Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Day 7

Breakfast - 40 calories

Weight Watcher's Hot Chocolate - 40 calories

Lunch - 229 calories

Pret's Kale and Garden Vegetable - 229 calories

Dinner - 190 calories

50 grams of boiled Basmati Rice - 65 calories

Vege Green Curry - 125 calories

   - 50 grams of Courgettes (10 calories)
   - 50 grams of Aubergines (10 calories)
   - 50 grams of White Mushrooms (8 calories)
   - 25 grams of Leeks (7 calories)
   - 3 sprays of Fry Light (3 calories)
   - 65 grams of Green Thai Curry Sauce (87 calories)

Snacks - 36 calories

1 Ryvita crackerbread  - 19 calories
10 grams of Sundried Tomatoes (canned, drained) - 17 calories

Grand Total: 495 calories


45 minutes of Boxercise
20 minutes of Swimming

And how did it go?

Honestly, it's getting easier and easier. I went for a light breakfast, as I was never a big breakfast person and I have been having this Hot Chocolate on my feed days with milk, which is much nicer than to have it with hot water, the case on this fast day. It's not the best hot chocolate in the world, but it does its job. Mostly due to lack of planning on the day before, I got my lunch from Pret. The soup was on the smaller side, but it tasted good and not like one of those watery, diety soups. For dinner I cooked a vegetable green curry, which turned out delicious. It didn't go completely according to plan, because I overestimated how much 100 grams of Curry Sauce would turn out to be, so I left some of the vegetables I had bought out and put a bit more sauce in. I cooked enough for two portions and put the other one on the freezer, so I can have it in a few weeks time. This way, the actual cooking portions were twice of what I put above.

Again, I had lots of energy at the gym and during my day at work. Some people have said that they would be bitchy if they were only allowed 500 calories in a day but, if I may say so myself, I don't feel like I'm in a bad mood during my fast days. I hope my co-workers and boyfriend agree and are not just scared to say otherwise...

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Day 6

Breakfast - 91 calories

3 Ryvita crackerbread  - 57 calories

9 grams of Lätt & Lagom margarine - 34 calories

Lunch - 191 calories

1 boiled Egg - 71 calories

4 wafer thin slices of Ham - 40 calories
42 grams of Roasted Peppers (canned) - 37 calories 
40 grams of Artichoke Heats  (canned) - 43 calories

Dinner - 198 calories

50 grams of Fresh Egg Noddles - 100 calories

50 grams of Chicken Breast - 58 calories
150 mls of Chicken Stock - 15 calories
20 grams of Sweet Corn - 14 calories
15 grams of Petit Pois Peas - 10 calories
1 tablespoon of Chives - 1 calorie 

Snacks - 20 calories

70 grams of Strawberries

This is what 70 grams of Strawberries look like. Thought it was more? Me too.

Grand total 500 (again!)

And how did it go?

Great! No headaches, no nausea and full of energy. Easy breakfast, using a low-fat Swedish margarine, Lätt & Lagom and easy but tasty lunch, a variation of a meal I had on Day 2 (here). The 5:2 Ramen I had for dinner was a great idea, 50 grams of Noodles and 50 grams of Chicken is no a lot at all, but the broth compensated for the lack os sustanence. The strawberries I had as snacks were delicious, but there could have definitely have been more of them. I guess they don't call it fasting for nothing, right?

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Day 5

Breakfast - 88 calories

1 boiled Egg - 71 calories
1 boiled Egg Whites - 17 calories

Lunch - 240 calories

1 Itsu Tuna and Salmon Box - 240 calories

Dinner - 150 calories

130 grams of Chili and Coriander Prawns (bought cooked and peeled) - 117 calories

100 grams of Mixed Vegetables and Mushrooms - 33 calories

Snacks - 17 calories

1 Seafood Stick - 17 calories

Grand total 495

And how did it go?

I decided to see if I could find anything for lunch that I could buy on the spot, instead of preparing it at home or weighing everything at work and I found that Itsu had quite a few options for under 200 calories (and not all of them involved seafood). I had planned to get something else, but true to my chubby self, when I saw that the biggest sushi box would only cost me 240 calories, I went for that one. This way, the noodles I had planned for dinner ended up being just prawns and vegetables, still very delicious, but I am looking forward to trying the noodles another day. Another good thing was that the  Prawns I bought came with Chili and Coriander sauce, so no need to add any other sauce and I cooked the vegetables in it, so I saved a few calories there and was able to eat a bit more prawns.

