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Co-creator of the original 5:2 Diet Mimi Spencer has come up with a fast 6-week way to get you on the 5:2 road to summer slimming success.
We all know that there’s no dieting incentive quite like the horror of thinking about bikini season – that’s where the Fast Beach Diet comes in.
The intermittent fasting diet craze was started by Dr Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer, who discovered that changing the way we eat throughout the week could have a dramatic effect on weight loss.
What is the 5:2 diet?
Eat normally for five days a week. For the other two days, consume a quarter of your normal calorie intake – around 500 calories for women or 600 calories for men.
Although most choose to divide their 500 calories on fasting days between breakfast and dinner with a fast in-between, you can skip breakfast for a bigger evening meal.
So what’s the Fast Beach Diet?
The Fast Beach Diet is all about boosting the diet process at a time of year you need it the most. And we can’t think of a better time than just before you’re about to hit the beach! The best thing? The diet programme is designed to take six weeks, so by starting it now you’ll be bikini-ready in time for your holiday.
You may choose to extend the diet for longer than six weeks, but Mimi Spencer warns that it should be no longer than two months. Afterwards, you should return to the classic Fast Beach Diet rules, without undue concern for calories on a non-Fast Day.
How is the Fast Beach Diet different to the original 5:2 then?
The success of the new diet is all based around your own mindset. Whilst the 5:2 diet was about finding a diet that would fit into your lifestyle and therefore be easier to stick to, you need to think of the Fast Beach Diet as a ‘jump-start’, or ‘reboot’.
By committing to a strict six-week programme, knowing that you can return to familiar 5:2 diet principles afterwards, you’ll have that extra encouragement to succeed.
This stricter approach to the 5:2 is carried out in three ways:
1. Tightening up on Fast Days
Try going 4:3
Accelerate your Fast Beach Diet by adding a third fasting day each week for the six weeks (Alternate Day Fasting). According to Mimi, on ADF the weight lost is almost entirely fat.
Extend your fasting window
On the original 5:2, it’s recommended that you have breakfast at 7am then dinner 12 hours later. However, if you cut out breakfast and fast from dinner the previous night to dinner on the Fast Day, you could lose more weight. Try this on one of your Fast Days a week.
Be strict with calories
It’s easy to get lazy when it comes to working out calorie content. But try to be more strict at measuring and counting.
2. Toughening up on non-Fast Days
Watch what you eat
The original 5:2 says to ‘eat well’ for five days and diet for two, but now it’s time to get tougher on what you eat on non-Fast Days.
- Cut out all alcohol for six weeks
- Cut out refined carbohydrates (cake, crumpets, white bread)
- Limit treats, especially those high in fats and sugar
- Try a Mediterranean diet
- Include more fish and less meat in your meals
- Eat soup to fill you up
- No fizzy drinks (including diet drinks)
- Limit fruit juice (it contains a lot of sugar)
- Try drinking your coffee black, without sugar
- Get at least eight hours of sleep a night
3. Tuning in on any day
Part of the Fast Beach Diet is encouraging yourself to be even more mindful of what you’re eating for more of the time than you would have on the original 5:2 diet.
- Don’t eat on autopilot. Turn off the TV, put your phone down and consider what you’re eating
- Slow down while you eat. Make eating an event, sit down and enjoy
- Be mindful of how much you’re putting on your plate. Do you really need that much?
- Keep a food diary. By logging what you eat you’ll be more aware of how much you’re consuming every day!
- And lastly… add exercise!
If I’ve never tried the 5:2 diet, can I try the Fast Beach Diet?
Absolutely. Creator Mimi Spencer says to think of the Fast Beach Diet as a ‘boot camp for the 5:2’. ‘It is a condensed, modified programme of greater intensity with the aim of helping you achieve a reasonable target weight in a six-week period’.
What can I eat on the Fast Beach Diet plan?
When it comes to deciding what to eat on your fast days, things can get a little complicated. That’s why we’ve tried to keep things simple, as well as tasty, with our 5:2 fast day meal plans. We’ve put together a whole host of meals so you can pick and choose what you fancy while sticking to your fast day calories!
Your Fast Beach Diet sample meal plan:
Breakfast: Sultanas, Greek yogurt and almonds (94 calories)
Lunch: Crushed new potatoes and shoots (170 calories)
Dinner: Chinese vegetable chow mein (170 calories)