Your guide to weight loss with the 5:2 Intermittent Fasting Diet

Fasting Diet Plan Quick Start Guide & 4 Week Challenge Review

5:2 Diet Meal Plan

One of my clients Emma joined my 4-week challenge a few months back. She has had some fantastic results and has been kind enough to share her experience with the 4-week challenge. Emma shares how she went on the 5:2 fasting diet plan, in the hope that others who are contemplating it will give it a go and see some great results too.

Emma shares how she went on the 5:2 fasting diet plan, in the hope that others who are contemplating it will give it a go and see some great results too.

So please have a read of what she has to say as she shares her story below. And I hope that you can also join the plan and achieve some great results of your own.

To your health.

Sarah


Emma’s Review and Testimonial

Generally, it is said that it takes 21 days to break an old habit or create a new one, but 21 days can seem like a long time of trial and error and wouldn’t it be nice to have some support to keep you committed to your goal?

If you are interested in breaking some bad food habits or creating some healthy eating habits, it’s great to have someone by your side to help you when the going gets tough. This is where the 5:2 Fasting Diet Plan 4 week program comes into its own.

One of the worst things about dieting is feeling like you are alone and that no one cares about your progress. Joining a group of people who are aiming for the same goal can be a great way of getting support from people who are traveling the same bumpy road that you may face.

The 4-week program makes intermittent fasting a little easier when first starting out, especially when there is so much conflicting information out there about using intermittent fasting for weight loss actually entails.

Signing Up To The 4-week Challenge

Signing up to the 4-week program was as easy as 1, 2, 3 – quite literally. By simply putting in my name and email address I was provided with more than enough information to get me started and keep me focused.

5:2 intermittent fasting guide

This is not one of those programs you need to wait for hours or even days to receive the information you need to get started; by the time I clicked the submit button and signed into my email, I had received an initial email from Sarah – what a great way to start the 5.2 fasting diet plan, no time to back out, I was now enrolled and accountable.

What I Received…

The email from Sarah outlined the program so that I knew exactly what to expect. She told me what help would be provided over the next 4 weeks, but she also gave me a cheat sheet to help me get things in order, and prepare me for my first fasting day.

By this time, I was committed 100%. There is nothing worse than signing up to a program, paying whatever money you need to pay (did I mention that at the time I signed up, the 4-week 5:2 fasting diet plan was 100% free?) and then having to wait; losing all motivation in the meantime.

So what else was provided with the program? Lots!

Cheat sheets, motivational resources and general information on weight loss, exercise, nutrition, mindset, and goal setting. Usually, for me the food part of a diet is the easy part; the mindset, the motivation, setting goals, exercise and the accountability is the hard part.

The information that Sarah provides in her initial emails and the ongoing information provided is amazing. I really felt supported.

Like many other diets, Sarah provides things such as motivational emails and sample meal plans but she also provides things many others don’t – ideas on what to do when struggling, accountability tools, and how to follow the 5:2 diet to lose weight quickly, which then keeps you going. Even better is that every step of the way it feels like Sarah has been through it all before and is right there beside you getting you through the first couple of weeks of fasting; just like your Mum or friend would.

One of the things that really got me hooked on trying the 4-week 5:2 fasting diet plan was all the great reviews and comments from people who have already completed the 4 Week Challenge and whom it worked for.

So many people were commenting that they had great results; such as:

  • people no longer feeling strong sugar cravings
  • helping people to make better food choices
  • being able to fit intermittent fasting around your day to day life
  • being less bloated and having more energy
  • and of course many had lost some serious weight in that time without having to squeeze into some lycra and take out a gym membership (this is the bit that really appealed to me!)
5:2 intermittent fasting guide

Starting The 5:2 Diet

Upon joining the 4-week challenge I was struggling after the first week as I wasn’t exactly sure what recipes and foods were going to give me the best results with the least amount of effort. I searched online and tried a few low-calorie recipes but they were either too difficult or too exotic, and I just didn’t want to spend all my time in the kitchen.