Although there was nothing wrong with any of the meals, this was by far the most difficult day. Both lunch and dinner were delicious, and I will definitely repeat them in the future, but it was just a seafood overdose, even for a seafood lover like me! I ended the day with a headache and a bit nauseous. So I won't be overdosing on anything again in the future. You live, you learn, I guess.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Day 4

Breakfast - 122 calories

3 Ryvita crackerbread  - 57 calories
9 grams of Philadelphia Extra Light - 10 calories
36 grams of Sundried Tomatoes (canned, drained) - 55 calories

Lunch - 126 calories

1 can of Chicken Noodle Soup (Heinz) - 126 calories

Dinner - 218 calories

Smoked Salmon Pate - 123 calories
    - 50 grams Smoked Salmon (90 calories)
    - 20 grams of Philadelphia Extra Light (22 calories)
    - 1 tablespoon of Chives (1 calorie)
    - 2 Lemon wedges (4 calories)
    - 5 grams of Horseradish sauce (6 calories)

5 Ryvita crackerbread - 95 calories 

Snacks - 34 calories

2 Seafood sticks - 34 calories

Grand total - 500 calories (exactly!)

And how did it go?

It looks a bit Ryvita + Philadelphia heavy, but it was actually the easiest day so far. Breakfast was a variation of the bruschetta I made the other day with grilled peppers. A good thing to play around with ingredients. Lunch was a bit uninventive, I'll admit, but it did its job on a very cold day here in London. I am usually a cook-from-scratch sort of person, but for the purposes of this diet, I figured it would be best if I knew exactly how many calories went in there. At the same time, the whole purpose of this diet is to be healthy and I'm not sure canned soup is the best thing for that, so I am feeling a bit guilty (yes, guilty over canned soup. This is what going to Catholic school does to you). Camila gave me the recipe for dinner, and it was so good I am actually going to make this on "feed days" as well. Another great idea to toy with ingredients, I'm thinking about doing a Sundried Tomatoes pate. 

I will let you know how it goes, as usual!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Day 3

Breakfast - 127 calories

3 Ryvita crackerbread  - 57 calories
40 grams of Roasted Peppers (canned) - 37 calories
30 grams of Philadelphia Extra Light - 33 calories

Lunch - 147 calories

150 grams of Prawns (bought cooked and peeled) - 120 calories

100 grams of Asparagus Tips (boiled in salty water) - 25 calories
1 Lemon Wedge - 2 calories

Dinner - 210 calories

Camila's Scrambled Eggs - 180 calories

70 grams of Mushrooms - 15 calories
30 grams of Rocket Salad - 5 calories
10 mls of Balsamic Vinegar - 10 calories

Snacks - 11 calories

20 grams of Blueberries - 11 calories

Grand total - 495 calories 

40 minutes of Boxercise

And how did it go?

As I said on Day 2, I wanted to change a bit my breakfast and this 5:2er bruschetta was delicious, even though it was a bit more calorific that I wanted at first, so I had to compromise on the snacks. My lunch not only looked good, it tasted good as well. Definately a keeper. Camila's Scrambled Eggs for dinner were very tasty too, the picture doesn't do it much justice, and the good thing about it is that you can add more things to it if you have saved calories during the day, or you can take thing out if you have had a heavier lunch.

I also went to the gym at lunch time and did some boxing. It was quite a heavy class, but I had energy throughout. In comparison, on Monday I went running at 6pm, after having had a heavy lunch and it was the contrary! I had no energy at all, it took a lot of effort to drag myself through 25 minutes in the treadmill, by which point I gave up and went home, panting.

All in all, a good "fast day", with no bad ideas and a few keepers.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Scrambled eggs with Ham and Parmesan Shavings

So here goes a dinner idea from Camila:

1 egg - 71 calories
2 Egg Whites - 34 calories
3 wafer thin Ham slices - 30 calories
10 grams of Parmesan Shavings - 40 calories
10 mls semi-skimmed Milk - 5 calories

Grand total: 180 calories

The trick here is to use a good, non-stick pan so you can save calories by not using oil or butter. If you have saved calories during the day, you can always eat it with some Ryvita, or if it tickles your fancy, you can add some mushrooms or some other low-calorie vegetables. 

Friday, 11 January 2013

Day 2

Breakfast - 88 calories

1 boiled Egg - 71 calories
1 boiled Egg Whites - 17 calories

Lunch - 158 calories

4 wafer thin slices of Ham - 40 calories

40 grams of Roasted Peppers (canned) - 37 calories 
40 grams of Artichoke Heats  (canned) - 43 calories
2 Ryvita crackerbread  - 38 calories

Dinner - 196 calories

1 snap pot of Heinz Baked Beans - 139 calories
3 Ryvita crackerbread - 57 calories

Snacks - 57 calories

100 grams of Blueberries - 57 calories

Grand total - 499 calories 

And how did it go?

The eggs for breakfast are a great idea, but I don't want to get bored with them, so I need to find an alternative that gives me as much energy and has such a low calorie count. The lunch was yummy and I didn't feel hungry again until the 5 o'clock mark, so it is definitely a keeper. Dinner wasn't such a great idea, though. It didn't taste all that nice to have that amount of beans with just 3 Ryvittas and the minute I finish the meal I knew I'd be hungry. I soon was. I spent a long time thinking about burgers until I went to bed.  

Beans on toast, great. Beans on Ryvita, not so much so.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

So, how did Day 1 go?

