Hello, wonderful people!
How are you doing? How are you coping with this winter? I am actually counting days until the spring season as winters in the UK are gloomy and rainy… And winter weather in general puts me off doing something interesting or productive. The situation, however, will change quite soon as spring season is just around the corner. Only a short February left, and, at least, in the calendar we will be soon seeing March.
Time flies, guys, and in 4 months we will have summer which means it’s a bikini season. And, to be perfectly honest with you, a ‘bikini season’ is a fearsome phrase to me because my body is not ready for it at all.
As always, I struggle achieving my New Year’s resolutions, and I almost always fail at adopting a healthier lifestyle. But this year, I said to myself, will be better with regard to my nutrition and fitness.
So, today I’ll introduce you to the lifestyle/diet/eating plan (whatever you call it) that I decided to pursue this year hoping to loose some weight and become a healthier person.
If you follow my blog, you’ll probably recognise the main picture of this post. Yes, yes, this book was featured in my 2015 favourites.
Indeed, this book became my 2015 favourite with a reason. The philosophy behind this book really fascinates me and inspires me to try it myself.
I am planning to do one post per month covering this 5:2 diet as well as my personal experience with it. Today’s post will briefly introduce the principles of this diet as well as my preparation for this new challenge. If you are already interested, I invite you to subscribe to my blog as this would prevent you from missing any posts in the future.
Subscribed? Great! Thank you! We can now begin! 🙂
5 key claims of the 5:2 diet
First of all, let me tell you, guys, that all these principles are paraphrased and taken from the original book (The Fast Diet by Dr Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer), so, all the credits go to authors of this book.
If anyone asks me how would I describe this diet in one sentence, the answer is simple – Five days per week you can eat whatever you want whereas 2 nonconsecutive days per week you fast and consume around 500 calories. It might sound harsh and really restrictive but don’t be under a wrong impression… It is the other way round. Don’t really get how? Let’s look at the principles of this diet.
The success of this diet lies in psychology
More precisely, the principle of 5:2 is about the restrictions for 2 days and normal/usual eating for another 5 days. Sticking to this simple principle for a longer term unconsciously leads you to healthier choices of food on days when you are not restricted (5 days per week). As authors put “<…> fasting teaches you better ways of eating. If you follow our recipes and satisfy your hunger on fasting days by eating vegetables and good protein, then over time you’ll discover that when you get hungry (on your normal days), you are more likely to crave the healthy stuff.” It’s up to you to decide how scientifically strong this argument is but let’s be honest it sounds about right, doesn’t it?
This diet/lifestyle can be maintained for much longer periods in comparison to other popular diets
I mean, tell me if you have never tried any popular diet in your life? Probably we all tried, and we all were disappointed with the results. I’ve tried every single diet in the world, and none of them were sustainable. You can quickly loose some kilograms but they come back onto your hips at the same speed you lost them. The 5:2 diet looks somehow more sustainable, and I personally think that I can quite easily convince myself to ‘survive those two days and enjoy my cheese cake on a normal day’. Hahaha. Although for maximum results with this 5:2 diet, you should still be cautions about the cheese cakes… This diet doesn’t restrict you on your normal eating days, so, in theory, cheese cake isn’t left outside the boat.
Fasting principle is not something completely new
Our distant ancestors neither had shops such as Tesco or Asda nor they had a McDonald’s just around the corner, so they were hunting and gathering food. And, yes, there were times when they were forced to fast for long periods or until someone brought some sort of prey of hunting. Our ancestors had to fast/starve involuntarily but they somehow survived as we are evidence of their survival and their prolongation of humanity. In short, our body is coded to fast.
In addition, authors note that fasting is not new due to the fact that “<…> fasting remains an article of faith for many. The fasts of Lent, Yom Kippur and Ramadan are just some of the better-known examples.” Fasting had been practiced through different religious for millennium but only now it started attracting so much attention.
The 5:2 diet can lead to positive health improvements
I don’t want to spill the beans about all the things and scientific evidence described in this book but this diet can significantly improve your health (proved not only by the authors’ own experience but also by the scientific research) cutting your risk of a range of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Weight loss+improved health= a double bonus!
Those, who want to see even better results, can easily combine this diet with high intensity training (HIT) workouts
Are you that kind of person who wants to see quick results? Wait for meee, I am the one. The 5:2 diet on its own (without exercise) does result in weight loss which could be described as particularly sustainable but not super quick. But if you are like me and you want to see results instantly, a combination of the 5:2 and HIT can work wonders. Authors put some real examples when HIT combined with fasting can bring amazing results to your body and health. Unlike the conventional diets with massive restrictions of certain food groups, this diet can be easily combined with short HIT workouts as you’re not restricted in calories to a point when you don’t even have strength to perform any kind of physical activity.
So, as you can see from my summary of 5 key characteristics of this 5:2 diet, it sounds pretty amazing. But you must all the time consult with your doctor before opting to follow any diet 🙂
I finished reading the book, digested all the information and started preparing for this diet because someone once told me “If you prepare, you never fail”. I had to buy some bits and bobs such as scales to weight my food and some supplements to make sure I always get the right amount of all the nutrients I need. Being vegetarian and going on fasting can be stressful in my case, so I wanted to be on a safe side.
In the picture below, you can see all the things that I’ve got.
Some time ago I also got a food and fitness journal (on the left top corner) which I could not utilise before due to eating unhealthy and not counting calories. But soon this journal will come into effect as I will be aiming to track my calories for at least 3 months.
During this January, I was experimenting with myself and doing some random fasting days while observing how I feel. Some days were hard but I felt that it is hard mentally rather than physically, and that feeling of hunger can be something in your head rather than in your stomach.
That’s probably it for today. I hope you found this post interesting, and if you did, please follow me on social media channels for more updates on my journey.
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