Intermittent fasting (IF) is the latest diet trend being 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 non-conventional nature.
Instead of asking you what you should eat, this way of eating guides you to focus on when you should eat your food. 5:2 diet is a type of IF that involves eating normally for five days a week without thinking about calories and consuming no more than 500 to 600 calories on the remaining two days. This is a more lifestyle-oriented pattern of IF that is less restrictive and easier to follow. There has been considerable research demonstrating the potential benefits of the 5:2 diet when it comes to weight loss and optimum metabolic health.
In spite of this, not everyone can follow this diet, and those who adopt this way of eating must understand that nutritious, whole-food eating is essential, even if intermittent fasting doesn’t ask for it.
Weight loss, metabolic syndromes and 5:2 diet
A scientific 5:2 IF is effective in ensuring sustainable weight loss. In a 2021 randomised control trial conducted in London, 18 per cent of participants lost weight on the 5:2 diet, compared with 15 per cent in a conventional weight control regimen. In addition, when asked to rate each of the 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 conventional calorie restriction that is defined by consuming 20 per cent fewer calories than you burn every day, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The 5:2 diet could offer women greater flexibility and choice when it comes to weight loss or managing gestational diabetes, as recently reported by researchers at the University of South Australia.
The University of Illinois at Chicago study found that dieters who followed the 4:3 protocol (similar to 5:2 diet) lost an average of 5 kg without losing muscle mass, compared to a control group who didn’t diet. In addition, they reduced their triglyceride level by 20 per cent, their leptin level by 40 per cent, and their CRP level, a key inflammation indicator.
What to eat on a 5:2 diet?
On days when you consume 500 to 600 calories, you should plan your diet accordingly. Make sure you choose low-calorie foods that are filling. Among the best choices are cauliflower rice, plain yogurt or curd, green leafy vegetables, low-sugar fruits, legumes, lean meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy-based protein like paneer, soy-based protein like tofu. Low starchy veggies like cucumber, mushrooms, bottle gourd, pumpkin, and green beans are great staples during the fast days. Include healthy fats such as nuts, seeds and fatty fish in your diet for steady energy flow. You can incorporate a variety of foods at once without putting much effort into cooking with soups and salads. Avoid refined carbohydrates, sugar, and sugary drinks, which will spike your blood sugar levels and leave you hungry very quickly. Being hungry could affect your mood.
You can eat when you like. Some people prefer eating …….