writes AA Gill.
That’s because they focus on what we eat, not how we eat. We have forgotten the basic food laws that have kept humans healthy for millennia;
1: Always eat sitting at a table that is set for a meal. The things on the table should have a value to you, not necessarily financial but familial or cultural. They should mean something beyond their utility, and the table you eat off should be set aside for the purpose and should be the most important piece of furniture in your home. It should be polished with memories and rituals.
2: Always eat with a knife and fork. Or chopsticks or, if you must, a spork, from a plate that you will use again. You can of course eat off the floor with your right hand if that’s the cultural habit of the household. The point is that there must be a cultural habit, a framework of manners.
3: Whenever possible, eat in company. Sit opposite someone who is also eating. This is not just good for your social skills and your soul; it makes you eat with your mouth shut and stops you burping.
4: Never eat standing up. Not even canapes at functions or toast at the bus stop. In fact, never eat or drink in the street. Never carry a cup of coffee in public. It’s embarrassing and needy, and it’s bad coffee.
5: Never eat with a screen on in the same room. This is the toughest bit of this diet. There are people who have yet to eat a meal that doesn’t come with a television. These are also the people now considering having a gastric band and liposuction. The reason for not having a computer or television on is not simply that meals should be social and convivial but that you shouldn’t eat without the thought of what you’re consuming. Concentrating on something else means that you will swallow twice as much as you need or probably want and you don’t get the intrinsic pleasure from gastronomy. Nothing on television is as good as a good dinner. Trust me, I know, I am both a food and a TV critic.
6: Eat meals at fixed times. Don’t be panicked into eating because you imagine your glucose levels arer out of whack or you’re having headache palpitations or can’t concentrate. It’s all nonsense. Don’t eat when you’re hungry; eat when it’s lunchtime.
7: All meals except breakfast should have more than one course. This won’t make you eat more; in fact it makes you eat less. because the pleasure of mouth appeal is replaced by variety. And it gives meals a natural beginning, middle and end.
8: Never eat with or from plastic, paper or cardboard. Never use condiments that you have to tear open with your teeth.
9: Never, ever eat in a car. You can eat in trains, planes and boats.
10: None of the above rules applies to either eating naked or in bed – as long as there is someone else present.