Champagne for the champagne dietThe Champagne Diet, published in Australian Vogue, made much of the fact that champagne was the least fattening of all drinks, with just 35 calories a glass, compared to 170 calories for a gin and tonic. The stringent diet regime, clearly a nutritionist’s nightmare, allowed for four glasses of champagne a day, plus a couple of brandies. And not much else: an egg, a small serve of seafood, a few crispbreads and salad. Still, who needs food if you have champagne?

“Slim on champagne” Vogue chortled. “We think it’s a delicious idea to get you through the party season. It kicks against all the rules of dieting that sternly warn ‘No alcohol’. It’s the time of the year to indulge in a little indulgence and this is the pleasantest possible way to lose up to 2 kg (4lb.) with the help of four glasses of champagne a day, plus a couple of brandies. And it uses all the fresh food of summer available now. If losing weight is not your problem, then use this plan to help maintain the status quo.”

The article quotes diet expert, Marina Andrews from London, who asserts that champagne has just 35 calories for a glass and cognac and brandy “also from the champagne family” are only 75 calories a normal serving. She suggests varying food daily and including lots of seafood. There is a health warning: “If your health is not one-hundred-per-cent, then do check with your doctor first before starting this or any other diet.

The champagne diet regime goes like this:

Breakfast

(the same every day)

1 large glass fresh orange juice
1 small cup black coffee (no sugar)
1 egg cooked any way
1 starch-reduced crispbread with a smattering of butter

Pre-lunch drink

One champagne cocktail (1 glass champagne mixed with 1 eggcup full of fresh pineapple juice,one of fresh orange juice and one tsp. brandy

Lunch

Starter of oysters, melon, or crudités with yoghurt dip
Main of 1 lobster grilled, up to 12 large prawns or a good portion of crab meat
Salad of raw spinach; watercress orange and onion; or grated carrot and raw mushroom.
Dessert: average portion of plain icecream, water ice, sorbet or fresh fruit.
1 small cup of black coffee with a brandy or cognac.

Mid-afternoon

Cup of tea with lemon

Pre-dinner drink

1 champagne cocktail or glass of champagne

Dinner

(the same every evening)

2 large crispbreads with a little butter and cheese, meat or fish, plus some salad.
1 piece fresh fruit
1 glass champagne (or two, if you skipped the pre-dinner drink)

Late evening

A small black coffee and a brandy or cognac if you want it. (Wait, only three glasses of champagne so far. Better have another one.)

If you’re not into seafood you can substitute with grilled or baked chicken, turkey meat or roasted veal (as long as you don’t eat the skin). You can replace the salad with French or string beans, broccoli, zucchini or brussels sprouts.

Now keep it up for sheven daysh.  Hic.

On second thoughts, I don’t think it’s worth consulting your doctor about this one. Attitudes to alcohol may have hardened just a tad since the seventies.