What time is dinner? Fashionable fasting brings us back to the past

I did a brave thing on January 1 this year. I stepped onto the weighing scales. The horror that I had suspected — you often judge by the fit of your clothes — was confirmed. I’d gained a stone over the course of the previous 10 months. Aaargh!

The culprit was entirely obvious: the restrictions imposed by lockdowns and the reduction of movement because of the Covid pandemic. It wasn’t my fault, surely, for sitting miserably in the kitchen, feeling sorry for myself and scoffing chocolate? Oh no. Anyway, everyone else I knew was in the same boat. We had almost all put on weight over the Covid year, with the annoying exception of my friend Marjorie, who remains a slender size 8 no matter what she eats. We all have one friend like this.

So it’s back to the weight-loss regime. By the time you get to a certain age, you usually come to understand what works best for your own body and psychology. Some people like to calorie count. Some people like to join a group like Weight Watchers or Slimming World both are effective if you keep to the rules. I’ve come to realise that what works for me is a variation on the now fashionable regime of intermittent fasting.