Beginning The 5:2 Diet

Have you heard of the new diet that everyone’s raving about? Named a few different things (including ‘The Fasting Diet’ which scares me), the idea is that by suppressing your calorie intake on two days out of 7 it uses your body’s Insulin-Growth factor to burn fat.

Now, I had a baby 9 months ago. I was one of those women you hate; through breastfeeding and not much else I managed to regain my pre-baby weight of 8st 9 within about 8 weeks. It was nothing short of incredible and made me feel pretty bloody brilliant.

However, this winter has been a hard one and through one thing or another (a new found love for Haribo Gummy Bears, Carbonara being super easy to make, the discovery of a bloody brilliant Indian takeaway) I’ve slowly put the weight back on. This probably isn’t apparent to anyone other than me but I’ve noticed more of a wobble to my bum and my tummy (where I naturally store weight) looks three months pregnant. Not ideal, I think you’ll agree.

This has meant that I’ve slowly started covered up a bit more than I used to. My jumpers are getting baggier, my jeans tighter. I have one pair that now leaves an interesting seam print on my inner thigh when worn; more than anything this is uncomfortable and has sent me back to my old H&M maternity leggings. Probably wrong to be wearing these when your baby is nearly crawling, no?

So, it’s time to diet, and the 5:2 seems like a fairly painless way to do it. You focus your efforts on two days of hardcore dieting rather than seven of semi-dieting and apparently you see results – fast. I know what I have to do to maintain my healthy and happy weight (around 8 and a half stone – a size 10), I just need to get there. Recording the diet here will give me less opportunity to stuff my face with Haribo and Takeaways as I’ll be recording my diet and exercise regime.

There’s lots of information about this diet online and in books, but because I’d rather be reading books written by the Real Housewives of Beverley Hills than ones about food, here are the main points of the diet I’ll be sticking to:
- No more than 500 calories on Monday and Wednesday
- No more than 2,000 calories every other day
- Reduction of treats, (Haribo, cake, chips, takeaways)
- Only eat homemade bread
- As few ‘fats’ as possible: butter, cream etc
- Reduction of ‘white’ carbs like pasta
- Exercise/activity at least three times a week

Easy, yes?!

The first two points relate to the 5:2 diet but the last five have been useful when I’ve lost weight before. I’m a sucker for bread and carbs but they bloat me like nobody’s business and I’m determined to get a tummy that doesn’t need control pants or maternity leggings for summer.

In the interest of honest and transparency here’s what I’ve eaten this weekend and my current measurements:

Breakfast – 2 pieces of homemade bread toasted with butter and jam
Lunch – pub lunch: ham hock terrine starter, fish and chips
Dinner – Indian takeaway: butter chicken, lamb passanda, goan fish curry, garlic naan, spinach side

Breakfast – 2 poppadoms with mango chutney (it had been a long night!!)
Lunch – quarter pounder with cheese, french fries, coke (like I said, a long night)
Dinner – roast lamb, potatoes, peas, carrots, leeks. Chocolate cake. A late night snack of left over takeaway.

Weight: 9st 6lbs

Thigh (top): 22 inches
Arm (top): 12 inches
Hips: 37 inches
Waist: 31 inches
Boobs: 34 inches

Size: 12 (or big 10… my 10s are a squeeze though)

For more some sciency reading on the 5:2 diet have a look here, or here’s some not so sciency reading. Here’s a great Pinterest board of recipes for the 5:2 diet.

15 thoughts on “Beginning The 5:2 Diet

  1. Claire

    9 stone 6 pounds is my target weight – apart from losing a stone when I squeezed out Betsi I am carrying ALL of my baby weight. *sigh* – so how’s it going now, given up and resorted to a haribo loaded poppadom yet?

  2. Helen

    Well done for managing the day. I tried this last week and buckled by 3pm. Will give it another go next week when my toddler and baby are sleeping and well again ( well a girl can dream – pun intended)

  3. cee five

    I enjoyed reading your post and am looking forward to more. I will have to learn what amount a “stone” equals, and to decipher the names of a lot of the foods you mentioned.

    I decided to try this after hearing about it last week on television. Since I fasted (mandatory) for Ash Wednesday, and decided that I like fish too much for it to be a sacrifice on Fridays, I’ve already been fasting every Friday during Lent. Adding one extra day per week was actually easy. It was just that first day (Ash Wednesday) that was difficult. For the 500 calorie day(s) , I eat a block of tofu (that whole sacrifice thing being the major component of the Lenten Fridays). But, there is NO WAY I’m going to count calories or write down what I eat. Who needs/wants all that extra busy work? I’m also not going to put up with special recipes. I’m jut going to eat well 5 days a week, and fast 2. Optimism high, game on!

