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5-2 Diet Fast Day Recipe – Baked Cod with Tomato and Basil:
I was encouraged this morning. While I haven’t lost huge amounts of weight, I am steadily losing a bit each week on the 5-2 Diet. I’ve tried weighing myself every day and I’ve discovered that there’s not a great deal of logic for me about how my weight fluctuates. Or maybe there is. I lose weight on fast days. The rest of the week, my weight stabilises up a bit, it’s like two steps forward and one step back. I’m sure I’d lose weight faster if I wasn’t eating out so much, but, so long as I continue to move downward, I am happy. And, this morning my body fat was down and as a result my theoretical age was also down!
As you may have realised I eat out quite regularly. Sometimes twice a day because I am reviewing a bar or a restaurant. And, it’s really not possible to go in and ask for a small salad with no dressing if the point is to write about the food. In any case, most of the time I really enjoy the food I am trying. So, a normal diet is really quite hard to follow and the 5:2 diet seems like the perfect solution for me. I also have a mild thyroid disorder and I am in my early fifties – the age when women tend to put on weight! When I saw the BBC programme, Eat, Fast and Live Longer about the 5:2 diet, I realised that it was something that might actually work for me as a lifestyle choice – and I am increasingly convinced about that. It’s the first time I’ve every found an eating plan I’ve thought I might be able to do on an ongoing basis.
This isn’t a new thing for me, I’ve been trying to diet on and off, with very little success. I’ve been exercising for the last five years or so, at times more enthusiastically than others (there have been a few six month holidays!). I try to invest in personal training sessions when I feel I am losing motivation (if I can afford it) and I have learnt quite a lot from the trainers. I am fairly convinced of the benefits of regular exercise because I find that even if I haven’t lost weight I do lose inches if I am doing it properly. And, I also find that when I am exercising at least three times a week, my asthma improves, I sleep better and get fewer aches and pains. So, I have quite a lot of immediate incentives to keep going with the exercise. I was unclear until a few days ago whether it was a good idea to try to exercise on my fast days, but, apparently it should actually help burn fat (rather than muscle), so I am going to try hard to do so so my own interpretation of the 5:2 diet does include a reasonable amount of exercise.
- 1 Medium Cod fillet
- 1 Shallot finely chopped
- 1 clove Garlic finely chopped
- 4 Medium Ripe tomatoes
- 1 handful Fresh basil leaves
- 1 drizzle Olive oil
- 1 dash Balsamic Vinegar
- Put the chopped shallot in a heavy bottomed pan with a drizzle of olive oil and cook over a medium heat for 6-8 minutes, till it softens and goes translucent
- Meanwhile, skin the tomatoes by plunging them in a bowl of boiling water for a minute. Chop roughly
- Add the garlic to the shallot and cook for a minute
- Add in the chopped tomatoes and a dash of balsamic vinegar. Cook over a low heat stirring occasionally for 15 minutes or so till it is reduced down and thick. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat the oven to 180c and put the cod, skin side down in a small ovenproof dish. Season with salt and pepper, then top with a spoonful of the tomato mix
- Cook for 15-20 minutes (depending on the thickness of the cod)
- Garnish with torn basil leaves
This makes enough tomato sauce for 3 or 4 servings, but the sauce keeps well and can be used with pasta for a quick lunch.
Today’s main meal is fish again. For the 5-2 diet, fish works very well because the basic ingredient is so low in calories. I made a homemade broccoli soup for lunch and just had coffee at breakfast. So, by supper time I was left with around 400 calories to play with…almost a normal meal! And, as I’ve said before one of my personal dislikes is going to bed hungry. So, I cooked a quite substantial looking dish.
The cod, lovely wild scottish fish from DelishFish is one of the best diet fish around. It has an amazing 80 calories per 100g, which means that I could have a substantial cod fillet for my supper. The tomato sauce is really just something to dress the fish without using oil…and since I have rather a glut of tomatoes at the moment it was an easy decision. With the fish, I made some griddled polenta, courgette and red pepper. The polenta CAN be quite a hhigh-calorieoption, but this was made up with just water, salt and pepper, then brushed with olive oil to griddle on the George Forman Grill. So, the calories for the meal add up as follows
5:2 Diet Cod in tomato sauce – 190 cals
Polenta 80 cals
Courgette (150g) 32cal
Red pepper (100g) 35cal
That leaves me 60 calories for tea, coffee and perhaps a bit of yoghurt before bed! What a result – right now at this stage of the 5:2 diet, I’m pining for a glass of wine, but it’s nearly bed time so I am sure I will survive:)
Some more options if you trying the 5:2 diet
Tomato Soup with Roasted Garlic for 5:2 – this is a summer/autumn soup, best made when tomatoes are fresh!
5:2 Diet Chilli Beef – the chilli is a great way to raise your metabolic rate and burn even more calories
5:2 Diet and Celeriac – Watercress and Celeriac Soup Celeriac – a secret ingredient for the 5:2 diet
Livorno Fish Stew for the 5:2 Diet – more fish – it’s one of the easiest ways to keep to a low-calorie diet!
Tarragon Chicken Parcels for 5:2 Diet simple, tasty and something you can serve to the whole family – 5:2 diet friendly
Galician Hake the Low Calorie 5:2 diet way! A lovely warming dish that I could eat whether or not on a diet
Fish and chips for 5:2 Diet Fish and Chips low-calorie low-fat recipe for the 5:2 diet
Lemon and Coriander chicken for the 5:2 diet low fat, low-calorie chicken Curry recipe for the 5:2 diet
Tuna, Courgette and Aubergine Sicilian style Sicilian Tuna with Aubergine and Mint for the 5:2 Diet – low calorie, low fat and lots of flavour