It was then that I decided to purchase Sarah’s Healthy and Delicious 5.2 Low-Calorie Recipe Book as I figured it was designed for this diet and this plan.; I also figured she had provided this great information for free and so wanted to make sure I got the kind of results others had talked about…..What a life saver!.

For less than a week’s worth of chai lattes (one of my downfalls), I got over 160 recipes suited to eating on the 5.2 diet; but it also contained daily meal plans, a calorie counter cheat sheet, and recipe booklets for desserts, snacks, drinks, soups, and salads.

To be honest – I’ve spent hundreds of dollars (maybe even thousands) on weight loss plans and eating plans. I’ve tried the big name diet plans, I’ve bought the shakes and diet pills and I’ve even purchased plans set by naturopaths and nutritionists but I’ve never stuck to them as none of them have been as easy to follow or have the constant support in a simple format like the 4-week fasting diet plan challenge

Between the Fasting Diet Plan, the cookbook and Sarah’s motivating and informative emails, I found I was well equipped to deal with anything intermittent fasting threw my way – the fake hunger, the initial tiredness, and the detoxing process.

Summing Up…

In a nutshell, I found the 5:2 Fasting Diet Plan to contain all the information I needed to get my head and body working together and it provided so much motivation, hints, and tips that I couldn’t fault it.

Even better than anything else (not that a free program and a cookbook for such a great price isn’t awesome) but in 4 weeks I lost over 13 pounds and feel so much better – healthier, more awake and more alive. For me, the 5:2 diet really proved to be the best diet to lose weight and I’m sticking with it and loving it.

5:2 intermittent fasting guide

Other Testimonials

We have loads of other testimonials from people that have signed up to our 4-week challenge and have had fantastic, and often life-changing results.

Here is a sample from some people that have joined the challenge… have a look for yourself below…

I love the 5:2 plan. Very doable and the body doesn’t go into protective mode. Metabolism stays about the same.
I lost 11.5 lbs in exactly 5 weeks. My lifestyle choices on my non-fast days are better and are easier to make. I’ve discovered that almost ALL cravings are psychological and note physical. Once I really got into the program my cravings were very easy to ignore because I recognized them for what they were — bad habits (operational word being ‘habit’).
I am going to continue the program well beyond the weeks. I feel so much better the day after a fast day and look forward to my Friday weigh-ins. (I only weigh myself once a week and consciously avoid doing so every day.)
Stan
Toronto, ON
Canada
November 2016

The educational aspect was quite remarkable! Basically learned that I didn’t need to eat so much. On the days after the fast days I just didn’t want to eat as much.
However the fast days were really hard and not sure if I could keep it up for ever.

It was great having your emails to encourage me.

A wealth of resources for the 5/2 faster. If you’re feeling on your own with your decision to fast these emails will help you get through and give you motivation.
Rachel
Stratford
UK
December 2016

I am not someone who does diets. I have always believed in simply eating the right food and doing exercise. But this plan really works. I have been pleasantly surprised by the results and intend sticking at it as it has really made a big difference to my body shape

Great program Sarah. Thanks for the regular emails and positivity. This plan really gets results
Dell
Brisbane, Qld
Australia
December 2016

In the first month, I have lost between 5 and 8 pounds, depending on the day I weigh myself and which scale I use. I have also had more energy and commitment to exercise more frequently. I feel much better than I did a month ago.
Rob
Asheville, NC
United States
January 2017

The emails were really helpful – 4 weeks is a really good timescale – I will be continuing with this
Mags
Manchester
UK
January 2017

Loved your email ….”Something came up…”. This was an encouraging email that stood out. you know you can slip up but to think that its ok was a great reminder for the mind.

I loved the reminder emails for fasting and the tips.

Not all diets are for everyone. But give this a go. What have you got to lose but weight. Sarah’s encouraging emails and tips were fantastic. They came at just the right moment when I needed that little bit of encouragement or a recipe to boost my excitement into eating something different and the calories have already been counted.
Michelle
Perth, WA
Australia
February 2017

My overall health improved I think because of the fasting. Great program.

This program is the best because it is so easy and flexible. Great results.
James
Ankeny, IA
USA
February 2017

I can make it on 500 calories a day and not feel deprived.

