5:2 Diet Tips and a Feast Day recipe that rewards without over indulging:
One of the questions which seems to pop up time and time again is ‘what can I eat when I am not on a 5:2 diet fast day?’. The simple answer of course, is anything you want. Regardless of what else you eat, two days a week with a calorie deficit of around 3000 calories should still help you. But, sadly, if you really do over eat continuously on days when you are not fasting, you are unlikely to lose weight. Manage your expectations accordingly. My weight loss can be VERY slow, because there are weeks when I am genuinely eating out at least once a day other than the two days I am fasting. And having been in a few professional kitchens, I can promise you that many are very generous with butter, cream, oil and other lovely things that pile on the calories.
Having said that, although I am not a dietician I suspect it’s important not to overdo it. For me, 5:2 is a lifestyle diet and I am planning to continue fasting once a week on an ongoing basis once I hit my target weight. The joy of the 5:2 diet is that it really doesn’t make me feel as if I am missing out. And I like to indulge with a little treat, although I am trying to avoid buying biscuits at the moment. Instead I’m BAKING! My cakes may not look as if they have come from the Great British Bake Off, but they taste lovely. At least to me. And that’s what counts!
One of the real results of following the 5:2 diet for me is an increased awareness of portion size. And, for that matter of what ingredients will pile on the calories. So, now, when I cook I am much more cautious with the quantities of starchy processed carbs (potatoes, rice etc), sugar, butter, oil and cream. And I honestly don’t find I miss out by reducing the sugar content on the rare occasions I bake something. Just as I have done in these muffins.
These muffins are adapted from already healthy breakfast muffins that we were shown at the recent Lake District Dairy Quark event. But, I’ve reduced both sugar and oil down a bit further. I’m also still using up various oddments of dried fruit from Christmas, so my version uses sultanas and dates, both soaked for an hour in a mug of strong hot tea. And, again because I still had some left, I used spelt flour rather than normal wheat flour. The original recipe is 240 calories per muffin. My version comes in at almost exactly 200 calories – which makes the muffins ALMOST something you could eat on a fast day. The low GI oats and high protein quark help to make these quite filling and they are certainly very tasty. If you don’t think they are sweet enough for you but still want to save the calories, try adding a teaspoon of stevia or better still, a tablespoon of unsweetened apple sauce.
So, go ahead and treat yourself. I don’t generally eat breakfast but I’m having one of these with my morning coffee at the moment instead of eating biscuits. And, strangely enough they REALLY do fill you up. Or is it simply that the 5:2 diet is changing my food expectations?