IF YOU’RE looking to lose weight, the seemingly endless list of different diet options can be a little confusing.
The 5:2 plan has helped dozens of celebrities lose several stone, and is favoured by lots of dieters. Here’s the lowdown on it…
Getty Images The 5:2 diet involves fasting two days a week… and eating normally the rest of the time
What is the 5:2 diet and how does it work?
The 5:2 diet is based on the idea of intermittent fasting, and still scoffing sweet treats like cake when you fancy.
Dieters eat normally for five days of the week and severely restrict their calories for the other two.
The part-time aspect appeals to many people because there is no restriction on what you eat for five days of the week.
On the fasting days, dieters are meant to eat 25 percent of their recommended calorie total – 500cals for women and 600cals for men.
Instagram Celebrity advocates of the 5:2 diet include Hollyoaks actress Jennifer Metcalfe
By only fasting intermittently, you can stop your body going into starvation mode and storing up fat.
Women should hope to lose about a pound a week on the plan, while men can shed a little more.
Is the 5:2 diet safe?
As well as weight loss, the brains behind this diet claim that it improves brain function and cholesterol levels, helps with the anti-ageing process and reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer.
However, it’s not all positive. On fasting days, dieters can experience low energy levels, poor concentration, headaches and dizziness.
It’s important to drink lots of water and herbal teas on fast days, while dieters should try to still include some protein, vegetables and carbohydrates.
You’re advised to avoid fasting two days in a row and choose your calories carefully on fast days.
A less extreme version of the diet sees people extending the time between their evening meal and the first meal of the next day – fasting for a minimum of 12 hours.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women, diabetics on medication, teenagers and children are not advised to follow this diet.
Fasting is also a bad idea for those who have suffered from eating disorders in the past, as it could encourage harmful eating habits.
Rex Features George Osborne overhauled his image with the 5:2 diet
Are there any celebrity success stories on the 5:2 diet?
There are lots of celebrity success stories, suggesting the diet really does work – if you don’t loathe the idea of starving yourself two days a week.
Hollyoaks actress Jennifer Metcalfe, who plays Mercedes McQueen in the soap, follows the LighterLife Fast 5:2 diet.
LighterLife’s plan allows dieters to consume up to 800cals on their fast days, by eating or drinking four of their signature Fastpacks.
The 34-year-old, who chooses not to weigh herself, said she had a ‘guilt-free Christmas’ on the plan – which Jen has been following since early 2015.
Meanwhile, This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield lost 9lb in just four weeks when he first started the diet.
Getty Images Beyonce is also said to be a fan of the diet