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on 20 March 2017
As described
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on 16 April 2017
Excellent 5******
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on 3 September 2014
Very useful
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on 25 March 2017
Good
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on 2 October 2013
I did read the book before I went on holiday and found it very informative. I thought that the same information was repeated time and again albeit under different headings. The two recipes I tried were very good and I look forward to trying the rest.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I must admit that I found starting out on the 5:2 diet (eating plan?) quite difficult at first. I wish this book had been around a year ago, and my life would have been so much easier. Like many others I was inspired to try this method of eating control by seeing the documentary on TV, and hearing about other people's success on the internet.
The first part of the book details exactly what the 5:2 eating plan is, where it comes from, how it has been tested, etc. There is also some salutary advice about what to expect when you start on the plan and when it would be appropriate to check with a doctor before starting it.
The rest of the book is then divided up into 100 calorie meals, 200 calorie meals and 300 calorie meals.
This is the bit I really found most useful, because up till now I have been trying to estimate (or, more honestly, guess) how to take a favourite meal and "de-calorie" it down to a point when I can still have it in my 5:2 meal plan.
This book gives the recipes I need, and someone else has done all the maths for me. Great!
Some reviewers have criticized the book for offering recipes for larger numbers, but most of them are for 4 people, which suits me as I can cook for my family and simply add to the meals of those not on the 5:2 eating plan to bring their meals up to the required number of calories for them. A portion of potatoes or garlic bread for the non 5:2 people at the table is easy enough to do, and takes the 'diet' element out of the meal.
The main reason I am following this eating method is because, like so many other people, I have tried and failed on many other restrictive diets, but I find that restricting my food intake two days a week is perfectly do-able for me, and allows me to eat like everyone else the rest of the week but without compromising on the food I feed to the rest of the family as well.
(There is nothing worse than serving up a 'proper' meal to to rest of the family whilst nursing your low calorie milkshake!)
Where there are larger servings given (10 or 12 for example) these are usually for things like drop scones, cereal bars, cakes, muffins and so on - none of which you are going to eat 10 of at a single sitting, so I personally don't have a problem with this. The items cooked in larger batches are also often much lower in calories, so you could serve 3 or 4 of them with a meal.
Overall I think this is a very good introduction to this interesting eating plan, and I recommend it.
For a 5th star I would like to see this bound in a ring binder so that I can actually have it open when I need it - when I'm in the kitchen and cooking!
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on 27 June 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I would be a mistake to pick up `The 5:2 Diet Cook Book' by Angela Dowden and think you are getting a recipe book you will actually want to use, you probably won't. This is a diet book through and through, but is it a healthy book for healthy people - or a boring book, for boring people? The main concept behind the 5:2 diet is that you eat normally for 5 days of the week and for 2 days you fast; only allowing yourself 500 calories. `5:2 Diet' is a useful book at explaining some of the `science' behind why people think fasting works, but it is very dry. The FAQ cover subjects as wholesome as; will fasting make you infertile and how to convince yourself you are not hungry. Is this a diet, or torture regime?

For people adamant with going on the 5:2 diet, Dowden does a very good job of giving information in a matter of fact way. She explains in detail why it is safe and what it should do to your body. Personally, I am not one for fad dieting (and let's face it, this is exactly what this is), but if I was, I would like to be well informed.

With your brain full `o' facts how can you cope on 500 calories? Dowden has included some extremely low calorie dishes to try. The food on offer is a little bland, but that is nothing in comparison to the boring picture free pages and limited recipe details. It feels like a cook book from the 50s, but without all the lard and butter. As a tool for understanding what the 5:2 diet Dowden does a good job. As a tool to actually inspire you to undertake it, I fear I was put off.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
With loads of people I know, now doing this diet I figured it was a good chance to actually follow a book with recipe ides (I mean after all with that few calories it feels like your choices are limited). It's quite a small book but to be fair it's pretty well laid out. The most positive thing about the book is the first few chapters where it explains all about the diet, how it works and why. It also seems to get you in the right frame of mind before you look at what you can eat on fasting days <gulp>. ON the downside, although there are quite a few recipes, why on earth do they make it so difficult. They indicate that something would serve so many people? Surely they should just do it per serving? This was the one thing that really annoyed me throughout the book. There are quite a few varied recipes in here, admittedly not all to my tastes but all the same a decent mix. Overall not bad, but not great.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have to confess the main reason I will return to this book is because the first 47 pages are not actually recipes but full of useful and helpful information about the theory of eating normally for 5 days and fasting for 2. I'm not convinced I would use the recipes, however that's because I'm not actually heavily into cooking myself. One recipe which gives you 300 calories is for "steamed fish with ginger and coconut milk" and you need to find 3 other people to share it with... also the claimed preparation time of 5 minutes would certainly not apply to me - more like 20 minutes. Perhaps someone who cooks regularly would be quicker. To be honest I'm too lazy and have too little time to get the ingredients together for Thai noodles with tofu just to have consumed 276 calories an hour later. However I think the 5:2 theory of dieting is an excellent one and this book is inspirational, packed with tips about how to beat hunger cravings, calorie values of everything you can think of, and the lasting benefits of keeping slim for life.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I was pleasantly surprised that this was not just a recipe book but contained a 40 page introduction to the intermittent fasting diet and various simple motivational tips.

The recipes are simple, quick, and easy to follow. They are also nicely set out showing the number of calories per portion and the number of portions. I find this incredibly helpful. For example if you make the cranberry and hazelnut cookies which are supposed to contain 30 calories each but you only got 15 cookies from the mix instead of the stated 30 cookies, you will know you made your cookies double size and you need to double the calorie count.

In order to eat very low calories I was expecting fairly austere recipes but the book follows a different principle. The recipes are tasty, with plenty of meat, eggs, oil and even cheese in the ingredients. The calories are kept down by controlling the size of the portions. This isn't what I was expecting but I think it is a good approach.

I found the book convenient and accessible throughout without being dumbed down, hence I give it 5 stars.
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