(Relaxnews)—The 5:2 diet, based on a book called "The Fast Diet" by journalists Dr. Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer, involves intermittent fasting to shed stubborn bulge. You fast for two days of the week, but not completely—you eat one-fourth of your typical daily calories , roughly 500 calories for women, 600 calories for men—and eat what you desire the remaining five days. The rewards for your efforts are incredible weight loss and a reduced appetite, according to the diet's proponents. Other perks, they say, include living longer, looking younger, and even warding off dementia.
The book, released in the UK in January, has held the number one slot on Amazon's British site nearly every day since its publication, according to the New York Times. The concept for the book was spawned from Mosley's research for his BBC documentary called "Eat, Fast and Live Longer," which aired in August, with three million viewers tuning in. PBS plans to air it in April, and the book was just released in the US and is currently number two on Amazon's US site. However, not everyone is so excited. There is no doubt that a reduction in your weekly calories will result in weight loss, but nutritionists are taking issues with the concept of fasting for two days a week. For one, fasting can cause you to become overly focused on food, and then prompt overeating on your free-eating days, Heather Mangieri, a nutrition consultant and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, told LiveScience. Plus people may opt for unhealthy foods on their non-fasting days, which could "potentially lead to nutrient deficiencies and poor eating habits," she said. Plus prior studies have shown that diets that require fasting are hard to stick with, dietitian and author Katherine Tallmadge told LiveScience. "It's not something I would advocate, because I don't think it's sustainable." While you may see a weight loss in the short term, it's unlikely the pounds will stay off, she added. Still, Britain at least is hungry for fasting. According to the New York Time, in London the craze has been bolstered by celebrity chefs and food writers there, including Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who lost eight pounds after six days of fasting and raved about the diet in the The Guardian. Plus a slew of new cookbook featuring recipes for fasting have been hitting shelves in recent weeks. http://thefastdiet.co.uk jw/kc