It’s that time of year when people start trying to shed their Christmas weight. The 5:2 diet isn’t easy, but it allows (a little) pleasure in food.Food writing does not lend itself to weight loss. There are recipes to test, puddings to try, restaurants to visit. It’s work, honestly, and I love it. But it does test the waistband. Proper weight loss takes weeks to accomplish, and calorie counting day in day out is not only unfeasible, but for anyone who loves to eat as much as I do, it’s also unbearable. Food is not simply about hunger, it’s a sensual joy. Take that away and life looks pretty bleak.
But when I realised I had put on nearly two stone in the past decade, I knew that something had to give, for my health, my vanity and my wallet. So when I read about the 5:2 diet, featured in an article by Dr Michael Mosley in the Telegraph in August, I knew he’d hit upon something important. The premise is: eat normally for five days, then limit oneself to 500 cals (600 for men) for two non-consecutive days a week. Foodies have been turning to this diet in droves, including myself; I’ve been on the 5:2 diet for more than a month. The fasting days are tough. It makes me unspeakably bad tempered. Cutting out booze is a trial too. Just this week the World Cancer Research Fund issued warnings that alcohol calories are the downfall of many a diet. Oh dear. I calculate that an entire bottle of white wine has 510 calories, so I’ve allowed an occasional 75 calories for a tiny 50ml glassful, sipped very slowly.
So far I’ve lost half a stone – nothing remarkable, except I’ve managed to do that over Christmas and New Year, and I haven’t missed out on any of the goodies. These recipes, high in flavour but low in calories, help keep me sane while using only half the daily calorie allowance. I shall return to this later, and hope the photograph you see of me will be (almost) half the size.
NOW WATCH: Executive Life videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.