The 5:2 Fasting Diet

Fasting has been well accepted as having numerous benefits. The benefits of fasting include a lowering of insulin levels, the self-consumption of dead cells through macrophage. It also gives your body a rest. There are several ways to fast. Dr Michael Mosley, who was born in Kolkata, developed an interesting way to fast. He named it the 5:2 diet. The diet plan is relatively straightforward. You eat a regular diet for five days in a week. For two days in a week, you cut your total calories by two-thirds, which means you are eating approximately 500 calories for women or 600 calories for men.

Of course, eating 500-600 calories a day is easier said than done. There are several ways to achieve this. You can either try and eat only two meals a day with restricted calories in each or even one meal a day when fasting. Remember you are eating regularly the rest of the time without worrying too much about the composition of food (though I would always recommend that you watch for and eliminate processed foods). You are asked not to worry too much about calorie counting on these five days. The recommendation to eat regularly is obviously not a license to binge eat.

On the days when you are fasting, you are trying to eat more leafy vegetables, lean meats, fish or eggs, soups and green tea. You are also avoiding the carbohydrate family especially white bread, pasta, rice and sugary foods like sweets or chocolates. If you are suffering from Type I or Type II diabetes, it is recommended that you speak to your Doctor before you embark on a fast like this.

People react differently to fasting or alternating their meal plans. Personally, I have found it most effective just to change my lifestyle and eat healthful food most of the time. That way, if at all I end up eating something that is not particularly healthy, it is rare enough for me not to have to worry.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.