14th March 2013 . Amazing Wedding

The 4-Week (Sort Of 5:2 Diet) Wedding Blitz!

Morning Uttersons!

Hope you’re well and not too bitter about this very un-Spring like March weather we’re having at the moment. As I type I can see sunshine and blue sky out my office window, so I certainly feel more upbeat than a couple of days ago. Not only was it cold and wintery, but it was also my first ‘fasting’ day and the day that shall now become known as the-day-I-thought-about-food-CONSTANTLY-and-was-thoroughly-miserable day.

Yes, as of this week I am dieting.

Now for those of you who know me well, this is completely laughable- and as I am planning on sharing my progress with you over the next month it also has the potential to be completely and utterly embarrassing. You see, I CANNOT DIET. I don’t physically possess willpower or self-discipline, and eating good food and drinking bad things is one of my greatest pleasures.  My mate Dave’s favourite story about me is how, when house-sharing with my two best friends a few years ago and tracking our weekly weight-loss via a chart on the fridge, I lost a grand total of ZERO over the course of a year, bar natural fluctuation. In fact, I may have possibly gained weight. Ahem.

Now before we go on I should say that I don’t have a lot to lose. I’m 5’4″ and on Monday I weighed in at 9 stone 10 lbs which gives me a BMI of 23.3 and puts me near the top end of the ‘normal weight’ category.  Despite my short legs and square bum, I’m pretty happy with my body and a fairly confident person…

…But we can always do better, right?

Image via Just For Fun

Image via Just For Fun

There’s a general consensus that you have to be your slimmest and most beautiful on your wedding day, and certainly in the boutique I’d say that 9 out of 10 brides tell me guiltily that they ‘obviously will be slimmer’ come the big day. They could be a size 6, they could be a size 16; everyone does it. And despite my firm belief that confidence comes from within and my mantra to brides-to-be that ‘he’s asked you to marry him as you are, not as how you could be when you’ve lost a stone’, I’ve still found myself firmly wedged in the ‘but I do just want to drop a couple of pounds before the big day’ camp.

So ok, it’s a girl’s prerogative to feel her best on a day when all eyes are on her. But what’s the best way to do it? Well, by exercising several times a week and eating sensibly throughout your engagement of course. Except if, like me, your gym membership card is a little dusty and you can easily swallow down a Big Mac Meal and eight Maryland double chocolate chip cookies for your tea when you are neither drunk nor hungover, then you may need a bit of a Last Minute Panic Diet.

My LMPD of choice is the 5:2 Diet.


Touted as more of a ‘way of life’ than a diet, it’s kind of taken the country by storm in the last six months- and I’ve certainly heard it talked about a lot at the boutique by brides, their mums, their friends, their work colleagues… everyone seems to know someone who’s either on it or has done it.

The theory is that most people ‘fail’ at dieting because they can’t keep up the deprivation. However, to lose weight you do need to eat less calories, so on the 5:2 Diet you eat normally (but within moderation) for five days of the week, and then ‘fast’ for two days. I’m using the word ‘fast’ loosely because you are actually allowed to eat up to 500 calories on those days. Or 600 if you’re a man. And in the book there is a whole section on how fasting like this is actually good for our bodies, how teaching ourselves that we’re not totally reliant on food is good for our minds, and the numerous other health benefits that follow, etc etc.

So as someone who hates depriving myself of the JOY that is food, I thought it might be something that I could give a go. For a period of time. A reasonably short piece of time. Say, 4 weeks… which takes me neatly up to my first dress fitting on 10th April.

I’ve also signed up to My Fitness Pal– a FREE online diet tool that allows you to track your calorie intake, exercise etc. It’s not so useful on the 5:2 Diet because it gets a bit hysterical on the days when you don’t consume enough calories, and tells you off on the days you go over their recommended daily allowance, but it’s a very straight-forward and comprehensive system that allows you to keep an eye on just how much you’re consuming.