Not so bad, actually. It wasn't exactly easy, but it wasn't exactly difficult either. Yes, I was hungry at points and no, those meals didn't really keep me full for long, but you know what? It does require some willpower, but it is totally doable. 

Best bits about the menu was the eggs for breakfast and the chicken with vegetables for dinner. I felt satiated after I had them and I will be repeating those meals again, unlike my dinner from Day 2, but that's something for tomorrow...

When I tell people about this little fasting project, the first thing most people say is: you'll be weak, you won't be able to concentrate, you'll feel faint. However, I did my first "fast day" on a Monday and my work wasn't compromised and I went to the gym during my lunch break and had a 40-minute Boxercise class, packed with push-ups, sit-ups, star jumps and punches and I felt like a had a lot of energy. Camila actually ran 5k in 37 minutes on a "fast day".

I have to point, though, that this was during my lunch break, I really think that if I had left to go to the gym after work I wouldn't have the same energy, as at about 5ish I started feeling hungry. It was the first time I was actually hungry, instead of simply peckish, but that was easily solved, as I was about to go home and have some food. What was really comforting is the fact that I knew that the next day I could eat whatever I wanted and I  ended up fantasising a lot about what amazing things I would eat the next day. And that, my friends, made me feel really chubby.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Basics and Day 1

As I mentioned on the post before, I didn't have this idea until today and I didn't take pictures of my meals on Monday, my first "fast day". 

Some people that are on the 5:2 diet choose to have a big breakfast and have nothing but black tea and water for the rest of the day, some choose to have a snack during the day and concentrate their calorie allowance on their dinner. I have chosen to have all three meals and something to snack on during the day. 

I am planning on taking all of my "fast days" during the week, I figured if I am at work I will be less inclined to open the fridge, so most of the meals here will probably be things that can be assembled quickly and don't require a cooker. So no fancy scallops and pancetta recipes during the day (like this one), I will mostly be doing the "fast days" on Mondays and Wednesdays, but that will be adjusted according to my will. 

Another important thing: I have a partner-in-crime! My dear friend an co-worker Camila is doing this with me (in fact, if one of us is doing something crazy, chances are the other one gave the idea) and she actually started a bit earlier. And it was thanks to her that the menu from Day 1 was assembled. This is what I did:

Breakfast - 88 calories

1 boiled Egg - 71 calories
1 boiled Egg Whites - 17 calories

Lunch - 103 calories

100 grams of Prawns (bought cooked and peeled) - 80 calories
135 grams of Cherry Tomatoes - 23 calories

Dinner - 246 calories

125 grams of Chicken breast - 145 calories
1 teaspoon of Olive Oil (to grill the chicken) - 40 calories
150 grams of Mixed Vegetables (bought frozen) - 61 calories

Snacks - 57 calories

100 grams of Blueberries - 57 calories

Grand total - 494 calories 

Exercise - 40 minutes of Boxercise 

Reasoning and Rambling

I am not a disciplined person. I am not the sort of person that could ever go on the Dukan diet and deal with the regimented daily life that it entails. I have a social life. I half-heartedly started a few times calorie-counting and fitness regimes and did fine, but the first bump in the road (a week off sick or Christmas break) I put all the weight I had lost back on and, as I get near to my 30th, a few extra kilos as well. 

It was then that I found about this new idea, the 5:2 diet. It is a form of Intermittent Fasting featured in the BBC programme "Eat, Fast and Live Longer" and it caught my attention for all the good reasons. Preliminary studies found that people on it not only lose weight, but they also get healthier. Downside is, they are preliminary studies. However, I am sold and I have decided to follow through with it the whole of 2013 and see what happens. After all, a diet that you only have to follow through 2 days out of 5 can definitely fit in my social diary and won't disrupt every single meal I have with my poor boyfriend. 

I guess if you stumbled upon this blog, chances are you already know what the 5:2 diet is, so I won't repeat here what is already out there. I did a fair bit of research on this and the thing that struck me the most was that there didn't seem to be a hell lot of recipes and meal suggestions that I could find, apart for the occasional blog post or a magazine article. This way, I decided to create this space and post every meal I have while on the "fast days".

Since I didn't have this idea before, I have not taken pictures of the meals I had on the first day, which happened on Monday, the 7th of January. I should have also done blood tests before I started, to compare the results later, but I'll get around to do that. For now, let's start with my weight.

I am overweight. I have never been exactly thin, but I have never been this heavy either.  Aside the fact that I fell sluggish and don't fit in basically 80% of my clothes, I am at risk of developing all sorts of nasty stuff and I really can't have that.

So, time to do something about it! Apart from the 5:2 diet, I am also training for a Sprint Triathlon this July and will be seeing a Personal Trainer once a week, so the weight loss recorded in here will be affected by that. I will also try and not take more that 2000 calories on my "feed days" and stay within the recommended levels of protein and alcohol intake. 

I am not a disciplined person. But I am quite stubborn. And I will do this.