Now, there is no magic day on which you should start the intermittent fasting portion of the 5:2 diet, but some forethought and common sense will dictate what works best.
One of the concepts behind the 5:2 diet is that for 5 days you can eat normally, which can mean being more social, going to restaurants, etc, than you may find with other diets.That being said, here are some ideas of when you should plan out your fasting days.
That being said, here are some ideas of when you should plan out your fasting days.
Fasting on Weekends
No one wants to be the person who says they can’t go out to a fine restaurant because they are dieting. So why would you plan a diet for the weekend? Unless you can only plan out meals for Saturday and Sunday, you may as well not set yourself up for the disaster of trying a weekend diet and getting a call from your mates telling you they are going to that new restaurant Saturday night. For most people doing the 5:2 diet, keeping your weekends for fun and friends is the best option.
However, that being said, if fasting on weekends works best for you, then do it.
Plan for Fresh Eating
One of the best ways to eat healthy during the fasting period of the diet is to eat fruits and vegetables. So when you’re planning out your two-day fasting time, think about what food you will have in the house.
If you only get your groceries once a week, that means the fruit and vegetables will be their freshest at the beginning. So to ensure you get the best food when you’re fasting, be sure you have fresh fruit and veggies at the same time of the fast.
For more tips on planning how to do the diet and what to eat, check out our article on How do I start the 5:2 fasting diet?
Your Workout Scheduling
During the intermittent fasting days, we recommend refraining from heavy workouts, including long cardio sessions. This is because your body is lacking in the required energy (calories), and while you may think this is the best time to burn more calories, there is potential for your body shutting itself down faster, which means if you normally can run 5km without breaking a sweat, you may hit 2km during the fasting time and be completely winded. There is also the danger of overworking because you think you can, and getting light headed or even blacking out while running.
We recommend slowly testing your limits, and of course, plan your workouts around the fasting days.
For more information on exercising while fasting, click here.
The Mid-Week Diet
Remember, you should plan out your fasting days yourself based on your own schedule, but from our experience, the best days to fast are Monday/Wednesday or Monday/Thursday.
The reasoning behind this is that people normally eat differently on the weekend due to social activities, so the weekend is out. Similarly, Fridays are often no good because many go out after work to celebrate the end of the week. That leaves Monday through to Thursday. Mondays are good because if you start the week on a good note, it makes the rest of the week relatively easy.
So for the most part, the Monday/Wednesday or Monday/Thursday seem to work the best. I know it does for me!
Getting Extra Dieting Help…
If you haven’t checked it out already, on our 4-week challenge we set you up with a fasting schedule on Mondays and Thursdays. We are there every step of the way during the 4 weeks with tips and motivation to keep you going. If you haven’t joined us already, and are keen to get started, click here to join.
So what timing works best for you, and why? Please share with us in the comments below about your best days for dieting and why!