17 August 2012

5:2 Diet - 230 Calorie Fridge Salad


Looks pretty appetising doesn't it?

Dr Michael Mosley. Photo courtesy of BBC2 Horizon
This was my dinner last night. Yesterday was a fast day. Just in case you don't already know, I am doing the 5:2 Diet after watching the Horizon documentary Eat, Fast & Live Longer, presented by Dr Michael Mosley. The idea is to eat normally 5 days, but to eat under 600 calories, if you are a man and under 500 calories if you are a woman, 2 days a week. I didn't realise and started at under 600 calories, but once I am in the swing of things, I hope to eat under 500 calories.



After the first week, I weighed myself and discovered I had lost 3lbs, so I was very pleased. I am also hoping it will decrease my chances of getting heart disease or cancer.

I have to hold my hands up and admit that I fell off my fast last night and had a large glass of wine. My husband and I were watching a film and he was having a drink. I resisted for some time, then succumbed. It was stupid, although I did enjoy it. I hope to get back on track my next fast day.

This salad was whipped together from what I had in the fridge, with quick checks on the laptop for the calories. My parents were here having their dinner with us and I think my dad was bewildered with all my running to the computer, then back to the kitchen to weigh and slice something, over and over. Oh well, at least I have the calories to share with you.

I finished off my salad with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, which really lifted the salad.




print recipe

230 Calorie Fridge Salad
This is a quick salad with few calories, great if you are watching your weight or just as a quick lunch idea.
Ingredients
  • 40g mixed salad leaves
  • 1 small carrot, finely grated
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 3 baby plum tomatoes, halved
  • 8 slices cucumber
  • 50g pickled baby beets, halved or quartered
  • 38g feta cheese, broken into pieces
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • a good grinding of black pepper
Instructions
1. Layer your salad ingredients on your plate, starting with the salad leaves as a base.2. Top with baby beets and feta cheese.3. Finish with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and some black pepper. Calories:40g salad leaves = 7 calories 1 small carrot = 21 calories 2 spring onions = 10 calories 3 baby plum tomatoes = 9 calories 8 slices of cucumber = 8 calories 50g baby beets = 65 calories 38g feta cheese = 100 calories 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar = 10 calories Total = 230 calories
Details
Total time:
Yield: Serves 1



Calorie Counting Ideas 

Soup
  • Heinz Weight Watchers Tomato Soup = 76 Calories
  • Heinz Weight Watchers Carrot & Lentil Soup = 87 Calories
  • Miso Soup (1 sachet) = 14 Calories 
  • Spicy Butternut Squash Soup = 113 Calories
  • Spicy Tomato & Lentil Soup = 123 calories 
  • Tesco Light Choices Carrot & Coriander Soup in a Mug = 65 Calories
Fillers
  • Couscous (50g dried) = 158 Calories
  • Hard-Boiled Egg (large) = 78 Calories
  • Kingsmill Wholemeal Bread (1 medium slice) = 96 Calories 
  • Oats So Simple (36g sachet + 180ml semi-skimmed milk) = 221 Calories
  • Porridge Oats (40g dried) =150 Calories
  • Quinoa (40g dried) = 147 Calories 
  • Reduced Sugar & Salt Baked Beans (½ tin ) = 70 Calories
  • Tesco Light Fresh Mash (½ pack) = 140 Calories

Dairy
  • Dairylea Triangle = 43 Calories
  • Edam (28g) = 100 Calories
  • Feta Cheese (38g) = 100 Calories
  • Light Cottage Cheese = 70 Calories (100g) or 42 Calories (60g)
  • Light Philadelphia Soft Cheese (1tbsp)= 28 Calories

Vegetables & Salad
  • Asparagus (4) = 11 Calories
  • Baby Beets (50g in vinegar) = 65 Calories
  • Bell Peppers = 30 Calories
  • Carrots (1 medium) = 25 Calories
  • Cauliflower (87g) = 23 Calories
  • Cucumber (1 medium) = 24 Calories
  • Cucumber (8 slices) = 8 Calories
  • Peas (38g) = 38 Calories
  • Potatoes (1 medium) = 161 Calories
  • Salad Leaves (40g) - 7 Calories
  • Spinach (30g) = 7 Calories
  • Spring Onions (2) = 10 Calories
  • Tomatoes (1 cherry) = 4 Calories
  • Tomatoes (1 medium) = 26 Calories
Dressing
  • Balsamic Vinegar (1 tbsp) = 10 Calories
  • Olive Oil (1 tbsp) = 120 Calories
  • Tesco Light Choices French Dressing (1 tbsp) = 8 calories
  • Tesco Light Choices Balsamic Dressing (1 tbsp) = 12 calories

