Big Mo, gives the 5:2 diet a go!
Here at NonBeige we are all about fighting the ageing process…mentally, spiritually, socially and most importantly physically.
I wasn’t blessed by the “body beautiful” and was further cursed by the infamous “fat” gene, so staying slim has never exactly been easy for me.
Nevertheless, up until about ten years ago I managed to maintain a pretty constant weight and level of fitness by eating fairly healthily and playing a highly competitive couple of hours of tennis three times a week.
Unfortunately, I started to suffer severely with sciatica which, ironically, was caused by a tennis injury acquired some 30 years ago. After three spinal injections that didn’t work and a conscious avoidance of an operation that I was told could potentially leave me paralysed from the waist down I have resigned myself to the fact that the sciatica has got me beat.
I’m fortunate, insofar that unless I walk too far or spend too long standing, I don’t suffer any pain. The downside is that when I do do either of the above the pain is excruciating. Consequently any form of vigorous exercise is a non-starter.
The consequence of this is that having worked in a sedentary career and taking “my eye of the ball” food wise I have gained far too much poundage.
Now, it’s no bloody good being the editor of a publication advocating a better lifestyle if I don’t practice what I preach.
Over the years I’ve tried a lot of diets with varying degrees of success and side effects. The Atkins, which did work but got boring and created revolting halitosis. The Cabbage Soup diet which did work but got boring and created a rather unpleasant gas problem and of course calorie counting which did work but just got boring.
The trouble with most diets is that they are extremely hard to maintain. It’s not just the will power and the regimentation it’s the fact that if you have any sort of social life they are just so damn intrusive.
So what to do?
The 5:2 diet does seem to be the answer.
If you don’t know how it works it really is very simple. For five days a week you eat normally, men consume approximately 2.400 calories a day and women 2000. On two days a week you cut down to a quarter of the intake. Typically 600 calories for men and 500 calories for women. The two days can be whenever you like (however they don’t recommend consecutive days) and can change to suit your week. For example if you do Tuesday and Thursday one week you could do Monday and Wednesday the next.
I’ve read the science and it seems to have all the plus points with no significant side effects.
Consequently I started it two weeks ago. Now, I’d love to tell you what my exact weight was when I started and how much I’ve lost so far but I discovered this weekend that the bathroom scales are faulty. Suffice to say I’m 6’4 (near as makes no difference) and according to my last medical just on 20 stone (280 pounds). The goal is to lose 3 stone (42 pounds) by Christmas which is less than 2 pounds a week. I promise to get the exact figures for you but I do know I’ve shed about 4 pounds since I started. My goal weight is between 15 and 16 stone (225 -240 pounds) so highly achievable by early 2015.
A friend gave me the Fast Diet recipe book which is filled with surprisingly tasty and simple meals for the diet days but when I can’t be bothered I’ve cheated by using low calorie ready meals.
Not ideal but they keep me on track.
As far as diets go I’m finding it surprisingly easy to stick to. Psychologically, it’s a lot easier to be really hungry for one day at a time knowing you can have a bacon “sarnie” the next day with no guilt whatsoever. Moreover, I don’t find it daunting knowing that I’ll have to stick to it for the foreseeable. If the results are forthcoming it is a very small price to pay for better health and the opportunity to get some new clothes.
The suggestion is that when you reach your goal weight to “starve” just one day a week to maintain. Of course, there is still no excuse to binge eat. If you don’t normally eat two doughnuts a day the diet is not a “get out of jail free” card to do so.
I have no intention of boring you with too many updates but I will publish monthly results and regular pics to illustrate the journey. I do promise that I’ll be honest and if it doesn’t work for me I’ll ‘fess up but as for now I’m looking forward to a whole 600 calories tomorrow.
As always, we would love to hear from you, are you on the 5:2 diet? Do you have an opinion on it? How about maintaining a steady weight and overall health over 50? Comment below or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.