What is the 5:2 Method?
The 5 2 Diet or ‘Method’ otherwise known as the Fast Diet (even though intermittent fasting is not a ‘diet’) is a much more realistic fasting method for most people who don’t like the idea of ‘true fasting’ (having no food or calories at all).
With this method, ‘fasting’ means restricting your calories to a certain amount. Not going without any food/calories.
It became a popular method of intermittent fasting after the BBC Horizon documentary Eat, Fast and Live Longer in August 2012.
BBC Journalist, Dr Mosley wanted to find an easier alternative to Alternate Day Fasting and fasting for three and a half days every one or two months. So one of the gerontologists in the documentary came up with this method.
How to Do It:
It’s pretty simple. Fast either for 2 days in a row or any two days in the week that you like.
It was originally meant to be two days in a row but Dr Mosley ended up spreading his fasting days across the week and had the same results so most people prefer to do it this way.
- Work out you daily calorie needs a calorie calculator.
- Then choose the two fasting days that will fit in with your weekly schedule the best.
- Then on your fasting days make sure you only eat 25% of your calorie needs, preferably all in one meal but it doesn’t need to be.
- Then eat normally every other day of the week.
So here’s an example of a weekly schedule if you choose to fast on Monday and Thursday which seems to be popular days with 5:2’ers.
Will it Help for Weight Loss?
At the moment there is not much in the way of research for this exact methods however tens of thousands of people follow the 5:2 method as part of their permanent lifestyle and the results speak for themselves. You can read some 5:2 Method success stories here to help you decide if this is the right method for you.
Bear in mind that it might take 2-3 weeks to see any results depending on how active you are and how much belly fast to start with. (The more belly fast the slower it is to get going, but you’ll get there!)
The 5:2 Method would be suited to you if:
- You want the health benefits of fasting but you’re ok with the fact that it might take 2-3 weeks before you see any weight loss results.
- You don’t like the idea of ‘true fasting’ (going without any calories/food) for any length of time and you able to snack throughout the day without going over your calorie allowance.
- If you’re fairly active and don’t have much abdominal weight to begin with. If you do have some abdominal fat you might like to try having you meal all at the end of the day (ifasters method)
- You don’t think you’ll be able to stick to any of the other fasting methods.
If you choose the 5:2 method, the best way to get through the fasting days is to make sure you know how many calories are in certain foods and have recipes on hand (or packaged foods if they are healthy!) to make life easier.
It really pays to plan your meal(s) the day before too, so you don’t get caught out and have to guess how many calories you’e eating!
Leafy, green vegetables, lean meat and fish are perfect because they can fill you up and are low in calories.
What to Expect:
As with all fasting methods, you might need to wait for 2-3 weeks before you notice any weight loss and whether this method is right for you. If you wan’t to speed up your weight loss results try having a period of true fasting before you eat your allowed calories.