Fruit
  • Apples (1 medium) = 95 Calories
  • Apricots (3) = 38 Calories
  • Banana (1 medium) = 90 Calories
  • Blueberries (25) = 20 Calories
  • Grape = 2 Calories
  • Kiwi Fruit = 46 Calories
  • Nectarine = 67 Calories
  • Orange = 86 Calories
  • Peach = 42 Calories
  • Pear = 42 Calories
  • Plum = 36 Calories
  • Raspberries (10) = 10 Calories
  • 1 medium Strawberry = 4 Calories
Snacks
  • Crispbread = 35 Calories
  • Oatcake = 46 Calories
  • Rice Cake = 35 Calories
Something Sweet
  • Heinz Weight Watcher Vanilla & Fruit Fromage Frais = 48 Calories  
  • Nakd Cocoa Orange Raw Fruit & Nut Bar =145 Calories
  • Total 0% Greek Yoghurt (1 tbsp) & honey (1 tsp) = 48 Calories 
  • Cadburys Giant Chocolate Buttons (1) = 15 Calories (thanks Lori)

Read more about the 5:2 Diet:

144 comments:

  1. How weird. Until 2 hours ago I had never heard of this and you are the 2nd person to tweet something about it in the last 2 hours! The last was a tweet to me specifically from a guy I know. Will have to check it out, but <500 calories a day sounds bloody difficult! I'm struggling with 1300 calories a day. Good luck!

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    1. I have just been doing the 600 calories so far and it is ok actually. If you start with porridge, then you are ok for most of the day and the fact you can eat what you want on the other days really helps too :)

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    2. I'm doing a nutritionist controlled program at the moment but will definitely talk to her about this. I need to start my day with an egg otherwise I'm ready to eat my laptop by 10am! Which is unfortunate as I do love porridge.

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    3. Ahhhhh, well it would be interesting to hear what you are doing Mel.

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    4. Well done for publishing recipes - makes it much easier.

      I watched the programme and was enthusiastic about the health benefits, so looked at the research paper quoted in the programme - the one about alternate day fasting. I wanted to know where the 500/600 calories came from, and the type of group. They were a mix of male and female, and all were obese (only just, according to their BMI). Their lean day (can't really call it a fasting day, can you?) calorie intake was based on 25% of recommended daily intake - hence the difference between men and women.

      However, we are all different heights, so I don't know if recommended daily calories are different for tall or short women, for example.

      Also, myself and husband tried this last week, but realised we used up a lot of the lean days' calories with carbs. Reviewing what Michael Moseley ate, it was protein and veg for both meals. So this week we are cutting out the carbs.

      I also wondered if people of healthy weight to begin with also benefit, and if women in particular benefit, and after Googling, found various paleolithic/primal diet websites. It would seem men and women respond differently to low carb or restricted calories, with some women finding they have alertness/insomnia which could be due to extra adrenaline in response to threat. Not good. Some women put on weight too!

      There has been some research on eating only within an 8 hour window during each day, to give the body a rest, so am busy searching out the studies to find out if they looked at women.

      Unfortunately a lot of research on diet/drugs etc are on men, as they are 'simpler' than women with their complicating factors of monthly variations etc.


      The one thing we have both learned from trying 5:2 out is that we
      have a snacking habit, and were horrified to discover how often we started for the goodies cupboard on the lean day. Also have learnt the difference from being peckish and being hungry, and this has made us change our eating habits on the 'normal' days.

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    5. Thanks for that. It is interesting to hear how you got on. I found I was reaching for something in the evening, but it wasn't because I was hungry, it was just because I wanted a snack.

      More research would certainly be good.

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    6. Well, tried the 2-day 'lean days' again, and I found it gave me a dry mouth for most of the time, despite drinking loads of water and tea, a bit of a fuzzy head, plus insomnia. So don't think this is for me. But I was surprised that I could do my usual exercise class (core stability) on day 1, and my usual midday swim for 30 mins on day 2). I thought it would be quite hard to do exercise, especially by day 2.

      Looking at the website Marks Daily Apple and his posting Should Women Fast, and then Paleo for Women written by Stefani Ruper (search within the site for intermittent fasting), there is a lot of info on suitability (or not) of the various forms of this style of eating for women, including the 5, 8 or 10-hour window, restricted calories for life, and fasting or lean days.

      There is also a current 3-year clinical trial in Denmark (How often should we eat? by Inge Holm, Rigshospitalet - http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01378208) that might start to answer some questions about how different people (18-35 years old) respond according to gender and normal or obese starting weights.

      My conclusion is that I am going to keep my husband company on the lean days, with soup at lunchtime (just won't count the calories) and a lighter than usual evening meal, but with carbs for me, as that seems to be essential for women. I'm not overweight (8 stone, and 5ft tall) but want the health, and to remove that belly that's crept on. Once the belly's gone, I'll continue to eat a range of foods incl fat and carbs, but avoid sugar. I am definitely continuing to apply the 'am I hungry or do I just want to munch on something' rule, as I think that is the usual slippery slope. I eat healthy meals, then snack on rubbish in the evening, so that has to stop!

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    7. Hi Val,

      No you have to think carefully if it is making you feel a bit ill. Maybe just cutting back is best for you. Why not ask your doctor next time you visit your surgery.

