The article is a subjective view on this topic written by writers specializing in medical writing.
It may reflect on a personal journey surrounding struggles with an illness or medical condition, involve product comparisons, diet considerations, or other health-related opinions.
Although the view is entirely that of the writer, it is based on academic experiences and scientific research they have conducted; it is fact-checked by a team of degreed medical experts, and validated by sources attached to the article.
The numbers in parenthesis (1,2,3) will take you to clickable links to related scientific papers.
How the 5:2 Intermittent Fasting Diet Can Help You Lose Weight?
Intermittent fasting diets have received a great deal of attention in recent years for weight loss and overall health improvement. The 5:2 intermittent fasting diet is a modified fasting regimen that has emerged as a popular choice for many individuals searching for a sustainable way to manage their weight and improve their overall well-being.
In this article, we will dive into the details of the principles, benefits, and potential risks of the 5:2 intermittent fasting diet. In addition, we will provide guidance on how to implement this diet effectively and safely.
As with any dietary plan, it is important to have the proper knowledge and make personalized choices for its implementation. Let’s explore the ins and outs of this fasting approach and gain insight into its potential impact on your health and lifestyle.
How 5:2 Intermittent Fasting Works?
Fasting is something we do every day. The 8-12 hours that you sleep is a period of time when you don’t eat. A fasting diet extends this time period as a means of restricting calories and promoting weight loss.
While fasting, the body shifts into a state of energy conservation and begins to burn fat for energy. This process begins anywhere from 12 to 36 hours after eating. The 5:2 diet takes advantage of larger windows of time to burn fat compared to other fasting diets.
What Is 5:2 Intermittent Fasting?
The 5:2 intermittent fasting diet is a method that involves alternating between regular eating patterns for 5 days each week, then restricting calories for two non-consecutive days each week. This is opposed to doing an extended fast every day such as the 16/8 intermittent fasting diet.
Reduced calorie intake is the fundamental principle of the 5:2 diet. During fasting days, calorie restriction is 20 to 25% of daily energy needs, which should be around 500 to 600 calories. On non-fasting days you resume normal calorie intake.
You have flexibility with your schedule as you can choose which days to allocate for fasting. Any day is great for fasting as long as the fasting days are not consecutive to prevent excessive strain on the body.
Due to its potential benefits, the 5:2 diet has garnered much attention. It is useful for weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity, and overall health. However, it is crucial to understand how fasting works and the scientific evidence supporting it.
Health Benefits Of 5:2 Intermittent Fasting
Lose Weight and Body Fat
Reducing caloric intake on fasting days leads to an overall calorie deficit, promoting weight loss over time. Losses are similar compared to other low-calorie diets, but Intermittent fasting diets in the weight management phase tend to have less weight regain.
During the fasting state the body burns fat, which is often a primary goal for individuals. The results are similar to a keto diet, but without restricting carbohydrate intake.
A review of recent clinical trials determining the association between intermittent fasting and improved health status was very positive. There were benefits in cholesterol levels, inflammatory markers, body fat, and various metabolites resulting in a significant lowering in the risk for diabetes, heart disease, and potentially more.
The 5:2 diet enhances insulin sensitivity just like other fasting diets. This is vital for blood sugar control and can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and improve overall metabolic health.
Intermittent fasting has positive effects on heart health by improving cholesterol levels and reducing blood pressure. The benefits are even greater if you focus on consuming nutritional foods and healthy fats.
An intermittent fasting regime has been shown to help reduce inflammation and benefit symptoms of multiple sclerosis. This is through improved metabolism of chemicals involved in the inflammatory process. This ultimately brings a significant improvement in emotional well-being for those suffering from the disease.
The benefits to blood sugar levels and cholesterol can aid in the treatment of diabetes and various heart diseases.
Risks Of 5:2 Intermittent Fasting
- You will feel very hungry, in particular on fasting days.
- You may become irritable when adjusting to the diet.
- With low energy, you may have difficulty concentrating.
- Other side effects may include constipation, headaches, bad breath, and feeling cold.
Staying hydrated can help manage these symptoms. Stick to your diet plan and your body should acclimate to the changes.
Don’t forget to look at nutrients when you count calories. Eating healthier foods on non-fasting days can affect how much weight you lose. Focusing on nutrient-dense foods with fewer calories is key to avoiding side effects and achieving your goals.
For people with diabetes it is crucial to monitor their glucose when eating fewer calories. Since, the 5:2 diet decreases insulin resistance and you are consuming fewer calories to make glucose which puts you at risk for hypoglycemia The risk is high for hypoglycemia and you need to be prepared by monitoring blood sugar levels and have a plan for when they go too low.
If you have any underlying health conditions, an eating disorder, are pregnant or breastfeeding you should consult a healthcare professional before starting a diet to ensure it aligns with your specific circumstances.
How To Do 5:2 Intermittent Fasting
Personalization is the key to effectively implementing the 5:2 diet. Ideal fasting duration, calorie limits, and fasting days of the week may vary depending on individual preferences. Don’t know where to start? Some people look to the internet to find the best intermittent fasting apps to get organized.
For everyone else, here are some recommended steps to get you started:
- Determine your fasting days: Do not choose two consecutive days.
