Dr Michael Mosley reveals his top 5:2 recipes for one person (2024)

By Dr Michael Mosley for the Daily Mail 01:01 07 Apr 2019, updated 01:52 07 Apr 2019

Seven years ago, almost to the day, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Rather than take medication, I chose to tackle the problem myself by experimenting with my diet. Extensive research told me that cutting my calories for just two days a week could have a profound effect on my health.


Within a few months, I’d lost nearly a stone and a half and my blood-sugar levels were no longer considered diabetic. I coined my eating routine ‘The 5:2 diet’ and shared details of the discovery in what would become an international bestselling book.

In the five years that followed, I’ve witnessed a revolution in weight-loss research that has transformed the lives of millions. Type 2 diabetes is no longer a life sentence with patients reliant on endless pills to keep them alive and well.

But the benefits of eating in this way – so-called intermittent fasting – span way beyond these two (very important) things.

Some scientists now believe that this kind of eating plan may play a role in reducing the risk of cancers, heart disease, depression and even dementia.

Although research is still in the very early stages, I think the potential is exciting, not least because of the thousands of positive stories I’ve now heard from followers of my 5:2 diet, some of whom have been diabetes-free for a few years now.

However, amid the overwhelmingly positive feedback was one common complaint. ‘But I’m only cooking for one!’ many protested.

So, to coincide with the release of my latest book – The Fast 800, an updated, supercharged version of the original 5:2 – I’ve compiled a collection of mouth-watering, calorie-controlled recipes that are especially designed to be eaten solo.

After all, just because you want to diet, it doesn’t mean your other half does too. Meanwhile, the number of people living alone has doubled in the past two decades and more than four million older adults eat most of their meals alone.


The plan is simple: stick to 800 calories on two Fast Days, while eating a normal, balanced Mediterranean-style diet the rest of the time. For those looking to lose more weight, quickly, try sticking to 800 calories a day, every day, for six weeks.

As I explain in the book, studies have shown that you could shed up to two stone in just three months. And the meals featured in this special pullout will make that process not only easy, but a pleasure.

As I’ve said, each recipe is designed to make a single portion – with the exception of a few, such as granola, which you can store and enjoy over a number of days. The calorie counts given in all cases are per single portion.

If you want to make a dish work for more than one, simply multiply the number of ingredients by the number of diners. But before we get started, here’s a quick update of why this diet really does work.


Most people who go on mainstream diets don’t manage to keep the weight off. But studies have shown that people on the 5:2 are able to lose weight, long-term.

One recent Australian study showed that those eating the 5:2 way lost more than a stone, on average, and had kept it off a year later.

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Even the NHS website recognises its lasting benefits, stating that two days of dietary restriction can be more sustainable than traditional diets, leading to reductions in ‘body fat, insulin resistance and other chronic diseases’.



As we all know, Britain is facing a crisis in type 2 diabetes, with one patient diagnosed every three minutes. But a pioneering 2018 study of 298 diabetics showed that eating a diet of 800 calories every day for up to five months can, in fact, put many cases of diabetes into reverse.

Scientists from the University of Glasgow and University of Newcastle saw participants lose an average of one-and-a-half stone and, in many cases, their blood sugars returned to normal.

Almost half were able to come off their medication and were declared ‘in remission’.

Last month, a follow-up study revealed the most remarkable finding yet: two years on, most of those patients’ diabetes was still in remission. Compared to a control group who followed conventional NHS advice, they were far slimmer, had lower cholesterol and reduced blood pressure and reported a much better quality of life.

As one of the study’s authors, Professor Mike Lean, told me: ‘For years we have been telling patients with type 2 diabetes to take the pills. This is a serious disease with nasty complications, particularly if you develop it in your 40s or 50s. The good news is that, with the right help, many people can now get shot of this horrible disease.’


Another set of promising findings shows that intermittent fasting could protect brain health.

Mark Mattson, a professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the US, has spent decades looking into the impact of intermittent fasting on the brain. He has shown in animals that intermittent fasting stimulates the release of a protein called BDNF, or brain-derived neurotrophic factor. BDNF stimulates the creation of new brain cells and their connections, improving cognitive function and memory. The results of his latest study into the impact of 5:2 on people at risk of dementia are expected soon.



