Cravings – I didn’t realize how driven by cravings I’ve been my entire adult life.  After a week of eating one 500-calorie meal a day (dinner is my choice) for two days of the week while eating freely the other five days, my cravings have disappeared.  I find it extremely easy to “fast” on those days since I can just have what I want the next day.

This feeling is completely new to me.  I can want a certain food – Lay’s Limon Chips or red wine spring to mind – but I don’t HAVE to have them like before.  I don’t know if it is a biological or a mental switch that was turned off, but the feeling is so freeing that I actually enjoy my “fast” days.  I used to think I would lose my enjoyment of food if I lost my craving, but it’s the opposite.  I still love junk food, but I don’t NEED it.  I can have some and be done or choose to not have any if I’m not seeing progress in my current dietbet.  I think that this is what it feels like to be “normal.” 

Energy – I’ve never been a powerhouse in the energy department.  I’m still not.  But I do feel much more awake and alive, especially on my “fast” days.  I’m silly at work; I do stuff at home.  I don’t feel jittery like a caffeine high, just good.

Control – I am quietly oppositional, especially toward myself.  Before, when I would choose not to eat a particular food (soft pretzels), I could almost hear myself telling me, “You can’t tell me what to do.”  Isn’t that stupid? It’s especially stupid given that I LOVE good veggies and can happily make a meal of roasted artichokes, peppers, onions, asparagus, tomatoes on a bed of lettuce and feel perfectly sated.  But like a parent whose teenager is dating the wrong sort, it didn’t work to tell my inner teenager that these foods were no good for me, that they’d break my heart, that I wasn’t allowed to see that food ever again – I just ignored me and got what I wanted anyway.  Now, on “fast” days, if I think about my old loves, I know I can have them the next day if I want them.  Sometimes I eat them, sometimes I don’t.  I actually have a bag of Lays Limon chips here in my kitchen that I’ll have sometime next week.  I was never able to do that before.  If it was withing reach, I had to eat it.

A Couple of Free Mornings a Week – I usually do my down-calorie days during my workweek.  Since I don’t have to fix breakfast or make lunch to take, I can sleep in an extra half-hour or just relax if I’m up already.   I don’t have to rush to get everything done, and I have my lunch hour to either run errands or go browse in the bookstore or walk around. 

The “Last Supper” Effect –

This is something I’ve actually lost while losing on 5:2. I know I can eat whatever I want on my non-“fast” days, so I don’t need to pile in All. The. Food. before my “diet” begins.  The last couple of years I’ve been living in the Last-Supper syndrome, eating everything because I was going to stop eating it tomorrow.  Heh.