Fast Days & Feast Days, 5:2 Diet and Roast Tomato & Garlic Soup Recipe (70 Calories) (2024)

Roast Tomato and Garlic Soup for 5:2 Diet and WW

5:2 Diet,

Fast Days & Feast Day

Roast Tomato & Garlic Soup Recipe

(70 Calories)

I am not a fan of “faddy diets” and yet I must admit to being fascinated about the latest 5:20 diet that was featured inEat, Fast and Live Longer, part of the documentary featuring the medical journalist Michael Mosley, where he set himself the challenge to live longer, stay younger as well as lose weight. If you want to catch up on the programme, you should still be able to view it on BBC iPlayer here: Eat, Fast and Live Longer. The “Fast Days” aren’t fast days as we might perceive them, but they are days when you eat considerably less calories than normal, and you need to have TWO of them a week, hence the title of The5:2 Diet. The total calories allowed on the so-called fast days are: 600 calories for men and a suggested 400 to 500 for women.That may seem VERY low, but I now discover than I have beenfollowingthisprincipalfor at leastTWENTYyearsonmy Weight Watchers diet; basically, on the “points” diet that I have always followed, (and I think that the Pro Points diet may be the same) if you KNOW you have a day coming up where you are going out for a meal or you will be eating MORE than your daily recommended daily points allowance, you can “save” some of your points up from days where you go BELOW your daily allowance, BUT only over the period of ONE WEEK = Fast days then!

Roast Tomato and Garlic Soup for the 5:2 Diet and Weight Watchers

I LOVE going out and as you all may know by now, I LOVE baking and cooking, so these low-calorie days have always been on my agenda whether I am dieting or not……’s quite interesting to note, that I have in my own way been following the 5:2 diet principals! And this soup recipe is a BIGfavouriteor mine; roasted vegetables give BAGS of flavour and it’s flavour that is often missing when dieting, so it’s worth the extra time to roast the vegetables before pulsing them and making the soup, and, the other GREAT thing about this soup (for Weight Watchersas well as 5:2 dieters), is that one bowl only has 70 calories in it!So, on my low-calorie days, I can have at least two bowls of this soup, which will be ZERO points for WW, which is only 140 calories in real money! I then supplement the rest of my calories with fruit, tea (no milk) and lots and lots of water…….the soup is tasty, it’s filling and at this time of the year you make a BIG batch up with any glut of tomatoes you may have from your allotments. Plus, the large amounts of garlic are excellent for your health too, so that’s why I often call this my “Magic Soup”!

Roast Tomato and Garlic Soup for the 5:2 Diet and Weight Watchers

To talk more about the benefits of the 5:2 diet, here is some information that I found on the BBC Health News website:

Scientists are uncovering evidence that short periods of fasting, if properly controlled, could achieve a number of health benefits, as well as potentially helping the overweight, as Michael Mosley discovered.

I’d always thought of fasting as something unpleasant, with no obvious long-term benefits. So when I was asked to make a documentary that would involve me going without food, I was not keen as I was sure I would not enjoy it.

But the Horizon editor assured me there was great new science and that I might see some dramatic improvements to my body. So, of course, I said, “yes”.

I am not strong-willed enough to diet over the long-term, but I am extremely interested in the reasons why eating less might lead to increased life span, particularly as scientists think it may be possible to get the benefits without the pain.

How you age is powerfully shaped by your genes. But there’s not much you can do about that.

Calorie restriction, eating well but not much, is one of the few things that has been shown to extend life expectancy, at least in animals. We’ve known since the 1930s that mice put on a low-calorie, nutrient-rich diet live far longer. There is mounting evidence that the same is true in monkeys.

Growth hormone:

The world record for extending life expectancy in a mammal is held by a new type of mouse which can expect to live an extra 40%, equivalent to a human living to 120 or even longer.

It has been genetically engineered so its body produces very low levels of a growth hormone called IGF-1, high levels of which seem to lead to accelerated ageing and age-related diseases, while low levels are protective.Professor Longo has investigated growth hormone deficiency in humansA similar, but natural, genetic mutation has been found in humans with Laron syndrome, a rare condition that affects fewer than 350 people worldwide. The very low levels of IGF-1 their bodies produce means they are short, but this also seems to protect them against cancer and diabetes, two common age-related diseases.

The IGF-1 hormone (insulin-like growth factor) is one of the drivers which keep our bodies in go-go mode, with cells driven to reproduce. This is fine when you are growing, but not so good later in life.

There is now evidence suggesting that IGF-1 levels can be lowered by what you eat. Studies on calorie restrictors suggest that eating less helps, but it is not enough

As well as cutting calories you have to cut your protein intake. Not entirely – that would be a very bad idea. It’s about sticking to recommended guidelines, something most of us fail to do.

The reason seems to be that when our bodies no longer have access to food they switch from “growth mode” to “repair mode”.

As levels of the IGF-1 hormone drop, a number of repair genes appear to get switched on according to ongoing research by Professor Valter Longo of the University of Southern California.

