5:2 Fast Diet
The 5:2 Diet or Fast Diet or Intermittent Diet are just a few names given to a popular way of losing weight, so called because generally speaking you can eat as you would normally on five days a week but on the other two days, known as fasting days you must restrict your food and drink intake to only 500 calories if you are female or 600 calories if you are a male. This is regardless of your current weight or how much you need to lose. If you are interested in losing weight more quickly you could try other forms of fasting which are covered in my book The Fast Way to Lose Weight
It doesn’t matter which days you choose to feed or fast but it is recommended that the fasting days are not done together. Depending on the speed you wish to lose the weight you could adjust the ratio of fasting to feeding days. For example you could try a 6:1 or 5:2 or 4:3 and so on. When you have reached your ideal weight perhaps then is the time to only fast for one day a week to maintain your target weight, but for now let’s assume you have a goal to reach, so we will a look at the normal 5:2 diet in more depth.
On fasting days you can elect to consume all of your calories in one go, or more usual to spread them throughout the day. Breakfast can either be a really low calorie count which means you can probably have a light lunch as well or you can skip it altogether. I found skipping breakfast worked better for me as it didn’t kick start my juices first thing and I had no problem lasting until midday lunch. I quite often forgot all about food and went to 1 or 2 o’clock before I realised I was getting hungry. I don’t think I could eat breakfast and then have nothing until my evening meal unless I was seriously fasting, meaning I was going without all food for that day.
There is varying opinion on whether filling up at breakfast or snacking throughout the day is more effective for weight loss. You will find your own preferred method, I tried both and found that splitting my calories between lunch and dinner worked better for me but then I can manage to skip breakfast but you may not be able to.
Drink water, tea or coffee to fill your empty stomach but no sugar and watch your milk intake or you will be eating into your calories. But please don’t worry about going over the 500 calories by a little bit because when you do follow this eating plan you will be amazed at how you start to look at everything you eat on your ‘normal’ days and will in fact eat less anyway.
You could try fizzy water or diet soda and some people have suggested chewing sugar free gum although I found that made me hungry.
On your five normal days you can eat whatever you like within reason. This is not carte blanch to load your system with unhealthy take away’s or junk food. What you will find is that you are looking at packaging much more than you used to. You will be shocked at the amount of calories in one chocolate biscuit, I know I was. If you think about the calories in that one biscuit and then think of the percentage that biscuit is of your 500 or 600 calorie allowance on your fasting days you quickly come to appreciate why that weight gain crept up on you in the first place.
Remember if the hunger pangs become too much, do something active like going for a walk. You can drink as much water as you like and this will fill you up too. Try a little honey or lemon juice in a glass of warm water, you will soon feel full until your meal is due. If you are doing this with your partner, don’t forget to factor in an additional 100 calories if you or your partner is male.
If you are worried about the long term effects on your body, contrary to what some people think, fasting can be a healthy way to lose weight. It can reduce levels of IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1, which can lead to accelerated aging). It can also ‘switch’ on DNA repair genes as well as reducing blood pressure and lowering cholesterol and glucose levels.
A word of warning, it is not recommended for pregnant women or diabetics on medication. In fact anyone who has health problems or has an existing medical condition is strongly advised to consult their GP first. This is not to say you can’t follow this diet, it is just so it can be done under medical advice or supervision.
Finally, keep going by thinking to yourself that this is only for 2 days a week, you are not on a full blown 7 days a week diet for weeks on end or in some cases what seems forever.
Well that’s all there is to it, well almost.
Finally, as previously mentioned, I have written a whole series of Cookbooks to help you make this diet work for you. Try the first one in the series called, Easy Recipes for the 5:2 Fast Diet.