The Intermittent Fasting for weight loss, the ‘IF’ diet is so popular that it’s positively affecting sales of low calorie foods in stores across the country. Since being featured on BBC Horizon, the intermittent fasting (IF) diet has taken off, and M&S has stated that they are seeing a huge rise in sales of foods associated with this diet.
The reasons behind the sudden popularity of the IF diet go beyond the fact that it was detailed on Horizon, or that celebrity Miranda Kerr endorses it. The way the diet works is very attractive to many people. It requires you to basically fast for two days a week, while for the other five days you can eat whatever you want. The idea that a diet actually helps you lose weight allows you to eat whatever you want most of the time is exactly what most people have been looking for.
Amazingly this seeming fad diet has some excellent science to back it up. As long as you abstain from food and keep your calorie intake at 500 calories for two days a week you can reduce your risk of cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and more. Researchers have even said that it can keep you from developing Alzheimer’s. Dr. Michael Mosley, a prominent health expert, tried the diet out for himself for a month and lost a stone, in addition to lowering his body fat by 25%. He detailed his experiences with the diet in a documentary called ‘Eat, Fast and Live Longer’ and is now writing a book on it with Mimi Spencer. Chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, known by many for his River Cottage series, used the diet to lose a significant amount of holiday weight recently.
With all of this attention, the IF, or the 5:2 diet as some people call it has people looking for low calorie foods to fill them up on the two required fasting days. Large retailer M&S says that the sales for their calorie-controlled ‘Count On Us’ range are skyrocketing. Their meal developer Elaine Kessler says that Count On Us is ‘the perfect range to help people on the 5:2 diet, as it’s easy to eat tasty, low calorie meals. We’re delighted with the impact on sales, and are stocking up to make sure there’s plenty of choice available.’ Overall, sales of this range are up 65% compared to last year, according to the retailer.
Intermittent Fasting Pros
If done right, the IF diet can help you limit the amount of calories you consume each day, which can obviously help you shed pounds. It might be easier to deal with this diet than one that requires you to eat healthy foods every single day, because with IF you only fast for 24 hours at a time. This diet is also unique in that you won’t have to worry about restricting food when you go out with friends or have a family dinner.
Another excellent byproduct of the IF diet is that it won’t affect your metabolism. When you lower your calorie intake every day, your body automatically slows down, including your metabolism, because there is less food to process. Many diets put your body into starvation mode, which means your metabolism and digestive systems slow down to save energy for when you need it. By only fasting for one day at a time your body never realizes it’s starving. Weight loss experts have been recommending a modified version of this for years: after a day when you overeat you should spend the next day watching your calories.
Intermittent Fasting Cons
Just like with any other diet there are easy ways to abuse the IF diet. If you don’t have sufficient willpower bingeing on the days when you aren’t fasting is a very real possibility, especially the days right after you fast. In fact, a study of the IF diet using mice showed just this. The day after they fasted they overindulged, making up for all the saved calories from the day before.
It’s actually quite easy to fall into this trap. Let’s look at an example. Take a woman who would normally maintain her weight by eating 2,000 calories a day. If done right, the IF diet would save her 3,000 calories a week, meaning she would lose 1-3 pounds, or 4-12 a month.
The problem is that you might fast one day, but then go out to dinner the next day. An average meal at a restaurant with two glasses of wine, an appetizer and a main course can run 2,000 calories by itself. Add a normal breakfast, lunch and snacks and your daily total could reach 4,000 calories. This means instead of a two-day total of 2,500 calories you have consumed 4,500, which is actually 500 more calories than you would normally consume.
Additionally, if you have been steadily gaining weight and your normal diet is very unhealthy, then fasting for two days is unlikely to do you much good. As with any other successful diet plan you must put in the work and try to limit your calorie consumption to normal levels even on the days when you are not limiting calories.
If the “IF” diet is what you like then we would suggest considering using 5:2 Fast Formula supplements alongside the diet itself. 5:2 Fast Formula (reviewed here) helps you curb your hunger, reduces appetite and fills you with energy so those 2 fasting days go quicker. Use it so you can really boost your weight loss targets by adding some weight loss supplements to the intermittent feasting diet. Good luck!