Tag Archives: Calorie

5:2 Diet Recipe Ideas



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.


Is The 5:2 Diet Just TOO Boring?

Diet and Nutrition


I haven’t written about this diet for a while, so decided to have a look at how popular it is a few months after it was first discussed on the BBC Horizon television programme. I was surprised to see that there is still an awful lot of buzz around the diet. This article written by Siobhan McNally discusses the author’s short journey on the diet and concludes that “it may mean I get to live longer, but in the meantime I’m going to die of boredom“.

Do you agree that this diet is just too boring to stick to? Is boredom the biggest factor to overcome, or are there other problems such as fatigue or a healthy social life that have blocked your path to success?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!


The 5:2 Diet: Ashleigh’s Journey Week Four


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: Mickey’s Journey (Week Four, Part II)


Missed the gym this morning, but did do an afternoon body pump session.  The resistance work is supposed to be the best way to lose fat.  I have never enjoyed pump before, but had an epiphany 2 weeks ago and since my charming husband told me that I could not wear a sleeveless dress because of the wobbly bits under my arms I have desperately been trying to tone them up.  Yes he is still breathing, but only till I think up a suitable punishment. 

I slow roasted a leg of lamb, which was lush, but as I have 2 fast days next I have had to freeze the meat left over so that I can make a scotch broth on Wednesday.   I roasted the potatoes in with the lamb and they were to die for.

Monday 3rd September
All started well today.  I managed to get through to 2pm with only 81 calories eaten.  I then blew 95 on a Cadburys Fredo the frog, small but costly!  I had the rest of last weeks veggie chilli (it did seem a bit short on chunks of veg) and rice.  I then ended up having half a Magnum.  So 150 calories on top of the 450 I had eaten for the day.  I supposed 600 is not too bad, but still a slip up.  I went to the gym again for another body pump session to distract me from eating.  It worked quite well  as by the time I got in it was time for bed and was easy to bypass the kitchen.  My food record is the same as my school report – must do better!!!

Tuesday 4th September
I have found it really easy to stick to my 500 today.  I had coffee for breakfast, bovril for lunch and a small banana mid afternoon. This left me with 400 calories for the evening.  So I had veggie curry and rice with a very small lamb chop.  I am looking forward to eating tomorrow.

Weigh in night tonight and disaster I put on 1 lb!!  Where did I go wrong?  Reviewing the weekend, I must have over eaten, but I did track everything I ate.  Perhaps my slip ups last week on fast days meant that I ate far more than 500 calories.  Or did I perhaps do too many body pump classes and have I put on some muscle.  I really was not expecting to put on, but will have to put it behind me and keep going. 

I suppose I have to be realistic and realise that my body is still going to have all its normal ups and downs, despite this different diet and sometimes you do just put on weight one week.  I probably lost more than I should have done the previous week and this is just my body adjusting itself.  The real problem is that the weight goes on so quickly and without you knowing, so you find yourself be labelled obese before you know it, but the losing takes far, far longer than it took to put it on.  If it did come off as quickly as I wanted it, I would be left with yards of hanging skin that had not had time to adjust back.  Patience is a necessity when you are trying to lose weight (and a dash of iron will power).  It is really hard to believe that I am now heading into week 5 of this new style of eating!!!

Mickey – Guest Blogger

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


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: Mickey’s Journey (Week Three Part II)

Individual egg custard tart from Nash's Bakery...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Saturday  25th August
Didn’t go to the gym this morning, but did do loads of house work which kept my mind off food.  Did not eat till late afternoon and considered having a fast day today. But gave in during the evening and ended up eating Morrison’s Southern fried chicken steaks and Morrison’s special fried chicken rice.  Very high on calories, but tasty and quick. 

Sunday 26th August
I had a rowing club taster session today.  It was fun. I am going to sign up for the rowing course in September.  It must be good exercise.  Family barbecue tonight at my house, so lots of food to prepare and lots of temptations!  I have made some Sangria with sugar free orangeade.

The BBQ went well despite the cold weather and the food was yummy.  Very difficult not to over indulge, so I did not have burgers, but did eat the belly pork rashers, (fat and all). What with millionaires cheesecake and trifle to follow I well exceeded my daily points allowance and used up 20 of my weekly points.  Oh well fast day tomorrow!

Monday 27th August
At home today so fasting will be difficult.  Started with coffee and yogurt.  I am going to eat very sparingly till evening.  I am drinking oxo to curb hunger pangs and have prepared a vegetable chilli for dinner tonight that will have less than 100 calories per portion.    It is no so difficult to ignore the need for food, until I go near the fridge.  Then I just want to stick my head in the fridge and just eat indiscriminately whether it is cooked or not.  Oh well I will sit on the bed and watch Sense and Sensibility.  Managed to keep to just over 520 calories today, so not too bad at all.

Tuesday 28th August
At Home again today and this time it really was a problem.  We visited a friend who had laid on cakes and did not understand the idea of fasting at all!  I went for an egg custard tart that seemed the least offensive at 244 calories and filled up with lots of coffee.  Lunch was an oxo cube again and vegetable chilli for dinner.  Unfortunately I broke all the rules that night and shared a pack of minstrels with my husband (and not a small pack either).  Having said that at weigh in I did lose 2 ½ lbs, so despite the blips it is still working.  I am now down to 13 stone 7lb and for the first time in 20 years I weigh less than my husband.  I have also now lost continuously for the last 4 weeks and have lost 1lb short of half a stone.  It has given me a real boost.  I am firmly committed to the 2 day fasting. 

I think from my point of view I really would recommend this as an ideal way to lose weight and to try to control what you eat.  I find that I don’t over eat on my feeding days, it probably helps that I am following Weight Watchers, so I am still writing down what I eat and I keep within my points allowance for the 5 feeding days. 

The irritation or pain of fasting for two days is a small price to pay to be able to have more freedom on the other 5 days and to be losing weight again.  If you plan properly and have support from your loved ones then it really is not a major problem.  The only obstacle is your self discipline (something that I know I need to improve on during fast days).  The only caveat I would again state is that you must always check any diet change with a qualified medical practitioner, so that you can be sure that you are not doing any damage to your health.

Mickey – Guest Blogger

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


 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