The 5:2 Diet

24 March 2014

Diets have never been a favourite of ours at Late Night London HQ, but when your wedding is rapidly approaching, you suddenly find yourself in a blind panic about not being able to squeeze into your wedding dress.

I actually dislike diets, but with my own wedding happening this year I thought it best to maybe reign in my eating habits. Don’t believe me? Here’s an example of my diet:

Exhibit One: This is me with a rack of ribs *to myself* at Foundation Bar.

Exhibit Two: The buffalo burger and chilli cheese fries at Meat Market.

Exhibit Three: Red velvet cake from Muriel’s.

I heart food. Carbs are way too tasty to cut out of my diet, no alcohol is out of the question (working at Late Night London duh), and I’m sorry, but I’m never giving up cheese, sweets or chocolate. So what should I do?

The way I eat could be dangerous not only for my health, but for my poor wallet too, so myself and the fiancé have put ourselves on the 5:2 diet. It made headlines last year thanks to its simplicity and results (should you stick to it).

How it works is two days of the week you limit your intake to 500 calories, the other five days you can eat whatever you like. I’m not going to lie, those two days are HARD!

On those two days you may feel like your world is ending, but I have found some great meals that are tasty and also low in calories.

A typical diet day for me involves:

Breakfast - Weight Watchers Yoghurt at 52 calories.

Lunch - Sweet Potato & Butternut Squash Soup.

Take one small onion and soften in a large pan with a dash of olive oil, add in 1 small sweet potato cubed and 1 butternut squash cubed. Add vegetable stock (approx. 900ml) and bring to the boil, turn down heat and simmer for around 45 minutes. Use a hand blender to blend all the ingredients together and serve. It's really tasty and works out just over 160 calories. Recipe serves 4... Winning!

Dinner - The Perfect Pizza

Take one wholemeal tortilla wrap, cover lightly with passata. Tear small chunks of ½ a low fat mozzarella and drizzle a small amount of pesto on top with a few cherry tomatoes cut in half. Grill for 5 minutes – or until the cheese starts to melt and then sprinkle on a few fresh basil leaves and you're done. Trust me, you will forget it's only 247 calories!

Fast Day Feast Option - Buttermilk Chicken

If you fancy a slightly larger dinner, as some people have breakfast and skip lunch, try this one. Take one chicken breast (approx. 100g) and soak in buttermilk for 2 hours, then roll in breadcrumbs, a few chilli flakes, the zest of one lemon and a tiny amount of shaved Parmesan. Then grill for circa 15 minutes. At the same time slice ½ a courgette, place on a baking tray and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Bake in the oven at 200 degrees for 20 minutes. Throw in a few cherry tomatoes for good measure – then serve. This is a bigger meal at 300 calories, but my gosh it’s good!

The great (GREAT!) thing about this diet is that on non-fast days we can eat whatever we like - it's allowed... I KNOW, RIGHT!?

I have been doing this for 6 months now, and by no means was I trying to lose a lot of weight. But in the process I have managed to lose around 9lbs and now find myself (for the first time since I was a teenager) less than 9 stone! I’m still eating all of the above and I'm losing weight. So I implore you all – this really works. Thank you 5:2 gods!