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Lose weight eating whatever you want?

The Fast Diet eating whatever you want

Lose weight eating whatever you want? That’s the bold claim made by The Fast Diet, the new bestselling book by UK-based authors Michael Moseley, M.D., and Mimi Spencer, who say for five days a week you can pretty much go for it, milkshake AND fries included. And lose approximately 1–3 pounds per week.

The only catch? You have to fast two days a week.

More specifically, on two non-consecutive days, you must reduce the number of calories you normally enjoy by 25 percent. That’s approximately 500 calories a day for women, and 600 calories for men.

While the weight-loss claims may sound impossible, the diet, which is also known as “5:2” or alternate day fasting (“ADF”), is actually gaining credibility with some researchers and medical professionals, and several new studies suggest it works.

Still find the 5-day gorgefest and 2-day starvation protocol a little hard to swallow?

According to triple-certified nutritionist Dana James, the science checks out (though she’s quick to point out it’s not for everyone): “When you restrict your calories, the body activates its survival mechanisms,” turning up genes responsible for fat burning and switching off those responsible for fat storage. “Both of these changes will activate fat loss. However, it must be done on an intermittent basis, otherwise, you are turning on too much of a stress response within the body, and other cellular mechanisms will come into play to stop the fat loss,” she says.

Research also shows additional positive side effects of fasting, such as delayed aging and improved cognitive function. And who doesn’t want those?

Holes in the Science—and the Logic

But before you move your dinner plans to coincide with your new dietary regimen, there are still a few holes scientists have yet to fill in. Namely, the two-day per week rule is more of an educated guess, and the bulk of research so far has been done on animals.The Fast Diet

Not to mention that the diet has been accused of reinforcing a binge-purge mentality. “Anyone with disordered eating—they know who they are—may take two days of fasting to mean an entire month of fasting,” says James.

James also doesn’t recommend heading to McDonald’s on your off-days, or blowing your 500-calorie allowance on a cheeseburger. To that end, Mimi Spencer and Sarah Shenker, an R.D. who has a PhD in nutrition, recently came out with The Fast Diet Cookbook, which features 100-plus nutritious (but admittedly skimpy) recipes that all adhere to the 500-calorie daily maximum.

In terms of how it will practically fit into your busy lifestyle, the Fast Diet gets mixed reviews. Some find the relatively short timeline easy to stick to, while others find that cramming into professional calendars can be a challenge. “It’s very doable, though it was difficult with work dinners—I can’t be the only one at the table not eating!” says Sabrina Chu, a trader at a financial firm.

Nowadays, “I can’t meet for dinner, I’m on a cleanse” is a common and accepted excuse. No word yet on whether the same will become true of intermittent fasting. —Carla Vass

For more information, visit www.thefastdiet.co.uk

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7 Comments | ADD YOURS

  1. May 22nd, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Please stop abusing your body and start treating it with loving kindness to enable it to work for you in realizing your dreams.

    In health and happiness
    Anita Sig Happiness Therapist

  2. May 23rd, 2013 at 9:25 am

    I still cannot grasp the idea of how one can lose weight while eating everything she wants 5 times a week and then fasting afterwards! I tried doing that myself because I am a yo-yo dieter and I just keep piling on the pounds. The truth is, if one really wants to lose weight, a healthy and balanced diet plus regular exercise is the solution.

  3. DARK AND LOVELY
    May 27th, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    The article says: More specifically, on two non-consecutive days, you must reduce the number of calories you normally enjoy by 25 percent. That’s approximately 500 calories a day for women, and 600 calories for men…… That doesn’t make sense to me. Am I eating 500 calories less or ONLY 500 calories a day?

  4. May 29th, 2013 at 9:55 am

    I saw the show back in UK and it is apparently working as the idea is that after a fasting day, our stomach will not be able to take in as much food as usual. But, being in health and fitness industry, I do not see it as something to recommend. Anita put it perfectly..it is a body abuse in a way.
    Balance is everything and everything is in balance.

  5. Spencer
    July 15th, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    I agree with the above posts as long as you stay active you can eat as mostly what ever you want.

  6. February 11th, 2014 at 7:02 am

    I eat whatever I want, but I drink koyu matcha tea, it is a Japanese tea that I knew through my colleague from work. It is very good, and naturally. I really recommend you that green tea

  7. May 30th, 2014 at 10:52 am

    here’s the secret behind 5:2 – after 3 cycles of fasting 2 x a week, I don’t WANT to eat bad food. the feeling I have after fasting clarifies my desire to eat clean, healthy food. In the last year since reading and implementing The Fast Diet, my husband and I have changed our health statistics, lost a combined total of 40 pounds and feel strong and healthy. highly recommended!

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