Benefits of the 5 2 Diet – A Diet to Help You Lose Weight and Keep it Off
The 5:2 diet might be better termed as a way of life rather than as a diet. Diets tend to be short-lived and very goal specific. For example, you might go on a diet because summer time is fast approaching, or you are getting married in a few months and want to drop ten pounds. Diets are a goal and a short time span – I want to lose 15 pounds in three months. The 5:2 diet is more about losing weight on a sustainable level. Here is a closer look at both Diets and the benefits of the 5 2 Diet.
Diets are restriction of food choices, caloric intake, and energy expenditure. To lose stored fat, your energy intake must be less than the energy burned. If not, then you gain weight.
The problem with diets is that they are restrictive. You cannot have this or that or you blow your diet. With the 5:2 diet there are only two days out of the week that you must reduce your caloric intake. On the rest of the days you can eat whatever you want.
The 5 2 Diet System
The 5:2 system is about energy levels versus calories on a weekly basis, not daily. So, for five days of the week, you eat what you want. On the other two days, you fast – eating only three small meals.
The fasting days are always separated by a free day and never together. So in many ways, the 5:2 diet allows you the freedom to eat the things you like while only being restrictive some of the time.
The Problem with Diets
Diets are a set up to fail. At some point, you go back to eating the way you always did and when you do, the weight comes back and many times you gain more weight. This is partly because our body requires a balance. It knows you’ve dropped water or fat and it wants them back.
Many diets are not about burning fat, but about shedding water. Our bodies are around 70 percent water so when you drop ten pounds of water weight you feel thinner, weigh less, but behind those “wins” is a ticking time bomb. Our body needs that water to function.
The Sustainable Approach
One of the big issues with diets is that they are not sustainable. Try to live on the “starvation diet” for the rest of your life… or any of the other diets out there. To remain healthy, it is impossible to just drink juice for the rest of your days. Diets are designed to be short-term fixes for a long-term problem.
With the 5:2 diet, you can eat what you want for five days per week and then have two days that are a reduction in calories and you can do that long-term. In fact, in many cultures fasting is a way of life, either for religious purposes or for health.
So the benefits of the 5 2 diet are:
1. It is sustainable
2. It can be very healthy and help improve your health index.
3. It is not “that” restrictive – you get to eat what you want for five days out of the week.
4. It is not a setup to fail – it only requires willpower and good meal planning.
5. It does help most people lose weight
In short, the 5:2 diet is a diet that lets you cheat for five days out of seven while restricting your intake only for two days. For most of us, we are consuming 500-600 calories per day on the “fasting” days and the other days we can consume whatever we want.
That is a little misleading though because like all diets, the 5:2 diet should be paired with sensible exercise and on the free days with a very balanced diet.
Doing so, helps you achieve the best results. Remember that fasting is not that same as starving yourself – at least not while on the 5:2 diet. It is better to think about those two days as eating minimally.
You still get three meals, they are just greatly reduced in calories and you can drink all of the water that you want. Water has zero calories in it. If you are a smart eater, you can eat a lot of food and still not exceed your caloric goals.
I personally love the benefits of the 5 2 Diet, mainly because it is very practical and easy to follow. If you stick with this diet long enough, not only will you lose weight, you will feel more energetic and it is effective for keeping the weight off long term.