In March 2013 I embarked on the 5-2 diet after viewing Michael Mosley’s inspirational documentary Eat, Fast and Live Longer. Here is how the diet works. Fast for two non-consecutive days each week. Eat normally for five days and consume no more than 500 calories on the two fast days. My personal challenge over the last six months has been to source great low calorie seasonal recipes that make the journey just a little easier and hopefully a lot more interesting.
Some of those recipes have become personal favourites that I revisit time and time again. Over time I have become more mindful of how I eat and if the truth be told the 5-2 diet approach has become almost second nature. I have even been known to sneak in a fast day recipe on a feast day without my family raising an eyebrow. The secret to eating well is simple. By concentrating on using lean protein, masses of fresh vegetables, and a moderate amount of pulses, grains and carbohydrates I can easily put interesting meals on my plate and still meet my restricted fast day allocation of 500 calories. Of course this means drastically limiting fats and sugars.
My latest approach to fast days is to look through my 5-2 challenge recipe posts, pick an evening meal and then work out how many calories I have to play with for the remainder of the day. I then revisit my posts again for lower calorie options to enjoy throughout the day. To make this process easier I have scrawled a list of sorts on paper, categorising my posts by calorie count. I mentioned this plan of attack to a friend who has asked me to share that list. As it so happens she has also embarked on the 5-2 diet and thought she’d find it useful. So here is the first post in a series of five listing my 5-2 challenge recipe ideas by calorie count. I’m starting with recipe ideas under 100 calories and working my way up in increments of 100 to recipe ideas under 500 calories. We all know each fast day is different. This approach helps me enormously when it comes to sticking with the plan. I’m hoping you might find it useful too.
Each image in the picture gallery represents a recipe under 100 calories per serve. Hover over the image for a recipe description and associated calorie count. Clicking on an image will take you to a picture carousel which includes a link back to the original blog post and recipe.