5:2 Your Life

5:2 Your Life – Learn to Break those Nasty Habits!

Alternate Day Fasting, 5:2 or ADF ideas are all about changing your lifestyle in order to lose weight and improve your fitness…with the potential spinoff bonus of living a longer life! Well, if you are going to live a longer and more active life then you will certainly need more money. This is the exciting point where you suddenly realize that you can apply the same principles and 5:2 Your Life in order to break nasty habits or addictions, get out of debt and lead a more balanced life. Wow, this starts to sound interesting! Read on to learn how to 5:2 your life and start reaping the benefits!

ADF and 5:2 Theory:

Just a quick refresher of the ADF rules….

  • Eat whatever you want for 5 days a week
  • For 2 days a week eat 500 calories for a woman or 600 calories for a man
  • Do not fast on 2 consecutive days
  • On the fasting days you can eat all the food in one go or spread it out during the day

This is how it works for food…so how could it work for other things?

Normal Habits for 5 Days a Week – Quantify what you normally do

Reduced Habits for 2 Days a Week – Allow yourself 25% of normal 


How to 5:2 Your Life – Real Examples

So what kind of things could you start to attack with this process? Well pretty much anything in your life that you feel is out of control, costing you too much money or damaging your health. But you can also go further and think about the things you do on a daily basis out of habit that maybe waste time or stop you communicating with your partner, friends and family. Make a list and then put them in order by how much money you can save by changing then sort the list again by how much time you can save. Here are some examples to get you thinking….

The Spending Fast

5:2 Your Life - Stop SpendingSophie Heawood recently described in the Guardian how she attacked her credit card overdraft with the  5:2 method. While she found it tricky to stick to two days a week only spending 25% of normal she used the experience to discover that a lot of money was wasted in taxi fares taking her daughter to day care. She found a nursery close to home that worked out much cheaper overall. She attacked her other big regular extravagance of eating out by getting her friends to come round and teach her how to cook!

The Alcohol Detox

5:2 Your Life - Control the BoozeIn a related article Phil Daoust describes how he has drunk alcohol since he was 16 and at 50 decided it was time to break the habit. Enter the 5:2 ADF Alternate Day Fasting ideas…Phil used a personal counselor in order to check for underlying problems…but otherwise the aim was to reduce rather than completely stop the consumption of alcohol. After 21 days he did the sums and discovered in fact that overall he had achieved 4:3 rather than 5:2…in other words he beat his own target so saving money and reducing the strain on his vital organs. Plus there was plenty of time saved by not having to buy all the booze and dispose of the empties!


The Carbon Footprint Fast

5:2 Your Life - Improve your Carbon FootprintThis is a really original idea described by Simon Hattenstone in the Guardian who is quoted as saying “I’m saving the planet on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday can go to hell in a carbonated handcart.” Simon used Mike Berners-Lee as a guru to help him find ways to improve his carbon footprint. One example is mobile phone use vs landline. A minute on a mobile is equivalent to 57g of carbon emissions which is apparently the same as eating a banana. But if you use the mobile for an hour a day that apparently adds up to a whole tonne of carbon dioxide in a year…the same amount produced by a transatlantic flight …or 18,000 bananas! To be successful Mike advised Simon to find things that would make other people jealous…like getting superfit by cycling to work, making more friends by starting car sharing and getting healthy by eating less meat and more vegetables!

The Screen Diet

5:2 Your Life - Cut Screen TimeThink how much time we all spend looking at a screen these days…it isn’t just the TV any more but the games console, the smart phone the iPad and the computer…and yes laptops do count! All this screen gazing wastes time and reduces your real social interaction as Emma Cook describes in her recent article in the Guardian. Her two big challenges were to get the kids on board and to tackle her own compulsive email checking! I think we can all relate to this and I have a nasty habit of spending most of breakfast gazing at the iPad screen catching up on the news (and looking for ideas to write about!) rather than talking to my wife and planning the day ahead. Try going for two days a week just checking the emails and mobiles once a day, in case there is anything urgent….

5:2 Your Life – The Way Forward:

5:2 Your Life - the way forward

5:2 Your Life – The way forward is to use ADF ideas to help reduce your bad traits and improve the good ones!

Cutting down rather than cutting out works well with human nature. You can also “postpone” things from your “fasting day” to the next day for review. For example, imagine that you are attacking your impulse spending and see a really cool item of clothing on your “fasting day” that would blow your budget. Well, simply leave it until the next day and see how you feel…chances are you might have changed your mind and decided you don’t need it after-all!! The other way of looking at the 5:2 ADF idea is to run it in reverse and use it to INCREASE something that is good but you are not doing enough of…like eating more vegetables for example! Here is a table of ideas to help you move forward and 5:2 your life in simple easy steps…..

Cut down on Fast FoodEat More Vegetables
Reduce Alcohol ConsumptionDrink more Water
Eat Less MeatLearn Vegetarian Cooking
Drink less Soda and ColaDrink more Green Tea
Reduce Carbon FootprintWalk More
Limit Email & TextsTalk Face to Face
Reduce Screen TimeIncrease Family Time
Control Impulse BuyingDefine Weekly “Treats”
Cut down on YouTubeRead more Books
Reduce Gambling & BettingGive More to Charity
Smoke LessSmell nicer!


Take a Frugal Tip from the MeanyGoat and have a serious think about this whole ADF 5:2 Alternate Day Fasting thing and see how you can apply some of it to your own situation. 5:2 your life and any changes that you make are likely to end up saving you money as well as making you happier and healthier!

Here are some other useful links:

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