Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Eat, Fast and Live Longer: The 5:2 diet, Is it still working?

I haven't written anything here about the 5:2 diet in a long while. I found that once I passed the 14 week mark there was nothing really new to tell you. I had documented the first weeks and months as I embarked on this very new way of life and enjoyed sharing the ups and downs of losing that magical 8 kilos.

With any fitness/diet/health resolution in my past there has been a familiar pattern. A period of dissatisfaction with my current weight/activity levels, a sincere desire to make positive change followed by a couple of months of genuine change which ever so slowly dwindles as my focus returns to trying to balance the home/work/family needs etc. I'm not a yo-yo dieter but I am a bit on/off with how much I prioritise exercise and healthy practises into my day to day life. If past experience was anything to go by I should have well and truly been sidetracked by now and quite possibly a couple of those kilos would have crept back on.

But they HAVEN'T ! This is now week 40 of following the 5:2 diet. Byron and myself have lost our extra weight, regained our healthy BMI and maintained our weights while eating and drinking normally 5 days a week. We have developed new habits that would now be hard to break. Each Sunday evening we look at the calendar for the coming week and see what is happening on the different days. We discount any days that have a birthday celebration, a night out with friends or any work commitments that will make fasting hard and we look at what days are left. We choose our two fast days and stick to them. We have some favourite meals like Vietnamese style basa fish with steamed veggies, Lentil tikka masala, Asian steak salad and Cottage pie with celeriac and leek mash. With only two fast days each week it is relatively easy to cycle these meals around to give variety and I often make/prepare/freeze about 8 portions of each meal at a time which makes it so easy to defrost and cook on future fast days.

My big goal back in January was to get back to my healthy BMI in time to celebrate turning 40 in August of this year. I bought myself a pair of red swimmers off the sale rack in February that I could barely squeeze into. The aim was to fit into them on my Birthday. I am so happy to say that I did. Sian took a photo of me on the beach that matched the dream in my head as I started the 5:2 diet in January. I have procrastinated about making it public as I am far more comfortable being the one holding the photo than the one posing in front of it. But I feel I'm ready to share it in the hope that anyone who identifies with my past behaviour of gradually reverting to old habits can see how very life changing this way of eating can be.

You may be facing a much larger weight loss journey than me or just want to reap the long term health benefits of protection against cancer, dementia or stroke. Whatever your path it will never be the exact same as mine. But it is worth starting. Because 9 months from now you might be looking back at a new you in the mirror, a healthier version of yourself reflected in a window as you walk past or in a photo taken by a loved one. And you will feel so good that you are taking steps to be the healthiest version of yourself that you can be.

Thank you everyone who has encouraged and supported me over the last 9 months. If I can support you in any way please feel free to leave a comment or send me a message. If you are a Facebook user I can really recommend the Facebook 5:2 diet group page. They give amazing support and encouragement and there is always someone who will have the answer to a question you may have or someone who is going through similar experiences.

2 comments - click here to leave your comment:

  1. Woo Hoo - looking good Mrs B.

  2. Beautiful!!! I too am keeping off the weight... although I did get 5 lbs just from the liquor on the Bermuda cruise! Ha It was a 7 day cruise after all! No excuses, I am right back at eating healthy to lose those few! You look smashing in your RED SWIMMER!