According to My Fitness Pal, I need to eat 1300 calories a day to lose 4 lbs in 4 weeks. But as I said earlier, I don’t want to be ‘dieting’ every day, so I’m kind of ignoring that and trying to stick to as close to 2000 calories as I can on my ‘normal’ days (the healthy amount for women) and then the 500 calories on my ‘fast’ days.

Fast Day #1 was on Tuesday and, well, it didn’t go quite as well as I’d hoped. (See what I mean? The will-power of a gnat.) I had wound myself up so much the night before that I’d made myself hungry before I went to bed… and continued to feel ravenous from when I awoke at 7am until I went to bed again at 10.30pm.  I ate the following:

Breakfast: Nothing. (It’s usually my favourite meal of the day but from what I’d read it’s easier to get to lunch time before eating than it is to go from breakfast to dinner.)

Lunch: Batchelor’s Chicken Noodle Cup-A-Soup (95 cals), medium banana (105 cals)

Dinner: Innocent Mexican Veg Pot (324 cals), Hartley’s Low Cal Cranberry & Raspberry jelly (10 cals)

Snacks: Kallo Rice cakes with yeast extract (32 cals each)….. x 5

Grand total: 694 calories

I didn’t mean to snack at all but I had moments of weakness mid-afternoon, and then again before bed when I’d wound myself up that I was so hungry I wouldn’t be able to sleep. HAVING SAID THAT, I still consumed around 1500 calories less than I usually eat, AND I have a fairly active job… so I’m not beating myself up about it.

I didn’t find it hard per se, but it wasn’t enjoyable. I could physically feel the hunger in my belly all day, despite drinking lots of water and green tea, and listening to a news report on the radio on my drive home, the mention of a man called Norman Lamb did make me say out loud, ‘Mmmm, lamb’, before I experienced the strongest craving I’ve ever had for my least favourite meat…  but it was ok.

It was good to know that I could eat ‘normally’ yesterday, although interestingly I did only have two sausages as opposed to my usual three, and I separated my own potatoes to make the mash as Paul likes his with half a vat of butter. That allowed me to have a glass of wine and a couple of chocolate digestives in the evening and still be around the 2000 calorie mark AND I went to the gym in the morning. So for the time being we’re on track…

Fast Day #2 is today (hungry already!) and then I’m going to enjoy my weekend before weighing in again at the gym on Monday. I’m dubious but hopeful.

So what about you lovely lot? Anyone else on the 5:2? Or a different Wedding Diet altogether? Or are diets just a waste of time and we should be happy with what we’ve got? I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts, tips and words of wisdom…

I will give you an update next week but don’t worry, I don’t plan to talk Diets alone for the next month. Jeez, I couldn’t think of anything more depressing!

‘Til next time…

Sama xxx

Sama x

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11 Responses to “The 4-Week (Sort Of 5:2 Diet) Wedding Blitz!”

  1. charlotteelborough

    Hi Sama!!

    Loving the diet talk. I too am on a last minute wedding diet (obvs…wedding twins). I’ve been doing it since the New Year and so far I’ve lost a stone and a half!!

    So I’ve not really been dieting as such but I’ve been really cutting back and trying to be as sensible as possible.

    – No obvious carbs (bread, pasta, rice)
    – No cheese
    – No crisps
    – No chocolate
    – No alcohol
    – Upped the exercise

    Basically no fun! But it’s worked…and the longer you do it for the easier it gets.

    I read a really great piece of advice the other day about changing your habits – not just eating routines but anything. Basically it said you should change one thing and then carry on doing that change until it becomes part of your normal life. Then move on and make another change.

    Another thing that’s really motivated me is that people have started to notice my weight loss. Nothing like a “have you lost weight” question to help me get over my mourning of bread and cheese!!

    Good luck with your fasting today.


    • theutterblog

      Charlotte! A stone and a half, that’s fantastic, well done! You clever and disciplined girl, you! So are are you literally having NONE of the above or are you allowing yourself the odd treat? I think nearer the time I will try to cut out carbs in the afternoon/evening- I just love them so much… xx

      • charlotteelborough

        Thanks!! I’m pretty pleased with the results so far – 2 jean sizes down!