      Thanks for the added info :)

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    8. Hello Val,

      Thank you for your information on 5:2 and women. I really liked the 5:2 diet, it worked for me, but I also suffered from insomnia. So now I am looking for an alternative way of eating, but in this same direction. I mean, with health benefits. And these lovely, tasty recipes from Jacqueline are the best help to maintain and enjoy this healthy lifestyle.
      Thanks Val, Margreet from Holland

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  2. Good luck Jacqueline! If I could eat salad every day it would be all good.

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    1. I know and the thing is, they are tasty!

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  3. Sometimes a glass of wine is a necessity :)

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    1. Well, sometimes it does feel like that *sigh*.

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  4. pretty much what I eat most nights so feel quite smug... it's just all the cake in between that does it for me!! Ha HA!!

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  5. So it's 10 minutes to make the salad and 15 minutes back and forwards to the computer to check all the calories for us......lol! You are an angel, thank you.

    This is most definitely what I will be having on my next fast day. It looks absolutely amazing and full of nutrition.

    And yes, sometimes a glass of wine just cannot be resisted, I came sooooo close to caving in myself last night but had a long soak in a bubbly bath instead and took myself off to bed.

    Sue xx

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    1. You are so good Sue. I managed fine on my other fast days, I don't know what happened this time. And yes, you are right, I didn't add the time it took to dash back and forward checking calories, haha :D

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  6. I danced through my first 3 fast days, but found yesterday really difficult.

    This salad looks delicious - thanks for all the calorie counting.

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    1. Must be something about the fourth fast then :)

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    2. My fourth fast day was horrific!!! But the fifth the easiest yet. I have been doing the 5:2 for 3 weeks now ansd have lost 5 pounds. Its such an easy lifestyle for me!

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  7. Hi Jacqueline - I had my first fast day yesterday and really struggled. I love my food and graze all day - I have to eat every couple of hours or I get cranky! Friday is my night for kicking back with a glass or three of wine so that was tough. I did manage to resist temptation and kept under 500 cals. I just had breakfast (in Oz so we're ahead of you guys) and savoured every single mouthful. I'm not sure if I'll be able to maintain this in the long term but I do want to try. I'll be following your posts to see how you're going. Good luck with everything and if you haven't already seen this, there's an article in the Telegraph with some more recipe ideas under 250 cals. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/9483381/52-diet-healthy-recipes-250-calories-or-less.html

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yes, I saw that yesterday, but thanks for the link. Good luck with your fasting. I think we just need to get used to doing it and it won;t be such a struggle.

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    3. Thanks, mutley, these look like useful recipes. Having said that, I can't see me ever restricting myself to 600 calories even just two days a week. I'm going to go for just cutting down generally and trying to keep my protein intake under control as explained in my blog.

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  8. Looks like an awesome salad! Good luck with this!

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  9. This looks greeat - I have eaten for about three people today, but tomorrow this salad is definitely on the menu. Enjoy your non-fast day tomorow!

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    1. It is a lovely big and filling salad too, which is a bonus :)

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    2. I must admit, I've never found salads filling, or at least not for long.

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    3. Maybe soup would be a better bet for you Mike, as they are filling and keep you full longer. I saw a study where they gave some men vegetables to eat and another group was given the same veg as soup and it kept them going longer.

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    4. I think Michael Mosely reported on this, but I've found a different study that has the same conclusions:
      http://www.nature.com/oby/journal/v13/n6/full/oby2005123a.html

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    5. And here's a link in everyday journalese instead of a scientific report - but no indication of the source of their information.
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8068733.stm

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  10. Great post & the salad looks very appetizing indeed! Great for the warm weather now & for my diet too! :)

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    1. Good stuff Kit, hope you enjoy it :)

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  11. Hi, I watched the Horizon programme and decided to do the 1-1 eating plan. So one day I fast and have 500 calories and the next day I eat what I want. I have done this for a week now and lost 6lb's. The reason why I did this was to lose weight and help my chances of getting cancer. I seem to fail at so many diets and I have to say that I find this way of eating so easy. The fact that you can eat what you want the next day is what keeps you on track. My husband is also on the eating plan as his mum and dad both had cancer so he is doing for those reasons but we are both losing weight and feel good. I cook chinese fish soup with noodles which is 200 calories for a big bowl and very filling. I got the recipe from Gok Wans recipe book and adapted it to suit my needs. So I generally have this for lunch and and it keeps me going until my dinner which this week has mainly consisted of a tin of weightwatchers spaghetti and 1 piece of 51 calories toast. Good luck to everyone that is on this new way of eating plan.

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    1. Well done Elizabeth! I really think soup is the best thing to eat on this diet, so filling, but doesn't use too many calories. Keep us up-to-date with how you are doing.

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  12. Sue K
    Hi I have just watched the Horizon program and I think I will try the 1-1 eating plan. Is there a good time of the day to eat on the fasting day?

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    1. There hasn't been enough research yet, but it is suggested that the reduction in calories is enough. Different people have different ideas. Dr Michael Mosley is spreading his calories over two meals and I spread mine over the course of the day.

