Thousands of people around the country have dropped kilos following the fasting principle of the 5:2 Diet – one of the biggest slimming success stories of the decade. But if the thought of fasting for two days a week in order to get slim is enough to send you running for the biscuit jar, good news – now you don’t have to! The latest approach can help you drop a dress size just as easily and here’s how.
How it works
The trick is to eat relatively healthily for six days (keeping to 7500kJ per day for women and 8300kJ for men), and unlike the 5:2 – where you cut down to 2000kJ for two days – on the 6:1 approach, you simply cut out food altogether for one day. Just choose the day that suits you best and drink only water and herbal or fruit teas.
According to nutritionist Zoe Palmer-White, “The benefits of intermittent fasting can include weight loss, abdominal fat loss, easier weight control and more balanced blood-sugar levels. People also report more efficient digestive function and more energy.
“Fasting is also associated with a longer lifespan and better brain health in old age,” tells Zoe. “But you must be sure to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet for the rest of the week and consult your GP before starting any kind of fasting plan.” Try our nutritionally balanced seven-day menu to get you started.
The 6:1 starter menu
Breakfast: Blueberry smoothie. Combine 1 small punnet blueberries and 1 small, chopped mango with 3 tablespoons Greek yoghurt and 120ml low-fat milk. Blend.
Lunch: Tomato salad. Toss together 1 diced tomato, ¼ chopped cucumber, ½ each chopped red onion and green capsicum, ¼ bunch torn basil leaves, 1 minced garlic clove and 1 teaspoon dressing.
Dinner: Tuna and veges. Brush 1 tuna steak with 1 teaspoon red pesto and olive oil. Pan-fry for 7-10 minutes, then serve with 3 tablespoons kumara mash and 1 handful green beans.
Breakfast: Tropical fruit salad. Top 1 orange, 3 slices pineapple and 1 handful grapes with 3 tablespoons Greek yoghurt, plus 1 teaspoon pine nuts.
Lunch: Open sandwich. 1 slice rye bread served with lettuce, tomato, red onion slices and 3 slices cooked chicken.
Dinner: Prawn kebabs. Thread 6 large uncooked prawns and tomatoes onto skewers, then brush with 1 teaspoon oil. Grill for 7 minutes, then serve with a red onion and green salad drizzled with oil-free dressing.
Breakfast: Granola Mix. 1 small bowl granola with 1 handful cubed melon and 2 tablespoons Greek yoghurt.
Lunch: Cheesy baked potato. Top 1 baked potato with 3 tablespoons reduced-fat cheddar and tomato slices.
Dinner: Ham steak and salad. 1 small baked ham steak served with 3 small potatoes, sliced red capsicum and green salad.
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs. Scramble 2 small free-range eggs and serve with 3 grilled, chopped, cherry tomatoes and 3 mushrooms.
Lunch: Cheese and crackers. Top 3 oatcakes or wheat crackers with 30g feta, cucumber, celery and capsicum sticks.
Dinner: No-bun burger. Serve 1 chicken or beef patty with lettuce, tomato slices, raw red onion rings and 1 teaspoon salsa. Accompany with 5 low-fat hot chips, followed by 1 handful grapes.
Breakfast Burrito: Small wholemeal wrap filled with 2 rashers grilled lean bacon, ½ avocado and 1 sliced tomato.
Lunch: Ham salad. Two slices ham served with 2 tablespoons potato salad, tomato and green capsicum.
Dinner: Fish and veges. One white fish fillet pan-fried in olive oil served with 50g asparagus, cherry tomatoes, 30g couscous and 3 tablespoons broccoli.
Breakfast: Egg on toast. Serve 1 poached egg with 1 slice wholemeal toast and 1 handful grapes.
Lunch: Carrot and coriander soup. 1 carton soup, plus a small green salad drizzled with olive oil.
Dinner: Steak and mash. Fry 1 steak for 5-7 minutes, then serve with 3 tablespoons kumara mash and kale.
Fasting day: Stick to water, fruit tea or herbal tea and black coffee. Aim to drink no more than three caffeinated drinks.