Monthly Archives: September 2012

The 5:2 Diet: Juliet’s Journey – Long May It Continue

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hubby's lunch - 26 Aug 2008

(Photo credit: pillowhead designs)

Fasting this week has been relatively pain free. There are, however, a few issues that have been cropping up that I don’t think I have mentioned yet. These are mainly the negative and positive effects of fasting.

Negatives
I don’t know about anyone else but Hubby and I have been quite gassy, burping more than usual on fast days. I have also had quite bad indigestion, especially when I have eaten fish. The lack of food also slows down your transit time (you know what I’m talking about and it doesn’t involve long distance lorries!) Seriously though if you don’t know look it up. The Food Hospital on Channel 4 this week covered it.

We also have both suffered from lethargy which doesn’t clear until after lunch following the fast day. Hubby was having a day off from his regular more sedentary job this week and I got him digging the allotment. Before you feel sorry for him I would like to point out that he loves it! Anyway it was a Wednesday morning, the day after a fast day, and he struggled to achieve a third of the work he’d done at the weekend.

We both feel a bit dopey and spaced out by the end of a fast day and definitely not as mentally sharp as on a normal day.  As time passes and the lack of, or reduction in, food continues my concentration levels fall and Hubby and I both become tetchy. Not a good time to pick an argument! Of course all of this is understandable but I wonder if I was doing a mentally taxing job whether I would want to fast on a work day.

Positives
The health benefits and weight loss (7lbs for me, 14lbs for Hubby) are of course the reason that we are continuing and remaining positive about the 5:2 diet. There are other positives such as the increased awareness about what and when you eat. Food tastes amazing on fast days and I seem to appreciate what I eat on feed days far more. I used to shovel the food in sometimes without even registering the taste, texture or amount of it. That certainly doesn’t happen these days.

Overall I am feeling healthier and fitter than I have for a long time. Long may it continue.

Juliet – Guest Blogger

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The 5:2 Diet: Ashleigh’s Journey – Back Again!

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Tortilla chips

Tortilla chips (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wow, I really have been quiet for quite a while now. But, it is with good reason.

Last time is wrote I stated that from now on I would be doing two consecutive fast days as they were what worked best for me. However, since then a lot has changed and I am embarrassed and saddened to say that for the past 10 days I have done no fast days what so ever, yes, none! However, I have not given up, but sometimes, it is just the case that there are other things in life that need focusing on.

Basically, after my last article I officially started my new job, and was thrown into the deep end, being left in charge and working 60 hours within 5 days. I tried to fast during this time, but I just found it physically and mentally impossible. During a 12 hour shift spent serving wonderful food to literally hundreds of customers, I just couldn’t not eat. On one occasion I thought I was going to manage the fast, I had made it past 5 o’clock with only having had poached egg on toast. However, I still had another 7 hours of work left, and by 8pm, I just couldn’t hack it any longer. The hunger was making me unable to focus, and I need focus in my job. So, I had to eat. And I made the decision, that whilst working 12 hour shifts I should never fast. Despite this, I was not disheartened, I planned my next two shifts for my days off, the Sunday and Monday.

But, Sunday was my cousins birthday, and a food feast was in order for the whole family, including me. I felt it would be rude and inconsiderate to eat nothing, when so much work had been put in to preparing such wonderful food for everyone. So I ate.

Then come Monday, I was determined to succeed. And, for the whole day I did, however, by the evening, I had my friends over, watching movies and chatting, and the tortilla chips and dip came out, and I just couldn’t resist.

And then, back to work on the Tuesday, working more 12 hour shifts, and with Freshers Week at the same time, fast days were just an impossibility. Therefore, it is safe to say that the past 10 days have been a failure for me and the 5:2 diet.

But, today is the start of the new uni term and an end to 60 hours of waitressing a week. Phew! I’m not saying that I don’t work hard at uni or anything, but, reading a book requires significantly less calories than waitressing. Therefore, today is the re-start of my journey on the 5:2 diet. I haven’t weighed myself in a few weeks, so I have no idea what this starting point is (i do not own a set of scales, and as a student, grudge paying at the gym to use any – therefore, my trip to the family home on Thursday will be my first weigh in for weeks). However, I can confirm that today and Tuesday will be my fast days this week, and this time round, I am really going for it. I will have my gym sessions, and I will eat well on ‘feed’ days. I am more determined than ever.

However, on an unfortunate note, I do now realise that it will be impossible for me to meet my original goal on time. If everything had gone to plan, by this time next week I would have been weighing in at 11st 4lbs, and considering that on my last article I was 11st 12lbs, I think it is highly unlikely that after 10 days of no 5:2 diet I will have lost any weight. But, on Thursday we will know the truth. So until then, I will work hard with the diet, and we will just have to wait and see what happens.

