Category Archives: The 5:2 Diet: Ashleigh’s Journey

So, how are you all getting on?

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It’s been a while since I have wanted to write about the 5:2 Diet. I never intended this site to be diet-based, but it’s still drawing in hundreds of visitors every day. I have to accept what my audience wants!

I just wondered how everyone is getting on with the 5:2 diet? How long have you been on the diet and how successful has it been for you? Did Christmas hinder your efforts?

Also, I am once again recruiting a guest blogger to share their personal dieting story (5:2 only, please). This time I will focus on just one dieter to keep it simple.

Email me at HEC527@live.co.uk with a paragraph about why you’d like to write for this blog for the foreseeable future and I will choose an appropriate volunteer  by Friday 25th January.

I require a writer for one or two posts per week and preferably someone with good grammar so I don’t have to do too much editing.

I look forward to your submissions!

Thanks for reading,

Heather
We Eat Things

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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: Ashleigh’s Journey Week Four

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So, last week ended up being a bit of an experiment, and an unsuccessful one at that. The plan was to take everybody’s advice and do two non-consecutive fast days. This is meant to be the ‘proper’ way to do the 5:2 diet. It is said to be easier and therefore i thought i would prefer it. So, the week started well, i did my first fast on the Sunday, and as usual, I completed it without any mishaps. However, after only one fast day, I didn’t feel the same level of accomplishment as I do after two consecutive fast days, and therefore I found myself back to my usual habits of eating, eating and eating, throughout Monday and Tuesday.

By Wednesday I was ready for my next fast. I started the day with my classic poached egg on toast, a delightful breakfast at only 225 calories. At midday i had a small apple and a handful of dried berries (only 75 calories in total) just to keep me going. But by tea time I was definitely ready to eat, and a lovely homemade bowl of pea and mint soup was on the menu – my all time favourite! As i was making the soup I was precisely totaling up the calories, and as it is such a simple soup, one quite large bowl only has 120 calories – I was delighted. So I had that, plus a small slice of bread. Bringing me to exactly 500 calories. The day had been quite easy so far, but, that fast day was the first one I had ever had to go to work on, so off I went, I did my 5 hours waitressing, and by the end, as i had predicted, I was starving. Despite this, I declined the chef’s offer of a bowl of tomato and mushroom soup, stating that I was all ‘souped out’! But i wasn’t, I could have scoffed the lot.

And then Thursday morning came, and just like on the Monday, I didn’t feel as though I had just finished a fast day, and so, back to the eating I went. And, come the weekend, this pattern of eating just got worse. I had thought that by doing two non-consecutive fast days, my eating would level out, and I would consume less on the feed days, however, instead, I seemed to feel as though I wasn’t fasting at all.

I didn’t get a chance to weigh myself until the saturday this week, this could be because I wasn’t looking forward to it as I really didn’t feel as though I had lost any weight, in fact, I thought I would have put on. But it does seem that despite my lack of control, I did manage to loss 1 pound – its better than none! But, right there and then, standing on the scales, my decision was made, next week I will go back to my consecutive fast days.

I know that having consecutive fast days is not the way it is meant to be done, but to be honest, I think what is more important is finding a pattern that works best for yourself. Even if that means struggling through two fast days in a row, and eating the same thing on each of those days, at least there is the promise of weight loss at the end of it all.

Ashleigh – Guest Blogger

The 5:2 Diet: Ashleigh’s Journey (Week 3)

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It has been a while since i updated you on my progress with the 5:2 diet, but it’s been a busy week. Finding a new job, handing in my resignation and everything that goes along with it, but now that it is all done, I can finally concentrate on the diet again.

So, throughout the rest of last week I continued to record my food diary and I have noticed a recurring pattern of calorie consumption between my first and second week on the diet. After my two fast days, I consume about 1500 calories on the following two days, however, by the last two days of the week, I sometimes consume up to 2500 calories a day. It seems that immediately after the fast, my body is incapable of consuming much, and I can tell you for a fact that I feel great during those days. However, by the end of the week, I struggle to keep it all together, by then, my body is getting used to eating ‘normally’ and I revert back to old habits.

However, despite this lack of self control, I had another weigh-in on Friday, and I am pleased to announce that I have lost another 2lbs, taking my total weight down to 11st 13lbs. It feels good to be out of the 12‘s. However, I feel that my fluctuating calorie consumption is inefficient, and therefore this week I have decided to do things differently. Several people have told me that it is actually recommended that your fast days do not occur consecutively. Furthermore, as I tend to consume less on the days immediately after my fast days, I feel that spreading the fast out will also spread out the days of lower consumption. Hopefully, I will no longer have any days where I consume more than 2,000 calories.

Therefore, for this, my third week on the 5:2 diet, my fast days will be on a Sunday and a Wednesday. Hopefully, this will help to balance out my calorie consumption, and lower it throughout the week.

However, as for last week, well, I made a promise to myself – and that was to make my fast days as exciting as possible. So far, I’m not sure if I have managed that. My first fast of this week was yesterday, and once again I started the day with my classic fruit salad = 140 calories. Although I may sound unimpressed by this, I do really enjoy it. If you haven’t tried Totals 0% fat yoghurt, then you really should, a dollop of that on top of any fruit salad, plus a drizzle of honey just makes it heavenly.

Anyway, as for the rest of the day, well I allowed myself a sneaky home baked cookie at midday. I admit now, that baking banana and chocolate cookies during one of my fast days was a horrendous idea, however, I only had one, and a small one at that. I calculated that the cookie would have about 180 calories, and so for my tea, I had a teeny tiny bowl of spiced carrot and lentil soup, which at only 130 calories, left me room for a small apple later in the day. So fair enough, it wasn’t a bad day, but it is the first time I have found myself struggling to keep below the 500 calorie mark. I mean, I wanted to eat so many more of those cookies, but I did manage to control myself.

Today, I have done not badly so far, and by the end of the day I predict I will make it to about 1,700 calories, which I feel is a good count for a ‘feed’ day. If I can keep all my feed days at that level, then manage all my fast days, then I think I will manage to continue this for a long time to come. I am hopeful that this weeks new way of doing this will work out well, however, I do worry that by spreading out my fast days I am not giving body enough of a rest. I will try this for a week, and if my body doesn’t respond as well to the diet as it has been then I will try my old tactic again.

Ashleigh – Guest Blogger

The 5:2 Diet: Ashleigh’s Journey (Week Two)

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 Unlike last week, since Thursday i have actually managed to eat sensibly during my ‘feed’ days. I think keeping a food diary has helped, as it really does stop me from going over 2,000 calories. I even did a bit of back tracking and discovered that during my first week of the 5:2 diet, on 3 out of 5 of my ‘feed’ days i consumed about 2,200 calories. Not good! And, it really made me realize that before i started this diet i was probably consuming that many calories pretty much every day of my life, no wonder my weight was constantly increasing. Anyway, as for this week, well, on my ‘feed’ days I have been averaging a calorie consumption of approximately 1,700 – not bad eh? Even sticking to that alone would help me lose weight.

But, the key to this diet are the ‘fast’ days, which I have also successfully managed to complete this week. However, despite the lack of hangover this Sunday, I actually found the fast more difficult than last week. It probably didn’t help that I had very little food in the flat, so my breakfast consisted of one 95 calorie Nature Valley Bar, which although I enjoyed, it did not really satisfy my breakfast needs.

However, I made up for the boring breakfast with my lovely tea. I used the spiced tomato dal recipe from this article in the Telegraph. At only 248 calories per portion, I served it with some fresh brown bread – thus totaling only 350 calories. I really recommend this recipe for anyone else on the 5:2 diet, I mean, I couldn’t even finish the portion – it was just unbelievably filling, but also very tasty. One problem though; I had this for my tea at 5pm – so early for me, and I had to survive the rest of the night without eating anything. So once again, plenty of fruit tea was consumed before bedtime.

However, there is one thing that never ceases to surprises me about the 5:2 diet – the way that hunger works. I will refer you back to what Michael Mosley said in the Horizon documentary: ‘I was convinced that hunger would build day by day, getting steadily worse…But what I found was that, after the first 24 hours, things got better. I had hunger pangs, but they passed’. This is exactly what I have found as well. The Sunday is always the hardest – I have to constantly remind myself not to eat, and I feel hungry A LOT! But, by the Monday, I awake in the morning with no feeling of hunger! It is a great feeling; it really feels as though I am in control of my body.

Anyway, on the Monday, I had a boring food day again. Just like last week, a day of fruit salad, poached egg, dried fruit and tea. Yeah, not all together! But, I made it to the end of another two ‘Fast’ days, however, I have promised myself that next week, I am going to make ‘Fast’ days exciting – if it is at all possible.

Ashleigh – Guest Blogger

The 5:2 Diet: Ashleigh’s Journey (End of Week One)

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English: A single broken poached egg on 2 piec...

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have reached the end of my first ever week on the 5/2 diet, however, in the beginning I made a decision that I would only weigh myself at the end of every week, and this morning it was the moment of truth. Thankfully, to my surprise, I weighed in at 12st 1lb, a whole 3 pounds lighter than this time last week. Therefore, if I continue at this pace I should be perfectly on target to reach my goal. Hurahh!

However, good news aside, I would say that in general this week has been a poor week for my health regime. I felt so positive after my first two fast days, but since then it seems that everything has gone downhill. On the Tuesday morning after my fast days I gorged down a double helping of poached eggs on toast (yes, I do eat a lot of egg – but I enjoy it), and afterwards, felt horrendous! I guess, in a way, this is a good sign, a sign that my stomach can no longer handle such large portions. But, despite this, I continued my week in the same manner, just eating whenever and whatever, as I used to before. 

And to make matters worse, I was away from home this week, resulting in a severe lack of exercise. My two regular exercise classes were forgotten about, as was my daily run. I was not feeling healthier, fitter, or slimmer. Therefore, this weight loss has certainly come as a surprise. 