The recipes across the following pages, and in my books, are based on the principles of the Mediterranean diet involving plenty of nuts, fish, olive oil and vegetables. This way of eating is good for the heart and the waist. It is also an effective way to reduce depression and anxiety. In fact, some research has shown that those who stick closest to a traditional Mediterranean diet are a third less likely to suffer depression than those who don’t.

Conversely, eating a diet containing lots of takeaways and highly processed food has been linked to greater incidence of depression. These studies don’t prove food either prevents or causes mental ill health – there may be other factors at play – but the association is there.


We know that being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast and bowel cancer. Excess fat, particularly around the gut, sends hormonal signals to the rest of your body telling your cells to divide more frequently, accelerating the growth of tumours, it is believed.

Studies on middle-aged women at increased risk of breast cancer have not only shown that the 5:2 is a more effective way to lose this type of belly fat than a conventional diet, but it also leads to reduced levels of hormones, such as insulin, that can drive cancer growth.

We also know that people eating high quantities of processed red meat such as bacon, ham and sausages and low amounts of wholegrain carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables have high rates of colon and bowel cancers.


But a Mediterranean-style diet low in processed meats but high in fibre-rich veg and wholegrains – such as the one I champion – is known to reduce the risk of these cancers. It is thought that nitrates added to meat during the manufacturing process interact with the enzymes in the gut, increasing cancer risk.

For more information and support about how to follow this diet safely and effectively, visit thefast800.com.

Best ever breakfasts

Roasted apple and oat granola with yogurt

305 calories per serving

Makes 8 servings

● 2 apples, cored and cut into 1cm pieces

● 2 tbsp vegetable oil

● 2 tbsp maple syrup

● 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter

● 200g oats

● 50g seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, or a mixture)

● 50g mixed nuts, roughly chopped

● 25g desiccated coconut

● 1 tsp ground cinnamon

● 1 egg white

● 1 tbsp full-fat natural yogurt per serving

Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 4. Spread the apple out on a large lined baking tray and cook in the oven for 15 minutes until caramelised. Meanwhile, heat the oil, maple syrup and peanut butter together in a small pan.

Tip the roasted apple into a bowl with the oats, seeds, nuts, coconut, cinnamon and a pinch of salt, then pour over the oil mixture and mix well with a spoon.

Whisk the egg white in a separate bowl until it is frothy, then stir it into the mixture.

Spread it out on the lined baking tray and cook in the oven for 35-40 minutes, stirring two or three times, until it is golden.


Serve with a spoonful of yogurt. (A serving without yogurt is 272 calories.)

Blueberry oven-baked pancake

329 calories per serving

● 1 medium egg

● 80ml full-fat milk

● 35g wholemeal flour

● ½ tsp baking powder

● 30g frozen blueberries

● ¼ tsp ground cinnamon

● 1 tsp butter

● 1 tbsp full-fat natural yogurt

● ½ lemon, zested

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6.

Whisk the egg in a jug, then add the milk, flour, baking powder and cinnamon.

Whisk everything together well. Gently fold in the blueberries. Melt the butter in a small oven-proof frying pan (approx 16cm diameter), pour in the batter and place in the oven to cook for 15-17 minutes.

To serve, top with the yogurt and lemon zest.

Spicy beans and spinach on toast

386 calories per serving

● 1 tbsp olive oil

● 1 clove of garlic, sliced

● 2 tbsp tomato puree

● ½ tsp paprika

● 1 tsp red wine vinegar

● ½ 400g can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

● 50g fresh spinach, or 50g frozen spinach, defrosted

● 10g feta cheese

● 1 slice of wholegrain seeded bread, toasted

Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan and cook the garlic for 1 minute.

Add the tomato puree and paprika and cook for 2 minutes. Next add the vinegar, cannellini beans and 100ml of water and cook for 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened and reduced.

Add the spinach, cook for a few minutes, then season and serve on the toast with the feta crumbled over.


