The 5:2 Diet has seen some popularity and continues to gain interest. But is this really something you should try? Personally – I don’t think so. And here’s why:
The premise of this diet is to fast, or severely restrict your calories for two days a week. It does say that these days should not be consecutive. And then you can eat whatever you want the other 5 days. The idea is that it takes too much willpower to watch what you eat continuously. This diet forces you to eat even less, but only one day at a time, twice per week. So it will be easier for you to follow. People who promote the diet also point to the benefits of fasting.
It’s Not Real Fasting
A true fast is along the same lines as a cleanse. The goal is to hit reset on your body. It allows all of the toxins and other bad things to get out of your system. Then, once that is done you can start over fresh. And introduce the nutritious food that your body craves. This gives you a clean slate to start a healthy diet. That’s not the type of fasting done in the 5:2 diet. A day of fasting here or there will not allow your body to truly clean itself out.
It Confuses Your Body
The human body is great at adapting to different conditions. Your body is constantly trying to figure out what is going on so it can respond the correct way. When it comes to eating the body wants to know if it should store energy/ fat (because it won’t get food for a while) or burn energy (because it knows more food is coming soon). Obviously, the body does a lot more than this but these are good examples.
When you change the way you eat your body starts to adapt. But when you make drastic changes quickly (like fasting one day and then eating all you want the next) your body is stuck in transition. Which makes it less efficient. Now in some cases this is good. When it comes to exercising this is known as muscle confusion. When your muscles are less efficient it requires them to work harder, and therefore burn more calories. And it’s a great way to exercise. But when it comes to eating you want your body to process food efficiently so it can get all of the nutrients it needs and get rid of everything else. I don’t want my body confused about what to do with food.
It’s Too Close To Unhealthy Eating
There is some debate about the 5:2 diet and if it is healthy for you or not. But there’s no debate on starving yourself and then binge eating. A roller coaster diet is going to lead to roller coaster weight loss and weight gain. Everyone agrees this is a bad idea. And while it may sound dramatic for me to go here, this diet just looks too much like a starve binge cycle for me to be comfortable. I want to be clear – this is just my opinion.
In the end you will have to decide what is best for you but hopefully I gave you something to think about. If you want to learn more check out the Wikipedia page on the 5 2 diet here. This will give you some unbiased information to consider before you look at sites that promote the diet.