The trick to losing weight isn’t any secret formula

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CLIVE SMITH: What on earth does gay pride have to do with the National Trust?

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I have to start this week’s column with an apology: I appear to have turned into Katie Hopkins. Temporarily I hope.

No, don’t worry, I haven’t turned into the type of fame-hungry idiot who just writes inflammatory things to get readers, but more I’ve just done what she did – lost a stack of weight really very quickly.

With 10 days to go until the big day, and not enough fabric for the seamstress to be able to let it out, drastic times called for drastic measures.

You might remember she put loads on and then shed it again in order to prove it’s really easy to lose weight if you want to.

My own rapid weight loss had more to do with an upcoming wedding, a bridesmaid’s dress, and a stubborn side zip that you ladies will understand became the focus of all my hatred.

Standing in my spare room, red in the face, sweating with the exertion of trying to do the flaming thing up over a beaded waistband (why, oh why?) and the simultaneously trying to cram in spare flesh and hoink the rotter up, I just wanted to cry.

With 10 days to go until the big day, and not enough fabric for the seamstress to be able to let it out, drastic times called for drastic measures.

OUT went the carbs, the milk in coffee and the office biscuits. IN came eggs, spinach, protein shakes and chicken with veg.

Notching up under 1,000 calories a day, exercising every second day and trying not to pass out after (don’t tell my spin instructor, sorry Phil) I shed eight pounds in eight days.

It was as easy as that. And, with the help of scary underwear a là Bridget Jones, on Saturday afternoon the zip went up without fuss nor fury.

But at what cost to my metabolism? I fear as soon as I start eating carbs and fun things, not to mention the odd glass of Prosecco, the weight will pile back on plus interest and I’ll be back to square one.

And that’s why diets like Herbalife or Slim Fast will never work in the long term, and neither will the government’s sugar tax.

Losing weight is a by-product of eating healthily and exercising more. If you want to, you will.

If you don’t, you won’t. Unless your next frock has a side zip.

LET’S HOPE THE OLYMPIC SPIRIT CAN SHINE THROUGH IN RIO

So the Rio Paralympics are finally under way, despite terrible ticket sales, disappearing funds, and a row about the inequality of the races.

You can see why athletes have dropped out, but it’s a shame there are now too few categories in each sport to enable people to properly compete.

However, it’ll still be fabulous to see the athletes compete and make us marvel at their achievements.

It must be easy to sink into despair if you become suddenly disabled. I know I struggled with not being able to walk just for a few weeks, so for these athletes to get on with it, learn a sport (or more) and become an inspiration to the world is nothing short of incredible. London was brilliant, and I hope Rio can shrug off the negativity.

YOU CAN ONLY IMAGINE HOW 9/11 VICTIMS’ FAMILIES FEEL

It was with disbelief that I realised it has been 15 years since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon – attacks which changed the world as we knew it.

I still remember what I was doing that day. About to embark on my second year at university, I was due to meet a friend for an afternoon drink, when he rang and told me to put the television on. I did, just in time to see the second plane hit the south tower.

I didn’t know what I was watching until, with mounting horror, the snippets of information began to make sense. It’s as clear as day for me, just one of millions who were relatively unaffected by what happened. For the families of those who died, what on earth was yesterday – and every anniversary – like? My heart goes out to all of them.