5:2 Fasting is a simple way to reduce your calorie intake over the week without making yourself feel deprived and as if you are constantly on a ‘diet’. So many people diet only to get fed up of the constant restrictions and feeling guilty over ‘treats’ – this makes many diets difficult to stick to in the long term and more often than not any weight lost will be regained, often with extra weight. Yes, some people do manage to stick to these other eating plans and keep the weight off – but most of us do not want to go without our favourite foods forever.
With 5:2, you simply have 2 non-consecutive days a week where you eat only up to a quarter of your recommended daily intake of calories. For men this is usually around 600 calories and for women around 500 calories. It’s simple – go to bed on a feed day, wake up and consume no more than 500/600 calories for your fast day, go to bed, wake up and eat as normal. So, you’re only ‘dieting’ 2 days a week – some people call these days ‘repair days’ or ‘very low calorie days’ instead of ‘fast days’, as it is not technically fasting. You can split your calories however you like on your fasts, whether you want 1 large meal, 2 medium sized meals or 3 smaller meals. The other 5 days are often called feed days or feast days – but be careful not to take the term ‘feast’ literally, it is only meant in terms of the lifestyle mimicking a natural state of ‘feast and famine’!
It’s simple, and easier than you might think. The idea of fasting can sound daunting, but once you learn that hunger is only a fleeting feeling and can soon be quelled with a drink of water, black tea or coffee, it just gets easier and easier. You’ll probably also find your tastes in food change somewhat, when you realise how good your lovely filling veg and protein taste on your fasts and how good it makes you feel!