A little over six weeks ago Mumsnet asked me if I would like to try an online support group for people on the 5:2 diet. Having tired traditional slimming clubs without any success (as I could not get my head around the different categories of food) I was prepared to give it a go. In case you have been living under a rock or on the moon, 5:2 is basically eating a normal, balanced diet five days a week and restricting calories to around 500 a day for women or 600 for men two days a week. It is thought that there are numerous health benefits to fasting regularly although studies haven’t been done on it for long enough to know the long-term effects.
5:2 Diet with My Ways of Eating
I was signed up to My Ways of Eating (which is currently still in beta) and, much like traditional slimming clubs, was part of a group of other participants with a group leader. Throughout the six weeks we were given presentations to view, virtual meetings twice a week, a message board and a wealth of resources. The presentations were easy to view and informative and our leader was always helpful, answering any questions we had or just being on hand to offer encouragement and support. I found the site particularly useful in the first few weeks. Whilst there are many free alternatives out there (Mumsnet has a board dedicated to fasting for example) they are often busy places and I personally got the feeling that “newbies” could feel overwhelmed. If you take into account the weekly fees for traditional slimming clubs, I would say they are comparable. However, the great thing about fasting is that you don’t have to join a club or pay any fees if you don’t want to!
I did intend on taking photographs and sharing my progress with you from the beginning but if I am honest, I was rather worried that I wouldn’t be able to stick to it, lose any weight or feel any differently at all. I really wish I had as this way of eating has proven to work for me. I find it easy to stick to, flexible and it fits in well with family life.
In six weeks I have lost 8lb and a whopping 5 inches from my waist. In effect, I have lost 6% of my body weight, which I am told is well above an average loss in the same period of time. Noticing those jeans getting a bit looser, that tummy getting a little smaller has been great too. Will I continue to stick to it? You betcha I will! Naturally, I don’t expect this rate of weight loss to continue and in fact, just this week, I weighed myself and I had put 1lb on. Small fluctuations need to be accounted for and I am tempted to ditch the scales and focus solely on how I feel and judging by clothes size.
However, it isn’t all about the scales. Personally, I have felt better. I am more educated about diet and nutrition which has helped and I tend to have a glass of water before eating if I feel hungry as we often mistake thirst for hunger. Our menu is more varied now as well because I have restricted calories two days a week, I found myself researching ideas for low calorie meals. They are often super easy to amend for the husband simply by adding some carbohydrates, admittedly leaving me a little envious.
I found that the 5:2 became second nature to me really quite quickly and that it has really worked for me. It is not an eating plan that suits everyone but then, what is?
Have you tried the 5:2 diet? How did you get on?