The 5:2 diet is still a popular diet plan which sees you eat normally for five days and restrict your calories for two – but what can you eat on a fast day?
When you’re limited to just 500 calories for the whole day, it can be hard to spread the calories to ensure that you’re not left starving from 5 pm because you’ve eaten your quota for the day.
British doctor and journalist Michael Mosley devised the eating pattern which advises that you don’t restrict your calories for five days of the week, and you then limit yourself to 500 calories for women or 600 calories for men across two days of the week. An important rule is that you don’t follow the two fast days consecutively.
Top tips for following the 5:2 Diet
The reality is the 5:2 weight loss plan is easy enough to follow, with little rules you need to adhere to. But there are certain things you can do to ensure your fasting days are made a little easier. These are our tips for following the 5:2 diet.
The best thing you can do for this eating pattern is to make sure that you plan ahead for the fasting days. Make a plan of when they’ll take place during the week, and work out exactly what you’re going to eat on them. If you fail to plan, you might as well plan to fail.
Say no to boring food
Just because you’ve got to limit your calories to either 500 or 600, it doesn’t mean that you have to eat boring and bland food.
Adjust your schedule
Make sure that you’re going to be fuelled throughout the day, and eat your calories when is best for you, whether that is more in the mornings than the evenings, find out what works best. You might find that a cup of black coffee is enough to keep you going in the morning and you just use your calories for lunch and dinner instead. It’s all about trial and finding the best solution for your own fast days.
If plans change through the week, and you’ve suddenly got a really long day planned, or an evening meal out, simply switch up your schedule and change your fast day for another day rather than missing out or leaving yourself with too little calories that won’t leave you fuelled.
Stock up on spices
Spices are a great way to add flavour to boring foods, such as plain yoghurt – add a bit of cinnamon. Give your chicken breast some life with paprika and chilli, or add in some basil and oregano to make a quick tomato sauce with tinned tomatoes.
Get to know calories
To really make the most of this diet you’re going to need to get to know the calories in foods, and the amounts of food too. For which you’re going to need a set of scales. There’s no point in guessing because you’re likely to get it wrong.
Don’t undo your work on the other five days
The other five days of the fasting diet aren’t designed for you to eat what you like, you just have to be sensible without being restrictive. Eat plenty of vegetables still, eat lots of different colours and eat until your full and not beyond.
The foods to eat on a Fast Day
When it comes to the foods you should eat on a Fast Day, these are the types of things you should be focusing on.
- Vegetables – fill up your plate with vegetables, especially green leafy types because they’re incredibly low calories and packed with fibre so they’ll fill you up.
- Roasted portions of lean meat like turkey or chicken, don’t fry them.
- Baked fish is another great option for protein.
- Eggs make for a great all-rounder that you can eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
- Soups are warming and really filling, making them a great option for the colder months.
- Salads are usually favoured in the summer months, and you can use vinegar or lemon to dress them.
- Berries are a great option for if you’re looking for something sweet, they’re packed with fibre, antioxidants and are really low in calories too.
- Stick to plain water for the most post, black coffee and tea, as well as herbal teas are also good if you prefer hot drinks.