The biggest result for me was after 4 weeks of being on the 5:2 was I was able to remove a ring that had been stuck on my finger since Sept. of 2014. Who knew!!
Becky
Valparaiso, IN
USA
February 2017

I am learning not to give up, I did not do so well over the 4 weeks, but am starting over, your emails have been inspirational and I do not intend to give up.

I am very happy and fully intend to continue, I am not giving up and your support keeps me going.
Pam
Hollister, CA
USA
March 2017

1. Eating only 500 calories a day, for 2 days per week is easier than I thought it would be
2. By mini-fasting twice per week, I found that I’m not eating as much on the other days
3. I kept a food diary EVERY day, to help keep on track

This plan is a very interesting approach to losing weight in a positive and healthy manner. It didn’t sound like it would really work, but it did. I found that scaling back to 500 calories wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. Also, it was easier to eat less the rest of the week. I’ve struggled with menopausal weight gain (and other symptoms) for many years; my weight has seesaw-ed a bit, but mostly, I’ve gained 40 pounds in 17 years. I was able to lose over 8 pounds during this challenge. This approach seems to work for me and I will continue until I meet my goals, regardless of how long it takes!
Wendy
San Juan Capistrano, California
USA
April 2017

I learned that I can fast without feeling dizzy and light headed

I achieved results over a short period of time – the daily emails gave me the encouragement to keep going on the fasting days. Thank you
Suzanne
Perth, Western Australia
Australia
June 2017

I can manage a morning and afternoon with no snacks. And just how many calories are in food items – very surprising.

In having completed the four weeks, my husband and I are enjoying how well we are doing and enjoying this program. We are looking forward to continuing on and seeing the results.
Helen
Perth, WA
Australia
June 2017

I have lost 16 lbs since I have started this diet and I’m plan on continuing until I lose another 30!

The first few fast days were rough… one day I went over my calories (I think I had 750). But now it is not so hard!
Susie
Batavia, NY
United States
June 2017

I’ve learned that fasting 2 days a week makes me more mentally alert and makes me choose healthier meal on my non fast days

This program is definitely the way to go to stay on track with weight loss, it’s a new way of thinking and for me that’s where the battle is won. I look forward to my fast days now as they energize me. Thank you for investing in me!
Evelyn
Belfast
Northern Ireland, UK
June 2017

I was NOT starving when fasting, but wanted to eat certain things on my regular day that once I got there, no longer desired
Mizi
Delta, Bc
Canada
November 2016

I know different programs work differently for different people. So I’m slowly figuring out what works best for ME and my family lifestyle. My friend is doing this program as well and she has lost quite a bit of weight. She has her husband doing it with her which would make things alot easier, I don’t. So I just have to work with what I’ve got and be happy with every small change. I might win my husband over when he sees the change in me.
Thanks for your support!

I have been measuring everything I eat and knowing how many calories I eat on the non-fasting days. It’s still early days but I can now understand why we put on so much weight. A little bit too many calories each day add up to quite a bit over a year or so. Yes, we may eat not so good one day but we need to do ALOT better the next to get us back on track.

Having regular ‘check up’ emails or reminder emails to get back on track.
Lauren
Walloon, Queensland
Australia
January 2017

I lost 4 pounds. The email prompts helped to keep me motivated and to let me know what to expect.
As with any other goal, success with the 5:2 comes with having the discipline to stick with it and the ability to see the pay-off.
It is also important to build a support group of those who are most often in your family, business or social company. Those you interact with daily.
It is one thing to notice a drop in weight when stepping onto the scale. It is a much more powerful experience when someone else notices it and tells you.
I will continue to do the 5 :2 until it has become a habit–a natural part of my life.
The fasting diet plan will work if you work it.
For this first attempt, I lost 4 pounds
The email prompts and the “what to expect” information helped to keep me on track.
I will continue to work this plan until it becomes a natural part of my eating regimen.
TOM
CATHEDRAL CITY, CA
USA
August 2017

I enjoyed the prep emails and follow up emails are very important and helpful

This was very good at giving me advice of what to eat. I liked the reminders prior to a fasting day and the support of sample meals.
Lisa
Chicago, Illinois
USA
August 2017

