January: Fast Day menu ideas

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January: Fast Day menu ideas

This topic contains 163 replies, has 118 voices, and was last updated by  Amy C. 9 years, 10 months ago.

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  • Wendy1 – perhaps try to stick to the fast guidelines in the book, as these are the ones that appear to work for most people, inc MM and myself. The idea is to have a long ‘fasting window’ – allowing your body to recover and give it a break from feeding. Try a breakfast reasonably early – 7/8am, and a supper 12 hours later, say 7pm. Stick to 500 cals, mostly plants and proteins, drink plenty of water and no-cal fluids.
    On non-fast days, try not to let calories from drinks stack up – whether it’s lattes or white wines!

    lynnc Veg soup great, but you may get a bit bored with it all the time. Key to this is compliance, so vary your fast day foods if you can. Best soups are light and leafy not starchy. Remember, you do need protein on a fast day too, so maybe an egg for breakfast?

    Hi Mimi just like Clarissa I am 43 and have started going through (early) menopause my Dr has suggested I start on H.R.T. to prevent osteoporosis what are the implications if anything affecting the H.R.T? I have not started the H.R.T. yet as I have to have another blood test to confirm menopause (already had one) I believe they need to be six weeks apart….is it ok to continue with the 5:2 diet until the next blood test?

    Today is my second day on this diet. My husband is doing it as well. So far so good. Just one question. Did Michael or Mimi hear about the article in last Sunday’s Express suggesting women are prone to develop diabetes if this diet is followed? I haven’t read it myself.

    Hi this is my first day and my stomach is beginning to rumble! Am currently ignoring it and trying to keep busy. Do need to lose quite a few stone but am coming to this diet because of the huge health benefits and feel that I can stick to this as I simply tell myself that I am making myself healthier for my family. Am looking forward to my treat tomorrow!

    This is my first day – okay so far as have had porridge and that always fill me up. My favourite drink is black earl grey with a teaspoon of honey as it keeps me full. Presume as long as I count the calories for my honey and I don’t go over my 500 allowance for the day that would be okay?

    Hi, it’s my first day as well. I feel ok, just been drinking loasd of herbal tea….I need to loose about a stone and half, so iam going to stick with it, although i am lookng forward to tes time 🙂

    This is the begining of my third week following this (Although I do 4:3) I have lost 8lbs already! I feel better in myself too!
    I also fill up on herbal tea’s and water throughout most of the day. Heinz Minestrone soup is great for lunch at 126 cals for a 400g can & then I tend to have stirfry or roasted veggies & a piece of fish for my evening meal followed up with a 10 cal pot of jelly! Yummy!
    Good luck to everyone on day one, not that you will need it, its pretty fantastic! 🙂

    Hi, my first day too, want to lose 7lbs and then maintain it and stay healthy. Do you know if its ok to have my breakfast about 8am and then dinner about 6pm on my fast day? Thank you

    I was told about this diet back in October 2012 by a friend who is a medical consultant. Today 4th February starts my 17th week following the diet (save for a week off at Christmas} during which period I have shed 14Kg. My blood pressure has improved allowing reduction in medication, my heart rate which was in the high 80’s to the low 90’s has settled down to the 60’s, pitting oedema has disappeared, and a chronic cough which I endured for 6 years has disappeared. The diet works and I plan to lose a further 10Kg.

    dalexa2004 – what an incredible story. Thank you for sharing it with us. We are hearing so many positive medical outcomes of Intermittent Fasting and, as Michael has said, we feel hugely fortunate to have become involved in something that really does feel like it could make a difference to the lives of millions. Good luck with the further weight loss – let us know how you get on.

    Is it ok to eat nothing on the fast days? I find this easier than having 500 calories.

