Many of you will be aware of the 5 2 Diet developed by Michael Mosley almost 5 years ago, which became a world wide phenomenon, embraced by thousands of people.
The 5 2 BSD is an updated variation of the 5 2 diet. In fact because it is based on eating a Mediterranean style diet, you’ll be pleased to hear that on this version of the diet the fast day calories can be increased to 800 calories. So you consume only 800 calories on 2 days of the week and on the other 5 you continue to eat a normal healthy Mediterranean Style but without counting calories. This makes it easier to fit into a busy life. It is less intense and may take a bit longer to reach your goal then the BSD Fast 800, but there is increasing evidence for the metabolic benefits of intermittent fasting in addition to the weight loss and improvement in blood sugars.
Your 5:2 Fasting days
Your 5 2 diet fasting days are best completed on days when you are busy. It is important to take your focus away from food on fasting days by concentrating on your work, family, jobs or other activities that you are involved in. This often means planning fasting days around social events and family gatherings, as saying ‘no’ to food can often be difficult in social situations.
We recommend that you follow a relatively low carbohydrate Mediterranean style diet on your fasting days which incorporates plenty of protein (as this cannot be stored) such as fish/seafood, chicken, eggs, beans, tofu, seeds, legumes and nuts. This is not a low fat diet, so make sure you increase your intake of healthy fats, particularly plant based ones such as olive oil or avocado and a moderate amount of dairy is now back in the mix, but make sure it is full fat.
To keep you full on few calories, fill at least half your plate with non-starchy vegetables such as spinach, capsicum, kale, carrots, broccoli, cucumber etc. You can find recipes and fast day suggestions on the recipes page here or at thefast800.com/articles-and-recipes.
Try to avoid wasted calories in sweet or starchy foods, such as cakes, bread, pasta, rice, processed cereals and potatoes. And avoid alcohol too (sorry!).
To help you stick as closely as possibly to the 800 calorie limit you may want to utilise an app such as MyFitnessPal to count your calories, or alternatively join the Fast 800 online program (www.thefast800.com), which provides meal plans and recipes that are based around an 800 calorie fasting day.
As the relatively low carbohydrate Mediterranean style diet has lots of scientific studies behind it, we recommend you aim to base the other 5 days on this approach to eating. But you don’t need to be counting calories, just keeping an eye on the portions.
The Mediterranean Style Diet
The Mediterranean Style Diet is inspired by the dietary and lifestyle patterns of Greece, Spain and southern Italy, as research was indicating that people living in these regions were experiencing a lower rate of heart disease, cancer and had an increased life expectancy.
You can find out more about the Mediterranean Style Diet here.