Anthony S Casey

Businessman, Triathlete, Dad

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Tag: food

What is the 5:2 Fast Diet?

Eat this, don’t eat that. Exercise in the morning, exercise at night. Try a sugar and carb free diet, only eat raw meat. There are hundreds of ways to lose weight, each one more complicated than the last.  To be honest, in our busy day-to-day lives, we rarely have time to make substantial adjustments to our routines. The 5: 2 diet is a way to focus less on dieting techniques and more on the daily buzz of life.

The Fast Diet is composed of 5 days of normal eating paired with 2 days of fasting (5:2). Participants are allowed to select any two days of the week on which they would like to fast, restricting caloric intake to 500 calories for women and 600 for men. The average woman may consume up to 2000 calories on a non-fast day and a man, 2400. Depending on your individual BMI (body mass index), these numbers will slightly vary. Your recommended caloric intake will also appropriately scale to your weekly activity level: sedentary, lightly active, moderately active, very active, or extremely active. The 5:2 program is designed to encourage better eating habits in the long run and simply advocate weight loss as a byproduct of an improved lifestyle.

The diet itself became popular in the UK after the BBC Horizon documentary, Eat, Fast and Live Longer. In addition to the 2012 documentary special, celebrity endorsement and media attention has positioned the diet in a favorable light.

It’s important to note that ‘fast days’ do not mean “eat nothing” days. They simply mean that instead of eating as you normally do, you prepare and consume particularly low calorie meals. Here are some excellent low calorie meals you should try for your 5:2 diet:

Slow Cooker Pepperoni and Chicken

Chicken-Pepperoni

1 cup contains 295 calories, 78 from fat and 52g of protein. This is an excellent post-workout meal.

Mushroom Lasagna Rolls

Lasagna

At 280 calories per serving, this vegetable-based dish will make for an excellent lunch or dinner.

Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Salmon

SalmonToast

Smoked salmon is the way to go! This breakfast high in omega-3 will give you a strong boost of energy thank will last well into the day.

Have you tried the 5:2 diet before? Let me know!

More Butter Please!

healthy-fats

Not all fats are bad, and sometimes your meal needs that extra boost. Surprisingly, fats are starting to overcome their infamous reputation of being completely terrible, and instead, more people are opting to incorporate extra fat into their diets. Counting macronutrients can be a great way to achieve difficult or high level fitness goals. However, it is important to know when it makes sense to add extra fats to your diet and when it does not.

Most of us know that not all fats are made equal. States like New York have long since banned trans fats, and this June, the FDA issued a final statement determining that there is no safe level of industrially-produced trans fatty acids that are safe for human consumption. Trans fat must be removed from prepared foods by June 2018. That being said, many other fats have positive properties, actually producing tangible health benefits. Flax seed oils are high in omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial for healthy nail, hair, and skin.

In general, our bodies benefit from moderate consumptions of saturated fatty acids (butter, cream, lard, bacon), medium-chain fatty acids (coconut oil), monounsaturated fatty acids (avocado and olive oil) , and polyunsaturated fatty acids (fish, some nuts and seeds). But what’s important to remember is this: not all foods need additional fats. Be sure that the food you are consuming is truly in need of a supplement.

The truth is, fats helps you absorb vitamins. Vitamins have difficulty making it into our bloodstreams without the assistance of fat. If you typically have a healthy diet, you probably receive more than enough vitamins. However, if for whatever reason you’re participating in an extraordinarily low-fat diet, you may consider adding a goal appropriate fat that caters to your needs. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are all fat-soluble. This does not apply to vitamin C or any of the B vitamins. Milkshakes don’t count either! After decades of bad advice, fad dieting, and lack of information, we became accustomed to believing that ultra low-fat or fat free diets were good things. This simply isn’t true! A balanced ratio of macronutrients creates the best dietary combination for our bodies.

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