It’s easy to get lost in the myriad of talked-about meal plans when all we really want is a diet that delivers on its promise to fast-track us to our best selves.
Enter the 5:2 diet. Also referred to as the fasting diet, the regime is said to help a person lose weight fast, all the while promoting better habits; cell repair; and even prevention of illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease.
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According to the 5:2 Diet Book, the plan works by restricting your calorie intake to just 25 percent of your daily quota for two out of seven days while allowing you to eat as normal for the remaining time.
For the average women, that’s 500 calories, while the average man can consume around 600 calories per day. Fasting two days (either consecutive or non-consecutive) out of the week will cut the calories you’d normally consume by around 3,000 to 3,500.
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In theory, you can still eat pizza and chocolate, so 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 license to binge for five days. In the long run, the diet sets out to make the person more aware of their choices, leading them to subconsciously choose the healthier option while training them to savor every bite of every meal.
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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, people who fast have also seen an improvement in blood pressure, cholesterol, and a reduced risk of cancer and diabetes.
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 person feeling tired, dizzy, and 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 as long as it fits into the calorie quota.
Get rid of large servings of processed carbs and instead opt for generous portions of vegetables and legumes and small servings of lean meats and eggs. Drink plenty of water—black coffee and teas are welcomed.
Also, take care in how you cook and prepare your foods. Baking, rather than frying, will cut those extra calories.
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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 diet isn't for everybody, with some 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.
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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 doctor before making any changes to their diets. In fact, anyone planning to switch up their diet should do the same.
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Do you think you would try this?
This post was written by Candice Mehta-Culjak. For more, check out our sister site Now To Love.
The 63-year-old has been a vegetarian since the age of 13, and she told the L.A. Times that she believes her diet is a good defense against disease. "I call it my rainbow diet," she said. "I like to encompass as many colors as I can in a day because at some point, you always get these news reports that everything gives you cancer. I think that it’s really benefitted me to have had this lifetime of healthy eating behind me. It’s been a great foundation."