The Wee Fat Lawyer’s A – Z of Food: Part 1 A – C

Should The Wee Fat Lawyer's Diet Book ever see the light of day as a complete volume, it will contain this A - Z, a random compendium of some foods and thoughts on where, if at all, they can fit into your dieting programme. Recipe names in Italics will feature in Tom Cooks! Once the extracts are all published, links will be posted.


It’s tricky to reconcile booze with losing weight. Deep down inside, you know this. As we say in Scotland, facts are chiels that winna ding. Loosely translated this means, face facts, fatso. One can argue whether or not the many calories to be found in most types of alcohol are empty calories. What is indisputable is that (1) one drink so easily leads to another, (2) it lowers your resistance to temptation, and (3) for many of us the only time we eat high calorie snacks such as crisps (about 130cals per 25g bag) or salted peanuts (300cals per 50g) is with alcohol. 2 pints of beer is about 440, and 2 x 175ml glasses of white wine will set you back about 260 cals. Now I did say you were allowed anything, but it’s taking a huge whack of your daily allowance. The good news is that a pub size measure of gin (25ml, which barely wets the glass) is only 55 cals, and slimline tonic is negligible.


I have no idea why bread gets such a bad press. Surely we have all moved on from the factory made rubbish with chemical additives. But I’m not going to lecture people on nutrition – at least not for now. I’m looking at calories. For many of us, a sandwich is a favourite snack, especially at lunchtime. Nip away from your desk, grab something and get back to work. But take time to look at the labelling. It’s very easy for that wee pack to have the best part of 500 cals. It’s not the bread – it’s what you put on it. Your bought sandwich will probably have butter and mayo, and other things to make it delicious. The only way to keep control is to make your own. A single (thin) slice of my home made, wholemeal, seeded loveliness is about 100 cals. Add to it a layer of fat free cottage cheese, a tomato and some basil leaves and that will be about 120 cals. A perfect snack. Bread fills you up – two of these will give you a 240 cal lunch. But change your ways to open sandwiches. And, of course, avoid the butter. Use fat free Philadelphia instead – about 10 cals for 10g as opposed to butter’s 70+. Or consider a scraping of mustard.


The Ruby Murray? A wonderful thing, but a disaster for the dieter. You start with a couple of poppadums? That’s about 150 cals without the pickles. Then a few pakora? Another 250 – 350 cals before you get to the main course. Which, more likely than not, is swimming in ghee. Ghee, if you didn’t know, is clarified butter.

Try going for something grilled, such as tandoori chicken. And if you can’t live without a curry fix, learn to make your own, so you can control the fat and the calories. As a starter, try Tom’s Easy Chicken Curry.

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