Four years (and one and a half stone) later I decided if zumba, running and dance were no longer an option, I would have to consider the dreaded four letter word. DIET. At the ripe old age of 28 I have never dieted in my life; I'm one of those annoying people who pities the girls counting calories, chomping on celery sticks as their office snack and saying "oh I really shouldn't" when offered a Malteaser. I knew that whatever diet I tried it was going to be hell and I was inevitably going to hate it.
I should point out that I'm not advocating this diet - yet. At this early stage it would hardly be fair to love or loathe it.
I thought it would make perfect sense to read up on what I was getting myself into, so I read Dr Mosley & Mimi Spencer's book The Fast Diet. I won't bore you with all the details; if you're interested in the how, what, where and why of the 5:2 diet then check out their book or visit http://thefastdiet.co.uk. One bit of advice: don't read it in bed before your first day of fasting. Not only did I dream about food, I woke up convinced I was starving at 7:30am. I thought about food all day, congratulating myself when I'd made it to 10am without so much as a chocolate biscuit.
If I lived alone and was attempting the fast diet, I'm pretty sure the biggest challenge would be dinner. Unfortunately I may be a food-lover but I'm certainly not a food-cooker; thankfully Mr Cook was weirdly excited at the challenge of creating marvelous meals of 300 calories or less. My only task? To identify two days this week that I could feasibly function on 500 calories. Easy. Wait, not so easy. I have pub-related-plans on Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week which only leaves me with Wednesday and a hungover Sunday. Something tells me week one is going to be tough...
In case you're tempted to join in, here's what you need to do to get started.
- Read up on what you're going to be doing and why. Do the benefits match your goals?
- Get equipped by downloading an app to count calories (My Fitness Pal is pure genius) and do your weekly shop so you're prepared and excited for your 500 calorie days.
- Talk to people who have been through the fast diet to get an idea of the good, the bad and the ugly.
- Set yourself a goal...if for no other reason than My Fitness Pal forces you to. Warning: it involves getting on the scales. Ugh.
- Get your first week of recipes sorted, and make them good ones. You want to look forward to the week ahead - all of it.
Once you've got your goal weight, got your calorie counter and got your low calorie recipes, that's it.
Ready, set, fast!