Tempted by the 5:2? Try out our three-week plan for the size
Summer is just around the corner, which means that there are many new, not to mention slightly extravagant, diet plans that tend to claim a quick fix to weight loss.
However, the 5:2 diet is still going strong, trusted with an increasing amount of research that continues to suggest the easiest way to incorporate fasting into your lifestyle, whilst achieving health benefits, is to restrict your food intake to 500 calories (600 for men) only twice a week!
Not convinced 500 will stretch that far? You might be surprised. In fact, you can eat two delicious meals on a fasting day without feeling the slightest bit restricted. Sound good? Use the following meal plans to follow the diet for three weeks:
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Week 1: FAST DAY ONE
Breakfast: A tangerine. Porridge (40g oats) and blueberries (145g).
Dinner: Chicken stir-fry (one chicken fillet, handful sugar snap peas, 100g cabbage, 2 carrots, ginger, coriander, garlic, soy sauce)
FAST DAY TWO
Breakfast: Yoghurt (small pot natural fat-free), blueberries (70g) and ham (40g)
Dinner: Feta Niçoise salad (1 egg, handful lettuce, handful green beans, 100g chopped cucumber, 90g feta cheese, 6 black olives)
Week 2: FAST DAY THREE
Breakfast: 1 Boiled egg and half a grapefruit
Dinner: Veggie chili (1 large mushroom, half tin chopped tomatoes, half tin of kidney beans, garlic, half a chopped red chili) with brown rice (80g cooked)
FAST DAY FOUR
Breakfast: Smoked salmon, a cracker and light cream cheese
Dinner: Thai prawn salad (a handful of cooked prawns, grated cucumber and carrot, sesame seeds)
Week 3: FAST DAY FIVE
Breakfast: Smoked salmon (50g) and 2 scrambled eggs
Dinner: Roasted vegetable salad (10 cherry tomatoes, ½ courgette, ½ aubergine, 1 red pepper. Two tangerines
FAST DAY SIX
Breakfast: Strawberry smoothie (1 banana 100g, pot fat-free natural yogurt 150g, a large handful of strawberries 50g)
Dinner: Oven-baked smoked haddock (fillet smoked haddock (200g), 1 poached egg, 100g steamed broccoli)