Of the various weight loss plans that have come into the spotlight lately, the 5.2 diet is one of the most popular. The diet consists of limiting your daily calorie intake to 500 a day for women and 600 for men, for two non-consecutive days of the week. Those with a love for food will most certainly find this plan appealing as it allows you to eat as you like for 5 days of the week.
If you are on the lookout for fast ways to lose weight, with limited risks and a range of additional health benefits, the 5.2 diet is definitely worth a try.
How does the 5.2 diet work?
This particular diet works by training your body to go into repair mode as opposed to starvation mode. When your body is in ‘repair mode’, it will encourage restoration of the body by using up the energy that is already stored within your body.
Keep in mind that the 5.2 diet does not necessarily encourage starving oneself for prolonged periods of time. This will only encourage your body to go into starvation mode and to stock up on fats.
The two days on which the food intake is limited are known as ‘fasting days’ while the other five days of the week are referred to as ‘feeding days’. On the feeding days, you can eat whatever you like. It is advised that you keep the calorie intake for the feeding days at around 2000 calories for women and 2400 for men to ensure the best results.
Are fast ways to lose weight dangerous?
Popular belief states that fasting is unhealthy and dangerous, and when undertaken the wrong way you can put yourself at risk of damaging your health. However, fasting diets such as the 5.2 diet actually offer more benefits as opposed to health problems. For instance, the fasting causes reduced levels of IGF – 1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor 1). This is a protein with the ability to accelerate the ageing process. When IGF-1 levels are reduced, your body works on repairing itself from within while lowering blood pressure, glucose levels as well as cholesterol.
Additionally, fasting on two non-consecutive days of the week can aid in the development of disciplined eating. This will help in the prevention of future weight gain and help you to stay in shape for much longer.
It is important to remember that the 5.2 diet is not suitable for pregnant women or those who are on medication for diabetes. Even if you are someone of average health, it is best to seek the opinion of your doctor before you get started.
What to eat on fasting days
It is advised that you plan ahead on what your meals are going to be on the fasting days. When it comes to adopting fast ways to lose weight, it is important to be prepared with meal plans and knowledge of calorie counts to obtain the desired results. On a typical fasting day, you can eat a single meal in the morning or prepare smaller meals to eat through the day. Eggs with ham or other protein sources are recommended for an average 300 calorie breakfast. You can try a small lunch or a dinner such as lean meat or fish with vegetables while keeping yourself hydrated with plenty of water.
As mentioned earlier, this particular diet does not require you to starve yourself and to stay away from your favorite foods. Instead, what you can do is to enjoy your meals carefully on your feeding days and prepare healthy and tasty foods in small quantities for fasting days. There are plenty of recipes for great low calorie meals out there and you can actually have fun while you plan your meals with healthy ingredients.
Most people claim that fasting for two days of the week prevents them from over-eating on the other days of the week as well. As you are training your body to sustain itself on a smaller calorie intake, you will feel healthier while your body repairs itself from within. Aside from weight loss, the 5.2 diet allows you to enjoy a range of other benefits such as the prevention of degenerative diseases, reduced risk of diabetes as well as a promise to live longer and healthier.
If you would like to try the 5.2 diet, or have tried it and would like a little help with tips, advice and motivation, then check out our 4 week challenge here to get you started and keep you going.