My Experience with Intermittent Fasting the 5:2 Way
I have been through a progression of eating styles the last 4-5 years. I was eating the Wheat Belly diet, then I was eating Keto, and then my thyroid went out of whack which I now attribute to eating Keto (low carb), and I have since heard of a lot of people who the same thing happened with reduced carbs.
I then ate everything and anything during my recovery from hyperthyroidism, I had a period of time where I allowed myself to eat what I wanted when I wanted, and there was a lot of healing around body shame and shame around food. I felt like it was a pendulum swing back from such a restricted way of eating.
Then I found the Medical Medium and my health started to improve a lot. During that time I cut out eating meat and chicken and ate vegan 90% of the time, with just eggs and fish being two foods I didn’t want to give up.
5:2 Intermittent Fasting
For the last month I have been following the 5:2 Diet. I don’t really like calling it a diet because it’s really a lifestyle. It was first made popular by Michael Mosley, a British journalist. I watched his documentary and I was hooked.
Its all centred around Intermittent Fasting. There are a few types of Intermittent fasting, but the 5:2 Diet is eating normally for 5 days a week and fasting on 500 calories for women, and 600 calories for men, on 2 days a week (based on 1/4 of your daily calorie allowance). A lot of people find this way of eating easier to achieve than the usual restrictive calorie diets.
Health Benefits and Weight Loss
I have long let go of my focus being weight loss, if it happens then so be it, but the health benefits of eating this way have been well documented. In particular I’m wanting to see what effect it has on my high blood pressure.
A lot of people have lost weight eating this way, and it’s known to improve metabolic health. When your body isn’t digesting all the time, then it can get to repairing and regenerating.
One of the things I liked about this way of eating is that it tricks your body into not feeling restricted and then going into starvation mode and storing fat. In other diet’s I’ve been on I would never lose any weight because of this.
Low Carb But Not Keto
I’ve now worked out what my body feels the most comfortable eating on these 2 days, and it has made the process easier. I have found foods that make me full but yet are low in calories. And I’m not eating Keto either but aiming for Whole Food Plant Based. In the beginning it was hard, but tweaking my meals made it easier.
What Days To Fast
I was fasting Tuesday and Saturday, but found that I needed to change it because Friday’s I have my PT session and I needed more food on Saturday to recover. So I’ve moved to Monday and Thursday.
Non Fast Days
I haven’t really found that I binge on the NFD (non fast days) and something I have come to notice is how much more I love food and enjoy it on the NFD. And not in an obsessive way, but more an appreciation and enjoyment.
It’s not meant to be a free for all on the NFD, you don’t have to count calories, but you do have to be conscious of what you are eating.
I belong to a facebook group for this diet and a lot of people mention they can go all day not eating and eat all their calories at dinner, but I cant. I get too hangry. lol I have to have 3 meals, so I’ve worked out how best to do that. The groups are great support and you pick up ideas for what to eat. I also bought 3 books about this way of eating, and 2 of them are for vegetarians.
I use myfitnesspal app to count the calories. I use the bar code scanner when I’m at the supermarket to get a sense of what calorie value foods have. I came into this having never counted calories before.
It’s early days for me yet so I will keep you posted on how it goes.
(If you are considering this way of eating, please consult your doctor, and it’s not recommended for pregnant or nursing women, people with blood sugar issues, people with eating disorders)
Let me know if you’re interested in eating this way or you are already.