Ah, January; the season of regret, false promises and an inbox clogged with offers from those smarmy bastards at LA Fitness. As your hulking, dishevelled mass drearily lumbers through the avarice incarnate of the post-Christmas sales, you look around and think to yourself: “People…what a bunch of disgusting bastards.”
But the realisation soon creeps up on you that you, yes YOU, are also people! Sickening. Over the millennia, humanity has developed a defence system against this sort of trauma: the New Year’s Resolution. What this is, in essence, is an agreement made with oneself each year to cast off the shackles of sin (or luxury, as we bons vivants prefer to call it) in an effort to distance oneself from nauseating hoi polloi. Diet! Gym! Acheivify! Motivaficate! Successinisation!
Of course, sooner or later we all accept that whilst the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak and the buffet is alluring. I myself dropped any pretence of so-called ‘self-improvement’ many moons ago, and am devouring a 75 per cent discounted Heston from Waitrose toffee sauce-filled figgy pudding on Brasenose’s finest dinner service as I write – but you, gentle reader, you! – there is still hope for you. There is a way. A diet for people who hate dieting. How would you like to eat more indulgently than ever before and at the same time shed pounds per week? Did I mention that you would never have to set foot in a gym, except perhaps to laugh at the peasants overexerting both themselves and their wallets? Look no further than the Gourmand’s personal diet plan: the ketogenic diet.
The keto diet is unbelievably simple and intuitive from an evolutionary standpoint, but goes against all the government propaganda constantly fed to us nowadays. So, the burning question: What do I eat? In terms of nutrients, you should aim to eat about 30 per cent protein, less than 10 per cent carbs (under ~20g) and the remaining 60 per cent fat per day. Supplemented by vegetables which, for the most part, contain few carbohydrates, your diet should include fatty meats (bacon is the ideal keto food), fish, eggs, cheese, nuts, cream and a lot of water. Butter and animal fats should be added wherever possible for increased deliciousness, though some things are off the menu: bread, pizza, cake, potatoes, sugar, beer, even root vegetables and most fruit – anything with sugar or carbs in is not your friend.
What sorcery is this, you ask? Well, there’s a perfectly good scientific explanation. When you stop eating sugar, your body stops relying on glucose as your primary energy source and instead uses fat, which is much slower-burning and avoids blood sugar highs or lows. This fat (a combination of what you eat and what is already on your podgy little frame) is converted into ketones, which come out in your urine.
What’s the evolutionary background to this? Keto is related to the paleo diet, which aims to mimic what our cavemen ancestors ate – namely, anything they could kill and anything they could forage. No farming, no refined sugars, and certainly no convenience food meant that they stayed healthy as nature intended them to. We weren’t built to sit at our desks all day scoffing a shameful mixture of post-Christmas and pre-Easter chocolate; we were meant to tear into the flesh of beasts like real men.
For a taster of what you could be eating to slim down, ponder these keto delicacies: Bacon and eggs! Bacon-wrapped steak! Crispy-skinned duck breast (with bacon)! Pork scratchings! Pints o’ cream! Twenty-cheese omelette! Bacon-wrapped salmon! Broccoli with bacon! Cauliflower with bacon! Bacon soufflé! And of course…genuine bacon.