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How to be full on 300 calories: Dr Sarah Schenker’s recipes make The Fast Diet …

  • New companion book packed with recipes for those following 5:2 diet
  • Dr Schenker recommends high protein, low GI foods to keep you going
  • She advises splitting 500 calories between filling breakfast and evening meal

Lucy Waterlow

11:42 EST, 29 April 2013


12:57 EST, 29 April 2013

The Fast Diet became a bestselling book earlier this year as those keen to drop a dress size rushed to follow the advice of fasting for two days a week.

The diet from Dr Michael Mosley recommends women only eat 500 calories and men 600 on their two fasting days.

But isn’t that a little bit too boring and restrictive? Not at all, says nutritionist Dr Sarah Schenker who has written a companion book to The Fast Diet with Mimi Spencer. The Fast Diet Recipe Book contains 180 low-calorie recipes which they say will fill you up and stave off hunger.

Feast on 300 calories: Dr Sarah Schenker said you can be full up if you eat the right foods (posed by model)

You might expect the recipes to be all salads and no carbs but there’s also warming comfort food such as a cottage pie and a beef stew.

Dr Schenker, 40, told the MailOnline the meals also allow for ‘sociable eating’ – her cottage pie serves four and is packed with tasty ingredients so dinner guests won’t know it’s low calorie.

‘You are often excluded from sociable eating when dieting but some of the meals are designed to be shared and you would often never know the meals are low calorie because they are satisfying and filling,’ she explained.

Many of the recipes are heavy in proteins – such as eggs, chicken and fish – and use ingredients with a low glycemic index such as nuts, grains and vegetables.

Food for fasting: Dr Schenker, left, and Mimi Spencer have complied 180 low calories dishes for The Fast Diet Recipe Book

Food for fasting: Dr Schenker, left, and Mimi Spencer have complied 180 low calories dishes for The Fast Diet Recipe Book

Food for fasting: Dr Schenker, left, and Mimi Spencer have complied 180 low calories dishes for The Fast Diet Recipe Book, right

The mother-of-two, from Wanstead, East London, added that it’s easy to create a satisfying meal with just 300 calories if you use the right ingredients.

Her 243 calorie cottage pie is packed with vegetables including carrots and tomatoes and swaps fatty beef for extra-lean minced beef.

Meanwhile she creates a baby aubergine salad full of flavour by adding spices and seeds.

She added that the recipes don’t always do away with carbs because it is important to consume them if you are leading an active lifestyle.

‘We don’t want people fainting through lack of food on their fasting days,’ she said. ‘The point is to fill up on foods that will keep you fuller for longer.

‘Some dieters avoid rice because of the carbs but with the right type and quantity it’s fine. Basmati rice contains slow release carbs so will keep you going for longer so I include that in some of the recipes. It’s hard for people to go without carbs, it’s better to strike a balance of having them in moderation as often the problem is people eat them too much.’

Support: Mimi Spencer and Dr Michael Mosley, pictured, wrote the original Fast Diet and Dr Schenker’s book is a companion text for dieters

Dr Schenker,believes the Fast Diet is effective because it’s easy to follow and many of the recipes are quick to make ahead of a busy day. It doesn’t force dieters to continually restrict what they are eating but to just set aside two days a week to diet.

She said many followers tend to pick Monday and Thursday as their fast days but it really depends on individual lifestyles.

She said: ‘It’s good to prepare in advance which days to make your fast days. Some people do it at the weekend if they don’t have much on. Others prefer Monday as it’s the start of the working week and then Thursday so they can look forward to eating what they like at the weekend.

‘I wouldn’t advise making a fast day one where you have a lot on at work!’ she said.

On fast days, she recommends having a filling low GI breakfast – such as smoke salmon, porridge with fruit or an omelette with vegetables. Then skipping lunch and fasting until dinner when you should have another filling meal.

Go hungry without being starving: Dr Schenker recommends skipping lunch on fasting days and having a filling breakfast and evening meal

She said the there are additional health benefits to the fasting than just weight loss. It can also improve your hormonal balance and insulin production – meaning developing a condition like diabetes associated with obesity is less likely.

However, she added that while the 5:2 diet means you can in theory eat what you like on the non fasting days, you need to do this ‘within reason’ if you do want to gain the health benefits of fasting.

‘The point is your body becomes calorie deficient on the fasting days. You don’t want to then overindulge on calories on the non fasting days or your weekly calorie intake will remain the same.’

Dr Schenker is an expert on healthy eating after gaining a degree in nutrition and dietetics from the University of Surrey. She’s previously put her knowledge into practise by advising top sports stars on their diets including premiership footballers, jockeys and boxers.

The Fast Diet Recipe Book by Mimi Spencer and Dr Sarah Schenker is published by Short Books on 2 May, RRP £14.99

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