I pig out every other day, and the weight falls off

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The Independent Online

Ihave been staying in London all week, because I have been very busy doing promotion work for my new TV show. Have I mentioned this before? Probably not, I'm loath to do something so crass. Being away from home has been particularly tricky because I've started doing a fasting regime every other day.

I started doing it in France, where it was much easier as food tastes good there. On my "fast" days, I can have 600 calories. In France, I would have wonderful watermelon or heavenly white peaches. Back in England, things are not quite so satisfying. You know the old story – tomatoes don't taste the way they do in France, fruit is bland....

The reason this regime works for me is that, on the non-fast days, I can eat and drink whatever I like. I have very strong willpower, but with a short shelf life. This is why this particular regime is brilliant. I can struggle through abstention if I know that when I wake up I can pig out and drink vats of champagne. I go to sleep dreaming of food and dribbling on the pillow about what I'm going to have when I wake up.

Staying in London for the week does make things a lot more difficult. First, there is just so much wonderful grub around. Living in the Cotswolds, we get excited when an Indian restaurant is able to deliver. From my temporary base in Soho, however, I can munch my way through every cuisine in the world whenever I want to – and it's difficult to resist.

It reminds me of when I once went to stay at a posh hotel in Tuscany. The place was where some health guru had set up a clinic and loads of people staying were doing some juice diet. Unfortunately for them, there was also a Gordon Ramsay restaurant for "normal" clients. Worse, the two dining rooms were separated by a wall that didn't even reach to the ceiling and the smells from the Ramsay kitchen nearly caused a riot among the juice dieters every night.

If I open the window of my bedroom in Soho, I get the tantalising odours of about 30 top restaurants doing their best to lure me into the night. I even time my social life. If I'm meeting someone out, then I have to work out whether it's going to be an "on" or "off" day. It's not easy, this weight loss lark. Mind you, it's working – I've lost a stone and half in three weeks and had the pleasure of going into the shop where I buy my polo shirts and demanding a size smaller. I would thoroughly recommend this process to anyone wanting to lose weight, although I have been reading up on other methods for the weaker-willed.

My favourite is a two-week Caribbean cruise. The cruise has normal facilities and normal passengers. But if you join as a weight-loss passenger, you are given an irremovable tag. This singles you out and, should you try to approach any food or drink save for the meagre diet prescribed to you, a security man physically keeps you away from it. I'm tempted to go on the cruise simply to try and get past the system.

I must go now – I can smell dim sum through my window and I'm going to lock myself in my bathroom until the urge passes.