'Healthy-ish eating' may not be sexy - but it beats the misery of pea or broccoli diets
The January diet means going without. It means getting through the darkest, coldest month of the year without so much as a sniff of a Terry's Chocolate Orange. But long forgotten are the days when we thought the Atkins fad of the early noughties was peak weird. The last few years have seen an increasingly baffling and bizarre array of diet trends, from the disconcertingly moralistic clean eating to the eye-wateringly expensive juice fasts.
It's hard to decide which diet to take up when there are fasting diets, fat-free diets, soup diets, only-eating-broccoli diets, never-eating-broccoli diets, missing-every-third-meal diets, no-carbs-after-6pm diets, nothing-but-carbs-after 6pm diets and even drinking-your-own-pee diets. Ten years ago, it was easy to be a virtuous eater. We just avoided ready meals and takeaways. Today we'd need an encyclopaedic knowledge of biology, a thorough understanding of sustainable farming methods and an economics degree to make sense of it all.
Still, a kind of queasy desperation fuels our January efforts at self-transformation. We are not stupid. We know that the people who sell us a "life-changing" blender for making green juice will mainly change our lives by making us poorer.