I’ve searched high and low so that you don’t have to (you’re welcome). There are loads and loads of delicious 5:2 recipe ideas out there. Women are supposed to eat 500 calories or less on a fast day, and men 600 calories or less.
You can of course snack on a handful of 100 calorie things throughout the day, or you can save yourself for one main meal. This post details recipes for meals that are 500 calories or less.
This Thai Carrot Salad recipe over at the BBC Good Food website looks amazing and is only 192 calories per serving!
Their Steamed Fish with Lemon, Ginger & Chilli recipe is just 153 calories per serving.
Love pizza and can’t even resist it on a fast day? Why not try this 316 calorie Smoky Corn and Black Bean Pizza over at Eating Well! Or how about these Turkey and Lettuce Wraps at just 285 calories. Amazing!
This site called Real Simple has created a calendar of 31 under 400 calorie meals – one for every day of the month! My favourite is the Spiced Pork Chops with Red Cabbage and Raisins. Delish!
Health.com also have some great-looking ideas, such as this Maple-Glazed Salmon with Pickled Cucumber.
If you’re in a rush or just aren’t a fan of cooking your grub from fresh, why not try a low-calorie ready meal? Marks & Spencer have a low-calorie range called count on us…™. They’re a selection of ready meals all under 400 calories and less than 3% fat.
For the forseeable future I will now be writing a couple of articles per week for AGI Magazine. My first is this article on the potential dangers of fish rich cuisine. Enjoy!
Follow me on Twitter if you like @weeatthings
Post holiday blues have really set in now. Mountains of washing have been done and it is time to reflect and report on how we got on with our holiday fast.
We tried to engineer the fast days so we would only have to fast once on holiday. We seem to have more or less succeeded because we have managed 4 fasts in 15 days. We chose to fast the day we hired a boat on the Norfolk Broads, our thinking being it would not be too strenuous and we could drink loads of black tea (we had a cute little galley kitchen on board).
To begin with I was seriously grumpy. I’m sure much of the challenge of fasting, especially for me, is psychological. I felt like I was being cheated having to fast on holiday. I had my normal fast day breakfast of a small bowl of cereal as did Hubby and to eat on the boat I took both of us one of those tuna salad ready meals in foil. They are quite tasty and are handy if you can’t prepare fresh food (calories are around 250 per portion). I have noticed on fast days that the flavours of food seem intensified. Hunger, as usual, came and went in waves but there were no temptations such as biscuits and crisps. There was plenty of black tea. So much black tea that I flooded the diesel cooker (yes just like you do when you use a manual choke on a car, if you are old enough to remember!).
Once we were off the boat and back in the holiday house I made my usual huge salad for dinner. I had a small portion of smoked mackerel with it and Hubby chose to have some smoked salmon. Unfortunately Hubby also has quite a delicate stomach and within the hour the salmon (which we belatedly realised was dodgy) made a reappearance. He really did fast that day. It took him most of the next day to recover. Both of us have been finding the day after the fast the most difficult but for Hubby this was compounded by the sickness and diarrhoea from the day before.
A few days later and back at home Hubby has recovered and is delighted by the fact that he has lost 6 lbs in two and a half weeks. I however have lost 3 lbs but am equally delighted by that. I have tightened my belt a notch and feel generally a bit more trim. Although the weight loss is of course important, the overall health benefits that we are hoping to achieve are spurring us on.]
Juliet – Guest Blogger
So here we are on holiday trying to work out when to attempt a fast day, or indeed whether even to attempt one at all.
Rewind a couple of days: Hubby and I knew it would be a big ask to try and fast whilst on holiday. After all don’t most people enjoy a bit of indulgence when on vacation. We are in this country though, Norfolk to be precise, and we are determined.
As I mentioned before we don’t fast on consecutive days so we decided to cram a couple of days in before the holiday so we could get away with only one fast day while we were away.
We coped quite well with the first of these two days of fasting but I do find it takes until after lunch the following day before I feel back to my normal self. Although I feel really hungry post-fast I don’t seem able to eat huge portions and feel full quite quickly. I also had a bad headache which wouldn’t shift. I have always suffered from headaches if I miss a meal – presumably related to low blood sugar.
