Back in 2013, Mr Books and I embarked on the original 5:2 Fast Diet. It was easier and harder than we thought. We both lost the weight that we wanted to, we enjoyed the fasting days (weird but true) and we ate a much healthier diet throughout the whole week as a result of what we learnt. However we may have annoyed our family and friends with our evangelical approach to the diet!
Then we moved house halfway through 2015, and things began to slide. One of the booklets moved in with us full-time, and we lost our natural, easy fasting days. Our work routines changed as well and complacency set in.
We still eat well, but portion sizes have slowly crept up, fast days have crept out to once a month, instead of once a week and eating late at night has become a bad habit once again as changes at work have completely reworked our meal time schedules.
I bought a copy of the new and improved version, The Fast 800, when it first came out in Dec 2018. I read the first handful of chapters with the eagerness and excitement of a new year’s resolution. But then the book sat by my desk, unfinished and untouched, looking askance at me every time I sat down to blog, until I stacked a pile of books on top of it, and forgot about it!
A recent clean up unearthed it. But, really, it was my soft, squishy, slowly expanding peri-menopausal tummy that made me open the book again. I want to get back on track and reclaim my waistline!
The Fast 800 differs from the earlier book with a slight increase in the calorie intake for the fast days. Mosley shares the research from studies that have been undertaken since the writing of the first book. For instance, 800 is the new magic calorie number as it’s,
high enough to be manageable and sustainable but low enough to trigger a range of desirable metabolic changes.
He goes over information about carbs, insulin, the Mediterranean diet, rapid weight loss, food fads, junk food, sugar, exercise options and various food myths. Mosley also discusses the science behind the benefits of Time Restricted Eating (TRE) and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Practical, how-to information is suggested for how to get started and the last part of the book is dedicated to recipes with their calorie counts.
I’m now into week two of my new fast 800 and I’m feeling good. It only takes a little bit of extra thought and care to count and measure food options for the fast days. And I know from last time, that once I work out a few meal combinations that I particularly like, I will just use those as my go-to meals each week. The magic 800 means that I can also have a skim flat-white coffee (72 calories) on my fast days, something I couldn’t do when I had to restrict my calories to 500 under the old regime.
My plan is to have a month (or two) of the 5:2 diet (or until my winter jeans fit more comfortably). Then I will move back onto the maintenance diet of 6:1.
And I hope, that by leaving the book lying around the house, Mr Books will be tempted to join me again.