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Live webchat with Mimi Spencer, author of bestselling The Fast Diet Recipe Book, Thursday 2 May 9-10pm

(85 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 30-Apr-13 17:39:44

Mimi Spencer is joining us on Thursday at 9pm to chat about her latest book The Fast Diet Recipe book. The book, which has shot straight to number one on Amazon, has 150 calorie controlled meals for all 5:2ers to enjoy on their fasting days.

Mimi has been writing about food and diet for over 20 years as a columnist for Observer Food Monthly and on Waitrose Food Illustrated. She co-wrote The Fast Diet with Michael Mosley who joined us in Jan for a webchat. Whilst Michael explains the science behind the diet, Mimi explains the practicalities of how to go about it. As she says: 'I am a mother and a wife and a cook like you, wheeling my trolley around the supermarket, desperate for inspiration about what to cook tonight. This book's as much a function of personal experience as professional know-how'.

Join Mimi on Thursday at 9pm. If you can't make the live chat, post a question to Mimi in advance here.

Short Books have offered mumsnetters the chance to buy The Fast Diet Recipe book for just £10 incl P&P: Call 01206 255777, and quote the code: FASTMAY13. This will be available to the end of May.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 02-May-13 20:51:06

Mimi's raring to go, so she's going make a start a wee bit early and hopefully therefore get through all the questions so we'll be off in a very short jiffy.

MimiSpencer Thu 02-May-13 20:51:59

Hi - I'm here a bit early, so thought I'd get going now. Hello everyone, thanks for joining me - my first web chat! Very exciting

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 02-May-13 20:52:04

It's almost time to chat with Mimi. If you haven't already seen, Mimi has kindly allowed us to reproduce some of the recipes from The Fast Diet Recipe book. For inspiration see delicious recipes all sub-500 cals.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 02-May-13 20:52:32

MimiSpencer

Hi - I'm here a bit early, so thought I'd get going now. Hello everyone, thanks for joining me - my first web chat! Very exciting

OOh, beat me to it. Welcome to Mumsnet Mimi.

MimiSpencer Thu 02-May-13 20:55:09

EmpressOfThe7OceansLovesMN

I hadn't heard of the 5:2 diet before coming across it on MN. Do people find they have less energy on the fasting days? And isn't it hard if you're cooking a normal evening meal for everyone else (if you cook) and you're really hungry but have to stick to something low-calorie?

Hi Empress - you shouldn't have less energy on a Fast Day, and in fact plenty of people report that they feel MORE energetic not less. Trials done with people who exercise in a fasted state have shown that they have greater endurance - interesting...
As far as cooking for the family goes, plenty of the recipes in the book can be modified by adding extra carbs to allow you all to eat together. Anyone fasting simply avoids the bread/potatoes/pasta - and remember it's only for two days a week

izzysmummy Thu 02-May-13 20:57:17

Just wondered I know there's a bit of science behind it, have tried similar but get the light headed thing too much and as have such a busy job, mentally and physically find anything on so few calories hard. But also wondered has this kind of diet only been proven long term on mice/rats so far? Do we really know the long term effects on humans?

MimiSpencer Thu 02-May-13 20:57:17

Abitstressed

How do you stay motivated, during the day, to do this fast?

One really good way of staying motivated is to keep busy - a day with lots in it means that the time between eating disappears fast. I think having a fasting buddy helps too - text your friends, see how they're doing. And maybe keep a food diary (and a weight loss diary) - all great ways to stay focused

MimiSpencer Thu 02-May-13 20:59:15

diamante73

Mimi,what do you find are.the best foods to eat on your restricted days. Do we avoid all carbs and have more fruit and veg at mealtimes or do we just eat a normal meal that doesnt exceed the five hundred calories?

On a Fast Day, the mantra is Mostly Plants and Proteins. Avoid white carbs in particular - they spike your blood sugar and are lacking in the kinds of nutrients you need to keep you satiated. Slow-burning carbs like oats can be a good start to the day - porridge with berries is good breakfast. But you must keep your protein intake up as the body does not store protein, so you need to have an adequate quantity on a fast Day

Calypso2 Thu 02-May-13 20:59:51

Who do you think deserves to win Masterchef grin

MimiSpencer Thu 02-May-13 21:01:47

Miffytastic

Charliepop -will DM

Mimi I second the Q about the feeling weird/light headed.
My Q: What are your views on 12hrs vs 16 vs 24? I am reluctant to forgo my morning cuppa with milk but I wonder if that's contributing to my stalled weight loss.

It's important I think to find a patterns that works for you - and if that means milk in your morning cuppa, then so be it! This shouldn't feel like a major deprivation and you need to be kind to yourself. Do include the milk in your calorie count though.
As far as timing goes, again, a patterns hat suits you is one that you'll stick with. Michael says that you should aim for as long a fasting window as possible - the time between food. that's where your body will derive m oct benefits from fasting.

MimiSpencer Thu 02-May-13 21:02:28

Calypso2

Who do you think deserves to win Masterchef grin

Definitely Natalie! No contest. Adore her. Poor Larkin seems to be having a helluva time, bless him

Hi Mimi.
I've been doing the diet for 4 months, have lost about 20 lb. Following flu a few weeks ago I'm struggling with my energy levels on fast days much more than I did before. Consequently I sometimes can't manage the full day. I know this is bad for my weight loss, which has slowed right down, I still need to lose at least 2 stone as am 5'2 & 11 stone 4. Like Bumpotato said, is there any thing else I can do? I can't do any high impact exercise as I have foot problems, although I do walk a lot.

