January: Fast Day menu ideas

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January: Fast Day menu ideas

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  • I started my 5:2 diet this week. Although I had a headache later in the day , my stomach seem to be so at peace as if it was getting a real good rest.
    Is it okay to have 1 cup of milky tea first thing in the morning?

    I started my 5:2 diet this week and my first day was on Tuesday. Although I had a headache later in the day my stomach seemed really at peace and that mad me feel good as well.
    Is it okay to have a milky cup of tea first thing in the morning?

    Hi! I know that ideally, approximately 12 hours are left in between meals on fast days, but I work nights every other week and find it very difficult to eat before and after work as my energy levels dip. I tend to feel like I need to eat during work – at the equivalent of lunch time – and when I return from work – at the equivalent of supper time. I’m aware this isn’t ideal but am not sure in what way this will alter the effects of the fasting (weight loss or other health benefits). Does anyone have any insights?

    Willpower!! as stated in the book, hunger won’t kill you.

    I reduced from a size 14 to size 10 between August and December last year. I started my 5:2 diet the day after the Horizon programme – interested in the health effects (especially the possible positive effect on the brain, since my Mum died of a horrible brain condition 3 years ago) and also to lose a bit of weight. I have no idea how much I weighed, still don’t – but by eating only breakfast (porridge and a banana) and then only drinking water on Mondays and Fridays I went from a size 14 to size 10 between August and December. Happy at that size I now still ‘fast’ on Mondays and Fridays, but have a spoonful of (healthy) dinner in the evening to stave off the dreadful hunger pangs! I always ate healthily before, but too much unhealthy stuff too! Now I’ve shrunk my apetite for the unhealthy stuff has shrunk a bit too, which must be helping. I’ve never dieted before this – no will power – but to do it just one day at a time made it easy (altho’ I admit to spending my ‘fasting’ evening fantasising about everything I would eat the following day – fortunately it remained a fantasy as I never felt more hungry than usual when I woke the following morning). It’s so easy that I’m not sure why there’s a need for any further instructions or a book (I didn’t even count calories – just stuck to breakfast and water) – but I was interested to come across this website now, because I’ve been wanting to say to others “give it a go”. It really works – I’m much slimmer, feel better (mentally and physically), and if it’s also had the positive health effects claimed on the Horizon programme – then I’m much healthier too. Thank you Dr Mosely for introducing me to this way of eating.

    HazelBurton – your piece was my inspiration! I haven’t started yet (only got the book yesterday) and have been pondering how to do my fast days. I prefer to forget about food all day so am going to try your way with porridge and banana for breakfast and then water for the rest of the day. Thank you for this

    Can someone tell me how many calories in 100gr of boiled rice?

    Any advice for those on anti-depressants?

    What about hair loss and the 4-day Longo fast? Can this be considered as a crash-diet?

    Good luck SmileyMum! You’ll be starving by the end of each fast day, but you’ll feel so much thinner the next morning – it will have been worth it. Another tip: go to bed early if you can, keep your fasting evenings as short as possible! And, if it works for you the way it did for me, you (and everyone else) will soon be able to see you getting thinner too.

    Good luck Smiley Mum…I’m on week three now and if I can do it I know you can. I’ve been on a diet for 61 years. (I’m 61) Have lost 10lbs so far with about another 14lb to go.

    Cecilia Johnson,
    Recommend MyFitnessPal web site or App to determine cals, track your progress and daily, weekly cal consumption as well allows you to construct & store your own recipes. It’s free and v good.
    G. Luck

