Bikini Summer is looming large, and after needing two friends to help me into my Summer Ball dress I decided perhaps a mini diet was in order. Of course, I’m not exactly overweight and I don’t intend to lose much… But when I heard about the 5:2 diet I was immediately intrigued as it’s supposed to be really healthy long term regardless of weight loss. I’ve been doing it for almost two weeks now so it’s early days, but I thought you might like to hear about my motivation for starting it!
I started off with watching this Horizon documentary called Eat, Fast and Live Longer – and was really inspired by all the health benefits. Basically, their scientific theory is that when you eat (especially protein) your body goes into acceleration and builds cells regardless of how good the foundations are, but if you fast then it slows down and works on repairing existing cells instead of building, so in theory can slow down ageing and diseases such as cancer (a big claim I know – cue scepticism!)
The idea is that it’s supposed to be really sustainable, so for two non consecutive days a week you drop down to 25% of your recommend daily calories (which leaves girls with 400-500 calories). Then on the other days you can eat anything you want (in the tv show they go get fast food!) and they found it made very little difference to your progress whether you ate well or not on your off days. So, for me this was a huge plus as a) I’m terrible at long term self restraint but even I can handle 24 hours at a time, and b) I can finally stop feeling guilty about having chocolate for dinner because I know I’ve earned it earlier in the week. I actually end up doing more like 36 hours because after dinner I go to bed, then fast all day, then eat breakfast the next day.
It’s super trendy in the magazine industry (as demonstrated by this Marie Claire article) and although the science is still in its early days it’s all pretty positive so far!
For more info there’s also a great interview here with the inventor and there’s also a good chat room of info here . The article I linked there disputes the argument that if you fast your body will just hoard calories – apparently 24 hours is so short that your body doesn’t panic, if you were fasting for a week then maybe it’d be different!
So, that’s my motivation behind starting the diet. I’ll be blogging a guide on what I eat, and how I feel very soon! Watch this space….
I’d also love to hear your thoughts on it – have you tried it, do you know anyone who’s doing it??