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  13. Once a fortnight, I like to go out and have a few pints. Will I still lose weight if I stick to the 5:2 fast?

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    1. Yes, during the tests, they found that it didn't matter what you ate during your normal days, the LGF-1 was still lowered and there was still weight loss. Obviously don't go crazy on normal days, but your few pints should be ok. Your fast days give your body a chance to repair.

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  14. Does exercise count towards extra food or have you got to stick 100% to allowance s no matter what.
    Reece

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    1. I think you stick to the allowance. I haven't read anything about how sport effects your calories while doing the 5:2. It might be best to only exercise lightly on your fast days and go for it on your normal days. Sorry I can't be of more help.

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  15. Can anyone tell me if this would work with a pattern of 3 days normal, 1 fasting, then 2 normal and 1 fasting - still getting in the 2 fast days in 7? This pattern would suit me better

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    1. Just go for it Maureen as long as you are giving your body that chance to repair twice a week. There hasn't been enough research to say otherwise :)

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  16. The 2 lean days were quite hard mainly because am rubbish at converting grams into ounces for my kitchen scales. However, stuck to it. not too bad, but found it difficult to eat anything on the first of the 5-day normal diet. Could my stomach have shrunk that quickly? btw am a vegan, not a big eater but a back injury has left me with a "sofa" tummy which I abs loathe.

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    1. I know, it is so funny have you react the following day. You really have to get a set of cheapy scales. The electronic ones make life so easy.

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  17. Hi Maureen, it seems that any 2 days out of a week works! Good luck with it!

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  18. I don't want or need to lose a huge amount, half a stone would be more than enough but at 58 even that is so hard to shift. This eating pattern (I'm not calling it a diet) works perfectly for me. I decide at the beginning of each week which will be my '500 days' which allows for eating out with friends or a vist to Mother which invariably involves a 'nursery' supper (bless her!). I find that it's usually Monday and Thursday that work best for me.
    Whoever worked out the calories in the chocolate button has my thanks! So much easier to keep control of the little treats that way.
    The 500 day is more manageable knowing the next day you can eat normally but it reallly works and is well worth persevering with.

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    1. My friend Louise at work is doing the 5:2 as well, she gave me the heads up on the buttons. I will pass on your thanks, hehe :)

      It is really worth persevering with if it improves our health and helps lower our changes of cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

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  19. I just saw the programme (noticed that the husband seems to record all Horizon's and so I went searching for this one). Was really interesting and I will be watching how you get on (and all the other bloggers who are doing it too). I have NO willpower whatsoever, otherwise would have a go when the kids go back to uni next month.

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  20. I am just going into my 4th week of this diet.I am having 400/500 calories Tues and Thurs and eating normally the rest of the time.My 400 cals is made up of one meal in the evening.I must say I have found it relatively easy cutting out eating for most of the day knowing I can eat the next..but I have to tell you that so far I have lost NO WEIGHT.Very disappointing.I am going to stick with it until the end of Sept.But I am a bit despondant! Jillie

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    1. That's interesting. If you are female, your experience matches what research on so-called paleolithic/primal diets has said - that it doesn't benefit many women. I've posted some info at the beginning.

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  21. I'm giving it a go starting today. Today's weight 13 st 12, bmI 27.8.

    2 slices nimble toast + peanut butter 200 cals.
    Cup a pasta 200
    Goks noodle soup for tea.

    I am feeling hungry. I normally eat majority of my calories lunchtime. I do like fruit teas and herb teas which help.
    The thought that I only have to wait until tomorrow is a big help.
    I have to try like all of us, to lower possibility of health complications whilst I'm in control.

    I'm going Oktoberfest on September 22, I'm going to try not time weigh myself until then.
    Reece.

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  22. I'm giving it a go starting today. Today's weight 13 st 12, bmI 27.8.

    2 slices nimble toast + peanut butter 200 cals.
    Cup a pasta 200
    Goks noodle soup for tea.

    I am feeling hungry. I normally eat majority of my calories lunchtime. I do like fruit teas and herb teas which help.
    The thought that I only have to wait until tomorrow is a big help.
    I have to try like all of us, to lower possibility of health complications whilst I'm in control.

    I'm going Oktoberfest on September 22, I'm going to try not time weigh myself until then.
    Reece.

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    1. Good luck Reece, I hope it goes well for you. I seem to be losing a pound for each day I fast, which is a nice steady lose. The health benefits are the main thing though :)

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  23. I've been trying this since the programme aired & it seems to be easy to follow. Its good to find some others who are trying it too! I have been having my fasting days together, always the same days of the week and have been having one meal about 400 cals in the middle of the day of the fasting days (mostly I've gone for weight watchers ones to save the calculating). I find the first fasting day is the worst as after a while I stop feeling hungry I think it would be worse for me to split them up. I don't think I've lost weight but then I have been pigging out quite a lot on the "normal" days and have not put any on so that is a result!

