Friday, 14 December 2012
12 things you need to start your 5:2 diet
Assuming you have basics like eggs, spices and herbs anyway this is what I’d lay in:
Low fat yoghurt or fromage frais
Surprisingly low in calories so perfect for breakfast along with some fruit - though choose your fruit carefully (blueberries are a good choice). The yoghurt I’ve got (Waitrose organic low fat natural live bio yoghurt) is just 57 calories per 100g - which is a fair amount of yoghurt. Fat free fromage frais is even lower at 50 calories per 100g
You need - or rather I need - something to drink at the time you might normally be having a pre-dinner glass of wine. Chilled sparkling mineral water on the rocks with a dash of angostura bitters and a slice of lemon does the job. Most of the time, though I found I was craving a sherry tonight.
In tea or water as above. Good for squeezing on stir-fries and salads too
You need something for the times when hunger pangs become intolerable (in my case about 4 in the afternoon). Low calorie crispbreads come to the rescue. I have two - Ryvita Multi-Seed Thins at 37 calories a slice and super-tasty Peter’s Yard crispbreads at 34 calories each which compensate for not having bread.
Some kind of low calorie dip or spread
Surprisingly there are more than you’d think - some not even labelled low fat like Waitrose’s oddly named ‘Distinctive crab paté’ which is only 78 cals for 42g. So about 28 calories for a tablespoonful. Sainsbury’s annoyingly twee but quite tasty Be Good to Yourself red pepper houmus is 65 calories per 50g and Garlic and Herb Philly Light, for which I must confess a guilty weakness, 46 calories per 30g. So a crispbread and a smear of one of these will get you through a wobbly moment.
Cucumber - good for dunking in the above - just 10 calories per 100g
Red and yellow peppers - ditto though slightly more calorific at about 32 calories per 100g. Good for stir-fries too
Instant miso soup
Comforting when you’re starving and when a coffee or tea just won’t do. The brand I’ve got (Clearspring) is only 17 calories per sachet
Fry Light or other low calorie olive oil spray
One of the hardest things I find is doing without olive oil and salad dressings. (Think about it: a tablespoon of oil is over a fifth your daily allowance on a fast day.) This will at least make sure whatever you’re cooking doesn’t stick and give it a bit of flavour. And only 1 calorie a puff
I was really surprised at this one. Balsamic vinegar is only about 5-7 calories a teaspoon. Which will basically dress a small watercress or watercress, rocket and spinach salad which are virtually no calories at all.
A pack of frozen prawns
Preferably the small North Atlantic ones which will give you the illusion you’re eating more than 2 or 3 king prawns will. 61-67 per 100g.
Some decent tea
So long as you have it without milk, tea - and infusions - are the friend of the 5:2 dieter. Maybe make this the time you get into leaf tea if you’re not already. The whole ritual of making yourself a pot feels like a treat.
What would you suggest for the 5:2 storecupboard - or fridge?