5:2 Diet Meal Plan

Now, there is no magic day on which you should start the intermittent fasting portion of the 5:2 diet, but some forethought and common sense will dictate what works best.

One of the concepts behind the 5:2 diet is that for 5 days you can eat normally, which can mean being more social, going to restaurants, etc, than you may find with other diets.That being said, here are some ideas of when you should plan out your fasting days.

That being said, here are some ideas of when you should plan out your fasting days.

Fasting on Weekends

No one wants to be the person who says they can’t go out to a fine restaurant because they are dieting. So why would you plan a diet for the weekend? Unless you can only plan out meals for Saturday and Sunday, you may as well not set yourself up for the disaster of trying a weekend diet and getting a call from your mates telling you they are going to that new restaurant Saturday night. For most people doing the 5:2 diet, keeping your weekends for fun and friends is the best option.

However, that being said, if fasting on weekends works best for you, then do it.

Plan for Fresh Eating

best days of the week to do your intermittent fasting?

So what are the best days of the week to do your intermittent fasting? We find fasting on weekends is out. But it depends on your personal circumstances

One of the best ways to eat healthy during the fasting period of the diet is to eat fruits and vegetables. So when you’re planning out your two-day fasting time, think about what food you will have in the house.

If you only get your groceries once a week, that means the fruit and vegetables will be their freshest at the beginning. So to ensure you get the best food when you’re fasting, be sure you have fresh fruit and veggies at the same time of the fast.

For more tips on planning how to do the diet and what to eat, check out our article on How do I start the 5:2 fasting diet?

Your Workout Scheduling

During the intermittent fasting days, we recommend refraining from heavy workouts, including long cardio sessions. This is because your body is lacking in the required energy (calories), and while you may think this is the best time to burn more calories, there is potential for your body shutting itself down faster, which means if you normally can run 5km without breaking a sweat, you may hit 2km during the fasting time and be completely winded. There is also the danger of overworking because you think you can, and getting light headed or even blacking out while running.

We recommend slowly testing your limits, and of course, plan your workouts around the fasting days.

For more information on exercising while fasting, click here.

The Mid-Week Diet

Remember, you should plan out your fasting days yourself based on your own schedule, but from our experience, the best days to fast are Monday/Wednesday or Monday/Thursday.

The reasoning behind this is that people normally eat differently on the weekend due to social activities, so the weekend is out. Similarly, Fridays are often no good because many go out after work to celebrate the end of the week. That leaves Monday through to Thursday. Mondays are good because if you start the week on a good note, it makes the rest of the week relatively easy.

So for the most part, the Monday/Wednesday or Monday/Thursday seem to work the best. I know it does for me!

Getting Extra Dieting Help…

If you haven’t checked it out already, on our 4-week challenge we set you up with a fasting schedule on Mondays and Thursdays. We are there every step of the way during the 4 weeks with tips and motivation to keep you going. If you haven’t joined us already, and are keen to get started, click here to join.

So what timing works best for you, and why? Please share with us in the comments below about your best days for dieting and why!


  1. Avatar Patty on March 17, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    I normally do Monday / Wednesday or Monday / Thursday, and that seems to work well for me and my social calendar.

    • Admin Admin on March 19, 2014 at 3:38 am

      Totally agree with you Patty. That works well for me to. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Avatar Chris on September 9, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    Monday Tuesday Fast then.. very low carb dinner only on Wed and Thurs, Friday I have soup for Lunch and then Dinner (generous amounts of fish as a meal with a veggie to where I cant eat another bite) and all three meals plus beers on Saturday Sunday no holds barred. Been doing this for months and it has just become the schedule even though when you think about it you are only eating 10 out of 21 meals a week. The second day of Fasting is the easiest the cravings are gone completely..I feel the best Wednesday before dinner to where I almost do not want to eat it.

    • Sarah Sarah on September 10, 2014 at 3:08 am

      Nice work Chris. Thanks for sharing what works for you.
      That’s the great thing about this diet, that you can change it around to find what works for you. I think many of the other diets around are too strict, whereby it might be ok for a while, but you can get sick of them very quickly. With the 5:2 intermittent fasting diet, you can change it around depending on your personal circumstances. If you persevere at the start and find a routine that works for you, then you’ve got a much better chance at sticking at it and incorporating changes permanently into your lifestyle.
      Thanks again for sharing, and keep it up.

  3. Avatar Mapule on October 10, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    When is the best times to do ypur fasting?

    • Sarah Sarah on October 11, 2015 at 6:40 pm

      Hi Mapule,
      Thanks for your question. There is no best time as such but to get the best results and achieve faster weight loss and an overall improvement in your health and the way you feel, the best structure to follow is to fast 2 days every week and eat a healthy diet the remaining 5; hence the term the 5:2 diet or intermittent fasting.

      Intermittent fasting means that you fast on non consecutive days that is why I have suggested fasting Monday and Thursday rather than fasting for 2 days in a row. By choosing to split up your fast days throughout the week you actually end up fasting for about 72hrs in total instead of 48hrs, if you were to fast consecutively.
      Choosing way 2 days of the week you wish to fast is entirely up to you. That is why this fast diet is so popular and achieves great results for many people looking to lose weight because the diet allows you to choose the 2 days that suits your life and schedule. If fasting on a Monday is inconvenient then you may wish to fast Tuesday and Thursday instead.
      I hope this clarifies this for you.
      To your health

  4. Avatar Leda on May 18, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    My fasting days are Monday/Friday. Monday fast is a great way to give my body a rest after the weekend. Tuesday to Thursday are very busy days and I am almost constantly on the go, so I need my full meals. And, as I have young children with activities till 7pm on Friday, I almost never go out that evening! So it’s a good way for me to prepare for the weekend. I have also found, surprisingly, that I tend to eat less on normal days too. I still don’t do any excercise (I hate gyms!), but I go hiking almost every weekend and I have just downloaded GoogleFit to track my walking during the day, aiming at around 8000 steps. I just hope I begin to lose some weight soon (I’ve been on the 5:2 plan for only 3 weeks so far)…

    • Sarah Sarah on June 11, 2017 at 9:43 pm

      Hi Leda
      Choosing Monday as your fast day is a great choice, we promote Monday for the same reason as often we may overindulge on the weekend, giving the body a rest helps get the week off to a good start. It’s usually easier to manage as most people have less social engagements so it makes it easier to schedule into your week without the fear of missing out on a lunch or dinner date with a friend.
      Keep up the hiking and the movement throughout the week try aiming for 10,000 steps if you can this slight increase per day will amount to over 14000 extra steps throughout the week which is significant. Fasting works better when we incorporate some exercise as it promotes blood flow and elimination which removes the fats and toxins that we help to break down and shift on our fasting days.

      One of the biggest benefits of fasting is that many people will start to eat less across the entire week as they start to reduce their portion sizes recognising that they do not need to eat as much to be satisfied. Keep up the great start and even if you plateau for a while do not be tempted to quit or give in. Often you may feel like you are not losing weight and then 2 weeks later you get on the scales and there has been a significant different OR more importantly, you can magically do yo that top button on your pants – the ‘mufffin top’ no longer seems so prominent.
      To your health

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