The latest ‘miracle’ diet to hit the world by storm is the 5:2 Fasting Diet. So what is it all about and why has the world gone crazy over it? Basically, this diet promises to make you live longer and lose weight while you’re still ‘allowed’ to eat anything you want. Sounds too good to be true? Well, it is!
Michael Mosley is the mind behind it all and ever since his BBC2 documentary Eat, Fast And Live Longer and his spin-off book The Fast Diet selling nearly 400,000 copies in the UK alone, everyone’s been at this new kind of dieting.
However, how many of us actually do know that the little research carried out involved only the male species? It doesn’t take much to realise that males and females will react differently to this ‘revolutionary eating plan’ and do you know that dieting the 5:2 way can put your chances of having a family in jeopardy? No? Thought so.
The basic rule of the 5:2 Diet is that two days a week you consume just 500 calories if you are a woman and 600 if you are a man (read deprive your body of an extra 1500 calories). You can eat them at any time of the day and you can choose to eat whatever you want provided you do not exceed the 500 calories. The remaining 5 days, you eat and drink normally.
Some studies claim that intermittent fasting can actually help with weight loss but it can also have a negative impact on the way your body functions. For example, it can slow down your metabolism and actually contribute to weight gain in the long run. It can also lower blood sugar levels and impair insulin control which can increase your risk for diabetes.
Your fertility can also be impaired when following this diet with female subjects reporting longer cycles, bleeding between periods, ovulation pain and the complete absence of periods. This happens because any type of strict dieting will put ovulation on hold in the list of your body’s priorities. A healthy pregnancy requires a lot of extra energy and since you are depriving your body of it, leptin (a hormone which signals the brain that energy reserves are sufficient) levels will be affected which in turn can cause infertility.
A balanced diet coupled with exercise is always the best way to go to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. It may not promise a quick fix but it works and is risk-free!
Would you still be tempted to go on the 5:2 after reading this?