5:2 Diet Update and a 5:2 Stir Fry Recipe
Back in September 2012 I decided enough was enough and it was time to deal with the kilograms that had slowly attached themselves to my waistline, cheeks and chin. Over the years, as my cooking skills have increased, so has my waistline and my husbands cholesterol levels. Learning to make bacon and cheese was a fabulous idea but I now know that all good things should be eaten in moderation.
While doing my research on how to reduce the husbands cholesterol I came across the 5:2 diet. A fasting diet that helps reduce cholesterol and is also great for weight loss. The 5:2 diet involves fasting for 2 non-consecutive days a week. Although it is described as fasting, which to me implies no food, what it actually means is restricting your daily Calorie intake to 500 Calories for women and 600 Calories for men. This sounds very little, but if you are clever about what you eat, you can eat 3 small meals a day. Just remember drinks count as Calories so no cappuccinos or wine!
Six months on I have reached my target weight. I’ve lost 12KG and 2-3 dress sizes (depending which shops I go to). I am no longer fasting on a weekly basis, but I now know I have a great way to keep my waistline in check. If I’ve had a big eating weekend I will do a fast day during the week for maintenance.
I couldn’t resist including that all important before and after shot, after all, it’s not a real dieting article without.
How does a fast day look for me? I start the day with one slice of toast with low fat spread and Vegemite. This equates to about 100 Calories. My usual breakfast is a slice of toast and if I’m busy at work I can easily keep going to lunch on 100 Calories.
For lunch I aim to eat 70-100 Calories. This could be a bowl of homemade soup or low fat lunch slices with tomatoes or pea puree. I find it easy to keep the Calories down if I make things like soup myself. I have found some great recipes online, that I have collected on my Pinterest page. There are a few food bloggers doing this diet as it lends itself to people who like to eat. I could never be disciplined enough to Calorie count for 7 days a week, but I’m stubborn enough to stick at it for 2 days a week, knowing I can have those duck fat roast potatoes on the weekend.
I save the greatest number of Calories for the evening. Some people prefer to eat the largest meal for breakfast, to set them up for the day, but I’m not really a breakfast person, so 100 Calories is just fine. Now you might be feeling a bit hungry by now, so I make sure I get the largest volume of food for my 300 Calories. Dinner often involves a grilled piece of chicken or fish with lots of vegetables, but no potatoes. I have also found that bourghal is relatively low in calories so you can eat quite a lot for 300 Calories.
There has been mixed press about this diet. Many people suggest the diet encourages you to binge and eat badly for five days a week. I actually found the opposite. The limited Calorie intake made me realise that I don’t need to eat such large portions the rest of the week. I can now identify when I’m full and can stop eating and I actually think my stomach may have shrunk a little!
Even though I’m not fasting strictly anymore I do still enjoy some of the lower Calorie dinners. This stir fry was one of my firm favourites.
Pork and Vegetable Stir Fry (serves 2, 292 Calories per serve)
200g pork fillet, fat and sinew removed
30ml soy sauce
10ml Sesame oil
12g grated ginger
10g chopped, fresh garlic
150g snow peas
1 can baby corn spears
10g fresh coriander, leaves picked and chopped
2g sesame seeds
Slice the pork into long, thin strips. Mix the soy sauce and Mirin together in a bowl and add half the sesame oil to make a marinade. Put the pork strips in the bowl, stirring to coat with the mixture and leave to marinate for 10 minutes while you chop the rest of the veg.
Prepare the veg ready for stir frying: cut the carrot into matchsticks; the snow peas into strips; halve the corn spears.
Heat a wok or large frying pan to high and add the rest of the sesame oil. Remove the pork from the marinade, reserving the liquid for later. Quickly fry the pork until it is brown on all sides and just cooked. This should only take a few minutes. Remove the pork from the pan and set aside.
Add the ginger and garlic to the pan and fry for 1 minute, then add the carrot, snow peas and corn. Stir fry quickly on a high heat for about 2 minutes until heated through but not over cooked. Stir fried veg should be hot but crunchy.
Return the pork to the pan and add the marinade. Stir fry for another minute until the pork is hot and the marinade is bubbling.Serve sprinkled with coriander leaves and sesame seeds.
If you are not watching the calories so closely this is great served with noodles. Cook the noodles and stir through when you add the marinade to coat them with flavour.