What is 5:2 or “The Fast Diet”?

Essentially you eat a normally 5 days a week, restrict your intake 2 days a week.

What is Alternate Day Fasting (ADF)?

ADF is a more strict version of 5:2, instead of restricting twice a week, you alternate between normal, and restriction days.

What is Intermittent Fasting (IF)?

Technically IF is the proper term for the above and the umbrella terms for all the different types of fasting diets.

Isn’t fasting bad for you???

Simple answer YES! “Fasting” for any length of time is a bad idea. But I’m sure everyone has had days where they haven’t eaten much and haven’t come to any harm over it.

But despite the term you never actually “fast” during this diet. Even during a “fast” day you will still consume 5-600 calories. The trick is to make those 500 calories satiate you for the whole day. That’s why I try and call them restriction days. Telling people you are fasting (In my experience) tends to get you a lecture on why fasting is bad for you.

Technically you could eat 500cal of chocolate on your fast day and it would work. But I know that that strategy would make me hungry and grumpy all day.

Will this diet be good for my <insert condition/disease here>?

There is some evidence that some people have found significant health benefits beyond what their doctors expected simply from losing weight. However those studies which have been done thus far have been very small scale and their results raise more questions than they answer IMO.

That said I know several people who have been following the 5:2 plan for several months and have seen their recordable health markers vastly increase beyond what their doctors expected. At least 2 of which have been able to eliminate drugs from their daily regimen¬† (Under Doctors orders) because they were simply no longer needed. However I refuse to credit this simply to the diet. The fact is we just don’t currently know if there is any additional health benefit.

The good new is, that this diet has had SUCH a large impact in the media, and around the world that it is now being studied by several large institutions. Watch this space.

If you have any long term or chronic illness or other medical condition then you should always discuss a major change to your diet with your doctor before you embark on it.

This diet is NOT suitable during pregnancy, or while breastfeeding, again if in doubt speak to your GP before starting a diet.

Where can I find out more?

I recommend the book: The Fast Diet by Dr Michael Mosely and Mimi Spencer


I also highly recommend the books by Kate Harrisson and Linda Gruncy.

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I don’t object to someone copying my images and/or recipes elsewhere. So long as proper credit is given back to me, and this site.

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