Ashleigh – Guest Blogger

The 5:2 Diet: Pete’s Journey (Week 6 Results)

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This week I have been messing around with my formula for the best 5:2 system and had my eureka moment with this arrangement:  Day 1 – fast all day, eat all 600 cals at tea time.  Day 2 (consecutively) – eat 300 cals for breakfast and 300 cals for tea, the other days, eat what I like.  This works very nicely indeed for me.  I always find day one of the fast quite easy anyway; day two was always the challenge, but splitting the fast into two parts during the day makes the hunger pangs more bearable.

As for eating what like on the other days, this week I passed a new milestone, the frontline in the battle of the bulge, my waistline, has receded by a whole notch on my belt!  So I really do seem to be getting away with it, as it were.  Proof of the pudding (and I do love puddings) is the loss of another two pounds of dastardly fat.

Pete – Guest Blogger

The 5:2 Diet: Mickey’s Journey (Week 5, Part II)

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Saturday 8th September
On my way to Exeter this morning.  I set off at 08:40 without breakfast or coffee – big mistake.  I am soon munching on the cold pizza I have packed for lunch, shortly followed by a bag of Galaxy Caramels (a big bag) and just to make sure a Wispa bar (which I managed to drop all down the front of my shirt – an attractive look!!!)

I am really busy so manage to avoid lunch and I work through to 6pm getting back to the hotel about 6:30.  I even go for a 20 minute run before I have dinner.  Dinner consists of a nice healthy prawn and crayfish starter with very little mayonnaise and cucumber, Steak with salad and chunky chips and a pudding that has melted by the time I eat it and should be chocolate mousse with popcorn ice cream but is more like chocolate mousse with milkshake!!  The steak is too much so I leave half and the mousse to rich so again I leave half and very virtuously put it all outside the door to remove temptation.  So I manage to be reasonably within my daily and weekly points system so far.

Sunday 9th September
I get up with a spring and I am down in the swimming pool by 08:20 and manage 25 minutes of lengths, getting in about 20 lengths.  It is a 25 meter pool.  I then go back upstairs for a leisurely shower and down to breakfast, where I eat virtuously once again – poached egg on toast, yogurt, fruit salad and some fruit juice.  I take an apple for later.

I am again really busy all day, so just the apple for lunch and coffee during the day.  I finish work at 6:30 and trot off back to the hotel. No run tonight as I am too tired.  I order from room service again, this time not so good.  The starter is something called Seared Charcuterie, which turns out to be some sort of home made spice sausage one of which is palatable and one of which I could place on the sole of my shoe and walk on for a week and not notice any wear!  I opt for steak again as I don’t fancy anything else on the menu and the cheese plate for dessert.  Again I leave half the steak, but do eat all of the cheese plate. 

Monday 10th September
This is going to be truly difficult.  I have a fruit juice, coffee and poached egg on toast for breakfast with an apple for later again.  During the day it is fine again as I am very busy, but a bust up with a awkward member of staff makes me stressed so sends me back to the hotel in a bad frame of mind.  I have not eaten too badly so far and feel I have about 350 calories left.  I order Leek and potato soup, French fries, a crayfish wrap and the cheese plate.  I leave half the French fries and half the soup but do eat all the wrap and most of the cheese plate.  I must have eaten about 750 calories today.  Not good.

Tuesday 11Th September
I am driving home today at lunch time, so I have to have something reasonable at breakfast so opt for beans on toast with some mushrooms with coffee and water and 2 mini Danish pastries.  The fact that I am working all morning and driving for the rest of the day means I will have no problems with food till I get home.  Once home I am like a caged tiger, prowling backwards and forwards to the fridge and looking to see what I can eat.  I managed to avoid food till about 7:30 and have a frozen chilli beef dish – a weight watchers recipe that I made some months ago with 60 grams of pasta.  I then spoil it all by eating half a pack of minstrel in bed that night.  I must have had nearly 1000 calories today. 

This is the end of the five weeks and I should have gone to Weight watchers tonight.  I did not because when I weighed myself I was 13 stone 8lbs, the same as last week.  I was upset about that, but really I should have been less hard on myself.  I had just had a difficult weekend in a situation where it is really difficult to control what I eat and I had not put any weight on, so that has to be a plus point.  I am going to continue with the 5:2 diet as I like the fact that if I stick to the 500 on both days I have more leeway on the other 5.  It will be a challenge for the next 3 weeks as I am on leave, but this is for life, so I have to deal with it. 

I am also considering trying alternate day fasting later on in the next few months, but I really need to have a good strategy for attempting that, primarily a good food plan for those fasting days. 

Good luck to all those out there who try it and as over the 5 weeks I managed to boost my weight loss again and did take off nearly half a stone despite many eating mishaps both on and off the fast days I would highly recommend this eating lifestyle – because that is what it is, not a diet but an eating lifestyle.

