So that was an interesting experiment. Eating nothing but sushi for a week, to try and lose some of the festive excess that had gathered around my midriff, like shipwrecked passengers clinging to an inflatable dinghy.
And the results are in…..
It’s official. Sushi is fattening. Or, at least, it’s not thinning.
I’ve lost a couple of kilograms, as hoped, and I’m back to my pre-December fighting weight of 70 kg. But my waistline has stubbornly – and annoyingly – has stayed at a positively lardy 36″.
So what went wrong? And what was the point of all that Japanese warrior-like discipline?
I tried, I really did.
I was having sushi for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I sampled ready-made options from Waitrose, Sainsburys and M&S (usually by the sandwich counter, if you’re interested). Each one came with those nice little bundles of pickled ginger, eye-watering wasabi, a little plastic container of soy sauce, and some wooden chopsticks.
(Hot tip, from my old Footwork International boss Yoshihiko Nagata: pour the soy sauce onto the wasabi and stir it all together for sushi dunking. Like mixing cement for the new patio).
I had salmon, prawn, duck and tuna, all wrapped in those sticky rice and seaweed bundles. I went off-piste once at home, with teriyaki chicken, but I was essentially faithful to the sushi ethos. Apart from adding extra soy sauce.
And I even forced an old colleague to have lunch at a Japanese restaurant when we met in London, when it would have been so easy to succumb to a posh burger, pie & chips, or an artery-hardening curry.
But, to be completely transparent, the week didn’t end well: we were staying at The Croydon Park Hotel for a night on a writing assignment for Silver Travel Advisor. There was no sushi in sight. But there was a 5 course all-you-can-eat buffet, with freshly carved roast beef and all the trimmings. And a vanilla cheesecake to die for. And apple crumble and custard. All washed down with a Bloody Mary. And some red wine.
OK, it’s a fair cop. I failed. But I do really like sushi, and we’ll continue to have some at home. Not every day, but now and then.
And my next plan to lose that unwanted 2″ round my middle-aged waist…..soups and salads. And a little more discipline.