One of the hardest things about dieting would have to be finding easy diet plans that you can follow without spending a lot of money and without getting frustrated at having to prepare elaborate meals that are nutritious and healthy.
Trying to follow diet plans which expect you to write down everything that passes your lips or diet plans which require you to have two shakes and a soup a day gets tedious really quickly; however diets such as the 5:2 diet are easy to follow when combined with simple healthy recipes; especially in the beginning when you are just starting out.
What Makes The 5:2 Diet An Easy Diet Plan To Follow
Once you get started on the 5:2 diet you will find it much easier to stick to than other dieting plans out there. Why? Simply because you don’t have to deprive yourself of everything you enjoy seven days a week; week after week. Just like drinking shakes or eating protein bars for weeks on end can become tedious depriving yourself of your favorite foods for more than a couple of weeks is next to impossible.
With the 5:2 diet you can combine simple healthy recipes to your favorite foods and you will feel like you are not missing out; or cheating when you do eat something sweet and delicious! You can indulge in ‘treats’ (albeit healthier versions) without feeling guilty; this is something you often can’t do when you follow other diets. It’s this deprivation for long periods of time that often sends you crazy and means you end up giving up before you start to see any real results – and leads to the horrible yoyo dieting we are all familiar with.
When you first start the 5:2 diet you may wonder what it is you can possibly eat on the two days when you can only have 500 calories (or 600 for men). If you are planning on having at least two meals throughout these fast days you will quickly learn that things like take-away, burgers, sandwiches, muffins and meat filled meals will use up those calories quicker than you can finish a jump up and down. But this is where finding some healthy recipes that are easy to prepare come into play.
Eat Well Following Simple Healthy Recipes
On your fasting days you should be looking at filling up on foods which will keep you full until your next planned meal. For protein options you should stick to lean protein such as fish, chicken, turkey and eggs or yogurt; you should be getting all your fats from small amounts of oil or avocado; carbohydrates should be coming from fruits and vegetables; and any liquids should be in the form of water, tea or coffee without milk or soda or mineral waters (for something a little different).
500 – 600 calories can get used up relatively quickly so use these fasting days to focus on getting enough fruit and vegetables into your diet with small amounts of lean meat – it takes a lot of food to get a salad, plate of vegetables or a fruit salad up to 300 calories for a main meal or 200 calories for a smaller meal, and by ensuring you are eating whole foods rather than drinking them (in the form of juices and the like) you will obtain the benefit of fiber and all the minerals and vitamins that may be lost when juicing.
This is where a collection of simple healthy recipes come in handy – you can find something tasty and filling to get you through to your next meal, as well as finding snacking options so you don’t feel like you are missing out on some of your favorite foods.
If you are eating healthy enough on the days you are fasting, you may even be able to fit in a small treat such as choc chip cookies, chocolate dipped strawberries or even a brownie (healthy version of course!).
I didn’t think this was possible until I followed some of the easy diet plans I discovered in the fasting diet’s recipe book; which you can check out here.
So now we’ve run through the basics of how to get through a fast day on one of the intermittent fasting easy diet plans, you might be wondering about the actual benefits you gain from following said diet plans.
Benefits Of Following This Easy Diet Plan
Well one of the major benefits is being able to retrain your body to only send hunger signals to your brain when you are actually hungry – not when you are bored, tired, upset or any of the other myriad of times your brain thinks you are hungry and you eat just to make that ‘feeling’ go away.
Another is making you more aware of food and nutrition. It doesn’t take long when you are preparing some of the recipes from the mapped out easy diet plans designed for the 5:2 diet to discover that you can still enjoy a decent meal; there is no need to live off lettuce leaves alone.
Other benefits is that you begin to realize that there are other methods to fighting emotions rather than eating – you might find relief in walking, reading, knitting, playing with your kids, throwing the ball with your dog or something which gets you out of the house and away from food.
A huge benefit of following easy diet plans based on intermittent fasting has been that you can lose fat; no just lose weight. Your body uses your fat stores as energy on your fasting days which compared to other diets where you just lose fluids or start to lose muscle mass
But personally the biggest benefit I discovered from following some of the easy diet plans and simple healthy recipes was that on the days I am not fasting I am more aware of the foods I am eating; I often catch myself asking do I want that bagel (especially cafe bought ones) as they are laden with extra calories from high amounts of fat and sugar.
Knowing this I question whether I really want it, sometimes I do and that’s fine; I eat it with no guilt but other times I realize I am just eating not because I am hungry but because I am being ‘social’ or out of habit.
It is through learning how to prepare some great tasting recipes that are 5:2 diet friendly that I have started to think more consciously now and that has been a great bonus from learning to prepare some of the healthy meals that have been outlined along with the easy diet plans.
The 5:2 diet is one of the best easy diet plans around that won’t see you spending a lot of money on a lot of unnecessary foods and supplements; arm yourself with some simple healthy recipes and you will find yourself cruising through your two fast days with relative ease.