I discovered the calorie-restricting diet after watching the Dr Michael Mosley documentary in 2012 called Eat, Fast and Live Longer (still on BBC iPlayer at the time of writing) and buying the subsequent book he co-wrote about the diet. Restricting my calorie-intake to 500 cals. twice per week, I discovered, was an easy method to follow and provided quite dramatic results.
I love the challenge of finding ways to satisfy my hunger whilst sticking to a very low quota of calories. I also like the way it makes me consider what I am eating on non-fast-days as you become so much more aware of the calorie content in foods. I now find it relatively easy to stick to the recommended 500 calories on fast days, and here’s how:
- Choose the right day to fast; I prefer Mondays and Thursdays. Don’t fast on a day when you might usually have a lunch date, or a stressful day at work. Definitely don’t attempt to fast on two days back-to-back!!!
- Don’t eat breakfast. Go as long as you can without food. Once I start eating it tends to set my stomach juices going and wanting more… I can generally last until around 2pm as long as I keep myself busy!!
- Drink lots of water. It’s amazing how you can stave off hunger pangs with a glass or two of water!
- Plan ahead. I make up batches of food and freeze in calorie-counted portions. It’s so much easier when you don’t have to think about what to eat.
- Eat vegetable-based dishes. Curry, goulash, soup, stir-fry (recipes coming soon!). Filling and satisfying; a lot of veggies go a long way in the calorie count.
- Try M&S Balanced For You meals. If you are time restricted, on the go, or just not fussed about cooking, then this range of meals are really tasty, filling and come in at around 300 cals.
- Don’t waste calories. Est wholesome food. Go for a couple of oatcakes with a thin spread of peanut butter, or some carrot sticks & hummus, rather than a chocolate wafer bar – to keep you fuller for longer.
- Cauliflower couscous. I need something to mop up the juices of a ratatouille or veg curry. Just pop a cauliflower in your food processor with a couple of spoonfuls of water, blitz, then microwave for 2mins. Add salt & pepper and other spices, I love adding cumin seeds before heating. It also freezes well (no need to add the water, just freeze after blitzing).
- Snack on pomegranate seeds. These are a satisfying, low-calorie, sweet treat. A pot from Tesco contains just 42 calories.
- Go to bed early. On a fast day evening, the best thing I can do is have an early night (otherwise my family get the brunt of my ‘hanger’) and I dream of the breakfast I’m gonna treat myself to the next day!