The Fast Beach Diet is an updated version of the 5:2 and promises weight loss of up to 12lbs in 6 weeks. We spoke to Mimi Spencer, author of the Fast Beach Diet, to get the lowdown on this new diet craze.
So, what is the Fast Beach Diet?
The original 5:2 diet meant eating normally five days a week and fasting for two non-consecutive days (and by fasting, we mean restricting your intake to 500-600 calories). The Fast Beach Diet aims to give you faster results by imposing stricter rules for a six-week period. With the Fast Beach Diet, you fast for two days a week, but unlike the 5:2, you must focus on your calorie count on non-fast days as well.
‘The point of the Fast Beach is a sort of souped up, stricter version of the 5:2. Specifically to get people going, if you like,’ says Mimi.
What can I eat then?
More than you’d think – mainly grilled meat, fish and plenty of vegetables. The fast days are admittedly rather daunting – you could potentially consume 600 calories in a single meal so it’s important to plan ahead.
‘Fill three quarters of your plate with vegetables. If you really commit, and concentrate every day on doing that, it’s going to make an enormous difference.’
Here are some low-calorie food ideas to get you started…
What are the benefits?
According to Mimi Spencer, it’s not just about weight loss, it’s about changing your attitude towards food. ‘By the end of six weeks, your relationship with your plate and your expectation of what you’re going to see on the plate in front of you has changed,’ she says.
Are there any negative aspects to this diet?
Clinical studies into intermittent fasting are in their early stages, but this type of diet has been known to improve cardiovascular health and cholesterol levels.
‘Hunger isn’t frightening, it’s fine. The whole appeal of the 5:2 is that you’re fasting but in a very sort of low-key way. You are actually eating calories on a fast day so there’s no point at which your body is going to keel over. Everything is done within the parameters of safety for your health.’
Are are 5 handy Fast Beach Diet tips:
1. For the six weeks, pay attention to everything you are eating.
‘Actually eat when you eat. Really taste it. Don’t do anything else, don’t read the newspaper, don’t tweet. Really sit at the table and know what you’re doing and just treat it as something important.‘
2. Make small changes to your eating habits.
‘Things like having a meat-free day or leaving the table when you’re satisfied… are really what it’s about on a non-fast day.’
3. Keep track of your goals.
‘There are studies which have found that merely noting your progress can be enough to make you do it more assiduously. So things like telling people, setting goals, those things are the more subtle things, which are about behavioural change.’
4. Cutting out alcohol is the most important change you can make.
‘The benefits of giving up alcohol, or at least curbing your alcohol intake, for a six-week period are huge. Vodka would probably be the best thing you can drink but with a non-sweet mixer. So not with an orange juice. You double the calorie count of a vodka by putting orange juice with it.’
5. Don’t forget to exercise.
High Intensity Training (short bursts of exercise such as running up the stairs) is another key part of the Fast Beach. ‘It’s more effective than what you might consider to be ‘normal’ cardiovascular exercise. It has a great effect on your health and wellbeing so that’s why it’s included.’