If you tried intermittent fasting and got some positive results, then you can continue with your own style. However, here is a very popular and effective method to get similar or better results than what you expect from traditional fasting. This is called 5:2 diet, which simply means that you eat normally 5 days a week, but restrict your food intake to minimal on 2 days. The slight difference between intermittent type and 5:2 diet is that you do not completely restrict your food intake when on a 5:2 diet plan. You essentially control your hunger systematically and in a controlled way.
Is 5:2 diet different form intermittent fasting?
Yes, the idea behind 5:2 dieting is to help you restrict your calorie intake or balance your additional calorie intake on weekdays by bringing it down to almost zero on the 2 fasting days. Care must be taken that you do not gorge on food or eat anything additional on normal days to make up for the calorie loss on fasting days. As it will defeat the whole purpose of dieting or appetite control, it is advisable that you limit your weekday diet to your normal diet.
Why choose 5:2 diet?
One of the most important features of this diet is that you need not restrict yourself on fasting days. You can eat up to 25% of your regular calories on fasting days. An average woman’s calorie intake per day is approximately 2000, which means women can consume up to 500 calories on fast days. An average man’s calorie consumption per days is approx.2400, so men need to restrict their calorie intake to 600 on fasting days. This is often not as difficult as following a complete fasting diet. You can eat 3 small meals spread throughout the day. As a smart dieter, you should choose fulfilling, natural and low-calorie food such as leafy vegetables and fruits.
Does 5:2 diet push your body to starvation mode?
Not at all. In fact, this is also one of the reasons that many people have achieved their weight loss goals by following this diet. Usually, your body kicks in starvation mode after 36 hours of reduced calorie intake, which is not the case with 5:2 diet. However, the trick here is to avoid fasting on two consecutive days. You can decide your normal and fasting days according to your convenience. Those fasting two days in a row may push their metabolism to starvation mode, which must be avoided to get the best result.
Benefits of 5:2 diet
- An easy and effective fat loss plan
- Improved metabolic health
- Can be continued for long
- Reduces fasting insulin levels in many diabetics
- An effective solution for those who find restricting calories difficult
- No additional or specific food is required
- You can follow it regularly without any side-effects
What to eat and what to avoid to get the maximum possible health benefits of intermittent fasting, 5:2 or many other types of fasting, can be customised to suit your nutritional needs and lifestyle. However, care should be taken that you do not exceed the calorie intake of the frequency of snack beyond the recommended limits.