There is no doubt about it. I love giving myself challenges. There is another issue though. Sometimes I don’t manage to succeed with them. I first tried the 5:2 diet a couple of years ago.
Firstly let me explain what the 5:2 diet is. Basically on two days during the week you have to fast. This fast means limited calories, for me as a woman, it entails reaching only 500. For the other days you can eat what you want, but up to a point. I have worked out that I can consume up to 1800 calories. A big difference. But even being fairly good during the day, it is amazing how easily you can reach that total (particularly with 1.5 pieces of cheesecake.)
I wanted to succeed but I didn’t. I didn’t harness enough willpower to deprive myself or rather limit myself to 500 calories a day. When I first tried this diet I had one day where I used up 80 of my 500 calories by eating a Lindt chocolate. Treats should definitely not feature on fast days. So clearly the only way was down from there.
I first heard of the 5:2 diet when I overheard other ladies at zumba class say that they were giving it a go. Then they stopped speaking about it, and I went through a period of not going to zumba so I don’t know whether they are still doing it.
Then I read an article by Darren Rowse about how he has been on this diet.
So my interest picked up.
I started off by getting a book from the library by Kate Harrison and devouring that. Then I bought myself a copy of ‘The Fast Diet’ by Dr Michael Mosley and read it rather quickly. Since then my Mosley library has increased. I now own four of his books.
When I first tried the diet I followed Harrison’s soup idea more than getting inventive with what to cook on fast days. Initially I found the hardest challenge on fast days was preparing meals for my husband and teen children and not eating what they were eating. Particularly pasta dishes!
But late last year I re-watched the Horizon program where Dr Mosley talks about the diet and I thought to myself that I would like to give it another go. The plan was to start the new year.
Plus I felt that I also need to exercise more. But in terms of exercising outside I am a fair weather person. Although as I love to walk I am trying to get to 10,000 steps a day.
Back when I first toyed with this idea, I wanted it to be a lifestyle change, but it wasn’t something that I’ve kept to. Ideally I would like it to be a long term thing but I will see how I go. There have been many studies of the health benefits of fasting in this way.
But I don’t think I could ever totally deprive myself of treats, like cake. I enjoy eating too much.
Have you heard of the 5:2 diet? Have you tried it? Do you know someone who has?