5:2 The promise Eat normally most of the time, except two days a week when you slash your calorie intake to about a quarter of recommended amounts. So on those days women eat 500 calories and men 600, never on consecutive days. Assuming that you normally consume the recommended daily calories, just two days of fasting cuts out more than an entire day’s food over the week. Aside from weight loss, there are other claims – like improvements in blood pressure and cholesterol, and that fasting could increase lifespan. Does it deliver? The largest trial in humans showed similar levels of weight loss between people put on a two day consecutive fasting diet and a regular calorie-controlled diet. They also had similar benefits in terms of blood pressure, cholesterol and other health markers, although the fasting group had slightly better improvements to insulin resistance. The study was in obese women though, so the results might not apply to everyone. There is a long history of research showing that calorie restriction boosts lifespan. And animal research also suggests that fasting could boost brain cell growth and might protect the brain from the build-up of plaques seen in diseases like Alzheimer’s. Research… Read full this story
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