Week 21 is going to be Audrey Peyton's F2 diet. This is a sequel to her multi-million selling F-Plan diet. Now, it's not often that the sequel is better than the original (think Pirates of the Caribbean, Look Who's Talking 2, any of the Star Wars films - although I'm relying on husband for this information, as I slept through every single dull moment).
I'm beginning to notice a formula to these diet books - start by establishing your credentials (Audrey was Beauty Editor of a best-selling womens magazine), then slag off all other diets (Atkins comes in for the most abuse here, possibly because it really is the most discredited, although it helps that he's dead and therefore can't defend himself). You must then establish the 'science' behind your plan - although I use this term loosely, as there is rarely any supporting evidence, before finally actually revealing what your plan is...
A note on the 'science': There's a nod to gender: Audrey notes that the carb-weightloss effect is a girl-boy thing - girls crave carbs on a primitive level, from a time when digging for tubers was a girls work. If this is true, I wonder whether girls in later generations of my daughters will eat more red-meat, as a direct result of my leather-handbag addiction. On statistics: she says that an American is seventeen times more likely to get heart disease than a rural chinese (unsourced, much to my annoyance). A quick google search tells me that in reality (according the World Bank), the average life expectancy of an American is five years more than a Chinese, and Audrey fails to even consider other likely factors, such as exercise (I doubt rural china is as heavily reliant on America than the car), pollution and access to health and education.
Next follows a brilliantly descriptive chapter on poo - illustrating six types, from the nutty/pebbly variety, to the fluffy - and everything in between. Apparently, we should aim for type 4 or 5 - smooth, sausage like, and preferably floating.
So, what actually is this diet? Get to the point, Audrey!! It's basically just a high-fibre, low-GI plan which is designed to benefit your health as well as your waistline. Advantages: high fibre foods are lower calorie and more filling, more calories are wasted (that is, excreted), you feel more full and your blood sugar levels stay steady.
- Eat around 40 grams of fibre per day
- Breakfast on half a grapefruit, a bowl of high-fibre cereal and a greenish banana each day
- Have a low-fat probiotic drink each day
- Eat large quantities of vegetables and pulses - including at least two from the 'F2 Star Bioactive Veg and Pulses' list - at least 15 grams daily (there is a list of 24, including lentils, peas, beans, carrots, spinach, brocolli and sugarsnaps)
- Eat at least two F2 Star Bioactive Fruits daily (a list of 12, inclduing apples, nectarines, grapes and plums)
- Eat two slices of fibre-rich wholemeal bread each day
- Eat grain based foods, such as wholewheat pasta, bulgur wheat and couscous
- Ration fat-containing foods to 10 units daily (a handy guide to almost every food is included)
- Choose fish instead of meat (or better yet, be vegeatarian), limit red meat to twice a week
- Drink water freely
By way of measuring the success of this diet, as well as the weightloss element, I might try to add some pictures to the charmingly titled 'rate my poo', in order to ascertain whether they really do improve over the course of the week.