You’ve tried the diet, but could the fasting technique improve other areas of your life too?
Based on the simple concept of eating normally for five days a week and having a calorie controlled diet for the other two, the 5:2 diet has become a firm favourite with those aiming for weightloss or simply trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Ambassadors of the diet, LighterLife Fast, have taken the approach further, looking at how applying it could be the perfect way to kickstart life-enhancing initiatives without too much effort or dramatic adjustment. Mindfulness and fitness coach John Lingley says, “Reducing or adding something in your life for two days a week is an achievable approach because it can be easily applied to an individual’s lifestyle and you can decide each week which days will be your two days to make a change. Psychologically, knowing that we’re only changing something for two days a week is much more manageable than trying to give something up completely, or taking up a new habit and trying to stick to it every day. Even just deciding what you would change can be beneficial as it encourages you to really think about your life and how you could improve it for yourself, your family or your relationship.”
5:2 digital detox
A recent study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology found that those who log on to Facebook more frequently are more likely to experience depressive symptoms. Paul Sutton, independent social media consultant, says, “As social media has become a part of the everyday, it’s now easy to live too much of your life online. Checking social networks and taking pictures and videos constantly of the things you’re experiencing can result in missing out on the joys that life has to offer there and then. Social media is an incredible tool to enhance your life if used correctly. But it’s important to put down your mobile and to take the time to enjoy the present too. Invest in developing your offline world as well as your online profile.” It’s good to take a step back from social media now and then, but if you’re tweeting and Instagramming as much as us, this is easier said than done, so a two-day approach could be the answer.
An effective way to de-stress and momentarily escape from the distractions of everyday life, mindfulness is fast becoming a staple part of people’s routines. If you’d like to lead a more mindful life but aren’t sure where to start, take it slowly by introducing the new habits into your life for two days a week. John Lingley says, “Mindfulness is something that can be used to develop your awareness in the present moment, to ensure you are fully connected in the here and now. There is also lots of evidence to support its many benefits of reducing stress, anxiety and depression. Incorporating mindfulness into your life with a 5:2 approach, beginning with two days each week, can be the start of it becoming a way of life for every day of the week. It can also develop awareness as to the benefits of living this way and how different you may feel when you’re not being mindful. It will help you to come to terms with how things are, rather than how you want them to be.”