Sign In
  • ENG

5:2 Intermittent Fasting Diet: A Good Choice For Weight Loss, Managing Gestational Diabetes

Weight loss after gestational diabetes is important to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. © Shutterstock

Gestational diabetes during pregnancy can increase risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. 5:2 Intermittent Fasting Diet may help new moms lose weight and keep it off.

Written by Longjam Dineshwori |Updated : November 2, 2021 11:22 AM IST

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs only during pregnancy and affects one in five pregnancies globally. Women who have had gestational diabetes during pregnancy are known to have a ten-fold risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Type 2 diabetes can, in turn, lead to other chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. The risk is even higher for those who are overweight. Thus, weight loss after gestational diabetes is important to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. But losing weight and keep it off can be a challenge for mothers with a new baby. The popular 5:2 intermittent fasting diet is a good choice for them, according to a news study.

The new research from the University of South Australia suggested that the popular 5:2 intermittent fasting diet is just as effective as a conventional energy-restricting diet for weight loss.

What is 5:2 diet? It is a popular form of intermittent fasting that involves eating normally for five days per week, then restricting calorie intake on the other two days.

Also Read

More News

How to manage gestational diabetes

According to lead researcher, UniSA's Dr Kristy Gray, gestational diabetes is the fastest growing type of diabetes in Australia, affecting 15 per cent of pregnancies.

Often doctors recommend healthy eating and regular physical activity to manage gestational diabetes. Continuous energy restriction diets -- or diets that cut calories by 25-30 per cent is the most common strategy for weight loss and diabetes prevention. However, many new mums find it hard to stick to a low-calorie diet as they're struggling with fatigue and juggling family responsibilities, said Dr Gray.

Dr Gray and his team investigated the effects of both the 5:2 diet (five days of normal eating and two days of 500 calories) and a continuous energy-restricted diet (1500 calories per day) on weight loss and diabetes risk markers in women with a history of gestational diabetes. Both diets restricted energy by approximately 25 percent each week.

The findings bring good news for new mums looking to lose weight as 5:2 diet provides them with greater choice and control. "The 5:2 diet may provide a less overwhelming option. As it only cuts calories over two days, some women may find it easier to adopt and adhere to, as opposed to a consistently low-calorie diet requiring constant management," he stated, as quoted by Science Daily.

However, Dr Gray cautioned that women should seek advice from a health professional before commencing 5:2 intermittent fasting diet, to make sure that it is suitable for them.

What you need to know about the 5:2 diet

The 5:2 diet requires you to cut caloric intake on fasting days to 25 percent or just one-quarter of your regular intake on the remaining days. For example, if you regularly eat about 2,000 calories per day, you should cut it down to 500 calories on fasting days. The fasting days are not consecutive, you can reduce your calorie intake on Monday and Thursday or Wednesday and Saturday, so that your body gets the calories and nutrients to thrive.

Also, make sure that you eat a healthful diet on the 5 normal days of the 5:2 diet. It may not be as helpful if you're loading up on sugary or processed foods for 5 days and then limiting caloric intake for just two days.

Total Wellness is now just a click away.

Follow us on