Gaining popularity in recent years, the 5:2 diet meal plan has many people around the world sticking to it as it is easier compared to traditional calorie-restricted diet. A 5:2 diet plan, also referred to as the fast diet or an intermittent fasting diet, involves eating normally for 5 days of the week and limiting to 500 – 600 calories for the rest of the 2 days. Considered as more of a lifestyle due to the timing food is eaten than the type of food, this allows you to indulge in your favourite treats and put in the hard work by limiting to low-calorie meals throughout the 2 days. Fasting, a practice is associated with religious rituals etc for many years. With the 5:2 diet plan, it keeps your weight under control as well as provides tons of health benefits. Furthermore, a 5:2 diet and other similar intermittent-fasting regimes allow improved brain function, reduction in risks of developing heart disease, cancer, and stroke, improved cholesterol levels etc.
Many people want to reduce their midsections through weight loss. Surrounding the organs in your stomach, belly fat is abdominal fat which you are unable to disguise. Furthermore, belly fat does not simply sit there as it can negatively impact the organs in your body as it produces excess hormones and chemicals. When excess visceral fat is build up, it can lead to further health complications. However, fast weight loss treatments or “spot treatments” may not necessarily prevent you from putting on weight in the long run as an individual has to eat healthily and exercise to achieve successful weight loss and belly fat reduction.
When a 5:2 diet plan is done right, it can prove to be effective to your weight loss plans mainly because this 5:2 eating pattern ensures that you to consume fewer calories. However, it is vital not to snack or eat more during “non-fasting” days in order to compensate for the “fasting” days as it may prove detrimental for your weight loss goals. Furthermore, intermittent fasting does not lead to an increase in loss of weight compared to regular calorie restriction when the total calories are neither in deficit or surplus. Coupled with regular exercises such as endurance or strength training, you are able to see more effective weight loss results.
If you notice that your tummy is bulging out as you age, consider reading this article as we share with you everything about the 5:2 diet plan and the benefits of it so that you can realize your desired waistline in no time!
About 5:2 Diet Plan
To get started on your diet plan, consider planning the week by fasting on Mondays and Thursday and consume 2 – 3 small meals leaving normal meals in the remainder of the week. More importantly, it does not mean that you can eat just about anything during the 5 days as binging on junk food may lead to further weight gain.
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to eating on “fasting” days, the 2 days for limiting the consumption of calories. As everyone’s body functions differently, it is best to plan your meals accordingly as some individuals function best by starting the day with a light breakfast while others find that it is better to eat in the later part of the day. In fact, there are 2 types of meal plans that include 3 small meals and 2 slightly heavier meals.
For 3 small meals, it usually includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner while 2 slightly heavier meals comprise of lunch and dinner. For your fasting days, be wise on your calorie budget since it is limited by focusing on nutritious, high-protein and fibre foods that keep you full without having to consume too many calories. Consider foods such as soups, vegetables, tea, grilled fish or lean meat etc during your “fasting” days.
Benefits Of 5:2 Diet
Involving 2 days of “fasting” where you should limit yourself to around 500 calories, intermittent fasting may be easier to follow compared to calorie restriction on a consistent basis as it is able to show a significant reduction in insulin levels and improvements in insulin sensitivity. Besides this, a 5:2 diet allows you to lose a lot of harmful belly fat resulting in a smaller reduction of muscle mass in comparison to weight loss with conventional calorie restriction.
What To Do If You Feel Unwell Or Uncontrollably Hungry
For individuals who have not fast before, you may experience overwhelming hunger during the first few days when you fast. To keep your hunger pangs away, consider keeping a small snack to ensure that you do not faint or fall sick. However, keeping yourself occupied with work or running other errands can cause your feelings of hunger to fade. If you repeatedly fall sick or experience fainting sensations during “fasting” days, consider eating something or consult a specialist about whether you should continue with your diet regime.