Losing weight requires both exercise and diet. While I have no problem in keeping up to a pretty vigorous exercise schedule, I have always had a problem in restricting my diet. I have always been a foodie and love to eat different cuisines. I have tried various diets and only one has actually worked till now. I had gone through Dr. Joel Furmann’s (hope I have spelt his name correctly) Eat to Live Diet. It was for 6 weeks and a very rigorous regimen that largely consisted of eating raw vegetables (salads). I stuck with it and was able to lose ~20 kgs. This was in 2002 and I was 36 years old. Since then I have put on all that I had lost and then some more due to a slowing metabolic rate. While getting older I also tended to rationalise my dietary violations by telling myself ‘what is the quality of life that I am leading, if I cant eat what I want’.
So the short answer to your question is, Yes – sticking to a sensible diet has been the biggest challenge.

It’s not difficult. I have been able to stick to the principles and practices outlined in the book without going through any mental trauma. At the same time there have been tangible results. I started feeling much better. Its a little difficult to describe. You could call it a mixture of lightness, a sense of achievement, the motivation to do more and lesser pain in the joints while exercising.

Its been great to receive the mails from Sarah on each diet day. The mails covered several scenarios and most importantly focused on the objective of the journey. It was good to have a marker, reminder before the diet day and most importantly the feeling that there was somebody rooting for you.
Madhav
Pune, Maharashtra
India
September 2017

It is important to receive the reminder emails. it was a source of motivation

I am very pleased with the detailed information and suggestions
Janet
PORTSMOUTH, hampshire
United Kingdom
November 2017

I HAD NO PROBLEMS WITH THE FASTING DAYS, AND ALSO THE FOLLOWING DAY DID NOT FEEL HUNGRY AT ALL.
WE NORMALLY ONLY EAT TWO MEALS A DAY, LATE BREAKFAST AFTER AQUA FIT, AND DINNER AT 5PM.
ON FASTING DAYS ONLY ATE TWICE, WITH SOME GRAPES IN BETWEEN.
MAIREAD
KINGSTON, ONTARIO
CANADA
November 2017

I learnt not to eat because it was “time” for lunch but to wait until I was hungry.

I believe this is a good way to watch your weight. The emails were well received. Good to know someone was there if one needed help.
Angela
CANADA
December 2017

I have learned that 5:2 works. I have adjusted to the fast days, and have lost 3kg so far. I know now that I can manage my weight. That makes me feel good. Thank you.
Penny
Ashgrove, Queensland
Australia
December 2017

I really enjoyed the tone and mixture of encouragement, information and mindset that Sarah used in her email outreach. They were just enough to keep me motivated and consistent.
Robyn
Manhattan, New York
Usa
February 2018

I realized how many calories I have been consuming every day – and it is a lot more than what I am burning up. I suddenly noticed how many restaurants have calorie information on their menus. I was stunned to find out how many calories are in everyday dishes – like spaghetti with meat sauce, Italian beef sandwiches, hamburgers. No wonder I am overweight.

In reality, this diet plan is very easy to follow. I think anyone can commit to having some discipline just two days a week. It is just TWO days. Any discomfort from feeling a little hungry here and there quickly vanishes. Food awareness is a good thing to have; I think most of us take it for granted that anytime we are hungry or bored, we can just grab something from the refrigerator or the vending machine. This eating lifestyle is like getting a new pair of food glasses – suddenly you can see what you are doing every day so you can change your behavior.
Richard
Chicago, IL
USA
August 2018

It is easy if you set your mind to it…and plan. Do not get caught off guard with the wrong food.

