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5:2 Cookery Discussion, Tips & Ideas

18 posts Page 1 of 2
General Tips
10 Jan 2013, 22:44
My number one tip for recipes is to batch cook! Make sure your freezer is full of lovely fast-day meals, so you don't have to labour over the stove when you're hungry! It also makes for much easier meal ideas, just make a big batch of something you'd normally cook, calculate how many cals went into the recipe and divide it out into equal portions based on the amount of cals you want in the final dish!

Substitute for lower cal options. Low cal doesn't necessarily mean low fat or sugar free, as these are generally bad for our weight (watch 'The Men Who Made Us Fat' series, a real eye opener!) - opt for vege mince or vege sausages instead of meat, you'll be able to have more filling food for less calories!

Bulk out with vegetables. Lots of salad on the side or steamed veg is great as long as you know how many cals you're having.

Don't worry about breads, pastas, rice, potatoes etc as long as it's within the cals and doesn't leave you hungry (you'll soon learn if it does!) then enjoy it :) I've been having all of these things in my 5 months of fasting and have lost plenty of weight, even if those aren't the 'best' foods for weight loss!

More to come :D
Re: General Tips
11 Jan 2013, 18:11
I have to say, although I understand some people prefer not cooking, I find myself obsessing about food on fast days. What works best for me is to cook! Usually homemade soup which I eat for lunch and then something veggie or with fish or chicken for supper.

But, I do think the beauty of 5:2 is that we can all do our own thing. If you want to use a graze box or just eat ready meals that is fine. I'm actually testing my theory at the moment on a couple of ready meals, I tried the innocent veg pot as my 'main' meal on my last fast day but I really did end up feeling hungrier than when I cook. Today I am doing a half and half...I'm using some 'easybeans' (half of 214 cal a pot) and making a grilled mexican chicken.

My tips are drink lots of liquid (green tea, black coffee or with skimmed milk, water), don't force yourself to eat meals you don't normally have (in my case breakfast) and look for low calorie options - e.g. white fish rather than oily - cod is 80cal for 100g whereas salmon is 200, venison sausages rather than pork (again about half the calories, one-cal spray oil and shirataki noodles (5 cals per 100g).
Re: General Tips
15 Jan 2013, 16:20
As someone who loves cooking and real food my top tip is use lots of herbs and spices. They really make a difference and food doesnt need to be bland, most processed food is loaded with salt and sugar that you don't need at all as flavours can be enhanced even more with some herbs, garlic or a squidge of lemon juice ;)

Ooo, and feverfew tea! I've noticed a few people are mentioning that they have headaches. I suffer from constant headaches, frequent migraines and occasional cluster headaches and feverfew can really help. You can buy it in capsules to break into water or tea bags ... I grow my own in the garden and put a few leaves in a tea infuser.

It doesnt cure my headaches because they are too severe but sometimes it can take the edge off the pulsing. The plants are easy to grow, seeds are cheap and they have pretty daisy like flowers :)
Re: General Tips
22 Feb 2013, 10:50
I also love cooking and always plan what im making for dinner from the morning, every day. I'm a stay home mum so i have to make 3 meals a day for the kids and my husband when he is home so i can find myself getting hungry when im cooking, my mouth starts to water and my tummy rumbles. But i try not to eat until dinner. It's difficult when you have to cook for other people and not eat it yourself, but i manage by having a cup of tea/coffee and the hunger soon passes. I keep myself busy too by doing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen while the others are eating and doing other house work though out the day. I tackle the mountain of washing to be folded and put away which is usually something i put off doing for as long as possible. If i keep busy all day i don't get hungry at all. Problem is though i can end up running out of things to do..... lol
Re: General Tips
07 Mar 2013, 18:44
I seem to be in a minority but I always have breakfast, lunch and dinner. My usual breakfast of yogurt and strawberries with a weetabix crumbled in, is 157cals. Then I divide remaining calories between a very small lunch and a very small dinner like tuna salad, or veg stew or omelette or weigh-watchers soup and a couple of rice cakes. I find 3 very small meals throughout the day easier than waiting until the evening, it follows a normal pattern of eating better.

