The 5:2 diet: A popular way of intermittent fasting to lose weight

Intermittent fasting (IF) is the newest diet followed by millions of people around the world. Fitness enthusiasts, people trying to lose weight, and those with prediabetes are fond of IF. In my opinion, the craze for this diet may be due to its unconventional nature.

Instead of asking you what you should eat, this way of eating instructs you to focus on when you should eat your food. The 5:2 diet is a type of diet that involves eating normally five days a week without thinking about calories and consuming no more than 500 to 600 calories for the remaining two days. This is a more lifestyle-oriented if less restrictive and easier to follow. There has been significant research demonstrating the potential benefits of the 5:2 diet when it comes to weight loss and optimal metabolic health.

Despite this, not everyone can follow this diet, and those who adopt this way of eating must understand that eating whole, nutritious food is essential, even if intermittent fasting does not require it.

Weight loss, metabolic syndromes and the 5:2 diet

5:2 IF is scientifically effective in ensuring sustainable weight loss. In 2021 Randomized controlled trial Conducted in London, 18 percent of participants lost weight on the 5:2 diet, compared to 15 percent on a conventional weight control system. In addition, when participants were asked to rate both interventions, participants in the 5:2 diet group were more likely to recommend the intervention to others or be willing to continue the diet.

The 5:2 diet is as effective as traditional calorie restriction which is defined by consuming 20 percent fewer calories than you burn each day, according to The study was published In the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The 5:2 diet can give women more flexibility and choice when it comes to losing weight or controlling gestational diabetes. I mentioned recently by researchers at the University of South Australia.

University of Illinois at Chicago study It was found that dieters who followed the 4:3 protocol (similar to the 5:2 diet) lost an average of 5 kg without losing muscle mass, compared to a control group who did not follow a diet. In addition, they lowered their triglyceride level by 20 percent, their leptin level by 40 percent, and their C-reactive protein level, a key indicator of inflammation.

What do we eat in the 5:2 diet?

On days when you consume 500 to 600 calories, you should plan your diet accordingly. Make sure to choose foods that are low in calories and full. Among the best options are cauliflower rice, plain or yoghurt, green leafy vegetables, low-sugar fruits, legumes, lean meats and poultry, eggs, dairy-based proteins like paneer, and soy-based proteins like tofu. Low-starchy vegetables like cucumbers, mushrooms, bottle squash, pumpkin, and green beans are staples during fasting days. Include healthy fats like nuts, seeds and fatty fish in your diet for a steady stream of energy. You can incorporate a variety of foods at once without much effort in cooking with soups and salads. Avoid refined carbohydrates, sugar and sugary drinks, which will spike your blood sugar levels and make you feel hungry very quickly. Feeling hungry can affect your mood.

You can eat when you want. Some people prefer to eat several small meals throughout the day, while others prefer one large meal.

What do you drink on the 5:2 diet?

You are not required to follow any specific drinking guidelines for the five days. However, you should watch out for drinking non-sugar liquids on fasting days. For no more than 500 calories, drink plain water, cucumber, fruit-infused water, coconut water, black coffee, or green tea.

Fitting this eating pattern into your lifestyle increases the likelihood that you will stick to it.

Indian sample meal plans for 5:2 days fasting protocol

You can split 500 calories into three meals throughout the day.

Day 1:

breakfast: 25 grams of Greek yogurt covered with 4 almonds. Calories: 68.
lunch: Broccoli, Carrot or Lucky Tomato Soup with 0.5 teaspoon butter. Calories: 122
Dinner: Chicken (100g) and Rice (30g cooked) Makes this lemony fried rice and chicken extra filling. Vegetarians and vegans can add beans, tofu, or paneer. Calories: 310
Total = 500 calories

the second day:

breakfast: A boiled egg, a banana, a cup of green tea. Calories – 178
lunch: One bowl of cauliflower rice (100 g) with 150 g of fish or paneer curry. Calories – 210
Dinner: Vegetable soup with 1 teaspoon ghee/butter. Calories – 110
Total = 498 calories

It is important to eat protein, fiber and healthy fats throughout the fasting days to ensure optimal nutrition.

Something small – If done correctly, the 5:2 eating pattern is convenient and flexible and brings multiple health benefits. There are drawbacks to the diet too, such as – you may eat more than 500 calories if not counted correctly, you may feel hungry if you consume too few calories or refined carbohydrate-based foods during fasting days.

It is important to consult a nutritionist to plan your meal. Although timing is the key to determining how well this diet will work, what you eat also matters. Remember, you can never get past poor nutrition.

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