2 days a week-so easy to do. Eat smartly the next 5 days and have a big payoff. Do not miss sleep and stay positive. it reduces the dreaded cortisol. Take a few minutes to be mindful.
Cindy
St Louis, MO
USA
September 2018

An example of the flexibility when u had an unexpected work lunch really helped me. It made me realise this plan could really work for me.
Lynne
Dundee
Scotland
September 2018

Some big ahas for me: realization of the times that I eat for example when I’m bored or habit/routine instead of just eating when I’m hungry. Also, decided that, after fasting, realized I’m not as hungry sometimes as I thought. Also became more aware of calories I consume on a daily basis. Really good for me because I’ve never wanted to “watch” or count calories before this. Now I’m more aware and that’s a good thing. Really great experience for me!!
Cate
Farmington, NM
US
September 2018

Thank you for this plan and it was free and every week, there was a guide for me.
Jackie
Cheneyville, la
Rapides
October 2018

Informative, it does work, but you need to have the right mindset.
Helen
Perth, Western Australia
Australia
November 2018

I have been on the diet since Oct. I have lost 11lbs. What made this diet easier for me was to be out of the house all afternoon on fast days. I am retired and do spend more time at home which is tempting to cave on snacks or just grazing while fixing meals for my husband. Also a light workout prevents me from the feeling of starving.

This is the second time I have done this diet. Last time I lost 15 lbs. it took 4 years to gain back the weight. I started again this oct. and have lost 11 lbs. I find this diet works for me because it is so flexible, even now during the busy holidays I find two days to fast. I feel so much better and look so much better. My blood pressure numbers and cholesterol numbers are much better also. I hope this becomes a way of life for me. Maybe 2 days a month after I reach my goal.
Constance
Vero beach, Fla
USA
December 2018

I have tried most “diets” in an attempt to lose the 15 pounds I gained during menopause. I just could lose some of the weight but never get below a certain point. I was frustrated beyond belief. I was listening to Doctor Radio and the nutritionalists we’re discussing your fasting. I took the four week challenge in combination with the Mediterranean Diet and was able to lose more weight in the four weeks than ever before. I am taking a week off as a reward and will begin again next week. Thank you.
Bobbie
Springfield, NH
United States
March 2019

I learned that I am able to lose weight by incorporating 2 fast days a week. I can enjoy a cookie or glass of wine on the nonfast days and still lose weight. I learned to choose foods that are high in nutrition which will keep me satisfied for longer periods of time. I learned that fast days did not make me hungrier on non fast day, but the opposite was true.

I love this plan of fasting for 2 days and eating normally on 5 days. I have lost 6 pounds on this plan without feeling deprived. On the fast days it encouraged me to choose more healthy filling foods such as vegetables and protein.
The first week, I felt slightly hungry in the evening because I was use to having a snack. Each week became easier and my body now has adapted to this eating plan. I look forward to my fasting days because it gives my body a rest from constantly feeding it. I will definitely continue on this plan because it has worked well for me and fasting only 2 days a week is doable.
Cynthia
Gurnee, Illinois
United States
March 2019

Great way to start really thinking about making changes in my relationship with food.
Michelle
Sydney
Australia
April 2019

I learnt how little food there is in 500 calories, which made me realize how much I usually consume.
The fasting days were not difficult but I found I overate on the day before and after, which made me feel I didn’t not accomplish much. I felt uncomfortable on the other days eating my usual amount, which I found quite stressful.

I thought the program was great and you really made me feel supported and that really helped me to fast on the days.
I felt part of a community of people with the same goals and it really helped.

Really great program. Definitely worth trying to see if it is for you. Helps you become more aware of what you eat.
Jane
Toronto, ON
Canada
April 2019

It was so motivating to see progress after the very first fasting day! I lost at least 2 pounds a week for the 4 week challenge, and feel confident that I can continue to use fasting days to lose weight and eventually to maintain a healthy weight. I really appreciated the recipes that helped me realize there are many options out there to enjoy food while staying within the 500 calorie limit. It was nice to remember that I could enjoy my favorite foods in reasonable portions on my non-fasting days.

I appreciated the program, and the emails on fasting days.
Karen
CARMEL, IN
United States
May 2019

I learned that you can make wise food choices and make the most out of the 600 calorie allotment and not really feel deprived.

