Food lover Fiona’s 5:2 success

"I eat out at least twice a week, sometimes more, but with 5:2 I can still lose weight."

Name: Fiona Maclean

Age: 52

Occupation: Marketing consultant & food writer

Where do you live? London

Diet history: I do a lot of restaurant reviews and eat out far too much. My Dad and Uncle both had heart attacks and my Mum had diabetes. And I’d put on a lot of weight! I’m only 156cm (5 feet 1 ½ and weighed 72kg (159 lb) when I started 5:2 (ouch!).

5:2 history:  I started in September 2012 after realising that I could have health problems in the future.

Weight loss: I’ve lost 9 kg – that’s 20lbs – and am aiming at the healthy weight zone, just three more kilos to go.

Positive health changes: I have hypothyroidism, so that makes losing weight even harder, but I feel much better. My feet and ankles were getting swollen and uncomfortable but not anymore. I haven’t had a cold all winter and I generally have more energy after a Fast Day. I also don’t ache as much (that’s connected with the thyroid problem) and my asthma seems better.

Fast Day Routine? I generally don’t need to eat anything in the morning, but if I’m feeling hungry, I’ll have a small portion of fat-free Greek yoghurt with half a teaspoon of clear honey. I eat lunch at 1 p.m. when I’ll have homemade veggie soup – spinach, tomato and lentil, broccoli or celeriac and leek. Supper is at 7 p.m., and I’ll usually have a vegetable stir-fry with shirataki noodles and chicken or prawns, or a vegetable curry. I drink green tea in the mornings and coffee with milk in the afternoons – I allow for some skimmed milk in my calories on a Fast Day.

How do you deal with the hunger pangs on a Fast Day? I find miso soup or Japanese rice crackers are excellent to ward off hunger pangs.

What’s the treat you enjoy on Feast Days?  Steak, which I really shouldn’t eat! Venison and game are a good substitute for the steak for me. I also love fresh, well-cooked vegetables. And afternoon tea!

The Best Thing About 5:2? 5:2 lets me lead a normal (for me) lifestyle when it isn’t a Fast Day and still seems to work!  If I have a really OTT week then I don’t lose weight, but as long as I do two Fast Days, I seem to stay the same weight. If I am not out every possible night, then I seem to be losing weight steadily. And, having had the thyroid problem for a few years, that is quite remarkable in its own right.

To try Fiona’s gorgeous recipes, go to her London Unattached blog. 

And you can read much more about her story, and other people’s successes, in The Ultimate 5:2 Diet Recipe Book.