Surely I can't be the only one? Anyone else out there having 3 meals on fasting days?
Re: General Tips
07 Mar 2013, 19:18
Skykitty I'm like you. I absolutely refuse to give up breakfast. I started 5:2ing by keeping to my usual soup and salad lunches, then I dropped the salad, and now my lunch is a very low-cal soup. But we're all individuals, and I think we each have to find out a way that works for us. Flexibility is one of the nice features of this approach.
Re: General Tips
07 Mar 2013, 19:30
I have breakfast, I used to have readybrek with half skimmed milk and half water which worked out about cals, now I've switched to a banana so (as long as I weigh it first) apparently it's 0.6 cals per gram (according to my app anyway)

I have s v small lunch and save the majority of the cals 350 ish for an evening meal...and suck low sugar polo mints in between! not too many though 3 cals per mint!!! o.O
Re: General Tips
07 Mar 2013, 19:40
Hey skykitty,

I also couldn't last that long without food. This is my 2nd fast day and i've coped by having 50 cals for breakfast something like an apple or similar, i make sure before i eat that i've dranks loads of water and herbal tea. Then 150 for lunch green salad and then the rest for dinner...

I'm finding it quite difficult limiting fruit and veg though as i usually snack on those during the day! Am looking forward to getting into a routine with it all...

My energy levels have increased already..
Re: General Tips
15 Mar 2013, 12:27
I have three meals on a fast day too. I have a small tuna salad for each of breakfast, lunch and dinner and it comes in at under 400 kcals in total. I find I don't get overly hungry that way as I find fish and veg very filling.
Use real recipes!
16 Mar 2013, 08:06
I am a real 'foodie' as my family and work colleagues would confirm. My tip is to use a reliable source of good recipes that you know you will enjoy, and choose low calorie recipes from there for your fast day meals.
The one that works really well for me is the BBC Good Food Website which has a feature that allows filtering recipes by calorie content (amongst other things).
The result is a fast day meal that we really enjoy, and only as much effort as you choose. Bon appetit!
Re: General Tips
15 Apr 2013, 16:35
Missing noodles on low cal days? Make veg noodles! (Can you tell I work in marketing

A friend of mine is a bit of a raw foodie (I think it's a bit extreme in terms of diet, but that's a post for another thread...) and introduced me to spiralizers. It's this kitchen contraption that you stick your vegetable of choice onto a winding handle and as you turn it, it pushes through a blade in the bottom. I bought one so I can cut back on spaghetti and noodles, so making courgette and butternut squash "pasta".

It's actually a lot of fun and you can stick the bits into the dishwasher after wards. I've bought this one today, it arrives tomorrow (yay! - can't wait!) But I'm sure there's cheaper out there if you hunt around and have more patience than I do with deliveries: ... spiraliser
Re: General Tips
21 Apr 2013, 10:29
I read on some other forum where someone eats the same food every fast day so as not to complicate things about worrying what to eat and working out the calories so I decided to do the same, so for b/f I have some ricotta on toast with a white coffee, 2 eggs for lunch and frozen fish and veg for dinner - no need to calculate :?: every time.
Re: General Tips
06 May 2013, 00:28
So glad I found this thread. Everything I'd read said two meals so that's what I've been doing but I'm finding that I'm so starving by mid afternoon that I turn into a complete b***h (think PMS on steroids) and my kids are paying for my moods. Not cool. I'm going to try 3 meals on my next fast day & see if it helps. Either that or I'm going to have to quit. Being a good mum is higher up my priority list than losing weight at this point in time.
Re: General Tips
06 May 2013, 08:43
I think that sounds like a good idea Simoneee, specially if you are used to eating 3 meals a day pre 5:2. I started this last week and was pleasantly surprised how easy it was, stuck with 3 meals. Scratching my head this week and seriously considering making fast days basically the same breakfasts and lunches with slight differences in evening meals. I enjoyed the way I felt after fasting, hard to explain the feeling, just a lot healthier and energised. Good luck!
Re: General Tips
06 May 2013, 08:47
SImonee and Susie. Many, many people start with three meals a day. SOme keep with that and do well, others find that starting to eat in the morning makes them hungry throughout the day and this makes fasting harder. Some people start with two meals and stay there others drop to one meal!
It's what suits you. Play with it and come up with a way that works for you. Then play again if you want. We are in charge- not the food!
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