But as well as weight loss, there are other benefits to the plan, as Shona Wilkinson, nutritionist at Superfooduk.com explained to Express.co.uk.
She said: “The 5-2 diet is an intermittent fasting diet which is done just twice a week.
“They advise that the fasting days are not consecutive, although this seems to be mainly to encourage compliance, and the days could be consecutive if you choose.
“This diet is a less extreme version of the every-other-day diet.
“One of the main differences, aside from having fewer fast days, is that there are no ‘feast’ days and you are advised to stick to your normal calorie intake (roughly 2400 kcal for men and 2000 kcal for women) for the other five days of the week.”
Detailing the health benefits, Shona said: “There is some research that intermittent fasting can lead to weight loss and a reduction in blood pressure, blood pressure and triglycerides.
“Fasting is also thought to help switch on genes and processes that repair the body; however, the research carried out has been on rodents, not humans.
“The meals recommended for fast days are generally well balanced and nutrient-dense, and there is no discussion of low-calorie meals from fast food restaurants or recommendations for ready meals.
“In addition, the advice given for fast days is to make sure you are incorporating protein and fibre into your meals to help balance your blood sugar and keep you feeling full for longer – this is definitely a good thing.”
However the best thing about the diet, according to Shona, is the low drop out rate.
She said: “The great thing about the 5:2 diet is that people seem to be able to stick to it!
“Compliance is great on this diet whereas compliance on other diets is usually pretty poor.
“You can imagine being able to resist that chocolate biscuit for a day knowing that tomorrow you can eat it if you want.
“It seems to be one of the most effective “diets” to follow for weight loss.”
Shona did advise caution for those planning on starting a 5:2 diet, and said: “Following a pre-prescribed plan that doesn’t consider a person’s individual health needs and circumstances can be damaging.
“I would definitely recommend discussing your personal needs and goals with a qualified nutritionist or naturopath who can put together an individual plan, taking into account what would work best for you.”
Shona’s advice on the benefits of the 5:2 diet comes as another nutritionist revealed the diets that should definitely be avoided.
Source : EXPRESS