5-2 Diet makes you Wake Up Younger!
OK, it’s a headline! But today is a 5:2 diet fast day and I need to keep myself feeling good I am definitely losing weight and inches on the 5-2 Diet, and this morning according to my scales I am also getting younger:). And actually the point of the Horizon programme was not about losing weight, it was about living longer! So maybe it’s working, this idea of Eat, Fast and Live Longer.
The new Tanita scales measure things like body fat and hydration levels – and this morning, for the first time, my body fat reading went under 35% and all of a sudden I was also 4 years younger – cool ehh? Now, in addition to doing the 5:2 diet I am also training at the gym. The programme I am following is a mix of aerobic and resistance work – nothing really tough, but fairly regular (I’m aiming to go four times a week). I do ten minutes on the power plate of squats, step-ups, lunges and little jumpy things (heaven knows what it looks like) and then 10-20 minutes of cross trainer, usually broken up into two sessions, with 5-10 minutes of weights and 5 minutes of what my trainer used to call core, but I prefer the term ‘bastard tummy things’. Then I have a few minutes of stretching back on the power plate. So, all in, I am spending 30-50 minutes each time I go, but it’s broken up into different things so I can’t get too bored. The theory is that doing some kind of training is important to maintain muscle and ensure you are burning fat. If you don’t exercise (so my trainer has told me), it’s possible to lose muscle instead of fat – which then lowers your metabolic rate and means you can’t eat so much. On my last visit I asked her about 5:2 fasting days and whether I should exercise…and she told me that although I might not be able to exercise at full power (I’m not sure I ever do that), the benefit was that I would go into fat burning mode faster if I exercised on an empty stomach. So, I’m off in an hour or so for my daily torture!
Meanwhile, here’s another really simple 5:2 diet menu for those of you who think that making a home made soup takes too long. This time I’ve used broccoli, but the same method works just as well with cauliflower and spinach. I’ve also experimented with low fat quark – one of those ultra-healthy things that, if you are like me, you tend to avoid when you go shopping. It’s a very low fat cheese that you can use for cooking to replace cream.
For me there are three real benefits to making your own soup: Firstly, the cost – this is about a quarter of the cost of the equivalent quantity of carton soup. Secondly the fact you don’t end up with too much salt. If you check the packaging, you will see that a lot of shop bought soups are really high in salt – which can cause water retention as well as potentially exacerbating a range of medical conditions like high blood pressure. Finally, by making the soup myself, I know how fresh the vegetables are and how long I am cooking them, and I can try to keep the cooking time to a minimum to ensure the vitamins are not destroyed by over cooking. And – it’s SO easy.
So this is my 5:2 diet cream (or not) of Broccoli Soup
If you don’t want to add the quark, the soup will taste more strongly of broccoli, but obviously won’t have that ‘creaminess’. The calories in this are really low – 60 calories if you don’t add the quark and 80 with low fat quark. If I was making this when I wasn’t doing the 5:2 diet, I’d probably use a glug of cream to really add a luxurious finish, and if I was doing it for a special occasion I’d use fresh chicken stock. I also quite like this kind of soup with a shaving of nutmeg. It is the sort of dish that you can experiment a bit with and make your own. And, as I’ve said before, liquidising your food does help you to stay feeling full for longer. So, perfect for the 5:2 diet, or any other kind of weight loss programme.
I don’t believe the 5:2 diet is a miracle diet, but I do believe it helps you lose weight and eat more healthily. Why? well on a 5:2 diet fast day you will find that you really need to think what you can eat. And on the regular days, thanks to the 5:2 diet fast, you may find like me, that your appetite decreases, along with your cravings for chocolate, sugar and fats. It’s the only form of dieting that works for someone like me, so I am still (3 months on) following the 5:2 diet.