We’ve all been on them – the kind of diets that require you to buy all sorts of specific, fresh ingredients, specialist supplements and extravagantly overpriced super-foods – and what have they ever done for you, except empty your bank account?
The hype around the 5:2 diet has died down over the last couple of years, but we still think it’s one of the best value diets out there if you’re wanting to shed a few pounds without bankrupting yourself over it.
Fasting really hit the mainstream when scientist and TV presenter Michael Mosley presented a documentary about it called Eat, fast and live longer – and the results were shocking! As well as helping him to lose weight, the diet improved his overall health enormously. By restricting calorie intake, he discovered that we can improve our life expectancy and decrease our risk of cancer and diabetes – as well as losing a few pounds in the process.
The simple premise behind the 5:2 diet, which Mosley pioneered, is that you eat normally for five days a week, and fast on two. You don’t have to stop eating entirely; in fact, you’re allowed to eat up to 500 calories on your two fasting days, although many diet aficionados find it easier to avoid food entirely than eat a small amount.
So why is it so budget friendly? Well essentially, you can continue to cook and eat as you would normally – just making six fewer meals each week. In fact, it’s a diet that you could come out of financially better off, as well as with a healthier body – you’ll spend less on your weekly shop if you’re cooking fewer meals.
The diet won’t work if you make up for the 1500-2500 calories you would normally eat on your fast days on your non-fasting days, but as long as you don’t binge the pounds will fall off – even if you have a cheeky slice of cake or a glass of wine on your non-fasting days! Sounds like our kind of dieting…