Intermittent fasting – the allmygoodness challenge

Written by on August 19, 2013 in Beauty, Body & Mind, Food & Drink, Recipes, Wellbeing - Comments Off on Intermittent fasting – the allmygoodness challenge

feet-scale-weight-300a031307As a lover of organic, high quality cuisine, I must admit that I have a problem; I love food! The problem with being a foodie is that, although, all the meals that I eat are healthy, they are not always low in calories.

Whether I am browsing a market in London,  a European market or visiting my local organic food store, there are lots of healthy treats that should only be eaten in moderation.

Psychologists say that weight can fluctuate with change. Whether that’s change of job, city or moving house, change means a difference in routine and it is this uncertainty can make us gain weight. One of the biggest factors that effects weight gain, in the UK, is relationships. “When we get comfortable in a relationship, we establish new habits together that aren’t always the best for our weight,” says Amy Gorin, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Connecticut. We all know that type of partner, the dreaded; feeder. However, equally going out with a gym bunny can be just as corruptive to your routine; going to the gym together is NOT a date night.

So, how can you balance healthy eating and the correct amount of exercise? In April, I realised, I had gained two stone in a year and yet only jumped one dress size. How can that be? Well, I have exercised over the past year in various ways; running, power plates and dance. People say that muscle weighs more than fat but I am pretty convinced that it cannot weigh that much more. As my friend kindly said (after discovering exactly how much I had gained); “what on earth have you been eating?”. It was this that made me realise, although, I eat well, I need to regain control and awareness.

Over the past three months, I have attended Slimming World and I have lost a stone. A great success you may think. Originally, I really enjoyed the classes, middle aged rants about how they were “deceived by Tesco sushi” and the compliments that “a twig” like me needn’t attend. However, as the weeks went on Slimming World really started to get boring. I realised that, £20 a month, to be weighed and discuss the devil that is alcohol for an evening, were hours and money that I could be spending at the gym.

original.jpg-recipe-detailI decided that Slimming World wasn’t for me and I began to do my research. Through my Googling, stalking and trawling Twitter, I was introduced to intermittent fasting, otherwise known as the 5:2 diet and the fast diet. I had heard about the 5:2 diet but I really wanted to hear some real life stories. I put a message out on Facebook to see if anyone had tried it and the positive responses were astounding. A good friend of mine suggested we meet for a drink on his non-fast day. I waited at the bar expectantly for my once chubby friend and in walked a man who was a former shadow of himself. I instantly knew that the 5:2 diet would get me results but at what cost? How difficult was it?

My friend claimed that with his work schedule, the 5:2 diet works perfectly. He said to pick what he likes to call ‘nothingness days’ to be your fast days and then the rest of your week will be a treat. I have picked Tuesday and Wednesday, namely because no-one likes Mondays and these are the easiest days for indulgence to be avoided.

The diet works by only eating minimal calories on your fast days (500 calories for women and 600 for men) The rest of the time you can eat your normal recommended daily intake (2000 for women and 2500 for men).

2013 year calendar. April. Isolated 3D imageAlthough, this may seem unhealthy, fasting has been part of culture and civilisation for centuries. In Christianity, many of the faithful commit to fasting or giving up certain types of luxuries as a form of penitence during lent. In Islamic religion, followers fast for Ramadan. They fast from dawn until sunset and refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids, smoking, and even engaging in sexual relations. Fasting is a way of cleansing and a way of gaining control and willpower and what’s more; the fact that it has been done for centuries shows that it is safe. Scientific research even shows that intermittent fasting can even help speed up metabolism.

This week I am starting my first week of intermittent fasting. I am armed with scales, ryvitta and lots of vegetables and I will be recording my progress over the next month for a review article. You can follow my progress on Twitter @ChristinaLatha and my meals on Pinterest. Wish me luck!

About the Author

Christina Latham

Christina is one of our original writers who helped with the launch of allmygoodness. She has a love for finding vintage treasures and organic products in unexpected, undiscovered places. She has previously worked as a journalist for CD News at the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy and Bader TV News in Berlin. She also writes freelance articles for Fitzrovia News and BetaTwentyOne. Follow her on Twitter @ChristinaLatha