While fad diets are constantly being hailed as the new weight loss secret, it has been proven that restricting yourself from all treats only causes you to overindulge in the long term.
With so many dangerous diet crazes around, the 5:2 diet is more of a lifestyle change than a trend. And as it doesn't restrict you from the odd indulgence, you're less likely to put back on the weight you've lost. As long as you fast for two days of the week, reducing your calorie intake to 500 calories for women and 600 calories for men, you're free to eat what you like for the other five days - within reason!
With Miranda Kerr, Jennifer Aniston and Beyonce all swearing by the 5:2 regime, it has built up a devout following. However, there's still no such thing as an 'easy' diet, so we've compiled five top tips to help you stick with the 5:2 dietary regime for good.
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Miranda Kerr uses the 5:2 diet to maintain her figure
No matter how disciplined you are with your diet, hunger will soon creep up on you if you're bored. Take your mind off your rumbling stomach by going for a walk, reading a book, or even seeing a friend. The more time you spend out of the house or just occupying your mind, the less likely you are to reach for the cookie jar.
Drinking water will keep you feeling fuller for longer, whilst keeping any headaches - which can be a symptom of sugar withdrawal - at bay. Sipping on hot drinks like green tea are also a great way to keep you full, just be sure to make a note of all the calories you consume in milk.
Don't eat until you're really, really hungry
Whilst you may be used to grabbing a snack when your stomach lets off the slightest rumble, the 5:2 diet is all about training your body to last longer without food. Eating lunch a couple of hours later than usual will help your stomach adjust to fasting for long periods of time, and you'll feel even more satisfied when you finally give in and eat.
Don't overindulge on your free days if you want to keep your gut happy
Don't gorge on your free days
While you may see your five non-fasting days as a series of 'cheat' days, you will confuse your gut if you stock up on rich and heavy foods. Many people on the 5:2 diet think fasting is the cause of their upset stomachs, when in reality, it's the other way around.
After fasting you do not need as much food to feel full, so even on your days 'off' you should only eat when you feel genuinely hungry. And always stop as soon as you feel full, regardless of how much food is left on your plate.
Know your body
While nutritionists may advise us to stick to three square meals a day, you shouldn't adjust your eating schedule just for the sake of your fasting days. For example, if you don't usually have breakfast then your body may have adjusted so that it doesn’t expect food first thing in the morning.
You can spread your calories across in the day in any way you choose, so whether you can manage on just one meal during your fast day, or prefer to stick to three, there are meal plans available for everyone.