“Woke up this morning, feeling bloated as can be. Yeah, woke up this morning, feeling bloated as can be. Yeah I was feeling so bloated, I fell into the Christmas tree.”
If that little snatch of Christmas Tree Stomp by master bluesman Hugh “Stoutboy” Dixon (lyrics based on his own personal experience) strikes a familiar chord, then it’s time to start thinking about your New Year resolutions and planning a diet.
And “planning” is the operative word here. There’s no point in setting yourself unreasonable goals which you have no possible expectation of living up to.
If your body has become accustomed to five mince pies and a bottle of red wine a day for the last three weeks of festive over-indulgence, then going cold turkey isn’t really an option. (See what we did there, readers?)
Wean yourself off slowly: by mid-February you should be down to one sticky pie a week and just the occasional glass of the good old Shiraz Pinotage.
Your waistline will have reduced from a portly 42 inches to a more svelte 40, you’ll only get a little bit out of breath when you climb the stairs, and you’ll feel rather less like you’ve been hit on the head with a nine-pound hammer every time you wake up in the morning.
But if this approach to dieting sounds a bit too laid-back to you, here a couple of other suggestions you might like to try.
First off, the No Sleep Diet. Simply rig up your mains-powered smoke alarms to go off repeatedly, starting at four in the morning, for three days in a row.
A short dose of stress, coupled with REM sleep deprivation, will quickly trim your figure to Kate-Moss-like proportions.
We tried this one just before Christmas and it really worked! The only side-effects were a facial expression more gaunt than Dracula’s great-uncle and a tendency to tremble uncontrollably when required to engage in intelligent conversation.
Surely a price worth paying, though, for the ability to slip into those skinny jeans you haven’t worn since your mid-20s.
If that doesn’t appeal, maybe the No Carb Diet would be more up your street.
Doing without crustaceans for weeks may seem like too much of a sacrifice, but you’ll soon reap the benefits as you notice a spring in your step and a distinct lack of fishy smells from your dustbins.
Oh, wait a minute. That’s the No Crab Diet. Still, never mind, it might be worth a try.
Finally, there’s the good old High Protein Diet. This involves stuffing yourself with large quantitites of roast beef for breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with a weekly “treat”: full English breakfast.
If it doesn’t reduce your waistline, it’ll certainly do the trick for your bank balance. Happy New Year!