5:2 Diet review

The fast dietBackground

The 5:2 fast diet was popularized by TV presenter and medical journalist Dr Michael Mosley for its health benefits and weight loss.

The Fast Diet by Dr Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer 

Diet summary

Based around Intermittent fasting, it recommends you eat well for 5 days a week, and then reduce calories to 500 (for women) or 600 (for men) on 2 non-consecutive days.

The good bits

  • As you would expect from a book written by a Doctor, the science and background to the benefits of fasting are well researched, well communicated and generally excellent.
  • There are lots of good tips for making the program work, along with personal examples making it feel more human
  • Includes recipes and ideas of meals for the fasting days
  • Author’s experiences add to its accessibility, making you feel that if they can do it so could you.

Not so good bits

  • My main issue is that it isn’t real fasting if you are eating 500 calories, and as a result you are missing out on some of the fat burning effects by not being fully fasted.
  • No real program and relies on its flexibility but suspect some would have preferred a more clearly laid out structure and plan.
  • You are still having to faff with counting calories (which can cause confusion especially on the non fasting days – clear when you read Facebook group comments)
  • Whilst it talks about eating a low GI diet, it could have focused more on the healthy eating.


  • A well written and great introduction to intermittent fasting, but should have gone just a little bit further, and taken its own science to the proper logical conclusion, rather than diluting it.
  • Would highly recommend it for first timers, but think with a few minor tweaks it could have been a classic


Effectiveness             4/5

Simplicity                   4/5

Sustainability             5/5

Healthiness                4/5

Overall:                       17/20 

Other Books about the 5:2 Diet:

The Fast diet recipe book by Mimi Spencer and Dr Sarah Schenker

The 5:2 diet book by Kate Harrison

The Ultimate 5:2 Diet Recipe Book by Kate Harrison

The 2-day diet by Michelle Harvie and Tony Howell

The 2-Day Diet Cookbook by Dr. Michelle Harvie and Professor Tony Howell


Please note:

Whilst my reviews are entirely independent, I am an amazon affiliate and will make a (very) small commission from any sales as a result of clinking on the links.



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