Mexican baked egg

156 calories per serving

● 1 small wholemeal tortilla wrap

● 1 large egg

● 2 cherry tomatoes, finely chopped

● 1 spring onion, finely sliced

● Pinch of paprika

● A few coriander leaves

● Dash of hot sauce

Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6. Trim the tortilla so it is approx 15cm diameter using a plate. Warm the tortilla for 10 seconds in the microwave or in a frying pan so it is soft, then push it into a muffin tray to create a cup.

Cook in the oven for 5-6 minutes until crisp and golden.

Take the tray out of the oven, then crack in the egg and top with the paprika and a pinch of salt and pepper. Return the tray to the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes until the egg white has set. Garnish with the chopped tomato, spring onion, coriander and hot sauce to serve.

Parsnip rosti with a poached egg and mustard sauce

302 calories per serving

● 1 large parsnip, approx 20g, coarsely grated

● 1 small onion, approx 60g, very finely sliced

● 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard

● 1 tsp olive oil

● 1 tbsp full fat natural yogurt

● ¼ lemon, juiced

● 1 egg

● Small handful of salad leaves

Mix the parsnip, onion and ¾ of the mustard together in a bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, then form the mixture into 3 patties and cook in the pan for 5-6 minutes on each side until golden and cooked through, turning carefully.


Meanwhile, mix ½ tbsp of mustard with the yogurt, lemon juice and some black pepper to make the sauce. Poach the egg in boiling water for 3 minutes or to your liking. Serve the rosti topped with the egg, the rocket and a drizzle of the sauce.

Luscious lunches

Prawn, fennel, bean and orange salad

385 calories per serving

● 10g almonds

● 1 orange

● 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

● 1 small clove of garlic, finely grated

● 1 small bulb of fennel, finely sliced

● 100g tinned cannellini beans

● 50g cooked prawns

● Large handful of mixed salad leaves

Toast the almonds in a non-stick frying pan for 3-4 minutes, then roughly chop.

Slice the skin off the orange, then cut off the top and bottom and use a sharp knife to cut out the segments over a large bowl, reserving the juice.

Put the segments to one side, then add the olive oil, garlic and some seasoning to the bowl and mix well to make the dressing. Drain, then rinse the cannellini beans under a cold tap.

Add the orange segments back to the bowl along with the fennel, beans, prawns and lettuce leaves and mix everything together. Scatter over the toasted almonds to serve.

Chicken and courgette salad with avocado dressing

360 calories per serving

● ¼ avocado

● 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

● ½ lemon, juiced

● ½ clove of garlic, roughly chopped

● 1 cooked skinless chicken breast, shredded into bitesize pieces


● ½ courgette, halved lengthways then thinly sliced

● 50g salad leaves

● 1 tsp seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, or mixed – your choice)

Toast the seeds in non-stick frying pan over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Put avocado, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper and a splash of water in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Pour the dressing into a bowl, then add the chicken, courgette and salad and toss to coat. Garnish with seeds.

Chorizo flatbread pizza

280 calories per serving

● 1 tbsp tomato purée

● 1 small wholemeal tortilla wrap

● 15g sliced chorizo

● 30g cherry tomatoes, halved

● 50g fine asparagus or broccoli

● 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

● A few basil leaves

Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6. Spread the tomato purée over the flatbread, leaving a 2cm border around the edge. Top with the chorizo, tomatoes and asparagus and drizzle over the oil and some seasoning, then bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes until the asparagus is cooked. Garnish with the basil leaves and cut into wedges. If you use broccoli, the pizza comes in at 287 calories.

Egg and spinach omelette wrap

325 calories per serving

● 2 medium eggs

● 25-30g frozen chopped spinach, defrosted (1 cube)

● 20ml milk

● Small pinch of chilli flakes (optional)

● 2 tsp wholemeal flour

● 1 tsp olive oil

● 2 tbsp cream cheese

● Small handful of salad leaves

Whisk the eggs in a jug, then add the chopped spinach, milk, chilli flakes, flour and some seasoning and whisk it all together.


Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan and pour in the batter. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then flip over and cook for 1 more minute.

Remove from the pan and allow to cool, then spread on the cream cheese, dot on the caramelised onion and cover with the lettuce leaves. Roll up and cut into pieces to serve.

Cajun bean patties with avocado and tomato

388 calories per serving

● ½ 400g can of black beans or kidney beans, rinsed and drained well

● ½ small red onion, finely chopped

● ¼ tsp garlic powder

● ¼ tsp paprika

● 2 tsp olive oil

● ½ tsp red wine vinegar

● ½ avocado, peeled, de-stoned and sliced

● 100g cherry tomatoes, quartered

● Small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped

Mix the beans, red onion, garlic powder, paprika and some seasoning, then use your hands to scrunch up the mixture really well until it has formed a paste, and make 3 small patties.

Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and cook the patties for 3-4 minutes on each side.

Meanwhile, mix the remaining oil with the vinegar and a small pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl, then stir in the avocado, tomatoes and coriander.

Serve with the bean patties.

Mackerel and pickled beetroot pâté on toast

388 calories per serving

● 1 smoked mackerel fillet, skin removed

● 1 small pickled beetroot, or about 4 slices

● 1 tbsp full-fat Greek or natural yogurt

● ½ lemon, zest and juice


● 1 slice of brown bread, toasted

● A few sprigs of dill, leaves picked

Put the mackerel, beetroot, yogurt, lemon zest and juice and some black pepper in a food processor and pulse until combined but still chunky.

Spread on to the toast and garnish with the dill to serve.

Tomato, olive and basil bruschetta

285 calories per serving

● 1 large slice wholegrain seeded bread

● 1 clove of garlic

● 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

● ½ lemon, zest and juice

● 25g green olives, roughly chopped

● 50g cherry tomatoes, quartered

● Small bunch of basil leaves, roughly torn ● A couple of leaves for garnish

Preheat grill to medium.

Cut the garlic clove in half and rub it over both sides of the bread, then drizzle with a small amount of the oil.

Grill for 1 minute on each side until nicely toasted.

Finely chop the garlic and mix with the olive oil, lemon zest and juice and some seasoning in a bowl, then add the olives, tomatoes and basil leaves, mixing well.

Spoon the tomato mixture on top of the toast and serve drizzled with any leftover dressing from the bowl and a few basil leaves.

Divine dinners

Spiced salmon with pea and herb rice sauce

500 calories per serving

● ½ tsp curry powder

● 2 tsp olive oil

● 1 small (100g) salmon fillet

● 50g (uncooked weight) brown or wholegrain rice – if using pre-cooked rice, it’s 100g

● 50g frozen peas, defrosted


● Small bunch of green herbs – parsley, coriander or mint

● ½ lime, juiced

● 1 tbsp full-fat Greek yogurt

● 2cm chunk of cucumber, finely chopped

Preheat grill to high. Mix the cumin, coriander, chilli powder, 1 tsp of olive oil and some seasoning together, then use to coat the salmon. Cook under the grill for 2-3 minutes on each side.

Heat remaining olive oil in a pan and cook the onion for 5-8 minutes until soft, then add the rice, peas, herbs and some seasoning.

Stir for 1 minute to heat through, then squeeze over half the lime juice.

Mix the yogurt, cucumber, remaining lime juice and some seasoning together and serve with the salmon and rice.

If you can find it, using wild salmon will lower the calories by about 40 as wild salmon is less fatty than the farmed version.

Paprika prawns with kidney beans and charred corn

318 calories per serving

● 1 half corn on the cob, or a small (150g) tin of sweetcorn

● ½ lemon, zest and juice

● 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

● ½ tsp paprika

● 75g cooked prawns

● 50g kidney beans

● 1 head of little gem lettuce, finely shredded (a similar amount of any kind will do)

● Small bunch of coriander

Bring a pan of water to the boil, then add the corn on the cob, cover, turn off the heat and leave for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the lemon zest, juice, olive oil, paprika and some seasoning together in a bowl. Stir in the prawns and leave to marinate.


