Every month this year, I’m trying a new challenge to see if it kickstarts a positive change or habit. In May, I tried the 5:2 Diet. I had put on the Quarantine-5 (kgs-at least!) so was hopeful that this regime would break my slavery to the constant insatiable eating. The 5:2 diet involves eating normally for five days per week, then restricting your calorie intake to 500–600 calories on the other two days (500 for women, 600 for men). It was developed by Dr Michael Mosley. I read his 2014 book “The 5:2 Diet”. He has since updated the regime to be kickstarted by a time of eating 800 calories prior to this but I jumped right into ye olde 5:2.
I’m an all-or-nothing type of person so general platitudes about ‘eating more lightly and healthily’ never seem to stick. Sobriety is easier for me than moderation for example. So, this eating regime appealed as I would decide on my fast days and restrict calories and know that the next day I could eat the chocolate. I chose days where I was at work so would only be able to eat what I’d brought. The ‘fast’ days give your body a chance to reset and recalibrate and your mind a chance to practice stoicism and mindfulness. Here’s what I learnt;
Eating your feelings-I realised that many of the impulses to eat were driven by my desire to change how I was feeling. Bored? Open the fridge. Uncomfortable? Look in the cupboard. Instead I focused on breathing and feeling the feeling and then finding an alternate activity. Be it a cup of tea, a walk, a book, a shower, a few yoga poses.
This too shall pass-The hunger passes and surprisingly doesn’t hurt you (in the short term anyhoo) and the fast day will pass too and you’ll eat more tomorrow. If the day seems long-you can go to bed early. What a treat! I also found that even if I found comfort in the fact I could give in to my food cravings on the morrow, they were mostly gone the next day. This too shall pass as always.
Mind over matter– Because I was intentional about what and when I was eating, I got pleasure planning, preparing and savouring my lower-cal meals. Steamed veg, boiled eggs, smoked salmon/tuna and miso soup were my delicious friends. I was conscious of the fact that proteins and veg keep you fuller for longer so didn’t waste calories on ‘empty’ foods. I also got a stoic satisfaction out of the fact that hunger ain’t the boss of me-I am.
Keep on keeping on-I will continue this after May as in a strange way, I’m really enjoying it. The scales haven’t moved much but I have noticed an increase in energy and satisfaction by completing this regular challenge.
Have you tried intermittent fasting? What challenge should I try next?
Love and light and lighter eating xxx Yvette
Dr Micheal Mosley; https://thefast800.com/
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