I don’t write much about losing weight, but it’s an ongoing side project-my baby is almost seven months old, and I put on a huge amount of weight when I was pregnant (FIVE STONE), so it needed to come off. I’ve lost about 3.5 stone so far, so am getting there-1.5 stone came off pretty quickly, but the other two have gone since I started doing the 5:2 plan in September.
5:2, if you haven’t heard of it, is about eating normally for five days of the week, and fasting for the remaining two-not a total fast, women can eat around 500 calories on a fast day. I lose 1lb a week most weeks, and more than than sometimes-I’ve had the odd week where I stayed the same, but the following week has always seen a really good loss to make up for it. So other than keeping to the 500 calorie rule (which is pretty simple for me-after years of calorie counting, I can calculate that without checking too many labels!) there are no rules. That’s it. Two days of 500 calories or less, and I do what I want the rest of the time. The oddest thing is that having total food freedom for five days a week hasn’t resulted in hideous food binges on cream cakes and fried stuff-I genuinely just don’t want to eat as much of those foods anymore. So a normal day now will be coffee and a bowl of cereal for breakfast, a couple of scrambled eggs on toast or some soup and a roll for lunch and then a reasonable sized serving of pasta or curry or whatever I’ve made for tea. If I fancy a biscuit, I’ll have one. Maybe even two. But not the packet. And it’s easy, and it’s working, so I’m sticking to it.
Once I’ve reached my goal weight, I’ll cut back to one fast day a week (so 6:1) to maintain my weight. If I have a few days where I’m eating very rich food, I’ll do a week of 5:2, or even 4:3 to get myself back on track. Talking of rich food, this is the first fast day since Christmas, and I’m very aware of the amount of food in the house-all sorts of lovely leftovers in the fridge, cakes, sweets and biscuits in nice boxes catching my eye. I can see them, but I just don’t fancy them. They’ll still be there tomorrow, and waiting 24 hours for a mince pie just means I’ll really enjoy it when I have it.
I’m not recommending you start doing this if you have a few pounds to shift, but it works for me, and I wish I’d heard of it sooner. I’m lucky in that I don’t suffer any negative side effects on fast days (I’ve read about people feeling dizzy or headachey, or just not being able to get through the day on so few calories). If you count points or syns or calories or carbs and it does the job, that’s brilliant. But I’ve tried a lot of diets over the years, and never found anything so simple and effective, and I think it will help me drop the weight and stay at a happy weight for the rest of my life. And I’ve not even left it to the New Year to start properly!