A slow start to fasting

I’ve never been much of a gym bunny and I’ve always loved my food, but it seemed the big man – or woman – upstairs was just being cruel when I got diagnosed with Fibromyalgia at the same time as landing myself a foodie boyfriend. And every time said foodie boyfriend (Mr Cook from here on in) made something delicious, I felt my poor love handles getting a little bit flabbier.Four years (and one and a half stone) later I decided if zumba, running and dance were no longer an option, I would have to consider the dreaded four letter word. DIET. At the ripe old age of 28 I have never dieted in my life; I’m one of those annoying people who pities the girls counting calories, chomping on celery sticks as their office snack and saying “oh I really shouldn’t” when offered a Malteaser. I knew that whatever diet I tried it was going to be hell and I was inevitably going to hate it. PictureThat was until I stumbled across the 5:2 diet for fasting which allows you to eat ‘normally’ five days a week, but on two days you’re restricted to just 500 calories. When I tell people this they say, “oh well that’s not fasting, that’s fine.” Trust me. It’s not fine. It’s nothing. Or at least, that’s how it feels to me today, day one of my 500 calorie days.

I should point out that I’m not advocating this diet – yet. At this early stage it would hardly be fair to love or loathe it. 

I thought it would make perfect sense to read up on what I was getting myself into, so I read Dr Mosley & Mimi Spencer’s book The Fast Diet. I won’t bore you with all the details; if you’re interested in the how, what, where and why of the 5:2 diet then check out their book or visit 
http://thefastdiet.co.uk. One bit of advice: don’t read it in bed before your first day of fasting. Not only did I dream about food, I woke up convinced I was starving at 7:30am. I thought about food all day, congratulating myself when I’d made it to 10am without so much as a chocolate biscuit. 

If I lived alone and was attempting the fast diet, I’m pretty sure the biggest challenge would be dinner. Unfortunately I may be a food-lover but I’m certainly not a food-cooker; thankfully the boyfriend was weirdly excited at the challenge of creating marvelous meals of 300 calories or less. My only task? To identify two days this week that I could feasibly function on 500 calories. Easy. Wait, not so easy. I have pub-related-plans on Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week which only leaves me with Wednesday and a hungover Sunday. Something tells me week one is going to be tough…

In case you’re tempted to join in, here’s what you need to do to get started.

  • Read up on what you’re going to be doing and why. Do the benefits match your goals? 
  • Get equipped by downloading an app to count calories (My Fitness Pal is pure genius) and do your weekly shop so you’re prepared and excited for your 500 calorie days. 
  • Talk to people who have been through the fast diet to get an idea of the good, the bad and the ugly. 
  • Set yourself a goal…if for no other reason than My Fitness Pal forces you to. Warning: it involves getting on the scales. Ugh. 
  • Get your first week of recipes sorted, and make them good ones. You want to look forward to the week ahead – all of it.

Once you’ve got your goal weight, got your calorie counter and got your low calorie recipes, that’s it.

Ready, set, fast!

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