Intermittent fasting or more specifically practicing 2 non consecutive low calorie days per week are the major descriptors of the popular 5:2 diet.
Like all diets this won’t work for everyone – well to qualify this statement not everyone will be able to adhere to it. Only 500 calories per day for women and 600 for men, does not equate to much food. When you first attempt a low calorie day you may
1. feel hungry for a significant part of the day
2. suffer loss of concentration and the inability to complete complex tasks, whilst likely becoming short tempered and irritable.
Ok so it sounds like great fun so far.
But, the positives with this “eating plan” are
1. Flexibility – if you have a work function, party or other social function on one of your planned low calorie days, you simply swap the day in your plan with another day.
2. As your body becomes accustomed to the low calorie days, you get more efficient at breaking down stored fats and using these for energy for both physical exertion and thought processes, reducing the initial negative consequences of low blood sugar from the low caloric intake.
3. You will see results reasonably quickly, within 2 weeks, whilst maintaining your regular activity levels.
Some other things to note about this 5:2 Diet
Its seems to suit A type personalities. ie this group seem more able to adhere to this eating plan.
Working out an eating plan for your low calorie days, that works for you takes some trial and error and I would recommend seeking some guidance from a nutritionist, trainer or sports scientist that has undertaken the eating plan themselves.
Finally having the freedom to eat what you want 5 days a week (and still losing fat) makes 2 days of low calorie intake worth while.
Having fasted for 2 days makes eating good healthy satisfying meals on the 5 days per week, with a little treat here and there all the more enjoyable.