What’s the latest trend on the weight loss front? It’s the 5/2 diet. It’s also called “intermittent fasting” or the “feast and famine” diet. It’s where you eat whatever you want 5 days a week, and then starve yourself the other 2.
On your “famine” days, you’re supposed to eat no more than 600 calories. And on your “feast” days, even if you stuff yourself with burgers, fries, and pizza, supporters say you’ll still lose weight. Why? Researchers at the University of Illinois say it’s because there’s no way to consume enough calories to make up for the calories skipped on famine days. Plus, supporters say there are other benefits: studies show that restricted-calorie diets can reduce our risk of diseases like cancer, diabetes, and even Alzheimer’s.
But plenty of nutritionists say it’s just another crazy fad diet and it’s downright dangerous. Zoe Harcombe, author of The Obesity Epidemic, points out that she did something similar in her late teens – and it’s called bulimia. In fact, she believes that going on an intermittent starvation-day diet could trigger eating disorders in people prone to them. Plus, extreme diets can also cause digestive problems. For example, if you don’t drink enough water on your low-calorie days, your risk rises dramatically for stomach cramps, bloating and constipation.
Our nutritionist also believes that anyone who loses weight on the 5/2 diet will gain it right back when they start eating normally again. So, if you want to lose weight, you’re a lot better off eating a healthy diet, everyday, and increasing your exercise.
Do you think “feast and famine” is the way to go?