Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/05/01/quid_a_day_thursday/

Quid-a-day Reg nosh posse chap faces starvation diet

780 calories a day, Toby? You must be joking

By Lester Haines

Posted in SPB, 1st May 2014 09:58 GMT

As the El Reg Quid-a-Day Nosh Posse's Live Below the Line challenge enters its fourth day, we're delighted to report that team member Toby Sibley has resurfaced - albeit looking a little thinner than when we last spoke to him.

At the beginning of the week, Toby expressed doubts that he'd spend his £5 food budget wisely:

Toby's food stash for the week

Enough nosh for five days? Hmmmm....

Since then, he's been subsisting on meagre rations, including a tempting "lentil and carrot surprise". He admitted: "The surprise bit was really missing for this meal."

Toby's lentil and carrot surpise

No surprise here

Toby's soon-to-be sister-in-law (he's getting hitched on Saturday) described the dish as "a delicately hand-peeled carrot, nestling on a melange of rice and lentilles vertes", and here's the same thing avec oeuf frit:

Toby's rice, lentil and fried egg fritter

An effective way to fritter away your waistline

He noted: "For those wishing to recreate this masterpiece and want to know the recipe then all they need to do is donate some money and I will personally talk them through how I made it."

That's quite an offer, but it's doubtful he'll have sufficient strength to talk. Toby did a quick calculation of his food stockpile's total Calories* (click for a bigger version)...

Toby's Calorie calculation

...and that led him to a figure of 779.8 Calories a day. He head-scratched: "I'm not sure that can be right given that an average man needs 2,500 Calories each day to survive. The meagre calorie count would however account for why I'm feeling a bit lethargic and my brain seems to have gone down a couple of gears.

"Starvation is certainly on the horizon. I just hope I don't end up doing a girly swoon during the wedding ceremony due to a lack of calories. I'm currently thinking more about the wedding lunch than the ceremony itself."

A hungry Toby concluded: "I'm going to trust that as a professional journalist of the highest standing that you won’t include that in your update or I will be in trouble and strife with the soon to be wife."

No problem mate, my lips are sealed.

Feijão com arroz sounds rather posh, right? Take a look

Fellow posse member Neil Barnes, who's doing the challenge with missus Anita, used the NHS website to calculate that the pair of them have of total of 14,133 Calories for the week. He said: "Call it 1,400 each per day though I'm probably on the larger share. Either way we're in the weight loss department."

Neil expressed his surprise at the low figure, but observed: "Normally there's a lot more fat from meat and cheese, I suppose, and more potatoes."

Last night's dinner at chez Barnes was feijão com arroz, the name of which at least gives the illusion that you're eating a tropical delicacy, rather than beans and rice:

Neil's beans and rice

Beans com arroz - lovely

Chris Winpenny, meanwhile, reports he's "just starting to look longingly at tangerines, not sure if it's hunger or the need to taste something sweet".

He also did a calorie count, and concluded he's "a tad over 2000 Calories per day average". He said: "Never having looked at calories before I was surprised to see that pound for pound rice and lentils have about 4.5 times the calories of potatoes, something to keep in mind."

In my case, I'm basically on two eggs, four slices of bread, two platters of chick pea stew and rice plus 5-6 cups of tea a day.

It's monotonous - certainly not a long-term diet - and this is how it pans out, according to the data from the NHS:

That works out at 1,336 Calories a day, which rules out any heavy digging in the garden until I get my laughing gear round a bacon sarnie on Saturday morning. I'm not suffering too much, though, since the sheer bulk of rice available guarantees a full stomach at least.

Lester's dinner last night - chick pea stew and rice

My plate runneth over - with rice

Our intrepid team now has to endure less than two days of subsistence, and as we spy the distant finishing line, those of you who are currently enjoying a coffee and chocolate biscuit can lend your support to our chosen charity - Malaria No More UK - right here.

Thanks to all those who've already opened their wallets to combat this most unpleasant of diseases. ®

Bootnote

* "Calorie" = kcal, while "calorie" = cal.