I’ve been experimenting with mixing the 5:2 diet and my keto (low carb / LCHF) diet. Now, I don’t like many “diets”, but I think the 5:2 diet is an awesome concept and have seen friends get great results from it. Of course I think the keto diet is brilliant too! I’m pretty sure I’ve found the magical, holy grail of dieting, because mixing these two gets you RESULTS. Let me explain.
The 5:2 diet
Since you’re here, I´ll assume you already know plenty about the keto diet (if not, just browse my blog for a while and learn the basics). I haven’t mentioned the 5:2 diet before so I´ll give you the shortest version:
– Eat normal 5 days a week and fast 2 days a week. By fasting I don’t mean starve completely, but women should eat 500 calories and men 600 calories on fasting days. You don’t have to fast for 2 consecutive days, you can choose any 2 days of the week.
You can Google to read more about the 5:2 diet but first I recommend you read the rest of this post.
My experience with the 5:2 diet – before and after going low carb
Before I started cutting carbs I tried the 5:2 diet, 5-6 times but could NOT do it, not even for a day. I felt so bad, every fasting day I had what felt like extreme keto flu and I always gave up. I was a carb addict and am insulin resistant. Because of that I couldn’t cut down to 500 calories a day because my blood sugar crashed and I was so hungry and nauseous I just wanted to cry.
Now, fast forward to me starting the keto diet (pretty great if you have insulin resistance, PCOS etc.) and realising I could go longer without food because my blood sugar didn’t shoot up and crash back down when I ate. I had forgotten all about the 5:2 diet, but had fallen into an intermittent fasting pattern. That means I ate only from noon to 6 pm (pretty common when you eat low carb). So when a friend mentioned the 5:2 diet on Facebook I thought: “Hey, I might be able to fast now.” So I read up on it once again and picked a good day to test it out.
You guessed it. I could easily eat 500 calories a day while on a ketogenic diet. I didn’t need to eat until 1 pm and could nibble on fats, protein, low calorie vegetables and drink coffee until dinner time. I’d spend the rest of my calories on a small portion of a low carb dinner and be done for the day. It took some getting used to but wasn’t impossible like before going low carb. I was already losing weight on the keto diet but mixing it with the 5:2 diet helped me break through a plateau. I’ve also seen steadier weight loss since.
If you’re what I call “keto adapted” (eating low carb for a while and your body is used to it), test it out! Specially if you’re plateauing and frustrated. I hope it helps!