Firstly this shouldn't be the 5:2 diet. It should be the 2:5 diet. Because the 2 is most definitely the hard bit and it needs emphasising.
I'm not a serial dieter. I am more like a serial diet considerer. I have actively done Weightwatchers and Slimming World a couple of times (but I am 37 so you'd expect that in this modern age). But mostly I have simply considered doing a lot of different diets. It makes me knowledgable in the world of diets, and yet still overweight. For example I know all about Slim fast, The Atkins Diet, and that weird one I bought a book about once with that pretty woman from Channel Four on the front.
This time I decided to do what all good women's magazine article writers seem to do and actually try a diet for a month to see what happens rather than just thinking about it. So I chose one that allowed me to eat cheese and chocolate. It was the only one that could get me past the starting blocks at the moment.
I know this isn't going to be popular with everyone as it involves fasting for two days a week. Not totally but only eating 500 calories for two days a week is really limited. The thing is I've read the book and have a very good friend who says it works so what the heck? Plus I get to still eat cheese and chocolate. Did I already mention that?
Week One, Day one:
I weigh 11st 4lbs. My clothes aren't fitting properly and no amount of supportive underwear can hold back the tide. Enough is enough.
I choose the first fast day to be on a busy one where I stood in the cold and unloaded soap. I don't know whether this was a good or a bad idea. I was busy but chuffing freezing.
I had no idea what 500 calories looks like. I didn't really. I had wallpaper paste porridge for breakfast with red fruit, an apple for lunch and salmon and veg for tea. Other than that I drank half a cup of black tea, some herbal tea and at 10pm a proper cup of tea because I just couldn't stand it. I still had more than 500 calories.
The book says on the next day you can just eat normally. I don't expect it was written for me. In response to the previous days denial my brain and body decided revolution was necessary and after breakfast I ate a snickers and 6 digestive biscuits, all before 11am. Apparently in time you start eating healthier on the other days just because your brain sends you different messages about food. I'm not so sure. I had quite a lot of cheese on pasta for tea too. And wine.
Han gave me a large box of milk tray. See on any other diet I couldn't have eaten half the box.
My husband and best friend were worried about the reaction I would inevitably have to not eating much. "But you aren't good when you're hungry" they both said independently of each other. I tried not to be hurt.
It's no good pretending. I admit I'm like a middle class carb related version of the Hulk. Add to this any illness, (monthly or otherwise) and my husband is very used to arriving home armed with a bar of chocolate and a bottle of wine to combat the green skin and ripped trousers.
I woke today with a painful chest and horrible cough. Sufficed to say today has not been a great day. I have been hungry and too ill to fancy much food. What I did fancy was the other half of the milk tray.
I resisted most things, partly due to falling asleep early evening, but I had three cups of tea with milk in because life is shitty without it especially when I'm poorly.
Thank God I can eat chocolate. So far I have noticed no difference to anything whatsoever except for more indigestion than usual and a lot more burping. But that might just be because I have man flu. Well woman flu which is clearly worse.
The best thing about this diet so far is that I can fit it around my actual life. I went for lunch today with an old friend and ate sandwiches and stroopwaffels without worrying about it. We had sausages and chips for tea because it's what the kids wanted. Of course when I am the only person ever to have tried this diet and not lost weight I will probably have to rethink my approach.
Day Six and Seven
I am reeeeeaaallly poorly. I feel like crap. But I ate what I wanted. Including lots of stuff that isn't good for me. At least on this diet I didn't fall off the wagon by being ill. Although tomorrow could be interesting as I'm still not better and it's a fast day.
My fast day trickled by. A school trip helped fill time but it was major challenge.
I went to bed early because I was chuffing starving. I wonder if I'll get used to this at some point? Turns out I've actually lost 4lbs in a week. And I've eaten a whole host of things I would normally beat myself up about. It isn't doing much to improve my mood though. I'm grumpy as hell and am still getting indigestion. Which may still be to do with the amount of chocolate I eat the day after I fast.
The only way I could get through my next fast day was was by going to sleep at 9pm I was so hungry. This doesn't seem to be getting any easier.
My first fast day was a struggle and for the first time I gave up. I managed until after tea then at 9pm I ate a Cadburys creme egg. Clearly I cannot cut back to 500 calories reliably even for just two days a week.
What's worse I've weighed myself and I've put weight back on. So now I have only lost 1.5 lbs. in two weeks. This indicates clearly that this diet needs redefinition. You cannot eat what you want the rest of the time - you still need to limit the chocolate and cheese. Which was the main reason I was doing it in the first place.
I'm not sure if I'm carrying on with this diet. I'm only have way through my four week trial and it frankly is very disappointing and on two days of the week extremely difficult. It shouldn't really be a surprise should it?
It should be my second fast day tomorrow but instead I'm having a Comic Relief coffee and cake morning. I have made the decision to give up. This diet is too hard. But that leaves me with the eat less move more option. Or the eat the same and run for an hour every day option which is unachievable since I can't currently run upstairs. I'm off to watch "Run Fat Boy Run" for inspiration.
If you don't eat terribly and can cope with hunger this diet could be for you. For me it's not gone exactly to plan but you never know I might pick it up again one day. I think I have to accept that exercise has to be my answer. I'll go for a run after the cake tomorrow...