Simple is the New Complex
The intermittent fasting 5:2 diet or “The Fast Diet” as so it is dubbed is a great starting point. My goal with this post is to break this fasting fad down in to its most raw and simplistic form – all while losing weight, changing your lifestyle and not having to read 10 different blog posts to understand the principles.
The 5:2 fasting diet was developed by a British fellow named Michael Mosley. I strongly urge you to google the man, he has some great insights and a cunning humor about him. This diet is very simple to understand. You eat “normal” for 5
out of 7 days and the other two you intermittently fast, always having at least one “normal” day in between the fasting day. Normal is a relative term (you may have noticed it in quotes). “Normal” is still a restrictive sense, maybe a 2,000 calorie diet is what you are doing…keep it at that or whatever you have decided. The other two days are for intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting is also a vague term. With every expert and guru having their own twist on time frames and calorie intake, and “what to eat” and “what not to eat”. I am going to enlighten you on what I consider intermittent fasting and the diet that I use, that has worked for me. We will explore the different ways to adapt your diet to your lifestyle. Adding a personal touch to the 5:2 is what I hope for you to gain out of this post.
Magical Unicorns & Your “Calorie Deficit Number”
If you are like me, then part of the decision on when and how to fast comes down to calorie deficit and what is the “special” number of calories. This answer could be an article all to itself (and if you are interested on my take of this, please let me know in the comments and I would gladly give my take on it in more detail). Your calorie deficit number doesn’t need to be like a Unicorn…it is a real thing.
During a day in the dark ages when I was a little “heftier” I would add up my sausage burrito and orange juice calories from breakfast. Then add up my hamburger and fixin’s along with fries and diet soda for lunch. Can’t forget to add up the snacks in between, and then of course the steak and potatoes for dinner with a beer or two.
Writing up your calories for the day will take longer than actually finding your magical number.
Once the calories have been added for the day, simply reduce them. Really, if I had 2,500 calories for the day – take it down to 2,000 and then you are basically ready to start the intermittent fasting; 5:2 style. Once you have decided on calorie deficit it is time to pick out a schedule that fits your lifestyle… you know, that work stuff that kind of gets in the way.
Scheduling like a Boss
Scheduling anything can be a bit of a hassle but it always has helped me with accountability and makes it more of a challenge in the fasting scheme. So like stated before pick out two days during the week that look like a good day to not eat until 2:00 pm or whatever time preferably after lunchtime suits you ( I suggest not Monday, that day has a mind of its own already).
Nic’s Intermittent Fasting Philosophy
- Drink 8-12 ounces of coffee to start the day (black only)
- Drink water and mix in a sparkling water until 2:00 pm
- 2:00 pm – Eat 100-150 calories of choice food
- Back to the water train, sparkling if you need it
- 6:00 pm – Eat the rest of your calories
Once that is established it will be easy to work through knowing that this part is taken care of. Logging all of your meals, calories and weight loss/gain is essential in making this trial run worth it. I personally have done the intermittent 5:2 diet for a couple weeks. I did see results, however it wasn’t up my alley. It is great to start out with and has many health benefits. I found it as a good “threshold test”.
Using this as a good indicator after a few weeks of the 5:2 fasting I decided to adapt my lifestyle, my own “diet fad”, workouts and time management to the fasting regimen.
Adapt and Overcome (with that personal swag)
The 5:2 fasting diet opened Pandora box for me, it is where I started when fasting. As I researche and learned my body limitations I transitioned my own philosophies. I adapted intermittent fasting to what was working for me and what I was comfortable with.
I strayed away from the 5:2, and went with a 4:3, and then a dime package (football reference, if you didn’t know). The point is once you have tried something that someone else; “another human” has come up with, feel free to make it your own. Because you are the person not eating, you are the person vesting your time and efforts into research and possible money into programs.
If you are someone that works in an office all day, then adapt your fasting along with some light workouts. If you work construction and are grueling all day in the sun, then maybe add more than 100-150 calories for your afternoon meal. This is all adaptable, just keep these 2 simple principles in mind.
- Don’t eat til afternoon preferably 2:00 pm
- Eat the rest of your calories between 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Call yourself: The Creator
This diet is a great starting point, and I know plenty of people that have stuck with this diet extended periods. I think it is great when people come up with different variations and great new philosophies on fasting. I hope by reading this brief intro to the intermittent 5:2 diet you can gain an understanding of independence and freedom of what it actually means to you.
The 5:2 diet was a great starting point that led me down the lifestyle of creating my own. I hope you can do the same. Understand that you can create your own fasting routine with your own rules and still get everything you want out of it.
Leave a comment below if you have any insight, questions or if you would like to see me post something more specific.
Thanks for reading and have a pleasantly uncomfortable day