I don’t keep a set of scales at home, so I avoid the temptation of frequent weighing. My local sports centre has a machine that reads my weight and height and gives me my weight and BMI. It shows the height too, which explained why my reading was once rather more svelte than expected – I had hopped on the scale with my hair up in a sturdy plastic clip which had added an inch to my height. When I read my height I realised – and had a good laugh.

So, tomorrow I will get on the scales, and try to be light-hearted about it. Spring is coming, the birds are singing, but it is very hard to let go of the comfort of carbohydrate. The whole point of my low-carb phase is that it is just that – a phase. Once I am back on course, I will find the balance that suits me.

Unfortunately, every day I stray from the plan I make the phase longer. If I overdo the carbohydrate, then insulin is produced and extra calories get stored as fat. Avoiding overdoing the protein, I am eating fat for energy, and of course I don’t want to be storing it on my body.

The big danger, as I understand it, on a low-carbohydrate diet, is to overdo the protein. It is hard work for the body to extract energy from protein, and it is wasteful to eat large amounts of protein. The trouble is, many people fear fat.

For decades, we in the west have been given the ‘fat is bad’ lecture. In the weight-loss phase of a low-carb. diet, the carbohydrate is restricted so that insulin production is not triggered. The energy has to come from fat. It works, as long as the carbohydrate is restricted, and plenty of vegetables play their part.

I thought about this last night when I was watching a ‘River Cottage’ repeat on television. Cook and small-holder Hugh Fearnely-Whittingstall was adding a jug of cream to a stew to avoid dryness in a dish made with very lean meat. I used sour cream in my beetroot soup with lush results, but it doesn’t have to be cream. I could marinade and sizzle some streaky belly of pork – a traditional addition to many dishes for its flavour and fat content.

Low-fat, high carbohydrate eating plans work for some people, but all of us need to know our fats. Carbohydrates trigger insulin production, so balance is needed. This is why a lot of people have become interested in the glycaemic index (glycemic index) which calibrates carbohydrates to the speed and rate at which they raise your blood sugar.  They use this to inform their choice of carbohydrates to allow them to keep their blood sugar level more steady.

Whatever your culture and food choices, it appears that keeping your blood sugar stable is a healthy thing to do. Understanding what this means and how to do it is a smart undertaking.