5:2 is good for the heart – and helps you lose weight faster than ‘normal ‘diets

A new study from the University of Surrey shows that 5:2 can  help the heart health by bringing down blood pressure and reducing the levels of fat in the bloodstream more than conventional everyday dieting.

Lose weight faster & improve heart health too

The dieters were asked to cut down their calorie intake to 600 calories twice a day, and eat normally the rest of the time. The results were great – they lost weight significantly faster than the ‘normal’ dieters – taking only 59 days to lose 5% of their body weight, compared to the other group who took 73 days.

But  the results were even more exciting when it came to heart health markers – tests which give an idea of future cardiovascular health risks. 5:2 dieters in the study saw their systolic blood pressure readings reduce by 9% – while the conventional dieters saw their BP going up by 2%. Lower BP reduces pressure on the heart and blood vessels, which can cut the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Blood tests also showed 5:2 dieters were clearing fat from the blood more efficiently than the normal dieters.

Kate says: It’s so great to see the  fantastic weight loss and blood pressure results we see so often in our 5:2 Facebook group being replicated in this study, with interesting findings about triglycerides (fats) in the blood too.

Dr Rona Antoni, Research Fellow in Nutritional Metabolism at the University of Surrey, says  ‘For those who do well and are able stick to the 5:2 diet, it could potentially have a beneficial impact on some important risk markers for cardiovascular disease, in some cases more so than daily dieting. However, we need further studies to confirm our findings, to understand the underlying mechanisms and to improve the tolerability of the 5:2 diet.’

Tips for stickability!

Around 1 in 5 of dieters in both groups didn’t finish the trial, reflecting that diets can be tough.

Kate advises:

  • We know that group support is a critical factor in the success of a diet, which is where our free 5:2 Facebook groups come in.
  • The other factor is that in the trial, the 5:2 dieters used meal replacements on the fasting days. I’d always suggest dieters eat ‘real food’ instead – filling fresh soups, cheese and dairy, salads and supper dishes with lots of plant protein like pulses and beans, and other favourite healthy foods.
  • We’ve found this makes the two days much more of a treat for the senses, and helps us understand appetite and portion size way better.

Kate’s new plan, The Dirty Diet – Ditch the Guilt, Love your Food, is full of recipes and meal plans, featuring 5:2 fasting and the results of people worldwide who tested the science-based, dietitian-approved plan. Buy here from Amazon or for international delivery, buy here.

The full Surrey trial results are available  as a download here.