Saturday, 23 February 2013

Fasting for Lent

Prompted by Sue's post over at The Quince Tree I have decided to give the 5:2 Fast Diet a go this Lent.

Lent crept up on me this year and caught me unprepared.  A weekend in Scotland and my defection to the Quakers, who do not observe the Christian calendar, meant no pancakes on Shrove Tuesday and  no conclusion on what to 'give up' or 'take up' in preparation for the great feast of Easter.

So thanks, Sue.

For those of you who have not heard of the Fast Diet, click here for all the details.

This week I fasted on Monday and Friday.  It should have been Monday and Wednesday, but I swapped Wednesday for Friday when I decided to go out on Wednesday evening.  That's one of the advantages of this diet.  Provided they're not consecutive, fast days can be observed on any day of the week.

Another advantage is the freedom to eat pretty much what you want, even on fast days.  There are no expensive ingredients, no 'diet' foods, no 'sins', no 'red/green' days to choose between and very little in the way of calorie counting.

Dieters can not only decide what to eat, but when to eat it.  So far I've chosen to skip breakfast, lunch on a bowl of soup and save the bulk of my calories for an evening meal.  Vegetable soups are not only quick and easy to prepare and delicious to eat, but they also help stave off hunger pangs.  Eating normally at the end of the day saves me from having to cook a separate meal for the rest of the family or having to watch them tuck in while I nibble on a stick of celery!

There is a book to accompany the documentary but I've found as much as I need to know from the website. I'm indebted to a variety of bloggers who have posted calorie counted recipes for fast days (London Unattached, The Frugal Cook and Tinned Tomatoes).  I've collected my favourites on my Pinterest board (link to the left) and can recommend the One Pot Southern Style Rice we ate last night.


  1. Good luck with this - I tired it but it made me feel really lethargic and yucky, so have stopped. I'm sure you'll have more success :)

  2. We're doing something similar - the 2 day diet which is basically high protein and no/low carb, low cal for 2 days then a healthy diet for the remaining 5. We are feeling well, and not hungry, and half a stone lighter already! I liked this one as it's directly aimed at reducing the risk of breast cancer and insulin resistance. Really hope the claims are right!

  3. @ Nic Sorry to hear it didn't work for you. I've been fine so far. I wasn't even as hungry as I'd expected - though I should try not to watch cookery programmes on fast days!

    @dottycookie Although I haven't ruled out carbs I have been avoiding them on fast days on account of their high calorie value. I can't say that I've noticed any improvement in my weight or general well being but it's early days yet.

  4. We sort of unintentionally ended up cutting out carbs on fast days too, just because they are so high in calories for so little to eat.