What is the 5-2 diet?
The 5-2 diet consists of eating normally, but eating whole healthy foods throughout the week. You pick 2 days that will be your FAST days, these days can be any day you like, although it is suggested that you have them apart from each other for maximum effect. On your FAST days, you count the calories in your food and make sure you consume no more than 500 calories.
Why does it work?
If you stick to whole foods on your non FAST days then your calories should not be excessive. In a lot of cases, cutting out refined sugars and processed foods will help you lose weight naturally, but couple this with 2 FAST days a week you will find accelerated results. The 2 FAST days will be way under you maintenance calories for the day, and so on these days your body will be forced to use your body fat and stores for energy. Then when you eat normally on the next day (NON-FAST), your metabolism is kept high and your body is satisfied again. This is why we recommend having your FAST days apart from each other, you keep your metabolism high and burn off the excess fat on the days you fast.
Is this better than other diets?
All diets are based around calories in vs calories out. If you eat less than you burn, then your body is forced to burn fat. Any diet that produces a calorie deficit means that you will lose weight, so in this respect this diet is no better than any other. A lot of people will find some success by just cutting out processed foods, and foods high in artificial sugars (sweets and so on). There comes a stage though where your weight loss will stall, this is where this diet shines. Your non-fast days help to keep your metabolism high, and the fast days burn the fat, so your body is constantly trying to guess what is going on and doesn’t have a chance to adapt. This is a perfect scenario for fat loss. If you eat very little, for instance a juice diet you will lose a lot of weight fast but most of this will be water weight. You also have a another problem of your metabolism slowing down to the speed of a snail because you aren’t getting enough calories for days on end. You then finish the juice diet, you have lost a stone! however once you start eating normally, even healthily, your metabolism is so slow that you are still overeating on calories, this then all ends up on your stomach and legs.
Why is the 5-2 diet a good match for supplements?
The majority of supplements for weight loss are based around appetite suppression and burning fat. Any product that claims to be an appetite suppressant is going to be useless if you are still stuffing your face with food 🙂 To really see the effects of these products you need to be on a diet plan where you will feel some hunger, if you are eating under you maintenance calories and are in fat burning mode this is going to be inevitable. Once you are in this stage then you are in a perfect place to use some fat burning or weight management supplements.
The golden bullet
At the end of the day the golden bullet to any diet is motivation and consistency. To stick to a low calorie diet everyday is extremely hard, and only the most determined people will pull it off. So many new years resolutions fail because they plan to do everything at once. Cut calories, eat healthy foods, workout and so on. This is great, but for someone who isn’t used to living like this, it is too much too soon. On the 5-2 diet you only have “diet” for 2 days out of the week, of course try to eat healthy on the other days, but if you want to go out for dinner go for it. In fact sometimes the more you eat the day before a fast the better, as your metabolism is high, thinking its getting lots of food then BANG the calories are cut and your body has no choice but to target reserves.
Give the 5-2 diet a try, it is a great diet for beginners and anyone that has bought any supplements to reach their goals.