The 5:2 Diet: An Introduction to Intermittent Fasting

August 05, 2020

The 5:2 Diet: An Introduction to Intermittent Fasting

In this article:

  • What is Intermittent Fasting (IF) & how does it work?
  • IF & your modern lifestyle
  • IF & your metabolism
  • IF & healthy aging
  • The 5:2 diet: a perfect introduction to IF
  • Hydration during IF
  • Proper supplementation during IF

It’s likely you’ve heard a bit of buzz around the topic of Intermittent Fasting or IF as practitioners call it. Not just a simple nutrition plan like some diets, IF is as much a lifestyle as it is a specific way to eat. Just like Paleo, Bulletproof, or Keto diets, Intermittent Fasting represents a way of life, which requires you to think about your energy, performance, recovery, and traditions. It may seem like a lot to consider - but it is safe to say that IF regimens have shown impressive results for athletes, entrepreneurs, and ordinary mortals. The benefits of IF regimens extend far beyond attempts at weight loss, as they aid in the management of numerous health conditions, including diabetes, IBS, and Crohn’s.

Intermittent fasters have truly become a community sharing their experiences and jaw-dropping transformation testimonies in all aspects of life, not only in the physical realm. The growing interest in IF is inspiring an entirely new wave of nutrition trends. What’s all this hype about how you can test an IF diet yourself? Consider the 5:2 diet. Keep reading to learn more.

Defining the Phenomena: What Is Intermittent Fasting?

An intermittent fasting diet, more accurately described as an eating pattern, represents one of the most popular diet trends in America. The sole concept of this eating pattern is to cycle between periods of eating (also known as eating windows) and fasting, during which you consume zero calories. But, is it really in our nature to have longer periods of food deprivation?

Well, when you think about it, our ancient ancestors (think cavemen) could only eat when a hunt was successful, and they had no way of storing most of the food. Refrigerators came along much later. For this reason, we can only conclude that fasting was an integral part of human evolution. Historically and in modern times, fasting is present in numerous cultures and religions, including Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Judaism. Chances are you’ve known someone who has taken part in Ramadan or Yom Kippur or maybe you’ve participated yourself. If you ask the experts advocating for the benefits of fasting, they will tell you that it is a way for you to get the most out of your meals. You’re not really changing what you eat so much as the time that you eat it - and it makes all the difference.

There are many ways to do intermittent fasting. So, which variety of IF will work for you? Well, we cannot recommend a single method and proclaim a universal solution. It is important to listen to your body, understand your goals, and find out what works best for you. It is okay to experiment with IF until you’ve found a regimen that aligns with your needs and lifestyle. However, our recommendation for beginners is certainly the 5:2 diet, which we’ll dive into next.

One of the most popular IF methods is the 16:8, which means that you fast for 14-16hrs, while your eating window (the period when you can eat) lasts for 8-10hrs. Time-restricted IF methods, which appear to be most sustainable for long-term fasting, also include 14:10 - simply changing the ratio of fasting time and the duration of the eating window. On the other hand, the Eat-Stop-Eat method is a more rigorous one, as it entails a 24-hour fast 2 times a week. Alternate Day is also a strict regimen that fewer people gravita