Your Guide to the 5:2 Fasting Diet

Since many people swear by intermittent fasting for weight loss and overall health, it has become a hot issue. Despite the fact that there are many distinct types of intermittent fasting, one in particular has drawn a lot of attention: the fasting plan of 5:2.

According to Gina Keatley, a licenced dietitian-nutritionist working in New York City, the 5:2 fasting diet is “based off of the study with rats and yeast of cell scientist Valter Longo.” Longo has conducted numerous studies on this diet and discovered associations between 5:2 fasting and a number of health advantages (more on that in a moment).

But what is the 5:2 diet, and how does it operate? What you should know is as follows.

What is the fasting plan 5:2?

According to Sonya Angelone, R.D., a spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the 5:2 fasting diet is a type of intermittent fasting in which you fast for two days then eat normally for five. She claims that on days when you are fasting, you only need to consume a very small amount of calories.

Women are only allowed 500 calories a day, while males are only allowed 600, according to Angelone. You establish the regulations after that. According to Jessica Cording, R.D., author of The Little Book of Game-Changers, “Officially, it doesn’t matter which two days you fast, but the idea is that you want to have one non-fasting day in between.” “Doing both fasting days in a row is not advised.”

For instance, you could eat normally on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday while observing a 500-calorie fast on Monday and Thursday.

What foods are permitted on a 5:2 fasting plan?

On days when you are not fasting, it is typically advised, according to Keri Gans, R.D., author of The Small Change Diet, that you eat a Mediterranean-style diet.

However, not everyone actually does it; rather, according to Gans, “it seems many individuals just eat whatever they want.”

Focusing on nutrient-dense foods and healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and seeds is advised by Cording. A range of protein sources, including fish and lean meats, are also suggested. You would experience fasting significantly differently if you consume 500 calories from Sour Patch Kids instead of avocados and healthy fats, according to the expert.

Can you lose weight while fasting for 5:2 days?

On a 5:2 fasting diet, Cording thinks it’s feasible to lose weight, but it truly depends on what you eat on your non-fasting days. You will lose weight, according to her, if you expend more calories overall than you consume. However, you won’t if you end up overeating on your non-fasting days.

When they quit following a fasting diet like this, people often gain the weight back, according to Cording.

What benefits and drawbacks does a 5:2 fasting diet have?

The 5:2 fasting diet may be healthy, according to certain animal study. According to Keatley, “there has been an increase in lifespan and a decrease in malignancies in animals and yeast cell investigations.” By establishing a plan, she adds, people might feel more “in charge” of their nutrition.

“This diet is straightforward to follow and you don’t have to estimate meal sizes or monitor calories which might be cumbersome,” Angelone says. “The fasting days are flexible in terms of what and when you can eat. Also, most things are permitted on the 5:2 diet [and] you can choose which days to fast.”

If you’re able to eat normally on non-fasting days, you should lose weight, Gans points out. “If done accurately, you will be reducing calories that will ultimately contribute to weight loss,” she explains.

But this diet has downsides, too. A key one is that you have to severely restrict calories on some days. “On the fasting days, due to lack of enough calories, you will most likely be fatigued, hungry, irritated, and weak,” Gans explains.

It’s also “very difficult” to merely eat 500 to 600 calories on a day, Angelone says. And, since you can technically eat anything you want on non-fasting days, you’re not guaranteed to lose weight, she argues.

Cording recommends that persons with a history of disordered eating should not try the 5:2 fasting regimen.

“This can be a slippery slope,” she warns.

Overall, nutrition experts aren’t necessarily into the idea of the 5:2 diet. “The low calorie days are highly restricting and can be hard to follow,” Angelone says.

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