The 5:2 Diet is also known as the Fast Diet. When you’re on it, you eat normally for five days out of the week and on the other two days you severely limit the number of calories you intake. This is also known as intermittent fasting, which can tremendously help with losing weight because you never stop eating entirely- you reduce the amount you eat for a short time.
This diet is an easier way to diet because you eat all you want for most of the week, so when you are fasting for two days it won’t be as hard to make it through successfully. The results will begin to show and you will be more prone to stick with the diet longer than diets where you limit calorie intake every day.
On fast days, consume a quarter of recommended calories, which means women are to only have 500 calories and men 600 calories. On non-fast days it is recommended that women consume 2,000 calories and men 2,400 calories. To accurately calculate how many calories are necessary use BMI (body mass index), BMR (basal metabolic rate- how many calories burned while doing nothing), TDEE (total daily exercise expenditure- how many calories burned while doing something) and activity levels. There is a calculator available to figure your suggested calorie intake at thefastdiet.co.uk.
Micheal, co- developer of the diet, says, “Some people find it surprisingly easy to adjust, others find it quite challenging. Having a fasting buddy and joining a support group really helps. Choose your days – ones in which you are busy, but days that are not too demanding. Ideally have regular fast days. When starting it helps to plan in advance what and when you are going to eat.”
On fast day, the best foods to eat are ones high in protein and fiber because they will help sustain your energy all day. Common food high in protein and fiber are fish, meats and vegetables. Foods to avoid are ones rich in sugars and refined calories. This means potatoes, pastas and rice. Some good snacks for fast day are almonds, apples (with skin) and carrot or celery sticks. Milk, coffee and tea are good to drink on fast day if you want something other than water.
It is not recommended to fast if you are pregnant, under the age of 18, suffering from an eating disorder, just had an operation or feeling unwell. Some side effects are headaches, feeling hungry and constipation. To help with some of these symptoms keep a late night snack available to fall asleep easier on an empty stomach and be sure to stay hydrated and drink lots of water.
When you are experiencing hunger during fast days try distracting yourself by going for a walk. Another trick to curb the hunger is to be expecting so you won’t be surprised by it. Also, pick days that you know you will be busy as your fast days. It will keep you distracted and not constantly thinking of how hungry you are.