Why I Failed the 5:2 Fast Diet

Last year, physician and medical journalist, Dr Michael Mosley, revealed an amazing diet that really worked, the Fast Diet (or 5:2 as some of you may know it).

Now this isn’t another one of those fad diets that claim to make you lose a stone in two weeks while starving yourself and spending everyday in the gym. This is the real thing.

After a lot of research, and trying it out for himself, Dr Mosley came to the conclusion that fasting twice a week (hence 5:2) had great health benefits, including, of course, weight loss. I can’t remember all the scientific specifics. But an interesting documentary all about it, Horizon – Eat, Fast and Live Longer, was aired on Channel 4 last year.

When people hear the word fast, they assume it means starve. But on the Fast Diet you get 500-600 calories a day, for two days, depending on whether you’re male or female. So it is doable, apparently.

But my journey with the Fast Diet has been a bumpy one. I started it with enthusiasm in August last year and managed to keep it up for just over a month. But after an attack of tonsillitis (which you’d think would make me eat less) all I wanted to do was curl up and eat ice-cream. So that was the end of that – for 2012 at least.

My enthusiasm came back with the release of the Fast Diet book (and its imitations) along with a wave of eager fasters. This time I gave up after less than a month. I blamed the snow, the cold and the fact that I was starting a new job. But I know the truth. It’s me.

Hello, my name is Carneika and I’m an emotional eater.

I can be perfectly healthy when the sun’s shining and the day is going well. But when the rain starts, my feet get wet (I despise wet feet!) and it feels like the world is against me, I turn to chocolate. I can sit at my desk at work and go through a whole bag of Magic Stars, just because I’m in a bad mood.

The fasting diet seemed to magnify this. I’d be fine on a Monday, the first fast day of the week. But by the time it got to Thursday I’d be dreading the fasting. One Thursday I felt angry all afternoon. So when I got home from work I just gave in and had a takeaway. I realised that the bad mood was just hunger. What kind of person can’t tell the difference between anger and hunger?

But that isn’t even the worst of it. Last fast day (maybe my last fast day ever) I got so worked up at work that on my break I bought a new pair of shoes. So now not only am I an emotional eater, I’m an emotional shopper!

So this is a warning to all of you emotional eaters who are thinking of attempting the Fast 5:2 Diet – Get your wallet ready, its going to be a bumpy ride.

Has anyone had more success with the Fast Diet than I have?

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