The 5:2 Diet, also called The Fast Diet, is now one of the most popular intermittent fasting diets, which is an eating pattern that includes regular fasting. It was promoted by British journalist and doctor Michael Mosley.
It is called the 5:2 diet because 5 days of the week are standard eating days, while the other 2 restrict calories to 500 to 600 daily.
In fact, 5:2 is more of an eating pattern than a typical diet. There are no any requirements about which foods to consume, nonetheless, rather when you must eat them.
Many individuals find this way of eating to be easier to follow than a standard calorie-restricted diet.
What is the 5:2 Diet?
Eat what you want 5 days per week, send the body to a starvation mode for 2. This diet allows you to eat chocolate cake – which makes it ideal for most of us.
Fasting has been practiced for years, with trials carried out to uncover the potential effect as early as the 40s. Nevertheless, the dawn of 2013 escorted in a new spin on a practice which had more commonly been linked to religious rituals or political protests. The intermittent fast is a weight loss phenomenon, which was snapped up by the dieting community that was told they can eat what they wanted for the majority of the week and still lose weight.
The fact you can eat what you want 5 days a week and the simplicity of the 5:2 diet, are key to its reputation. Dieters are recommended to eat a ‘normal’ number of calories 5 days a week and then, for 2, non-consecutive days, consume just 25 percent of their usual calorie total – 600 for men and 500 calories for women.
There are no restrictions on the kinds of food you could eat and it’s suggested that women could expect to lose around a 1lb per week on the diet with men losing around the same if not a little more.
Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
There are just a few studies, which test the Fast diet specifically.
On the other hand, there are many studies on intermittent fasting as a whole that show remarkable health benefits. One significant benefit is that intermittent fasting is quite easy to follow. Many studies have found that different forms of intermittent fasting can significantly decrease insulin levels/
One study found that the Fast diet caused weight loss close to regular calorie restriction. Moreover, the diet was really effective at improving insulin sensitivity and reducing insulin levels.
Some studies have looked into the effects of adjusted alternate day fasting that is quite similar to the 5:2 diet (eventually, it is a 4:3 diet). The 4:3 diet can help reduce seasonal allergies, asthma, insulin resistance, menopausal hot flashes, heart arrhythmias, and more.
One controlled trial in both overweight and normal-weight people showed major improvement in the group doing 4:3 dieting, compared to those who ate normally.
After twelve weeks, the fasting group had:
- Reduced blood levels of triglycerides by up to 20 percent.
- Reduced body weight by over 11 pounds (5 kg).
- Reduced fat mass by 7 pounds (3.5 kg), with no variation in muscle mass.
- Increased LDL particle size (which is a very good thing).
- Decreased leptin levels by 40 percent.
- Reduced levels of CRP, a vital marker of inflammation in the body.
The 5:2 Diet for Weight Loss
If you want to lose weight, the 5:2 diet can be really effective, of course, when done right.
This is principal because of the 5:2 eating method helps you consume fewer calories.
Thus, it’s very important not to recompense for the fasting days by eating more on the non-fasting days.
Intermittent fasting doesn’t cause more weight loss than usual calorie restriction if total calories are coordinated.
Therefore, fasting protocols like the 5:2 diet have shown a lot of promise in research on weight loss:
- A review showed that modified alternate day fasting instigated weight loss of 3 to 8 percent over the course of 3 to 24 weeks.
- Intermittent fasting can cause a smaller drop in muscle mass than weight loss with standard calorie restriction.
- In the same research, contributors lost 4 to 7% of belly fat.
When combined with exercise (like strength or endurance training), intermittent fasting is way more effective.
The 5:2 Diet and other similar intermittent fasting diets are thought to be easier to follow than typical calorie restriction, and an advantage is that you don’t have to eliminate any food groups. Fasting is a pretty simple concept that seems to promote weight loss, even though the starvation experienced may be a limiting factor for some.
The headings for the 5:2 diet, and other intermittent fasting methods, claim that calorie restriction can be associated with: improving brain function, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels; reducing the risk of cancer, stroke, and heart disease, and great anti-ageing properties.
More data is coming to light, regarding the health benefits of this form of diet even though there is obviously a need for longer term human-based studies.