The first week of fasting was somewhat of a challenge, but now it’s just a routine. I make the most out of my 600 calories permitted and drink lots of water and keep busy to keep my mind off of eating. On my non-fasting days I am sticking to a 1500 calorie diet, which seems like a feast after a day of fasting… lol.
Mark
Port Saint Lucie, Florida
USA
May 2019

Wonderful program for beginners.
Michelle
Campobello, South Carolina
USA
June 2019

Having tried several diet/weight loss plans over the past decade, when my weight once again hit a new high I felt I had to try something new. Recent experimental results on the benefits of fasting in animals was becoming accepted more widely as something potentially valuable for humans. So when I saw Sarah’s plan that combined a more practical approach (no extreme fasting) with compassionate coaching (low pressure) and timely reminders I thought it worthy of a trial. I found that fasting with a severe (but not complete) limitation on calories was practical and doable. It is not without considerable challenge, but if motivated and coached, I was able to stick with it (for about 2 months now and have lost 7-8 pounds. My goal is a 20 pound weight loss total and do not mind a gradual loss over months.
Gary
St. Louis, Missouri
USA
June 2019

I haven’t lost a lot of weight but I have lost inches and can fit into my clothes better. I am more aware of what I am eating and my portion size, and I have incorporated more fruit and vegetables into my diet. I also drink a lot more water now and I can definitely feel the benefits.

I have found the 5.2 diet really easy to follow which is surprising because I have always found it difficult to stick to a diet plan. I love how I am only restricted to two days of the week food wise and then the other 5 I can eat what I want, in moderation of course. I can fit my fast days around my social plans and not feel guilty about having whatever I want to eat instead of picking a salad or another low calorie option.
Rebecca
Leeds, West Yorkshire
UK
June 2019

5:2 intermittent fasting guide

6 Comments

  1. Avatar suzie patterson on January 3, 2016 at 5:27 am

    Really want to start this tomorrow, could you tell me what calories you do on the non fasting days and its 500 calories on the fasting days.
    list of foods on the fasting days please

    • Sarah Sarah on January 3, 2016 at 6:24 pm

      Hi Suzy

      That’s great that you want to start the 4-week challenge and help make fasting your new way of eating; your new healthy lifestyle. Did you download the 4 week challenge yet? If not, you can do so by signing up to our challenge here.

      When you join the challenge you will be given a guide of what to eat, examples of meal plans to follow, best practices as well as receive educational, supportive and ‘kick butt’ emails over the next 4 weeks to keep you on track and moving forward with implementing the 5:2 fasting diet into your life and ensure that you work towards losing weight and achieving your goals.

      To answer your question yes you eat 500 calories on the 2 days that you fast. Men eat 600 calories. The other 5 ‘normal’ days will vary depending on your BMI and how much you currently weigh and how much weight you would like to lose. As a general rule, aim for approx. 2000 calories on your non-fasting days and men should aim for about 2400.
      Check this out to see some foods that are perfect for you to eat on fasting days.

      Good luck with the challenge, stay committed and be sure to go over to our Facebook page and ask any questions.

      To your health
      Sarah

      • Avatar Liz on April 14, 2016 at 10:09 am

        You mean “2000” not “200”
        Right?

        • Sarah Sarah on April 14, 2016 at 5:14 pm

          Hi Liz

          Yes that is correct 2000 calories on your normal days as a general rule of thumb.

  2. Avatar Priscila on June 12, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    Hi Sarah, I have been fasting 5:2 for one year now, ( i fast for 24 hours) I’m only 4 pounds from my goal, but I’ve hit a plateau for 3 months now… I exercise a lot and I eat healthy most of the time… Will your 4-week plan can help me?

    • Sarah Sarah on June 13, 2016 at 2:23 am

      Hi Priscila

      It sounds like you have made some wonderful progress with your own version of fasting. The fasting diet plan requires that you fast 2 (non-consecutive) days each week and instead of fasting for 24 hrs you actually fast for 36 hrs each time so a total of 72hrs each week. It is not uncommon to hit a plateau especially when your body hits a level it feels it is very comfortable with or because you continue to do the same thing over and over. You need to change things up from time to time to increase results when this happens. I believe that trying our fasting plan may be just the thing you need to lose the last 4 pounds or more.

      Why not sign up to our free guide and be sure to stick to 36 hr fasts 2 days each week and see if this delivers the improvements you seek. You can sign up here.

      Here’s to reaching your goal and losing your last 4 pounds.
      Sarah

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