The 5:2 diet is far from complex. In fact, it is one of the easiest weight loss programs currently in use. It is based on a seven day cycle. In that week you choose two different non-consecutive days to fast. The fasting days are generally on the same two days each week so that you can easily maintain a routine.
On the fasting days you use simple math to cut down your calorie intake to 25-percent of a normal day. That means cutting your intake down to about 500 calories for women and 600 calories for men for your fasting days. While that may sound like a small amount of calories, the meal plans that are made just for fasting days in the 5:2 diet plan are what make it successful. The meals are smaller is size but are big on nutrition, taste and content.
How This Fasting Diet Plan Works
Generally when you reduce calories there is a loss in weight. What makes the 5:2 fasting program successful is that instead of focusing on portion controlled meals throughout the entire week, you only have to focus on two days to reduce overall calories. Provided the meals on non-fasting days are not completely filled with junk food and high sugar content, you have a good chance that it will be successful.
One more reason why this program works is that it is not all that hard to stick to. Most diets and weight loss programs fail because they incorporate foods that may not be in your “regular” diet. In the 5:2 program you eat normally five out of seven days. On the two fasting days you reduce the total amount you eat, not what you eat.
Special Considerations Regarding Non-Fasting Days
Even if your non-fasting days are filled with unhealthy food choices, once start watching what you eat on fasting days, you begin to have a better understanding of your food choices generally, and as a result you should eventually start to shift your eating habits to not sabotage your results. The plan relies on an eventual shift in eating habits to seven days of well-rounded meal choices making fasting days easier to follow and complete.
The Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
In addition to improving your immune system, the 5:2 fasting diet plan has shown evidence of reducing blood sugar levels and this reduces cardiovascular disease risks. The British Journal of Diabetes and Vascular Disease published a review on fasting diets that said they are beneficial for both weight loss and other medical concerns.
The article pointed to study results that credited fasting for assisting some people who have ischemic heart disease by raising the level of the protein adiponectin. Adiponectin is involved in lipid and carbohydrate metabolism and when it is increased through fasting, the protein in effect protects the heart from disease.
For more information on how to do the 5:2 diet, make sure to have a look at this.
Is The 5:2 Diet Plan Right For You?
Your best gauge as to whether or not this is the right weight loss program for you would be your family doctor. He or she will be able to identify any potential medical conditions you may have or could develop if the fasting diet plan is not the correct way for you to lose weight. However, if you have tried every other program out there without success, this could still be the right one for you.