The 5:2 Diet…Does it Work?

“Dieters restrict calorie intake for two days (to 500 calories for women and 600 for men) and eat what they like for the remainder of the week. And the weight just falls off.”

Sound like a gimmick?  It does to me.

The Fast Diet, based on the book by Dr Michael Mosley,” the medical journalist who first alerted the world to the Intermittent Fasting phenomenon, presents the fascinating science behind the 5:2 diet along with Mimi Spencer, award-winning food and fashion writer, explains the practicalities of how to go about it.

According to a recent article in the Huffington Post, the 5:2 diet offers the following benefits:

  • Short fasts lead the body into a metabolic state which triggers repair and recovery at a cellular level which influences hormones,and the body becomes more sensitive to insulin, which is one of the most important aspects of weight loss.
  • Additionally through regular, short-term fasts, individuals have a better sense of control on ‘non-fast days’, choosing foods that are more healthy and rarely eating out of boredom.
  • The 5:2 fast diet is different because the calorie restriction only happens on 2 days a week. On the other 5 days of the week, there is no diet, no calorie counting and normal eating. It isn’t a short term solution but rather a long term way of eating.
  • The fasting also brings about improvements to a range of markers associated with improved health, such as cholesterol“.

So why not try it then?

Where do I begin?

First of all, I don’t see it as being something sustainable in the long term.  It may be helpful as part of someone’s process to losing weight, if we look compare health markers of someone who eats junk all the time versus someone who eats junk for two less days per week, but even then, the diet is only restricting calories (not the source of calories) on the fast days, so theoretically, one could still just 500- 600 calories of junk on the ‘fasting’ days and still be technically adhering to the diet. 

Eating ‘food’ that is completely nutritionally void of anything remotely healthy would be considered fair game on the non fasting days, which would be more than enough of these items to keep the body inflamed, fat and sick.

I’m afraid I’d have to categorize it along with all the other ‘diets’; it may work temporarily in terms of seeing the number on the scale go down, but it doesn’t appear to have longevity or sustainability.

Just go Paleo.

‘Nuff said.