THE BLOG

Fed Up With Fad Diets

17/09/2013 14:53 BST | Updated 17/11/2013 10:12 GMT

My best friend once wisely said to me that it is a celebrity's job to look good and if they get caught looking awful then it's the equivalent to one of us normal folk having a bad day in the office. Now, her point that it's their job to look good is an important one - they are paid to look flawless. Let's be honest, going to the gym five times a week for a non-celeb is just a massive chore. Say you're lucky enough to be home by 7pm, well, you're very likely to be hungry but you know you should probably go to gym. Which one do you choose? Food, of course, you don't want to pass out on a treadmill, the muscular people will laugh. Then, after prep time, cooking time, eating time and digesting time it's 9pm and there's a film on channel 4, which is much more appealing than exercising until your muscles hurt so much that the next day you can't make it up the stairs to the toilet and you wet yourself in the office corridor. I work 3 days a week and I haven't managed to exercise in three weeks, and I do it at home. I would make a terrible celebrity.

And then, then there's the diets. Let's start with juice diets... surely our bodies are supposed to digest solid food, you know, we used to pick berries and leaves and munch on them? Cave people didn't have juicers or blenders. Dukan, well it's my current enemy as I've witnessed the headaches it can give people. Yes, it may make you lose a lot of weight quickly but not only does it cause headaches, tiredness and grumpiness - it's not fun eating that much meat or being around someone on that diet. And, it's pricey, oh so pricey. In fact, aren't all diets pricey? With all the added nuts, seeds, chia, gold flakes and unicorn tears you have to purchase how on earth are you supposed to afford it? If you cut out the stress of making it yourself and having it delivered to your door (luxury) it'll cost £15-£50. But, you know, what if it's gross? What a waste of money. And, some of these diets require you to eat five meals a day - knowing the work life of some of my friends (definitely not me), that would be impossible. Where are the diets for normal people that are a reasonable price? Well, there are none because otherwise people wouldn't make any money.

Let's look at my grandparents as a fine example. My maternal grandmother made her own pastry, cakes, puddings, pies and other delights; my grandfather lived until he was 92 and my grandmother is still alive and still enjoys a Victoria sponge. My paternal grandparents both lived long lives and my grandmother would offer up three pudding selections with meals. I do miss that pudding trolley. Butter, meat, carbs, sugar - you name it, they ate it. One thing they didn't have was fast food, it was all homemade. It's amazing to see what my maternal grandmother can produce from a small budget; maybe I should pay her a visit and get some tips.

Anyway, my point is this. Cut the crap with the faddy diets. What do I do when I'm looking a little rounder and my clothes are feeling a bit too snug? I switch to dark chocolate instead of sweets, I snack on fruit, carrot sticks and cucumber, I eat a large lunch and I try not to eat anything after I've had supper. Not really that hard is it? Like most women these days I'm sensitive to wheat and so instead of having a totally boring bread free life I just cut back and enjoy copious amounts of potatoes, rice and wheat free pasta, with the odd slice of bread on the side. Basically, I eat like a normal person and like my grandparents I avoid fast food, I keep it homemade - that way I know what goes into it.

Exercise if you have the willpower because it's definitely good for you but, when it comes to eating - enjoy your food. Who wants to be hungry for a lifetime? Besides, only people with an on-call nutritionist and millions in the bank can really pull it off anyway. Let's all save money and enjoy some cake and, if we feel a bit guilty afterwards we can do some sit-ups in front of the telly.