The 5:2 diet - does it work or is it just another hype?
There's a new diet craze in Europe and the UK that has been recently making waves in the U.S. Can this be the ultimate diet we have been waiting for all along? Let's take a closer look to see if it can realistically deliver on its promise.
The 5:2 Diet – Everything You Need to Know
In a nutshell, the 5:2 diet involves intermittent fasting for two non-consecutive days per week. During these days, men need to limit their food intake to about 600 calories while women should strictly limit theirs to about 500 calories. By following this diet, people are expected to lose weight at a rate of about one pound per week. For best results, you should try to avoid carbohydrates and drink lots of water during your fasting days. By fasting for just two days, you are able to eat regularly for the remaining five days of the week.
This popular concept goes by a lot of names. It is also known as the Horizon diet, Fast Diet and Intermittent Fasting and is even dubbed as the Mosley diet in honor of its creator, Dr. Michael J. Mosley, a British journalist, physician and TV presenter.
The 5:2 diet was created based on the assumption that humans are genetically pre-conditioned to survive on a feast or famine eating schedule. Our bodies were accustomed to going on for days with a very limited amount of food since our early ancestors merely relied on their hunting skills and had to endure days without food whenever they failed to make a kill.
With the unlimited availability of food in the modern world, however, people don't see any reason for fasting. And this spurs the root of all of our health and weight problems, claims Dr. Mosley.
Does It Really Work?
The 5:2 diet is based on Dr. Mosley's personal research. After reviewing available literature, interviewing primary researchers and then trying the feast or famine combination on himself, Mosley came up with the ratio that provided him the best results. And the rest is history.
While this diet has not yet been subjected to intensive clinical research-based trials, numerous studies have already been made regarding the effects of intermittent fasting on human health. According to the results of a previous research, limiting a person's calorie intake can reduce the level of IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1) in the blood and enhances the body's natural cellular repair system. This, in turn, provides valuable help in preventing heart disease, cancer and other life-threatening conditions. Yet another bit of research suggested that limited calorie intake can improve a person's insulin sensitivity and help regulate blood sugar levels.
So, does it really work? While a definitive study is yet to be done to prove its effectiveness, a lot of people seem to believe that it works.