    Starting this tomorrow! I’m planning on eating breakfast then an evening meal – any tips would be great as not sure how I’ll cope 😀

    Gordonsmummy, im no expert but I would think that your body needs some cals in a day just to keep it going. Maybe just try having one small evening meal? 🙂

    Pepso, I find it easyer personally to skip breakfast and have a small lunch then an evening meal… I find if I have breakfast I am hungry by mid afternoon and waiting for my evening meal for ages! 😉

    Question for you, may be in the wrong place, so apologies.

    I have been attending a life coach and weight management one-to-one for over a year. We have come to an end now, with 3 months check on progress.

    I have read the book and even all the science bits (especially as ketosis is mentioned and I had concerns with having had serious kidney problems in the past).

    The question I have however, is regarding base metabolic rate (bmr).

    My bmr has been measured as 1364. I calorie count 1200 cals a day, upping to 1400 on long run days for extra energy boost.

    What I want to know is – the figures in the book are based on 1800 for women 2000 for men being bmr. What happens if your metabolic rate is lower than this – 200 cals on fast days? I have hypothyroidism and taking HRT, which would explain the low bmr. Also almost 44.

    Sorry, looked at book – 2000 for women? 2500 for men? How does this add up – since most women are below this bmr?

    Hi all. Started this diet last Tuesday with my wife. We both need to lose a few stone!! Was disappointed This morning as we’d both put on 2lb!!! Not deterred as we both know people who have lost weight this way. We were on a very low fat diet before so maybe the body is compensating in some way? Or maybe we just ate too much on our five days! Will keep you informed.

    Hello, my first fast ay was yesterday and my next is Thursday. Please could someone advise when to weigh in and how often?

    Hi all,

    I have just been told about this diet and it looks amazing, I have been calorie counting for what feels like a lifetime so I am really looking forward to giving this a go and eating normally for 5 days a week!
    A little suggestion on fast days Harley’s sugar free jelly pots only contain 3 calories each and really take the sweet tooth edge away.

    Just started this diet, first fast day yesterday and feel really chuffed with myself. Managed to feel full and satisfied on 458 calories. It’s all about the salad foods, lol. I broke the bathroom scales when I kicked them a couple of weeks back, so can’t wait to get my new ones this week and see what my weigh-in Friday brings. Is there an official facebook page for this diet too?

    First day for me, all going okay. Had porridge and tangerine for breakfast, went to gym to do an hour circuit class, had a 54 cal sachet of skinny coffee and felt rather like i needed something extra. Maybe because the day before i had wine in the evening. So i gave in and had half a tin of heinz tomato soup at lunch. This only leaves me with around 225 cals for tea which i plan to have around 8pm, any suggestions?

    Tracy – I’d say weigh as often as you like, but don’t get obsessed. I like to weigh the morning after a fast day, which always seems quite positive! Once a week is usually the ‘going rate’ for weighing, though the whole point of the Fast Diet is to not feel too constricted by rules. Mornings always best tho! Good luck

    Thank you MrsBear for jelly pot suggestion – will look into them (so to speak). Does anyone else have any great low-calorie snack ideas? Love to hear (beyond the obvious, of course…)

    Hi Kelly – hilarious that you broke your scales! Have your new ones got a BMI and body fat capability? I find quite useful. Getting the Facebook page sorted – the book is doing so well that we haven’t had a chance to catch our breath. Good luck with it, and I agree re salads – though harder in winter. Can’t wait for the sun to arrive… will be so much easier to fast I expect

    bonusgal – you’d be surprised how much tasty stuff you can eat for 225 cals. Of course, it does depend on what’s in your fridge… How about smoked haddock fillet with spinach and poached egg? 211 calories. As you can see, I am writing the recipe book at the moment – so, many more great fast day dishes to come. Well done on doing your first fast day. First is worst!

    I have a miso soup at lunchtime, 23kcals & managed to just have breakfast & supper today, it’s my 4th fast day! I lost 0.3kg first week, not a lot but I’m more interested in the health benefits. It’s weigh in day tomorrow, so will see if I’ve lost any more? I feel quite empowered by this diet, at the moment! It’s interesting asI’m a dietetic assistant, working with dietitians !

