The 5:2 Diet: Everything You Need To Know

Jessica Lacey
by Jessica Lacey

Our beauty features editor explains why the 5:2 diet is the one that's finally stuck

Two months ago I was sat on the Eurostar to Paris with four fellow beauty editors, all raving about the 5:2 diet and results they'd had - it was all the endorsement I needed to give it a go.

Since that trip, two days a week I eat 500 calories and the remaining five days I eat sensibly but don't deny myself anything. Also, the two days have to be spaced apart by at least a day so I know that even if I'm hungry today, I can really go to town on breakfast tomorrow.

The 5:2 approach was actually developed by oncologists to help their patients endure chemotherapy. By taking the calorie intake down to such a level, the body's organs work harder and more efficiently, an internal cleanse if you will. But by spacing the days, you avoid slipping into starvation mode where the panic sets in, not good.

In the first ten days I lost two pounds which was hardly remarkable, but then when I continued to lose another pound every week, I realised the genius of it. Now eight pounds down I feel increasingly alert, more positive, my digestion has improved ten fold and I feel entirely in control of my food intake. Each week I plan the two days around my social life but if I slip, I have a bit of leeway to do it the next day instead.

On a typical 500 day I'll eat fruit for breakfast (100 cals), soup or salad for lunch (200 cals) and poached eggs and veg for dinner (200 cals). You'd be surprised how many places do sub-200 calorie dishes – Tossed and Itsu being my favourites right now.

It's the diet that doesn't stop but as I keep finding new things to eat, I don’t feel it has to.

P.S. The picture above is one I have above my desk to ward of evil thoughts of chocolate. It's my 'Thin-spiration' and although I don't look like that yet, I might get near to it someday. Perhaps. Maybe.

Have you tried the 5:2 diet? Have you found it works for you, or were you not impressed by the results? Let us know in the comment box below.

Picture credit: Jason Hetherington

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