The Fast Diet to Lose Weight
Ok, here I go again trying the latest trendy diet to kick start my pre-summer, drag myself out of my sweats, bring out last year’s white capris, gotta lose weight program. I heard about it from a friend who is a confirmed Weight Watcher advocate. The latest buzz seems to be the Fast Diet. Not fast as in quick but fast as in not eating (fasting) also known as the 5:2 diet. The reason it is known as the 5:2 diet is because you are allowed to eat normally for five days, and the other two remaining days you eat only 500 calories (for women or 600 for men).
The Fast Diet Plan
The basic premise is easy. Eating this small number of calories on those two days puts your body into repair mode, not starvation mode. There seems to be research that supports authors Michael Mosely and Mimi Spencer’s premise that by fasting 2 days per week it gives the body a chance to repair creating cellular changes that occur during the fast days. You basically eat 500 calories in a 36 hour period so you are not completely fasting. You eat dinner the night before and then a 200 – 250 calorie breakfast the following day. On that day you don’t eat between breakfast and dinner and then have a 250 – 300 calorie dinner. It is surprisingly easy to follow. You can drink unlimited quantities of green tea and water in between which helps with hunger.
Fast Diet Recipes
Of course since the diet became well known late last year in the UK and recently in the US, many people are coming out with meals that stay within these calorie limitations. It’s not that difficult to figure it out. You can grab a calorie counter or download a calorie app to your smart phone and off you go. For example – a poached egg, slice of ham and piece of wheat bread would total about 230 calories for breakfast and keep you reasonably full most of the morning. Or you could have a protein smoothie with frozen peaches and fresh strawberries for about 270 calories. Oatmeal with some brown sugar, bread with peanut butter, etc, etc. all healthy and within the guidelines.
Fast Diet Tips
I started the Fast Diet 3 weeks ago. I lost 4 pounds in the first two weeks and did not feel at all deprived. The early afternoon was the most difficult but once I could power through a few hours, drink lots of water and green tea – I was fine to wait for an early dinner. By the next morning I was not even hungry as the hunger had passed. Although I have only lost 1 pound since the first two weeks, I have not gained any either. The problem is mine however since I cheated a bit on my fasting days last week and I realize that you must be very disciplined during your non-fast days as well. If you are on the program to help you lose weight, you need to be careful about what you eat when you are not fasting. It’s all too easy to think “Come tomorrow I can pig out totally.” I realized that on my non fast days I was simply eating too much (watch this woman on Rachael Ray- she did exactly as I did!) . I have gotten a reality check and will now try to keep my calories to about 1300 – 1500 per day with high protein and low carbs and will allow myself one FREE day each week. I find when I do give myself the free day it gives me something to look forward each week. I try to keep it somewhat sensible but if I want bacon and eggs for breakfast or a brownie or a few glasses of wine, I have it on that day.
Many people wonder if the diet is safe because it sounds like a fasting diet, however, you are not starving yourself, and on those two days when you are not eating a full days worth of calories, you are still getting caloric intake and energy. The diet is a great way to jump start weight loss and shed those extra pounds to get into those clothes or bathing suit you have been wanting to wear.
The fast diet may not work for everyone, and may take some time to get used to; however, it seems to be a safe way to shed those extra pounds. And for me, once I get to my ideal weight I can see a one day per week fast becoming a normal part of my lifestyle.