MimiSpencer Thu 02-May-13 21:05:47

Merguez

How can I persuade DH to do this diet? He is 52 and about a stone overweight (5' 8, 13 stone). Problem is he travels abroad a lot for business and has to socialise in restaurants a lot. Also isn't really a fan of self-denial - said he didn't want to try the diet when it was cold. Basically just makes excuses.

Funnily enough, men seem to really like the Fast Diet - generally speaking of course. I think they like the fact that it is science based and straightforward. I do think that fasting when the weather is warm will be easier - we haven't really experienced any decent weather since we embarked on this, but I'm guessing that salad and grilled fish will be much more appealing on a long summer's evening.
I would encourage your DH to read the book - knowing that it is ONLY for two days a week. Not much of a sacrifice!

Calypso2 Thu 02-May-13 21:08:23

Another question (if that's allowed). I have been doing the 5:2 since Michael Mosley did the webchat on Mumsnet in the New Year. I had a week off over Easter and took a week to get back but am back there now. I realise now that I was over-eating for my size/bodyweight. Not massively but I think what I eat now is much more suitable for me and I rarely feel bloated/overfull. In terms of losing weight - I certainly lost some the first 4 weeks but it's really stabilised now and I'm finding it difficult to lose the last half a stone to get to my desired weight. Did the weight loss slow down for you? Any suggestions?

MimiSpencer Thu 02-May-13 21:08:37

TwoKidsAndNoTime

I've been doing the diet for 3 months but am finding I want to eat loads more biscuits and sweets on the non-fast days than before I was on the diet and as a result I've gained weight! So I'm thinking of giving up. Any tips?

I'd clear out the snack cupboard right now - a proper clean sweep, dumping the cookies and sweets, then give it another go. If temptation is too close at hand, it's really hard to resist. On a non-fast day, we suggest eating normally, healthily - not restricting, but not going overboard with treats

Saker Thu 02-May-13 21:08:37

I tried a 5:2 regime for a few weeks earlier this year, although I admit I haven't read the book, just basing it on what I have heard. It was okay for the first 4 or 5 times of fasting but after that every fasting day got harder and harder and I thought more and more about food throughout it, especially in the evening. I also then felt hungrier the following day and started really dreading the fast days. Is that something I'm not doing right? Or purely psychological ?

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 02-May-13 21:09:56

MimiSpencer

diamante73

Mimi,what do you find are.the best foods to eat on your restricted days. Do we avoid all carbs and have more fruit and veg at mealtimes or do we just eat a normal meal that doesnt exceed the five hundred calories?

On a Fast Day, the mantra is Mostly Plants and Proteins. Avoid white carbs in particular - they spike your blood sugar and are lacking in the kinds of nutrients you need to keep you satiated. Slow-burning carbs like oats can be a good start to the day - porridge with berries is good breakfast. But you must keep your protein intake up as the body does not store protein, so you need to have an adequate quantity on a fast Day

For ideas and inspiration on Fast Days you can always try Mimi's recipe book here (she was too shy to plug it grin)

Calypso2 Thu 02-May-13 21:10:59

Am with you on Natalie. Her pudding in Italy was amazing. Loved her Vesuvius honeycomb grin Larkin;s definitely lost the plot under pressure.

MimiSpencer Thu 02-May-13 21:11:44

postmanpatscat

Mimi what's your view on zero-calorie fast days? There are a few of us on here doing them, I do one a week and on the other fast day I eat up to 500 cals. For me, I was losing/regaining the same few hundred grams until I started fasting like this about four weeks ago, despite loads of exercise and a weekly deficit usually in excess of 5000. I've now lost 17lbs in ten weeks smile

Brad Pilon has written extensively and fascinatingly about zero-cal fast days - and advocates it as a brilliant weight loss method. The reason Michael developed the Fast Diet to allow 500/600 calls is that this appears to be more approachable and sustainable for most people. If you can manage a full fast, then by all means try (stay hydrated!) Your calorie deficit will of course be greater over the course of a week. But most people do need some calories going in

Hi mimi, you were already a healthy bmi when you started this approach. How did you set your own target, what's your opinion of bmi?

Kittykat28 Thu 02-May-13 21:12:10

I have just started the 5:2 on Monday and have fasted on Monday and Wednesday. Went out today for lunch with friends and couldn't finish it and didn't feel hungry again all day, is that the stomach shrinking already?

Abitstressed Thu 02-May-13 21:12:52

Just another quick question, I have found real problems with sleeping when following a low carb diet, have you found insomnia to be a problem when doing the fast days? and if so, how do you overcome it? thanks!

MimiSpencer Thu 02-May-13 21:14:50

BsshBossh

Mimi what's your current fasting maintenance regime (am interested because I've just reached goal weight and am now experimenting with continuing to fast - for health - whilst not being bothered about losing more weight)?

I reached my target weight after 3 months on the fast Diet, so now I tend to do a 6:1 pattern, fasting only on Monday - which seems to be the most popular day of the week for many of us. If I have a particularly food-oriented week (Christmas, holidays), I step it back up to 5:2. The diet is actually v flexible - you can modify it according to your weight, your diary, your family life. I'm interested in the long-term health benefits too, which is why I still fast fairly regularly

MimiSpencer Thu 02-May-13 21:15:39

Calypso2

Am with you on Natalie. Her pudding in Italy was amazing. Loved her Vesuvius honeycomb grin Larkin;s definitely lost the plot under pressure.

I know, poor love - when he sliced his finger on the mandolin! yeuch

TwoKidsAndNoTime Thu 02-May-13 21:16:17

Thanks Mimi

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