Tag Archives: Health

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall on The 5:2 Diet

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

TV Chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has this week written an article for The Guardian, about his recent experience on the 5:2 diet. He explains that fasting for two days out of seven has resulted in him losing an impressive eight pounds since the new year.

Hugh refers to it as The Fast Diet (I see it as more like The Eat Diet as you can eat more most of the time rather than less most of the time) and says, “…The Fast Diet says I can continue to butter my bread, cheese my butter, and raise my glass – at least for five days a week. It also promises much more than mere weight loss. It will reduce my bad cholestrol, protect me against cancer and even sharpen my mind. It pretty much promises that I will live longer, and healthier. As my half century approaches, that’s quite a punchy proposition.”

He then goes on to say, “could this diet, and the knowledge that underpins it, be harnessed to make a genuine impact on global health and the obesity epidemic? In principle, the answer would seem to be yes. (Though it wouldn’t be popular with the supermarkets, would it? Imagine if we all started shopping for a five-day eating week. That’d be more than 25% of Tesco’s turnover down the pan.)”

“So I believe in this fasting thing, I really do. With my strictly non-snacking version, I’ve lost eight pounds already, and I find the whole thing rather exhilarating. I feel I might just be part of a health revolution. But is it really sustainable, for me or for significant numbers of others?”

His article refers to a book written by Michael Moseley and Mimi Spencer. Michael was the guy in the original BBC Horizon documentary about the diet and Mimi Spencer is a columnist for YOU Magazine.  The book is currently a UK bestseller on Amazon, so this whole thing is obviously catching on.

…if only I’d written that book! 🙂

So, how are you all getting on?



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,

We Eat Things

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: Pete’s Journey – The Final Chapter


I no longer think of myself on a diet.  I’m still doing 5:2, trying to be flexible on which days I do my fasting, but it’s not a diet.  I think I’ve actually changed the way I think about food and the way I eat.  Now I just happen to like to have two days a week when I take it easy and make do with 600 cals.  That’s it really; it doesn’t seem a big deal now, just a minor part of my lifestyle.

I hardly even notice the hunger anymore.  I’ve come to enjoy the feeling of having a completely empty stomach.  After a few hours of not eating I feel a huge rush of air gurgling up from my insides and echoing through my tummy in a muffled roar.  I like that – it’s a lot more pleasant feeling than it sounds!

My weight loss has slowed, but not stopped.  I’m pretty much holding steady with a good, healthy BMI of 24.5.  Officially, I’m no longer overweight, and I do feel better.  No more indigestion, no more squeezing into too tight jeans and no more trying to suck my gut in.

I think 5:2 has been a big success for me, all the more so because I don’t feel I’m really trying.  I’m certainly not restricting what I eat on feed days, so there’s never a point where I can crumble as so often happens in traditional diets.  All I need to do is just slow down a bit two times a week.

It’s a piece of cake!

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

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.

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.

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: Mickey’s Journey (Week 3)

Feta from Greece

Feta Cheese (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is the beginning of week 3 and so far so good.  I have lost 3 ½ lbs in the first 3 weeks and I am happy with this as I was in a cycle of loose 4 lb put on 5 lb that had persisted since May this year!

Wednesday 22nd August
I seemed to have a real craving for sugary stuff today and managed to eat my normal daily healthy food, plus 2 milky ways, a serving of Kelly’s Ice cream and a Double Decker.  This is not good. 

I think that I am due for my period, so this might explain the craving.  I was weak-willed and gave into it today, so I am going to be strong and make sure that I try to keep my treats under control.  I don’t want to damage all my good work by indulging in nutritionally empty food.  I was also very lazy last week with exercise and only did one body attack class all week (plus a 45 minute swim in rough seas.)  I did not do any exercise to day, but fully intend to do 3 classes on Thursday.  

