Last year I went on a diet. I know. You gotta lose the baby weight sometimes. Since we’re not having another baby, I had decided that damnit, it was time. And so I jumped on this bandwagon called the 5:2 diet – which basically means for five days of the week you eat normally and for two days a week you limit yourself to 500 calories per day. I KNOW. It wasn’t as hard to do as I expected. And it worked. I was shedding around 0.5-1kg a week.
A day would go something like this:
- Breakfast: boiled egg + a handful of strawberries + a cup of plain tea
- Morning tea: a cup of plain tea + a handful of strawberries
- Lunch: plain tinned tuna (lowest calorie one I can find which is currently 57 calories, an achieve in itself) + mixed salad leaves + 1/2 tomato + 1 tbsp tinned corn + 1 tbsp grated carrot
- Afternoon tea: a cup of plain tea + a small mandarin (or half an apple – when you’re on 500 calorie limit, an apple have A LOT of calories)
- Dinner: a massive bowl of Japanese sukiyaki made from a few pieces of thinly sliced beed (no fat), a lot of Chinese cabbage, carrots, shittake mushrooms, sukiyaki stock (mirin, sake, soy sauce, sugar, dashi, etc.) and konjac noodles
The main thing was finding out an eating plan that worked for you. I did it with a group of friends. Some of us ate very very sparingly throughout the day and had a ‘big’ dinner and I, on the other hand, ate as much bulky low-calorie food (think a lot of Chinese cabbage!) all day long. The main thing was to find the right eating plan that suited you. I found not starving myself – i.e. eating all the time, all day long really helped and that was key to it being successful. Unfortunately, as all things, it required a lot of planning and I needed to have my meals for the day planned out before I leave for work. And as soon as I stopped it, the weight came back on – not instantly but as the old eating habits come back, so did the weight. I can’t help that if I had started with it for longer (I think I lasted 2 months), my eating habits would have been broken. C’est la vie.
Anyway, the one thing I got out of it was this really awesome lunch idea that is fairly healthy, very low in calorie and I really enjoyed. And it is also something you can easily whip up in the office using the microwave.
- 100g konjac noodles (konjac noodles are noodles made from konjac – sold cheaply at some Asian grocers and more expensively at supermarkets in the health food aisle as ‘slim pasta’)
- 1 packet of approx. 25g instant miso soup (instant miso soup is like a Japanese version of cup-a-soup, it is basically miso paste, stock powder and dried seaweed, buy them at Asian aisle in your local supermarket or Asian grocer)
- 1/2 small zucchini, sliced
- 3 floret of broccoli, cut into small pieces
- 1 button mushroom, sliced
- Or any other vegetables of choice (I always wanted to try packs of frozen veggies from the supermarket but never got around to it)
Rinse the konjac noodles well and drain. Steam the vegetables in the microwave with about 1 tbsp of water until tender (1-2 minutes). Make the miso soup according to packet instruction (which is generally add 1 packet of miso soup to 1 cup of hot water). Add everything together. Voila.