    Have just joined the site – HI – stumbled on the book yesterday – what a joy to find confirmation of what I have been advocating for years, that we dont need 3 meals a day. Recently left WW as my propoint were so small and everyone else was using all theirs daily -mine between 9 -12 theirs 26 + treat allowance – Madness.. Im 65, 5.8 fit active and told not looking my age in a good way! I walk most days, cycle, all the daily activities, run upstairs, dance round the kitchen – the usual. Have been overweight but active all my life -Big Boned -thanks Mum – The health side of it appeals – I have High BP -tablet controlled an want to get rid of this completely. Himself and I eat quite well – all home cooked – grow our own veg, keep our own pig – buy from local producers and watch portion sizes. Himself is type 2 diabetic – tablet controlled for 12 years. so we both are aware of what we eat. Hes fit and active and never sits down – I plan my first fast day tomorrow, thankfully I very rearly feel hungry, and often go without meals and tend eat because I’m cooking for two. Im hopeing the regime of 5-2 will start to shed the weight (need to ditch another 30lbs – lost 30lbs so far over past year) So fingers crossed and will be keeping to books instructions. wish me luck 🙂

    Good luck Caroleann – do let us know how you get on.
    Hazel – an inspirational post, thank you.
    Histor: anyone on meds – including antidepressants – should ABSOLUTELY vist their GP before embarking on any change to their diet.

    Reading up on this diet as I need to lose some weight, I need to be careful and keep calcium levels up. Any hints or tips anyone.

    We have the book, and I’m in at 3 days. Already I have no Colitus pain, no indigestion, going a lot less to the loo (once instead of five times). I feel good, wide awake, active, raring to go, sleeping better, and working 4 hours a day plus. I’m 72. (I think my BP is low too).

    Hello ARIOSTO – sounds like it’s going really well, fantastic! Do let us have updates – would be v interested to see how Fast Diet may help you over the course of several months. All best wishes, Mimi

    Does it make any difference what time of day the 24 hours fasting kicks in? For instance: could you have a ‘normal’ lunch one day and let the 24 hours fasting kick in after that? Or is it better to go evening meal to evening meal?

    Hi Westwood. I don’t think it matters really. So long as you don’t overeat re the calories 500 for women, 600 for men. I have my evening meal, about 6p.m on a non fast day and don’t eat again until about 6p.m. on my fast day. I have 500 cals, no more, and don’t eat again until about lunch time the next day. so I have a period of about 36 hours when I consume 500 cals in total. I find if I eat anything during the day, I feel ravenous. So for me it’s plenty of no calorie black tea and coffee and tonic water.

    What do any of you recommend as the best spread to use for toast etc please.

    @nodrog69 it was nothing to do with lack of willpower just feeling worse on fast day having has a porridge breakfast. my stomach was grumbling so loudly in my morning lecture the lecturer had to stop talking and peoples dictaphones picked it up. I now have a boiled egg, a slice of ham at about 7:30am and a tangerine about 12pm and i’m fine till dinner

    Have been intermittent fasting for six months now. My aim was not to lose weight – I have a BMI of around 23, which has been at this level for more than 25 years, and indeed my weight is almost exactly the same as when I started back in August.
    I’m not used to counting calories, so don’t bother: my two fast days are exactly that – water/black coffee or herbal tea only between one evening meal and the next- no food at all. In my late forties, my aim is to keep insulin and cholesterol levels low, which seems to be working, as there is a history of heart disease & diabetes in the family. Have to say that I seem to have lots more energy & feel much more mentally alert on fast days.

    I have been doing the diet for 3 weeks now and am so disappointed because my weight has increased by 4lb during this time. Initially I thought it was because I was incredibly constipated but that has cleared and I still can’t seem to get going. This week I’m trying 3 fast days to see if that will kick me into action but any tips would be very welcome. I’ve downloaded a calorie counting app so I know that I’m staying within my 500 cal limit and on my eating days I’m not pigging out, in fact I’m trying to keep within a 1700 cal limit. I so want this to work because of the health benefits plus, when I was younger I often used to have days when I didn’t eat much and back then I didn’t have a weight problem, so I know it works. I’m 55 and a few years ago I was diagnosed with an under-active thyroid, that’s when my weight rocketed but since then its cleared and I don’t need any medication but I have real problems losing weight, I would have thought that an eating pattern like this would help my metabolism so I’m not going to give up on it, but it’s just so frustrating when other people are doing so well. Any thoughts?