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    1. Oh you are brave doing both days together, I really don't think I could :)

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  24. New science, reported in Nature this week shows that an emaciating diet doesn't increase lifespan in rhesus monkeys, the closest human relatives to try it in a rigorous, long-running study. It did possibly show that calorie-restricted animals were healthier, better cholesterol profiles, less muscle loss, less disease. But it didn't translate into greater longevity. But, The calorie-restricted monkeys lived no longer than the other monkeys. The oldest animals in each group had the same incidence of tumors, heart disease and general deterioration. While the abstemious monkeys had some improved health markers such as cholesterol and triglyceride levels, however, this "didn't translate into better survival."

    SOURCE: http://bit.ly/Q1Uatj

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    1. Hmmmmmmm. Hope there is more human research soon.

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  25. I have been doing the Dukan Diet for two weeks and just watched the Horizon programme tonight. It was so interesting to see the high protein diet I have been living on this past two weeks exposed as possibly dangerous. I have cheated a few times, but so far have lost about 3 kgs. I am keen to try the 5/2 eat/fast approach, it sounds like it involves careful calorie counting and I want to make sure I get it right with the amount of meals I have per day. I am thinking one substantial low calorie meal such as pumpkin soup, and then a salad for dinner. All very interesting ! I am going to carry on with my present diet for the moment and lose the last 6kgs on my hit list, I really want to reach a new baseline and then will embark on this new regime which sounds sensible not only for weight control, but other health benefits. CR

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  26. I have been doing this for a month.

    I started on 5:2 moved to ADF last week.

    I'm calorie counting with my iPhone on my fast days; now I've decided I'm going to also track my "feast days" simply to make sure I'm not overdoing it.

    Also I've realised ever since I moved from 5:2 to ADF my calorie counting has ticked up to around 800-1000 (for instance I'm already at 622calories and its 6pm).

    Ann example of what I've had today is 3 bananas (two for breakfast one a snack) and a large tuna, kidney red bean salad for lunch. Also lots and lots and lots of green tea.

    I did a blood test around 10wks ago for Vitamin D deficient and incidentally I was on the higher end of chloestrol (fatty liver). I'm due to have a blood test on Friday to track this so shall see the difference.

    Anyway thanks alot; have been trawling for things on ADF etc.


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    1. Do let us know how you got on and if there was an improvement :)

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  27. Hi can you tell me wich program you use on your iphone to count the calorie

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    1. I don't use an app on my phone, but I heard there is a good one called My Fitness Pal.

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    2. Myfitnesspal is excellent. I can find the calories of products from my country in South America!

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  28. I reported a few weeks back that I had been on this diet 4 weeks and hadn't lost any weight but that has not turned out to be strictly true...I'm just about to start my 6th week,and I have lost 1.7 ks all told.It seems very slow ,but now I've got used to it I'm qiute pleased.My weight is dropping every week,I feel confident I can stick to this regime and I get to eat cake inbetween times...perfect!Jillie

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    1. That's still great Jillie and remember you are also working towards improving your health :)

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  29. Hi , I started 5 weeks ago the 5:2 diet. I have lost around 2,5 kilos which is great for me. I usually loose very slowly weight. I am not overweight but I must loose around 12 pounds in total to reach my former weight.
    A friend of mine started the 5:3 diet, so three days of fasting and he has lost the double.
    In my case, I am eating 600 calories on the fasting, and controlling a bit during the rest of the week. Something that has hapenned

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    1. Sorry, I had some problems with the keyboard and sent by mistake the comment.
      Something that has happened to me is that I feel guilty if I eat too much on non-fast days. it's like, after making all this effort, I should keep "behaving". And it works, because I control myself a bit more, but still I have the freedom of being allowed to eat anything if I want.
      Some mornings I still have croissant for breakfast and ,more less once a week I have overate t by having chocolate desserts and meals from restaurants.
      I do exercises on regular basis and I have noticed that those weeks in which I do much more exercises I have lost more weight.
      I am happy but the only negative effect is insomnia. here I am, almost 2 am, trying to sleep! I found useful if I eat a bit of porridge very late at night.
      Excuse my English, and I hope my story adds any information to this interesting topic

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  30. sorry guys, I forgot to tell you that I am a woman, 45 year-old
    Bye , good luck to all!

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    1. It sounds like you are doing really well. I find the day after my fast I am thinking more about what I eat, but by the weekend it does slip a bit.

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  31. Hi I am a woman 54 been on 5:2 for 5 weeks and have been really pleased with results. On average 2lb a week with slight ups and downs if I get over excited about weighing myself. Definitely need to just check the morning after the fasting. I am looking at this as a long term regime rather than a diet because overall you appear to be reducing your caleries over a weekly basis without having to think really hard about it 7 days a week. That is the mose appealing part and yes, you do appear to naturally reduce / watch your intake the non fasting days. In all this seems a really good way forward. Good luck to everyone else giving this a go.

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    1. It is great to see that so many people are approaching this as a long term lifestyle change.

