Sunday, 22 September 2013

The Dangers of 5:2 to Women

The 5:2 has been advertised everywhere lately, its emerging that celebrities are using this way of eating to lose weight, even restaurants are now selling dishes to fit in with this life style but how much do we really know about this new diet craze? Men and woman react differently to this diet plan and the benefits seem to be more beneficial to men. What if I told you that in woman it could significantly effect the reproductive system affecting your chance of having a family in the future?

The basic rules for 5:2 are to eat normally for 5 days a week and only consume 500 calories two days a week. The 500 calories can be consumed at any point throughout the day, from what I have read it seems more beneficial to fast for as long as possible and save your calories for the evening.

It's true that in a few studies this diet has shown to have healthy benefits and lead to fat/weight loss. However worryingly in woman this way of eating can have a negative impact on bloody sugar levels and insulin control - both risk factors for diabetes. Also what is not being publicised if the effect this diet can have on a woman's fertility. A few responses from woman have been that they are experiencing bleeding in between periods, having 68 day cycles, late periods and increased period pains. A diet this restricting can make woman extremely tired and puts ovulation way down on the bodies to do list!

Animal Studies have been carried out and have shown that this diet can decrease ovary size, cause irregular menstrual cycles and increase infertility. Our fat cells produce a hormone called leptin which tells the brain energy reserves are sufficient. When woman their food intake, resulting in lower level of fat, the leptin levels fall dramatically. This can result in loss of periods and infertility.

The even more worrying factor is that little research has been done into the other side effects of this diet, it may be one of the easiest diets to stick to but until more research has been carried out its impossible to say what the future consequences can be.

In my opinion if you need to lose weight do it sensibly, eat a well balanced diet, eat in moderation and get some exercise.

I think this diet is just an easy way for people to eat what they want and not feel guilty about it, 'it's ok if I have chocolate today as I am fasting tomorrow'. I'm not going to lie, I have been attracted to this diet and if your a man go for it, the research has yet to find any long term negative affects for you. But if you are a woman that would like children one day - maybe you think about a healthier alternative to fasting.

*Information from Glamour magazine October 2013

Please note that the above may not happen to all women, I did not write this to scare people - some people have eaten like this for months, years with no problems. I would just be careful if thinking about this way of eating due to lack of research. Some people have said people all over the world fast and reproduce etc, yes that maybe the case but just keep an open mind when trying 'diets'.

In men its proven that body fat can be reduced.

This video and link A nutritionists take on IF might be helpful


  1. Research published in glamour magazine.

  2. I have been doing intermittent fasting since the beginning of July and had no problems in fact i feel much better in all ways. The people in the group I belong too agree with me and none have had any menstrual or fertility problems

  3. No One is saying that this is going to happen to everyone - please don't think I am saying that - the reason I posted it to the group you belong to was to see what peoples personal experiences were in relation to the above (I have since been removed from the group - funny how everyone can rave about the 'positive effects; of this diet but anyone that may reveal the truth is banned) - there are numerous websites supporting the above facts, I have also spoke to a reputable nutritionist about this and he said for women and their hormones fasting is sabotage. I am no expert - I am writing this blog as I learn new things about nutrition and I appreciate peoples feed back.