If you’ve been trying to lose weight for what seems like forever and are getting nowhere it might be time to have a look at the 5.2 diet plan. This plan is based on intermittent fasting which can help you not only with weight loss but with fat loss as well.
As with any diet, it is best to make a plan before getting started to achieve the best results. The 5.2 diet plan can be difficult to stick to if you haven’t made taken some time beforehand to consider why you want to follow a fasting weight loss plan and the goals you wish to achieve by doing so. So if you’re thinking of trying intermittent fasting, we’ve put together our five favorite tips to help you succeed.
Why Undertake a Fasting Weight Loss Plan
There are many benefits to fasting; weight loss, fat loss and improved general health. One of the great things about intermittent fasting or a fasting weight loss plan is that you are allowing your body to go through a natural detox. For the first couple of weeks you may find that on the days you are not fasting you may be tempted over eat to compensate for your fast day, but quite quickly you will notice that more and more you are turning to healthier and more nutritious foods even on regular or ‘nonfasting’ days and before long your diet overall has improved; you have lost weight and you feel more energised.
Losing weight or burning fat seems to be the main reason for most people but there are many other reasons why you should consider undertaking diets based around a 5.2 diet plan – wanting to be a good influence for their children and family, preventing the onset of lifestyle diseases like diabetes and heart disease, sleeping better and an overall improved level of confidence and well-being.
Eating Right on the 5.2 Diet Plan
Determining what to eat when following the 5.2 diet plan may seem difficult at first, because to lose the weight you must limit your calorie intake to 500/ 600 calories; consuming just enough food to ensure you don’t go hungry but not too much that you undo any of the benefits that the 5.2 diet plan professes.
While it can be easy to think “oh I can’t have that burger today, but I can have a burger and some fries tomorrow” it is a good idea to get into the habit of not giving in to every craving and temptation you experience. For example, if it is your fasting day and you really feel like ice cream, unless you can have it in your calorie intake on that day you will have to wait until tomorrow, but when tomorrow comes don’t just race to the fridge and scoff it down.
Ask yourself is this something I really want, or is it something I want to eat just out of habit? Notice if you are even hungry at all? Take note to see if you desire for ice-cream was genuine or was the craving for it because of the devilish little voice in your head telling you you wanted it because you knew you couldn’t have it?
Meal planning is likely to be the best thing you can do when following a fasting weight loss plan – it means your meals are taken care of, you know which days you are fasting and what you are eating on those days, thereby limiting the temptation to over consume.
Generally, the 5.2 diet plan recommends not more than 500 calories for women and 600 calories for men on a fasting day. By sitting down and spending some time meal planning on a Sunday, you can determine how you will consume your 500 calories on your two fast days throughout the week. Some people prefer to craze all day have a few lighter meals and snacks whilst others prefer to eat more substantial meals like two hearty 250 calorie meals for say breakfast and dinner; either way by planning you can work out the best option that will work for you and your lifestyle.
Intermittent Fasting and Exercise
Most of the literature around intermittent fasting and the 5.2 diet plan recommends not doing heavy exercise on your fasting days; so to give your body a rest and help it with the detoxification and elimination process. Pushing yourself too hard on these days will not necessarily result in increased results; so be kind and gentle to yourself on these days.
During your first week of fasting you may find you don’t have the energy to get out and do anything at all but once you have settled into fasting, the best thing you can do is just to go out for a half hour brisk walk, or bike ride – this is enough to keep you going without burning too many calories and besides it keeps you busy and your mind off food.
No matter what type of diet or healthy eating plan you go on it can always be hard to get support from family and friends, especially more so if they don’t understand why you want to diet or you are one of those people who start eating healthy but can never keep it up for long.
If you feel like you are fighting a losing battle in getting support from your loved ones, write a list of the reasons you are trying a fasting weight loss plan and stick it on the fridge. If your loved ones can see what you wish to achieve from following the 5.2 diet plan; such as losing weight, (getting fitter, having more energy, sleeping better, setting a good example for the kids and others, etc) then they will be more likely to support you and maybe happy to join in; as it is only 2 days each week after all.
If all else fails and you still have trouble getting support from those closest to you there are many online support groups based around the 5.2 diet plan that will help you get through your fasting days when you feel like giving up.
The 5.2 diet plan is a great way of using intermittent fasting to help you lose weight and keep it off when perhaps nothing else has worked. It is manageable, easy to follow and has you only ‘dieting’ two days of every week. While at first it takes some discipline to integrate the fasting weight loss plan into your week, it is well worth that effort to lose weight and burn fat without you having to eliminate the foods you love the most from your diet forever.