Physical Health, Wellness / Self-Care

What is the 5:2 diet – and should I do it?

Another day, another new diet.

words by: Natasha Marsh
Oct 16, 2021

If you feel like there is a new diet that pops up every month, and sometimes more, you wouldn’t be wrong. Fad diets have been trending for decades, and the latest in the mix is the 5:2 diet — said to be the greatest weight-loss program the world has ever seen since Atkins. I’m sure you believe that as much as we do, but let’s dive in, shall we.


What is the 5:2 diet?

Said to work for all bodies and be completely foolproof, the 5:2 diet, also known as the fast diet, is a new diet that allows you to eat regularly for five days a week (sans calorie counting) and be very strict two days a week, following a 500 (for women) and 600 (for men) caloric intake.


By sticking to these two very restrictive days a week, you jolt your body into fast mode (the highest level of intermittent fasting). People are finding that the best part is you lose less muscle on the 5:2 than other quick result diets.


What days do you fast?

Now here’s the flexible part, you get to choose what two days you’ll fast. Of course, you can choose a meal prep ahead of time, the same two days a week or you can play it by ear.


Say you have a business happy hour or a friend is in town last minute, no problem. You can just switch your fast day for a different day. It is entirely based on your schedule and your preference. The only real rule though, you can’t do fasting days consecutively. And if you’re looking for an example, we’ve been having the following meal on repeat.


Example meal

If breakfast is your favorite time of the day, make that your largest meal on a fast day. We like to pack a savory breakfast with protein and fiber. One of our favorites: a can of tuna, chopped red onion, and chopped salad leaves. To season, you can grab a tablespoon of low-fat yogurt, Dijon mustard, Tabasco sauce and a squeeze of lime. In a pan mix 1-2 teaspoon coconut oil with asparagus and shitake mushrooms. You can then eat the salad with or without buckwheat crackers. The total calories is 310, leaving you with 190 to add in a salad, miso soup or any other zero-calorie meal for dinner.


Pro-tip: remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep yourself full.


Looking for other stories on health? Read about how gut health can affect your skin and foods that can help hair growth.