Straight off the British Isles is another import. It’s not the Beatles or the Rolling Stones; it’s “the fasting diet” and it’s hot. The diet was covered recently by a BBC documentary.

It purports to help patients lose weight quickly by slashing their dietary intake on 2 non-consecutive days per week. This is not a total fast, mind you, just a serious reduction in calories on those 2 days: 600 calories for men and 500 calories for women. To sum it up, for 5 days you eat what you normally consume (don’t gorge, obviously), and on 2 days during the week, not in a row, you do a reduced-calorie fast. 

Developed by Dr. Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer, this diet claims to reduce risks of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Dr. Mosley said he personally improved his blood sugar and cholesterol levels on this diet, while eating normally 5 days a week and then only consuming 500-600 calories the other 2 days, hence the name “5/2 diet.” Dr. Mosley has claimed that his controversial diet system can help you live longer and improves your overall health and brain function.

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Physicians and nutritionists are starting to weigh in on this conversation, and many feel the jury is still out on long-term health effects, and there are concerns about muscle mass and working out on days when one is fasting. 

Dr. Mosley recommends the diet for people in good health. There are certain groups for whom this diet is not advised, including people with type 1 diabetes or an eating disorder, and those who are very lean. Children should never fast, and pregnant women should not participate. 

The Fast Diet Book is now available in the US.  

Principle: On 2 non-consecutive days each week, reduce your calorie intake to 600 calories for men or 500 calories for women.


  1. The fast diet.
  2. How to lose weight fast. The Sun Web site. February 4, 2013.
  3. Rettner R. ‘Fasting diet’ fad could be unhealthy, nutritionists say. Fox News Web site. March 6, 2013.