Guest post: Clever guts diet diary

[This is yet another guest post from Roger]

Last month was the Happy Bacteria diet, which sounds like total nonsense until it’s explained that credible people have given it the nod. The idea is the gut is inhabited by lots (!) of bacteria, some of which are good for you and some less so. If you eat the former and exclude the latter, things will get better. If you periodically fast, the (now populous) good guys will eat fat, or something like that. Good bacteria inhabit fruit, veg., nuts, dairy, meat, fish, while bad bacteria are found in processed food and sugar.

Long story short: cut out processed food and sugar, and starve yourself from time to time – it’s like the 5:2 excluding stuff you might like, such as vanilla fudge and Macdonalds’. If it helps, eating lots of different colours helps (eh?).


(You will recall Mr Byrne’s ditty AnimalsThey’re living on nuts and berries &c &c).

So we lived this way for 4 weeks (overlooking periodic lapses when I was confronted with Andrew’s Lemon Drizzle cake [placed 3rd in the Aberystwyth Show] and sundry social outings where I thought “Sod it”.). Breakfast became an interesting sequence of things rarely eaten (real yoghourt!) and there really was a lot of salad and vegetable intake, since we are predominantly vegetarian. Staying clear of sugar is fairly obviously a good plan, but one really does crave toast and jam from time to time


and I never really got the hang of which bread was on and which was off. The theory that cooking noodles, cooling them, then cooking them some more somehow was good for you I find hard to buy – the resulting noodles were, errrr, un-noodly. I often felt hungry, and was told “eat some colourful veg.”; not a Mars bar, then. Let’s not discuss the periodic effect on the bowels, which would make anyone lose a lot of weight fast.

As you know, I have devised an objective scoring scheme for diets with which you will be familiar, so we can now judge the Happy Bacteria diet. Over the 4 weeks I lost 0 pounds, and if I’m pedantic I put on 2oz (just take a piss, then). I guess I could put up with it but really the idea of living the rest of my life this way was not on. Ergo, I score it at 2 for tolerability and 0 for effectiveness.

Month Regime Loss (lb) T E M, α=0.5 M, α=1 M, α=1.5
January Low carb 7 3 8 7 11 15
February Slow carb -12 1 0 1 1 1
March SSSS 3 8 5 10.5 13 16.5
April 5-2 0 8 2 9 10 11
May Astronaut 7 3 8 7 11 15
June Happy Bacteria 0 2 0 2 2 2

Next month we will do the Sarah Taylor Shame diet, STS. My dietpromises to be much better. More anon.

1. Dieting without tears or willpower, Roger Boyle, Y Lolfa, forthcoming 2018. Dr Boyle exhibits a dietary regime that does not alter what you eat, or when you eat it. Likewise what you drink and smoke. The results are astounding. Testimonials: “Roger is my Hero”, H Dee; “He treats food as bathos, and drink with antistrophe.” L Blissett.

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