You have heard me teach about intermittent fasting for success in your weight loss journey. In case you haven’t heard of the 5:2 Diet yet.

What is the 5:2 Diet?

You have read or heard me teach about intermittent fasting for success in your weight loss journey. In my experience, one meal a day has served many clients well while they incorporate other aspects of my SHINING protocol for overall health as we age. The two Ns in this protocol stand for Nutrition and Natural approaches to health. While eating one meal a day, weight decreases and with the addition of some modifications to diet going forward, it tends to stay off. I hesitate to use the term diet since it sounds annoying and so many people have tried to “diet” without success. The preferred term that many use is a “way of eating”. In place of the term fasting we can use time restricted eating. Fasting merely means you are not eating. It does not mean you are starving although the term seems to imply that for many people. If you are thinking that one meal a day is not going to fit into your lifestyle, here is an alternative way of eating.

In case you haven’t heard of the 5:2 Diet yet, here’s the scoop.

The 5:2 Diet is a popular strategy based on intermittent fasting. It’s called 5:2 because 5 days a week are for healthy eating, and 2 days a week are for restricted eating. It is really rather simple and just may be the strategy that will help you start down the path to successful weight loss.

➡ 5 days a week is for eating a balanced and healthy diet. Think lean and green meals. Avoid simple carbohydrates and processed/refined foods. Eat real food that comes from sources found in nature. As many others have said, shop the periphery of your grocery store and avoid the aisles. You do not have to count calories. Just take your time eating your meals and stop when you feel full.

➡ 2 days a week are restricted to eating only 500-600 calories per day. These 2 days can be any day of the week but must be spaced out with at least one unrestricted day between.

The 5:2 Diet does not give specific guidelines for what foods can or cannot be eaten, but it’s not going to work if you binge on junk food on your unrestricted days. You’re meant to use common sense in your food choices, even on unrestricted days. Eating unrestricted sugar laden foods will not work and you will not succeed.

On your unrestricted days, be mindful while you are feasting and savor every bite. Enjoy the taste and texture of your food and prepare meals that you really enjoy eating. Remember to slow down and take your time. It takes at least 20 minutes for the hormones that indicate satiety to reach your brain. Ideally, take at least 30 minutes to really enjoy your meal.

For example, you might choose to restrict your calories on Mondays and Thursdays. Those days, you might eat 3 small meals, each providing fewer than 200 calories. You might focus on foods and drinks like:


A study done in London found the 5:2 Diet was effective for brief weight loss, and people preferred it to standard weight loss advice. Adherence to the diet was found to be 74% during the early part of the study but declined over time. The 5:2 diet outperformed standard weight loss advice generating greater weight loss at six weeks. By one year, the difference was insignificant. This indicates that the 5:2 diet may be initiated the first six weeks to generate success while long term goals for different ways of eating can be discussed for long term weight management.

The 5:2 diet is a great option for many people but is not a long term success strategy. Combining mindful eating and a different way of eating can lead to a sustained and continued way of managing weight. We always recommend a more personalized approach to weight management and it takes health coaching to make it work for each individual. We do a thorough dive into your root causes and help you find the key to achieving weight loss with greater ease and long term sustainability. We teach and you decide what’s comfortable for you.

If you’re ready to tackle your weight, connect and ask for help. Book an appointment or send me an email to and we’ll review your history, make some goals, get some baseline labs, and get after it.

#weightloss #52diet #intermittentfasting #healthyweightloss #timerestrictedeating #weightmanagement #askdrtreacy #healthwithoutrisk

Hajek P, Przulj D, Pesola F et al. A randomised controlled trial of the 5:2 diet. PLoS One. 2021. [ link ]

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