Intermittent fasting:

One area of current research into diet is Alternate Day fasting (ADF), involving eating what you want one day, then a very restricted diet (fewer than 600 calories) the next, and most surprisingly, it does not seem to matter that much what you eat on non-fast days.

Dr Krista Varady of the University of Illinois at Chicago carried out an eight-week trial comparing two groups of overweight patients on ADF.

“If you were sticking to your fast days, then in terms of cardiovascular disease risk, it didn’t seem to matter if you were eating a high-fat or low-fat diet on your feed (non-fast) days,” she said.

I decided I couldn’t manage ADF, it was just too impractical. Instead I did an easier version, the so-called 5:2 diet. As the name implies you eat normally 5 days a week, then two days a week you eat 500 calories if you are a woman, or 600 calories, if you are a man.

There are no firm rules because so far there have been few proper human trials. I found that I could get through my fast days best if I had a light breakfast (scrambled eggs, thin slice of ham, lots of black tea, adding up to about 300 calories), lots of water and herbal tea during the day, then a light dinner (grilled fish with lots of vegetables) at night.

On my feed days I ate what I normally do and felt no need to gorge.

I stuck to this diet for 5 weeks, during which time I lost nearly a stone and my blood markers, like IGF-1, glucose and cholesterol, improved. If I can sustain that, it will greatly reduce my risk of contracting age-related diseases like cancer and diabetes.

Current medical opinion is that the benefits of fasting are unproven and until there are more human studies it’s better to eat at least 2000 calories a day. If you really want to fast then you should do it in a proper clinic or under medical supervision, because there are many people, such as pregnant women or diabetics on medication, for whom it could be dangerous.

I was closely monitored throughout and found the 5:2 surprisingly easy. I will almost certainly continue doing it, albeit less often. Fasting, like eating, is best done in moderation.

Fast Days & Feast Days, 5:2 Diet and Roast Tomato & Garlic Soup Recipe (70 Calories) (4)

Michael Mosley presents Horizon: Eat, Fast and Live Longer on BBC Two at 21:00 BST on Monday 6 August
Watch online afterwards via iPlayer (UK only) or browse Horizon clips at the above link
How you age is powerfully shaped by your genes. But there’s not much you can do about that.

Roast Tomato and Garlic Soup for the 5:2 Diet and Weight Watchers

I hope you find my post interesting, the point I was trying to make is that although the idea of fasting was fascinating, it really is JUST a label attached to something that I suspect that LOTS of us already do on a regular basis, and for me, it has rejuvenated my interest in having MORE regular Low Calorie “Soup and Fruit” days as I have always called them. The recipe for my lovelyRoast Tomato and Garlic Soupis below, and I will be sharing many more low-calorie recipes over the next few weeks, that will hopefully help you if you are following the 5:2 Diet, or any diet come to that! Have a VERY happy and healthy Tuesday, and see you later with my VERY late Monday Meal Plan! Karen

Here are the links to my other 5:2 Diet Recipes; more to follow:

5:2 Diet, Fresh Fruit Salad Recipe

Pink Grapefruit and Prawn Salad suitable for 5:2 Diet and Weight Watchers

Barbecued Peaches with Honey and Lavender (5:2 Diet)

Roast Tomato and Garlic Soup for the 5:2 Diet and Weight Watchers

Roast Tomato & Garlic Soup

Print recipe

Serves 4
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 50 minutes
Total time 55 minutes
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish, Side Dish, Snack, Soup, Starter
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Occasion Barbecue, Casual Party, Formal Party, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentines day
Region British
By author Karen S Burns-Booth

An intensely rich and satisfying soup with attitude that is only 70 calories a bowl, this soup makes full use of a glut of tomatoes and the quantity can be increased for more people.


  • 500g (1lb 2ozs) ripe tomatoes, quartered
  • salt & black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
  • 600ml (1 pint) hot vegetable stock
  • low-fat cooking spray
  • 1 red pepper, de-seeded & quartered
  • 1 bulb garlic, divided into cloves, peeled
  • 2 red onions, peeled & cut into wedges
  • fresh basil to garnish


An intensely rich and satisfying soup with attitude that is only 70 calories a bowl, this soup makes full use of a glut of tomatoes and the quantity can be increased for more people.


Step 1 Preheat oven to 220C/400F/Gas Mark 7 and put the tomatoes, onions, garlic and red pepper into a large roasting tin; season with salt and pepper and spray over some low-fat spray. Roast for 45 minutes until the vegetables begin to char at the edges and they are soft.
Step 2 Remove the vegetables from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. then purée all the vegetables in a food processor with the stock, vinegar and Worcester sauce.
Step 3 Tip the purée into a saucepan and heat through for 3 to 5 minutes before serving with fresh basil leaves scattered over the soup.
Step 4 This soup is also wonderful chilled, cook as above and allow to go cold, if there is no room in the fridge, serve cold with a few ice cubes in the soup, and the basil leaves as before.

A Box of Allotment Vegetables

Are youfollowingthe 5:2 Diet plan?

Do you have low-calorie days and if so what is your favourite recipe?

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