In today’s Quick and Dirty podcast on a single topic. Kate explores the D in Dirty – which is all about diversity, especially veg and fruit – how adding more variety and quantity into your diet will reap terrific benefits – and give your tastebuds and friendly gut bacteria a treat!
In today’s podcast, Helen and Kate talk dirty about carbohydrates – why they’re an essential part of our diet, and why cutting them out is so difficult to maintain. We also reveal our own top of the pops when it comes to starchy carbs… and talk about exciting new research on 5:2/Dirty Diet-style fasting and how it may benefit our health.
Bread has had such a bad press lately – we talk to a campaigning baker who has found ways to enjoy her own produce despite a sensitivity to wheat. Discover the secrets of good bread and why it has a place in your diet.(more…)
Hooray – today is my fourth ‘fastiversary’– it’s exactly four years since I embarked on my first ‘intermittent fast.’ I’m still a healthy weight – 30lbs less than when I began this journey in 2012, and I still fast once or twice a week, depending on what I’ve been eating or doing the previous week.
Here, then, are four things I’ve learned from four years of 5:2…
Fast Days boost your mood & morale – they’re very much part of my routine and I love the feeling that I am doing something good for my body every time I fast. I also love the energy and mood boost they give me.
Attitude is key – be good to your body and forgive yourself any lapses. The people who succeed the best recognise this is a journey and the odd day or two when you overdo it, or where the scales aren’t showing a loss, won’t undo your good work.
Sustainability makes this achievable – 5:2 is great because it fits your own tastes and eating preferences, and nothing is banned so you can sustain it for months, years… decades.
Timing matters – on non-fast days too – eating when you’re hungry, or restricting the number of times you eat each day – helps you recognise true appetite and give your body chance to digest good. For most of us, snacks just aren’t needed and encourage thoughtless eating.
I am four years older too, of course! As I’m now very firmly into my forties, I keep an eye on my health, and I was thrilled that recent blood tests showed my A1c result – a measure of blood glucose – was very good at 27 (the normal recommended range is 29-48). Type 2 diabetes has been one of my biggest worries, because there’s a strong family history, and I know fasting helps me stay a lower weight and reduce my risk.
It’s my third ‘fastiversary’ this weekend – that’s three years since I started intermittent fasting, with no real idea if I was doing it right, or if this radical approach was going to succeed where decades of traditional diets had failed. It was an act of faith and also of desperation: I was so fed up of the dieting yo-yo, of having different sets of clothes for ‘fat’ days, and of worrying about the health results of being overweight.
Within four months I’d reached my goal of a healthy BMI, and two months later, was a UK size 10-12. Better still, I knew this was something I could – and wanted – to stick with for life. Shortly after that I set up a Facebook group to share my attempt with a few friends – three years on, we have over 43,000 members worldwide. And I went onto share what I learned in four 5:2 themed books!
And here I am, 3 years later, still a healthy weight, still a 10-12 and still passionate about how the strategy of fasting can transform our bodies and our attitudes. So, as part of my Fastiversary ‘fastfest’ celebrations, I’m sharing the lessons I’ve learned from 3 years of fasting: I hope you’ll find them helpful too: do feel free to share them wherever you like!
Kate is a novelist and journalist, who struggled with her weight all her adult life, until she started intermittent fasting. She reached a healthy weight within a few months. When she realised there was no book explaining the approach... read more about Kate