Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Me, Myself and the 5:2 Diet

With summer trying to arrive (heatwave this week, rain by the weekend probably!) and my bikini-wearing life around the corner (9 weeks to go until travelling!) I really want to get in shape. I aim to go to the gym at least 3 times a week anyway and have always eaten healthy meals...but we all know I have a slightly obsessive and uncontrollable sweet tooth. Yep, I do, to the point that one biscuit leads to at least half a packet, half a brownie leads to 3 or 4 get the jist. I love cakes and sweet things and will never deny myself of them, but the truth is, I really need to curb it. I'm lucky enough to have good genes so the likelihood of even mild obesity is highly unlikely, but, truth be told...I want abs. Shallow, trivial etc etc but I do. If not abs, I at least want definition. So..instead of constantly complaining, I'm doing something about it.

I want abs...not quite like Jess but, I want some definition there...

That's when I stumbled across the 5:2 diet. I do, however, say stumbled loosely; the 5:2 diet has become a craze amongst the ordinary folk like me and celebrities too. The 5:2 fasting diet is as easy as it sounds - 5 days eating as you normally would, 2 days of fasting. This means 500 calories for women and 600 for men. The days have two be non-consecutive which means this diet is ideal for people like myself; 5 days of normal eating and 2 days being strict. Diets are no good for me (and many of you I imagine) because of the complete restrictions and discipline needed whereas the 5:2 allows you to think 'right, I have to eat strategically today and then I can have a few days of normality again' - I think that's what's so good about it; it's a lifestyle rather than a strict diet. 

With the 5:2 craze taking over, no end of chefs, professional and amateur, are creating recipes to suit the 5:2 lifestyle and information on how to survive it, adapt to it and still be able to enjoy food - that's right, no weird juices like my juice cleanse, no life without chocolate; just two seperate days a week of less calories but filling meals.

We'll see how this one goes...

But there are some excellent health benefits and it seems that it curbs the want binge on normal eating days. The 5:2 allows the Digestive System (and related parts) to have a little rest and the same for the pancreas - this aids weight loss as it makes the body more sensitive to insulin. Body refreshed, no feeling bloated, craving control - sounds ideal. Is it really as easy as it sounds?

I've had a few fast days and so far so good. The only time I've struggled is in the evenings when I've been at home - having a cup of tea in my house means a biscuit or two to go with it. Snacking is the hardest thing to combat for me, so if the 5:2 can combat that then I'll be impressed.

So far my breakfasts have been 3 tbsp natural yoghurt (natural soya usually), 30g porridge oats (unsweetened), 5 or 6 blueberries and 1 dried apricot and a few strawberries/raspberries/blackberries - whatever we have in the fridge. - this is about 100-120 calories. If I'm at home though, I will have an egg white omelette with some spinach to tide me over a little longer.

I have strawberries to snack on or melon as they are both low calorie (melon more so). If I fancy something kinda sweet, I've been relying on caramel Snackajack rice cakes (51 calories). A good way to fill up is with oats, nuts etc. 

For lunch I tend to stick to crackerbread and light philli cheese with a salad tomato sliced on top.

I've tried a variety of meals for tea, including the 5:2 Mushroom Stroganoff (90 calories). I've also tried a couple of different curry-esque dishes. Here are a few meal ideas on the Mirror online.

A substantial amount of reports I've read from people on this suggest that those partaking in intermittent fasting feel refreshed, feel less fatigue, they aren't having cravings or feeling the need to binge on non-fasting day, they don't feel bloated and they have more energy overall. I will post regular updates of how I'm getting on.

As I continue life on the 5:2 diet I'll blog a few of the nicer recipes for you other 5:2ers out there. If any of you are also trying the two day fasting diet, any recipes or tips are welcome!

N xo 

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