Introduction to The 5:2 fast diet :

The Fast Diet is an overall health and weight loss diet that emphasizes fasting during certain days of the week. So, fast means dietary restriction and not speed!

Breaking the myths of traditional fasting, Michael Mosley came up with a diet plan, introducing intermittent fasting, such that people whose obesity levels continue to soar, even after trying standard dietary advices.

Based on the work of leading scientists from around the world, he provides it as an alternative to other diet plans.

Intermittent Fasting does not mean stopping eating entirely. It means reducing the amount you eat, but only for quite short periods of time.

Scientific trials of intermittent fasters have shown that it will not only help the pounds fly off, but also reduce your risk of a range of diseases from diabetes to cardiovascular disease and even cancer. “The scientific evidence is strong that intermittent fasting can improve health,” says Dr. Mark Mattson, Chief of the Laboratory of Neurosciences, National Institute on Aging, and Professor of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University.

Mosley himself  tried this “intermittent fasting” diet when his doctor showed him that though he was only a few pounds overweight, his cholesterol was high and his blood sugar was headed in the wrong direction. He writes that he knew fasting would be difficult, but his hunger pangs passed quicker than he expected.

He also felt that fasting sharpened his senses and his brain. Plus, the diet delivered all the results he hoped for.

The Fast Diet book entails Michael Mosley’s experiences of trying different forms of intermittent fasting, before settling on what he says is a 5:2 regime. Apart from himself  he also includes case studies of other people who tried it.

With 5:2 intermittent fasting you eat normally five days a week and diet two days a week, cutting your calorie intake for those two days to a ¼ of their normal level. This means that on, say, a Monday and a Thursday you will eat 500 calories if you are a woman, 600 if you are a man.

He promises that, if you stick to this plan then you should lose around 1lb (0.46kg) a week if you are a woman, slightly more for a man. Success also depends on not over-eating on your normal days.

There is no rule as to what or when you must eat on the fasting days.

Since calorie intake is limited — 500 for women and 600 for men — it makes sense to use your calorie budget wisely.

Try to focus on nutritious, high-fiber, high-protein foods that will make you feel full without consuming too many calories. Soups can be a great option on fast days.

There is no specific, correct way to eat on fasting days. You have to experiment and figure out what works best for you. You may feel hungry or weak during the first fasts but gradually your body will cope and adjust with this diet system and provide you marvelous benefits!

It is though, easier to follow than a continuous calorie restriction!

Fasting obviously provides bundles of health benefits, so Michael Mosley has tried to create diet plan for you, that is well tested and tried. His book is the right choice for you, if you’re disciplined enough and can bear the extreme dietary restrictions of this diet plan, you should go ahead.

Health benefits may include drop in insulin levels, increase in growth hormone levels, better heart health, improved cognition and reduction of oxidative stress. Cells also initiate important cellular repair processes. The body relaxes, as the digestive system gets rest. Clearer skin and detoxification in the body are also manifested along with weight loss!

Cost isn’t really a factor for this diet, given that you’re eating normally most days. There’s a good chance you’ll wind up buying fewer foods on fast days, and thus spend less on your grocery bills

Side effects may include:

  • Headaches, low blood sugar, and fatigue.
  • Mood swings, irritability, and loss of energy.      
  • Lack of mental focus, and extreme hunger.
  • Day time sleepiness

Those who should avoid this diet system of intermittent fasting:

  • Individuals with a history of eating disorders.
  • Individuals sensitive to drops in blood sugar levels.
  • Pregnant women, nursing mothers, teenagers, children and individuals with type 1 diabetes.
  • People who are malnourished, underweight or have known nutrient deficiencies.

Women who are trying to conceive or have issues with fertility