        I’ve cut all of the above out mid-week and I’m being a bit easier on myself at the weekends. I think it’s the carbs that have made the big difference. I feel much less bloated than before.

        I’m going to be in a cheese/bread/cake induced coma on the wedding day!!

  2. Nikki

    Good luck with it! My parents are doing the 5:2 for my wedding (I feel bad, I think I’m the only person NOT dieting for my wedding – everyone I speak to says “I’m so excited about the wedding! Here’s how my diet is going” and I’m like “ooh well done, pass the biscuits…” Terrible bride) and it’s going really well for them. They have insanely busy jobs though so my Mum says she sort of forgets she’s hungry on the fasting days. She’s lost quite a bit of weight and an impressive amount of inches though, so it does work. I tried to imagine only eating 500 calories and immediately wanted to cry into a pack of chocolate Hobnobs, so I’d definitely fall at the first hurdle. Terrible, terrible bride.

  3. onejollygirl

    Good to see how you are going lassie and I hope today moves quickly. Myself and a couple of bridal pals have started on my fitness pal and at first I think it is good eye opener to see how much sugar and fat you are eating from the foods you chose. I know sugary things is where i put on weight so having MFP point this out is good,
    I’ve given up fizzy drinks, mainly coke which is my most favourite treat drink ever, and now drink water, I already don’t drink tea and coffee so I’m left with squash or just water which can be a bit yawn.
    I like MFP as like yesterday when I knew we were going out for a curry at night I can do a bout of exercise in the day and it ups what I can eat in the day. Which is really how we should work! Early signs are good (sneaky weigh ins) but tomorrow is first official weigh in. I’m hoping to keep it up till I’ve lost over a stone, if anything to help me fit back into my entire wardrobe and then I can stop living in trackies and leggings!

  4. Krista

    Sama, I’m trying this too! And other than the wedding part I’m doing it for the same reasons. I too love food and just wouldn’t even try conventional dieting as I would fail within a few days… I’m definitely a fat person waiting to break out!

    I had my 2 fasting days on Monday and Wednesday and although Monday I did go slightly over 500 calories (which is extremely hard to stick to when you look at what everything contains) as you said it’s a lot less than I would have had otherwise so I’m happy enough. I chose these days as I had college straight from work so wouldn’t have the opportunity to cook dinner anyway. I actually found it ok, I think because I purposely picked days where I was busy.

    next week will be the real challenge when I don’t have college and the treats at home tempt me :-/

    Good luck! xx

  5. mazzimaz

    Yes i’m a fellow 5:2-er too! Just started last week and on my 3rd fast today. My first two fasts i did the breakfast then nothing ’til dinner thing and practically fell over at my desk i was so hungry, but today i had nothing until lunch (62 cals cuppa soup) and been sipping weight watchers hot choccy this afternoon (40 cals) and water. Tummy feels full (of water!!) but definitely not faint which is a result! My wedding is not until August so hoping to give this a good go to get to my target weight, and then revert to the one day fasting system as a lifestyle choice thereafter – hopefully carrying me to the wedding at a happy healthy weight 🙂

  6. theutterblog

    Oh, it’s so good to hear from people doing the 5:2 too! Today has been MUCH less challenging than Tuesday. I had a proper soup instead of a cup-a-soup (Azteca by Glorious Skinny Soups if you’re wondering) and have felt absolutely fine! Salmon and veg when I get home tonight.

    We can do this girls! Want to hear your losses when you next weigh in please xxx

    • Carly

      Hi Sama,
      I have been doing the 5:2 too! I lost 6lbs in 6 weeks. Keep it up, you can do it!!
      I found Sundays a pretty good day to do it as you can get away with a late breakfast and an early dinner (of soup), only problem is you’re more likely to eat socially then. Also, carrot, celery sticks and cucumber for snacks so you can save as many of your calories for mealtimes as possible.
      Hope that helps. xx


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