Not going to bed hungry!

Today was our 10th fast day. Amazing! My weight is still on a very pleasing downward trend. I love my bathroom scales at the moment! I’ve also lost another 1cm off my waist and hips in the last week or so, so I love my tape measure too! I use one that I got from free when I joined the British Heart Foundation – I’m still in the pink ‘at risk’ zone for my waist measurement, but at least I am out of the red ‘high risk’ zone now.

I’ve noticed a few people on the 5:2 Intermittent Fasting support group on Facebook saying that they are going to bed hungry and early, wishing for their breakfast to come soon. That’s certainly not the case for me. Once we’ve had our evening meal I am finding myself completely comfortable and not in the slightest bit hungry. Mid afternoon is when I usually find my stomach grumbling and rumbling, but a cup of rooibosh tea or lime and ginger tea and the feeling passes. The weather was dreary, damp and cold here again though, so I was very glad that the wood burner stove was going as I felt decidedly chilly.

Waking up the morning after I was in no particular hurry for breakfast either. I really think there is a great benefit from going 12 hours or so without filling your stomach – not just because your system gets a break from food processing and pumping out insulin, but your stomach gets used to being empty, your mind gets more used to your stomach being empty and overall it helps to decrease your appetite.

So for our fast day morning this Thursday we had a breakfast of porridge (made with water) and a dozen blackberries each, from last year’s harvest in our garden. A cup of black coffee. No sugar, no honey, no sweeteners, no milk.

During the day I drank another cup of black coffee, a couple of glasses of water, a lime and ginger tea, 2 cups of rooibosh tea.

For our evening meal we had simple vegetable soup followed by peppered smoked mackerel with poached egg, wilted spinach and steamed broccoli and carrots. For dessert we had fromage blanc with a few home grown cherries from the freezer, poached with some mixed spice. No sugar or sweetener

According to myfitnesspal, my intake was just slightly over target, at 515 calories. The mackerel was quite a lot higher in calories than I expected (my 60g fillet was 186kcal), more than twice what a piece of salmon would have been, so not really a brilliant choice for a fast day. But it was very tasty and the meal was very filling.  I think the soup to start with is a great way to break a fast and it certainly helps to fill me up.

About an hour before bed I had a cup of camomile tea, which I often find is helpful for getting a good night’s sleep.

Neither of us went to bed hungry!

5:2 Fast Day Dinner – Soup, Steak with Salad, Cherry Dessert

Simple Vegetable Soup

Simple Vegetable Soup

Simple Vegetable Soup

Per person:

  • 100g frozen veggies (not including potatoes)
  • 1 tsp marigold bouillon powder
  • 300ml water

Simmer 20 mins, blend a little if you like to vary the texture.

70 kcals per serving.


Rump Steak, Garlic Mushrooms, Light Coleslaw, Watercress and Blood Orange Salad

Rump Steak (100g) with garlic mushrooms, coleslaw and watercress salad

Rump Steak (100g) with garlic mushrooms, coleslaw and watercress salad

We don’t often eat red meat and I find even a small portion quite filling, so this seemed like it would be a good choice for a fast day, when it is helpful to eat protein, which the body cannot store – and it is especially needed if you are exercising.

I cooked the mushrooms (2 each, chopped) in a frying pan with the faintest hint of olive oil and a couple of tablespoons of water. The steak was dry-fried. The coleslaw was made with mayo and plain yogurt. With the watercress I added the segments from 1/2 a blood orange (between 2 people) and a few baby tomatoes (I know, not in season, but I like a bit of colour…) and dressed it with the orange juice.

210 kcals

5 Spice Cherry Compote with Fromage Frais

For dessert I got some stoned cherries out of the freezer and put 12 per person in a saucepan, with a pinch of 5 spice powder and about 100ml of water. Cook gently, shaking occasionally, until nicely warmed through. Serve with a little pot of plain 0% fat fromage frais. Note that no sugar was added, the cherries are quite sweet in themselves and the spice gives the whole dish a bit of a lift.

55 kcals

5 Spice Cherry Compote with Fromage Frais

5 Spice Cherry Compote with Fromage Frais

Total for the day for me – 475 kcals. With a breakfast of Smoked Trout and Scrambled Eggs, this was a day with plenty of protein and hardly any carbs.  I think we both felt like we could demolish several hot buttered crumpets and a slice of Christmas Cake somewhere in the middle of the afternoon, as we were feeling not only hungry, but cold as well – but honestly that soon passed with a cup of lime and ginger tea…..

I really feel as though I have had plenty to eat and will be happy to go to bed with just a cup of camomile tea!