The best fasting diet for health – How to keep fasting intermittently 5:2 by the book: Guide for beginners

A beginner’s guide for the post 5:2. How to do it safely

Here’s what you need to know about the benefits, risks, and challenges associated with this unique job program.

WHAT IS A 5:2 POST? Fasting 5:2, also known as the Quick Diet, is a type of intermittent fasting that involves eating normally for five days a week and restricting your calorie intake to about 500 to 600 calories (or about 25 to 30% of normal calories) for the other two days of the week.

This type of post was popularized by Michael Mosley, a British journalist who published a book called The FastDiet in 2013. In his book, Mosley describes the 5:2 eating plan, which was developed in response to his own health problems, and explains how it helped him improve his cardiometabolic health.

People often try 5:2 fasting, as it can be easier to follow than diet regimens that require you to count macros every day, such as a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates.

“For some, this approach may be more appealing than the traditional diet, since there are only two days a week where the focus is on reducing caloric intake,” says Laura DeCesaris, IFMCP, M.S., D.C., a practitioner in functional medicine.

You have the freedom to choose what two days of the week you want to fast and they don’t have to be consecutive. Another major advantage of fasting 5:2 is that there is no restriction on the foods you can eat on fasting days or without fasting, since no group of foods is forbidden.

However, limiting calorie intake to 500 to 600 calories per day on fasting days will be a challenge for most people.

Health Benefits of Fasting 5:2

Emerging research shows that fasting 5:2 can lead to a number of health benefits such as improved metabolic health, weight loss, blood sugar control, and more.

1. Improves blood sugar levels. A randomized trial involving 137 adult participants with type 2 diabetes found that fasting 5:2 helped lower participants’ HbA1c levels. HbA1c, or hemoglobin A1c, is an indicator of the average blood sugar level over the past two to three months. High levels of HbA1c are associated with a higher risk of long-term complications related to diabetes4.

Another smaller randomized trial, with 16 young participants with healthy weight, found that fasting 5:2 helped reduce participants’ blood glucose levels. Blood sugar is an indicator of blood sugar levels a few hours after eating. High blood glucose levels can be a sign of insulin resistance, which means that the body is not able to effectively use insulin to metabolize blood glucose.

One of the mechanisms by which fasting 5:2 improves your blood sugar levels is by improving insulin sensitivity. “The 5:2 diet increases insulin sensitivity, which helps distribute blood glucose more effectively to other cells in your body,” says Krista Varady, Ph.D., a post researcher and professor of nutrition at the University of Illinois, Chicago. .

2. It can improve cardiometabolic health. 5:2 fasting can support cardiometabolic health by decreasing insulin resistance, oxidative stress, blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, according to a 2022 analysis published in the journal Nature Reviews Endocrinology.

Varady, who is the lead author of the review, says: “Some studies have shown reductions in LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) of 10 to 25%. Other studies have shown increases in HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol). by 5 to 15%”.

3. It can boost the health of the liver. A randomized study conducted in China with 61 participants who had both type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NFLD) found that following the 5:2 diet plan for 24 weeks helped participants reduce the amount of fat stored in the liver and improve liver function considerably.

The authors of the study note that 5:2 had an impact on the liver, helping people reduce their body weight, body mass index (BMI), blood glucose and cholesterol levels.

4. It can improve brain health. A 2021 review published in the journal Nutrients notes that intermittent fasting, including fasting 5:2, can help enhance brain health and reduce the risk of conditions such as epilepsy, ischemic stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and more in animal models.

However, the authors note that further research is needed to substantiate these benefits in humans.

5. It can promote weight loss.” Fasting 5:2 puts you in a calorie deficit (meaning you consume fewer calories than you burn) and supports weight loss,” says DeCesaris. However, the weight you lose will largely depend on what you eat on days without fasting.