Health

Everything you need to know about the 5:2 Diet celebs and fitness junkies swear by

Does it work? Or should we add it to the growing pile of weight-loss fads?
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Along with the 5:2 diet, other weight loss methods like the Lemonade diet, Juice Fast, Macrobiotic, Dukan, Atkins, vegetarian, (deep breath), vegan, raw food, baby food (yes, really), Mediterranean diet, Slim Fast all come to mind…

It’s easy to get lost in the myriad of talked-about meal plans, when all we really want is a 5:2 diet how-to guide that delivers on its promise to fast-track us on our way to our best self.

Also referred to as the fasting diet, the 5:2 diet is said to help the undertaker lose weight fast, all the while promoting better habits, cell repair and even the prevention of illnesses such as heart disease, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.

So what exactly is it and how does it even work? Here’s everything you need to know.

What is the 5:2 diet?

According to The 5:2 Diet Book, the plan works by restricting calorie intake to just 25 per cent of your daily quota for two out of seven days, and eating as normal for the remaining time.

For the average women, that’s 500 calories, while the average man can consume around 600 – however that number has since been revised to 800 for both. Fasting two days (either consecutive or non-consecutive) out of the week will cut the calories you’d normally consume by around 3,000 – 3,500 (about 450 grams of lost weight).

WATCH: How Michael Mosley reversed type 2 diabetes. Post continues after video…

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How does the 5:2 diet work?

Yes, in theory, you can still eat pizza and chocolate so as long as you’re willing to enter starvation mode for two days in the week. And because you’re consuming fewer calories than normal on your fast day, you should be losing weight.

But don’t think it’s a licence to binge for five days.

In the long run, the diet sets out to make the undertaker more aware of their choices, leading them to subconsciously choose the healthier option while training them to savour every bite of every meal.

READ MORE: Check out these low calorie recipes for the 5:2 Fasting Diet.

Dinner on the 5:2 can look pretty darn delicious, just look at this tuna carpaccio with Asian salad.

(Image: Women’s Weekly Food)

Why is the 5:2 diet good for you?

Intermittent fasting has been thought time and time again to be beneficial for the body.

As well as the aforementioned links to the prevention of heart disease and stroke, fasting has also seen an improvement in blood pressure, cholesterol and a reduced cancer and diabetes risk.

What does a day on the 5:2 diet look like?

Personal experience can attest that the diet can impact both energy and cognitive alertness. Limiting the foods you’d normally never think twice about can result in the undertaker feeling tired, dizzy and well, a little bit crabby.

This is why being smart about your choices is so incredibly important. Because, in theory, you can eat as much as you like, so long as it fits into the calorie quota.

Eschew large serves of processed carbs and instead opt for generous portions of vegetables and legumes, small servings of lean meats and eggs. Drink plenty of water – black coffee and teas are welcomed (score!).

Also take care in how you cook and prepare your foods. Baking, rather than frying, will cut those extra calories.

WATCH: 7 vegetables you didn’t know you could eat raw. Post continues after video…

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What happens when you stop 5:2 diet?

Some choose to remain on the regime until reaching their goal weight, while others stay on it for life having found a diet they can maintain. At this point, many switch from 5:2 to 6:1.

Of course, the 5:2 isn’t for everybody, with undertakers sometimes saying the calorie restricting can become boring and tiresome.

If this is the case and the dieter wishes to stop, they should consult their healthcare professional to find a different method of weight-loss.

Miranda Kerr maintains her model figure on the 5:2.

(Image: Getty Images)

Who shouldn’t do the 5:2 diet?

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid fasting, as should children, teenagers, the elderly and those with a history of anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa.

The 5:2 Diet Book also suggests Type 1 and 2 diabetes patients, as well as those suffering chronic conditions, to seek consultation from their trusted GPs before making any changes to their diets.

In fact, anyone planning to switch up their diet so should do the same.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much weight can you lose on the 5:2 diet?

How much weight you lose will depend on your lifestyle, activity and diet but it’s generally considered safe to lose between 0.5 to 1 kilos per week while pursuing weight loss.

Is the 5:2 diet now 800 calories?

Michael Mosley has modified the diet since its original creation, now suggesting we can eat 800 calories on a fasting day while doing the 5:2 Diet.

What can I drink while fasting?

Plain, unsweetened coffee and tea are allowed, as is plenty of water.

Is the 5:2 diet safe?

Not for everyone, so make sure to speak to your doctor first. Medical professionals have made it clear that pregnant women, people with a medical condition such as diabetes and those who have suffered from an eating disorder should steer clear of the diet.

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