Fad diets are those that are based on popularity and are lacking in a scientific basis. Some of which are not effective, while others can cause severe health-related maladies. When looking at these kind of diets, it is vital to carefully examine the possible benefits and drawbacks before even trying to commit to it.
The problem with these kinds of diets is that they are impossibly difficult to stay on due to the fact that they are too restrictive. In most cases, any one of these diets that requires you to remove an entire macronutrient will result in ridiculous cravings for that particular macronutrient that was removed.
The 5/2 diet is one such fad diet that entails ridiculous restriction on two separate days per week with standard consumption on the other five days. In essence, it is a variant of the diet phenomena known as intermittent fasting. It became fairly popular after a documentary on BBC two years ago this upcoming August. On the two restrictive days, men and women are only permitted 600 and 500 calories, respectively. On the other days, you can eat whatever it is you want, whether it is highly-processed or not. At first glance, it seems quite appealing, but several factors need to be considered before trying it yourself.
Firstly, the numbers used on the restrictive days are set in stone. Thus, the different metabolic needs and sizes of people undertaking this fad diet are not considered, and this can lead to disaster. Secondly, the fact that you can eat whatever you want on the other five days does not teach proper nutrition and in most cases will not offer the same vitamin and mineral content that non-processed food offers, thereby leading to disaster yet again. That said, weight loss can occur, but the problem is that most of it will most likely be muscle tissue and not fat due to the tremendous lack of protein in the fad diet.
If this is not too much of an issue for you (it should be), then it would be best to first consult your general practitioner first for his or her recommendations.
• “Daniel Bartlett: Is Intermittent Fasting Just Another Fad?.” The Huffington Post UK. Web. 6 Jan. 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/daniel-bartlett/52-diet-intermittent-fasting-another-fad_b_2637955.html>.
• “What A 200-Calorie Serving Looks Like (PICTURES).” The Huffington Post UK. Web. 6 Jan. 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/02/19/200-calorie-serving-in-pictures_n_2717418.html>.