I’ve been doing the 5:2 ‘Fasting’ Diet on and off since May 2013 and have seen great results, losing a stone and a half in four months. Over Christmas and New Year (New Year lasts ’til March, right?) I let things slide and enjoyed all the food, but now I’m back on track and losing weight once again.
There are a few different ways to follow the 5:2 Diet, but I tend to stick to the original format – I eat very little during the day then have a filling dinner come evening. I find that eating early in the day makes me much more hungry later on, whereas I rarely feel ravenous if I don’t eat until 3pm.
My fasting days always start with water. I have couple of glasses before I leave for my studio, usually brighten up with a slice of lemon. I don’t drink tea or coffee (never have) so will have lots of water through the day. Sometimes I’ll have a Diet Coke as an afternoon boost but water is my boo!
My snacks vary from day to day – sometimes I’ll be very good and have chopped raw carrots, celery, radishes, cucumber or anything else that takes 30 seconds to prepare on a morning. I have a tub of these on my desk that I’ll munch on throughout the day. This handful of carrots is about 52 calories. On cold days I like toasted crumpets (98 calories) and when I’m being lazy, a packet of Quavers (88 calories).
Because I don’t eat much during the day, I’m usually able to have a pretty normal tea in the evening. This is really important for me – I hate faffing about with measurements and have no time for complicated ‘fake’ things like cauliflower pizza. I like to eat hearty meals that fill me up and as I usually have about 400 calories to play with, there’s a lot of choice.
This dish was based on a recipe from my favourite 5:2 blogger, Lavender and Lovage. It’s a cajun chicken kebab in a pitta bread, with grilled chicken, tomato, cucumber and mint yoghurt, a squeeze of lemon and a side salad. A really fresh, filling meal that came in at an astoundingly good 257 calories, so I had a second helping of the chicken and yoghurt.
With my total calorie count for the day at around 400, I finished off with some fat free vanilla yoghurt and a handful of berries to bring me up to 500.
It’s very important to stress that following a 5:2 eating plan isn’t about ‘starving yourself’ – it’s about eating less. The beauty of this approach to eating is it doesn’t take over your life. On my non-fast days I eat very normally – not counting the calories but not pigging out either. Of course, there are days when I eat like I’m preparing for a marathon and I would never order a salad in a restaurant, but that’s one of the main reasons I do 5:2 – if I can avoid my tendency for chips and quash my love of mayo for two days a week, I can indulge without feeling guilty.
If you’re giving the 5:2 Diet a go, I’d really recommend reading Lavender and Lovage for ideas – Karen eats three small meals on her fast days, which is a much better method if you’re quite active during the day or can’t fathom going without lunch. I’d also recommend downloading the My Fitness Pal app – it’s a great way to work out how many calories are in the food you’re eating, and keep track of your total on fast days.
What do you think of the 5:2 Diet?