- Set calorie limits for fasting days: Aim for 500 to 600 calories on fasting days.
- Make an eating plan: Design your meal plan in advance to ensure they are balanced and satisfying to meet your goals.
- Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to help manage hunger. Calorie-free beverages like herbal tea or black coffee are permitted, but avoid adding sugar or cream.
- Eat normally on non-fasting days: Continue to focus on nutritious foods to promote weight loss and overall health.
- Monitor your progress: Keep track of your eating habits to ensure you’re following the diet correctly and achieving your goals.
- Go the extra mile: You can exercise during intermittent fasting to boost your results.
Listen to your body and make adjustments as necessary. If you experience side effects you can modify the diet to make the transition more gradual as your body adjusts to the changes.
What To Eat On Fasting Days
Focus on food quality. On fasting days, consuming low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods is essential to stave off hunger. Vegetables such as leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, and bell peppers are great options! Eat more natural, unprocessed foods.
Hydrate with calorie-free drinks while intermittent fasting to avoid some side effects and make it easier to adjust. Water is not your only option.
Spread out your meals to keep your routine. Some people find it helpful to divide their limited calorie consumption into smaller meals throughout the day to keep up energy and manage hunger.
Is 5:2 Fasting Safe For Everyone?
Prioritizing overall health and well-being is crucial when starting any dietary regimen. For those without any underlying health conditions, the potential side effects are predictable and minimal. Make and follow your plan to succeed with minimal risk.
For those with special circumstances, the risks are very manageable through coordination with a healthcare professional. Conditions such as diabetes only need extra monitoring and a plan for hypoglycemia to be safe.
The 5:2 diet offers a flexible approach to weight management and potential health benefits. By following the plan for two non-consecutive fasting days each week, individuals may experience weight loss with positive effects on disease prevention and management.
Personalize the diet to be convenient for your schedule and individual situation. Consult a healthcare professional if you have any underlying health conditions to aid in planning and monitoring.
Boost your results by making healthy food choices every day and adding exercise to your plan. Prioritize your health and listen to your body to make informed decisions about your dietary needs.
Creating new and sustainable lifestyle habits, including regular physical activity and a balanced diet, are essential for long-term success. Consider your goals, preferences, and overall well-being when deciding if the 5:2 intermittent fasting diet is the right choice for you.
+ 9 sources
Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here
- Annual Reviews. (2017). Metabolic Effects of Intermittent Fasting. [online] Available at: https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-nutr-071816-064634.
- Carter, S.D., Clifton, P.M. and Keogh, J.B. (2016). The effects of intermittent compared to continuous energy restriction on glycaemic control in type 2 diabetes; a pragmatic pilot trial. [online] 122, pp.106–112. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.diabres.2016.10.010.
- María Morales Suárez-Varela, Ester Novoa Sánchez, Peraita-Costa, I., Llopis-Morales, A. and José Miguel Soriano (2021). Intermittent Fasting and the Possible Benefits in Obesity, Diabetes, and Multiple Sclerosis: A Systematic Review of Randomized Clinical Trials. [online] 13(9), pp.3179–3179. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13093179.
- Matías-Pérez, D., Hernández-Bautista Phd, E., Antonio, I. and Phd, G.-M. (2022). Intermittent fasting may optimize intestinal microbiota, adipocyte status and metabolic health. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr, [online] 31(1), pp.16–23. doi:https://doi.org/10.6133/apjcn.202203_31(1).0002.
- Tine Sundfør, Svendsen, M. and Tonstad, S. (2018). Effect of intermittent versus continuous energy restriction on weight loss, maintenance and cardiometabolic risk: A randomized 1-year trial. [online] 28(7), pp.698–706. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.numecd.2018.03.009.
- Lina Samira Bahr, Bock, M., Liebscher, D., Bellmann-Strobl, J., Franz, L., Prüß, A., Schumann, D., Piper, S.K., Kessler, C.S., Nico Steckhan, Michalsen, A., Paul, F. and Mähler, A. (2020). Ketogenic diet and fasting diet as Nutritional Approaches in Multiple Sclerosis (NAMS): protocol of a randomized controlled study. [online] 21(1). doi:https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-019-3928-9.
- Harvie, M., Wright, C., Pegington, M., McMullan, D., Mitchell, E.S., Martin, B., Cutler, R.G., Gareth J.O. Evans, Whiteside, S., Maudsley, S., Simonetta Camandola, Wang, R., Carlson, O.D., Egan, J.M., Mattson, M.P. and Howell, A. (2013). The effect of intermittent energy and carbohydrate restrictionv. daily energy restriction on weight loss and metabolic disease risk markers in overweight women. [online] 110(8), pp.1534–1547. doi:https://doi.org/10.1017/s0007114513000792.
- Keenan, S., Cooke, M., Won Sun Chen, Shi, S. and Belski, R. (2022). The Effects of Intermittent Fasting and Continuous Energy Restriction with Exercise on Cardiometabolic Biomarkers, Dietary Compliance, and Perceived Hunger and Mood: Secondary Outcomes of a Randomised, Controlled Trial. [online] 14(15), pp.3071–3071. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14153071.