Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Rationing: an update and an admission.

Right, no beating about the bush, I’ve quit the ration book plan, at least for now.

Why? Well, I recently changed my birth control (must persuade the man to get the snip – yes – you, I’m looking at you) and piled on 13 lbs in around a month. I am at my heaviest ever and not a little bit coping with it.

I have to get rid of it. None of my clothes fit and, as I’m sure you all know, it isn’t easy or cheap to replace a vintage wardrobe you have been collecting for several years.

So, I have instead moved to the 5:2 diet, as recommended on the BBC Horizon programme, Eat, Fast and Live Longer (August 2012).

Put simply, two days a week you eat a measly 500 calories a day (for women, 600 for men). The rest of the time you can pretty much eat what you like. Though of course gorging on fast food isn’t really a good idea.
The diets main benefits are said to be reduced risks of cancer and Parkinson’s disease, reduced risk of Alzheimer’s and, well, weight loss. I’ve generally been trying to lose a little weight for over a year, battles with my BC (formerly Depo now Mirena) have not helped and despite trying every calorie and exercise plan under the sun I’ve been gradually gaining. Now at last something is happening. I’m losing around 1lb a week, I feel a lot healthier and more energetic.

I’m not sure why it works. At the same weekly calorie deficit but spread across the week I was still gaining. Somehow this “shock to the system” method seems to work better for me.
It is surprisingly easy to manage. I can slot the fast days in at any point in the week. I usually do Mondays (super easy post weekend) and then either Wednesday or Thursday depending on social plannage. This means I can be on a diet, losing eight successfully, without having to worry about what to have on the menu or whether I can squeeze in a glass of wine.

500 calories doesn’t sound much but I have never been a breakfast fan, I’m barely sane before around noon and eating before then is tough. As such on fast days I have a couple of cups of tea until lunch, either a salad or soup for lunch, tea in the afternoon and a healthy dinner (fish / meat / veg). Getting through that day is easy as I know I can eat properly the day after.  I don’t feel tired due to constant calorie restriction so can even exercise on my fast days.

I just can't seem to mix this with the ration plan however, as, though food was scarce what was around was incredibly calorie dense.  Cakes, pies, stews. 

Anyway – enough of my diet evangelism. Just wanted to explain.

Will go back to rationing once I fit into my favourite dress again. 4lbs down, 10 to go!


  1. This is amazing! I am starting 5:2 tomorrow (because every time my mum sees a picture of me on facebook she sends me "helpful" articles about how being fat is killing me). I've been finding the preparation (I have a spreadsheet of menu plans) quite fun.

    1. honestly - I love it. I'm using MyfitnessPal to track my calories which helps but some of the things i'm finding useful are those 10 calorie pot sugar free jellies, lots of tea and water and salads dressed with just lime juice. homemade veggie soup goes a long way too. Let me know how you get on.

    2. That's the calorie tracker I am using too - been quite an eyeopener these last few days (delicious 1200 calorie pizza though...)

  2. My friend and her partner have been doing this diet for 2 months and love it(they call it the 80/20 diet but it is the same principles) She has lost half a stone, which was all she needed to lose and he has lost 2 stone so far! They both say the same as you that is is incredibly easy to follow and that they haven't felt hungry at all.

  3. I had not heard of this before. I shall have to investigate :)

  4. Sounds intriguing...I've just lost about a stone in a month through slightly more extreme measures (800 calories a day), but this seems like a good way to maintain my losses. How many calories do you roughly have on the other days?

    Ruby xx

  5. 800 a day is dangerous, I hope you haven't done it for too long. please be careful sweetheart. :-(

    On the other days I eat at maintenance - so for me around 2000 - 2100. the weekly deficit is already built into those 2 days so there is no need to restrict at any other time.

    1. Oh no it's perfectly safe, it was okayed by my doc and everything! Plus I have a slow metabolism and no muscle to speak of, so I put on weight if I eat over 1500 calories a day...the curse of a sedentary lifestyle and too many years eating cake ;)

  6. Lisa, I lost a bunch of weight just by watching carbs and no wheat. I encourage you to check out the book Wheat Belly. It totally changed the way I look at food. I don't count calories, I eat tons of dark chocolate, and I eat sweet things made with almond flour so I never feel like I'm missing out on anything. The bonus is no more bloating or swings in blood sugar levels causing weight gain. If you want more info, email me:)