    I have just finished my first week and lost 2lbs. I am splitting my 500 allowance between lunch and dinner. I am feeling really hungry the moment I eat breakfast on the non fast days and have managed to put on my 2 lbs . The fast days I am coping with. I exercise and have tried to have smaller portions in week with a treat and a larger meal at weekends. I thought the idea was not to worry and be fairly sensible on the non fast days but if this Carries on I will get know where. I need to lose 2stone and I am 5ft9. Any suggestions

    I have just completed six weeks (first fast 8/1/2013) of fasting and have lost 14 lbs. my fast days have become easier as time passes. I now weigh 18 stone 1 lb and I am very excited to see what I weigh in January 2014.

    hazel well done !it is so encouraging to read about the successes of others out there I only hope I can achieve the same results. Maybe I will try porridge for breakfast like you have, and forget about dinner which is what I have been doing. I am on week 3 and maybe have lost a tiny bit around my waist, but no major changes so far.

    Hello, everyone. I wonder if you would be interested in a low cal soup recipe for lunch on a fast day? 400g can of chopped tomatoes, add some black pepper, and dried herbs and blitz. Heat and serve in a warm bowl. It’s very filling and costs a mere 76 calories.

    I have been doing it for 5 weeks and lost weight the first 3. But for the last 2, nothing. And this in spite of working really hard and reducing my eating on ‘normal’ days gradually more and more. Although am certainly not giving up yet – will keep trying and see what happens over next few weeks – but I do think that the publicity on the diet isn’t right – you are told over and over that you can eat what you like on the ‘days off’. Having experimented with it over the last 5 weeks, I definitely know that is not true and nowhere near. It would be much more honest if we were told that you have to be careful on those 5 days too. In spite of the fasting days, I have noticed that the overall calorie deficit is actually really small – this means that you have to be careful on the 5 days, staying inside some sort of calorie limit and not just eating what you like. But no-one tells you what that limit is. On the forum, somebody suggested that my visits to the gym in the last week may have led to the increased weight but I am finding it hard to believe that 2 short workouts and a swim would have changed my muscle mass significantly! Sorry – for now, I am a sceptic about the whole thing – am going to keep going because I hope that longer term it pays off but am disappointed. It is not easy to fast 2 days a week but I can cope with it as long as I see results. But fasting 2 days a week and not losing weight is not seeing results!

    Hi UmmB – As we say in the book, the science here is new, and human trials are only in their infancy, so we don’t yet have the answers on why it is generally effective, but may not be comprehensively so. It is worth remembering that the health benefits of Intermittent Fasting go well beyond weight loss (though I recognise this is a primary objective for many). The point of the Fast Diet is that it should feel feasible and achievable, not something that extends to restriction every day of the week – if that’s not how it feels, you may want to give it a rest and perhaps come back to it at a later date. We’d love to know how you get on. Best wishes and good luck.

    Hi UmmB
    I agree with you, and have found from experience, that on the 5 days one must eat carefully (as most slim folks do anyway!); so I try not to go above 1500kcals (trying to avoid refined carbs and too much fat) on these 5 days (I am 5ft6inches, weigh 8stone 12pounds); of course, the smaller (shorter and lighter) you are, the less calories you need anyway. I have always found, even before this diet (which I love) that if I go much above 15oocals per day I gain weight (whether or not I exercise). Good luck and stick with it. Maggie

    Hello Everyone
    I have found Low Fat Ko-Lee Noddles (at only 76 cals per pack) very filling and satisfying for Fast Days. You can either use their sachet of flavour or, better, use some stock mixed with the boiling water, to stand them in for the recommended 3 mins. If your local shop doesn’t have them, I got them off Amazon! I can barely believe the calorie count – hope it is correct – any thoughts anyone?

    My daughter and I have been following the diet – me for 4 weeks, my daughter for 3. I have lost 5 pounds, not a swift weight loss, but steady at least and I am happy to plod on at that speed as long as I continue to lose weight. However, my daughter has lost nothing – in fact today she weighed more than when she started. She is on the point of giving up as she said it’s too hard to fast two days and see no result. It seems very disappointing. Any ideas anyone?

