Kate, 45, the reformed yo-yo dieter

   ‘I’d resigned myself to getting fatter and fatter – now I still love my food but am 20lbs slimmer.’

Name: Kate Harrison

Age: 44

Occupation: Writer

Where do you live? Brighton

Diet history: on and off for 20 years, all my adult life. Weight varied by two and a half stone. Most successful was veggie low-carbing, but just not sustainable as I love baking.

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5:2 history: Before I watched the Horizon programme, I felt my weight was out of control. Worried about diabetes and cancer in the family. Then I saw the show and gave it a try. Realised very quickly it was working – and then set up Facebook group to share experiences.

Weight loss: I weighed 11 ½ stone, way too much for me at 5ft 4. Now I am nine stone thirteen, so that’s 21 pounds lost. I feel brilliant about it – mainly because this feels so sustainable.

Positive health changes: I normally get quite grumpy in the winter, but this year I feel more energetic than ever. I am confident this is making a real difference to my mood and my health.

Fast Day Routine? I skip breakfast and tend to wait as long as possible before eating. So I might have lunch but more often, now, I wait till dinner and have some home-made soup plus a salad and Ryvita, or a great veggie dish. I like cooking but I also like the Kirsty’s Moroccan Veg & Quinoa, really filling.

How do you deal with the hunger pangs on a Fast Day – and how often do you fast? I fast twice a week, but not at all on holiday, and perhaps three days before and after holidays, to keep my weight stable. I don’t get that hungry any more, not since my first couple of fasts, but I drink fizzy water or black coffee or herb tea if I get peckish, and the hunger goes after 15 minutes or so.

What’s the treat you enjoy on Feast Days? Where do I start? I love cheese, chocolate, and baking. I am a real foodie. But though I still enjoy everything I love, this approach has changed my attitude. I am likely to eat smaller portions without thinking about it, and to enjoy my treats without guilt. I think it’s how skinny people eat naturally but it feels revolutionary for me.

How have your friends and family responded to your new lifestyle? They’re really pleased though some were sceptical at first. My boyfriend is now trying it, and other friends too. The lovely thing is that the forums and Facebook have also created a fantastic new community of people, which has been so great to see.

Will you be carrying on once you’ve reached the weight you want? Definitely. I plan to stay on a version of 5:2 for life. For the health benefits as well as fitting into my favourite jeans!