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Monday, 8 September 2014

5:2 - First Half Stone!

Three weeks ago I began the 5:2 diet. I felt like I had overindulged on holiday (who hasn't?) I couldn't bear the idea of cutting out all my favourite foods all of the time, and countless people had recommended this way of eating. You eat 500 calories (600 if you're a man) two days per week (any days) and eat normally the rest of the time (typically about 2000 calories for a woman). That's it. Very simple, and with five days of normality, it barely feels like an imposition at all. In fact I can't quite believe how successful it's been.  

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I'm among the many who can't stick to diets. Three hours is typical, not three weeks. I like my food too much; cheese, cake, white wine... you name it I love it. I also love going out for meals and cooking, so losing weight is always a struggle for me. 
The first week was difficult. Fasting was a new concept and I didn't think I would make it. I did though, and after the first couple of 'feast days' the novelty of rebound eating wore off. The second week was easier. I wasn't picturing dancing steaks on the tube anymore and my murderous mood at about 6pm improved greatly (I like to think so anyway... Tomasz may disagree). Week three was an absolute doddle. By now I had learned which foods work, and when. I'd established a routine which worked for me; cups of tea and sugar-free squash until lunchtime, then miso soup with glass noodles and vegetable dumplings from Itsu to keep any pangs at bay. I would then have an early dinner of poached eggs on toast or fish and steamed vegetables, and another sachet of miso soup if I'm starving. 
Miso is brilliant; although it's high in sodium, it's got plenty of protein, amino acids, fibre and vitamins. It's perfect for when you're hungry on a fast day, and provides that something extra that say, water or tea doesn't give you. Studies have suggested miso soup may cut the risk of developing breast cancer if you have it daily, and at 44 calories per sachet, this nifty little soup is a faster's best friend. 

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But what about the scales? Well, a whopping 5.5 lbs lost the first week, 0.5 lbs for week two, and this week I've dropped another 2.5 lbs. A total of 8.5 lbs in three weeks, and it doesn't even feel like a diet. I don't feel like I should have lost all this weight. I've not been counting calories on my normal days, but just eating whatever I like when I'm hungry. There have been days I've eaten more than I should, and I felt for sure I would pack it all back on again... but no. A loss each time. I've joined a group online (free to anyone) which is really supportive. They share recipes, inspirational posts and general rants from hungry first time fasters. The days I am fasting I tend to read the posts and engage in the community. The rest of the time I'm eating out, cooking and enjoying myself. 
After such a successful first few weeks, I've bought myself a few pairs of shoes as a well done (a girl's gotta have a treat, even if it is the easiest diet in the world... shhhh). 

Shoes from here.
As you've probably gathered, I can't recommend the diet enough. I have a fair way to go yet before I'm happy with my weight, but I do feel that this way of eating is extremely sustainable. It fits in with life and yields great results. Now I just have to plan my treat for the one stone mark...

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