12 Month Challenge – Diet 3 – 5:2

Month 3 is done, and I can’t believe how much I’m actually enjoying this. The best thing about trying out all of these diet plans, is that I’m learning a lot about food and nutrition, and as I move forward each month I can add and remove things I like and don’t like. At the end of 2018, I know I’m going to have a great idea of what I should be eating (and the times I can treat myself) to ensure I maintain my weight, and have healthy skin, hair and nails. Don’t get me wrong I’m not stupid, I am aware of what food is good and what is bad, but the Paleo was a real eye opener for me.

Knowing full well that it was my Birthday in March, I needed to pick this one wisely. So I thought if I do the 5:2, I can still enjoy the celebrations whilst sticking to the diet (ish).

The Diet

It’s pretty simple. 5 days a week you eat normally (recommended 2000 calories a day for women, 2500 for men) and 2 days a week you “fast” (500 calories a day for women, 600 for men). Fasting is supposed to be good for you, hence this diet. You should spread out the days – ie don’t do 2 fasting days in a row, separate them with normal eating days too.

What I liked…

It’s easy to follow. You can eat normally on your normal days, and just be really careful on the low-calorie days. I love going to bed knowing that I can wake up the next morning and have a decent meal.

500 calories sounds horrendous, but it’s really not that bad. I’m not saying I’d want to do it all the time, but I enjoyed fruit for breakfast (raspberries, satsumas, strawberries etc, generally low calorie fruits), followed by rice cakes & cream cheese for lunch, more fruit snacks throughout the day and then an evening meal of meat & vegetables.

What I didn’t like… 

I didn’t loose a huge amount of weight. Over the course of the month I lost approximately 2lbs, which is tiny compared to some of the other diets. I also found it almost too easy, as I didn’t really have to think too much on the days I wasn’t on a fasting day.

Something I’ve learnt is that I like a challenge, so if I can find a happy medium, where I challenge myself most of the time, and have a few treats along the way, that would be great. The other way round (5 normal days for example) gives me far too much leeway!

Good for you if…

You are good at being strict on yourself a couple of days a week. Ideally on days you’re not planning to exercise (so if you work in an office you’re good).

You don’t eat out too often. Due to eating out a lot, I was very lenient on my 2000 calorie days, which definitely contributed to the lack of weight loss.

Recommended Restaurants

Pretty much wherever you like. Just don’t eat out on your 500 calorie days!

Hints and Tips

  • Definitely don’t do 500 calorie days 2 days in a row. I did it once purely due to scheduling, and all I could think about was food
  • Get some rice cakes. Kallo make these awesome little chocolate ones, available in Waitrose, and I was a big fan!
  • Eat low calorie fruits like berries
  • Make sure you make use of your 500 calories – with foods full of goodness and protein
  • Steer clear of alcohol (I’m sure you’re aware of that one!) and don’t waste any calories on liquid. Water is perfect for you!

I wouldn’t do this one again, but can totally understand why people like it. I think if I were more cautious about counting my 2000 calories, I would have seen more benefits.

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P xx

Email: cheltenhamfoodie@outlook.com

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