The 5:2 diet

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So today I am currently on a ‘diet day’. Sounds strange to be ‘dieting for a day’, but for anyone that hasn’t heard of the 5:2 diet, it is basically intermittent fasting. You can eat what you want to (within reason, obviously) for 5 days, and for the other 2 days of the week, you have a ‘fasting’ day- or ‘diet day’ as I like to call it (sounds less dramatic)- where you stick to a scary-sounding 500 cals.

It seems like it could be unsustainable, but it is actually the opposite, because rather than attempting to stick to a boring diet by drastically cutting your calorie intake everyday, you only have to do it for 2 days a week. Whilst it may sound like just another fad diet, it definitely isn’t, despite what you may think! (There’s actually quite a lot of sciencey-stuff behind intermittent fasting to do with metabolism, some scientists are even endorsing it’s benefits, and it has been suggested that it could reduce the risk of things like heart disease, prevent Alzheimer’s and even increase lifespan.)

I thought I’d attempt the diet after my friend was so successful with it, and I’ve been doing it since I came back from uni- when it hit me that student living of takeaways, excessive revision snacking, and frequent trips to the pub had definitely taken its toll. So I’ve been doing it for just over 7 weeks, and so far I’ve lost 9.5 pounds. WOO.

To be honest, when I started it, I didn’t have high hopes for it, and thought I would be wasting my time on yet another failed attempt at losing weight. But so far (fingers crossed) the weight seems to be coming off. And the good part is, you can still have the luxury of treating yourself to that chocolate cake or burger that you’ve been craving, on your non-diet days, without feeling toooo guilty about it.

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(Just like Kate Hudson)

Some diet days are easier than others (today has surprisingly been one of those days), but some days it is a mental battle with whether it is worth ruining your hard-work that day, and cracking, and heading to the biscuit tin instead. (Only done that once I swear). But definitely not going to deny that it isn’t hard- it supposedly gets easier the longer you do it. I can’t decide whether that’s true or not, I think overall it has got slightly easier but it just depends on the day. It’s advised to drink a lot of water when you’re fasting to keep hydrated, and I also tend to drink a ridiculous amount of tea to keep my mind off not eating…

The one thing that I find quite hard, is making sure you don’t overeat when you’re not on a diet day. Particularly the case with me when you wake up the day after a diet day, absolutely RAVENOUS, and you want to eat everything and anything that you clap eyes on. I’m still working on my self-control…

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(Admittedly, and rather embarrassingly I did have a slice of cake for breakfast the other day- I was bloody starving ok?! Don’t judge. It’s one big learning curve.)

But in general, the diet makes you appreciate the value of food, especially when you’re on a ‘normal’ day, and you are far more in tune with when you are genuinely hungry, rather than just being bored. (I’m a classic example of somebody that snacks when they’re bored). And so, on the whole you do find yourself subconsciously picking healthier options, and generally eating cleaner as a result.

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I’m also determined to start seeing abs, which is where Pilates will hopefully come in…

Not quite at that stage just yet though…

So to anyone considering trying the 5:2 diet, I couldn’t recommend it enough. Have a read of Kate Harrison’s book too, which really helps you properly understand the science part of it. Or there’s a website… http://www.thefastdiet.co.uk

Although right now, all I really want to do is go and raid the fridge…but for the scales sake, I will refrain!

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