If you've heard about intermittent fasting, or the 5:2 Diet, but think it sounds too tough, we give you practical tips to help you combat hunger and keep your energy up!
- Learn about the amazing benefits of intermittent fasting
- Use our superfood helpers to deal with hunger, cravings and maintain your energy
- Give your body the right fuel to make fasting work for you
The very successful 5:2 Diet or the Fast Diet, was developed in the UK by Dr Michael Mosley and food writer Mimi Spencer and aims to switch your metabolism into using fat for energy, which keeps you going much longer than starchy carbohydrates. The rules are simple, you eat a restrictive 500 calories for 2 days (your fasting days) and eat normally for the remaining 5 days of the week. It's a great way to lose stubborn weight and improve your exercise endurance.
Read on to find out more about how fasting could help you.
Why do it
As well as weight loss and numerous disease-risk markers being minimised by intermittent fasting (discussed in more detail here), here are a few reasons to give 5:2 a go:
- Give the digestive system a rest – by eating considerably less food 2 days per week, you allow the body to deal with, and eliminate, stored toxins.
- Improve your resistance – a better balance of gut bacteria is achieved, which improves resistance and the immune system.
- Balance hunger levels – cravings for sweets and chips can be squashed when you train your body to use its fat stores for fuel.
How to do it the OB way
There are plenty of publications out there that will give you the 5:2 prescription, but I would like to give you a way into eating this way and some superfood support.
Making a start – going from a high carbohydrate and sugar diet straight into fasting will be torture! So my advice is to spend a few weeks restricting your intake of starchy carbs and sugary foods before embarking on the 5:2.
- Reduce bread, pasta, rice (white and brown), potatoes, crackers, muffins, biscuits, cookies, cakes, chocolate and sweets.
- Replace these foods with an extra portion of vegetables at mealtimes – ideally leafy greens such as kale, spinach, rocket, chard, lettuce. You could snack on celery sticks with almond butter, or a piece of fruit if you need something sweet.
Get friendly with the right fats – change your shopping habits and become familiar with the types of foods that play an important role in the 5:2.
- Avocado, coconut oil, organic butter, nuts – of all varieties, but especially macadamia, olives, olive oil, eggs, fish and meat provide fats that are converted easily to energy, plus they help deliver important fat-soluble nutrients to your cells.
- Try to steer clear of refined, processed fats such as vegetable oils and margarines (sunflower, canola, rapeseed, palm oils) which are contained in most packaged foods – including supposed ‘health foods’ like hummus dips, and oatcakes.
Manage hunger – food cravings are often the result of eating too many foods that are designed to be addictive, i.e. they’re packed with salt, sugar and refined oils that the reward function in our brains absolutely love.
- Coming off these foods can be a challenge, but nourishing your body on a deep level and managing hunger with extra fibre really helps.
- Take a tsp of Organic Burst Wheatgrass in water with a squeeze of lemon juice 1 hour before meals.
- Our wheatgrass is made from the whole leaf, retaining the precious fibres. It is also densely packed with nutrients including energy-metabolising manganese, Vitamin A, antioxidants and essential fats to nourish - resulting in a high fibre, nutrient rich, extremely low calorie booster that will get you through the initial hunger pangs of fasting.
Protect and support – as mentioned above, fasting gives our organs the chance to deal with the toxic load we take on every day from the environment, chemicals in food, drinks, toiletries, etc. Additionally, weight loss means further toxins that have been stored in our fat cells are released into the bloodstream. So promoting detoxification activity during the 5:2 is a wonderful thing you can do for your body.
- Stay hydrated to encourage the flushing of your organs and lymph movement – drink plenty of filtered water and herbal teas (bitter teas such as dandelion and fennel are particularly cleansing).
- Flood your system with antioxidants by eating a wide array of brightly coloured fruits and vegetables, to support the ‘mopping up’ of free radicals.
- Take Organic Burst Chlorella to promote detoxification by supporting the liver, gallbladder, kidneys – chlorella actually cleanses the body by helping to remove alcohol, heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides and other toxins.
- Organic Burst Chlorella also helps to maintain good digestive health, benefitting the good bacteria, which has masses of knock on effects. Beautifully balanced gut flora means better elimination of waste, absorption of nutrients and improved immunity.
There’s nothing left to do but give it a go! Good luck and stay healthy.