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The 5:2 Fasting diet - The Truth

June 26, 2017


"Fasting diets such a 5-2 diet, do not make much difference to weight loss compared to a traditional calorie-controlled diet," A report has shown

A study found people on an "5 days with no restrictions and 2 days restricted diet (where they restricted their calorie intake to around 500 calories for 2 days a week) lost no more weight than those on a normal diet or sensible balanced eating plan


The year-long study, carried out in the US, involved randomising 100 overweight people to one of three options:

  • a daily calorie restricted diet (“normal” diet)

  • fasting on 2 days from 7 (5-2 diet)

  • continue with a normal diet (no restrictions at all- control group)

Both dieting groups lost weight compared to the control group, but there was no difference in weight loss between the two diets.

Though, this may suggest that the two diets both work.




There are important factors to consider.

A third of participants dropped out – mostly from the 5-2, which suggests that some people may find that regular fasting is difficult to stick to.

Those on the 5-2 diet reported irritability and lack of energy making the simplest of task seem like hard work on the fasting days.

All participants were asked not to change exercise habits. (The control group were asked to maintain their weight throughout trial, but received no dietary instruction).

So for sustained weight loss over any period of time the 5-2 is not recommended



So basically

Ultimately, you are more likely to stick to a diet if you enjoy it (or at the very least, don't find it intolerable). While some people may respond well to a fasting diet plan, it would appear that it is not suited for everyone.

The best way to lose weight is to avoid gimmicks, and instead make permanent changes to the way you eat and exercise.

You can do this by making some healthy changes, such as eating more wholegrain food, fruit and vegetables, eating fewer calories and doing more exercise.

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