Well, after a two week attempt, The 5:2 Diet has failed me…or I have failed it. I would have thought the failure would be due to my inability to live even for one day on 450 calorie. But that part, I was able to manage. What I could not handle was getting on the scale the morning of my fourth fast day to find I weighed exactly the same amount as I did on Fasting Day 1. My determination instantly disappeared and I headed downstairs for a big bowl of oatmeal instead of the lemon water that would have been my breakfast.
Thus, the day that was supposed to be my fourth fast day ended up being a return to my normal diet. And instead of spending the day thinking about how to stretch 450 calories across 15 hours, I spent it wondering why The 5:2 Diet didn’t work.
I know the science behind weight loss. I know that it takes a caloric deficit of 3500 to lose one pound. I’ve learned that much from my husband. So this diet, mathematically, should work. Right? If I only eat 400 calories in a day…and I usually consume 1800…then I’m saving 1400…for a deficit of 2800 for the week…but I figured I deserved to overindulge a tad on my day-after-fast-days…so maybe a 2000 deficit.
Really? That’s it? All of this hunger won’t even result in a pound of weight loss in a week?
My conclusion, there are easier ways to create a weekly 2000 calorie deficit. I consulted the Exercise and Caloric Expenditure chart. Here are some of my ideas.
- Go for a 30 minute walk five nights a week (150X5=750), do an hour of circuit training on Saturday and Sunday (475×2=950) and eliminate two glasses of wine per week (100/glassx2=200) CALORIC DEFICIT=1900
- Stop having a bedtime snack (250×7=1750) and eliminate two glasses of wine per week (100/glassx2=20) CALORIC DEFICIT=1950
- Do Jeff’s High Intensity Circuit Training YouTube video three times (160×3=480 calories) and only have a bedtime snack one time during the week (250×6=1500) CALORIC DEFICIT=1980
- Do two cycling classes in a week (600×2=1200) and eliminate four glasses of wine per week (100×4=400) CALORIC DEFICIT=1600
- Add ten high intensity running minutes to my treadmill time (110×5=550), do one cycling class (600), eliminate all wine (7 x100=700) CALORIC DEFICIT=1850
Granted some of these strategies may seem extreme, a weekend without wine is not much of a weekend, but a day without solid food is also pretty drastic. For me, I think small adjustments to my normal routine are more appealing than twice weekly starvation days.
So perhaps, The 5:2 Diet did work. It gave me a new perspective on a couple of things. First, I learned what real hunger feels like. This will be valuable knowledge for the next time someone brings left-over birthday cake to the office and I suddenly need a snack. Second, I learned that even when I am really, truly, unbelievably hungry, there are things I can do to survive it like drink water or chew gum. And finally, I learned that an hour of intense exercise is easier for me than a day of intense hunger. So The 5:2 Diet book is going on the shelf and I’m going to spinning class.