The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Is there any scientific research supporting the 5/2 diet?  (Read 2458 times)

Offline thedoc

  • Forum Admin
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 502
  • Thanked: 11 times
    • View Profile
The 5:2 diet, or intermittent fasting, has become an increasingly popular strategy to achieve weight loss. But does it work?
 Read a transcript of the interview by clicking here
or Listen to it now or [download as MP3]
« Last Edit: 27/11/2014 06:50:11 by evan_au »


Offline CliffordK

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6321
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • Site Moderator
    • View Profile
Re: Is there any scientific research supporting the 5
« Reply #1 on: 25/11/2014 20:46:28 »
There may be other benefits of periodic fasting.  One thing that seems to happen is the more one diets, the more efficient the body gets at processing calories.  By constantly varying one's food intake, perhaps it is harder for the body to optimize metabolism. 

I think the "binge & fast" would be difficult for some people to maintain as it seems as if it can take me a week to loose a couple of pounds, then I can gain back several pounds in a day.  But, of course, the goal would be long-term average weight reduction (or maintenance), so little bumps wouldn't be of concern.

Offline alancalverd

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4504
  • Thanked: 138 times
  • life is too short to drink instant coffee
    • View Profile
Re: Is there any scientific research supporting the 5
« Reply #2 on: 26/11/2014 05:44:20 »
AFAIK (and as an ex-bodybuilder desperate to lose 10 kg I should know) all diets work, for as long as you stick to them. The only difference between dieting or not is whether you keep a conscious eye on what you eat, or not.

At the extremes, no fat people ever left Belsen, and a healthy diet of fish and rice can bulk up a Sumo from "athlete" to "fighting mountain" in a few months. The advantage of a simple strict diet such as 5:2 is that you have absolutely no choice in the off days, so it's easy to stick to, and if you just eat "normally" (i.e. not Sumo-like force feeding) on the other days, you can't gain as much weight in 5 days as you lose in two.


  • Guest
« Reply #3 on: 29/11/2014 17:15:04 »
Was on 5:2 for a full year, missed maybe one day of fasting the entire year, so stuck to it very stringently. Not difficult at all (at least for me) to keep up, in fact very easy since I never had to think about food those days - could just carry on what ever I was doing.
And now well over half a year with 6:1, so called maintenance fasting. And doing a second fasting day per week when ever I feel like I need it.
I look forward to my fasting days, since I always feel so much better after them. I lost about 12kg in total (within half a year), would still have liked to loose more (maybe about 6kg), but it seems that my body has decided that this weight is fine. Have not increased exercise during the 1.5+ years (in fact decreased), but recognize that if I would exercise more, I think I would loose that couple more kgs with my fasting regime.
So, just saying that this works brilliantly for me, when nothing else ever did; eating less and less and less (down to 1200-1800kcal/day)... and at the same time exercising more and more (up to 10km runs 3-4 times a week plus horsework&riding). At some point I calculated my daily calorie expenditure as well as had the heart rate monitor on for 24h, and both came to almost the same value of 2400kcal/day (without extra exercise). And I had always eaten around 1800kcal/day... and still my weight kept on slowly but surely increasing over the years despite that very apparent daily deficit in calorie intake. Had given up finally trying to eat less and exercise more, when saw the documentary about intermittent fasting... never looked back! :D My body responded to that immediately. Thanks Michael!

The Naked Scientists Forum

« Reply #3 on: 29/11/2014 17:15:04 »


SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums