5:2 diet method – Frequently asked questions

In this page I have summarized the most common questions I get  about the 5:2 diet.

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Who can follow the 5:2 diet?


The method is suitable for most people who are healthy and live a normal life. But it may be helpful to undergo a medical examination before you start to be sure that you are healthy . But the diet does not suit children growing , elite athletes who need a lot of energy . And people with pre-existing conditions should consult a doctor. If you feel faint of diet consult a doctor .

How do I start with the 5:2 diet ?


Read more on my : 7 Step Getting Started with the Fasting diet.

How do I calculate the calories on my 5:2 diet recipes?


You can find my guide on how to calculate the calories of your 5:2 Diet Recipes and my calorie table:

Learn to count calories of your 5.2 Diet Recipes

Calorie Table


Can I excersie while I follow the 5:2 diet?


The answer depends on what condition you are in. If you are training with higher intensity ( heart rate higher than 65% of maximum heart rate / maximum oxygen uptake) on an empty stomach there is no time for the body to transform the fat into energy that your muscles can use for training. But it will instead consumed energy stored in the muscles and liver, and after a while your muscles break down. It is not wrong to train during fasting but the results may not always be the best. Are you physically fit, however with very good absorption of oxygen your body is used to convert fat into energy and then it does not matter whether you ate or not before. 
So I would recommend low-intensity exercise on the day if you want to burn extra fat, because usually you like to keep the muscles where you’d left them! Looking for tips on workouts that you can use with the 5:2 diet you will find my low-intensity workout here:

What can I drink when I fast?


Flavored or carbonated water is a good drink if you want something more than just plain water. Add for example Lemon, some raspberry or kiwi. Coffee and tea is also healthy calorie -free beverages.

Must calories be limited to one meal a day or can I spread them out?


You can spread out the calories however you want. For example, you can have breakfast and dinner. Lunch and dinner. Or you can just eat a big lunch. You choose for yourself!

Do I need to fast for two consecutive days, or can I split them up during the week?

You can split the days, Monday and Thursday are good solid days for fasting. When possible, avoid fasting two days in a row.

What can I do to suppress hunger?


Drinking plenty of water , a cup of coffee, tea also reduces the feeling of hunger .

Is it okay to drink coffee and tea at my fast day?


It is perfectly okay to drink coffee and tea when fasting because both beverages are calorie -free. But it’s never good to exaggerate so a few cups are enough!

Is it okay to drink diet soups type Allévo, Nutrilett on fasting days?

I would not recommend it. Meal replacements as Allévo and Nutrilett are mainly for quick weight loss but with the result that you gain weight when you stop using them.

A powder soup contains as much sugar and protein and with its 350 calories per 100 grams , it is as much as some common sweets you can find. In the Contents list , there is not much that you recognize and it does not feel so good to put in your body.

Can I eat whatever I want on the days when I do not fast?


5:2 diet gives you more opportunity to eat some unhealthy foods on days when you are not fasting but eat responsible, overeating can cause the benefits of periodic fasting to disappear.

Can you combine 5:2 diet with a low carbohydrate diet?

To achieve optimal health effects you can combine a low carbohydrate diet like Paleo with the 5:2 diet on the days when you are not fasting.

What days should I fast for?


You can choose exactly which days you want to use, just remember that it is best that is is 2-3 days in between. For example, Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Friday are good days.

I’ve been meaning to measure my weight  1 time / week but what day is the best?

A good suggestion to get a fair measurement is that you weigh yourself on Wednesday morning each week if you fast on Monday and Thursday. So it should be a few days after your fasting day benefit has begun to notice. But make sure you have a really good and reliable scale, the simplest and cheapest to buy has a tendency to show errors. On my page about 5:2 Tools , you will find my recommendations on 5:2 diet scales to use for the proper and accurate weight measurement. Click here to find out:

5:2 fast tools

Can I drink finished vegetable juice ( eg carrot juice) , which I can buy at the store , on my fasting day?


A ready-made juices , such as carrot juice, is great to buy ready made,  it is fast and healthy to use in 5:2 diet! But make sure that it is not so much additives and it such especially contain no sugar which is just empty calories. I also recommend grapefruit juice which can be bought ready made, quite natural without additives. Grapefruit is said to have a weight -reducing effect that boosts combustion, which is good for weight loss.

What do I do if I do not want to lose weight but still achieve the health benefits like lower blood pressure and cholesterol?


The reason you lose weight when you follow the 5:2 diet is that the total calories that you eat during a week is fewer than you usually eat. 
Thus I would say that it is important that you eat a little extra on an ordinary day than you usually do if you don’t want to lose any weight. Eat one extra whole grain sandwich, an egg, or perhaps a little fatter yogurt for breakfast. Add an extra snack or anything else you like. If you exercise , I recommend that you do it when you are not fasting to not increase your metabolism. Do not eat too much protein during the fasting days because  protein ” encourages ” the body to burn fat.

Why do different sources show different calorie content of foods?


The calorie content of the food changes during cooking due to water removed or fat is added. 
But unfortunately there are still different units in calorie tables, probably because they looked at different brands. A salmon from one brand may have lower calorie content due to a higher water content than a salmon from another brand. While other salmon contains more fats.
 The best tip I can give is to look on the package, there will always be exactly the right calorie content for your product.

Is it okay if you do not eat anything at all or less than 500 calories on their fast days?


It can be effectively fasting all day and save the calories for the evening meal. But it does not provide an effective weight loss if you skip all the calories. It sounds good to have the fasting days every few days but I think you should try to eat 500 calories.

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