Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Week One of the 5:2 diet complete

I am pleased to report that as of yesterday morning I am 1.5lb lighter than I was last week!

I fasted (consumed no more than 500 kcal) Monday and Thursday of last week, and ate freely for the rest of the time. I also did an exercise DVD twice and went for my Sunday morning run (well more of a run/walk/jump over the HUGE puddles while shrieking this week!)

I must admit I used the “eat freely” statement to my advantage and my “normal” eating was one of a crazed crisp addicted person! I did pig out a bit on my feast days, where I probably shouldn’t have!

On Friday, I had Crunchy Nut Cornflakes for breakfast, then for elevenses a Costa Chai Latte (skinny) and a gingerbread man, and for lunch I had two ham rolls and crisps. I also had a Burns Night Supper, with a lot of Haggis, Neeps, Tatties, Cream Sauce, wine (a whole bottle for me) and a wee dram all followed with Terry’s Chocolate Orange, Christmas cake and crisps! Whoops.

Saturday was not much better on the alcohol and crisp front. Double Whoops. According to My Fitness Pal I ate more then 3000 calories on Friday alone. LOTS of whoops!

On Sunday, we had friends over had toast with butter for breakfast, Spag Bol (cooked SW style) Salad (with Avocados and Olives), ½ a bottle of wine, 3 mini bread rolls with butter, Pizza Express Light House dressing on my salad, parmesan and a portion of pudding! For tea I had an Uncle Ben’s sweet and sour rice time. So Sunday’s menu reflects more “normal” eating, a little bit of what I fancy but not overboard and not being greedy.

Due to Friday and Saturday’s excesses I didn’t think I had lost any weight at all. I was pleasantly surprised then, to discover my 1.5lb loss!

Yesterday was another Fast Day – much easier when I am at work! I will keep you posted with my progress….. Crummy Hubby is now on beard and trying it too – he had better not lose more weight than me! Grrrr!

I am vowing to be better with my late night snacking this week. My ongoing craft projects may get a boost!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

One Fast Down…..

So, on Monday I started the 5:2 Diet. See Monday’s blog for more info as to why!

Here’s how it went…..

I decided to start on a day when I am at work, thinking that keeping busy would help me. I don’t usually have a huge breakfast anyway, as I start work at 7am and cannot face food before I get to work. Breakfast for me is usually some fruit or a yoghurt at 11ish! With that in mind, I decided that I would split my daily 500 calories between lunch and dinner with a rough 200/300 split.

I started my working day with a cup of black coffee and sweetner (not too bad as I normally only have a splash of skimmed anyway, and according to the guys I work with skimmed milk is just coloured water!) By 10am, I had started on a bottle of sparkling water. At 11am I was glad of the bubbles as they helped to keep my hunger at bay. Come 12:30 I was ready to eat my own arm! So I had my salad that I had dutifully prepared, all 61 calories worth, and a Clementine (31 calories). I had planned to have a Mullerlight Yoghurt for 91 calories with my lunch, but I didn’t het round to it! That afternoon I had Lady Grey tea with no milk, and I salivated all over the children’s fishfinger and chips dinner – but I dutifully scraped the leftovers into the bin (whereas before I would have sneaked them into my tummy!) and turned instead to my trusty sparkling water!

For dinner I had pasta with a vegetarian sauce (50g dried weight pasta, with a courgette, mushroom, garlic, onion, pepper and tomato sauce - all for 302cal) I had the Mullerlight Yoghurt for pudding instead.

All in all I consumed 485 calories, and drank lots of water. I’m keeping a count of my calories by using the My Fitness Pal app. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy I found it, and although I was hungry, I was not unbearable! I didn’t feel light-headed or faint at all.

OK, I WAS in bed at 8:30pm – but that was because Miss Bags decided that she wanted to get in my bed. Crummy Hubby was on a late shift and this has become one of Miss Bags’ little foibles….. so in order to get her to sleep before 9pm on a school night I relented and clambered in next to her and watched TV. I fell asleep at my normal time of 10ish.; and I COULD have snuck next door and raided the chocolate stash hidden from Christmas – but I didn’t!

I was also a wee bitty naughty this morning, and stood on the scales (Once a week! I hear you all cry…. Yes yes, I know!) they showed a 2lb loss!

My next fast day is Thursday – wish me luck!

Monday, 21 January 2013

Back on the wagon....

Happy New Year! 

