By Sophie Beresiner
Yes, we’re blogging about an eating plan this January – how clichéd – but, for one, the beauty team collectively have consumed so many cheese-related calories over Christmas & New Year that the sales shopping (read mirror gazing) was not as exhilarating an experience as it should have been. And, two, this isn't a diet.
The much discussed 5:2 plan – made famous and successfully tested by scientists on the BBC's Horizon programme Eat, Fast and Live Longer last year – is as easy, effective and health-boosting as any eating plan can be for four anti-dieters. (And as well as being healthy, you do lose weight - as guaranteed by my sister, who lost three dress sizes in eight months).
The method? It's easy. Five days a week you eat completely normally. And for the other two (non consecutive) days you 'fast'. Which means consuming 500 calories a day. (600 if you're a man.) As a massive food lover whose social life revolves around eating and who gets sent cupcakes and other tempting treats on an often daily basis, the fact I don't even have to think about what I'm eating 70 per cent of the time is the appeal. Trying to abstain from the cupcake will only end in failure, but putting it my drawer to enjoy guilt-free the very next day? Voila: a tangible incentive I can literally get my teeth into.
So in a bid to extend our collective life expectancy, lower our cholesterol, blood pressure, help avoid age–related diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease and, yes, fit into the last Alexander McQueen leather jacket left on the sale rail, we're signing up.
The beauty team as a whole are on an anti-diet mission to find the best take-out treats that make meal times on fasting days misery free (my discovery of an Itsu smoked chicken box that’s 159 calories actually makes me look forward to fast day), tricks to replace the much-loved mid-morning caramel latte with something nearly as exciting (put your healthier teabag in a paper cup – this actually works for me), and an honest appraisal of exactly how doable it is.
We'll be blogging with ups, downs, recipes and results. If you're tempted, be sensible: avoid if you’re pregnant, under doctors orders or prone to hunger rage (my husband is banned). But if you’re joining us please follow our twice weekly tweets from @ELLEBEAUTYTEAM #AntiDiet, and tweet us back with any tips and tricks, and genius lunchtime finds. Especially the lunchtime finds.
Disclaimer: No Munchies were eaten in the making of this post - we promise.