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The founders of the Fast Diet (the original 5:2 diet) have announced in the press that similar effects can be found by increasing the calories on the two fasting days from 500kcal to 800kcal.
Dr Mosely, the TV medical journalist who first bought the 5:2 diet to the country’s attention in 2012, has suggested that the 500kcal per day regime for women and 600kcal for men might be too difficult.
Full details of the diet is to be published in Daily Mail’s You magazine.
This should make the diet more doable, because many followers found the fasting days too difficult – but this doesn’t mean that the extra 200kcals can used up by a sugary snack. Instead, Dr Mosely suggests an extra bowl of hearty soup or a portion of fish.
The origins of this diet may go back to work created by Dr Michelle Harvie during her research at the Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention Centre, studying the effects of this diet on weight loss (a major risk factor for breast and other cancers).
From the popularity of the Fast Diet, Dr Harvie and Professor Howell created the 2 day diet, which is not based on a set limit of calories but on excluding certain foods on the diet days.
This diet has a lot of research sitting behind it, and advocates two consecutive days of high protein, low carbohydrate and five days of sensible eating.
The 5:2 diet is one of the many emerging popular diets known as intermittent fasting, and research shows that intermittent fasting has many benefits:
– preventing diabetes
– reducing the risk of some cancers
– reducing the risk of heart disease
Seb is a writer and blogger of food and nutrition. He holds a bachelors and a masters degree in nutrition science, and has studied sports and exercise nutrition at postgraduate level. He specialises in plant-based nutrition and believes passionately that we can all live with a little less meat. He writes for www.veggieandspice.com and www.itsaboutnutrition.com