Thursday, 16 January 2014

My favourite 5:2 diet 'fast day' breakfasts.

As you may know, I’m a pretty big advocate of the 5:2 diet (the what:what diet? I explain it here), so it pleases me greatly that so many of my friends are now trying it out after having read my posts. What supportive friends they are. And I love supporting them back.

Having read numerous articles and books (I thoroughly recommend this one, by Dr Michael Mosley himself) about intermittent fasting and the 5:2 diet, as well as having done a fair few fast days myself now – sometimes randomly, sometimes properly 5:2ing for a few weeks – I like to feel I’m pretty clued up about it.

As a result, I seem to have become a 5:2 diet coach for my friends. And I don’t feel put out by this at all! On the contrary, I’m keen to help them as much as I can to become the healthiest versions of themselves.

Somewhat depressingly, a recent study by Nakd Wholefoods found that 1 in 4 people will deliberately sabotage a friend’s diet, usually by inviting them out for drinks, tempting them with unhealthy treats and trying to dissuade them from dieting. Isn’t that awful!? I think so.

Apparently, the main reasons for doing so are because their dieting friends talk about their diet too much, make the non-dieters feel bad about themselves for not dieting , and are grumpy and miserable. Well. Can’t we just all support each other please?

Peanut butter is a great filler-upper.
I’ve been offering my 5:2 dieting friends tips on how best to go about their fast days… For example, try and wait as long as possible before eating, thus waiting longer before breaking the fast (more health benefits) and waking up the stomach – for most people, once you eat even a little something it triggers hunger for the rest of the day. (I wrote a post full of tips here actually.)

I’ve been trying to motivate them and give them a boost when they’re struggling – did you know that for some people, each fast day works out as a pound of weight lost? Quite the motivator, that little gem.

And I’ve been offering meal ideas. In fact, my meal suggestions have been so very well received that I’ve decided to share them with you all here.

I tend to split my fast day calories (500 for girls) into two meals – one around 2.30/3pm (breakfast), and then the other at normal dinner time (7.30pm-ish). It works for me. And, naturally, I drink gallons of tea, sugar-free squash, diet fizzy drinks, water and sugar-free iced tea throughout the day.

In this post, I’m going to share with you some of my favourite fast day ‘breakfasts’ in the hope that they’ll inspire you. If you’ve got something you can’t WAIT to whip up and eat, you’re going to be much more excited about (well, hopefully not dreading, at least) your next fast day. There’s every chance I’ll add to this post as new tasty brekkie ideas come to me, so do check back and see! And I’m hoping to do a dinner one in the near future too. [Update: here's the post with my fave fast day dinners.]

They’re all around 250 calories or less, and full of refreshing fruit, filling protein and FLAVOUR galore!

Without further ado…

1. My super simple, super tasty, super filling banana, blueberry and cinnamon pancakes. So good they warranted a blog post ALL to themselves! About 250 calories

Pic from Almond Butter Fever
2. Banana, blueberry and cinnamon porridge. (Yup, same flavour combo because it’s a winner!) Measure out 40g oats, cover with just-boiled water and stir for a few minutes until the oats have expanded and started absorbing the water. Add a mashed banana to make the texture creamier, a handful of blueberries and a sprinkle of cinnamon to taste. If you like your porridge runnier, add more water, and if it’s not hot enough, pop it in the microwave for a quick blast. Filling and delicious. About 250 calories.

3. Apple with peanut butter dip. This was inspired by Nic’s Nutrition’s skinny PB dip and is SO yummy and seriously filling. As in, I genuinely felt really full after eating it earlier today. With these quantities you get to have a really good amount of dip with each bite of apple, and the creamy peanut buttery dip with the crisp, juicy fruit is a marriage made in heaven.

Mix together 1 generous tbsp smooth peanut butter and 1 tbsp fat free natural yoghurt in a small bowl. Cut and core one large apple into slices, dip into the peanut butter mix and enjoy. About 250 calories.

4. Fruit salad with yoghurt. Of course you can use any fruit you like really, but you’ll have to count up your calories! I like to go for a banana (relatively calorie-dense but energising, filling and delish), and a mix of berries (super low-cal and also delish!)

You could use frozen or fresh, and strawberries really should become your best friends in the low-cal fruit stakes. Top a sliced banana, 100g strawberries and a handful of blueberries with 150g fat-free yoghurt (natural or fruity). Yum! About 250 calories.

Aaaaand for your non-fast days? Allow me to direct you towards my top 10 FAVOURITE breakfasts. (Mmm breakfast.)

What I’m yet to be able to advise people on is how to get to sleep better the night after a fast day – it is my one massive problem with the 5:2 diet! It would seem my body thinks I’ve gone into starvation mode so decides to stay alert all night in the hope of sustenance. Foolish body! Very annoying. So if anyone has any tips on that front, I’d LOVE to hear them!

Also, have you got any fast day breakfast ideas to share? Hit me up!


  1. I really want to try this but I get hungry feeling really quickly and don't know if I would manage! Do you do the 2 days together or spread them out in the week? x

    1. Hello Rosie Louise, thanks for your comment.
      Well you'll never know until you try it! You might find you're not actually that hungry but are just bored and in the habit of eating, or you might find the hunger pangs come but then go, or maybe you'll find you can actually handle being hungry for a bit.
      And I definitely wouldn't do my two fast days one after another (that's what most other people say too.)
      Good luck and let me know how you get on! X

  2. I have tried the 5:2 before and i'd like to give it another go so i'm glad I stumbled across these posts! I think my downfall before was eating too early, i'm so used to having breakfast but obviously on fast days it just makes me way too hungry way too early! Going to bookmark this as I always need ideas for the fast day meals.

    Beth // SANS SOUCI

    1. Hey Beth! Yes, I'd definitely suggest holding out as long as possible before breaking the fast. Good luck! x

  3. These sound like fab ideas, I always find breakfast the hardest to make interesting!


    1. Thanks Sophie! It's my favourite meal of the day :) Enjoy! X

  4. I feared the exact same sleeplessness when I tried out the 5:2, but it actually worked out fine. My tip is to save 70-100 calories for a right-before-bedtime snack. Bannanas worked well, so does those 40 calorie hot chocolates from cadburys. I found the sugar kick kind of fooled my body into thinking I was full, and had no trouble dropping off on either day

    You can read about my week on 5:2 if you like; it has a few dinner recipes which were tasty and filling

    I can't stay on it for now because I find it too hard to work on fast-days but it is something I would definatly go back to in the future if i decided to lose weight

    1. Hey Lise. That's so interesting! I read your blog and it's fascinating to see your experiences. Great tip, and one I may have to try given that my last fast day failed when I got up out of bed at around 2am and gave in to an apple to help me sleep.
      Hood luck if you try it again and thanks for the advice! X

  5. Very interesting blog I enjoy to read this....


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