food for twenty hours and limit eating
to between, say, 1pm and 5pm. Again, this may maximise the benefits.
try to postpone eating all day so I can eat in the evenings but I'm not sure
this helps much. It probably does re: the metabolic changes needed for fat
mobilisation and brain growth, because the longer we go, the better it is, but
it might undermine the repair at night side of things. The research suggested
eating at mid-day but I fear once I start eating I would want more.
The truth is that there isn’t a study I’ve found comparing
different fasting configurations. I am sure that will come, but in the
meantime, experiment to find your best approach.
Consecutive or non-consecutive?
Most people schedule the days non-consecutively as the
hunger pangs can be stronger and a two-day fast can become an ordeal rather
than a ‘mini-break’. This risks making it less sustainable than the
non-consecutive option. Some doctors would also be wary of someone undertaking
a fast for more than twenty-four hours without being checked thoroughly
beforehand, and maybe being supervised.
WHAT will I eat on my Fast Day?
Exactly what you like… so long as it doesn’t exceed your
500 or 600 calories isn’t a lot to play with. But, take it
from me, you can still make satisfying choices.
for breakfast. Apple and yoghurt for lunch. Chicken and salad for dinner.
Loads of cups of tea with a little milk,
nothing till supper, then a normal family supper with few/no carbs.
All home-made food so it's hard to work
out the calories. I'll avoid carbs and alcohol and have a small helping of
chicken or fish and lots of vegetables - a bowl of home-made soup and fruit for
the other meal. I'm aiming to only eat between 12 and 6, too, on most other
I stick to fruit and veg, beans on toast,
soups, Weightwatchers ready meals.
There are plenty more sample menus and food ideas in the
third section of the book. I do recommend planning in advance - the very last
thing you want to be doing on your first Fast Day is going into the
Obviously, it also depends on how many meals you’re planning
to have - it’s very easy to find ready-meals with 400-500 calories if you’re
only having a single meal, but it gets slightly harder if you want two or even
three. That’s where soups come into play - they tend to fill you up for longer,
with fewer calories.
I am also more careful to remember to take a multi-vitamin
during the fasts: not because I think a day or two of eating less will do
serious damage, but it’s a good insurance policy.
HOW will I monitor what I eat on Fast
Studies suggest that dieters who keep a record of what they
eat tend to be more successful, and it will help you pinpoint where you might
be going wrong if you need to amend your habits or consumption. You can either
do that electronically, or jot it down in a notebook.
The brilliant thing about 5:2 is that most of us only need
to record what we eat on Fast Days – so much less hassle. If you’re eating ready-made
meals, recording your consumption can be very easy. They all have the
nutritional information on the packet or just scan the barcode if you have MyFitnessPal
on your phone. Online sites allow you to keep your diary completely private or,
if you find it helps to keep you motivated, share it with others.
If you’re cooking from scratch, weigh the ingredients
carefully and then either use a calorie counter book or MyFitnessPal to add up.
I prefer the latter because it does the sums for you and thousands of
other users are constantly updating the site with new foods or brands. On top
of this, you can use it to calorie-count your own recipes. It’s how I’ve done
the dishes in Part Three , for example. A digital scale is most accurate, or you
could try measuring cups or spoons (so long as you don’t overload them!).
At first, you’ll