You may or may not have noticed that since Ted was born, I’ve gained a few pounds. Well, maybe more than a few…
My athletic frame is now nothing more than old friend I once knew back when running a 10k was a simple matter of finding 45 mins and putting on a pair of running shoes. Now, I’m out of breath just putting on the shoes… I mean, check this out:
(***WARNING*** Don’t look at this whilst drinking your tea, you’ll spit it out along with one of those belly laughs…)
On the right, me, on my honeymoon 9 months before Ted was born. On the left, me, 2 years after Ted was born.
Anyway, I finally decided to do something about it. I booked myself into the London Triathlon with the hope that with having a goal, I’d become more motivated. Booking an event worked to a degree. I’ve been running a bit more and even made a couple of trips to the pool, but I knew I wasn’t anywhere near the goal I was aiming for.
So when LighterLife Fast got in touch to see if I’d trial their 5:2 plan for 4 weeks, I jumped at the chance. Not only would it give me further motivation to get in shape for my triathlon, but it could also help to actually get me back in shape by helping me lose weight and, most importantly, gain control of my diet.
What is the LighterLife Fast 5:2 Diet?
For the past 4 weeks, I’ve been on the LighterLife Fast 5:2plan. Personally, I have always been a bit sceptical about diets and I have never actually been on one before. But through my research, I learnt that actually, it’s a simple case of controlling the amount of calories you take in across the week. Here are the key points on how the diet works:
- For 5 days of the week, you eat normally. Healthily, but normally.
- For the remaining 2 days, you ‘fast.’ But when they say ‘fast’ they don’t mean, ‘eat nothing.’ Instead, you consume 4 products from the LighterLife Fast range, and can also have up to 2 Light Bites products from their snacking range too, meaning you consume up to 800 calories on a fast day.
And that’s it. Literally, that’s it. One of the great things about this diet is the simplicity. Eat normally for 5 days and then eat their products for 2.
Being this simple brings 1 amazing feature; flexibility. You don’t have to have the 2 ‘fast’ days consecutively. In fact, I’d probably advise against that. Instead, you can plan your week to have your ‘fast’ days when you like. This means you can say ‘yes’ to more things than if you were on other diets and you wont end up feeling hard done by or frustrated. For example, over my wife’s Jen’s birthday weekend, I knew that food would be a major player in the festivities. Instead of turning down the eating out, I was able to enjoy meals out with friends because I planned my ‘fast’ days around them.
At the start of my trial, I weighed in at 86.7KG, which for my height, is way too high! It is also the heaviest I have ever been in my life, by a long shot.
I then grabbed the calendar and decided when my ‘fast’ days were going to be. I’m not going to lie, the first 2/3 days of ‘fasting’ were really tough. LighterLife Fast allow you to have 4 of their products throughout the day plus, 2 Light Bites snacks and plenty of fluids. This equates to 800kcal; obviously far less than I’m used to.
Some people have said to me that 800kcal is not enough calories for a day. If you’re overweight or obese losing just 10% of your weight can improve your health. The use of formula-based very-low-calorie diets (VLCDs), which have been used to successfully treat obesity in the UK since the mid-90’s. But this diet is not suggesting you only have up to 800 calories a day; rather it’s aiding you to have a balanced amount of calories across a 7 day period.
All the time I hear people say things like,
“Yeah, I’ll have the burger and just eat less tomorrow.”
With LighterLife Fast, the ‘eating less tomorrow’ bit actually becomes a reality.
Historically, diets do not taste great. However, the LighterLife Fast plan is going some way to combat that. Now, as a real foodie, I’d be lying if I told you that every single product was as delicious as a steak and chips. That being said, many of them were far tastier than I imagined they could possibly be considering the calorie content.
And some were really delicious. The Light Bites popped chips and freeze-dried fruits were absolutely gorgeous. The soups were lovely, some of the shake flavours were on point and the pink grapefruit flavoured water was simply sensational.
The good thing about LighterLife Fast is that they have a large range of products so you can simply buy the flavours, snacks and meals that suit you and your taste buds:
- Popped Chips from Light Bites
- Fruit Chips from Light Bites
How did I do?
At the start of the 4 weeks, I weight 86.7KG. Throughout the 4 weeks, I weighed myself weekly and these were my results:
Although there weren’t huge drops in my weight, especially the first 3 weeks, the reductions were consistent and dropping an overall 6.7KG in just 4 weeks, I feel pretty good about myself. The guys at LighterLife Fast suggest that you can lose 2lbs a week on this diet which is just less than 1KG. With that in mind, dropping 6KG is a really positive outcome for me.
I did increase my exercise slightly as I drew nearer to the end of the 4 weeks (I had to do some training for the triathlon). Exercise is great for cardiovascular health. When exercising your muscle density can increase which means you’re more likely to lose inches rather than weight.
Men’s Health Week
It’s Men’s Health Week this week, and the focus this year is losing belly fat. In all honesty, my body gains weight the quickest on my thighs & chest, closely followed by my tummy. That being said, I have noticed a small difference in my tummy area.
I think that for many new dads, gaining weight is a real issue. Many men say that they will often gain weight on their tummy & develop ‘love handles.’ If that’s you, check out the detail on Men’s Health Week & try the LighterLife Fast 5:2 plan as they have new research which reveals that –if you’re struggling with fat around your middle their 5:2 plan has been proven to improve insulin resistance, lowering blood pressure and reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Being a parent means life is busy. You’re always on the go which makes eating right that much more challenging; throw in a complex diet plan and you haven’t got a chance of it succeeding. The simplicity of the LighterLife Fast 5:2plan makes it fantastic for busy parents to take on.
- Exclusively sold at Superdrug, the range of products is awesome meaning you’ll be able to find food that tastes good and suits your tastes.
- The LighterLife Fast only reduces your calories. On the ‘fast’ days, the foods they supply contain your daily recommended amount of vitamins and minerals.
Since starting on this diet plan, if there is 1 thing I have more of, it’s energy. Regardless of my waistline, I feel more energetic, to which I give full credit to my improved diet. The diet has made me more conscious of what I eat and it has made me think carefully about portion size. I have learnt to control my portion size and to increase my fluids. I have become more knowledgeable about the calorie content in foods and I have been able to cut out the ‘boredom snacking.’ Overall, I have lost weight, and most importantly I have developed a healthier relationship with food.
I fully intend to continue to exercise more, to eat smaller portions and to follow a healthy, balanced diet. For me, the LighterLife Fast plan has given me the kick start I needed to encourage me to make lifestyle changes and hopefully, I will continue to see good results with the weight loss and also in my all round fitness levels.