Heat a griddle pan or frying pan until smoking, then cook the corn on all sides until nicely charred.

If you’ve used corn on the cob, allow to cool slightly, then slice the kernels off the cob with a sharp knife.

Add the corn, kidney beans and lettuce to the prawns and mix together well.

Serve with the coriander to garnish.

One pan Greek lamb with tomatoes, olives and broccoli

389 calories per serving

● ½ tsp dried oregano

● 1 clove of garlic, finely sliced

● 2 tsp olive oil

● 120g lamb rump steak

● 50g cherry tomatoes

● 25g black olives

● 75g broccoli

Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan/ gas mark 6.

Mix the oregano, garlic, olive oil and some seasoning together, then rub all over the steak.

Heat a small oven-proof frying pan, then cook the lamb for 1 minute on each side.

Cut the broccoli into small florets and add to the pan (we’ve used tenderstem broccoli in the picture, but any type will do).

Halve the cherry tomatoes, and roughly chop the olives, and add them too, stirring well.

Pour over 100ml of water, then transfer the pan to oven and cook for 6-8 minutes, until the lamb is still slightly pink and the vegetables are cooked.

Pot roasted chicken breast with root veg

380 calories per serving

● 1 small sweet potato, approx 75g, very thinly sliced

● 1 small parsnip, approx 75g, very thinly sliced

● 1 small carrot, approx 75g, very thinly sliced


● ½ small onion, thinly sliced

● 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

● 150ml chicken stock, made using ¼ low-salt stock cube

● 1 tsp olive oil

● A few sprigs of thyme, or ½ tsp dried thyme

● 1 small raw chicken breast, approx 150g

Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6.

Mix the sweet potato, parsnip, carrot, onion, garlic and some seasoning together in a bowl, then layer it all up in a small baking dish.

Pour over the chicken stock, then cover with foil and cook for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the olive oil, the leaves from the thyme sprigs and some seasoning together in a small bowl, then add the chicken breast and coat it well.

Put the chicken breast on top and put the dish back in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables have golden edges.

Steak and sweet potato chips with mustard sauce

384 calories per serving

● 1 small sweet potato approx 100g, cut into thin chips

● 2 tsp olive oil

● Pinch of paprika

● ½ tsp Dijon mustard

● 1 tbsp full-fat natural yogurt

● ½ lemon, juiced

● 1 tbsp tarragon leaves, finely chopped, or ½ tsp dried tarragon

● 120g lean beef steak

● 75g asparagus or broccoli

Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6. Toss the sweet potato in 1 tsp of the oil, the paprika and some seasoning then spread out on a lined baking tray and cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden.


Mix the mustard, yogurt, lemon juice, tarragon and seasoning in a bowl to make the sauce.

Heat a griddle pan until it is smoking. Rub the steak with another tsp of oil and some seasoning, then cook on the griddle for 1-2 minutes each side. Transfer the steak to a plate and cover with foil. Cook the asparagus on the griddle for 2-3 minutes, turning frequently until cooked through and nicely charred.

Serve the steak with the chips, asparagus or broccoli, sauce and any resting juices drizzled on top. If you use broccoli, add 10 calories to the meal.

Beetroot, lentil and feta salad with mint dressing

384 calories per serving

● 10g seeds (pumpkin, sunflower – your choice)

● 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

● ½ lemon, juiced

● Small bunch of mint, big leaves finely chopped, small leaves for garnish

● 2 cooked beetroot, cut into wedges

● 100g cooked lentils

● 50g salad leaves

● 15g feta

Toast the seeds in non-stick frying pan over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, keeping them moving so they don’t burn.

Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, finely chopped mint and some seasoning together in a large bowl to make a dressing. Add the beetroot, lentils and rocket and mix well.

Serve with the feta crumbled on top and garnish with the seeds and small mint leaves.

Butternut squash curry with roasted aubergine, greens and cashews

376 calories per serving

● 1 tsp olive oil

● ½ aubergine, cut into bitesize pieces


● 10g cashews

● ½ tbsp Thai red curry paste

● ¼ small butternut squash, approx 175g of flesh, seeds removed and coarsely grated

● 100ml canned light coconut milk

● 15g fine noodles – either egg or rice noodles

● 100g green cabbage, finely sliced

● ½ lime, zest and juice

Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6. Coat the aubergine chunks in the olive oil, then spread out on a lined baking tray and cook in the oven for 30-35 minutes until softened and golden.

