So those who follow this blog might have read my post: ‘When Your Weight Fluctuates‘ on my recent weight gain. No biggie really-pun intended- but enough to make me want to do something about it.
I’ve endured some pretty stressful times over the last few months with an unwell family member and I’ll admit, the biscuit tin appeared to help immensely.
Not in the long run for sure (hello a new dress size up and 8lbs in weight) but the last thing on my mind has been healthy eating.
Until the last few weeks. Now life is back on track again and I feel stronger and inspired to tackle the weight gain.
I visited my blogging bestie Mirka of All Baby Advice and Fitness 4 Mamas twice in the last few weeks -having a girlie lunch together and also a film première date (I know right, all the glamour)…and from the minute we met up, I knew something was different about my Bae- my gorgeous Mirka was literally GLOWING, she’d lost weight (not that she needed to) and was a walking, talking ad for the Fast Diet.
Her motive is improving her health, the weight loss, an added bonus.
I needed me some of that and pronto!
You can read Mirka’s Fast Diet post here….
The Fast Diet isn’t new to me either.
I’d first tried the diet when Alexander was a baby to help kick-start baby weight loss (I didn’t do it long term) but it helped me lose weight and feel healthier at a time I was seriously tired- but it’s been years since I’ve fasted in any way.
Now, with weight to lose and a wardrobe crying out to be worn again (see you soon LBD’s)- and most importantly better sleep to be had (I’d been suffering with interrupted sleep and nightmares), I was determined to give the 5:2 diet another shot.
I re-watched the documentary, dug out the book, followed its founder Dr Michael Mosely on twitter- and after a quick once-over on the site, reminded myself of the drill.
Basically the 5:2 Fast Diet means exactly what it says on the tin (of low cal soup)-2 days out of 5 you need to limit your calorie intake to 500 as a woman, and the rest of the week, eat normally. For the 5 non-fasting days try and eat healthily if you want to lose weight but you can eat in a more free way than if you were simply sticking to low-carb for example.
And the science behind the diet and why it works-
Humans have a growth hormone called IGF -1 which helps us grow as children but ages us in adulthood. High levels of this hormone leads to diabetes, heart disease and cancer in men and women so if you lower these levels, cells switch from growth mode to repair mode and it uses up glucose so burns fat and you lose weight. Simple.
The diet can help you change your body chemistry!
Today is day 5 of fasting so far- and let me tell you folks, I am feeling FIIINE!
I cooked up two big batches of soup for the fridge and freezer (lentil, mushroom and chicken) and although the diet states 500 calories on fast days for women (600 for men), I’m not super strict so veer to around 600/650 as I did the first-time round and this works for me. I do exercise 3 times a week, mostly on non-fast days but Mirka runs on them and feels good doing so.
For me, the most noticeable side effect so far has been sleep. I have literally never slept better. I was suffering from intermittent nightmares and these have stopped completely and although I’m sleepier on Fast Days, I’m working as normal and haven’t felt ‘hangry’ yet.
Yes the nightmares ceasing are no doubt a result of several things-switching off earlier, getting into a night time routine as I do with the kids-bath, book and bed but I do think the diet has helped too.
My skin is clearer as well-yes I know-in just 5 days of fasting- and I definitely eat less on the non-fast days than I did before as my body has adapted to fewer cals on fast days.
I also don’t deny myself on the normal eating days and that’s REALLY the beauty of this diet. Yes, I know a low carb way of eating is best for my body as I have PCOS and it’s what I stick to 80% of the time but knowing I can have my cake and eat it too if I fancy it, feels flipping fantastic.
So let’s see how I get on with this moving forward. Summer is coming and I’d like to wave goodbye to my tummy.
I’m not saying this diet will work for everyone. I have friends who hated it when they tried it and said it made them miserable.
Others felt they could only do it for a short time, pre-holiday for example-and I know I won’t be doing it during PMT time!
A former work colleague lost the weight and reduced to just 1 day of fasting a week so she could reap the health benefits.
All I know is, the Fast Diet has so far, started making a difference to how I feel for the better- and I won’t lie, I want the ‘extra baggage’ from my midriff gone and quickly.
The most persuasive thing about eating this way is of course the health benefits though-to know that by giving my body a rest on fast days helps to replenish cells and prevent disease.
There’s no better incentive,
Have you tried the Fast Diet yet or will you give it a go?