Thursday, 5 December 2013

Playing fast and lose: WW versus 5:2

If I have to diet (and, sadly, I do) then I want to do so it a way that doesn't make me miserable.  Or, in a way that makes me as un-miserable as it is possible to be while restricting the delicious foodstuffs I can chuck down my neck.  I choose Weight Watchers because it allows me to have pretty much anything as long as I account for it.  Of course you can't do this without spending quite a large proportion of your time poring over trackers doing food maths.  This is one of the reasons that some people hate Weight Watchers.

The idea of 5:2 is seductive.  OK, for two days a week you have to do a bit of planning and counting to bring your food consumption down to the requisite calories (500 for a woman, 600 for a man) but the rest of the time you are freed from the shackles and you can eat anything!  Anything at all!  And you'll lose weight and live longer and be cleverer!  Hurrah!

D has been doing 5:2 recently.  We've been eating a lot of soup.  And, keen to maintain my run of good results on the scales, I have been tempted by the idea of doing some sort of WW / 5:2 hybrid.  Given that last weekend we were spending a couple of nights down in London, and on one of those nights we would be tucking away a ten course tasting menu, I decided to do an experiment.  I decided that I would do two fast days, two holi-days and then for the rest of the week would stick to my WW daily allowance, and see what the scales would say to that.

Fast day 1
Calories consumed: 497 (13 Pro Points)
Moments I have spent cursing my bright idea: most of them

Here's the thing.  500 calories is not many.  And WW gets one so used to the idea of "free" fruit and veg, relying on it to add volume to the plate and to take the edge off one's appetite, it felt like a complete and utter affront to have to account for a portion of raspberries, a side salad, a satsuma.  And these are all things that I enjoy.  But I find myself weighing up whether I was willing to "spend" the calories on them.

What is abundantly clear is that fasting does not improve my mood.  In fact it turns me into a complete and utter cow.  D insists on an early supper, hoping a bowl of soup would have a restorative effect.  But it was like chucking pennies into the Grand Canyon.  I am HUNGRY.  I don't want soup.  I resent the soup.  I resent D.  I resent the stupid diet.  And, what's more, I was full of steely resolve to eat until I could eat no more the following day. 

Morning after fast day 1
Calories consumed (at 8am): more than yesterday
Moments I have spent praising the utter delicousness of food: legion

I expected to wake up having consumed half my pillow in the night.  As it was, slightly more hunger pangs than usual (I don't generally do breakfast and seldom fancy solid food before at least ten o clock).  We are travelling down to London today so decided a decent breakfast was in order - D was despatched to the Sainsbury's Local for sausages and bread and sandwiches were inhaled.


Today is the day of the ten course tasting menu, so hopefully will banish all the scary memories of yesterday.  Interestingly enough, despite yesterday's resolve, after I have eaten breakfast I am sated and eat little until dinner.  I do not notice being any hungrier than usual. 

Fast day 2
Calories consumed: 413 (11 Pro Points)
Moments spent awake: few

New approach to today.  I spend most of it asleep as a distraction.  I sleep late, I doze in the car travelling back to Leeds and when we get home I have a substantial afternoon nap.  When I wake up it is past four.  I feel physically quite weak (this could well be psychological - I doubt very much sixteen hours without food can have that much of an impact) and, although hungry, can't immediately be bothered to make myself food. I drink tea, and sit listlessly on the sofa like a Victorian consumptive.

WW day 1

35 pro points is such.  A.  Lot.  In fact, I catch myself hoarding them like a miser and then get to the end of the day with some left in the bank.  Still in fasting mentality it would seem.  I force myself to eat a Dairy Milk Snowman (5 pro points of sickly seasonal bliss).

And the scores on the doors...

Two and a half pounds off which is a sterling result given the weekend.  But, but, but.  The misery of fasting.  To all of you out there who do this week in, week out, I salute you.  It is not for me.  Still, it has given me a renewed appreciation for the luxury of my daily points allowance and, y'know, food.

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