Heat a large pan, then toast the cashews for 1-2 minutes, keeping them moving, until they are golden, then remove from the pan and put aside.

Add the curry paste to the pan and cook for 2 minutes, stirring well.

Add the butternut squash, stirring for 1 minute, then add the coconut milk and ¾ of a can full of water.

Cover and bring to the boil and cook for 10 minutes, then add the noodles and cabbage and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Season well, then squeeze in the lime juice and add the zest. Serve topped with the roasted aubergine and roughly chopped cashews.

Peachy puds (for non-fast days)

Yogurt cheesecake pot

114 calories per serving

● 50g full-fat Greek yogurt

● 1 tsp full-fat cream cheese

● ½ tsp honey

● 5g almonds, toasted and finely chopped

Mix the yogurt and cream cheese together, then stir in the honey. Spoon into a ramekin or small bowl, then sprinkle over the almonds to serve.


Mixed berry cobbler

276 calories per serving

● 1 tsp butter

● 1 tsp smooth peanut butter

● ½ tsp maple syrup

● 25g oats

● 10g cashews, chopped

● 100g frozen mixed berries

Preheat oven to 180C/ 160C fan/gas mark 4. Melt the coconut oil, peanut butter and maple syrup together and stir in the oats and cashews. Put the berries in an individual pie dish or oven-proof bowl, then put the oat mixture on top in an even layer and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden and crisp.

Poached rhubarb and yogurt

60 calories per serving

● 1 stick of rhubarb, approx 50g cut into 1in chunks

● ¼ orange, zest and juice

● 1 tbsp full-fat natural yogurt

Put the rhubarb, orange zest and juice and 50ml of water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, then cook for 6 to 8 minutes until it has softened.

Serve with the yogurt and some of the cooking liquor drizzled over the top.

Banana and walnut muffins

175 calories per muffin (makes nine)

● 2 very ripe bananas, peeled

● 2 eggs

● 1 tbsp maple syrup

● 2 tbsp olive oil

● 50ml full-fat milk

● 50g oats, plus 1 tbsp for sprinkling

● 100g wholemeal flour

● 1 tsp baking powder

● 50g walnuts, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas mark 4.

Line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases. Mash the bananas well in a large bowl, then beat in the eggs followed by the maple syrup, olive oil and milk.


Add the oats, flour, baking powder, walnuts and a pinch of salt and mix everything together until fully combined. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases, then sprinkle with the extra oats and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

The Fast 800, by Dr Michael Mosley, is published by Short Books, priced £8.99. Offer price £7.19 (20 per cent discount) until April 14.

Order at mailshop.co.uk/books or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15. Spend £30 on books and get FREE premium delivery.

Dr Michael Mosley reveals his top 5:2 recipes for one person (2024)


What is the Michael 5:2 diet? ›

The 5:2 diet, also known as The Fast Diet, is a popular intermittent fasting diet. It was popularized by British journalist Michael Mosley. It's called the 5:2 diet because five days of the week are routine eating days, while the other two restrict calories to 500–600 per day.

What is the 5:2 diet Brian Mosley? ›

The New 5:2 approach involves restricting calories to 800 on fasting days, then eating a healthy lower carb, Mediterranean-style diet for the rest of the week. The beauty of intermittent fasting means that as your insulin sensitivity returns, you will feel fuller for longer on smaller portions.

What is the 5 2 ratio diet? ›

The 5:2 diet is based on a principle known as intermittent fasting. This is where you eat normally at certain times and then fast during other times. There are different versions, but the 5:2 diet involves eating a normal, healthy diet for five days every week and 'fasting' on the remaining two days.

