Intermittent Fasting: The 5: 2 diet has a big advantage just discovered by scientists

The 5: 2 diet, intermittent fasting, does not make you lose weight more than the others but is appreciated by those who follow it and considered simple and attractive   

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Over the past decade, the so-called "5: 2 diet", fast diet or intermittent fasting, has become increasingly popular with people who aim to lose weight. Now a new study has shown an additional benefit of this diet over the others.

The 5: 2 diet provides the possibility to eat what you want only on certain days (5 a week), drastically reducing the intake of calories in the others. It is therefore a sort of intermittent fasting that allows you to lose weight by limiting food in particular in two days in which the calorie intake is often limited to only 500 calories. 

Science still does not agree on intermittent fasting, in fact not everyone considers it the best diet for long-term weight loss, even if other types of health benefits have been repeatedly confirmed.

But now a new study, conducted by researchers from Queen Mary University of London in the United Kingdom and published in Plos One, has identified a particular advantage of the 5: 2 diet.

The team studied 300 adults with obesity each of whom was randomly assigned a type of weight loss intervention. 100 participants received weight management advice in a single session with a counselor who provided written materials explaining, for example, how to manage portions, keeping a food diary, and tips for avoiding unnecessary snacking.

Another group followed the 5: 2 diet during the experiment and received a booklet that provided examples of meals and gave support. Essentially, however, the participants had to try the diet on their own without much additional assistance.

The last group, on the other hand, received advice and documentation on the 5: 2 diet but in addition the participants were involved in a series of group support sessions lasting six weeks, aimed at helping them to discuss their dietary experiences they were experiencing.

The groups were followed for a year and at the end of the experiment all showed signs of moderate weight loss on average.

The two groups of people who followed the 5: 2 diet lost slightly more weight on average than the other group but there was another key element that differentiated them. Participants who had had the most support throughout the experiment rated their experience better ed they were more likely to recommend the diet to others besides a continue to follow it themselves even after the study.

Here we were able to provide the first results on the effectiveness of simple 5: 2 diet tips in a real-world setting. We found that although the 5: 2 diet was no superior to traditional approaches in terms of weight loss, users preferred this approach because it was simpler and more attractive. - explained health psychologist Katie Myers Smith of Queen Mary University of London

It may seem like a trivial thing but it is not, especially if you think about how many times it is our mind that makes us stop a diet, when for example we lose motivation and enthusiasm towards the goal we have set ourselves, perhaps because it all seems too complicated to follow. 

As for actual weight loss, the effectiveness of the 5: 2 diet observed in the study is about the same as that shown by other intermittent fasting studies. It does not therefore have surprising results on weight loss but people still consider it simple and interesting to follow even for a long time, which in fact is a big advantage even on long-term weight loss.   

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Source: Plos One

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