The 5:2 Diet


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 …


Filed under Food/Wine, Musings

13 responses to “The 5:2 Diet

  1. Oh B! I feel so sympathetic. I have been watching calories my whole life. Italian women are all about being thin and I’m not an exception … unfortunately. 😦 Sometimes, it is so hard. Plus, aging and pregnancies do not help either…
    Your diet tips are great and anyone who is on a diet should treasure them.
    I wish you all the best with your diet journey. 🙂

    • Francesca I am touched by your kind comment and by your good wishes for my diet journey. Dieting isn’t easy and there is pressure to be slim. Somethings stay in my memory and one of them is a sitting drinking a coffee in a cafe in Milan about four years ago and watching the world go by. There were so many stylish women passing that I was happy to stay for an hour and just watch. It seems that style is part of the Italian and French DNA – you are so lucky. I would love to read (although I know it’s not what your blog is about) your style tips. 😉


  2. Hi B,
    Not much of trip, London and Ireland in one day then back again -work!
    My hubs does the 5:2 diet, not for weight loss but the health benefits, he’s been doing it for about 5 months now.
    I’ve been dieting since I was about ten, it never ends for me, i’ve been really fat twice so have to watch my weight meticulously, it gets me down sometimes but I will just never be able to eat as much as other people do if I want to stay slim, I have a metabolism better suited for primal survival!

    Good luck on the diet!

    • Hi Tabitha,

      Firstly thank you very much for your virtual visit.

      What a lot of milage in one day: I hope you flew directly home rather than via London just to take some of the edge off a very long journey.

      I hope your hubs has benefited (health-wise) from the 5:2 diet and huge kudos to him for sticking with it for five months.

      Dieting is tough especially when it is an ongoing process. I am sorry to hear it gets you down sometimes and I hope that looking good (which you do in all photos of you on your blog) is compensation.

      Thanks for your good wishes on my diet and passing the same good luck wish to you with yours across the choppy Irish sea.


  3. I guess I have been hiding under a rock because I have never heard of your diet. Dieting is so hard but from the sound of it you are doing well. Keep up the good work and you will be rewarded by getting back into your favorite clothes. I’m sorry to say that my closet has too many items that can’t be worn right now. When winter passes and I can get out more, the pounds slowly come off. Good luck.

    • Karen I totally agree dieting is hard. Your approach of waiting until the winter is over and then getting out more to loose some pounds sounds so very sensible. I am afraid to leave it any longer in case I end up uber-chubby in a few months time. Thanks for your good wishes.

  4. That’s awfully nice of you! True but I just added a new blog column called “stuff we liked” where I’m going to talk about things that really reflect my style. As a matter of fact, I’m finalizing my first post and I truly hope you are going to like it. However, let me tell you that I doubt I could give you any tip. You’ve got plenty of style on your own.
    Have a wonderful weekend, B.

    • Francesca I am so pleased to hear you are going to talk about things that reflect your style and I am very much looking forward to reading your first post.

      Wishing you a wonderful weekend. B xx

  5. Pingback: Melding a LifeStyle in Spirit | Dancing in the Enchantment

  6. Good luck with the regimen.

  7. Wow, B! I can only say I could not do it – unless I ended up stranded on some deserted island a la Cast Away! 🙂
    And then B – what about wine?!? And spirits?!? Unthinkable, not an option for me 😀
    I *love* the Nespresso machine though!
    Take care!

    • Stefano – it’s certainly not easy but I am hoping it will be worth it when I can fit into some clothes I haven’t worn in a while. There is no ban on alcohol but of course you have to count the calories in it as part of the daily allowance and I would rather do without a glass of wine than end up eating just one carrot baton for *dinner*.

      Thanks for your good wishes. 😉

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