  4. Leigh Turner

    Hi Alice…
    I am a food loving piggy mum of two…my youngest is now 1 and I need to lose approx 1.5st.
    My friend just did the Rachel Holmes kick start fat loss programme which seemed so severe but, as my husband has been away all week so less cooking/less temptation, I decided to give myself a black & white approach!
    So, a week tomorrow, I’ve had no dairy, no white carbs, very little sugar (mainly in carrots etc but no fruit & only one chocolate nest :) & no caffeine….zzzzz!
    After 2 days I’d lost 2.5lbs but then Aunt Flow came to town & I’ve been so bloated it’s hard to tell…
    On a positive note, my appetite is much less although I still struggle at kids tea time nibbling theirs! So, I feel like the need to find a diet that I can maintain as I now know I can survive the fasting days and would really appreciate the normal days!!
    Hence, I would really like to hear how you’re getting on. Good luck & boy do I wish my realistic goal was a size 10 ;)

    1. Alice Harold Post author

      Sounds like you’re getting on really well with this!! It’s not working well for me at the moment, I think partly because I’m still not getting much sleep, but I plan to try again in the future. I think the key is to PLAN PLAN PLAN! I.e. make sure you’re eating foods that will fill you up rather than salad all the time (boring). Good luck!!x

  5. Pingback: Good Feng Shui through being healthy « Health « Feng Shui Tips

  6. Christine Gregg

    Hi. I’ve been on the 5-2 diet for 3 weeks and so far have lost 8 lbs !! I find the easiest way for me is to drink black tea all day – earl grey is quite nice and save all my calories for the evening. I have a 300 calorie ready meal plus 50 cals of veg at about 6.30 and then a slice of toast from a small whole meal loaf with honey and a mug of options hot chocolate at 10pm to make my 500 cals. I then go to bed! I’ve found it relatively easy to stick to – and I am usually useless at dieting. I fast on Monday and Wednesday to get it over with early in the week. I also have a post it on my fridge saying ” I can eat anything I want tomorrow” Good luck to everyone.

    1. Niketa

      Hi I have been doing it for 3weeks too and have not lost any weight!!! What could I be doing wrong?? It’s soo depressing

  7. Emily

    I started the 5:2 last Friday, which is to say, I started paying attention to what I was eating (without really stopping myself). Today is my first fast day and I’m ready! I mapped it out over the weekend. Egg whites with spinach for breakfast, cottage cheese and fruit for lunch, small fish fillet and veggies for dinner. Ive even got room for a light yogurt in there. Wish me luck! I’m very optimistic about this as one day seems to be the longest I can stick to anything these days. Keep the posts coming! I love reading about everyone’s experience with this

  8. sue

    You don’t have to starve, or count calories to lose weight, I`ve lost 17.5lbs since Christmas doing slimming worlds food optimizing. It`s s healthy way to lose weight and its sustainable!

  9. Adrian

    I want to lose just 7lbs. I started today with a bowl of porridge made with skimmed milk with a sliced bannana on top.

    Went to work, drank black coffee and one white tea from 8.30am-4.30pm

    Came home, had a meal of a small baked potato, 25grms cheddar, lettuce, cherry tomotoes, sliced pepper, 1/2 a small avacodo

    Total 530 calories, no headaches or light headedness Im happy with that, tommorow back to normal, an then second fast Wednesday. I will update this time next week. Its now 8pm and im feeling ok.

    1. cee five

      Once you get past the first two weeks, it gets easier. Lots easier. You may want to space those fast days out a little more (two or three days between, rather than one “eating” day).

      Week 6 and I HAVE to buy new pants – they’re far too big now.

      1. Adrian

        WOW thanks thats fantastic news, smaller pants sounds great, a 34″ waist down to a 32″ waist would be fantastic in 6 weeks, i would be very happy then. ( im a male)

  10. christine

    Hi, good luck everyone. Ideally i would like to lose 40 kilos. Had my first fasting day yesterday, it went well. I drank coconut detox all day and ate nothing, is this advisable if i do this for my 2 fasting days? Ive tried every diet possible, ive been overweight since I was 16……im now 56. I will document my progress on here…….good luck

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