The 5:2 Fasting Diet, can it work for you?


The Fasting Diet or 5:2, is this the way forward to a slimmer and more streamlined new you?  Why not join me on this challenge?

I am always searching for the ultimate way to lose a few pounds and have tried many diets in the past.   Now I’m ready for a new diet plan to get my body prepared for our family Ibiza trip we’ve planned for July, so is 2013 going to be “The Year?”  The year where I get back to the figure I enjoyed only a couple of years ago.  I do hope I can persevere with this and I’m going to have a very good try at achieving a slim new silhouette for summer 2013.  I guess it’s all in the mindset; this is your key to success

You see – it’s not the exercise that’s the issue with me, I would quite happily be at the gym 6 or 7 days a week, it’s the food and wine, two of my biggest passions in life.  So will the fasting diet prove a winner?   Michael Mosley, the originator of the 5:2 diet managed to lose nearly a stone in 5 weeks on this diet, which he originally discovered when he was filming for BBC’s Horizon and the 5:2 sure has managed to gain huge press exposure in the last 12 months or so, so how do we begin?


The Facts – with this diet you will need to plan your days and just to let you know the details once more – YOU NEED TO FAST FOR TWO DAYS A WEEK – THEY DO NOT NEED TO BE CONSECUTIVE.  When we say fast, this is not strictly true, but you must keep your calorie intake below 500 for a woman or 600 for a man. I think it’s important to look at your week ahead and work out when it may be manageable to commit to this restriction, and on the days of fasting you will need to think carefully before you eat and be mindful of everything that you put in your mouth…. Question everything you eat and visualise the body that you want.  Remind yourself that you have a goal and write it down, think of 5 good reasons why you want to lose weight and stick this list somewhere easily visible – like on the fridge.  I find that My Fitness Pal is an excellent tool for calorie counting and is available as an app for your smartphone or online

Why not get yourself ready for your fast day the night before, measure out some milk allowed for tea/coffee, (100 ml of fat free skimmed milk is 35 calories) roast some peppers and other light vegetables which can be delicious for lunch or dinner, and do some research on low calorie foods and meals.   Remember to save something to eat for near to bedtime, it’s always easier to sleep after consuming some carb foodstuffs or something warm and milky,  a small bowl of porridge made with water and skimmed milk, maybe topped with some fruit is ideal.  I think the key on these “fasting” days is to keep it simple.  Why spend ages preparing food on a fasting day when you can spend ages preparing a delicious meal on a normal one?

If you are working full time a suggestion is to pay a trip to M&S or Waitrose and have a look at their ready meals, they really do have the market wrapped up with their selection and you will know exactly the calorific values for each and every item.  You could always eat part of the meal for breakfast/lunch and the rest later in the day, whatever works for you.

Remember that there are certain times of the month that this diet may be a great deal trickier and so the week before your period should be planned with more attention to ensure your success if those PMT cravings affect you.

Treats on a fasting day?

You may well not believe this is possible but there is a product that has been championed by a successful 5:2 dieter that is good for you and the kids.   Kidz 5 a day is a product originally designed for children who wouldn’t eat their fruit and vegetables and is not only delicious but full of goodies such as wheatgrass, organic fruit and vegetables and oats, amongst other key ingredients.  When made up with whole milk it’s only 87 calories per portion and is reportedly yummy, I’m going to be giving this a go for sure!

Water and Fluid Intake

Our bodies can misinterpret the signs of thirst as signs of hunger and as we absorb large amounts of fluid through our food intake it is really important to stay hydrated to stop the hunger pangs taking over.  I have found that water can be quite boring on its own and have recently reverted to an old “Atkins” tip to make it more palatable, add a few drops of bottled lime juice to a pint glass and it tastes more refreshing, at only 1 calorie a teaspoon it is most definitely allowed.

Days Off

Be realistic on your days off, as much as the diet states that you can eat what you like on these days the entire packet of chocolate digestives or whole bottle of Sauvignon Blanc is hardly going to help now is it? 😉  Eat sensibly and aim for no more than the advised calorific intake – 2000 for a woman and 2500 for a man.

Health Facts

When Michael Mosley featured on Horizon he underwent an MRI Scan that revealed he was a TOFI (Thin on the inside, fat inside) and whilst heMichael Mosley looked relatively in proportion he had a build up of visceral fat inside the abdomen coating his internal organs, this is a particularly unhealthy type of fat distribution significantly increasing your risk of diabetes and heart disease.  On the 5:2 diet he lost approximately a stone in mainly fat, and his waist measurement went down from 36 to 32 inches. His biomarkers, like glucose and LDL, improved markedly.  One easy way to check and get an idea of your levels of visceral fat is to measure your waist, if it is more than half of your height then it can signify that you need to have concerns and act accordingly.

Advocates of the 5:2 also report that it can help us live longer and decrease the risk of cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

Moving Forward

There are many recipes to be found with calories per portion comprehensively listed and you can find these on the internet or in many cook books.  Amazon   has a huge selection of 5:2 books as would any good bookshop.

Further articles

Good Luck!  I’ll be in letting you know the results of my 5:2 experience as I progress.

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