Christmas and New Year are now distant memories and we are now 3 weeks into January. After a festive season of almost constant eating and drinking, I managed to put on 7lb. If I am honest, it was not just the festive period, it was in fact most of December. I was like a child in a sweet shop, eating and drinking as if I was never going to see food again! It all began with a trip to my local Slimming World meeting, where I had managed to stay in my target weight range (albeit right at the top). This meant I had been at target – apart from one blip after my holiday for a WHOLE YEAR! Woohoo! I thought it was a get out of jail free card…… after all I had been following the SW principles for the most part during the week, being a bit more relaxed at weekends and the weight was staying off….

Clearly, and as I soon found out, this was more luck than judgement; in December and over Christmas I ate and drank my way through 7lbs worth of extra weight!

I would have thought that 3 weeks into the New Year, and back into the routine of work, school, exercise and meal planning, I would be happily reporting the loss of those extra lbs. Sadly not.

School and work did not start back until 7th January for us, so I kidded myself that it didn’t really matter and I would start then….(meanwhile I continued stuffing my face – Domino’s Pizza anyone?)

So, in reality we are now 2 weeks in, after I clambered back on the wagon. I have lost 4lb, but this weekend I have fallen off the wagon so spectualulary, I have managed to find 2 of them again ….. I have lost my SW mojo. My jeans remain snug and my tummy wobbles (more than usual).

In a bid to keep fit, I have kept up with my weekend runs, and I have started using my Jillian Michaels 30 Day shred DVD…. Now I haven’t been “shredding” everyday, but every other day, interspersed with Miss Bags informing me that “I do this at GymMinis”, and me chasing The Wilburbeast after he has liberated my 2kg weights – yes he is freakishly strong! Even this was not enough to prevent the 2lb gain caused by this weekend’s excesses!

The Holy Grail?

It has been with some interest then that I have been reading about the 5:2 Diet, and the successes people have had while following it; not only with weight loss but also other aspects of their health. Can following an Intermittent Fast Diet, fasting (well severely restricting calorie intake) for just two days a week, and eating “normally” for the rest of the week really be the Holy Grail of dieting?

Dr Michael Moseley presented a Horizon programme for the BBC back in August 2012, where he investigated the effects of fasting on the human body - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19112549. In a nutshell the 5:2 diet involves very low calorie restriction for two days a week and allows normal eating for the other five days. Although the number of calories consumed on the two days a week is restricted, it is up to the particular dieter to decide how to divide them throughout the day; men can consume 600 calories and women 500.

 The Daily Mail has said of the diet, “Gorging yourself on as many burgers, chips and cakes as you like one day then eating fewer calories than you find in a cheese sandwich the next might sound like a worrying eating disorder. But this regime of chomping away to your heart’s content one day, and virtually starving yourself the next is the latest diet craze. It’s known as ‘intermittent fasting’, and devotees insist the pounds just drop off.” 

Furthermore, other health benefits attributed to the 5:2 Diet include improved cholesterol levels, an improvement in blood sugar levels, and a reduction in IGF-1 levels. IGF-1 is a hormone that is needed in youth for growth, but in adults high levels of this hormone contribute to ageing and also cell growth which in turn raises the risk of developing cancer. However the general consensus within the medical community is that fasting has not been studied enough to conclude it’s benefits in humans.

This leaves us with anecdotal evidence amongst the goriwing number of people that have tried this diet, not least Dr Moseley himself and his co-author Mimi Spencer. They have written a book about the 5:2 diet The Fast Diet and having read it, it seems like something I could do.

Eating “Normally”? 

The one thing I struggle with, is the concept of eating “normally”…. What is “normally”?? “Normal” for me in December was pizza, McDonalds, lots of Wine, Macaroni Cheese, Chocolate, Christmas cake, cheese, sandwiches, crisps, dips, twiglets, cheese footballs, more chocolate, more wine and peanuts. Not a lots of fruit and veg at all. When Dr Moseley refers to eating “normally” in his book I think he means a diet in which everything is allowed in moderation, to remain healthy.

While there is no doubt that my beloved Slimming World has indeed worked for me, after a year of tracking Healthy Extras, and a festive period in which every day became a Flexi Syns day (or indeed a complete blow out), and my complete failure to get my SW mojo back, I have decided that a change is as good as a rest…….

So I am going to give the 5:2 diet a whirl….. knowing that should it not work for me, or if I find restricting my calorie intake to 500kcal too hard in practice I can always go back to Slimming World.

I am starting today, I have weighed myself and taken my measurements. This week I am planning on having my fast days on Monday (today) and Thursday this week. The rest of the week, I shall continue to eat a balanced diet, as promoted by Slimming World, but if I decide to have a slice of cake, or a biscuit, or eat a meal out that pushes me over my syn allowance, I shall not beat myself up about it… nor will I deprive myself as I have done in the past.

I will be back later, describing how my first day went, and next week with my food diary for the week and my weight and inch loss stats.