The 5:2 fasting diet

eggs applesDiets come and go but the 5:2 fasting diet seems to have some validity. The idea is that for two days of the week you eat only 500 calories if you are a woman and 600 if you are a man.  For the other five days you eat normally but sensibly. The diet was developed from Dr Michael Mosley’s BBC 2 Horizon TV documentary TV programme, Eat Fast and Live Longer.

The reason the 5:2 diet is said to work is that when you ‘fast’ your body goes into famine mode which means that it starts to repair itself. This is because you need to be strong to cope with famine so all those things that normally go unchecked begin to be healed. The health benefits are quite considerable and include:

• Weight loss.
• Reduced incidence of cancer and other age-related disease.
• Improved effectiveness of insulin because the pancreas doesn’t have to work so hard – resulting     in less risk of diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s or dementia.
• Much better sense of wellbeing and mood.

The recommendation is that you have breakfast each day and no more food until dinner  – this can be varied to suit lifestyle.  This enables you to have a fast at night and during the day. You can drink as much as you like of water, black tea or coffee, and herbal teas.

For women the suggested breakfasts include porridge with blueberries or one boiled egg, a slice of ham and a tangerine. For men suggestions are scrambled eggs or two lean grilled rashers of bacon, a small sausage, a mushroom and spinach. For dinner women can eat oven-baked smoked haddock with a poached egg and broccoli or chicken stir-fry,  while men can consider roast salmon with cherry tomatoes or Caesar salad with chicken and ham.

Warning: Those who should not do the 5:2 diet include pregnant women, children, anyone who is very thin, has Type 1 diabetes, an eating disorder, or an ongoing medical problem.












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