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  32. Just started the diet on Monday , Tuesday. A bit hard but doable. Wil split the days next week. There is something to look forward to then each diet day.

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    1. I think spreading the days out is a much better idea, Good luck :)

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  33. Also had severe insomnia since starting this week. I'm male in my forties.

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    1. That's a shame, hope that this passes.

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  34. how about 250 calories per day in one meal(2 days fasting say tuesday and wednesday).

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    1. That is going a bit too low in calories Keith. I wouldn't recommend it, but it is up to you.

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  35. It is really interesting reading the experiences of people on 5:2diet . I am just starting my 6th week on this eating plan and have lost weight to the extent that I am fitting into jeans a size smaller that I haven't worn for a couple of years - and because of this it keeps me motivated . I also find it difficult to sleep on the fast days but plan to eat maybe a small banana or similar just before bed to try and stave off the hunger pangs. . I also find that I do not eat as much as usual on normal days , with my perspective changed to treating food as fuel rather than snacking habit . I recommend giving this a try -it's working for me !

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    1. It sounds like you are doing really well Nancy :)

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  36. Hi, I started this, this week I am 27 years old and need to lose about 1.5 stones, haven't weighed myself yet but I will do after week 1, so far it seems ok but my boyfriend is not happy with how grumpy I am on my fast days!

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    1. Oh dear! Hopefully it will get easier for you as you get used to the diet and your body adjusts :)

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  37. Hi I started the 5:2 diet last week after watching the Horizon program. I am one week down and weighed in today. My weight has gone down 1/2 kilo or 1 pound. I have about 8 kilo to lose. I have been researching the 5:2 on the internet and I am encouraged by all the positive comments on different blogs. I found the 2nd fast day more difficult and I think I will play around with the days, maybe try eating more calories on fast days! but fast alternate days, so that I have 3 lighter eating days during the 7 days. I didn't go mad and eat everything in sight on the non fast days.I feel that I am more conscious of what I am eating and making sure it is nutritionally sound.

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    1. It does have a good effect that way. A pound a week is a good steady weight lose and yes spread the days out :)

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    2. Hi Jacqueline, thanks for taking the time to read my post. I will report in each week and watch for any posts from others with their progress, its inspiring to share the expirence with other people who are following this exciting new way of eating.

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  38. Jacqueline - how are you doing on the diet?

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    1. Sorry Lucy, I missed your comment. I am doing well on it. Finding it easy and I have lost 1/2 stone even though I had a well fed holiday :)

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  39. Hi,
    I'm on week 1 fast day 2.
    One meal I have found really low calorie and very tasty is skewed prawns
    7 jumbo prawns 88 cals
    1 red pepper 30 cals
    Salt and pepper for seasoning
    Low calorie soy to dip 5 cals

    Skewer the prawns and peppers, season and grill for 10 mins.
    123 calories for 3 tasty skewers

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    1. Thanks for sharing that. I am veggie, but I am sure some of my readers will appreciate the tip. Good luck with your diet :)

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  40. Been doing 5:2 since July and have lost 11kg. I have tried to be healthy on the 5 days with some success. My only problem is I've cut right down on bread and potatoes but need fibre for a high, family, bowel cancer risk. I do now eat a lot of fruit and vegetables.

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    1. You can get a lot of fibre from lentils, beans and pulses too David. Well done though, you have done well :)

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  41. Hi I started the 5:2 after a friend recommended it to me. My husband and I watched the Horizon programme and it was enough to encourage us to change our lifestyle. Like many others on this forum, we choose our days depending on what kind of week we are going to have, and we are now in week 3 (today is first fast day of the week). I am finding it easier to live off 500 calories than I thought I would. Haven't lost any weight yet, but then I haven't been very good on my non fast days. Unfortunately, psychologically I believe that I 'deserve' food for being so good on my fast days and have been feasting as if my life depended on it on my non fast days. However, this week I have settled down a bit and have been more conscientious about what I eat on the non fast days. I am not actually doing it primarily for weight loss but for the health benefits but a byproduct of losing a bit off my muffin top wouldn't be unwelcome!

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    1. It will get easier as you go, you have to try and get out of that mindset though. Try and make your meals as tasty as possible on fast day, so you can look forward to them :)

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  42. I have just started the 5:2 diet today. I have been thinking about it for a while; but recently I had to be nil by mouth for a hospital procedure and it was easier than I thought so after even more research, I am giving it a go.

    I have had a banging headache all day, but to be fair I had a headache yesterday also.

    I am going to stick to Monday and Wednesdays as fast days. I will try to stop eating from around 8pm on 'eating' days and try to leave it as long into the fast day as possible before I eat.

    Today I had a cereal bar around 9am, soup and a pear for lunch and just had more soup, a bowl and veg and gravy and a yog.

    I hope i receive all the health benefits mentioned. I also hope to lose around 6 - 8 lbs and reduce my bloated tum.

    Fingers crossed - good luck to all those still following the diet. I would be interested to know how those who started in August are fairing.