    Hi all,

    for those who are not seeing any weight loss I’d say stick with it while longer. I’ve been doing the 5:2 regime since last November and have found that some weeks there is little or no loss, but over time the trend is downward.

    I’ve dropped 8kg over the three months, but in ‘steps’ rather than a straight line. I also found as time goes on the fasting days get much easier – now I actually look forward to them! 🙂

    Hi, after New Year I read the book, started the regime and am now on week 7. Has anyone else found that you actually can’t eat whatever you want on non-fast days? I haven’t lost any weight at all and am so hungry on non-fast days that I’m sure I end up over-eating. Am considering giving up because the weight just isn’t coming off and I’m no less hungry on non-fast days. I’ve tried dropping to 400cal on fast days – didn’t work – and am now dropping even further to below 100cal. I just want to be able to eat what I want on the 5 days otherwise I might as well be on a cal-controlled diet the whole time, which from my experience works for a short time but then I get bored and start eating normally and then the weight goes back on. I have about 10-12lbs to lose. Can anyone help?

    I do question whether you can really eat what you like on non-fast days as well. Which rather defeats the whole point of the diet in my opinion.

    I really REALLY want to try this as I am a food addict and for years I have never been really hungry. More like constantly topping myself up rather than filling a gap (what gap?). I watched the programme and read a lot about this and in my head I’m impressed with the apparent health benefits. I am 53 and about 4 stone overweight. As time passes I feel less and less able to move about easily and body parts hurt now and then. I also have high blood pressure. On the face of it this eating regime feels like the answer to my prayers as I struggle to sustain the effort needed to lose all the weight. So the thought of just 2 days a week coping with restricted calories and being able to eat ‘ normally’ for 5 days appeals immensely. So I set my stall out over the weekend and ate everything in site in lieu of my fast (usual diet behaviour!) today. I admit to being very scared of failing at this and hey presto, I got up this morning and within 10 mins had talked myself out of it today and carried on with my weekend binge! 🙁 fed up now and feel SUCH a failure as usual. Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?

    Jasminflower116 – don’t be scared! Take it one day at a time – you may find this works for you, you may find it doesn’t suit you. There is no one-size-fits-all magic wand. The bottom line I think is to be kind to yourself, be forgiving. Many people have had success with intermittent fasting, so do give it a go if it feels right – but not if it makes you feel bad. If it’s not for you, you have lost very little. If it works, you will gain so much. Good luck.

    @maggie I’d be interested to see the nutrition information from those packs of noodles, Amazon doesn’t list it. I know Noodle packs can sometimes be deceptive with their calories, referring to calories in a cooked weight portion (eg, the pack might be 100g dry and so you think the cals means the whole pack, but they refer to cals for 100g cooked weight, probably only a third of a pack). I’ve come a cropper on this myself before, but if these really are 76cals for a whole cooked pack that’s awesome and I must try them 🙂

    Hi, I’m trying out a new noodle tonight. It’s available at Holland and Barratt and has only 4 cals per 100g. It’s organic and according the packet it is made from Konnyaku Glucomannan flour, (whatever that is), Food grade Calcium Hydroxide and 96% water. I’ve read it has to be rinsed well in warm water before adding to your soups etc. It’s looks like rice noodles. Transparent in colour. It is supposed to be flavourless but takes up the flavour of whatever it is cooked with. I’ll give an update after dinner tonight!

    Oh and further to my last post, it’s wheat free. Good for me as I’m sensitive to wheat.

