Our Approaches

The Fast 800 is flexible. All three approaches follow the principles of a moderately low-carb, Mediterranean-style diet. You can switch easily between each approach as your needs change – some people start with The Very Fast 800 if they have a significant amount of weight to lose, or to kick start weight loss, while others start with The New 5:2 or The Way of Life for gradual weight loss or to improve their overall health.

Flexibility and finding what works for you are pivotal in maintaining a long-term, sustainable lifestyle. The Fast 800 is designed to complement your life and any event, holiday or challenge that comes with it.

The New 5:2 Diet : Intermittent Fasting

What is it?

The New 5:2 is a highly effective approach to intermittent fasting, enabling weight loss and building a healthier brain and body.

Some people start with The Very Fast 800 if they have a significant amount of weight to lose, or to kick start weight loss, while others start with The New 5:2 for gradual weight loss or to improve overall health. When following The New 5:2, schedule two days a week as 800-calorie “fasting days”, and follow a healthy Mediterranean-style diet for the rest of the week, with no calorie restriction, just sensible portions.

Who is it for

Intermittent fasting, especially incorporating a Mediterranean-style diet, is a great tool for those wanting slower, steady weight loss or weight management. It has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood pressure and may be a supportive plan for people with these conditions. It provides more food freedom by only restricting calories for two days per week.

How it works

On your fast days, your body will enter a state of ketosis, just as it would on The Very Fast 800 approach. You will lose visceral fat and achieve a better response to insulin. This, in turn, will make it easier for you to keep to sensible portions, and avoid snacking, during the rest of the week.

Fasting for two days out of seven also gives you a chance to experience the other benefits of fasting, which include:

  • Clearing out of old or damaged cells (autophagy);
  • Tissue regeneration through the action of switched-on stem cells;
  • Reduction in cancer risk, through a fall in levels of a body chemical called IGF-1;
  • An increase in metabolic rate, caused by a rise in noradrenaline and human growth hormone.

How to do it

The New 5:2 approach involves restricting calories to 800 on fasting days, then eating a healthy lower carb, Mediterranean-style diet for the rest of the week.

The beauty of intermittent fasting means that as your insulin sensitivity returns, you will feel fuller for longer on smaller portions. This is why, on non-fasting days, you do not have to count calories, just eat sensible portions. By maintaining a Mediterranean-style diet, you will consume all of the healthy fats, protein, fibre and fresh plant-based food that your body needs.

If you would like more support to implement your healthy lifestyle, our online programme offers tasty and easy meal plans for all approaches, including The New 5:2. On days when cooking is not possible, The Fast 800 Shakes provide calorie controlled convenience. High in protein, fibre and healthy fats, our shakes are low in sugar and made from all natural ingredients – they are designed to fit perfectly alongside The Fast 800 approaches.

Please note The New 5:2 is not suitable for everyone. We always recommend consulting your usual healthcare professional before beginning any diet or fitness regime.

The Evidence

A rapidly-growing body of studies demonstrates the benefits of intermittent fasting.

In a study carried out in 2013 (4), 115 overweight women, aged 20-69 and with a family history of breast cancer, were randomly allocated into three groups:

  • One group was asked to stick to a 1500-calorie Mediterranean diet and was also encouraged to avoid high-fat foods and alcohol;
  • Another group was asked to eat normally five days a week, but to eat a 650-calorie, low-carbohydrate diet on the other two days; and
  • A third group was asked to avoid carbohydrates for two days a week but was otherwise not calorie-restricted

After three months, the women on the 5:2 diets had lost an average of 4.2kgs, 3.6kg of which was fat. This was twice as much as the full-time dieters, who had lost an average of 2kg of fat.

Insulin resistance had also improved significantly in the two-day diet group, which did not happen with those on the standard diet. Those who stuck with the 5:2 diets for six months lost an average of 7.7kg and three inches from their waists. Some lost over 20kg.

Another study by researchers at the University of Surrey examined the impact of the 5:2 diet on the body’s ability to metabolise and clear fat and glucose after a meal in 27 participants. (5)

Those on the 5:2 achieved 5% weight loss in 59 days compared to 73 days by those on the calorie restriction diet. Results also showed that:

  • Following weight-loss, participants who followed the 5:2 diet cleared fat from a meal more efficiently; and
  • Blood pressure was reduced by 9% as compared to 2% for those on a daily diet.
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