Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Joining the 5:2 revolution with LighterLife Fast

07/01/14 Today is the day, I am starting my new challenge with LighterLife Fast packs (see my yesterday's post for more information on the diet).
They are easy to prepare, portable and you don't need to count calories. All that has been taken care of. You choose your selection of four packs a day.

Getting my guys ready for school, I only had a chance to have a quick cup of tea (Earl Grey with lemon). By the time they left, I was feeling peckish. I typically have a couple of slices of toast or bread with cheese or ham for breakfast, occasionally a bowl of cereals or porridge.

For breakfast I opted for a bowl of Original porridge. As I don't have a microwave, I cooked my porridge in a small pan. First impressions: the porridge looks finely milled, almost like the baby porridge. Once cooked, it was very smooth in consistency, and quite creamy. I would have liked a bit more texture and bite. Original porridge is made of oats, skimmed milk powder, soya protein, wholemeal flour and quite a long list of vitamins.
It contains no artificial colourings and is suitable for vegetarians. Ingredients are from non-GM sources.
It was mildly sweet.

I have skipped my usual cup of coffee at eleven-ish, and had a glass of water instead. By 12.30pm I was already thinking what I should have for lunch, I had a choice of two types of pasta, a vegetable soup or a milkshake.
Actually I have just been reading more about Fast on LighterLife Fast site, and they say: "You can have tea and coffee, either black or with a splash of milk. In fact, coffee may be beneficial during a fast – one study found it could help reduce appetite. Tablet sweeteners and calorie-free drinks are also fine."
So I could have had a coffee after all. Next day I fast, I won't deny myself a little cup of coffee with skimmed milk.

Pasta Carbonara looked appetizing on the photo of the pack. The small sachet contains pre-cooked pasta with vegetable proteins, oils and flavourings as well as buttermilk powder and again a selection of vitamins. The portion size was quite small, as I would expect from a diet food. Each serving of pasta comes at 153 kcal. I think I would have liked more pasta and less sauce, which was quite creamy but too salty to my taste. As it is a diet product, it would be unfair to compare it to the authentic pasta carbonara which is calorie-laden (made with pancetta or bacon, cheese and eggs) and tastes completely different.
As it comes in a sachet, it might be a reasonable diet lunch option for someone who works (as long as they have access to the microwave). It is very easy to make.

I still felt a bit hungry and wolfed down a Toffee flavour bar. Just looking at the list of ingredients: milk chocolate, whole milk powder, soya protein, milk protein, butterscotch pieces, rice crisps etc and again lots of vitamins.
I could definitely taste the wheat malt. I am in two minds about this bar, it is not bad at all, but there is a salty lingering aftertaste. I felt quite full after eating it.

By dinnertime, as my younger son likes to repeat "now my tummy's beginning to rumble, and my favourite food is Gruffalo crumble". But instead of the Gruffalo crumble I had a bowl of Vegetable soup (onion, green asparagus, carrots, green onions, parsley). It would have been my favourite meal of the day if it were less salty. As for the consistency and texture, it is just like any other powdered soup with rehydrated vegetables.
In fact, I am not sure if it is my personal tastebuds that don't appreciate the salty taste, and if someone who tried these meals, didn't find them as salty. Would love to compare notes.

All in all, I am pleased with myself that I didn't sin and have any biccies, chocolate or nuts today.
On top of the four packs of LighterLIfe Fast, I had two cups of black tea with Hermesetas sweetener, one cup of Golden Rod & Knotgrass herb tea blend from A.Vogel,  one cup of Lemon tea, and will most likely end the day with a cup of peppermint tea.
I also missed having any fresh fruit or vegetables. I think I would need to look into the calorie count for apples and carrots, and perhaps swap a bar for a piece of fresh fruit.
I will definitely continue testing the range, and will be trying new Lighterlife Fast packs later this week. It was convenient to have all the packs at my disposal.

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.
Please keep in mind that all offensive comments will be deleted. I am not paid to review these products or try the diet.


  1. I am just starting the 5:2 diet - going to give it a whirl for 3 months. My dad did it and the results were amazing. Have to admit though, I never buy ready made diet food as I like to cook from scratch. Could be useful on those day where I get too stressed out though.

    1. I'll see how it goes with the packs, I might use them partially in the coming weeks. I have a supply for a month, but as I enjoy cooking as well, I will mix and match with my own dishes.

  2. Im currently on week 4 of the 5.2 diet and have to say its amazing but so hard.Im literally starving all the time on my fast days and was considering buying the pasta from lighterlife to keep me full but they are so expensive!!! And juding by the amount in the bowl you dont get much from it either ehich is a shame : ( anyone have any ideas on food thats keep you full please feel free to comment xx

    1. I continue 5:2 now with my own food selection. Shrimps/prawns make a very low cal meal. For lunch I might have 100g shrimps - 61kcal, 20g rocket - 6.2kcal, 20g spring onions - 6.3kcal + 1 tin of weight watchers tuna -77kcal (or 80,depending on the type), which totals 178.5kcal. Not bad, and really filling. I plan to do a post on what I eat now on fasting days and will also show some of the diet foods that are low in cal and can be incorporated in a fasting day. I haven't checked my weight recently, but I can see how loose my trousers and skirts are getting.

    2. sorry,that total was with the rice cake at 28kcal.

  3. I have the book on order but can I ask.
    If you eat and even though its low calories does it not keep the body into go go mode. I thought the fasting part was not to eat food for 24-48 hrs as to put the body into repair.