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Everything You Need to Know About the Popular 5:2 Diet

The 5:2 diet or fasting diet, as it’s more commonly referred to, requires dieters to eat normally for five days of the week and fast with limited calories for two days of the week. On these two fasting days, you should limit yourself to 500 calories in total. 

5:2 Diet Plan

Many people find this diet easier than other diets as there are no restrictions on what you can and can’t eat, just how much. Though on the five days of normal eating, it’s important to stick to a healthy diet. According to the NHS, women should aim to eat no more than 2,000 calories per day. 

It’s also very important to ensure you leave at least one day of normal eating between your fasting days to not have two fasting days together. Never skip your breakfast and have a small snack for lunch and a larger dinner. 

5:2 Diet Recipes

No matter how picky your palette, there are plenty of tasty meal plans that can feed you for less than 500 calories. Expert health and beauty site, has some great recipe ideas if you’re following the 5:2 diet.  We’ve listed some of our favorites below. 

Sample Diet Day 1

Breakfast: Fruit and Nut Muesli 

Dinner: Pesto Salmon with Curly Kale —Prepare a salmon fillet (100g) with 3 tsp.  green pesto, steamed kale, and black pepper 

Snack: 4 oz. pitted cherries

Sample Diet Day 2

Breakfast: Mixed berry bowl with 4 oz. strawberries, 4 oz. raspberries, and 4 oz. blueberries 

Dinner: Harissa Chicken with Chargrilled Vegetable Couscous — Prepare 4 oz. chicken breast with 4 oz. vegetable couscous, and 1 Tbs. harissa paste .

Snack: Pistachios (around 10) 

Sample Diet Day 3

Breakfast: Packet of Belvita Breakfast Biscuits

Dinner: Roasted Vegetables with Balsamic Glaze: Prepare 1/2 courgette, 1/2 aubergine, 1/2 butternut squash, and 1/2 red pepper with 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar and a squeeze of lemon

Snack: 4 oz. Sugar Free Jello

5:2 Diet Books 

  • The Ultimate 5:2 Diet Recipe Book by Kate Harrison ($10.40, Amazon)
         These recipes will make your fasting days a pleasure!
  • The Fast Diet by Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer ($9.98, Amazon)
         This book is packed full of recipes and goes in depth about the science behind fasting and psychology around dieting. 

Calorie Counter Apps 

If you want to keep track of how many calories you’re eating it’s a good idea to download a calorie counter app onto your smart phone or tablet. We’ve listed some of our favorite free calorie counting apps to get you started. 

  • MyFitnessPal — With over 6 million foods logged onto the system as well as barcodes, restaurant food and information on nutrients, it’s never been easier to track what you’re consuming and log your fitness journey. 
  • Nutracheck Calorie Counter+ —This app is great if you have a specific fitness goal in mind as it will help you achieve your target through the various nutrients that you eat. It can also sync with activity trackers such as the Fitbit ($76.34, Amazon) to make sure both your diet and exercise routine are in sync. 

This article originally appeared on our sister site, Yours.

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