Tuesday, 11 December 2012

How do you handle fast days on 5:2?

Given the interest in my post on the 5:2 diet I thought I’d post again passing on the accumulated wisdom of . . . er . . . just over 2 weeks dieting.

So, how often do you eat? Seems to vary a lot. Some seem to manage an entire day without eating before they have their evening meal. Others including Michael Mosley don’t eat between breakfast and dinner. That has the advantage you can have a decent breakfast, a bowl of porridge, say or a couple of boiled eggs but I still find it a long time to go without food. Maybe that will ease over time but I find being hungry immensely distracting and can’t think about anything else.

So I eat - just as I normally would. 4 times a day. Breakfast, lunch, tea and supper. I’ve tried doing without anything between lunch and supper but get ravenous around 4-5pm. So I have a snack of a crispbread and some low calorie hummus. (Low cal red pepper hummus has less than the original kind)

For breakfast I’ve tried a boiled egg and a crispbread - a bit meagre even though the crispbreads are the wonderful Peter’s Yard’s. (A seeded Ryvita would be a cheaper alternative). I prefer a bowl of low fat yoghurt and blueberries, which keeps me going for several hours.

For lunch I’ve experimented with soup (low cal but not particularly filling), big salads and crispbreads, raw veg and hummus. Cheese, for me, is a no-no. You can’t really have more than 30g and I find that incredibly frustrating.

Dinner is a bit more cheering. Stir-fries work best I think (prawns are really low cal) or some steamed or baked fish and veg though obviously you can’t allow oil (119 calories a tablespoon) or butter (205 calories an ounce) anywhere near it. Or potatoes. Or rice . . . . (You can see one can get quite tetchy by this time of day) Large Asiany soups (without noodles) are also quite satisfying. And if you haven’t blown 300 calories already you could have a calorie-counted ready meal.

If you’re looking for inspiration there are some delicious recipes from food writer Xanthe Clay who is also on the diet here, some 200-400 calorie recipes on the BBC Good Food website and a good ebook I’ve discovered called The 5:2 diet book by Kate Harrison, downloadable from Amazon at £2.56. Money well spent.


A Trifle Rushed said...

I'm starting this diet in the New Year, so this post is really useful, as are the links. Thank you.

Kavey said...

Add shirataki noodles to the evening stir-fry to bulk up without adding calories. There are two kinds, one which is zero calories and one which is around 20 or 30 calories a packet (which I've not tried). They're kind of like slippery glass noodles. Wash really well before cooking and wash well as you drain, and there's then no taste, and they just bulk up the stir-fry. Have used black bean sauce (from packet) as is low calorie but high flavour. Works for me. But I stopped the diet before I went to Japan and haven't resumed. I must. Mum's lost over a stone on it and keeping it off well.

Millie said...

This post illustrates why I wouldn't last on this method of fasting.
I just know that, on a low-cal day, I would obsess about food all day, without ever getting any satisfaction from whatever food I would allow myself.
Well done those who stick with it.
I prefer forgetting about food altogether for 2 days a week.

Fiona Beckett said...

Thanks, Kavey. Had heard about these on Twitter but thanks for the tips about using them. I plan to try and buy some at the Japan Centre today

Glad the post was useful, A Trifle Rushed. There's more to come . . .

And admire your strength of will Millie!

Paola said...

Grilled whole portabella mushrooms work for me, along with a slice here and there of serrano ham. We're eating a lot of Asian-style soups. Must get some of those noodles.

Fiona Beckett said...

@Paola Like the idea of those mushrooms. Do you spray them with oil?

Karen S Booth said...

I find eggs fill me up at breakfast with a low-cal yoghurt; I do have some meal plans that might help, where I have posted meal plans including breakfast, but a yoghurt and egg comes in at approx 118 cals and then add on the fruit....I DO need breakfast, cannot skip it.
I also find that "hot" meals make me feel full longer, so soup is a much made and enjoyed fast day recipe for lunch; I have a 70 calorie roasted tomato and garlic soup which is a favourite of mine.
As for tea/supper, I usually have my "big" meal of that day and allow 200 to 250 calories for that.

chubby bannister said...

The Harrison is now £1 on Kindle. Excellent. I'm giving this a go based on your recommendation, Fiona.