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The 5: 2 diet that has helped millions lose weight easily and quickly

The sun is finally out, so what better time to get in shape and lose some of the fat that might have formed in the colder months.

Too much fat, especially in the gut, is not only It is unsightly, but it is also extremely unhealthy.

I've developed what I've learned about dieting over the last decade into a three-in-one approach that can be used if you want to lose just an inch in the middle. "I have a stone or more, or have to shed a more drastic amount, "reports Daily Mail.

Most people, I suspect, would choose the middle way: to lose a decent amount of weight as painlessly as possible.

So I reworked a version of my original 5: 2 diet that helped countless people slim down to make them healthier, easier and more delicious.

After 1

2 weeks on the plan, you could see more than one stone in weight loss.

But for those who need to move a greater amount of weight quickly, I've also designed a more dramatic version of the diet. It could help you lose 2 or more.

Cleverly, both plans use the same Mediterranean recipes, all of which can be prepared in two ways – with a low-calorie version for fasting days and a higher-calorie version for iss, if you do not want to restrict yourself but eat a healthy diet.

And if you do not have a lot of weight to lose, all you should do is eat the higher calorie version of the prescriptions and follow a few simple med diet rules. Help to tone up a bit.


The 5: 2 diet is an approach known as Intermittent Fasting or IF. A more specific description would be "intermittent calorie restriction" because what you do reduces your calorie intake two days a week, albeit quite dramatically.

It's an approach I developed several years ago that was the basis of The Fast Diet, a book I wrote with Mimi Spencer.

The 5: 2 involves eating healthy five days a week, then reducing your calories to about 800 for the remaining two days I call Fast Days

It was 500 calories a day for a woman and 600 for a man – about a quarter of the recommended daily intake – simply because that was the version of IF I had made myself, with great success.

But pretty much Few people told me that they were struggling with only 600 calories a day. An increase to 800 does not seem to slow the weight loss significantly and many people find that the extra calories really help.


Dr. Mark Mattson was the first person to teach me intermittent fasting, a professor at Johns Hopkins University in the US and one of the world's leading neuroscientists. For over 20 years he has been researching the benefits of intermittent fasting.

I visited him in 2012, shortly after I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. He convinced me that IF would not only improve my waistline and my blood sugar level, but also my brain.

He had made numerous studies, albeit mainly with mice that showed that calories can cut a few days a week protects the brain from dementia and leads to the formation of new brain cells, especially in the areas associated with memory Connection stand.

I decided to see what would happen if I reduced my food intake to about a quarter of the recommended 2,500 calories a day, two days a week for eight weeks.

  There is evidence that a longer time without food, even on days when you can not
There is some evidence that a longer time without food, even on days when you do not "fast" , which may be beneficial, and many of the experts I talk to do just that. Photo / Getty Images

I found it surprisingly easy to do and what I now call a 5: 2 diet, I lost 20 pounds Over 12 weeks, reversed my diabetes and took four inches off my waist. Six years later, I kept both the weight loss and increased my blood sugar levels.

The science behind the benefits of IF is strong and stronger.

Eating so will help you lose weight (especially fat around the middle), but it also triggers a cascade of changes within the body that can reduce your risk of a number of illnesses.

A recent article published in the scientific journal Cell Metabolism came to the conclusion that IF reduces many of the things that promote aging B. "oxidative damage and inflammation" while the body's ability to protect itself and to repair, is increased.

The article concluded that it helps to reduce "obesity, high blood pressure, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis, aging, and to prevent and treat disease."


Many people in the 5: 2 asked me, "What's the best way to distribute my calories on Fast Days? Skip breakfast and spice it evenly between lunch and dinner or skip dinner and have a hearty breakfast? Should I have three meals Eat, or just one a day? "

The honest answer is that it all depends on what you can handle.

There is some evidence that you have a prolonged period without food, even on days when you are not "fasting" can be beneficial, and many of the experts I talk to do just that.

In other words, you could try to eat all your meals within an eight-hour window, which means skipping breakfast or for an early dinner.

For many people, both are not practical, which is why I do not make any firm rules.


For my new 5: 2, I've combined IF with everything we've learned about the Mediterranean diet, a type of food that has proven to be incredibly healthy.

One can imagine a med diet as a pile of pasta and pizza, but a traditional Mediterranean diet is rich in fish, olive oil, nuts and legumes, occasionally with a glass of wine.

It is relatively low-carb and refers to cakes, biscuits and other sugary treats.

Unlike trendy low carb diets, my approach still has room for many healthy carbohydrates like fruit, deliciously cooked green and colored vegetables, and occasional tidbits.

It also contains many nice things that have told us over the years not to eat, like eggs and full-fat yogurt.