    Need a quick alternative to porridge- it has never filled me up for more than a few hours but I tried it again today with the blueberries as mentioned in the back of the book- that was just before 8am- by 1030am I was starving and by 1130am I just couldn’t take it anymore despite drinking so my fast day was ruined 🙁

    SmegSlayer – perhaps try some protein for breakfast. A couple of eggs may keep you feeling fuller longer even than the slow release carbs of oats. MM swears by poached eggs and ham on a fast day

    Hi, trying to make some healthy choices so can you tell me which spread you use and why please? Thank you.

    Hi, I would like to check that how I am Fasting is ok. I eat my last meal at 8pm on a non fast day and have fruit at about 9pm, then prob a cup of tea with skimmed milk at 10pm, the following day is a fast day so I dont eat till 2.30pm, thus giving me a fasting window of 16 hours, I basically split my calories between lunch and dinner that day. I am never fussed for breakfast, and enjoy a lunch. Is this ok? Thanks.

    I understand the idea of eating lean protein to stay full on fast days and for growth and repair,but would still prefer to base my fast day meal/meals on low GI carbohydrates (I’m a runner of normal weight and despite the studies that show excercise to be more beneficial in the fasted state,would like to stick to my carbs!). So long as I stick to the 500 cal limit on fast days (and still include some protein) is this okay? The reason I ask is that in the book ‘the fast diet’ some of the recipes for fast days clearly include very little carbohydrate, but often quite a few servings of fruit instead. Surely it would be better to have a small serving of complex carbs such as brown rice than relying on fructose?


    Hi ScienceAholic, I think technically you are within the 5:2 rules having all carbs on a fast day, but there is an increasing view that carbs are bad (shades of Atkins!) and the new Two-Day Diet is all about cutting down carbs. This may be why MM favours ham and egg for breakfast on a fast day? Many have found it easier to fast entirely until the evening anyway. Dr Mark P Mattson thinks it is healthier too, I believe.

    But the most important thing is to find a way that works for you. If you can’t hack it, it doesn’t matter how healthy it is…

    My husband and I are having a fight about the calorific content of blueberries (we like them with porridge)! The three recipes in the Fast Diet book which have them as an ingredient calculate them at 25 cal per 100g, but the calorie counters (in the FD book and elsewhere) give them 60 cal per 100g. Can anyone shed some light and save the marriage?!

    Okay thanks dominic, I thought MM did this because the protein kept him feeling fuller for longer? But I understand that restricting carbs on fast days is an aim to get the health benefits and give the pancreas a rest. What I am confused about is that although there is fiber in the fruit which can prevent too much of a spike in insulin levels or something, surely it would still be better to just eat a small quantity of low GI carbs on a fast day. Would this not keep blood sugar levels more steady?

    57 calories in 100g of fresh blueberries….

    First Fast Day today. So far, so good. I’ve decided to do Sundays and Thursdays. I’m getting really for a dinner of 600 calories soon and will hopefully fall into a pattern as I continue with the plan. Good luck to all the other newbies!

    After watching Michael’s fascinating documentary last summer, I started the 5:2 Diet 3 weeks ago, mainly for the long term health benefits. I have been a keen runner for over 20 years and do not have a weight problem (BMI 20.8) but have still managed to lose 3 pounds. My fast days are currently Monday & Thursday and initially I was a little concerned as on Mondays I normally have quite a tough (quality) running session. Surprisingly, I felt okay but it was a bit of a struggle to keep to the 600 calories. I think this is an exciting thing to be doing and feel very optimistic for the future.

