The intermittent fasting is an eating pattern which is involving regular fasting. The Weight loss 5:2 diet is also known as The Fast Diet. Currently, it is the most popular intermittent fasting diet. The weight loss 5:2 diet was popularized by the British journalist – Michael Mosley. This diet is called weight loss 5:2 diet, because five days of the week are normal eating days, while the other two restrict calories to 500 – 600 per day. There are no requirements about which foods to eat, but rather when you should eat them, so this diet is more a lifestyle, than a diet.
Many people found that the weight loss 5:2 diet is easier way to stick on than a traditional calorie – restricted diet. The weight loss 5:2 diet is very safe for healthy and well – nourished people, but it does not suit to everyone. People who have a history of eating disorders should avoid the weight loss 5:2 diet. Also, people who often experience drops in their blood sugar levels need to avoid weight loss 5:2 diet. Also, women who are pregnant, who are nursing or women who are trying to conceive need to avoid the weight loss 5:2 diet. Also, people who are malnourished, underweight or who have known nutrients deficiencies, need to avoid the weight loss 5:2 diet.
How to do weight loss 5:2 diet
Actually, the weight loss 5:2 diet is very simple to explain. You eat normally for five days a week and you do not have to think about restricting calories. Then, on the other two days (fasting days), you reduce your calorie intake to a quarter of your daily needs. This is about 600 calories per day for men and 500 calories per day for women. You can choose whichever two days of week you prefer, but you have at least one non – fasting day in between them.
Usually, people are deciding to fast on Monday and Thursday, with 2 or 3 small meals and then they eat normally for the rest of the week. But, it is important to notice that normally does not mean that you can eat anything. If you eat junk food, then you probably will not lose any weight, and you may even gain weight. You need to eat the same amount of food as if you had not been fasting at all.
Health benefits of intermittent fasting
There are many studies which are specifically done on weight loss 5:2 diet. But, there are plenty of studies done on intermittent fasting in general, which shows many health benefits. One of the most important health benefits which is noticed is that intermittent fasting seems to be easier to follow than continuous calorie research, at least for some people. Also, in many studies are shown that different types of intermittent fasting may significantly reduce the insulin levels.
In one study was shown that weight loss 5:2 diet caused weight loss similar to the calorie restriction. Also, the weight loss 5:2 diet is very effective at reducing insulin levels and improving the insulin sensitivity. Some studies have looked into the health effects of modified alternate – day fasting, which is very similar to the weight loss 5:2 diet (ultimately, it is a 4:3 diet). The weight loss 5:2 diet can help to reduce asthma, insulin resistance, heart arrhythmias, seasonal allergies, menopausal hot flashes and more.
In one randomized controlled study in both normal – weight and overweight people have shown major improvements in the group who were taking weight loss 5:2 diet, compared to the control group that ate normally. After 12 weeks, the fasting group had:
- Decreased levels of leptin by up to 40%
- A reduced level of CRP, an important marker of inflammation
- Increased low density lipoprotein particle size, which is a good thing
- Reduced blood levels of triglycerides by 20%
- Reduced fat mass by 7.7 pounds (this is 3.5 kg), with no change in muscle mass
- A reduced body weight by more than 11 pounds (5 kg)
The 5:2 diet for weight loss
The weight loss 5:2 diet is very effective at losing weight, when it is done right. This is happening because the weight loss 5:2 diet helps you to consume fewer calories. This is a reason why you should not compensate for fasting days by eating too much calories that are much more on the non – fasting days. The intermittent fasting is not causing more weight loss than the regular calorie restriction if the total calories are matched.
In some studies is shown that the intermittent fasting is causing a much smaller reduction in muscle mass when it is compared to the weight loss with the conventional calorie restriction. In some studies are shown that participants lost 4 – 7% of their waist circumference, which means that they lost a lot of harmful belly fat. There was a recent study in which is found that the modified alternate – day fasting led to weight loss of 3 – 8% over the course of 3 – 24 weeks.
You should remember that the weight loss 5:2 diet is more effective when it is combined with exercise, such as strength training or endurance training, so you should not doubt to start exercising in a combination with this diet.
How to eat on fasting days
There is no rule for when or what to eat on fasting days. Some people have found that they function best by beginning the day with a small breakfast, while others have found that it is best to star eating as late as possible. In general, there are two meal patterns that people follow:
- Two slightly bigger meals, which is only lunch and dinner.
- Three small meals, which is including everything – breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The calorie intake is limited (500 calories for women and 600 calories for men) and this makes sense to use your calorie budget wisely. You should try to focus on nutritious, high – protein and high – fiber foods which can make you to feel full without consuming too many calories. Soups are some of the best options which you can add in your fast days. In some studies are shown that soups can make you to feel more full than the same ingredients in the original form or foods with the same calorie content. Below are given some examples of foods which can be suitable for fast days:
- Still or sparkling water
- Black coffee
- Low – calorie cup soups
- Soups (for example, miso, tomato, cauliflower or vegetable)
- Cauliflower rice
- Grilled fish or lean meat
- Boiled or baked eggs
- Natural yogurt with berries
- A generous portion of vegetables
You need to remember that there is no specific and correct way to eat on fasting days. You can experiment and figure out what is working best for you.
Who should avoid the weight loss 5:2 diet
The weight loss 5:2 diet is very safe for healthy and well – nourished people, but it does not suit everyone. Some people need to avoid the dietary restrictions and fasting completely and they include:
- Women who are trying to conceive or who have fertility issues
- Nursing mothers, pregnant women teenagers, children and individuals with type 1 diabetes
- Individuals with a history of eating disorders
- Individuals who are malnourished, underweight or have known nutrient deficiencies
- Individuals who often experience drops in blood sugar levels
Also, the weight loss 5:2 diet may not be as beneficial for some women as it is for men. Some women have reported that their menstrual period stopped while they were following this type of diet. But, things for them returned to normal when they start eating the regular diet. This is a reason why women need to be careful when they are starting any form of intermittent fasting, and stop doing it immediately if any adverse effects happen.
What to do if you feel unwell or uncontrollably hungry
During the first days of weight loss 5:2 diet, you can expect to have episodes of overwhelming hunger. It is normal to feel slower than usual or a little weaker than usual. But, you will be surprised at how quickly the hunger fades, especially if you try to keep busy with work or other errands. Also, many people have found that the fast days become easier after the first few fasts.
If you have never been on fasting, then it may be a good idea to keep a small snack during your first few days, just in case you feel ill or you feel faint. But if you have noticed that you constantly feel ill or feel fainting during the fast days and you have to eat something, then you need to talk with your doctor about whether you should continue with the weight loss 5:2 diet. You need to remember that the weight loss 5:2 diet is not for everyone and some people are not able to tolerate it.