My Cake Reversal


My Cake Reversal   – Is it my age or the 5:2

I don’t know when it was, but a few months ago I wrote a blog on how I hated sponge – how for years I eat it without love nor passion and then suddenly realised it was because I didn’t actually like it.

For over a year I’ve been on the 5:2 diet and for 8 months of that I was on a 4:3 – – over 2 stone lighter and a whole lot fitter (that’s not the diet, that’s the combat & pilates).

It all started when I found out I had arthritis – I’d been flagging for years and just put it down to getting older, fatter and un-fitter. Bouncing up and down with my weight – I think that’s called yo-yoing! but I did bounce! Alarmingly I weighed more than I did when I was pregnant, the most I had ever been, I couldn’t even sleep comfortably on my front – but that’s another story, one Dolly Parton’s all too familiar with.

Then I discovered the 5:2 diet and all was right in the world. Since I was used to eating minimum calories, it wasn’t hard, since I’m a chef – it was ok to invent low calorie tasty goodies. In fact it was better because before my body got used to a low calorie diet and when I binged a bit it stored fat like a Gerbil stuffing nuts in its cheeks – hence the yo-yo.

With the 5:2 I was eating my BMI recommended calories of 1700 for 5 of the days – a lot more than I was used to – so I was very happy. Then for 2 non-connecting days I fasted on 500 calories – –

For the first few weeks some people suffer side effects – – headache’s, I had them. Trouble getting to sleep – I had that. But when I thought about why I couldn’t go to sleep on my 500 calorie days I realised it was my primal body allowing me energy to go out foraging for food, so instead I read and fell asleep a few hours later than normal – not feeling any different in the morning. Tummy rumblings and hunger pangs are something you get used to on your fast days – – -it’s not a bad thing to go hungry every now and then. In fact, fasting days are extremely good for your body – they give the internal organs a well needed rest from processing all the bad stuff – apparently, it can increase your life expectancy.

BUT – – – – on a fasting day all you can do to get through the day is dream, dream of donuts, dream of chocolate, dream of honey drenched bacon waffles with lashings of cream, fried chicken, Cajun french fries with garlic mayo & ice-cream, topped with sprinkles & crispy chicken skin.

I mean you can’t eat it – because after a few months of 5:2 your body shrinks and with that your tummy shrinks and with that your appetite shrinks.

But my hate for cake has disappeared and been replaced by a sugar monster – craving anything sweet, which is ok as long as it fits in to my now shrinking BMI calorie count of 1600.

The sponge that repealed me now makes me dribble, even a Battenberg makes me crazy, a mere muffin turns me on. There’s a bakers in Norwich called ‘Pye’, we sometimes pop in for one of their lovely sour dough hot sarnies, then  – – I’m not kidding they have over 40 sweet cakes, pastry’s, pies and tarts on show – – I walk round at least 3 times trying to choose, I swear I’ve worked my way round 30% of them – they do a wicked coffee brownie, a scrumptious passion fruit mousse, last time I had chocolate and hazelnut torte and the time before Rhubarb crumble slice.

It couldn’t be good for me but my body has taken over my brain and I’m still in control of my weight.

Cake, Cake, Cake – I love it, I’m like a monkey who’s just discovered the fruit tree in the forest and I’m not quite ready to get down.

Either that or it’s my age – – – it was a big one this year.

Either way today is a 5:2 day, I’ve had 30g of porridge for breakfast with 100ml of milk = 150 calories, red lentil dhal for lunch = 150 calories and a crab salad for dinner = 200 calories and as I sit here with my tummy rumbling with hunger pangs (its ok you get used to it) – I’m now dreaming of lunch tomorrow and what sweet Scooby snack I’ll sneak in on the way home – CAKE.


By Zena Leech-Calton ©

Now teaching 5:2 as a cookery course see or