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  43. I started the 5:2 regime when the programme aired. Concept made sense to me in that we must have had fast days when we were hunter gatherers. I do Monday Tuesdays and have found it fairly straight forward. I chose the regime for the health benefits but the unintended consequence of weight loss has been most welcome. 1.5-stone since the start. Trimmer, fitter, feel better about myself and fitting into previously tight clothes. I would recommend to all if your health is OK to support. My understanding is that you're best to do both days together so that your growth hormone level drops along with cholersterol and bad blood sugars. The science suggested that instead of making new cells, during fast days your body repaired existing cells thus reducing risk of cancers, cardio vascular disease and diabetes. Go for it. 47-year old male.

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    1. Dr Michael Mosley says you should do the two days separate, but to be honest, there doesn't seem to be enough research yet on how to spread the days. So, if this suits you, I would stick with it :)

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  44. I began the 5:2 regime, Tuesdays and Thursdays after the prgramme was aired. I went from 18st 3 to 17st 3 in about 4 weeks but hovered at this weight for the next 2 weeks. I went on holiday and left the diet alone. I was 17st 9 when I returned but after a days fasting I had got it back to 17st 4. It defineately works and I have felt less tired, have more energy. I have diabetes and my doctor was happy for me to continue. My blood / sugar levels are much better and my cholestral has also dropped 3 points. All in all, a good start and I feel that I will always do this. In fact, I sort of missed the fasting days...which sounds daft but it's true.

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    1. It is really good you consulted your doctor Duffgen and I am so please he is supporting you with your diet. Well done, you are doing so well :)

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  45. My husband and I have been following the 5:2 regime for several weeks, with great success. We feel so much better, and we've steadily lost weight. My husband has lost all the weight he needs to,(about 10lbs) and I'm almost there, 8lbs down, and 4 to go.

    But what should we do when we would like to continue with the regime for all of the health benefits, but we don't want to continue to lose weight? Should we fast for 1 day rather than 2, or would it be better to increase the calorie intake on both fast days. I've been unable to find any advice about maintaining weight levels after achieving weight loss. Any suggestions?

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    1. I would say carry on the same way. It seems from people I have spoken to that when they reach a certain weight, their weight lose seems to even out and it is more about keeping the weight off and the health aspects. Well done to you both :)

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  46. Hi...I'm hoping to get some positive reinforcement. I've been on the 5:2 diet for a week now and have in fact put on a pound. I have not over eaten on the eating days....if anything I have been very controlled,eating around 1200 calories. I am 54 female and menopausal. I have been a good weight all my life...around 8 stone,or 8 and a half. As menopausal symptoms hit about a year ago my weight has gone up to almost 10 stone despite no change in my diet. I would appreciate feedback from anyone who could advise me on losing this weight. It makes me so unhappy.

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    1. Sorry, I somehow missed your comment.

      It could be the changes you are going through. I would stick with the diet and I am sure you will see results. Remember the health benefits too, but ultimately your body will level at a certain weight.

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  47. Hi,
    I just found this blog.
    Yesterday I heard about this diet from my friend, ant today I've been searching info from web.
    In Finland we don't have any info about fasting, so maybe I start a blog of my own :)
    -Anna

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    1. Good for you Anna. Let me know how you get on :)

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  48. Hubby and I have been following this plan since the programme aired. He has been skinny most of his life but got a bit of a paunch in later years. I have basically been overweight the majority of my life, sometimes more so sometimes less. We are both in our 60's and I got to the appalling weight of 17st 4lb at height 5'1". I've tried all sorts of regimes but give up after a few weeks because the weight loss stops after a couple of pounds.
    Hubby has lost 10lbs and his paunch and now does not do the fasting days as rigourously as before. I have lost 20lb in 17 weeks. Not a particularly quick weight loss but it is steady and is still happening, something that has never happened before. I find it fairly easy to stick to the low calorie days and stangely find I'm more hungry on the "normal" days than the fasting days. I've still got a long way to go but I'm confident I shall keep this going (except over Christmas!). It works for me and is so easy. Keep yourself busy on the fasting days with a bit of light excercise - walking round town shopping is good for me.

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    1. Good advice and well done to both of you :)

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  49. That is brilliant, 20lbs is a fabulous weight lose. It is slow, but well worth it. It is so lovely to hear how everyone is doing. Thanks for stopping by.

    Jac
    :)

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  50. Will be starting 5;2 on Saturday 15th December. I am 63 years of age and I want to lose 10 kg. I think this is something that I could cope with, so wish me luck. I will let you know if it works for me. I am impressed with everyones comments.

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    1. You are brave starting at Christmas, I think I will be having a week off at Christmas. Good luck Cyndy!

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  52. I am inspired to give this a go, I did watch the Horizon program, but did nothing and was watching BBC news and saw article about it again today. Diets always fail for me, after the initial weight loss life gets in the way and it all piles back on. I must loose weight as my knees and fitness is now beginning to suffer, so tomorrow will be first fast day!

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    1. Good for you Marian! I hope it goes well. My only advice is to go in with a positive attitude and look forward to it. You might want rather than need something to eat on the evening, so keep yourself busy or go to bed early!

