My friend John Walker has gone on a healthy eating plan.

John’s an intelligent chap, and so of course has no truck with all this Atkins, “my toxins/food intolerances/allergies/feng shui/DNA are making me fat” crap. Diets are simple physics. Your body needs fuel to work. If you take in less fuel than you use, your body stores it as fat. If you use more fuel than you take in, you’ll lose weight. Bing.

So all you need to do is work out how much fuel you need in a day. If your BMI (body mass index) is normal for your height, eat that amount. If your BMI is too low, eat more. If it’s too high, eat less.

To work out the amount, you need to establish your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Add 200-300 to the BMR to get the number of calories you burn in a day. For example, mine’s about 1,400 but then I’m a small moderately active girl.

So if you want to lose weight, work out how many calories you need, and then eat less. Buy a set of accurate scales, pay attention to the calorie counts on your food packaging, and add up what you eat. Nick has devised a little script that does the adding up for you. If you’ve had less than your allowance, you can store up your calories in a ‘bank’ and have a treat.

You can follow John’s progress on his blog. Nick lost a stone without much trouble using this sensible and scientific system.

I’ve found the process interesting to watch. I don’t need to lose weight, but it’s interesting to think like a dieter now and then. It’s quite surprising how calorific some foods are. A Marks and Spencer smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich packs 450 calories into its pyramid-shaped plastic packaging. That’s the same as a Big Mac, or more than a Full English, and that’s not including your crisps, fruit smoothie and Percy Pigs for dessert. Try having some soup and an apple instead.

2 thoughts on “Weights”

  1. I am in bad books with a friend of a friend, for the simple act of disagreeing with her on the worth of Atkins some lo-carb thing.

    Neither will read this, so I can quickly say: “People are idiots”.

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