I’ve been doing the 5-2 diet for seven weeks now. It’s been reasonably effective, I have lost 4 ibs despite eating my usual ‘shed loads of food’ on the non fast days. This is good, and now I’m only 4 ibs off my target weight of 9 stone.
I find it easy to be positive, joyous even, about the 5-2 diet on days when I’m not fasting. Fast days though, I won’t lie, they are a challenge. So for those of you considering 5-2 I am going to give you an honest account of a fast day from my perspective.
7am: Wake up, stumble downstairs, consider what to have for breakfast. Remember you are not having breakfast as it’s a fast day. Boil kettle to prepare ‘delicious’ hot water and lemon drink. Drink hot water and lemon drink and feel virtuous.
7.30: Make packed lunches for children. Narrowly avoid cramming leaking grated cheese into mouth, remember you are fasting.
8.30: School run. Think to yourself that this fasting thing is fine, easy even. Then remember that it’s only 8.30 and therefore you have only gone 1.5 hrs without food.
9.30-12: Take Wonder Girl home. Do play dough/painting/jigsaw puzzles. Remember biscuits in the cupboard, narrowly avoid eating said biscuits. Do not finish Wonder Girl’s mid morning fruit snack. Hunger levels slowly rise throughout the morning.
12: Make Wonder Girl’s lunch and heat my ready meal (bored with counting the number of calories in a piece of cucumber I decided to buy two healthy low cal ready meals for fast days). Eat. Feel better.
1.30: Wonder Girl naps and Robo Boy watches TV. Feel surprised to be hungry again. Remember that your lunch only contained 200 calories. Feel less surprised. Drink large glass of water.
3: Pick up Super Kid from school. Take all children home and prepare afternoon snack. Keep busy while they eat it and try not to avoid dropping to knees and scooting along the floor underneath them, hoovering up their crumbs.
3.30: The children are playing. You are playing mind games with yourself attempting to deny that you are hungry.
5: Cook dinner for Purpledad and the children. Fight the urge to eat bits as you prepare. Run through a list of the health benefits of intermittent fasting as you cook. Try not to focus on the part of your brain telling you that YOU ARE REALLY HUNGRY NOW. Tell yourself that you can eat whatever you want tomorrow. Ignore the part of your brain saying WHO CARES YOU ARE REALLY HUNGRY NOW YOU FOOL.
5.30: Eat your ready meal, feel much better.
7.30: Children in bed, spend the evening relaxing on the sofa and ignoring how hungry you are. Avoid programs like Secret Eaters and Come Dine With Me. Avoid the kitchen.
10: Go to bed, hungry, but happy that tomorrow will be an eating day and for now the fasting is over.
So as you can see on fast days the hunger does kind of sit on your shoulder all day. That said if I was on any other diet my level of awareness around food would need to be high every day. So this does feel like a good compromise. I think ultimately I would prefer to have been granted the wish to be able to eat whatever I wanted and still remain my preferred shape and size. Until that wish granting pixie visits though I’m sticking with 5-2.