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    2. Thank you for your encouragement, I will heed your comments.

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  53. Very motivating read. I think I will give this a try. Good luck people. BTW I am male, age 37 and 11.4 stone.

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  54. 1st day so far so good wanting to looose 7lbs at least hope all goes well and tips !

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  55. hey all well from 1st day kept my self busy enjoyed fridge salad , found having an oxo cub drink good to only 7 cals next 500 day monday and getting weighed off a friend every thursday , slept well too heres hoping 5.2 works will try my best

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    1. Yay, that is a great start. Good luck Amber :)

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  56. Well I've now done 4 Fast Days, certainly found the first one tricky and got really bad headache, but since then much easier. I have lost 2lb ( which is a start I really need to loose 2 stone+ and at 54 normally find it a struggle!) and I do seem to have more energy. My only problem is that I seem to get really bad indigestion during the evening and night of my Fast Days, I have a breaksfast of porridge then an evening meal usually salad or stirfry. Problem is I am then up most the night and feel rotten the next day, anyone else had the same problem and any suggestions?

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    1. Make sure you are drinking a lot more than usual Marion.

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  57. I"m on it and I basically eat the same thing on my 500 days salad and blueberries plus lots of green tea. 24 hrs is easy and its only a couple of days a week. You aren't supposed to eat grains or starchy veg.

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    1. Hi Isa, I haven't heard anything about what you shouldn't eat on your fast days, just the calorie count.

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  58. Hi, I just wanted to add that I also started this diet last week and am absolutely amazed at the results already! I don't particularly have a lot of weight to lose (10lbs will be great) and was 10stone last Monday morning and this morning 9 stone 8lbs! It didn't feel like a slog either and pretty much eaten what I liked on the non fast days. I realise my weight loss will probably slow right down now as I don't have much more to lose but I am converted! Thanks for all your tips, just going out to try and find some weight watchers soups etc (I live in Switzerland).

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  59. Hey all,

    I started the 5:2 diet today. I am 36 and have lost a stone with eating 1400 cals per day and running 3x a week. I am a little nervous for a few reasons, how will I be during my Monday and Wednesday night runs as these are my chosen fast days, will this flare up my IBS and can I actually do this on the fast days? I have about 7lbs to go, so not much but the health benefits and eating what you like on your non-fast days is what is motivating me. I am planning on a bowl of homemade veg and lentil soup for lunch (100 kcals) and fish, boiled potatoes and green beans for lunch (400 kcals) wish me luck!

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  60. over moon , lost 11lbs in 7 weeks on this diet, found keeping busy on fasting days a must, l look forward to my fast days as next day feel wonderful, how ever started my fitness regime this week , and i put 2lbs back on !!!! any tips to what i should do next , i always fast mon and wed , should i swap days or not exercise on fast days !! help needed please

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    1. That's brilliant Amber, well done. Not sure about the fitness regime, except a lot of people do the 5:2 and carry on their routines. As for the weight, it can fluctuate depending on the time of month, time of day you weigh yourself, etc.

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  63. This is my second week on 5:2 and I am thrill with the results. I was watching the scales go up to where I consider danger level and was heartened in the first week loosing 1.5kg and heading for 2 kg. Like other people who have written -
    I am more mindful on the feast days. What is heartening is that you see results for your effort which gives you motivation to keep it up. Also love the recipes and would like to share one.
    2 Egg Whites, tiny tomatoes, and wilted spinach flipped into an omelette. I have told lots of people about this diet and have learnt not to mention it when out unless I am asked.

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  64. Sorry to say that I have been doing the 5:2 for 8 weeks now and have only lost 1 pound. Very disappointed although I am sticking with it as I do feel better doing it but had hoped the weight loss would be better. I only have 7 lbs to lose so will stick with it as I haven't put anything on which is amazing given how much I eat on feast days (always within 2000 cals).

    I did take my measurements at the start, and although I dont' feel a huge difference I will measure myself at the end of the 12 weeks and let you know how I get on.

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  65. I stuck to the Monday and Thursday fast and in only a relatively short time lost 10kg. I found that the weight loss and general well being motivated me and I now run 3 times a week, something I never would have imagined. I still have blow outs and generally do 1 day fast one week and 2 days the next. Slowly the weight comes off but I am not in a hurry. I feel and look better than I did 6 months ago AND I must be healthier. I eliminate all carbs on fast days as they are calorie monsters. Soup and salad then the next day pizza and wine:) I have tried lots of diets but this is a Way Of Eating that worked for me and my friend. Good luck to all :)

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    1. Wow, you have done so well. It is a great diet. I have let it slip and have been just not eating during the day on fast days, but I've not been bothering about calorie counting in the evening and then wondering why no weight loss. I must get back on track.

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  66. PS Use Cauliflower mash in replacement for Potatoe

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    1. That's a great tip, thank you :)

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    2. Thanks for stopping by and letting us know how you got on and well done.

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I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x