To recap, the research-based diet works by following a ‘normal’ healthy pattern of eating for five days, followed by two ‘fasting’ days. On fasting days, your energy intake is restricted to around 500 calories for women and 600 calories for men – roughly a quarter of your regular calorie intake. You can smash out these consecutively or split them up during your week.
So while it’s easy enough to plan out your ‘5’ days (lean proteins, wholegrain carbohydrates, healthy fats and lots of fruit and veggies), there’s one question that’s not so simple to answer.
What the heck do you eat on fast days to a) not pass out and b) not growl at anyone who walks in your direction?
If you’re doing 5:2 and asking yourself the same question, don’t stress.
We asked seven dietitians and nutritionists to explain, in detail, exactly what they would eat on their ideal fast day and why so you can get some ideas for yourself.
Rachel Scoular, APD Dietitian and Nutritionist
On the topic of 5:2, she recommended: “Since protein is the most satiating (keeps you feeling fuller for longer) I’d be focusing on protein and low calorie, non-starchy veggies to keep me full. If you break the calories down, I’d aim for 150 calories at each main meal, with roughly 100 calories for snacks during the day.”