If you’re anything like me you’ve tried everything under the sun to lose weight. My personal list of trial and error includes HCG, The Dukan Diet, multiple doctors of all kinds, intense workout plans, Weight Watchers and much, much more. They all seem to work for a little bit, sometimes only a couple of weeks, but nothing seems to work for the long haul. Either the weight stops dropping or they are so intolerable you can’t maintain them and your sanity. So what to you do? If you’re like many you just throw your hands in the air and give up and just gain weight and give up but if you’re like me you keep on trucking, looking for a solution that works with which you can live.
I am truly blessed to have the ability to talk to so many women every day, to share their successes and failures and to also learn from each other. One of my clients (and also a sweet friend) who works at Washington University told me in the spring about a study they are working on that includes a different way to eat for weight loss and additional health benefits. The diet method is called 5:2 Fasting. Originally designed by two doctors in the UK, it’s success has taken off like wildfire, and the beauty of it’s method is that it doesn’t require you to purchase ANYTHING to do it! I have been successfully 5:2 Fasting for some time now and I’m over 20 lbs lighter since the spring.
What Is 5:2 Fasting? (Don’t Let The Word “Fast” Scare You Off – Keep Reading…)
5:2 Fasting is quite simply eating normally for 5 days a week and spending 2 non-consecutive days a week eating a low-calorie diet (also of your choosing.) On your regular food days you simply eat what you want, no calorie counting, no low carb dieting, no restricted foods. It doesn’t give you the license to eat a gallon of ice cream but it certainly allows you to eat dessert, pasta, bread and more without massive consequences.
On your “fasting” days you eat very low calorie, for women that means between 500-700 calories, for men it means 700-1000 calories. Once again you can choose what you want to eat but I do recommend making low calorie choices that make you feel full like salad, protein, eggs, yogurt etc. I still drink a single 2% coffee latte on my fasting days but otherwise no liquids with calories in them. The other key to success on the “fasting” days is drinking lots of water. After doing alot of reading on this you can also eat food on your fasting day however it suits you. You can spread the calories over the whole day or truly fast and eat them all in a single meal. Neither method seems to truly effect the outcome so doing what is easiest for you is the best choice.
How Does It Work?
For me, after many unsuccessful diet plans, this has been fantastic. I have had consistent weight loss since starting the diet with very little discomfort. It’s been truly amazing having 5 days a week that I’m not endlessly worrying over every piece of food I put in my mouth and the 2 days a week of sacrifice are totally worth it. I simply choose very busy days to “fast” and I hardly even notice that I’m missing out on anything. I still eat 3 meals on those days so I don’t feel strange at the office or at home with my family for dinner, I simply make smaller, healthier, low-calorie choices for those meals.
In regards to how the weight loss works, I tend to lose 1-2 lbs on the “fasting” days and then I only really gain back less than a half to a single pound back on the days in between which generally makes my total weight loss each week around 1.5 lbs on average.
There Are Tremendous, Additional Health Benefits To This Dieting Method
Beyond the benefits of weight loss there are numerous studies that show that 5:2 fasting also has a long list of health benefits as well including:
- Prevention of Alzheimers
- Counteracting Parkinson’s Disease
- Reduction of blood sugar issues and reduction of the risks of becoming Diabetic
- Increased Cardiovascular health
- Reduction of chances of Metabolic Syndrome
- Improvements in Cancer cells and reduction of Cancer risks
- Reduction in sleep disorders
There are studies that show an increase in mental acuity in general so even when I’m finished losing weight I plan to periodically “fast” for my health as well.
I can say overall I am feeling better than I have felt in years since I began 5:2 Fasting. I can definitely recommend it from a diet and health perspective. Give it a try – I promise you won’t be disappointed!
Jennifer Warmann-Bloss, Esthetician