You may have heard of ‘intermittent fasting’. It has become quite vogue. Essentially, it involves periods of food restriction. One of the most popular intermittment fasting protocols is known as the ‘5:2 diet’ put forward by Dr.Michael Mosley in a book entitled the same.
His principal is to eat as you normally would for 5 days in every 7 with two of those days only eating up to 500 calorie meals. Quite cultish, the 5:2 diet inspired a mass-following with legions of fans swearing by its weight loss effectiveness.
Indeed, a close friend of mine has experiment with 5:2 and according to him he’s seen pounds drop off.
The reality according to him is you need to be disciplined. On the days you are effectively fasting you will crave food and constantly think about food. Although the intensity of this feeling may diminish with practice it is still a very real challenge.
He prefers on his fasting days to eat just one small meal at the end of the day although there are people who will graze at morsels of food throughout the day until they reach their 500 calorie threshold to sate their hunger.
Some people prefer to leave their fasting days for the weekend with the idea that it is easier for them to comply with the program without the pressures of work and with the comfort that it is the weekend.
The risk is non-compliance with the regime. You may give into your hunger and overeat and suffer the setback but the idea on the 5:2 diet is that if you reduce your total weekly intake of food by at least 3500 calories that should equate to about losing a pound of body mass. It’s important to stay hydrated on the 5:2 diet and some people complain of headaches initially.
An alternative to the 5:2 is the ‘6:1’ where you fast on one day only a week which may be more manageable however the results will be less dramatic or it will take longer time to reduce your weight.
Another alternative is to try the 16:8 where in a given 24 hour day you have a 8 hour window only to eat food. Individuals following this protocol tend to eat just 2 meals a day usually staggered at strategic times during the day. The idea being you’re eating less calories from 2 meals than you would with 3. However when you do eat, it’s important to be mindful of portion size, and good quality wholesome ingredients that make up your food. A recommendation by fitness professionals is to eat a meaningful amount of protein with your meals as this will leave you feeling more satisfied and contribute to greater saitey.
Whether you choose to undertake intermittment fasting is up to you but you should always speak to a health professional before undertaking such a regime especially if you have any health conditions or take any medications for ailments.