Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Eat, Fast and Live Longer: Week 19

Five weeks ago I wrote a blog update as to how I was doing on the Fast Diet/ 5:2 Diet after being on it for 14 weeks. That blog post has blown my normal blog stats through the roof and has been read by over 4,000 people and counting. I have received so many emails from people who were getting ready to embark on their own lifestyle changes. Some just wanted to introduce themselves and some had questions. I can only share what I have learnt along the way and I am very aware that what works for one person may not work for another.

What really has amazed me is the number of people I know that have watched the Horizon documentary, read the book and have interpreted the eating advice in a way that works for them. So many of my friends and work colleagues have decided to give this a go and all around me I see people slimming down, looking happier and healthier than I have ever known them. Some have needed to lose weight and are delighted to see almost immediate results on their weekly weigh-ins. Some are already a healthy weight and have wanted to try the 5:2 diet for the health benefits.

One of the comments from people around me is the worry that I might lose too much weight. I weigh less now than I have at any time in the last 8 years I have lived in Australia. The new friends in my day to day life are used to seeing me look a little more rounded but the Gina I see in the mirror is the one I feel more familiar and comfortable with.  It's not surprising that I have had to have my nursing uniforms taken in and I can understand the concern from people who worry that the weight will continue to fall off and I may possibly get to a point of being underweight. I guess that is the main reason for this blog post.

It's hard to give an exact "perfect" weight for any one person. As a general rule if you are of average build then you can check your Body Mass Index and ideally should be a BMI of between 20-25.

You can find BMI charts online or click this one to see it in a bigger format. I am currently a BMI of 21 which is comfortably in the healthy range. I used to be quite slim before I married, had kids and learnt how to cook muffins blindfolded. Motherhood changes things and my waistline was one of them. That girl who watched a golden band be placed on her wedding finger was lighter than the woman who stands on the bathroom scales today. Although the lure of a smaller number is there I am sensible enough to know that the weight I am now is brilliant. At 55kgs I exceeded my original goal weight. If I can stay this weight over the coming months I know I will turn 40 years old with a smile on my face and a spring in my step. I will face the next chapter of my life in the healthiest body that I can be.

But can I continue to fast two days a week safely? Will I reach a point of needing to reduce back to only one fast day? I don't know the answer to these questions yet. The first 7 kilos came away over the first 12 weeks or so. The last 6 or 7 weeks have seen only a marginal weight loss. This week my weight had gone up slightly despite my normal 2 days fasting. Bear in mind that it was Mothers Day and my gorgeous kids bought me the worlds biggest box of chocolates which we have been eating with gusto. I've also been working some extra shifts in hospital as we save for a holiday and because that leaves me tired I've not exercised very much. I guess you could say that apart from the two fast days life is returning to normal. Old habits are creeping back.

It's the two fast days that I credit with keeping me around the 55kg mark. I feel that if it wasn't for them I would be yo-yoĆ­ng back into a higher weight range. For now I will be continuing to fast two days a week. I think with my sweet tooth on the five normal food days I have found the perfect balance for my weight control. Hopefully I will also continue to reap the rewards of the protection against dementia, stroke, heart attack and cancer. If my weight drops further and my BMI goes to 20 or below I will certainly pull back to only one fast day.

I had a check up with my GP last week. Every thing was perfect, weight, blood pressure etc. I got the thumbs up from him to continue what I am doing as long as I don't lose any further weight.

I'd love to hear from anyone else who has reached their goal weight too. Have you had to modify the 5:2 diet or has your body reached a balance? I'm also happy to hear from any of you that are starting your new lifestyles or are part way through your journey. If you leave a comment I will try to respond back via your email (if you register it as you comment) or by responding in a comment below yours.

Good luck and thank-you so much to everyone who has encouraged me along the way. I hope I can pay it forward...

5 comments - click here to leave your comment:

  1. I love hearing your updates about how things are going and you look amazing! The health benefits make me think that it's something I'd like to do in future, but for now with my stage in life and the way I run myself ragged I'm actually trying to put ON weight so it's not for me at the moment.

    I was telling some girls at work about this today, as there is always someone on one fad diet or another and they often exchange weight loss ideas - but I was telling them about this as a lifestyle choice, a long term way of eating, not a crash diet :-)

  2. I kept meaning to comment to say thanks for the updates - not sure whether I ever did or not! Anyway, thanks :) So glad it works well for you. I do want to watch the documentary and read up on it... The days and weeks just slip by too quickly! But I definitely am coming back to read your posts again when I do get around to looking into it more carefully. Hope it continues well for you!

  3. I agree Francesca. Right now you look just perfect and have to remember that you are running around after your three little ones. There is a time for everything and at the moment you need to nourish yourself and don't worry about this until you are old and decrepit like me!!!

  4. Hi Kate. Like Francesca I think you are at a time where you need all your energy to be a good mum to your gorgeous little boy. If at any time in the future you decide to look into this again just get in touch and I can share all the resources I have used to help me over the last few months.
    In the mean time just enjoy the days as they slip into weeks and months. It all goes so quickly!!!

  5. Hi Gina, I'm writing an article about the 5:2 Diet for a parenting magazine and I think you would make a really good case study. Can you help? if so please email me at clblagg@gmail.com or let me know how I can contact you.
    Cheers, Catherine