I think I mentioned before on JAA that I don’t do dieting. Mostly because I don’t believe diets work. Although I am not hippopotamus-heavy, I am
a fraction well ok more than a fraction above my ideal weight and I am sad that a great deal of the nicer clothes in my wardrobe don’t fit because I bought them when I was slimmer.
A November detox last year didn’t achieve all the weight loss I had hoped for. What was I to do? Could the 5:2 diet, which works on a different principle to normal dieting, be the solution to my need to lose a bit of weight. Just in case you have spent the last six months marooned on an uninhabited and media-free island and haven’t heard of the 5:2 diet I will mention that it works on the premise that for two non-consecutive fasting days each week you eat only five hundred calories (six hundred if you are male) and for the other five days of the week you eat normally. The diet is being promoted as not just as a key to lasting weigh loss but also to longevity – if you would like to read an informative article about ‘The Power of Intermittent Fasting’ that appeared in the health section of the BBC’s website click here.
I decided to give it a go and I am three weeks in. I cannot tell how much weight I’ve lost as I don’t own a scales but I can nearly fasten the buttons on a much-loved black jacket that wouldn’t come near to closing a few weeks ago.
I won’t pretend it’s easy. Today is a fasting day and I split my calorie allowance between three meal. I had two lattes made at home on my Nespresso machine with a precisely measured amount of soya milk and five almonds for breakfast (one hundred and twenty calories approx). Lunch was one tinned sardine, yes just one, spread on a slice of sourdough bread (two hundred calories approx). And for ‘dinner’ I ate half a pack of a Marks & Spenser crayfish with noodles and Asian style vegetables & edamame soya beans salad from their Fuller Longer range (180 calories approx).
Did I cheat? Well, yes I did but only insofar as I decided that milk in tea has, for the purposes of the diet, no calories. This meant that I could have a cup of tea in the evening when I had nothing left in my calorie bank and was feeling semi-ravenous.
My top tips for surviving a fast day are: know what you are going to eat and buy it the day before; have loads to do so there isn’t much time to think about food; go to bed early; avoid reading recipes or watching food programme; and don’t, unless you have a super-charged steely will, use up your total calorie allowance for breakfast.
Speaking of breakfast, roll on tomorrow morning …