I have a co-dependent relationship with food, so I’ve always had trouble losing weight. However, about two years ago I started tailoring my diet based to a five/two ratio and it’s proven really effective for me. If you want to find out whether it would be something you could do too, keep reading, as this week I ask: what exactly is my five/two diet?
When I decided to go on a weight loss journey, I knew I needed to change my relationship with food. But as anyone who know’s me will tell you, I’m a very picky eater, and I despise healthy foods. I’ve tried following vegetable-heavy diets before, and yes, they worked for a while, but in the end it would always fail. I decided to take a different approach this time.
It made more sense to me, to reduce the amount of treats I was eating every week, rather than start steaming vegetables every day. At this point, I should tell you that when it comes to foods I love, I have little impulse control. I swear to god, I can gobble up a big bag of sweets, wash it down with a bottle of coke, and have another bag of sweets, given half the chance. So as you can imagine, this strategy has been better suited to my lifestyle!
You may be confused, because there’s already such a thing as the five/two rule, and I didn’t invent it. This basically involves limiting yourself to 50o (women) or 600 (men) calories a day for two days, and eating normally the rest of the time. In other words, you have to fast and I wasn’t up for that, so I developed my own version of the five/two rule.
The ‘five’ and the ‘two’ refer to weekdays and weekends respectively. On weekdays, I limit what I eat strictly, cutting out any sweets, fast foods, fizzy drinks and alcohol. On weekdays, I throw caution to the wind and have whatever I want, although I try to stay within reason. A friend of mine recently summed up why this strategy is so effective. If you’re dieting, there’s either no light at the end of the tunnel, or it’s very far away, but with my five/two rule, you know that you’re only ever a few days away from good food.
So how does this look in practise? I’m not prescribing a meal plan here. I’m trying to make you realise that if my five/two diet can work for me, considering the lack of healthy food in my life, it can be even more effective for you. My weekly meal plan is…
- No breakfast – It’s a pointless meal anyway.
- Five cups of black, sugarless tea and coffee at work per day.
- One chicken sandwich at lunch every day.
- A full dinner – this is usually beans and toast or pasta bake.
- A Chicago Town Pepperoni Takeaway Pizza for dinner on Friday night.
- A bag of chocolate eclairs on Friday night.
- Two sausage rolls and a sausage, bean and cheese melt from Gregg’s for breakfast on Saturday mornings.
- One bar of Galaxy Salted Caramel during Saturday daytime.
- Night out on Saturday night, typically involving beer, wine, vodka etc.
- A takeaway to end the night on Saturdays – often a pizza or cheesy garlic bread.
- One Subway Meatball Marinara (12 inch) for breakfast on Sunday morning.
- Two bags of sweets on Sunday daytime.
- A Chicago Town Pepperoni Takeaway Pizza for dinner on Sunday night.
I know that this meal plan is incredibly predictable, but what can I say – I really am a picky eater and I like routine. I’d also like to point out that this is for an average week – I don’t always follow this schedule. I may, for example, buy skittles instead of a Galaxy Salted Caramel. I sometimes also cheat on weekdays – for instance, I occasionally get a can of coke, and it’s important to realise that it can be a bad idea to stick to even this meal plan too strictly, or you may just become disenfranchised when you fail and fall off the wagon.
All in moderation
Therefore, my five/two diet just involves eating (sort of) well during the five week days, and indulging during the two weekends. I am living proof that when it comes to weight loss, the secret is moderation. By putting aside two days to eat food that I know’s bad for me, I get the need to gorge out of my system, so I can spend more of my time dieting. If you want to lose weight, but don’t want to be extreme, this could be the diet for you!