Saturday, 26 April 2014

The SWWDHDPFL Diet - brought to you by Derryn Hinch.

Recently Matt gifted me a wonderful book. A book which had cost just one dollar. It was called The Derryn Hinch Diet. Written in 1991, this book tells the tale of an overweight journalist who loses some weight by following what is called the SWW Diet (Soup and White Wine). This is kind of confusing because the book is called the Derryn Hinch Diet, so either they use the names interchangeable or Derryn did not want to call it the DHD. From what I can gather, the diet was loosely based on another diet called Fit for Life, the staffers in his office called Derryn's diet Pissed for Life, due to his inclusion of alcohol. In short, there are three and a half names for Derryn Hinch's diet. Let's just call it SWWDHDPFL.

If you want to follow the diet, here's some tips from the Big D.

Breakfast: Only fresh fruit until 12pm. You can have liquids during this time. Derryn also confesses to having a diet Coke with his breakfast fruit serving. Derryn likes papaya for brekky, but mango or paw-paw will do.
Lunch: Eat ANYTHING you want, except marg or butter with your bread roll.
Dinner: Soup, bread, crackers. No marg or butter with your soup. If you go out for dinner, consider eating two soups, one for entree and one for main. Derryn also recommends not eating soup at any other time of the day otherwise you will get tired of it.

To be honest none of the recipes appealed to me. Most are tainted with the line 'Add MSG' and are also a variation from a restaurant Hinchy has eaten in.

Bread is fine. The only problem with bread is what  people put on it. And same with pasta - the problem is how it is cooked and served. Potatoes are also fine.

Snacking is forbidden.

Other forbidden things:
Desserts. Milk, cheese, chocolate, biscuits, dried fruits, potato chips and dips.

Look kids, exercising is a waste of time. Do some walking, some swimming or cycling for 30 minutes. Also, exercise is boring.

You can have white wine on this diet. After all, it has been written for drinkers.
You can't have coffee or tea with milk.

If you go on this diet, you may have a higher chance of meeting celebrities, especially B-listers from the 80s and possibly some Royals. Also, Derryn went to the Fergie Dinner (which I can only guess is differ with Sarah Ferguson, and not Fergie from Black Eye Peas) and asked for soup for his main course. Derryn explains "Now, I am not going to insult your intelligence. Not everyone can walk into a Royal Command Dinner and try to change the menu. But you will be surprised how how easy it can be done. And I would have been quite happy just eating the bread."

Healthy Living
This chapter is actually about giving up smoking, and to be honest I can't snark about this one. Considering it was 1991, Hinchy did a lot of people a favour by including this.
And back to 2014...
Derryn wrote a quick article about returning to his SWW/The Derryn Hinch Diet/Fit for Life/Pissed For Life diet. You can read about that here.

Derryn has followed this diet once while writing the book, and once again while losing weight in 2013. It worked for him and several other people he knew. I always say "What works for you may not work for me." It's not that I couldn't function without my snacks. but I don't think this diet suits my nutritional needs.

As a journalist and someone who gets his head on television a lot, you have to admire Derryn. However, using is outdated soup diet book is probably not the best thing to go by... but it was the early 90s. That's good enough for me to explain away some of the concerns I have with it. The knowledge base around weight loss changes rapidly - at the moment the clean eating and Paleo diets are in. Who knows what we will have in a few more years. Truth is that soup diets have always been promoted, and will continue to be. Derryn applied information gleaned from different places, such as Fit for Life and then set up a diet to suit his own lifestyle. And let's be honest, more people should be taking that kind of initiative and just, well, don't.

In terms of reading, the diet book is much more interesting to read in comparison to other books, as it is autobiographical as well - like French Women Don't Get Fat but with fewer French expressions, though I know know soupe is not French for 'soup'. Thanks Hinchy.