  A traditional Mediterranean diet rich in fish, olive oil, nuts and legumes, with occasional glass of wine. Photo / Getty Images
A traditional Mediterranean diet is rich in fish, olive oil, nuts and legumes, sometimes with a glass of wine. Photo / Getty Images

The main thing about a Mediterranean, low carbohydrate diet is that it is a tasty and healthy way to live. It's packed with disease-fighting vitamins and compounds called flavonoids.

Proven benefits of the Mediterranean way of eating include a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and weight gain.

The recipes on the next four pages will keep you up to my med diet rules (see section above), whether you opt for the low-cal version or the high-cal option.

On Fast Days at 800 calories a day, I recommend you to follow these recipes or the one in the 8 week Blood Sugar Diet recipe book by Dr. Ing. Clare Bailey. But if you want to go it alone and design your own recipes on non-fast days, here are a few simple rules …


People doing the new 5: 2, can expect to lose about 12 pounds in 12 weeks, with most of it going off in the first month.

It is safe and effective. One reason why the 5: 2 approach was so successful is that you are not constantly nourishing.

It's easier for me to resist the temptation of eating something unhealthy by saying, "I'll have it tomorrow."

Then tomorrow, and maybe I'll eat it, but often I do not.

There's also evidence that intermittent fasting makes the stomach smaller, which means you have less desire to go on your FAST DAYS

That is, some of the benefits of intermittent fasting without weight loss seem to come from the fact that it is quite challenging.

It's a bit like exercise: pushing yourself really seems to be the best way to get results. One reason for this is that when we are stressed, hundreds of protective genes come into action at the cellular level.

If you go out without food for a short time, an autophagy process is activated, which allows the body to remove old damaged cells and make room for new ones. The main way to succeed with any diet is preparation.


Before you buy the ingredients for the recipes, make sure you clear your cupboards of temptations.

It sounds obvious, but if sugary snacks are lying around, if you have superhuman willpower, there will come a time when you will eat them.

  It may sound obvious, but if sugary snacks are lying around, unless you have superhuman willpower, there will be a time when you will eat them. Photo / Getty Images
It may sound obvious, but if sugary snacks are lying around, unless you have superhuman willpower, there will come a time when you will eat them. Photo / Getty Images

If you have children and feel that you need to have sweet or savory treats in the house, this is a bigger challenge.

If you are lucky enough to have a partner who is not a sugar fist, make them keep the treats in a locked cupboard.

The safest way is to give everything away. The garbage has to go. There will be room for healthier food.


When you are in the midst of a new eating regime, you will inevitably have moments of doubt or forget why you are going through it yourself.

Before you start, write down all the reasons why you want to get in shape and stay healthy.

Keep it to yourself. Read this list if you feel weak. Justify the reasons as precisely as possible.


We are social beings and dieting with your partner or a friend will greatly enhance your chances of success.

Once you've decided that you want to go on this diet, tell your friends and family about it.

Maybe you know someone who wants to do it with you. The fact that you make a public commitment also means that you will rather stick to it.

Now is the time to start. The sooner the better. After all, summer is just around the corner …



Write down your weight, your body mass index ( BMI) and your waist circumference at the beginning.

Waist circumference is a simple and important indicator of internal fat and a strong indicator of future health.

BMI is your weight (in kilograms) divided by your height (in meters); You can find many online calculators.

A BMI of 18.5 to 25 is considered optimal.

2. Prepare your fast-day meal so that you do not go in search of food and a leftover sausage lurks irresistibly in the fridge.

Buy and cook on non-fast days so as not to mock with unnecessary temptation. [19659002] Keep it simple and strive for taste without effort.

3. Stay busy. Fill your day, not your face.

Get involved in things other than food – not just for skydiving, but for anything that appeals to you.

Distraction is your best defense against the dark arts of the food industry, which has donuts stationed on every street corner and nachos on every corner.

If you absolutely have to have this donut, it will be there tomorrow.

4. Drink enough. Find calorie-free drinks that you like and drink them in large quantities.

Some swear by herbal tea; others prefer a mineral water with bubbles, although tap water is just as good.

When you burn fat, you also lose water, so you have to compensate for extra drinks beyond your normal intake.

It is recommended that eight glasses of water a day are just about all the others.

A full glass of water is a quick way to calm an empty stomach, at least temporarily. It will also prevent you from digesting hunger for hunger.

5. Be careful, be careful, and if it feels wrong, stop it.

It is important that this strategy is practiced flexibly and leniently.

If you are concerned about any aspect of intermittent fasting, see your doctor. Remember, it's not a race to the finish, so be nice to yourself.

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