I had a few people ask me yesterday in my post about “fasting” for 2 days and what that means and what that looks like. There is a whole lot of information you can find online about it (just google 5:2 diet) as well as books and recipes and ideas so this is just a very rough version of what I do.
The idea is that 2 days a week you restrict your diet to 25% of your normal calorie/energy intake. So for women that’s 500 calories and 600 calories for men. The rest of the week it’s business as usual, eating and drinking what you like, but on those 2 days it’s these restricted amounts. It’s not for everyone, but I found when I did it last year that it really made a huge difference to me MENTALLY. On the days where I was “fasting” I was very conscious of everything I put in my mouth….those precious calories add up quickly, and you soon learn about all the areas that you may normally waste calories. It changed my mindset, it made me think more about the way I ate on a whole and certainly made me lean towards better choices every day. On the “non fast” days I also found myself not as hungry. Go figure.
So what does it look like for me?
For a start, I made sure Rob was on board with me. It’s much easier to cook for two and to suffer with someone! We chose Monday and Wednesday as the days that we would “fast”. As we generally eat early with the kids (around 5/5.30pm) that would be the start of the fast (Sunday night) and then we would be back to normal the following day. I cannot and will not give up my daily coffee, it’s just not going to happen so I factor that into my calories and switch to skim milk on the “fast days”. I think a skim milk coffee is around 80 or 100 calories and I am willing to take that hit for the day because: COFFEE.
I am easily not eat during the day without any problems. I’m usually running around after the girls, then Maggie and then frantically trying to get work done while she is asleep so before I know it, it’s usually 2.30pm. While Mags has her lunch I might roll a boiled egg and some greens (under 200 calories). Water is my friend. As are herbal teas. By this stage it’s like 3pm and you only have to get through to bed time…almost there! ISH.
The afternoon and evening and cooking the kids dinner is the hardest part for me. And that’s kind of why I save up my main meal for then. A small amount of protein (say 100 grams) is about 100 calories and then greens of any description don’t take much up so that’s usually what we have. Most of the meals in my post earlier in the week are the kind of things that we eat.
Maybe some more eggs (because I love them and some salmon)…
Avocado and salad…
Seafood is your friend as there aren’t that many calories in them. Prawns are especially good, as are mussels. And tinned tomatoes always get a run. If I am desperate and starving, a little onion fried up with a tin of tomatoes (maybe 100 cals) hits the spot.
And you know what? It’s all a little rough and estimating…but it’s ABOUT right and that’s better than nothing.
The first few weeks suck, there’s no denying it, but it does get easier as they pass and you get creative thinking about ways to bring taste into your diet without the calories. In those first weeks I found myself just going to bed because I was hungry, you can’t feel hungry when you are asleep…and then it’s back to normal the next day so it’s really not so bad right?
And if you fail your day, you can choose another one.
Berries are good for a quick hit of sweet, and the Proud and Punch ice blocks are REALLY good at just 35 calories each, making you feel like you are having something sweet. Water. Tea. Water. WATER.
So that’s what it looks like for me. It’s not perfect and it’s probably not how you are “meant” to do it, but it works for us and I am going to be back on board with it. As I said, it’s not for everyone and you should certainly not take my advice on board about changing YOUR diet without speaking to someone professional first that knows YOU. And all that.
So, have you been on the 5:2 fasting business before?
How did it work out for you?
Got any tips you can share with us all?