    Thank you blueberry and kidney beans people. Two cal count errors in the book – we are fixing in the next print run. Alas, published books are not as easy to alter as online work, so there will be a bit of a wait before it’s rectified.
    In fact, kidney beans a tricky one anyway, as I discovered when trying to come up with a definitive answer… see this comprehensive and confusing list at http://www.dietandfitnesstoday.com/calories-in-kidney-beans.php for calories in 100g of ‘kidney beans’. Who knew?
    All our calorie counts for the book come from NutritionData, who worked with us on the lists. The couple of inconsistencies arose when our copy and the list didn’t tally – apologies, and thanks for spotting.

    Hi: Can someone help me please? Is splitting the 500 cals (breakfast and dinner) as good as saving the whole shebang until the evening? If the latter is better, can I join the chorus of requests for some 500 cal meal recipes?

    In the book you dislike soya milk. Is that because most of it is artificially sweetened (and often too salty)?
    We are using unsweetened Soya Soleil 28kCal per 100ml and very low carbohydrate. The downside is that it is quite hard to find – all of our local shops dropped it some time ago!

    On my 4th week now and have only lost a couple of pounds but my trousers are starting to feel really loose!. I stick to the same things on fast days, poached egg on toast for breakfast, a snack of cherry toms, cucumber and maybe some wafer thin chicken for lunch and a tin of soup in the evening. I finish eating about 7pm the night before and have breakfatst 7am the following day to start my fast day. Is it better to spread your 500 calories throughout the day or leave it like some do and eat your 500 in one hit giving you a longer fasting time or should it not matter so long as you have just 500 in 24 hours?. Slightly faster weight loss would be nice, but upping the exercise would probably help too!!.

    Hi M and M please can you advise whether I am ok to start this diet as I exclusively breast feed my 5 week old baby? Could the diet be adjusted to reflect the fact that b feeding can burn up to 600 cals a day?

    Hi Hanfish – the short answer is don’t fast until you have stopped breast feeding. This is one area where the human trials have not yet been done; until we have proper scientific evidence either way, we advise caution. Save fasting till you stop breast feeding.

    I started 5:2 last week, today is my fourth fast day. I lost 3lbs in the first week. I feel better already and feel like this is a diet I can stick to and finally shift the baby weight I have been carrying following the birth of my son two years ago. I’m finding soups are really good at filling me up. I am also finding that I am not gorging the day after a fast day which I thought I would.

    hi i have read the book and got quite confused with all the different ways you can do it 🙁
    anyone got any advice on where to start ie breakfast and dinner or 3 mini meals or not eat until evening?
    this is actually stopping me from moving forward

    Hi, am about 2 weeks into the diet and have hunger pains at lunchtime but they pass pretty quickly. I was wondering what you thought about having a cup of bovril (about 17 calories) at lunchtime or will this completely ruin the point of this eating plan?



    jojo16 you can do whatever is best for you. MM has said the longer window you can get with no cals is best BUT if you want to have 3 meals per day that is ok too. It is my 3rd week, 6th fast day today. I have tried all ways but the one that suits me best is cup of tea for breakfast, cup of chicken bovril at lunchtime and rest of calories in the evening, water keeps hunger pangs at bay for the rest of the day.

    Dear Mimi,
    Can I expect total cholesterol to reduce

    Hi 4wks into the 2:5 diet and have lost an incredible 1st (14.5lbs) and over 4 inches around my BB my BMI is coming own from 28.3 to 26.7. FAb and feeling good. Had bloods checked about 3 was ago and blood sugar ok, but cholesterol total is a bit high at 7.0. Can I expect cholesterol to reduce with this programme? Only side effects are slight stomach cramps on fast days and occasional headache.

    I started on the 5:2 diet this week, having heard Michael the Steve Wright in the Afternoon show on BBC Radio 2. I then read the book on my Kindle and I was really impressed by the science and anecdotal evidence.
    So my fast days are Monday and Thursday. This Monday as ok, apart from the headache; same today too. I hope the headaches will clear up in time – its my weigh day tonorrow tho!

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