British TV presenter and healthy living advocate Michael Mosley, who has been missing since last week, was found dead on the Greek Island of Symi. He was credited for popularising the 5:2 diet for weight loss as a part of intermittent fasting, which involves eating regularly for five days and consuming comparatively less food for the remaining two days. Also known as The Fast Diet, how effective is this intermittent fasting? We bring you everything you should know about Mosley’s 5:2 diet.

Health experts suggest that the 5:2 diet is more of a lifestyle since there are no requirements about which foods one should eat or not, rather when. Many people find this way of diet to be easier to follow instead of sticking to a traditional calorie-restricted diet. However, it is worth noting that fasting diets may not be suitable for everyone, and one should consult a dietician before they begin their journey.

What Is 5:2 Diet?

The 5:2 diet, also known as The Fast Diet, is an intermittent fasting diet popularised by British journalist Michael Mosley. It is called the 5:2 diet because it involves five days of the week as routine eating days, while the remaining two restrict calories to 500-600 per day. This flexibility makes the diet appealing, and it may help people feel more satisfied with their meals.

How to Follow the 5:2 Diet?

For the first five days, you eat normally without putting too much thought into the calorie restriction, and on the remaining two days of the week, you reduce your calorie intake to a quarter of your daily needs. You can choose whichever two days of the week you prefer. In addition, it is essential to emphasise that eating ‘normally’ does not mean you are allowed to eat anything, especially junk food. Focus on consuming the same amount of food as if you hadn’t been fasting.

Health Benefits of the 5:2 Diet

Intermittent fasting has proven helpful in general, with impressive health benefits. Although very few studies are available on the 5:2 diet specifically, researchers found Mosley’s The Fast Diet to be equally effective. An intermittent calorie diet may also help reduce people's risk of diabetes.

Foods to Include In 5:2 Diet

According to Mosley, there are no strict rules for what to eat when you are fasting. But there are meal patterns you can follow. Nutritionists advise focusing more on highly nutritious, high fibre and protein foods that will help you remain full without consuming too many calories. You can include grilled vegetables, boiled or baked eggs, grilled fish or lean meat, soups, yoghurt and coffee or tea.

Who Should Avoid 5:2 Diet or Intermittent Fasting?

Although intermittent fasting is considered safe for a healthy lifestyle, it may not suit everyone. Individuals with a history of eating disorders, pregnant women, teenagers, children or those with nutrient deficiencies should avoid dietary restrictions and fasting.

The 5:2 diet is an easy way to lose weight. There are no specific or correct ways to eat on fasting days. You will have to experiment and figure out what works best for your body. Keep your body hydrated, exercise and sleep well for overall health benefits.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 10, 2024 09:07 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website