Hungry for knowledge

19Sep12

Ok, this might not be a brilliant idea, but I’m trying it anyway, and it’s not just because Michael Mosley did it and I love him so much I want to doodle his name in glittery pen on my face.

The Mosley Effect is significant, but the other reason is Rosie, the small and charming doggie personage who regularly takes my dad for walks. Her owner, a neighbour, keeps her on very short rations foodwise, and she is still button-bright and full of energy despite, well, knocking on a bit.

Which leads us to the 5:2 diet. The theory is that for two days a week you eat no more than 500 calories; for the other five you eat normally. The effects are weight loss (obv) and (less obv) a lower production of random letters/numbers hormone that, when generated in abundance, makes you get, like, old and that.

My medical erudition probably prevents you from noticing that this theorising is well above my pay grade, but apparently protein is potentially a bad guy, and when you’re that calorie-restricted you’ve got to cut it drastically in order to hit the numbers.

Look, you’d better read about it here, in this preview of the relevant Horizon episode – there are some nice pics of the sainted Michael too. This blogger-bloke here gives the highlights of the programme, which sounded impressive. And if you want the whole shebang, you can pop round to YouTube’s house and watch it there.

Now, this isn’t a weight-loss thing – frankly, if I lose much more poundage I’m going to look like a scrawny old broiler. But I suspect I already do this: eat not much some days; blow out when I get the chance. But I just want to see what 500 calories feels like, to gauge how close to this I come on a regular sortuva day.

I’m hoping it won’t be like that other time I tried something ‘just to see what it would be like’. Cut to Naxos, Greek island paradise, the summer after I left school. Four of us went on holiday and one of our number had what those prissy ads call sluggish digestion, i.e., she was constipated. I wasn’t, but when she bought some laxative toffees from a Greek pharmacist (who sold them unreassuringly loose from a drawer), I thought I’d travel the road with her. Christ. A night of groans ensued for both of us, knees up to chins, with nothing to show (if yer get my drift) but gut-twisting, never-bloody-ending colic.

Twenty-four hours later I could be scried jogging clenched and whimpering away from a privy-less restaurant and towards our hotel. Actually my fears were groundless, but that knowledge lay in the darkling future – at the time it felt like the end of days.

Final nugget – because if you’ve got this far then you’ll obviously read any amount of revelatory garbage: I’ve never taken a laxative again. Nevernevernever.

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