The problem with this amazing diet that I'm on is that it doesn't have a name. It all started during the Olympics when I was in France.
I watched a Horizon programme about fasting. The first three-quarters was a bit dull, on the medical benefits of fasting – about it giving your body time to repair itself. It was the last quarter, however, that got me; the idea you can have 600 calories on the fast day and then anything you like on the eating day. The guinea pigs on the programme were divided into high-fat and low-fat diets on the eating days, and the exciting thing was that they both lost the same amount of weight. This meant that, as long as you did the fasting days, you could do whatever you wanted on the eating days.
I have very strong willpower but only for short periods, so the knowledge that I only have to get through to the next day is what keeps me going. I've come to rather enjoy the fasting days. I have a banana for breakfast, soup for lunch and either steamed vegetables or more soup for supper. I sometimes go to bed building a mental picture of a huge breakfast but I always wake up not hungry, which is weird. I love the eating days as I have a feeling of complete guilt-free consumption – something I have never felt before
I think I could do this for the rest of my (hopefully longer, as fasting increases longevity) life. I've lost two-and-a-half stone and have never felt better. I wandered into Prada the other day, where staff normally eye me with a silent, "There's nothing for you here, tubby". Not this time. I was three sizes below their largest size and splurged like a fat man in a chocolate factory. I thought I was the only person on this regime until people started to notice that I'd lost weight and ask me how I did it. I'd start to explain and they would say, "Oh yes, my friend is doing that."
It appears the Horizon programme had a huge impact without knowing it. This is quite refreshing; nobody is making any direct money from the diet, it's not a Dukan or an Atkins … but what to call it? A London newspaper article that claimed it was all the rage in the City called it the Dodo diet, which didn't make any sense. Then a magazine referred to it as IF (Intermittent Fasting) which still didn't have the right ring.
I thought about what I could name it. The Horizon Diet was my first idea, since that was what started it all. "Off-On Diet" was another, but neither sounded right. Then I thought about playing with the word "Fast" and came up with "Fast, Food, Fast, Food Diet". I quite liked that but it's too long, so I've abbreviated it. Now when I tell people I'm on the "Fast Food Diet" they think I have discovered some amazing weight-loss benefit in a KFC party bucket.
I nod and try to look mystical but eventually can't help trying to convert them. I have become evangelical about this regime. It's genuinely the first diet I've ever tried that not only works but that I could see myself doing for ever. Who knew that a dull old science programme like Horizon would be such a life-changing viewing experience? Must go … it's an eating day.