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Diets are hard, so I'll tell you the secret to looking thin and young....

BY tonight, possibly half the people who were on the annual Change My Life diet will have fallen off that size 8 bandwagon.

On Tuesday we woke up motivated, trying to summon up that sense of feeling skinny. But by Tuesday night, dealing with the post-New Year's Eve sugar-crash rollercoaster had made our resolve as weak as a kitten.

You'd drink a glass of wine from a dirty old sock. And picking? Well, it's a reflex from last week that sends the number one New Year's resolution up in flames. Positive change is one thing, but a massive overhaul that's completely unrealistic is another.

Elvis in Vegas. Leaving the table sweating and fat after an epic, mass carbicide gorge. It's what we were like over Christmas. Those caramelised winter-spiced sweets and desserts masquerading as delicious festive fare were your frenemy all along; an enemy pretending to be a friend. An enemy to your belly, your reflection, your wardrobe.


Cynicism about why New Year's resolutions are doomed to failure is ingrained in our DNA. We don't do optimistic here. The national psyche means that not only do we know that you can't lose four pounds in a week when you're over 35, but we'd begrudge anyone who actually managed it. Tell anyone who'd listen that it wasn't healthy to do that and that she's plenty more to go anyway.

Actress Julianne Moore, in a refreshingly honest interview about her body weight, said that she lived on granola bars and felt hungry all of the time. At least she's not like the Hollywood starlets who claim they have a high metabolism when they're actually living on ciggies and ice cubes.

Now a UK politician wants women to support each other and not fall victim to the super skinny Hollywood extremes.


Reassure each other that being a slight bit overweight is not the same as being obese and that you look great. She's concerned that self-loathing and hatred and obsessing with what's looking back at you in the mirror is what women are obsessing about.

She's right. Women (and they are mostly women) are focused on the numbers on the scales. Often it's the first thing that pops into their head in the morning. What you shouldn't have eaten yesterday and what you won't eat today.

She claims women's magazines portray an unrealistic ideal and ought to get real. Gotcha. But when you mill through the nuts and cheese every day over the holidays like it's your death row repast, we probably do need to get real too.

But what about the studies that show that diets don't work?

Here's my top dieting tip for 2013. If you want to look young and thin, hang around older, heavier people.