Last week I blogged about alternate day intermittent fasting, which is the IF plan that I used during my active weight loss phase. After I hit my original goal weight in the spring of 2013 I re-evaluated where I was at, and I decided to keep losing weight as I began transitioning into maintenance. As I was getting ready to do this Dr. Michael Mosley’s BBC documentary, Eat, Fast and Live Longer was getting a lot of attention. Dr. Mosley’s plan, 5:2IF, is a more relaxed version of ADF and I decided to use it as my transition plan. Over next several months I lost around twenty more pounds, before calling final goal and fully transitioning into maintenance.


Plan Details: 
  • similar to ADF, except you only do two, non-consecutive low calorie days a week
  • low calorie days are 500 calories for women, 600 calories for men
  • the other 5 days are at around maintenance calorie levels (play around with this a bit if you aren’t seeing progress after a week or two)


  • start the plan on a high calorie day
  • do not do two consecutive low calorie days
  • re-run your numbers every 5lbs lost
  • on low calorie days you can spread out your calories however you want. Some prefer to break them up into mini-meals every couple hours, or you can save them for a larger supper.
  • For low calorie food ideas check out pinterest!
  • always pre-plan your low calorie days in advance
  • your weigh-ins will not follow a traditional pattern, but instead will move in a series of bounces and whooshes. You can weigh yourself daily if you prefer, but don’t let the bounces bother you-these are supposed to happen. As with ADF, you cannot look at daily or even weekly weigh-ins for the most accurate picture of what’s happening. Instead compare your weigh-in after the first low calorie day of the month, to your weigh-in after the last low calorie day at the end of the month, to see your progress.
  • Dr. Mosley’s book, The Fast Diet, is a great, easy to read book (most libraries carry it)
  • You can find Dr. Mosley’s BBC documentary Eat, Fast and Live Longer online for free, and it’s a great introduction to IF and its benefits
  • Here’s a great website/forum for 5:2IF followers (its expanded to include other IF plans too). Lots of information and support!
 Benefits of 5:2IF:
  • Simple and easy to understand and follow
  • accommodates eating preferences
  • you only ‘diet’ twice a week, which prevents diet fatigue
  • you can move your rotations to accommodate vacations, parties, holidays etc
  • easy to correct if you get off track-just jump back in on a high calorie day and resume the plan
  • many people experience extra energy on their low calorie days
  • you learn what real hunger is vs. wanting to eat for other reasons
 Who Should Not Do 5:2IF
  • people with a history of distorted eating
  • people with certain medical conditions
  • pregnant and breastfeeding women

Negatives of 5:2IF:

  •  the first few rotations will be rough as your body adjusts. Starting out it’s ok to do higher, low calorie days
  • you may experience some hangry moments on your low calorie days, especially during PMS. These do not happen every time though
  • some people do fine exercising on their low calorie days, but others cut out exercise on those days or just do walking
5:2IF is a great plan to use if you don’t have a large amount of weight to lose, or as a transition plan between a more aggressive weight loss phase and maintenance. I lost a bit slower with 5:2IF, but I still saw consistent progress on the scale each week. It’s also a more laid back version of IF, which makes it more doable for a lot of people. If you’re interested in IF, 5:2IF may be a good plan to start with!


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