Eat this, don’t eat that. Exercise in the morning, exercise at night. Try a sugar and carb free diet, only eat raw meat. There are hundreds of ways to lose weight, each one more complicated than the last.  To be honest, in our busy day-to-day lives, we rarely have time to make substantial adjustments to our routines. The 5: 2 diet is a way to focus less on dieting techniques and more on the daily buzz of life.

The Fast Diet is composed of 5 days of normal eating paired with 2 days of fasting (5:2). Participants are allowed to select any two days of the week on which they would like to fast, restricting caloric intake to 500 calories for women and 600 for men. The average woman may consume up to 2000 calories on a non-fast day and a man, 2400. Depending on your individual BMI (body mass index), these numbers will slightly vary. Your recommended caloric intake will also appropriately scale to your weekly activity level: sedentary, lightly active, moderately active, very active, or extremely active. The 5:2 program is designed to encourage better eating habits in the long run and simply advocate weight loss as a byproduct of an improved lifestyle.

The diet itself became popular in the UK after the BBC Horizon documentary, Eat, Fast and Live Longer. In addition to the 2012 documentary special, celebrity endorsement and media attention has positioned the diet in a favorable light.

It’s important to note that ‘fast days’ do not mean “eat nothing” days. They simply mean that instead of eating as you normally do, you prepare and consume particularly low calorie meals. Here are some excellent low calorie meals you should try for your 5:2 diet:

Slow Cooker Pepperoni and Chicken

Chicken-Pepperoni

1 cup contains 295 calories, 78 from fat and 52g of protein. This is an excellent post-workout meal.

Mushroom Lasagna Rolls

Lasagna

At 280 calories per serving, this vegetable-based dish will make for an excellent lunch or dinner.

Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Salmon

SalmonToast

Smoked salmon is the way to go! This breakfast high in omega-3 will give you a strong boost of energy thank will last well into the day.

Have you tried the 5:2 diet before? Let me know!