- Diet & Weight Loss
The Two Day Diet- Lose Weight Quickly
What is the Two Day Diet?
The Two Day Diet goes by many names and there are already a few different books about it. You may hear it referred to as the Fasting Diet,the Fast and Feast Diet, Intermittent Fasting Diet or the 5:2 diet. Regardless of what name it's given all you need to know is this- you "Fast" for two non consecutive days then eat normally for the remaining five days. That's it. That simple. By "fast" you don't go completely without food but rather you severely limit your calorie intake to 500 kcals on the two fast days. For a man it's 600 kcals. Let's say the average woman eats 2000 kcals on a normal day that means she will consume 14000 kcals a week. If you do the Two Day Diet and continue to eat 2000 kcals on the five normal days you will be consuming 11000 kcals a week- that means you are reducing your calorie intake by 3000 kcals whilst still eating what you like on five days of the week. Sounds good right? But of course we all know crash dieting and restricting our calorie intake to tiny amounts is bad for us so even if this diet helps you shed a few pounds it can't be healthy can it?
Is the Two Day Diet Safe?
You'd be well within your rights to question the safety of such a diet- at face value it seems a bit extreme limiting your calorie intake to such a small amount. Most diets recommend a woman eats no less than 1200 kcals- even when trying to lose weight. However, the Two Day Diet is not only safe but scientists are claiming it can actually improve our health. Studies as far back as 2006 found that two day dieters had a 25% greater improvement in their insulin function. Insulin function is linked to many weight -related illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. Basically if you overeat you produce more insulin and leptin, these in turn tell your cells to multiply and grow. If you fast a few days these levels drop right down again meaning cells can work harder to stay in good condition and repair damage in the body.
The Two Day Diet is not safe for everyone.
Do not do this diet if any of the following apply to you:
- You are pregnant or in the early stages of breastfeeding;
- You have or have had an eating disorder;
- You exercise for more than an hour a day on a regular basis;
- You have type 1 diabetes
What are the Particular Benefits of the Two Day Diet
1. It Doesn't Ruin Your Metabolism
The first rule of weight loss is eat less calories than you consume. However the problem with this is that if you reduce your calorie intake too quickly or too drastically your body gets confused and instead of burning fat it clings on to it thinking you are going into starvation mode. This in turn can mess your metabolism up so when you start eating normally again you end up putting on even more weight. The Two Day Diet avoids this problem because even though you are severely restricting your calories one day you are eating plenty the next- and indeed the majority of the time. This means that your body doesn't panic about being starved even though you have reduced your weekly intake by 3000 kcals!
2. It Boosts your Brain
There are links between obesity and a decrease in cognitive function.It is thought that the shock of fasting encourages the brain to produce new cells which in turns improves memory. It is thought that the Two Day Diet could delay age related illness such as dementia, memory loss and alzheimers.
3. It Makes your Heart Healthy
Fasting reduces high levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. This is even the case on the non-fasting days when you might overindulge. Also if it helps you lose weight then the Two Day Diet will improve your heart health through less strain been placed on the heart.
4. Reduces Incidences of Asthma and Eczema
Inflammation in the body can lead to asthma and eczema as well as more serious conditions like Parkinson's and cancer. When people fast levels of uric acid increase which is the body's way of coping with inflammation.
5. Tackles Type 2 Diabetes
Intermittent fasting reduces the amount of glucose in your blood which in turn lowers your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
6. Can Prevent Certain Cancers
The research is on going in this area but there are studies which suggest fasting could be beneficial for cancer patients. Intermittent fasting is said to protect healthy cells, but not cancer cells, from chemotherapy.
7. You Will Lose Weight... Fast
As I've already mentioned, even though you are only "dieting" two days a week you are still cutting a whopping 3000 kcals a week from your intake- this translates into some serious weight loss for you. You should expect to lose 2 pounds a week on the Two Day Diet.
Is the Two Day Diet Right for You?
Here are some of the Pros and Cons of the Two Day Diet:
- You have to count calories for two days a week
- 500/600 kcals is a very small amount of food
- You might feel tired, sluggish and irritable on fast days to start with
- It's not suitable for the people listed above
- You eat normally five days a week but you can't go crazy on the non-fast days
- It's easy and straightforward
- You don't have to say goodbye to any of your favorite foods- or any foods for that matter
- You can enjoy social events, special occasions with no guilt and still lose weight
- Sticking to 500 kcals is hard but hey it's only for two days a week
- Knowing you only have to endure a diet for two days a week means you are more likely to stick at it
- As no food is forbidden or restricted you are less likely to obsess about food and binge
- If you plan your fast days in advance you don't even need to worry about counting calories
Practical Advise for Following the Two Day Diet
If you decide you are interested in The Two Day Diet and would like to give it a try then here are some tips to help you. I have started a blog on the Diet as Well- check it out here.
- Decide your fast days- remember these should be non-consecutive days;
- Plan your meals for your fast days
- Workout how you want to divide your calorie allowance - e.g. 200 kcals for breakfast, 200 kcals for lunch, 100 kcals for dinner- there are a few ways you can do this - it doesn't matter how you divide your allowance so go with what works for you
- Use my list of 100Kcal snacks to give you some ideas for fast days
- Use volumatics to help you choose filling but low calorie foods -that way you want feel too hungry on fast days
100 Kcal Snacks
Here are a few ideas for 100 Kcal snacks. You could choose 5 of these to eat on your fast days or half them and choose 10 for more variety.
1. 20 baby carrots
2. ½ cup steamed edamame in shell
3. 10 celery stalks
4. 1 small banana
5. 1 cup blueberries
6. 1 cup of grapes
7. 2 medium kiwis
8. 1 cup mango chunks
9. 50 raisins
10. 2 cups of strawberries
11. 25 pistachios
12. 15 almonds
13. 8 walnut halves
14. 3 cups of no oil popcorn
15. 3 rice cakes
16. 4oz lf cottage cheese
17. 1 large hard boiled egg
18. 1 cup baby carrots and 2 tbsp hummus
19. 1 c raspberries with 2 tbsp plain yogurt and 1tsp honey
20. 4 melba toast
21. 1.5 oz of ground beef
22. 2.5 oz skinless chicken breast
23. 3oz baked cod
24. 6 jumbo shrimps
25. 2.5 oz light turkey meat
Good luck if you choose to try the Two Day Diet.