Did Michael Mosley invent the 5:2 diet? ›

It was first documented in a 2011 article co-authored by Michelle Harvie, Mark Mattson, and 14 additional scientists. It was later published in the UK and Australia by Michael Mosley through the 2012 BBC documentary Eat, Fast and Live Longer (where he learned about the 5:2 diet from Mark Mattson).

Is the 5:2 diet legit? ›

Studies suggest that the 5:2 diet is as effective as calorie restriction for weight loss and may offer some additional benefits such as improvements in fasting blood sugar and appetite management.

Does the 5:2 diet make you lose weight? ›

With the 5:2 diet, participants can expect to lose anything from a few pounds to a few stone over time. This will entirely depend on your weight when you first begin and other aspects such as how much you're exercising during normal calorie intake days.

Is the 5:2 diet now 800 calories? ›

The new 5:2 Diet

Cutting down to 800 calories a day seems to be almost as effective and for some people much more 'doable'.

What is the 5:2 diet one week? ›

Looking at the 5:2 diet

Under this plan, you eat what you want for 5 days each week and then limit yourself to 500 calories on the other 2 days. In a recent study conducted at Queen Mary University of London, researchers said the results of 5:2 intermittent fasting are similar in effectiveness to traditional dieting.

What is the 5:2 diet 24 hour fasting? ›

“In simple terms, it's eating as normally as you can for five days of the week and then on two days — for two 24-hour periods — you don't eat,” Wentworth tells NBC News BETTER. That doesn't mean you starve yourself for two days, Wentworth explains.

Can you eat potatoes on the 5:2 diet? ›

10% fat and sugar "One portion a day (eg 2 biscuits) is fine. Keep rest of intake unsaturated fat (eg olive oil, nuts, avocados)." 30% starchy foods "Starch - so, potatoes, bread, rice, pasta - should make up a third of every meal we eat as it's our main energy source.

What does Michael Mosley eat in a day? ›

The Fast 800 diet is a form of intermittent fasting, where you stop eating for a large part of the day, and the rest of the day's food is inspired by a Mediterranean Diet. Dr Mosley fasts for 12 hours a day, he told SBS, waking at 7am and having his breakfast at 8am after an hour of exercise and work.

What foods keep you full when fasting? ›

Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are high in fiber, so they can help keep a person feeling full and satisfied. Healthy fats and proteins can also contribute to satiety. Beverages can play a role in satiety for those following the 16:8 intermittent fasting diet.

What can you eat on 5 2 fast days? ›

Examples of meals on fast days
  • a generous portion of steamed vegetables with spices and salt.
  • vegetable soup.
  • two hard-boiled eggs.
  • a small cut of steamed white fish.
  • a generous portion of salad with fresh vegetables.
Jan 28, 2019

What is the best intermittent fasting window to lose belly fat? ›

A 2023 review of research found that the 16/8 method and 16/8 combined with restricting calories were effective strategies for weight control in adults with overweight or obesity. An eating window starting before noon led to greater weight loss than one that began after noon.

What foods can you eat on fast 800? ›

Oily fish, prawns, chicken, turkey, pork, beef and, of course, eggs. Other protein-rich foods include beans, especially edamame beans, dairy and nuts and seeds. Processed meats (bacon, salami, lunch meats) should be eaten sparingly and in small quantities.

What is the 5:2 diet versus 16 8? ›

16/8 method: Each day you fast for 16 hours and only eat during the remaining 8 hours. It is also called a time restricted diet. The 5:2 diet: In a week you eat normally for five days and on the other two days you eat no more than 500-600 kcal (2100-2500 KJ). Alternate day fasting: Three-four 24 hour fasts each week.

Is the 5:2 diet 800 calories? ›

You eat 'normally' 5 days a week while restricting your calorie intake to 500-800 calories on the other 2 days, which are known as 'fast' days. Though these 2 days are called 'fast' days, you do not have to fast completely, you can eat light meals provided you consume less than 500-700 calories.

Why was the 5:2 diet made? ›

Created by medical journalist Dr Michael Mosley, this healthy eating plan introduces intermittent fasting days to your eating regime in a bid to lose weight and improve overall health. When Dr Michael Mosley created a diet that included fasting back in 2012, it was considered radical.


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