Mickey – Guest Blogger

The 5:2 Diet: Mickey’s Journey (Week 5, Part I)

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Week 5 part 1
This week is going to be difficult as I am in a hotel on my own for Saturday; Sunday and Monday working in another office. I am going to have to save all my weekly points for the weekend so I can get through. The fast day on Monday will be especially difficult. Fasting in a 5 star hotel!!!

Wednesday 5th September
I am already starting the day with cake on my table. Two birthdays were celebrated on Monday and as I could not eat cake then, pieces were put aside for me!! This is not a good start when I know I am trying to preserve my weekly points till the weekend. However I have tried to be good and spread it over the next two days by putting each piece in a separate plastic tub and putting them in the fridge so I only eat one piece a day. Today I have only had one small half slice of Sticky Toffee Cake (M & S) and very good it was too. I made a Scotch Broth casserole (with leftover roast lamb), which was very healthy as it will make at least 4 portions and is loaded with vegetables. My husband can have most of the lamb. It was gorgeous, very tasty and filling. However pudding turned out to be a shared bag of Minstrels!! Still only had to use 5 of my weekly points so will have to be strong on Thursday and Friday now.

Thursday 6th September
Breakfast and Lunch were both nice and healthy: Fruit and yogurt and coffee and for lunch ham, cucumber, feta and tomatoes. Then I went and blew it by eating a half slice of walnut coffee cake, a half slice of Belgian chocolate tart and two weight watchers mini chocolate rolls. So much for eating just a piece of cake each day. Nevermind it is all gone now, so cannot eat it tomorrow so will be very good tomorrow. I have the will power of a rampaging wildebeest. I am doing several sessions at the gym tonight, bodypump, spin and bodyattack in the hope of making up for my gorging on cake. I have finally given up Zumba as I now find it too boring and prefer more high intensity exercise. I suppose this is an indication that my fitness is improving. Thankfully dinner is last nights leftovers so it will be quick and easy to do when I finally stagger in at 9 pm tonight!

Friday 7Th September
Very busy at work today as I am taking 14 PCs to our Exeter Office and have not quite finished the installs. This helps as it stops me having lunch and takes my mind off food. Consequently by the time I get home I have not had much to eat at all so opt for Pizza from Pappa John’s. It is lush and there is even some left for cold munchies on Saturday morning on the way to Exeter.

Mickey – Guest blogger

The 5:2 Diet: Juliet’s Journey – Almost Six Weeks!

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A dozen boiled eggs with lion marks visible in...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hubby and I have been on the 5:2 diet now for nearly 6 weeks. We are getting used to the routine of fasting. Sticking to Tuesdays and Thursdays as fast days means I can plan my meals well in advance and I seem able to cope with fasting physically and psychologically quite well now. In fact Tuesday this week was my best fast day yet.

Little and often works for me on fast days so after a small bowl of porridge I had a banana at break time, some salad later in the afternoon and a quorn fillet in tomato sauce for dinner. Hubby had cereal, a small sandwich and a boiled egg and salad. I didn’t seem to get too bad a headache on Tuesday and I was quite encouraged by the fact that at last I seemed to be losing a significant amount of weight (around 7lbs).

The second fast day went ok although I felt very tired. I am pretty sure that any minor ailments that occur on fast days are magnified. I will be interested to see how Hubby and I cope with fasting when the dreaded winter coughs and colds set in. Don’t know what medical advice would be on that, presumably using your common sense you would think that if you were really poorly you would not fast.

Talking of medical matters Hubby had his review at the docs as he has hypertension. The nurse advised him that it would be fine for him to continue on the 5:2 diet but did recommend that on fast days he eat food with as high nutrient content as possible and not just low calorie. In theory you could just eat a few chocolate bars or three packets of crisps to make up your 500/600 calories. Of course it seems obvious that that wouldn’t be good and I’m sure it wouldn’t give you much energy but I think the high nutrient idea is one I will keep firmly in the front of my mind when fasting. 

Juliet – Guest Blogger

The 5:2 Diet: Pete’s Journey – Sweetie Bonanza!

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Soft ice cream

My weeks are following a pattern now.  Come the last feed day of the week, I’m raring to go for my fast, and day one of the fast passes without too much trouble.  However, contrary to previous weeks, my second fast day was really hard.  I wasn’t going to cave in and go cupboard raiding, but the thought certainly crossed my mind.  I was so ravenous that the following day, I launched myself at food, so it was not so much a feed day, as a gorge yourself day.

The next four days followed a similar pattern; I consumed cakes, sweets, chocolate and beer like there was no tomorrow.  I did restrain myself at one point, given the stunning weather I fancied an ice cream from an inviting looking Mr Whippy van but decided not to bother, given that I’d already eaten about three packets of crisps and a packet of sweeties that day.

I’ll see how hard my fasting days go next week.  But if I struggle like I have this week, then I’ll try splitting the days instead of hitting them consecutively.

Oh, and by the way, despite my utter gluttony, I still managed to lose one pound this week.

Pete – Guest Blogger