We are said to grow up looking the way Dame Nature intended. In that case, why do we spend so much time fretting and fussing over the final product? I have to admit the Jameson household, like many others, devours all those diet plans occupying so many pages in newspapers and magazines.
How to eat less and lose weight makes compulsive reading. Not that any of it seems to make the slightest difference. We may gaze in wonder at Then and Now pictures of smiling ladies who have lost seven stones, but the entire nation is putting on the pounds. We are catching up fast with the Americans.
Obesity is the curse of the age. Over half of us are overweight and the figures grow steadily worse. My GP, not an ounce of fat on him, tells me to imagine carrying seven bags of sugar tied to my waist. "Can't be doing you much good, can it?" he says. Quite right. The health risks are enormous.
As the Hollywood actress Minnie Driver says: "You have to eat less and move around more." We do try, Minnie. We really do. In my house all the grub I love most is taboo. Fry-ups, roast dinners, pastries, snacks, chocolate. You name it.
Weather permitting, I go walkies every day. On occasion, my aforementioned GP overtakes me on his bike. "Well done," he says. "Keep it up." Trouble is, doc, the older we get, the more difficult it becomes to lose weight.
Fear not. Help is at hand. I've found a diet which offers the astonishing promise that the more you eat, the more weight you lose. It's all to do with burning off fat. What is this wonder? A home-made vegetable soup, pure and simple. Here's the recipe:
Six carrots, three large onions, two leeks, head of celery, large green cabbage, 750 grams cut beans, three tins of chopped tomatoes and two chicken stock cubes. Add two green peppers or a turnip for stronger taste if you wish. Cut and slice the vegetables and bring to boil in large pan of water. Then simmer until the vegetables are tender. Add tomatoes and stock cubes and keep on low light until you're ready to eat. The longer you cook, the better it tastes. There's enough for several meals. I puree mine in a blender, though it isn't essential.
Eat the soup every day, as much as you want. Supplement it with plenty of fruit. You can have the occasional meal, but stick to fish, chicken and lean meat. Avoid anything fattening - bread, fats, sugar, alcohol. You know the rules. Drink plenty of water to clear the system.
It certainly works, but how many pounds you lose depends on whether you cheat or not. I generally stick to the soup for three or four days and then go and spoil it all by eating egg and chips. No wonder they say men are weaker than women.
See you back here soon - and good luck with the weight watching!