Emma from Mellow Mummy is starting 2014 with a plan to lose those added few pounds gained over the Christmas period. Emma is trying out the 5:2 diet plan with a little help from the Lighter Life Fast Plan. Find out how it works...
This time last year I started a 5:2 diet which I kept up for a good few months but my good efforts eventually teetered out as I ran out of energy and inspiration to manage the strict calorie limits on my '2' days. This year I am trying out the Lighter Life Fast Plan which I am hoping will take away the worries of what to eat on the two fast days each week.
If you've never heard of 5:2 then let me enlighten you. 5:2 refers to the days of the week. You spend 5 days each week eating what you normally would do - no changes needed. The other two days (which don't necessarily need to be consecutive) are fasting days in which you restrict your body to just 600 calories. It might sound extreme but fasting is something that humans have been doing for thousands of years and the benefits are more extensive than weight loss alone. A short but regular controlled fasting period has been shown to kick start your metabolism; Ian Broom, the Medical Director of Lighter Life says, "There is also much evidence that fasting can improve cognitive function in humans, and because fasting has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity, it may help guard against developing certain conditions such as dementia and diabetes."
On the Lighter Life fast plan you can choose four of the Lighter Life 5:2 food packs to eat on your fast days and these will add up to 600 calories. The Lighter Life 5:2 products include milkshakes, filling porridges, healthy snack bars, warming soups and pasta dishes - they seem quite expensive to me (4-packs of each food cost between £8 and £9) so I am interested to see whether the products really do make my meal planning easier. Lighter Life 5:2 products are exclusive to Superdrug and Lighter Life clinics. Because I am comfortable with the 5:2 approach already and know the benefits it can achieve for me, I've chosen to go it alone this time but you can find out more on the lighter Life website about support groups and clinics who can help you on your 5:2 journey.
For me, I am expecting the 5:2 diet to offer me a short period of weight loss simply to get rid of the excess weight I've out on over Christmas! then a longer period of slower weight loss before naturally plateauing. Friends (male and female) who have been doing the 5:2 diet for well over a year report increased energy (making it more likely I will attempt some level of exercise!!!) and a sustained period of slow but maintainable weight loss.
As a busy working mum, I'm hoping that the Lighter Life 5:2 products are quick and easy to use and that they are tasty enough to keep me coming back week after week. The range is quite small at present so I'm a little worried about getting variety on my fast days but at least I will know that my meals on my '2' days will be nutritionally complete - something I worry about balancing when I am making my own super-low-calorie meals.
Stay tuned to Family Panel to find out how Emma gets on with the Lighter Life Fast Plan.