The Fasting Day Cookbook: 120 Easy Recipes for the 5:2 Diet
There is much evidence associating low-calorie diets with many long-term health benefits. A restricted diet is thought to reduce our risk of developing serious illnesses like diabetes and cancer, and to help us live for longer. It is not altogether reasonable, however, to expect people to follow a continuously reduced-calorie diet, and more commonly it is recommended to include two low-calorie days each week, while the remainder of the time, eating normally. On fast days, women should consume no more than 500 calories, and men, no more than 600 calories.
During their fast days, many people choose to follow a traditional three-meals-a-day routine, with a low-calorie breakfast, lunch and dinner. Others prefer a light start to the day, saving up their calories for a hearty meal in the evening. Alternatively, you could start the day with a larger breakfast, eating just very small meals for the rest of the day. As long as you stay within your calories, you can mix-and-match in
whatever way suits you best. The Fasting Day Cookbook allows you to do just this, with a delicious range of simple recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner – and even a chapter on snacks and drinks – all of which you can eat, guilt-free, on your fasting days.
Each recipe includes a total calorie count at the top of the page and the calorie brackets are colour-coded for ease of use (see the table over the page) so that you can plan out your day – there are also some suggested meal plans here covering a range of calorie limits.
Following a diet doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all your favourite foods. In fact, flavour and variety are what will stop you feeling like you’re on a diet at all. The recipes in this book make use of many slow-release energizers like oats, beans and lentils to help you feel fuller for longer, drawing inspiration from all kinds of cuisine, including Chinese, Indian, Thai and Italian. Start the day with a cranberry Morning Muffin (see here), Huevos Rancheros (see here) or a Low-cal Fry-up (see here). Enjoy a midday meal of Grilled King Prawns with Chilli Soy Sauce (see here) or Fattoush (see here), and end your day with well-deserved Minted Lamb Escalopes (see here), Chicken with Herby Nut Stuffing (see here) or Lamb and Bamboo Shoot Red Curry (see here). There is a wide variety to pick from, so you can eat different, exciting meals on every fast day.
For many dieters, snacking is a hard habit to break. The Fasting Day Cookbook has this covered too. With ideas from as low as 40 calories, choose from an irresistible range of snacks to see you through the day: Saffron Scones (see here), Oaty Fruit Bites (see here) or for when chocolate is the only answer, a luxurious Rich and Dark Spiced Hot Chocolate (see here).
One of the main complaints when following a new eating plan is the amount of preparation involved, or the inconvenience of providing for other family members at mealtimes. Many of the recipes in The Fasting Day Cookbook are designed to serve four or more, meaning you can supplement them with extra side dishes to provide a filling meal for the rest of the family. Many other recipes are suitable for making in larger batches and freezing for upcoming diet days.
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