Festive fatties, have you heard about the latest diet fad? Three days of gluttony, two days of abstinence is so old hat. Seven days a week, you eat fresh air instead.
I’m not kidding; even I couldn’t make this up. The Breatharian Diet puts a whole new meaning on the phrase ‘thin air’. The deluded believe for long periods of time they don’t need to eat food or drink any liquids because they can get all the sustenance they need from air and sunlight alone.
The British Dietetic Association have placed it top of its annual list of Celebrity Diets to Avoid in the New Year. Their verdict? “You seriously cannot live on fresh air alone! We cannot stress enough that people should NOT even consider following this diet. No excreta, Sherlock. Literally.
They should rename it the Suicide Diet. Because that’s what it is. Who would be stupid enough to think they can live like a plant? Lots of Americans, apparently. One tried it last year for five weeks. She called it quits on Day No. 47, after being shocked and amazed to discover she had lost 33lbs, some 20 percent of her body weight.
There is less drastic form of his ridiculous-in-the-extreme weightloss programme - it’s called the Air diet. You cook real food, pretend to eat it from your plate and fill up by gulping in air instead.
It’s rumoured Madonna’s tried it (why are celebs so gullible?). Though this could be because surely the most extreme of fad diets featured Madge and friends fake-eating in a Dolce & Gabbana fashion ad (Fashion & Starvation, a combo so familiar it could be come a brand itself).
All that air you’ve ‘consumed’, plus the for-your-eyes only feast, is supposed to fool your body into thinking you’ve eaten. Followers are allowed to drink water and ‘dine’ on saltwater soup (i.e. a bowl of sea) during intense periods of fasting.
All diets take masses of willpower; they’re steely mind over foodmatter (so say I, the woman who rejoined WeightWatchers two months ago having regained the 21 lbs I lost five years ago to be a slender bride, and not been able to stick to the points for one single day). But these ones take the biscuit.
The only time I don’t eat is for about, ooh, 15 minutes after I’ve just eaten. Or when I’m ill (every bout of flu or gastroenteritis brings the silver lining five-pound fat-loss in as many days. Be honest; you too hit the scales the minute you start to perk up).
I could not sit in front of a plate of food, imagine I’d eaten it and then watch it disappear back into the kitchen. I’d end up attacking the waiter.