5:2 Diet gains some support from local experts

Five days of eating and two days of hardly eating; the 5:2 Diet promises quick weight loss by way of weekly fasting, or two days of seriously restricting food intake.

“I've never not eaten for that long so I can't imagine it,” said Rich Kocher of Camp Hill.

We couldn't either. So we brought the idea to an expert who asked us a question in return.

“My question would be what are people doing in those five days?” asked medical technologist, Jennifer Gault.

Gault and her husband specialize in holistic healing methods. She said the five days are the most important and would be no time to binge. She added that fasting holds its own benefits.

“We have learned that that is one of the things your body spends the most energy on, aside from fighting disease, is digesting food,” she said.

Gault said a brief fast gives the body more time and energy to focus on disease-fighting. Above all else, for a diet like 5:2 to work, it has to stop feeling like a diet and more like a sustainable lifestyle. That's something many people told us would be too hard to do.

“This isn't something I would do,” said Christina Stern, “And I probably wouldn't be able to fast for two days either!”

Would this diet strike a blow to the metabolism? Gault said that with short term, intermittent fasting, the body would simply catch back up when it came time to eat normally again. But if done long-term, the body would go into starvation mode and hold onto fat.

The fasting period of the 5:2 diet does not have to be a strict fast. Supporters say it can simply be a time of restriction. That means a mere 500 calorie maximum for women and 600 for men.

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