Pet Information > Cats > Care > The Five Two Diet

The Five Two Diet

27 10:31:25
Until I complete my clinical nutritionist qualification, I cannot express anything other than my personal opinion on the 5:2, or any other 'diet'. This is solely my opinion and not clinical advice.

Now, back to the 5:2 diet which is the current best seller, fad diet around. A very respected, fit and healthy friend of mine once said to me that the first three letters of the word diet spell 'DIE' - that really struck a chord with me. Eating should be a joy, not counting calories, jumping onto scales, being hungry or becoming food-obsessed. We all know that fad diets do not work, and can be dangerous for your health. What does work is a switch in your attitude to eating and exercise. There is exercise suitable for everyone, no excuses - I have disabled relatives and they exercise, eat well and have regular holistic treatments for relaxation and pain relief.

As a busy, working mum, who loves exercise, I could not possibly function on 500 calories a day, two days a week! Never mind being told we can have the 500 calorie days at the weekend or a 'day off'. All us mums know we work all week, but probably expend even more energy at the weekend catching up on all our household chores! Anyone who is a fan of this diet, please look at the nationally available warnings in many countries. As for drinking carbonated water to fill yourself up… my goodness!

In a recent article in the Daily Telegraph, Xanthe Clay, who lost a stone and a half in five months, produced lunch for Michael Mosely and discussed her progress. By changing my eating habits and not dieting, I lost more than 3 stones in weight in under 12 weeks. I ate a lot of nutritionally beneficial food, felt healthy and energetic and people tell me every day that I look great. I only know the exact weight loss from my lovely Wii fit lady who measured me each day but I knew how well I was doing from the clothes I am now wearing.

So far today I have eaten three meals. Breakfast was a bowl of salad, no dressing with tuna and a few olives. Elevenses was a small jacket potato, more oily fish - sardines with smoked paprika, a level teaspoon of home-made mayo and more salad. Lunch at 2 p.m. was an egg white omelette with more fish, peppers, onions, olives and salad. Way above the 500 calories you are allowed to eat on a fast day on the 5:2 diet.

Normally I would not count calories, but out of pure curiosity I did today. Usually I eat four or five small, healthy meals a day and reach the recommended 1200 to 1500 calories for an active woman of my age. The thought of spending from 2.00 p.m. until tomorrow morning with nothing to eat or drink other than water, makes me want to weep and gnaw my own thigh. I need to eat well because I have a lot of work to do, child care/entertainment, dog and cat care/ entertainment, family nourishment to provide, housework, gardening and exercise to keep me healthy!

I eat carbs in the form of potatoes, quinoa and brown rice a couple of times a week. Other days, my carbs come from the large amounts of broccoli and other fresh vegetables I eat. I once tried a low carb diet as it was the 'trend' at the time, even though I didn't need to lose weight, all my friends were doing it. I was so tired and drained of energy - I couldn't exercise, play with my children or even concentrate on much. It also gave us all bad breath!

Sometimes I spend a lot of time cooking special meals for my family at the weekend or on special holidays, but more often than not I spend less than half an hour on our main evening meal because I don't have any more hours in the day! It isn't difficult to cook a healthy meal with little time and a lot of organisation and planning. No convenience foods in this house. My little meals of salad and steamed vegetables during the day take less than five minutes to prepare. If I am going to be out and about where I cannot get the right food for me, like my fitness centre, I take a packed lunch and nobody minds. If they think I am odd, it is not because of the food!

I eat out a lot, at least three times per week and I don't struggle to eat well. If you explain politely to restaurant staff what you would like and why, they are more than accommodating. They are usually really interested in why you eat in the way you do, without having to go on a calorie counting, weighing, measuring, milkshake/bars/diet food regime. I carry my before and after pictures too which fascinates everyone when they realise that just a few little changes have given me a healthy body and boundless energy. They always ask me 'what is your secret?' I have no secret, I eat well and never diet! I have two food allergies - dairy and gluten and people are very accommodating wherever I go, even famous fast food restaurants do their utmost to feed me if we are on a long car journey and I need to eat.

Healthy eating has become a way of life for our family. No calorie counting, no weighing, no measuring, eat when you are hungry ... and it works. I say this to all my coaching clients, I eat A LOT of healthy food and I don't allow myself to become hungry. Start feeling hungry and you eat the worst types of food! I don't need to weigh and measure, I know how I am by the way I feel and the size of clothes I wear. It really is that simple. My children (clue is in the term children) have a treat shelf in the cupboard. Sweeties, choccies, crisps, almonds, dried sweetcorn, pipas (sunflower seeds) etc. They have a weekly limit and once it is gone it is gone. I was amazed that Mr Mosely told his family to hide biscuits, crisps, chocolate etc. so he wouldn't eat it. That was the key to me that his diet is a fad diet and not a sustainable way of life ... I am not tempted by the treats I buy for my children, who eat a very healthy diet most of the week … I am not tempted, because I am not on a diet!

I know I am fortunate to have a family and friends who love rustic, home cooked food and eat tons of fish and veggies. These wonderful people have also persevered with me in my journey to develop recipes for pastry, flat breads, and sauces with no dairy, wheat and now not even dairy substitutes in them. The first time I made a gluten free pastry, it was like a brick and there was very nearly a queue for the dentist as my husband and offspring attempted to eat it to make me happy! For my family and friends who are with me every step of the way, I am very grateful and the sight of a couple of teenagers charging into the kitchen for third helpings of a dish I made in no time last week was encouraging.

There will be no fasting two days a week in this house, just a healthy diet and a lively family life.