Frequently Asked Questions About the 5:2 Method

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5 2 MethodHow Do I Do it?

In a nutshell, you simply pick two days a week to fast and on those days you can consume up to 25% of your recommended daily calorie intake (in any form you like) during or at the end of that day.

On the other 5 days of the week just eat like you normally would. Obviously not with the intention on going overboard and bingeing afterwards!

For the average woman it will be 500 calories that are allowed on your fasting day. Everyone is a little bit different though depending on your age and activity level etc so you can refer to this calulator here to work it out accurately.

So during the day either have any non-calorie drinks if  you’re saving your calories for one meal at the end of the day and then eat your meal that you will have selected due to it’s calorie content. Or Eat that meal (or snacks to the equivalent of 500 cals) that you have pre-chosen throughout the day as you please.

Do the days have to be consecutive?

No, you can choose any two days you like. Most people split them up for example, Mondays and Thursdays.

Do the 500 calories have to be in one meal or spread across the day?

That’s your choice. A lot of people find it easier to have all of their calories for a decent sized evening meal and eat nothing before that.

What can I drink?

On your fasting days it’s better not to waste any of your calories in beverage form so go for good quality water, herbal tea (watch that it has no sugar added), black tea and black coffee, although I don’t recommend too many caffeinated drinks, that have no calories. If you really feel like you need some milk in your tea of coffee limit it t 20 cals per day.

Try to drink lots of water just in case you get headaches (which happens when your body to detox which will inevitably start to happen when you fast).

Studies show that diet drinks are linked to weight gain which may be due to the fact that they are full of obesogens as well as the fact they trigger sugar cravings. So steer clear of these if you can!

What should I eat on my fasting days?

Anything you like! Obviously try not to use up your calorie allowance on high calorie and high sugar or carbohydrate foods. Some fruits are surprisingly high in sugar and calories! You’ll probably feel less satisfied if you have carbs, sugars and fats, Instead go for high fibre foods like vegetables and some protein. But there are no rules here.

Can I exercise on fasting days?

Definitely. Just do everything you would normally do if you weren’t fasting. Fasting for short periods should have no effect on your energy levels and metabolism at all.  Have a look at this article for some more information about exercising on fasting days.

Can I increase calorie allowance if I do more exercise?

Unfortunately no. Your calorie allowance is based on your normal daily calorie requirement that your body is used to. So this already takes account how much exercise you usually do. Just keep to the same exercise routine that you would normall do and make sure  you work out your calorie needs using this calculator.

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2 thoughts on “Frequently Asked Questions About the 5:2 Method

    1. Hi Karen,
      You can eat whatever you want to eat when you’re not fasting, that’s completely up to you. As long as you’re not ‘dieting’ during the rest of the week so you’re getting both your nutrient and calorie needs then that’s fine. I recommend being flexible with what you eat on non-fasting days though so that this doesn’t feel like a diet (because it’s not!). But if you’re used to eating a certain way then that’s completely up to you. I think that eating less high GI carbs and sugars while maintaining healthy fats (and eating lots of vegetables!) will be a great way to compliment your fasting plan but it’s not essential.

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