The 5:2 diet or fast diet is one of the latest diet fads currently being promoted. Many people have tried it and had success with it, but what does it involve? It is all about intermittent fasting two days out of the week. Many health benefits are claimed with this diet, however none as yet, are clinically proven.
Many people find this diet easier to stick to than continuously limiting certain food groups and fasting as is done in traditional dieting, due to only having to comply with limiting food two days per week. This blog will explain how the 5:2 diet works, with some low calorie meals at the end, suitable for those low calorie days. However I would like to be clear that I do not advocate this diet, as a dietitian, I still behold the belief that you can’t beat healthy eating with ample exercise for weight loss. All these fad diets that include eliminating and limiting food groups, help you lose weight temporarily, however unless you make healthy permanent changes to your lifestyle, the weight will be put back on.
The 5:2 diet suggests eating normally five days per week, and for the other two days, if you are a woman, eating 500kcal, or a man; 600kcal. This can either be consumed in one regular sized meal, or spread out throughout the day in smaller snacks/meals. It claims by doing this, you should lose around 1lb per week or a little more if you are a man, and you should see improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol and insulin sensitivity.
So here are a few meal options for breakfast, lunch and dinner that can help you stick to your fasting days.
Bran flakes (30g) with skimmed milk – approximately 166kcal
Fat free yoghurt (150g) with blueberries (handful) – 177kcal
Salad, no dressing with grilled chicken – 197kcal
Skinny soup with two Ryvita – 127kcal
Grilled chicken breast with steamed cauliflower, carrots and broccoli – 203kcal
The best way to keep the hunger away on those fasting days is to snack on low calorie foods such as carrots, celery and broccoli, so chop some up in the morning before heading off for the day, to stave off the hunger cramps and keep your energy up.