The 5:2 Diet: Mickey’s Journey (Introduction & The Beginning)

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Hi my name is Mickey. I am 47 years old and female and I have just started the 5:2 diet. I am at the end of my first week, starting my next week. A bit of background info first:

I started Weight Watchers in August 2011 weighing 18 stone. I was referred by my doctor as I was very nearly morbidly obese!!! I was horrified that I had let things get out of hand and I was also aware that I was either nearing or in peri-menopause and knew that the best way to get through that was to be as healthy as possible.

Initially I opted to follow weight watchers and not exercise as I was not fit and have a large chest which makes exercise difficult (and I am lazy if I don’t have anything to aim for). By January 2012 I had lost 3 stone. Between January and April 2012 things slowed right down with the weight loss and to be truthful I probably lost focus with the plan and let things slip a bit. I would have good weeks then I would slip back, but by June/ July I had lost a further stone.

In March 2012 I joined the gym to try to boost the weight loss – although I found that even though I was doing 2 to 3 Bodyattack classes per week with a couple of spin classes and Zumba and swimming thrown in, it did not speed up the loss. I did get fitter. In June I was diagnosed with sleep apnoea and things seemed to go haywire at this point. I was getting periods every two weeks and I would put on 5 lbs in a week and then take it off the next week and then put on another 4lbs the week after. When I reviewed my loss between the beginning of April and the end of July I had lost only 4lb!!! It seems that peri-menopause had started with a vengeance and that coupled with the sleep apnea was stressing my body and holding onto the weight no matter what I did. The sleep nurse recommended taking Menopace for the menopause symptoms and I also started taking Evening Primrose Oil and Green Tea Extract. I have now been taking these for 14 days and have already noticed that my mood is calmer and I am not retaining water.

I went to the doctors last week and had a full blood test to make sure there were no other reasons for feeling the way I was feeling and the tests were clear and I discussed the 5:2 diet with my doctor who agreed that it was safe for me to try.

I decide last Tuesday (7th August) to start the 5:2 diet and had my five ‘feast’ days as Wednesday to Sunday and my fast days as Monday and Tuesday. Mondays are crap anyway, so why not throw in a bit of fasting too!!! I think that the following points are crucial: –

  • Consult your doctor to see if it is safe for you to follow this plan: This diet will not work for people who have diabetes or other serious illnesses unless they are this checked out by a doctor. It was the first thing I did.
  • You do really need to plan out what you are going to eat: Keeping to 500 cals and feeling reasonably satisfied is very difficult unless you have a structured plan. Work out your options for breakfast, lunch and dinner and if you have any calories left over some treats too.
  • Your other half needs to be helpful here and not eat chocolate or other desirable food in front of you: This also applies to your work colleagues and friends. Let them know what you are doing and get them on side so they don’t tempt you on these days with cakes and sweets. There is nothing worse than sitting down knowing you can’t have any more food and watching your husband devour a bowl of ice cream or a nice takeaway.
  • You need to cook your own low calorie meal: You can control what goes into the meals you make, so you can work the recipes so that they’re as low as you need them. Buying pre prepared meals will not work as they are not low enough. The meal needs to be filling and look substantial. You can also find lots of sub 100 cal means on the Internet. Prepare large batches to portion up and freeze for later – taking the pressure off in subsequent weeks.

I decided on Sunday to make a vegetable curry that came to about 99 calories per portion so that I would have that as my evening meal with rice. It made 7 portions so I ate one on Monday and the second on Tuesday and froze the rest. I prefer to eat in the evening and find it easier to cut food at work.

I then decided that a cup of coffee made with 80 mls skimmed milk and water and ¾ of a spoon of sugar with a Weight Watchers yogurt would do for my breakfast and I found a pack of Miso soups at Sainsbury’s that were only 29 cals – expensive at £3.29 for 4 sachets, but they are tasty. This meant that during the day I was only eating 139 calories leaving 361 for the evening. This has worked so far for me. It is busy at work so it is very easy to distract my thinking away from food. Home is more difficult hence leaving more calories for the evening. Even with that I did have cravings, particularly to eat a whole litre of Kelly’s honeycomb crunch ice cream (which I resisted).

Today (14th August) is the start of my second week so now on feasting till Monday 20th August. I will still follow Weight Watchers and stick to my daily point allowance and weekly point allowance. I am also carrying out an exercise plan whilst I do this. I do Bodyattack and Spin for 45 minutes each on a Sunday, Bodyattack for 45 minutes on a Tuesday, zumba and spin for 45 mins each on Wednesday evening and Zumba, Bodypump and Spin on a Thursday, also 45 mins each. I don’t exercise on a Friday, Saturday or a Monday. This will bring my average calorie intake for each day down to 1200 calories. Although in practice on the feast days I will have far more calories to play around with due to the effect of the fast days,

Last night I lost 2lb and this morning when I weighed in at home I had lost a further 2lb, although this is not an official weight as only last night’s weight is the official Weight Watchers weigh-in weight. My next weigh-in is Tuesday 21st so will know then how good this is.

Only two drawbacks so far:-

  • Bad breath/Horrible taste in mouth: This is the side effect of Ketosis when the body has to break down its own fat reserves.
  • Exercising on a fast day was hard: I found that I flagged a little during my 45 minute exercise class. This is down to a lack of calories in and there are only two ways round it; that is to either live with it or move the exercise to another day. For now I am going to see how it goes.

Mickey – Guest Blogger

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8 responses »

  1. If one starts this from a low carb diet and is already fat adapted, then the fast days are no big deal and there is little side effect. Also, working out in a fasted state is preferred, beneficial, primal and on a low carb diet, easy.
    Keep up the good work…your are your own best laboratory.

  2. Thanks for the link to our ‘things my mother never taught me’ blog. Well done on your weight loss so far, that’s great focus.
    After 1 week, both Mary and I found that opting for lean protein (meat + fish) plus fruit and vegetables is definitely the way to surviving fasting days. Avoid any processed food as this will have a mid to high GI index, and make you want to eat food sooner.
    Good luck for week 2.

  3. Pingback: The 5:2 Diet: Mickey’s Journey (Week Two, Part I) « We Eat Things

  4. Hey Heather, great name! 🙂 Thanks for the comments…it’s interesting that some people claim to have way more energy when working out and others have a lot less. I wonder what the difference is, or whether different people just react differently to this diet. Heather

  5. Pingback: The 5:2 Diet: Mickey’s Journey (Week 3) « We Eat Things

  6. Pingback: The 5:2 Diet: Mickey’s Journey (Week 4 Part I) « We Eat Things

  7. I tried doing Karate on a fasting day and it was a nightmare – no co-ordination, couldn’t concentrate (as well as feeling tired and hungry) – it definitely doesn’t suit me to do both on the same day. Good luck with the diet! 🙂

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