This Man Lost 50 Pounds Using 5:2 Intermittent Fasting Diet
There are a number of diet plans available that can help you lose weight, but most of them require a lot and it doesn’t seem practical for most of the people. Just like any other, fasting diet seems like a drastic way to lose weight, but it can be both effective and safe when it did under moderation which is also stated by improvement blogger Dave Wentworth.
Michigan’s mechanical engineer decided to try 5:2 intermittent fasting diet after joining a weight loss competition at his job in 2011. In the whole session, he ate normally for five days in a week and fasted for regular two days in a row. “In simple terms, it’s eating as normally as you can for five days of the week and then on two days - for two 24-hour periods - you don’t eat,” Wentworth told NBC News BETTER. Fasting for two days doesn’t mean that you need to starve for food – it means you only need to consume one meal in a day and he skipped his breakfast and dinner but had lunch.
“It’s a simple way to get basically a 20 per cent reduction in total calories overall,” says the engineer.
Here’s the breakdown of Wentworth’s diet:
- Monday: Eat normal (or what’s considered a normal amount of calories for one day)
- Tuesday: Fasting day (skip breakfast and lunch)
- Wednesday: Eat normally
- Thursday: Fasting day
- Friday: Eat normally
- Saturday: Eat normally
- Sunday: Eat normally
Wentworth says the diet worked because it allowed him to be flexible. The purpose of the fasting diet is to lower down the consumption of calories by 20 per cent which will help to control the overall weight of the body.
Non-fasting days – Non-fasting days are the five days of the week in which you need to eat normally like any other day of the week or consumption of a normal amount of calories in a day. Like any diet, the 5:2 diet required him to be somewhat careful about what he ate, he says, since he had to ensure he was staying at a caloric deficit throughout the week. For example, he would have a protein shake for breakfast, a chicken stir fry for lunch and a typical dinner with meat and vegetables, he says. “Kind of the standard grain, protein and a veggie kind of setup,” Wentworth explains. You can eat some unhealthy foods, he added, but don’t overdo it.
Fasting days – Fasting days can be any two non-consecutive days of the week in which you need to consume only one meal in a day. It can be your lunch, dinner, or even breakfast and for rest of the hours, you need to be the empty stomach. Since he was going almost an entire day without food on those days, he says he had to be careful not to gorge himself at dinner time. He said he ate a lot of vegetables and fibre-rich foods. “I … knew that if I ate more veggies and whole grains that I could eat a lot more volume, which also helps,” he says. “If I had like buffalo wild wings or something — fast food of some sort — then it’s like there’s only a little bit of food for the same amount of calories.”
Healthier foods filled him at a fraction of the calories, he explains. “You can eat a salad that weighs five pounds, but it’s only 1,000 calories,” he says. “You can eat a ton of food and get a ton of nutrition and feel stuffed, but not have gone outside your calorie budget.”
Track your calories intake and weight, and avoid too much exercise:
Tracking the consumption of calories especially during the fasting days is important as it will help you know that you are not over-eating during the fasting days. Your body weight may fluctuate drastically from day to day, especially on non-fasting days, he says. To get an accurate understanding of how much weight you’re losing, he said, weigh yourself once a week instead of every day.
“It depends on the person, but tracking your weight weekly as opposed to daily can be helpful because with fasting there can be a big water shift [in your weight] every time you return to eating,” he says. “So you might think, ‘Oh, I fasted, but I haven’t lost any weight.’” Lastly, he recommends avoiding endurance sports like long-distance running while on the 5:2 diet. “It just drives your hunger upwards,” he says. “It’s like burning the candle at both ends,” says Wentworth. “You can’t have nutrition and try to expend thousands of calories.”
Keeping the weight off
After six months on the diet, Wentworth lost about 50 pounds. He said the diet worked for him because he only had to restrict his eating twice a week instead of every single day, and could still eat some unhealthy foods. With the excess weight gone, Wentworth says he has “a ton of energy.” He still tracks his weight and goes back to fasting temporarily if he sees it start to go up.
“I run a lot now,” Wentworth says. “I feel great.”
How to lose weight on the 5:2 fasting diet
- In the fasting diet, you need to consume what is considered a normal amount of daily calories for five days in a week and on two consecutive days, you need to skip two meals and have one normal meal.
- You still need to be careful about what you eat: To lose weight, you need to keep a caloric deficit throughout the week. Stick to mostly fibrous foods, like whole grains and veggies, especially on fasting days, to help yourself feel full. Some unhealthy foods are fine, just don’t overdo it.
Track your calories and weight, and avoid too much exercise: Keep track of your calories to make sure you aren’t overeating, especially on fasting days. Track your weight by weighing yourself once a week instead of every day, since your weight may fluctuate drastically from day to day. Avoid endurance sports like long-distance running that will spur your hunger.