The 5 and 2 nutritional plan has been my go-to nutritional plan for the majority of my clients from as far back as 1991. I was therefore happy but also surprised to hear two well-known “nutritional experts” talk about their “latest research” and how it proved this way of eating was superior to keeping a consistent caloric intake throughout the week. I’m not sure how this is breaking news but then again, Charles Poliquin did always say research was 16 to 20 years behind the times.

The 5 and 2 plan is a method that involves five days of lower calories and personally, I prefer to also lower carbohydrates during these five days followed by two days of higher caloric intake and carbohydrates. It is a sustainable and effective strategy for weight management and overall well-being for several reasons.

The strengths of the 5 and 2 diet lie in its structured and sustainable approach. By adhering to lower calories and carbohydrates for five days a week, individuals establish a consistent routine that fosters discipline and helps create a caloric deficit conducive to weight loss. It is only five days so people can handle that. If you can’t then you simply don’t want results bad enough.

Then, acknowledging that we still want to enjoy life it is followed up with two consecutive days of higher calories and carbohydrates. This provides individuals with the flexibility to enjoy social events, and family gatherings, or simply indulge in their favourite food options without guilt. This adaptability makes the diet more sustainable in the long run. Extended restrictions can often lead to cravings and binge eating which is the one this you want to avoid.

The structured nature of the 5 and 2 diet makes it easier for individuals to adhere to their nutritional plan. Knowing that a reprieve is just around the corner on the designated higher-calorie days can boost motivation and prevent feelings of deprivation.

The essence of the 5 and 2 diet is not just about daily caloric restrictions but rather a weekly average. By strategically choosing two consecutive days for higher caloric intake, individuals can balance out their weekly average, accommodating variations in energy needs and lifestyle demands. As long as you are hitting your weekly goals you are good. One of my favourite quotes from Charles Poliquin was “Don’t look at the world through a straw.”

The weekend also provides more than just a psychological benefit. The increase in both calories and carbohydrates also serves to prevent metabolic adaption from constantly being in a caloric deficit. It is in essence giving yourself a mini refeed to keep your metabolism firing.

The flexibility of choosing which two consecutive days to designate for higher calories adds a customisable element to the 5 and 2 diet. Whether it’s Friday and Saturday or Saturday and Sunday, individuals can align their dietary plan with their unique schedules and preferences.

While everything still needs to be tailored to the client this provides a fantastic framework for you to get the results you are after while still being able to enjoy life.

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