Interested? The 5:2 diet, introduced by British journalist Michael Mosley, is currently the most popular intermittent fasting diet. If you haven’t heard of it yet, today is your day!
The general idea behind the 5:2 diet is calorie restriction on two (non-consecutive) given days. That is, for two of the seven days in each week, you eat very low calorie (but high in nutrition) foods, while the other five days you can eat what you would usually eat. Because there are no requirements about which foods to eat but rather when you should eat them, this diet is more of a lifestyle. Mosley, over a 5-week period, tried the 5:2 diet and lost approximately 9 kilos. Blood tests showed a dramatic improvement in cholesterol and glucose levels, as well as other improvements.
For five days per week, you eat normally and don’t have to think about restricting calories. Then, on the other two days, you reduce your calorie intake to a quarter of your daily needs. This is about 500 calories per day for women, and 600 for men. You can choose whichever two days of the week you prefer, as long as there is at least one non-fasting day in between them. Easy, right? But you might think: what on earth can I eat in 500 calories? Well, there are many different meals that you can eat. But the key is being prepared so that you are not tempted by non-healthy, high-calorie foods and snacks that you may have in your cupboard.
There are many different meals that you can prepare so that you will remain under the 500 calorie limit, including: Fruit and vegetables, lean meat, grilled fish, soups, salads, coffee, eggs and more.
There are many foods that are ok to eat as snacks and meals, but it’s important not to load them up with high-calorie dressings and sauces. Eating fresh, natural, healthy ingredients is often best. It’s most important to keep in mind that during your five normal eating days, you stay within your “normal” limit and not binge on junk food thinking that it’s ok since you fasted the day before. It will not work!