So, I was just on the radio…. BBC Radio Leeds!
They found my blog posts about the 5:2 diet – e.g. http://digital-diva.tumblr.com/post/37325616885/5-2-diet and asked me to talk about my experience so far. A dietician also was featured who gave some very good balanced advice. The guys at BBC Radio Leeds were absolutely lovely and put me at total ease.
If you’d like to have a listen, go to: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p013c56b and listen from 12:40 until 20:10.
How I found out about the 5:2 diet
I read about it on Twitter and that it had come from a really interesting programme on Horizon where they had found a diet that not only helped you to lose weight, but that was actually good for you. So, I searched on the Internet for more info and found Dr Michael Moseley’s article about it on the Telegraph.
Why I’m doing it….
I was interested in the diet because of two reasons really:
- I’m quite a short-term thinker. If someone tells me that if I eat a slice of cake today, that I’ll put on weight next week…..I understand, but I’ll still eat the cake – I have very little will power.
- So, a diet that lasts for a week or more just seems like an eternity to me. I resent depriving myself.
- This diet suits me because I just have to “be good” for one day and then the next day I can eat normally. I was a little worried that I’d just binge the next day, but I’ve found I don’t. I either eat normally or even a little better than usual.
- This isn’t a fad diet. I’m really not a fan of diets that are all about rapid weight loss and are not good for your health, so I never do them. This diet interested me due to the health benefits. Cancer is something that runs in my family so anything I can do to help myself not get it is great.
How I do the 5:2 diet
Everyone seems to do it in their own way and the research so far doesn’t show that eating at a certain time of day for this diet makes any difference. I know that if I eat breakfast, then it opens the floodgates of my appetite, so I try to last until lunchtime, have some baked beans and egg whites….then last again until the evening, where I have porridge. I often can’t quite last, so I fill up on wholegrain rice cakes. I also have ½ a cup of Light Horlicks before I go to sleep, as I find it hard to sleep if I’m hungry.
My fast days are Mondays and Wednesdays – I find it easier to do if I’m at work because my day is fairly structured. I’d find weekends harder due to the lack of routine.
I tend to stick to the same thing each day because it’s easy for me to know how much I have left….however there are some great resources online for recipes (e.g. Lavender & Loveage) and the best way to keep track is just to keep a spreadsheet handy if you’re at work.
NHS Advice: Eat a balanced diet all the time
This is obviously very good advice and something we should all try to adhere to as much as possible, the 5:2 diet should never be a substitute for eating fruit and vegetables, not smoking, drinking in moderation etc. But I think where it falls down is in understanding everyone’s different relationships with food.
I try to eat balanced diet and I’d say I do OK at it around 60-70% of the time. The trouble is that other 30-40% where my will power lets me down. When it does let me down, I feel guilty….which all leads to me eating more cake! I personally find something that assists me with self-discipline really helpful in making sure I eat a healthier diet.
Does the 5:2 diet create unhappiness?
Sian Lawson’s article in the Guardian is a really interesting one and does raise some valid questions that we should consider. However, this goes back to my point about everyone being different. Our relationships with food are different. Someone who has the thought patterns where they could take the fasting too far should not go on this diet, no. I agree with Sian that if you start to reward yourself say with lipstick or shoes as a treat for doing a fast, then that may lead to thought patterns and a relationship with food that isn’t healthy. However, my relationship with food isn’t like that. I do my fast days and I don’t want a reward for doing them. I just feel glad that I’m doing something that’s good for my health and that I’m finally sticking to a diet.