Few things in life are more boring than somebody else’s diet, but I beg your indulgence while I briefly tell you about mine.

If you are currently trying to shed a few grams, I hope it will encourage you.

I have recently been on a successful crash diet, and boy, I needed it.

Awful weather and a broken toe suspended my daily dose of cycling for weeks, and a liking for bread and butter pudding also meant I put on a bit of weight.

The scales confirmed I was 100kg, so I set myself the target of scaling down to what I knew was a realistic and achievable 90kg.

I did this by cutting out most treats and eating just enough to give me the energy to ride my bike, which, thankfully, I love.

I am far from being the fittest man in the cycle club, and even further from being the trimmest, but considering I am a man who is staring his 60th birthday in the face, I feel relatively fit and healthy.

Frankly, I thought I was in pretty good shape for my age.

Until I ventured on to the NHS website, which is guaranteed to make you feel unhealthy, thanks to their body mass index calculator.

This is an automated web page that asks you to enter a few details, such as your age, sex, height, level of physical activity and weight (but, weirdly, not your build or natural body shape) - and then effectively points a finger at you and calls you Fatso.

I suspect that even if you are one of those people that we all know, who could eat a horse a day and still not put on a single gram, your BMI will still make grim reading.

It alleged that I should be between 58kg and 79kg, but even last year - when I was cycling long distances, and not hanging about, either - I found it impossible to dip much below 90kg.

I don’t think I could get down to 79kg without cutting off an arm, and the only way I could get down to 58kg would be to cut off a leg as well.

It reminds me of a few years ago, when I went for a check-up, and the nurse asked me about alcohol consumption.

I was honest and told her I drink an average of maybe a couple of pints of beer a week, if that.

And she shook her head and said I should reduce it!

I don’t care what anybody says: that’s not much. I know people who spill more than that.

Setting similarly unrealistic weight targets and telling everybody they have a mountain to climb is even worse.

I am no expert, but I do know that if you take small steps, and one at a time, anything is possible.

And I am sure that the best strategy is being kind to yourself and congratulating yourself on how far you’ve come, not beating yourself up about how far is left to go.