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Be more alert and trimmed with the 5:2 diet

Have you ever craved for ice cream, yet your doctor does not allow you to have it? Well, the good news is, YES you can. The 5:2 diet, which is also referred to as The Fast Diet, is a form of fasting whereby there are alternating periods of fasting and non-fasting. There is evidence that this type of fasting may have beneficial effects on the health and longevity of human life. This type of diet involves severe restriction of calorie intake for two days a week followed by normal eating the other five days.

The diet specifies low calorie consumption for two days a week, which need not be consecutive, but allows normal eating for the other five days. Men may eat 600 kcal on fasting days, and women 500 kcal. A typical fasting day may include a breakfast of 300 kcal, such as two scrambled eggs with ham, water, green tea, or black coffee, and a lunch or dinner of grilled fish or meat with vegetables, amounting to 300 kcal.

Brief history behind 5:2 diet

The 5:2 diet is said to have originated and became popular in the United Kingdom, thereafter spreading to Europe and the USA. It became popular in the UK after the BBC2 television Horizon documentary Eat, Fast and Live Longer was broadcast on 6th August 2012. Michael J. Mosley was the subject of an unblended test in the program. He reported a weight loss of 20 pounds in nine weeks, a drop in cholesterol, and lower blood sugar levels. This is supposedly a great diet for food-lovers (like me) as you do not have to give anything up. There are no rules as to what you can or cannot eat, just the quantity on those two days. So if you wanted to eat one 500 calorie piece of cake on your fast day and nothing else, you could. Or if you wanted to drink 35 cups of tea with skimmed milk to get your 500 calories a day you could do that too. The 5:2 diet has caused a real stir in the health world because people are actually managing to follow it and see results.

How does the 5:2 diet work?

healthy-diet

The benefits of this diet are related to the changes which take place in the body as a result of fasting, rather than been linked to the reduction in calories. These short fasts lead the body into a metabolic state which triggers repair and recovery at a cellular level. This influences hormones, and allows the digestive system and related organs to rest. This is true especially with the pancreas, which produces insulin in response to carbohydrates and sugar. The then becomes more sensitive to insulin, which is one of the most important aspects of weight loss. Additionally, short-term fasts lead to a better sense of control on the non-fasting days, thus choosing foods that are healthy and rarely eating out of boredom.

How the 5:2 diet can improve your health

Proponents of intermittent fasting say that it helps in weight loss, reduces the risk of cognitive decline, such as Alzheimer’s disease, and promotes longevity. Research also indicates that it could be protective against diseases such as diabetes.

This type of fasting leads to improvements to markers associated with improved health such as cholesterol. It also has many advantages including giving a person the ability to choose whatever to eat for five days a week, provided the food eaten is healthy.

This type of fasting leads to improvements to markers associated with improved health such as cholesterol
Fasting for short periods may also help in giving your digestive system a rest. In addition to this, fasting is also believed to reduce the levels of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in the blood. This is a growth hormone which has been linked to accelerated aging and can cause cell divisions like those found in cancer. IGF-1 and other growth factors keep our cells constantly active. The body needs adequate levels of this growth hormone when you are growing. When you eat less food, your metabolism slows down in order to conserve energy. Then when you go back to your usual diet, your lowered metabolism may cause you to store more energy, meaning that you will probably gain back the weight you lost and possibly even putting on more weight. As you practice this type of fasting, your body will eventually adjust by reducing your appetite, so you will initially feel less hungry. However, once you have stopped fasting, your appetite hormones will return full force and you may feel hungrier.

 

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