Monday, 20 August 2012

Meal Planning Monday - Week 2 of 5:2

Meal Planning Monday
Last week I started the 5:2 diet after watching the Horizon documentary on BBC2 called Eat, Fast and Live Longer. Michael Mosley set himself a challenge; live longer, stay younger and lose weight. 

The idea was to 'fast' for 2 days every week and live a normal lifestyle for the other days. However, fasting doesn't mean eating nothing. Men can have 600 calories a day and women are allowed 500. Sounds great! I decided to try the diet, not only to lose weight but to see if I have the willpower to survive on 500 calories per day.

I approached week one with a 'lunch only' rule. A big lunch which should last me through the evening. I also did two consecutive fast days. My main concern going into this challenge was maintaining a decent blood sugar level and avoiding the 'dithers'.

So here's what I found...


  • It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be
  • I didn't really experience many dithers due to low blood sugar
  • I felt energised by fact I was succeeding
  • I lost 2lbs (bearing in mind I had two meals out, Pop Tarts and cake club...)
  • I had five days of normality


  • I was so thirsty it was annoying
  • The hardest part was just before lunch on day 2 of fasting
  • My mood was a bit low in the evenings when fasting
  • I got a raging headache. I'm not sure if this was down to general stress or the diet. I think it was a combination of the two.

What I'm changing this week

  • I'm trying non-consecutive days.
  • I'm spreading my 500 calories out over the day
  • I'm eating less carbs on my 'fast' days

Lots of people contacted me last week to say they were giving it a go. Let me know how you got on! My husband lost too much weight, and has now decided to do one fast day this week.

So, here's the meal plan!

Monday: Fast day - food spread throughout the day. Chicken sandwich on brown bread for lunch and a bowl of carrot and coriander soup with a seeded roll for tea. Total 465 calories.
Tuesday: Normal day - sandwich for lunch and chargrilled chicken and vegetables for tea.
Wednesday: Normal day - buffet at work for lunch and home made corned beef hash for tea.
ThursdayFast day - food spread throughout the day. Vegetable soup for lunch and a tortilla with peri peri chicken and refried beans for tea. Total 455 calories.
Friday: Normal day - the Bolton Food and Drink Festival starts! I'm going to the Paul Hollywood Gala Dinner! Very excited...
Weekend: Normal days - food festival. Say no more.

Watch the documentary on iPlayer here.

Please note: I am following this diet because I saw the Horizon documentary. I am not qualified to advise others on dietary requirements. This diet is not suitable for everyone. If you have any questions, please speak to your GP.

Please leave your thoughts and own experiences of the 5:2 diet below... x


  1. 2lbs is fantastic! Well done. And the food you're eating on fast days sounds really yummy as well.

    Enjoy the food festival.


  2. I have been following this as I'm thinking about doing it after school holidays end. I was already thinking about non-consecutive days as I do Body Pump on Tues, Thurs and Sunday so hard to plan two consecutive days (and I am so not fasting on a day when I do pump, nor is either Friday or Saturday a good idea!!)

    Anyway, headache and thirst suggest you weren't drinking enough. Make sure you drink plenty, that might help you.

    Well done tho!

    1. What's really weird is I didn't crave food on the first normal day after fasting. Kate - you're probably right about the water. I've had kidney stones twice... I never learn...

  3. I'm intrigued by this 5/2 diet as it is the opposite of what I try to do - 5 days good and 2 days treat (in theory anyway!!!!!) May give it a go as I follow Rosemary Conley so I'll know what food I can eat calorie wise. The meals sound lovely on both normal and fast days! :)

  4. An interesting diet, I bet you are looking forward to Friday :-) x

  5. Update: Too much pastry consumed today as part of the buffet.., Things have gone BAD. Fasting tomorrow...


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