Intermittent fasting – 5:2 or Every Other Day
I love intermittent fasting. Why? Because it works. It may not be for everyone but if you’ve struggled to lose weight no matter how strict you’ve been on a diet, then intermittent fasting may be the answer for you.
Apart from weight loss, there are many other well-researched benefits to fasting or calorie restriction – not least of all, anti-ageing benefits. Fasting has actually been shown to increase the length of telomeres. The shorter your telomeres, the shorter your life span.
Additionally, intermittent fasting has been shown to have a powerful impact on insulin signaling and can, therefore, be extremely beneficial for anyone suffering from PCOS.
5:2 Fasting Approach
In the 5:2 approach, one chooses 2 days of the week to restrict calories to 500 calories per day.
Every Other Day Approach
Just like the name suggests, in this approach, one fasts every second day thereby fasting for 7 days over a 14 day period.
Which Approach is Better?
I usually recommend that my clients opt for the 5:2 approach first. Whilst professionals advocating the “every other day” approach will say that it is much better and easier to stick to long term, I have found that clients often struggle enough with just 2 fast days per week. If you stick to the 5:2 approach and your weight still doesn’t shift, then it’s time to try “every other day” for a 28 day period.
The key to intermittent fasting is that you have to cut your calories to a maximum of 500 per day. This means working out a meal plan to takes into account calories in absolutely everything – including something like lemon juice.
Additionally, it’s important to eat healthily on non-fast days. Just because you’ve fasted, doesn’t mean you can dash out to the closest KFC or McDonald’s for a take out.
Finally, it’s important to continue exercising. Research does indicate that exercising in the morning is the most beneficial to weight loss.