Surely if it was that easy everyone would be cutting down on sugar?

You would think so wouldn’t you? This is quite complicated, or at least it is for me. As we know sugar is addictive. Now while it’s possible to deal with most addictions by total abstinence, such as smoking, alcohol, gambling and even sex, we all have to eat and therefore it’s impossible to cut sugar out of our diet 100%. This means that the temptation is always with us which is why I suggest cutting down on sugar intake over several months to enable the body to adjust to the new regime. In addition, the sugar industry is very rich and spends a lot of money on advertising and lobbying. Just to add to the problem the ‘Low Fat’ protagonists have a great marketing tool in their hands; it just sounds so obvious – if we want to get slim eat low-fat-foods. Great marketing, lousy advice. The bottom line is that we are all under considerable pressure to keep eating high sugar products; it takes a very determined, motivated and sugar-aware person (you perhaps?) to cut out sugar from their diet.

But if I follow your advice I will be cutting out so much of the foods I really enjoy.

This is a difficult one. I have to admit that this very thought kept me from facing up to my obesity for a long while. Logic said diet, temptation said keep on stuffing myself. High on the list of things that I worried about giving up were jam, marmalade, biscuits (ginger nuts in particular), Maltesers, Liquorish All Sorts, M&Ms, Dark Chocolate Bounties, nut and berry breakfast cereals, scones with jam and cream and traditional English puddings, with custard. Well, today (June 2013) I have just about cut all these out of my diet. I still have some jam and marmalade in the fridge (several jars in fact) and these look like lasting a very long time yet as I have cut these down to only having ½ teaspoon of one or the other a week. I can state that some five months on I don’t miss any of these foods stuffs I worried about giving up. I also don’t beat myself up if I consciously decide to indulge on a rare occasion although I do avoid those temptations that I know will kick off my sugar addiction; these include M&Ms, Maltese’s and ginger nuts; previous experiences tells me that I’ll keep going until I finish the lot. On the other hand if I’m out with the family and we stop off for tea I might treat myself to a toasted teacake or the like once or twice a year – and do so without guilt. Remember the aim is to drastically reduce my sugar intake, not eliminate it. One final thought on this point; indulging in a small way once or twice a year means just that, not every other day and then justifying it to yourself with some bogus excuse!!!

If cutting out sugar is such a good idea why don’t I hear more about it in the press and on TV?

Reducing sugar intake is encouraged by health organisations such as the NHS (UK), numerous charities and scientific bodies. Unfortunately the advertising budget of these organisations is minuscule when compared with that of the sugar industry. In addition perhaps I could be forgiven for suggesting that the pernicious influences of the sugar lobby exercise undue influence on our body politic; there is little appetite (no pun intended) by many Governments to promote low sugar diets, this is especially true in the UK and the USA where Governments of all persuasions seems to be intimidated by the food industry.

I find it very hard to put up with the unkind remarks from some people about losing weight – in the past, when trying to lose weight, I have been accused of narcissism, being asked if I was ill or made the subject of unkind jokes about concentration camps and famine victims.

I have suffered from these types of remarks, even on one occasion been asked if my weight loss was as a result of my having cancer! (No.) In my opinion these sort or remarks say more about the person making them than they do about you or me. I think that when we lose weight, and look better for it, we sublimely draw attention to the defect of some of those (overweight) people around us and this can cause resentment. I try to avoid such incidents in the first place by not preaching about my diet; lecturing others when not asked for advice can seriously cheese fat people off. If this fails and I still become the butt of such remarks I avoid being drawn into conversation with my protagonist(s) and endeavour to change the subject. If this doesn’t work we may just have to put up with it; in the final analysis, however, we are not responsible for other people’s unpleasant remarks and, in any case, we will have the last laugh as we lose weight, look and feel good.

I've always found dieting expensive; will this programme end up costing me yet more money?

No, if anything exactly the opposite. My housekeeping bill has fallen substantially since I started on this programme.

Can you tell me something about Michael the person please?

O.K. I’m in my mid-sixties and retired. I live in a small, quiet village in East Kent with my wife and two dogs, Alfie a German Shepherd and Mollie, a Labrador-Collie cross. As a young man, and well into my thirties, I played a lot of sport but I gave up when I sustained a serious injury; at my fittest I weighed about twelve and a half stone. Unfortunately, when I stopped playing sport I didn’t reduce my food intake and as a result I slowly but steadily put on weight until I ended up at 17 stone with a 46″ chest and 44″ waist!

Where can I catch-up with your latest news?

My latest news can be found on my Blog.