It’s week five of our series (take a look at weeks one , two , three and four if you've missed them) and the 5:2 rhythm has quickly become a way of life for many of us. If you need some more inspiration for satisfying meals that feel more like a treat than a chore, Vicki Edgson has put together another of her winning meal plans.
Food habits to focus on
Fine tune your portions: You have the hang of how best to set about your non-fasting and fasting days, so now concentrate on the regularity of your meals, and eating in balance.
Foods to avoid: Going back for seconds. You don’t need it – and you may be eating too quickly, so you don’t realise when you are full!
Choose one option from each meal, for each of the five full eating days
1. Add 1 teaspoon of chia seeds to your porridge oats, made with coconut water and almond milk. Add berries of your choice (you can blend the mixture if you need a breakfast on-the-go). Mug of lemon and ginger tea.
2. 2 pieces of toasted pumpernickel bread with chopped tomatoes, avocado and tahini spread instead of butter- top with a drizzle of olive oil. Mug of green tea.
3. 2-egg omelette with 1tsp crème fraiche, chopped wilted baby spinach and mushrooms. Mug of fennel tea.
4. Baked plums (3 or 4) with star anise, apple juice and cinnamon stick (leave in oven overnight having baked for 30 mins), with 2 tablespoons full fat Greek style yoghurt, and toasted half-crushed cashew nuts. Mug of lemon and ginger tea.
5. 2 poached eggs with smoked salmon, on toasted rye bread, cracked black pepper, with cherry tomatoes and rocket salad on the side. Mug of green tea.
1. Asparagus and feta cheese quiche (small or a quarter of large size), with cucumber, olive and tomato salad. Optional piece of fruit.
2. Small fish pie (heated) with green beans and peas. Optional satsuma.
3. Cornish crab salad box with small cup vegetable soup. Optional apple.
4. Grilled chicken breast with tomato salsa and mixed bean salad pot.
5. Superfood salad box with lentils and feta, green beans and broccoli.
These are interchangeable with your lunches, to suit staying in or going out
1. Grilled fillet steak with small portion of fries and mixed green vegetables.
2. Baked cod or halibut with green pesto salsa, large tomato salad and small cup of brown rice.
3. Turkey burger with bun and relish, sides of peas, beans and broccoli.
4. Mixed bean and chickpea hotpot, with quinoa or rice.
5. Mediterranean vegetable frittata with sprouted bean and tabbouleh salad.
Low calorie days
Choose from one of the options for either breakfast and lunch, or breakfast and dinner
This will follow the original 500 calorie 5:2 day format. If you'd prefer to follow the 800 calorie fast day updated version for a little more energy and a slower, steadier weight loss programme, see our 5:2 diet week one page for meal addition ideas.
1. One poached egg on bed of watercress and rocket salad, with 6 small asparagus spears, small drizzle light olive oil.
2. Baked tomatoes on a single Portobello mushroom, with oregano or thyme, and chopped chives added after cooking.
Lunch or dinner:
1. Roasted leek and parsnip soup, blended with Bouillon stock until smooth (300gm). One apple.
2. 3 slices Parma ham with fennel and celery salad, lemon juice dressing.
3. 1 small chicken breast, steamed with lemon and ginger, with a cup of mixed green vegetables (French beans, courgettes and snap peas).
4. Lemon sole fillet steamed with Asian spices, with pak choi, purple sprouting broccoli and peas.
Drinks throughout the week
Make your own lemongrass and ginger water by steeping a thumb-size piece of root ginger and two lemon grass sticks in a large bottle of water overnight in the fridge. You can top it up once or twice before discarding.
Green Matcha Tea, for when you need a shot of something not too caffeinated, but with a guaranteed buzz, this is the one for you- Teapigs Green Matcha is undoubtedly the best.
Yerba Mate herbal tea. Originating from the Amazon, Yerba Mate is traditionally used to provide ‘vigour’ and sex-drive – don’t go crazy as this works! It’s also good for raising metabolic levels, and helping to burn fat (if you have any left to burn).
How are you getting on? As we near the end of the six weeks, we’d love to hear your thoughts, reactions, and resolves. What has really worked for you? Is it the planning ahead? Having a small range of choices? Or simply iron will? Comment below with your feedback so we know what’s keeping you on track.
Click here to read week six of the 5:2 diet plan
Find more 5:2 diet recipes here