This diet involves calorie restriction for two days a week, and then normal eating on the other five days. The allowance is 500 calories for women and 600 for men, on the two days that you 'fast.' It originated and became popular in the UK, and then went to Europe and to the USA.
A typical low calorie dinner
I have been on this 'diet' for some 8 months and found that I lost the weight very quickly, as did others I know who went on it.
The beauty of this diet is that for 5 days you can eat anything you want, and it is amazing what you can actually eat with 500 calories once you get used to cooking this way.
Health benefits include an almost immediate drop in blood pressure. The other main benefit and reason I went on this particular diet is that that it can lower your risk of getting dementia.
The theory is that your brain thinks it is starving, and the plaque type substance on your brain that causes dementia is tricked, and it gets rid of the plaque, thereby lowering your chances of getting this nasty disease that affects so many people.
Personally, for the first time in 15 years my glaucoma levels (pressure behind the eyes) has dropped to such a low figure that it is no longer considered glaucoma. This is not a known benefit of the diet, and the professor I see could not believe it. He said it is extremely rare for this to happen in circumstances where pressure has been high for years.
This diet is different to most as you can eat what you want on the five days whereas a normal diet restricts your eating every day, or restricts what foods you can actually eat every day. This can lead to failure as after a while many people get sick of not eating what they want.
Another low calorie dinner
I lost 6 kilos in 6 to 8 weeks and as I did not go on this diet to lose weight, I have now had to cut it down to one day a week as I am already thin and did not want to lose all this weight. My blood pressure has since gone up a bit, but it is still not as high as it was before I started the diet.
On fasting days, for breakfast I have a low fat, small wafer biscuit with Vegemite, and lunch is a mixture of celery, red capsicum, carrot and lettuce, or similar. Then for dinner I have quite a few calories and have learnt to make low fat meals – often egg white omelette with tuna and vegetables - and follow this with fruit of my choice.
Low fat egg omelette
I use a calorie counter phone app to actually count the calories and I weigh food –something I got used to in the first week and I now find it quite challenging, and often do not even get to 500 calories and cannot eat any more. In fact, I look forward to the day I cut down on food as I generally eat too much and feel far better on the diet days, even if a bit hungry in the afternoon.
Hunger was a feeling I had not felt for a long time, and as I am a sweet tooth, I did not think I would be able to do this diet, however I am now used to having my afternoon coffee, and no cake with it! Occasionally I can even have one or two pieces of my favourite Lindt 70% dark chocolate.
There is however not a lot of evidence to support this diet – my evidence has been obtained by personal experience. Doctor and TV presenter Michael Mosley cured his type 2 diabetes, which is also supposedly a health benefit. There are many articles on the internet written by Dr Michael Mosley if you're interested in his story.
Dr Michael Mosley
One such article states 'Since writing the book Dr Michael Mosley has also had to stop the diet, or rather change it as his wife claimed he was wasting away.....Michael Mosley is arguably the most famous human-health guinea pig on the planet. The BBC journalist, doctor and author of the best-selling 5:2 diet has been studying health and the human body for the past 20 years. But for all his knowledge and self-experimentation, the self-confessed sugar addict has not been particularly healthy.'
Mosley said 'I needed to be told I was diabetic to change, despite everything I knew'.
Mosley rejected medication and radically altered his diet instead, and the results speak for themselves.