Unusually because of the holiday we decided to fast again with only one feed day in between. Although this seemed like a good thing to do both Hubby and I struggled. Both of us had really low energy and felt quite disheartened. I discovered a tuna pasta salad ready meal in a foil tin lurking in the back of the cupboard. Having checked the best before date (aren’t those things generally about 5 or 6 years) Hubby went for it consuming 253 calories in one glorious fell swoop. I can’t tell you how jealous I was, staring as I picked at my half a tiny quiche and salad.
Back to the holiday, we have made a decision. We have indeed indulged (my stomach is really growling and complaining about the lack of fresh fruit and vegetables) and I am quite looking forward to a fast day to reset my clock as it were. We both feel like we are still losing weight but have no scales so will probably get a shock when we get home.
We have decided to fast on the day we take out a boat so will have no distractions from not eating.
Will let you know how we get on. Wish us luck!
Juliet – Guest Blogger
Here’s a great article I found with some recipes under 250 calories. I particularly like the look of the Roasted Shallot, Aubergine and Cumin Filo Tart.
This Slimline Livorno Fish Stew over at London Unattached looks absolutely amazing and is something I’m definitely going to test out very soon! Without any bread it’s around 300 calories and the whole thing only takes just over half an hour to prepare and cook. Ideal!
Have you discovered any low-calorie meals that you’ve been eating on the 5:2 diet?
I like this post, which gives you 100 snacks under 100 calories each!
Is it possible to eat too much fish? I eat fish and seafood about four times a week. I frequently eat barbequed prawns, mackerel salads, tuna niçoise, salmon en croute and mussels. It’s safe to say I’m a massive fish and seafood fan.
There are many health benefits to eating fish, including that white fish is lower in fat than any other source of animal protein and fish is packed full of omega-3 fatty acids (‘good fats’). Omega-3 fatty acids are great because:
- They help to regulate blood clotting and vessel constriction.
- They reduce tissue inflammation, so help ease symptoms of arthritis.
- The fatty acids may play a beneficial role for those with irregular heartbeats as well as reducing depression and halting mental decline in older people.
- One study showed that women who ate fish just twice a month reduced their risk of heart disease by as much as half!
However, it has been discovered in recent years that eating too much saltwater fish like tuna may increase exposure to mercury (which is toxic). As mercury builds up over time, it can itself cause heart disease and damage to the central nervous system.
Fish with naturally occurring high levels of mercury include swordfish, tuna, mackerel and shark.
“It’s been proven that the level of mercury in fish isn’t dangerous to health,’ commented Sarah Jane Smith, at British Heart Foundation. “We still recommend eating at least two portions of fish a week.”
The advice seems to be, as with most things, eat fish in moderation. This means no more than a couple of fishy meals per week.
I often eat a small serving of natural yoghurt as a healthy snack – an alternative to more delicious treats such as cheese on toast, pizza or things containing bacon (let’s face it, although scrumptious, the more tasty options in life aren’t always the best for us!)
After a little research, I discovered that actually, it is more of a healthy option than a fattening one (yay)!
- Yoghurt generally contains a lot of potassium, calcium, protein and B vitamins – all of which are great for your overall health.
- It has the capability of stabilising your immune system.
- It can destroy bad bacteria in our intestines.
- It has been discovered that women who eat yoghurt four times a week have less vaginal and bladder infections than those who eat no yogurt at all.
- Natural yoghurt doesn’t contain the processed sugars that are found in other yogurts.
- Natural yogurt can lower cholesterol.
- Livestrong.com state that; “Yogurt might enhance fat loss when combined with a reduced-calorie diet, according to a study performed by scientists from theUniversityofTennessee. Obese subjects followed a reduced-calorie diet with or without yogurt for 12 weeks. Researchers found that the yogurt group lost more body fat, especially around the trunk region, compared to the control group.”
- One 150g pot of natural yogurt contains up to 1/3 of your recommended daily calcium intake!
The only problem with natural yogurt is that it can be fattening if you don’t eat the low-fat kind. So, the best natural yoghurts to eat are definitely low fat (some only contain 2% fat).
Not only is it a great snack on its own, but natural yogurt also goes really well on cereal, with fruit or in more tempting recipes such as this Swordfish dish over at An Eye For Food.