Hello hello, I’ve been in Nottingham for a week, organising a conference (because that’s what I do, you know). One bad thing about conferences, and the venue I went to in particular, is the food- It was EVERYWHERE! You get far too used to having a cooked breakfast at the hotel, a pastry when you get to the venue, a cooked lunch, afternoon snacks and then for the most part, a three course dinner, topped off with copious amounts of booze! Consequently, I realised that something had to give- I’ve been eating like an absolute beast since I went to San Francisco at the start of May and am in very real danger of spilling over my trousers
Conveniently, my boss was reading a book on the ‘5:2 diet’. I had a quick glance and as well as seeming very do-able and sensible, it apparently has added health benefits like you get to live longer and nice stuff like that.
Disclaimer- Please don’t take these posts as medical advice or anything, because they’re just my opinion!
OK, the basic premise:
5:2 in a nutshell means that you eat normally for five days of the week, and you pick two days where you restrict your calories to 500 (600 if you’re a boy). NB- when I say ‘normally for five days’, what I actually mean is that you eat within your TDEE- total daily energy expenditure (or, put another way, the amount of calories you’ll burn just by living your life). Here is a calculator, should you be interested: http://www.fitnessfrog.com/calculators/tdee-calculator.html
While I don’t have a huge amount of weight to lose- just half a stone or so- I’ve been trying to do it for the last year. I’ve actually been recording my weight every Monday, and looked back to see what I was this time in 2012- Exactly the bloody same as I am now!
I like the sound of 5:2 because where I usually try to eat a healthy diet and attempt to come in at about 300 calories under my TDEE, I regularly scupper myself with cake, takeaways, booze, snacks and so on, and probably end up averaging the TDEE in the end anyway, so two days of restricted living will hopefully bring my average down a bit, if that makes sense.
I read a lot of blogs alongside the books, and it seems most people try for just two meals a day, but I don’t think I’d be able to cope with that, so I’ve gone for three small ones
Here’s my day 1:
Breakfast- Medium boiled egg- 88 calories, apricots- 22 calories- Total 110 calories
Lunch– Half a carton of Sainsburys’ creamy vegetable soup- 109 calories
Dinner- Butternut squash, spinach and chickpea curry- 215 calories (this was a find- ridiculously filling and adapted from a recipe in Good Food magazine- will post up my adapted version soon)
Plus– 2 cups of tea with milk- 30 calories
Total= 464 calories
I’m pleased to say, the first day went well. I got hungry, but because I planned three meals, I knew I never had to go too long before the next one, and I drank tea or water when I was thinking about it too much which helped too, and I went to bed feeling a little bit smug (although apparently no lighter, so said the scales)- Will weigh in next week and let you know how it went,
Like the sound of it? Have some stuff to read– There’s plenty out there about the benefits of the system, although from what I gather, no study on humans has been big enough or long enough to prove conclusively that it definitely does work better than other diet plans, but still- Worth a shot, right?!
First- the cautionary tale from the NHS
Health benefits (The sciencey bit)