Whether you’re a fasting beginner or have been on the 5:2 Diet for a few weeks, you’ll probably have some questions about the plan. Here are some of the common ones.
Will I be hungry?
Yes. You will experience moments of hunger during the 5:2 Diet, but they won’t be physically debilitating. Keep in mind that hunger is often thirst in disguise, so take a drink of water to see if the feeling abates before grabbing food. You can plan your fasting meals to ensure your hunger isn’t too extreme by adding lots of filling vegetables to your day.
Does the 5:2 Diet have different effects on men and women?
There are some differences between genders when it comes to fasting. Women usually see no improvement in triglyceride levels, and their HDL (good) cholesterol stays stable. Men will see their triglyceride levels decrease. Studies have also shown that women experience no improvement in insulin sensitivity, while men will see increased sensitivity. Glucose tolerance actually got worse for many women in the study. These results will vary from person to person, though.
Do I have to fast two days in a row?
The recommendation is not to do your fasting days consecutively, nor exceed forty-eight hours in total.
What kinds of side effects can I expect when fasting?
As long as you follow the recommendations of the 5:2 Diet, you shouldn’t experience too many side effects, and they will eventually go away after a few weeks on the diet as your body gets used to the new routine. Many of these can be attributed to either dehydration or low blood sugar. Side effects that you might have while on the 5:2 Diet include:
- Bad breath
- Constipation or other digestive distress
- Constipation or other digestive distress
Is there a meal schedule on fasting days?
You can eat anything you want on fasting days as long as you stay within the calorie range for your gender. You might want to take your routine into account when deciding on your eating schedule in order to have an easier time getting through the day. For example, if you’re grumpy when you skip breakfast, make sure that’s one of your meals. If you know your energy slumps in the afternoon, try to allot an energy-packed snack.
Is coffee forbidden when fasting?
You can certainly still have your morning coffee or tea on the 5:2 Diet, but if you’re someone who likes cream and sugar in your beverage, those calories will count toward your day’s total.
Should I use meal replacements when fasting?
You can choose any food you want on your fasting days. Meal replacement bars and shakes are designed to have very precise calorie counts, so it would be easy to incorporate them. Make sure you choose products meant for weight loss rather than those intended to aid in weight gain for body builders or you could wind up eating a bar with more than three hundred calories!
Can everyone follow the 5:2 Diet?
It’s always a good idea to consult your health-care provider before embarking on any diet change, particularly if you have an existing health condition. Some people should not intermittently fast, including those who:
- Are taking warfarin, insulin, or any other medication for a medical condition
- Are underweight or clinically obese
- Are children or teenagers
- Are pregnant or nursing
- Are hypoglycemic
- Have peptic ulcers
- Have a history of eating disorders or an active eating disorder
- Have type 1 diabetes
- Recently had surgery
- Have a compromised immune system
Won’t my body go into starvation mode if I fast, and then I’ll gain weight?
This is true to an extent, but not within the parameters of the 5:2 Diet. Studies have shown that it takes at least seventy-two hours of fasting to significantly lower your metabolism.
Can I exercise when fasting?
You can exercise on fasting days, but for the first few weeks, you might want to lower the intensity of your routine until your body gets used to the calorie restriction. Studies have actually shown that you can burn more stored fat when exercising during a fast, so include an aerobic element in your workout to take advantage of that fact.
Can I still have a glass of wine on fasting days?
You can have any kind of alcohol on fasting days, but it’s not really a great choice from a calorie perspective. If you want to have a beverage, wine is not the worst selection because it only has about 120 calories per glass, but stay away from sugary drinks if possible. Also, drinking alcohol on a relatively empty stomach can create issues, including increased sensitivity to alcohol effects and the urge to snack.
Do I have to count calories on non-fasting days?
You can eat anything you want on days you’re not fasting, but in order to maximize the benefits of fasting, it’s a good idea to follow a healthy diet that limits saturated fats, processed foods, and sugar.