But I have a theory! Basically, after the fast days I was used to eating very little, I had become accustomed to it. Therefore, although I may feel as though I have been eating badly during my ‘feed’ days, it could perhaps be the case that, I am actually eating less than I used to before the 5:2 diet, but as I am used to eating very little on the fast days, it just feels like I am eating more. Anyway, in order to gauge exactly how much I am eating, and whether or not I am eating more than usual on the ‘feed’ days, I am going to start a food diary. I will simply calculate and record the calories in everything I eat, and hopefully I will find that my calorie consumption is decreasing.

Even though I have only completed 1 week of the 5/2 diet, I feel as though it has changed the way I think about food. Before, I was a strict believer that eating 2000 calories a day was essential for a healthy body. However, I can now see that this belief probably led me to eat more than what is necessary. Now that I have experienced consuming less than 500 calories a day, I see food in a different way. I have learnt that, for me anyway, food had become a habit. Now that I have broken the habit, I feel that I can move forward and learn to consume food in a different way.

Anyway, I am enjoying this diet, and the buzz that completing the two fast days provides. However, it is still only the beginning, and I am sure I have a lot more to learn along the way.

Ashleigh – Guest Blogger

The 5:2 Diet: Ashleigh’s Journey (First Fast Days)

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More strawberries from http://www.ars.usda.gov...

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, I am at the half way point of my first week of the 5/2 diet, and I have finally completed my first two fast days, which were definitely not easy.

I officially decided to start the diet last Thursday, and between then and Sunday I should have been eating ‘normally’. However, I was anxious about my two fast days, and as I result I am sure that I ate much more than normal. I mean, gorging on teaspoons of Nutella is definitely not normal – but it is delicious. Anyway, it is safe to say that I did not get off to a good start. Despite this, I have come through strong as my first two fast days were a success!

After a late night on Saturday for a friends leaving party, Sunday’s fast was a challenge. A hungover Ashleigh loves chips and chocolate, but chips and chocolate I could not have! Instead, I awoke late in the day and made myself a rather delicious but simple fruit salad. At only 169 calories, it consisted of grapes, raspberries, 0% fat Greek yoghurt, a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of dried pineapple. I scoffed the bowl within seconds. I must admit, afterwards I was still tempted to grab a bar of chocolate, but I resisted, and I was proud of myself for doing so.

However, come 6pm, my family are happily gorging on their fish and chips from the local chipper. I know they know I am jealous – the old Ashleigh would have managed to consume dozens of those chips. But I did well, as they devoured their greasy 700 calorie meal, I sat across from them with my 260 calorie poached egg on toast. Yes, it’s simple, and yes it is maybe boring, but eating it felt good, it felt deserved.

On Sunday night I had to endure a 3 hour bus journey without any chocolate or crisps to snack on. However, I did have some dried fruit and ‘very berry’ tea to keep me company. By this stage I was feeling positive, I had managed one full day on less than 500 calories, and I felt I had managed it quite easily. However, on arrival at my destination, my lovely friend decided a coffee and cake was in need. After a long explanation, I managed to get myself out of it, I ordered a fruit tea, and watched her eat. That was by far the hardest part of the day. I wanted to let myself go and enjoy myself, but all i could think about was resisting the food. But I did it; I made it to the end of the day in under 500 calories.

Then came Monday – my second fast day of the week. I awoke feeling positive, I knew I could do it, another day of under 500 calories, it would be easy. But, as you can imagine, it really wasn’t. I had a busy day ahead of me, and very little time to plan what I was going to eat. I decided I would just do the same as the day before, that way it was sure to work. And it got off to a good start. I enjoyed my fruit salad breakfast, and it really did set me up for the day. I began feeling hungry again at around 2pm, so I nibbled on a few pieces of dried pineapple; problem solved!

However, by 5pm, I was feeling tired and lethargic. I wasn’t sure if it was all the travelling from the day before, or my lack of sleep in the unusual bed. But I definitely didn’t feel myself. And it became even worse when I was asked to cook tea for a friend. Of course I was happy to do so, but it was the first time I had cooked for others whilst ‘fasting’.

I don’t mean to blow my own trumpet, but it looked and smelt absolutely delicious. He of course, confirmed that for me, and whilst he enjoyed my lovely cooking, I ate my poached egg on toast. Another 500 calories down, I knew I couldn’t eat anything else again that day. But as I sit writing this, I am in a wonderful Glasgow coffee shop, with homemade scones, croissants, fruit loafs and chocolate cakes, all of which are extremely tempting. But they remain untouched, well, by me at least. I have had another mug of fruit tea – its 2 calories will keep me going until bedtime. This day was a challenge, but I know I can wake tomorrow and enjoy a day of ‘feeding’, and I couldn’t be happier.

Although my two fast days have been tough, I already feel ten times better for it. Despite feeling slightly tired on Monday, I have had no negative side effects. So far, only many positives to be taken – the main one being that I can do it! Just 5 days of normal eating to go before my next set of ‘fast days’ – and I am surprised to admit that I am looking forward to them.

Ashleigh – Guest Blogger