    Hi shiningmoogie, Thanks for the reply. Will check out the other website about thyroid issues. I do the 2 sleeps fast, usually Mon & Thurs. I’m also one of those people who doesn’t feel hungry until I start eating, so all day I just have tea and coffee made with UHT skimmed milk which I count as 110 cals (300ml) then I have my evening meal (around 6 pm)which is usually cod or salmon with veggies (eg cabbage, mushrooms, carrots) or sometimes half a pack of golden savoury rice instead of some veg. While I’m watching TV later I have a glass of low calorie tonic water then I don’t eat again until breakfast the following day which is around 9-10 a.m. I don’t have a problem with fasting but like a few other people I definitely feel that I can’t eat what I want on the non fast days, I tried that during my first week and then went back to 1700 cals max. I own a cafe so I’m on the go all day, so I can’t blame this on not being active enough.


    I’ve got the book, but most recipes have meat or eggs in them. Do you have any vegetarian ideas without the use of eggs and dairy?


    Hi just started today on the 5:2 diet – very hungry tonight on my first fast day!!! I wondered if it is ok to have a slimfast coffee shake as my breakfast on the fast days and a small evening meal? The slimfast shake really does fill me up for the day until supper time??

    @janice Perry and @shiningmoogie just had a quick look at your posts and something crossed my mind in terms of calorie volumes. It’s probably something MM could respond to. Previously there was a train of thought that if you consistently ate below your RMR (resting metabolic rate, the number of calories your body needs to just keep itself working, mine is 1550, I’m 5ft 8in) then your body would go into what was referred to as ‘starvation mode’ where it will hang onto fat as it’s best source of fuel. In the book I saw a one line reference to this from MM and he said it wasn’t actually the case, but I’d be very interested to understand this process. Given that you’re on your feet all day, your body will be using up the calories and if you’re eating 1700 on your normal days and 500 on your fast days it might have an impact. Does anyone else have any info?

    I’ve experimented with different ways of dividing my calories up. I find if I save up my calories for an early evening meal this works best. On a 600 calorie allowance for a male this is generous enough to open up lots more options than if I split my calories into breakfast and lunch. It means I can eat pretty much the same meal as I would have eaten any way, albeit with the ingredients weighed out meticulously.

    I was using butterbeans today. The calories stated in your book are considerably more than on the tin or on calorie websites. Can you expain?

    Doing the maths on the calories is something I’m struggling with too. I can’t find a reliable and comprehensive site to compare calories, and the figures I’ve read are inconsistent, so some of it is just guess work, so I’m probably eating a little more than the 600 cals I should be on fast days. Even so, from a weight loss point of view this has not been a problem – I’ve been delighted with my weight loss, just wonder whether by going over the calorie limit I’m fully reaping all the other benefits or not.

    i am loving this way of life. However, on my fast days i eat nothing and simply drink tea, water and coffee. After the first 2 hours i feel no hunger at all. The reason i started this was because eating 500 cals made me ravenous! I hope i am not doing the wrong thing. is anyone else doing this? Been on it for 2 weeks and feel great.

    Hi all, I am 64 yrs male 5ft 9ins and was 15st 12Ib on 29th jan. I have completed 12 fast days and weight loss is impressive but yo yos due to non fast day “binging”. Over all I am 8Ib lighter but have seen a max weight loss of 14Ib on one weigh day. The reason for this is that I enjoy my late night suppers and alcohol. This is deadly. I am getting back to the programme, cutting down on alcohol etc and know I will be succesful in my future weight loss attempts. My fast days consist of oat bran for breakfast and M and S Fuller longer ready meals on an evening,this makes things easy for me. My wife has decided to join me but found her first two fast days a bit challenging but achievable. I kept a food diary at first, a big help, as soon as I stopped this I started to binge on non fast days, a lesson there. I also go to the gym and aim for a 400 – 500 calorie loss workout 3 times a week. I am starting to find that the 2 day fast is becoming a lifestyle and easy to do. Good luck to you all.

    Hi Everyone/Mimi. I have just read the book cover to cover. I am starting my first ‘Fast Day’ tomorrow. I am however slighlty confused. Is the Expression used ‘fast’ the time between meals (and this needs to be as long as possible) or does the term cover the day of 600 calories? Basically I’m trying to understand if my intention of eating 300 cals for lunch then 300 cals for dinner is as effective as 300 for Breakfast and 300 for dinner? Regards, James

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