Category Archives: The 5:2 Diet: Juliet’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: Juliet’s Journey – The Conclusion

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English: Checking the blood pressure by using ...

This is going to be my last post on this site and I must say it has been great fun and really helpful to write. Rarely, if not ever, have I focussed so intently on what I eat and indeed what Hubby eats.

Speaking of Hubby he had some great news following a recent blood test. His bad cholesterol was reduced and his good cholesterol was significantly increased in comparison with his last test. His blood pressure was lower and other markers such as kidney function were improved. All in all the nurse was really impressed and put most of the improvements down to Hubby’s new regime.

During the last seven and a half weeks on the 5:2 diet there have been quite a few challenges. These have included deciding whether to fast on holiday, dealing with headaches and hunger, irritability and what on earth was low calorie enough to eat on a fast day.

For Hubby and I the 5:2 diet has undoubtedly resulted in significant weight loss; me 9 lbs, Hubby 16 lbs. Alongside this Hubby has proof of increased health benefits and we have both begun to look at what and how we eat in a new light. Food tastes better, we both appreciate our treats more, and can now eat in moderation without scoffing until we are far too full. We generally have more energy and the fasting days get easier each time. We are both committed to continuing and are therefore faced with one last important dilemma – what do we do at Christmas?

Juliet – Guest Blogger

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

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: Juliet’s Journey – Onwards and Upwards

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Here I am again reflecting on my progress on the 5:2 diet and I realise the last week has certainly been eventful. 

I had a last minute offer of a ticket to visit the Paralympics on Monday so I rested my poorly back for a few days over the weekend so I would be match fit. My inactivity and some serious comfort eating over the weekend meant my weight started to creep up. Although weight loss is not the be all and end all for Hubby and I it is quite hard to feel motivated to fast when you are not seeing any benefits.

Had a wonderful day on Monday and fasted on Tuesday again. Didn’t do the gardening as my back was still sore, so overall I found it slightly easier. Lunch was soup which fills me up quite well, although Hubby still swears by his skimpy sandwich. For dinner we both had fish and salad. After dinner I started to get quite a bad headache but I am sure I am lasting longer in the day before they start.

I was chatting to a friend this week who is knowledgeable about diet and nutrition and she suggested  it would be good to try not to worry too much about three meals a day on fast days but instead swap to a  “little and often approach”. Combining this with some slow release carbs, such as oats, for breakfast and some high energy foods such as pulses nuts etc.  might help to combat the blood sugar fluctuations which could cause the headaches.

The following day was fast day so I tried to put these ideas into practice. I started with a small bowl of porridge, then a banana for early lunch, a bowl of salad in the afternoon then dinner of asparagus, boiled egg and salad. I definitely felt better during the day and my usual headache didn’t materialise until bedtime. Strangely though, I found it difficult to sleep because I suddenly became starving hungry with really bad indigestion.

Good news though, the weight loss kicked in again and Hubby has lost 8lbs and I have lost 6lbs. Hey ho, onwards and upwards.

Juliet – Guest Blogger

The 5:2 Diet: Juliet’s Journey (The Going Gets Tough)

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English: Beans on toast

 

Back to a normal fasting pattern this week with mixed results. Tuesdays and Thursdays are the days Hubby and I have chosen to fast this week.

I do some voluntary gardening on a Tuesday and I was feeling quite positive at the start of the day, my mind was distracted and my tummy was quite full from the day before. By break time I was starving so I decided to have a banana, I was quite conscious though that those calories would come out of my total later on. I started to struggle when I got home because I would usually have had a decent lunch and even a treat on a Tuesday. Instead I had a roll, a small slice of cheese and some salad. For dinner I had baked trout and salad. Normally after gardening I feel pleasantly tired and pretty hungry, today I felt wrecked and absolutely starving. Once again a headache was hard to shift and made it tough to stay positive.

We decided the following day would be a feed day as it was my birthday and although I had a good day I felt a bit under par. The next day would be a fast day but unfortunately I woke up on the Thursday with a really stiff and painful back. I have been having niggly back problems but this was something else. I felt like I wanted to continue with the fast day as usual but in hindsight I should probably have just given in and eaten normally. Hubby and daughter stepped up to the mark and waited on me hand and foot but I had a pretty miserable day coping with pain as well as hunger.

An issue that has kept cropping up has been what to do with my daughter on fast days. She is 13 and I am naturally conscious of the fact that she needs her full quota of vitamins and nutrients. Left to her own devices she will gladly feed herself all day with cereal, chocolate and preferably chocolate cereal. When not at school she will normally make her own lunch with me prompting her to eat some protein etc, fast days are therefore much the same. It is dinnertime that starts to pose a problem. On feed days I will usually make a meal for all three of us but on fast days Hubby and I have been dropping potatoes or other carbs and having a very scaled down meal for dinner. On these fast days I have had to make her a completely different meal from scratch or have resorted to a cook/chill option, a boiled egg, or beans on toast. So far I don’t think I have succeeded in maintaining her diet to the same level as before we started fasting and I haven’t solved the problem of not wanting to cook someone else a full meal when you are fasting.  A friend suggested cooking and freezing some favourite dinners in advance. This may be the answer as long as that cooking and freezing goes on on a feed day. I don’t think I could stand the temptation!

Juliet – Guest Blogger

The 5:2 Diet: Juliet’s Journey Continued

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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