Thursday 23rd August
Have started well today with just my coffee and fruit and yogurt and I have got to lunch time without chocolate.  I now need to get through lunch time and into the afternoon.  If I can avoid chocolate at work then maybe I will treat myself at home tonight. 

I am doing a Zumba class, a spin class and a body pump class to night at the gym.  That is a total of 2 ¼ hours of exercise, so that will be good for me and keep my metabolism going.  Lunch time now and I will be having ham, cucumber, tomatoes and feta cheese with Bovril and followed by a banana.

Friday 24th August
Not a good start to today.  I had to visit the docs to discuss blood test results and it seems I am anaemic.  This is probably due to increased periods because of the onset of menopause, but she still wanted me to have a chest X-ray for some reason!!  This is a tad worrying.  I explained about my weight loss and my change to the 5:2 Diet and she did not have any issue with that.  Also I have to take iron tablets (welcome to the world of constipation!!) oh joy.  Let’s just hope this is a temporary issue, because otherwise all my other bloods were fine.  Perhaps I will have to start having raw liver for breakfast (yuck).  

We have a Bank Holiday weekend approaching which is sure to lead to a few over-indulgences, so perhaps today I ought to try to have a very low and healthy food day (to compensate for the blips at the weekend). Mind you, I am going to do a Rowing Club taster-session on Sunday so that should burn off a few calories.  If I like it I am going to sign up for a six week course, because I am sure that it will be very good for upper body strength and toning (not to mention bloody knackering).

Had a hectic lunchtime; my stress levels were so high when I got back to the office that I ate my lunch, (a scone with jam and a Milky Way) and I’m still looking for something to eat (or someone to kill) – either will do!

Mickey – Guest Blogger

The 5:2 Diet: Juliet’s Journey


Just getting to grips with the 5:2 diet! I have been on the diet now for eight days, today being my third fast day.

I started the diet after watching Michael Moseley’s inspirational documentary “Eat, Fast and Live Longer.”  Having lost both parents-in-law in recent years to cancer and having a family history of diabetes my husband and I felt it was time to take action. We are both on the “chubby” or shall we say “a bit overweight” side but we are both quite active – yoga, gardening and dog walking mainly. However in our late forties we have noticed it is harder to shift the pounds and niggly health problems have started to creep in.
The first fast day was undoubtedly tough. I was starving, felt hunger-sick, lethargic and was generally miserable with a headache that came and went. Hubby fared slightly better and we obsessively weighed everything and used an “app” for our Android smartphones to calorie count throughout the day.
On feed days we seemed less hungry and definitely were not eating as much per day as we would have normally.  I seem better able to cope with “the munchies” on feed days and don’t snack as much. I have already lost 4lbs, but the actual weight loss fluctuates quite a lot from day to day. Yes I know you shouldn’t weigh yourself every day but I can’t resist at mo’. Hubby has lost 2lbs but claims that he has had to tighten his belt as his trousers keep falling down!
We didn’t fast on consecutive days just 2 out of 7, this made sense to us so we could plan a day to fast when we wouldn’t have too much on. Typical intake on fast days has been 500 calories for me and 600 for Hubby. We both start with a small bowl of cereal for breakfast. For lunch Hubby has a sandwich (2 slices bread, ham or cheese). I have loads of salad and 1 slice of cheese (edam). On my third fast day I had a slimmers soup which seemed to fill me up quite well until the evening. Dinner is normally loads of salad and 1 small piece of grilled fish or 1/2 small quiche. No snacks – boo hoo! Black decaff’ tea all day, amazingly the hot tea makes us feel better when we are really feeling hungry.
All in all the 5:2 diet experience so far has been both good fun and yet at times quite gruelling. I am convinced though that the health benefits will outweigh any negatives. I can see today that the third fast day has been much easier than the previous two. I am therefore determined to persevere and it has been made easier by having Hubby to compare notes with. Here’s to many more weeks of torture (only joking).
Juliet – Guest Blogger