Sunday, 28 July 2013

LIFESTYLE: The Fast Diet Recipe Book

First things first, I'd like to stress how much I love food. Past food-related posts wouldn't leave you in much doubt of that! I look forward to my supper each night enormously and am pretty put out if it doesn't cut the mustard. I have a good, healthy, balanced diet, but I think every now and then my portion sizes can be a tad on the generous side or I allow myself seconds where it is entirely unnecessary. Given it's that bikini time of year once again, I tend to pay a little more attention to the shape of my middle than I otherwise would. I'm also still keen to shed the few kgs that were put on during my university days.

BUT. I do not like diets. I simply cannot live like that, I enjoy meals too much to replace them with a dry cracker, a scraping of marge if I'm lucky. I'm sure the end result would be me looking pale, unhappy and not very healthy. That's just not how I roll. I also know it isn't something I could sustain long term, so it would be a fairly short-lived quick fix. My preferred plan is therefore to up the exercise and watch what I'm eating a bit more closely, keeping calories slightly down and not allowing myself too many treats in the week. 

That said, after reading about the Fast Diet in this month's Red magazine (which I love so very much), I was very keen to look into the diet a bit more. In her article, Mimi Spencer describes it as a diet for foodies (you can see now why it appeals...). You eat how you normally would 5 days a week, and fast on two days by allowing yourself only 500 calories (600 for men). I think this sounds like it would be pretty do-able for a lot of people, and something you could keep up without truck loads of willpower. 
However, what intrigued me even more was the idea of having a recipe book of low calorie, yet tasty, breakfasts, lunches and suppers to turn to when I want to bring my calorie intake down a notch. I don't need to shed oodles of weight, so don't feel I need to turn to the diet in its full form at the moment.  I also think it is incredibly useful to have a resource like this at home, because rather frequently one can think they're eating something very virtuous and later be horrified when it comes to doing the calorie sums at the end of the day. This is why the Fast Diet Recipe Book is now rubbing shoulders with Jamie, Nigella et al on my recipe book shelf. It enables me to plan low calorie meals on a day-to-day basis and, when combined with the My Fitness Pal App, I can keep track of how I'm doing day-to-day. Whilst on the topic of the aforementioned app, it is pretty invaluable. It is so surprising how easily we can convince ourselves we've had a healthy day and have thus earned crisps/dessert/more dessert, when in actual fact you've done no such thing. It certainly made me realise I could not allow myself an afternoon hot cross bun back in Easter and then have crisps and olives pre-supper on the same day. A useful realisation I'm sure you'll agree!
For my first foray, I used one of the book's breakfast ideas for lunch, doubling it up and giving myself two medium soft boiled eggs (rather than one) alongside some steamed asparagus: 180 calories. I'd definitely recommend it!


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