It seems like every day there’s a new diet doing the rounds in the media, each with little to no success. These fads attract hundreds and thousands of people, who all invest time and effort into following them, before either finding them too hard, or not paying off well enough. Many diets that end up in circulation can often be harmful to people’s health when not followed correctly, and those who find diets difficult, and jump between them, can often see harmful and unhelpful results occur.
However, the emergence of the 5:2 diet has revolutionised the way people are seeing diets. No longer are they quick fixes, or parallel to torture, but instead something that can easily be incorporated into anyone’s life, with great results and little disturbance.
What Is It?
The 5:2 diet involves eating regularly, but healthily, for five days of the week, and then having two very calorie restricted days. These two days have to be non-consecutive, and men are limited to 600 calories, while women are allowed up to 500. Although this sounds drastic, it’s only for two days a week, and the meals you eat on these days should contain all of the necessary nutrients and vitamins. Due to the diet’s nature, it’s a good idea to have a chat with your doctor before starting, and see whether any underlying or pre-existing medical conditions could make this a bad choice for you.
Why We Love It
Simply because you have the freedom to eat what you want for five days of the week, and you only need to put the effort in on two! It’s perfect for people who love food, or who struggle with cravings: with this, you only need to behave properly for two days, before you can go back to eating normal meals.
You still need to adopt a healthy lifestyle; there’s little point fasting for two days, and then stuffing your face with chocolate on the other five, as it will have very little effect on your weight – if any at all.
How to Help Yourself
Do plenty of research into recipes and ingredients: the more you know, the better equipped you’ll be on your fasting days.
Using meal replacement shakes can be a real helping hand when you’ve already used up your calorie quota for the day, but don’t feel as though you’ve taken in enough essential nutrients. These shakes are also perfect for people who exercise heavily: on your fasting days you won’t want to fill up on heavy meals, but you do need to keep protein levels high – which is where these drinks can help you out.
When Sarah reached a size 16, she knew something had to change. It was affecting her moods, her health and how she interacted with people. She was fed up of having to constantly hide behind baggy jumpers, and wearing clothes she never imagined having to buy. Previous diets had come and gone, but it was only when she discovered the 5:2 that things began to change.
“It really changed my life,” Sarah, aged 47, says. “It was easy to stick to, and I felt I could cope with not eating much, as it was only for a short amount of time!”
After being on the diet for four months, and supplementing it with plenty of walking, running and swimming, Sarah is now a size 12 and feels much more comfortable in her own skin.
When you know the basics of good, nutritional food, and the importance of maintaining a healthy, exercise-filled lifestyle, losing weight need not be an uphill struggle!