15Oct

The 5:2 diet is one of the most popular weight loss methods at the moment and is considered a more flexible and easier alternative to other diets. The 5:2 diet plan combines elements of intermittent fasting and calorie intake control to create a non-restrictive method to manage weight and improve the quality of life.

Also called the Fast Diet, it was popularized by journalist Michael Mosley and consists of five normal eating days and two days of intermittent fasting. Apart from weight loss, the diet promises better insulin sensitivity, lower fat mass and improved metabolism. It is considered a very sustainable eating pattern and results so far have been very promising.

 

The Process of The 5:2 Diet Plan

Individuals on the 5:2 diet plan stick to a regular meal pattern in five days of the week and then limit calorie intake to around 25% for the remaining two days. These two days are not consecutive to reduce straining the body. How the 5:2 menu is planned is left to individual taste but general recommendations insist on either three small meals throughout the day an early lunch and dinner, though the important thing is the number of calories.

Food to consider during the two calorie-restricted days should be high in fiber and low in calories to induce fullness. Popular choices to include in the 5:2 menu are vegetables and fruits, lean protein, legumes, soups and drinks like coffee and tea. Processed, refined and fatty foods are discouraged. It is important to remember that the five days are not cheat days and meals should be taken with health in mind.

 

Pros

  • It is much easier to follow and sustainable for the long term.
  • Initial studies support its many claimed benefits.

Cons

  • It may not be suitable for certain groups.

 

Who Should Do It

The 5:2 diet is primarily a weight loss diet and can be a good alternative for anyone looking for a flexible plan which is easy to sustain in the long run. It can also be considered for diabetic patients as it has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity.

The diet is considered unhealthy for pregnant women, teenagers, anyone with a history of food disorders, nursing mothers, children, the malnourished or those suffering from nutrient deficiency, the underweight and individuals with low blood sugar.

 

Meal Plan Ideas

Day 1

Breakfast: Low-fat Greek yogurt with chopped apricots.

Lunch:  Broccoli and Stilton soup with cheese fix.

Dinner:  Sausage dinner with roasted ratatouille.

Day 2

Breakfast: A medley of banana, blueberries and a kiwi.

Lunch: Young’s Cod Steak in Parsley Sauce with lettuce.

Dinner: Veggie Balti.

Day 3

Breakfast: Strawberry and almond yogurt, using Greek Style yogurt.

Lunch: Roasted vegetable couscous.

Dinner: Hairy Dieters’ treat with their mouth-watering roasted cod with Parma ham and peppers.