Friday, 7 March 2014

5:2 fasting with LighterLife (pros and cons)

After reading a few inspiring diet success stories from my fellow bloggers, I took a decision to join in 5:2 diet club. I don't think I will ever be a poster girl for any diet, as I don't have a dramatic result to display. To start with, I am not that big, and when I mentioned to a few people that I was going on a diet, they told me I didn't need to. I somehow disagreed. Since I stopped breastfeeding my younger son, I have started gaining weight and find it difficult to shift it. It might be not a huge amount, but this was the heaviest I have ever been (excluding my two pregnancies). I didn't find it hard to lose weight after the birth of both boys, it came naturally with the sleepless nights and breastfeeding on demand. But as the boys grow up, I have been piling on pounds, thanks to my love of chocolate and also eating the leftovers from my kids. It is a case of no-wasted-food mentality, of course, as I am not hungry, it's just I hate throwing the food. But I had to stop being a "bin".
When LighterLife queried if I would be up to testing their new range available in Superdrug and doing a 5:2 Fast plan for a month, I saw it as a sign from heaven that I should at least try a month of this new diet that so many people were talking about.
Intermittent fasting (i.e. cutting down the calories for two days a week) is a hot topic these days, and I wanted to share my own personal experience, albeit not very long.
I have already written a couple of posts on LighterLife Fast packs (for example, see what I tested on the very first day of my fasting in the post Joining the 5:2 revolution).

What do I think now, after a couple of months of fasting on the 5:2 diet as well as LighterLife Fast packs? (Just to clarify I had a month's supply of packs, which I used for longer than a month, as I mixed and matched them with the other diet products)

What are the pros and the cons?

Pros: .
1. Ease and convenience, all the packets come with the nutritional information and calorie count, you do not have to calculate everything you are eating and consult the list of products and calories.
2. There are no artificial colourings.
3. The ingredients are from non-GM sources.

1. I missed the fresh fruit and vegetables. For three fasting days I ate only the products from LighterLife Fast packs, then decided to swap one of the meals for a piece of fresh fruit or salad. I later reduced the amount of packed products to one or two per fasting day, substituting the others with a variety of different snacks or fresh fruit & veg. That worked the best for me.

2. I wish the selection of meals was more varied. For example, I don't like the diet shakes. Of any brand. I have tried in the past to drink the diet shakes produced by different brands, and found them all not to my taste. It might be also psychological, but I don't feel like I had a meal, if I only drink a shake, so that's a No for me.

So my kind suggestion to LighterLife Fast brand would be to expand the range of meals, perhaps introduce more soups; cut down the salt; I would also prefer a shorter list of added vitamins, as it reads a bit like a Mendeleev's Periodic Table.

You may ask if I had any result, and the answer is:

I lost 1.5kg in January, following 5:2 diet. It might be not a drastic change of weight, but it made me feel in control. I keep fasting twice a week, and if you want to know more, watch this space for more diet foods and recipe suggestions.

Additional information:
"About LighterLife Fast 
LighterLife Fast is a plan for people who either wish to lose a little weight, or who want to manage their current weight more effectively. People eat normally five days a week and for two ‘fast’ days a week have LighterLife FastpacksTM. Having four LighterLife FastpacksTM on each ‘fast’ day guarantees 100% of the recommended daily allowances and full nutrition for only around 600 calories, which would be virtually impossible to have if eating conventional food restricted to this calorie allowance. 

LighterLife FastpacksTM are specially formulated nutritional food options that contain all the protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals required without the extra calories. They are available in a range of convenient and easy-to-use meals, including pasta carbonara, vegetable soup, porridge, banana shake and nut fudge bars as examples of the product range, from as little as £7.99 per box of four FastpacksTM (or per fast day). "

Disclosure: I received a month's supply of products for testing and reviewing. All opinions are mine.


  1. I'm really not sure I could stick to this one!

  2. Not for me - A healthy and varied diet with the odd bit of stodge does the trick personally!

  3. My wife did it but it didnt reqally work other than giving her gallstones

    1. Oh dear, that sounds awful. I am doing 5:2 diet now, using different brands and also cooking my own meals.

  4. I think it sounds quite hard - well done you though!