How to lose ‘lockdown love handles’ quickly AND beat the coronavirus

The sight of our decidedly obese prime minister telling us we have to lose weight to save the NHS would be comical if it wasn’t just another instance of the totalitarian tip-toe of “don’t do what I do, do what I say,” creeping into our lives.

Boris Johnson vowed to lose weight after his brush with the Grim Reaper three months ago … and I’ve yet to see any sign that he has.

Now “Simon Says” we all have to lose five pounds to save the NHS, when there wouldn’t even have be an NHS – or not in its current flabby size – if people were given proper advice about nutrition.

Boris’s ignorance about nutrition is evident in his edict that there should be clearer calorie counts on food labels because he clearly doesn’t know that excess weight is not about just calories, which might explain why he has been unable to lose weight.

You can go on a calorie-restricted diet and lose the requisite five pounds in a week. This is because your body will be able to shed that weight in water – the water it had been hanging on to in order to help it process such an unhealthy diet and still keep you alive. However, you will probably blow it by the weekend, and so within days, the five pounds of water will be back on again.

Obesity is rarely caused by too many calories, per se; it is usually caused by too many carbohydrates.

But the food lobby – and particularly the uber-powerful sugar lobby – has made sure that our diets are far too carb-heavy.

By carbohydrates, I mean anything that eventually turns into sugar or glucose in your body, whether a simple carb like sugar or a complex carb like wheat or rice.

Some people call the low carb way of eating the Ketogenic Diet, and I will let you Google it if you want more details. But I lost five-and-a-half-stones in less than six months by switching to this regime at the beginning of 2017. It hasn’t gone on again and I feel pretty amazing, most of the time, energetically. People also tell me I look 10 years younger.

If you give up – or seriously reduce – all carbohydrates such as bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, cakes, confectionary etc, you will find that you benefit from a double whammy.

One – your body will breathe a huge sigh of relief because it will give it the time and space then to concentrate on doing other more important things, like building and maintaining your immune system, so that it can fight off viruses.

But secondly, and just as importantly, no virus can survive in a body in which glucose isn’t running through the bloodstream. Viruses live on that sugar. It is their fuel. So you will be starving out any coronavirus that does manage to get a foothold.

And that’s largely the reason why I believe that the two major underlying health conditions causing death by coronavirus are obesity and diabetes. When you give up carbs, you knock both of those sugar-related diseases on the head, and you shed stones of the flab.

But if we just reduce calories until we’ve lost five pounds, then I think there’s fat chance of preventing the ICUs from being overwhelmed again this winter.

Maybe it’s about time that we stopped getting our health advice from politicians who know nothing about health and everything about how to please the food lobbies.