A Brief Look at the 5:2 Diet

5:2 Diet

It’s Extremely Simple

Eat how you normally would, nothing is off limits (Carbs, fat, protein, sweets etc.)

Take a 7 day week.

Eat normally for 5 of those days and then fast for 2. That’s it.


People who went on the diet reported that they lost weight, and that it came off easily too. Only for those who were able to stick to it though, as many found it too difficult and many more didn’t even want to attempt it.

So although it is simple, it’s not easy.

The mechanism behind the diet is the fasting. People incorrectly think that it is the reduction in calories that causes the weight loss which does makes sense. Eating 2 fewer days means taking in a lot less food than you normally would.

But it isn’t accurate. For one, they didn’t count calories while the study was conducted so they had no way of knowing if subjects made up for the deficits on the other 5 days. Also, the diet allows for daily dessert (on the non-fasting days) and so what that means for each person, how much, how many calories, the type of calories etc. is not known. So they had a measurement issue which they didn’t seem to be bothered with since they weren’t concerned with total caloric intake anyway.


After the person’s desired weight is achieved, they would then switch to maintenance mode which is a 6:1 ratio of eating to fasting. The one fasting day per week allows them to keep their progress indefinitely.


What makes this diet appealing to some people is that they can eat whatever they want, not having to give up anything that they really enjoy. They don’t have to put much effort into it either; no counting calories, no switching to eating only certain foods and having to monitor everything they eat, no thinking whatsoever. And, you get to eat dessert!


2 X 36 HOUR FASTS – It’s difficult to fast if you’ve never done that before and this diet has you fasting for a 36 hour period (ex: 7pm Monday night to 7am Wednesday morning, missing all of Tuesday, the tail end of Monday and the first hours of Tuesday). That is a LONG time for many people and isn’t always recommended for those who aren’t accustomed to fasting.

A much easier alternative, if you wanted to give this diet a try, is to try intermittent fasting first and then gradually build up your tolerance to it, until you are able to do 36 hours straight.


Because of the difficulty mentioned above, many won’t even bother to attempt it. There are however other ways to gain the benefits that this diet offers.

First I’d suggest you read the posts on intermittent fasting and on regulating your insulin, since this 5:2 diet pretty much relies on those principals.

Then take a few of the milder suggestions in those posts and custom make your own, weekly diet regimen that you feel is not that demanding, and perhaps even somewhat enjoyable.

If you want more in depth information on the 5:2 diet you can find the book on Amazon, but most of what you need to know can be found in the few paragraphs above.

Keep at it.

– EatlingLove

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