: Death by diet

Take It From Me: 'There is no one more enraged than a woman on a diet. I nearly killed a man after two days on the Atkins'
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So Fabio Capello has put the England football squad on a diet. He says they're a bit porky and a teeny bit too slow and that they need to eat less. No more extra-large bacon sandwiches with HP. No mammoth mountains of pasta and pesto with heaps of parmesan. And no toasted cheese sandwiches after training. The days of a massive fry-up before sticking on their football boots have gone. The family sized tins of Celebrations have been well and truly removed from the dressing room.

Those poor little things. They have to run around in their shiny nylon shirts and kick a ball and somehow get it to go to the back of the net, and now they have to eat a bit less than usual. So come on, chant with me. Everyone, after three: say aaaaah. Here goes.

Clear your lungs... 1. 2. 3. ARE YOU KIDDING? What – they have to not consume a whole loaf of Mighty White first thing in the morning? They have to step away from the nine bottles of Tango (the fizzy drink, of course; goes without saying the odd spray tan is still encouraged) and they have to turn down the second helping of frozen berries and white chocolate sauce at The Ivy?

These boys might actually have to be a little bit hungry for the odd day in the month? They might have to drop a couple of pounds? I don't believe it – we should go on a march. Let there be an uproar. Hungry? The men who get paid 90 grand a week and sell their weddings to Hello! for a couple of million? They're going to have to pass on a bag of Haribo? That will never do.

"Get those overpaid men a sandwich," that's what the billboards would say. If, um, anyone wanted to make one.

Do me a favour.

A bit peckish are we, chaps? Oh dear – why not go and get a new Aston Martin and take your minds of it, eh?

Top-flight football players are a strange bunch. Sure, I don't actually watch the game (I went once with an ex-boyfriend, but by the time he'd excitedly put on his Chelsea scarf and explained the offside rule, I knew I could never have sex with him again and quickly pretended I'd left the iron on and left) so I might not be the right person to feel sympathetic, but please.

They seem to be sorted: they earn more money that the rest of us put together; they're treated like superstars just for jogging on to a pitch; thousands of grown men scream their names with adoration and passion; and they go out with whoever they want. We might take the mick out of the WAGs with their Fendi bags and their bronzed skin and their skin-tight jeans and their high heels, but I bet they make their boys a mean shepherd's pie, and turn it on when they, uh, need to turn it on.

Anyway, I don't actually think that Fabio wants to make them thin. I think he wants to make them angry. And, I'm afraid, they go hand in hand. Stay with me. There is no one more livid and more enraged than a woman on a diet. I almost killed a man after two days on the Atkins. (I should add he was holding an apple. An apple, I tell you, in the cold light of day. While the rest of us, or just me, had to make do with half a side of bacon and a hunk of cheese.)

Let's be clear, women are not a little bit grumpy because they can't have it all or because their husbands got home a bit late. We're not slightly "uppity" because we can't figure out how to make a child's packed lunch without throwing in some Cheestrings and a bag of Hula Hoops. We're not slightly antsy because we don't like the fact that people aren't recycling. We're starving, for God's sake. We're living off black coffee and the odd bag of Snack A Jacks. The reason why those female celebrities are always in filthy moods is not because they're being hounded by men with massive cameras or because Ridley Scott cancelled their film. They just want to get their hands on a cheeseburger.

So, yes, Fabio, you've done the right thing. If you wants those boys on the pitch to be aggressive, if you need them to chase that ball and get it in the net, so help them God, then don't take away their supercars and don't tell them they can't have sex for the week leading up to the big game. Anyone can deal with that. Take away their carbs, tell them they have to order two starters at dinner and skip pudding, make them watch Gillian McKeith tell us all that kebabs are bad for us over and over again. Make sure they can't have any sugar (i.e. any fun) and cancel the hot dogs.

If furious is what you want, just cut down the calories. Rio, Wayne and David – welcome to our world.

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