5-Day 1,500-Calorie Diet Meal Plan

Love food, but want to lose weight? Good news! With this 5-day meal plan to lose weight, you can enjoy delicious low-calorie foods that also leave you feeling satisfied for fewer calories. Recipes like the Spaghetti Squash & Chicken with Avocado Pesto, Veggie & Hummus Sandwich and the Chipotle-Lime Cauliflower Tacos include lots of veggies, which are low-in-calories so you can have larger servings to fill up without going over your daily calorie limit.

Related: How Many Calories Do You Need to Lose Weight?

Couple this healthy meal plan with daily exercise and you’re on track to lose a healthy 1 to 2 pounds this week. When you’re ready for more, check out our other healthy weight-loss meal plans, like this Simple 30-Day

Ready to get healthy? Check out the Cooking Light Diet to learn more.

Day 1

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Breakfast (408 calories)

  • 1 serving Scrambled Eggs with Vegetables
  • 1 slice whole-wheat bread, toasted

A.M. Snack (95 calories)

  • 1 medium apple

Lunch (387 calories)

  • 1 serving Veggie & Hummus Sandwich
  • 1 medium orange

P.M. Snack (181 calories)

  • 10 walnut halves
  • 1 Tbsp. dark chocolate chips

Dinner (429 calories)

  • 1 serving Charred Shrimp & Pesto Buddha Bowls

Daily Total: 1,500 calories, 70 g protein, 139 g carbohydrates, 33 g fiber, 52 g fat, 1,622 mg sodium

Day 2

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Breakfast (321 calories)

Oatmeal with Fruit & Nuts

  • 1 serving Old-Fashioned Oatmeal
  • 3/4 cup sliced strawberries
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar

Top oatmeal with strawberries, walnuts, brown sugar and a pinch of cinnamon.

A.M. Snack (70 calories)

  • 2 clementines

Lunch (419 calories)

Green Salad with Chickpeas

  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 1/2 cup cucumber slices
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp. feta cheese
  • 10 kalamata olives, chopped

Combine ingredients and dress salad with 1 Tbsp. each olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

P.M. Snack (147 calories)

  • 8 walnut halves
  • 5 dried apricots

Dinner (529 calories)

  • 1 serving Chipotle-Lime Cauliflower Tacos
  • 1 serving tortilla chips
  • 1/4 cup guacamole

Daily Total: 1,485 calories, 39 g protein, 179 g carbohydrates, 36 g fiber, 74 g fat, 1,870 mg sodium

Day 3

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Breakfast (331 calories)

  • 1 serving Everything Bagel Avocado Toast
  • 1 serving Matcha Green Tea Latte
  • 1 clementine

A.M. Snack (154 calories)

  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1/4 cup hummus

Lunch (340 calories)

  • 1 serving Fig & Goat Cheese Salad

P.M. Snack (95 calories)

Cinnamon Apples

  • 1 medium apple, sliced
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

Top sliced apples with cinnamon.

Dinner (497 calories)

  • 1 serving Spaghetti Squash & Chicken with Avocado Pesto

Evening Snack (99 calories)

  • 1 Tbsp. dark chocolate chips
  • 5 strawberries

Daily Total: 1,516 calories, 63 g protein, 161 g carbohydrates, 36 g fiber, 77 g fat, 1,538 mg sodium

Day 4

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Oatmeal with Fruit & Nuts

  • 1 serving Old-Fashioned Oatmeal
  • 3/4 cup sliced strawberries
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar

Top oatmeal with strawberries, walnuts, brown sugar and a pinch of cinnamon.

A.M. Snack (181 calories)

  • 10 walnut halves
  • 1 Tbsp. dark chocolate chips

Lunch (354 calories)

  • 1 serving Apple & Cheddar Pita Pocket

P.M. Snack (179 calories)

  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1/4 cup hummus

Dinner (454 calories)

  • 1 serving Citrus Poached Salmon with Asparagus
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice

Daily Total: 1,489 calories, 62 g protein, 190 g carbohydrates, 30 g fiber, 58 g fat, 1,487 mg sodium

Day 5

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Breakfast (369 calories)

  • 1 serving Salsa Scrambled Eggs
  • 1 small banana

A.M. Snack (148 calories)

  • 2 clementines
  • 6 walnut halves

Lunch (373 calories)

  • 1 serving Mediterranean Tuna Spinach Salad

P.M. Snack (101 calories)

  • 1 medium pear

Dinner (517 calories)

  • 1 serving Hasselback Caprese Chicken
  • 2-inch-thick slices baguette, toasted and drizzled with 1 tsp. olive oil each

Daily Total: 1,508 calories, 89 g protein, 155 g carbohydrates, 26 g fiber, 67 g fat, 1,889 mg sodium

Watch: How to Make Hasselback Caprese Chicken

See More:

What Does a 1,500 Calorie Day Look Like?

7-Day Diet Meal Plan to Lose Weight: 1,500 Calories

Healthy Dinners for a 1,500-Calorie Diet Meal Plan

A 5 day clean eating meal plan and shopping list with healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner options for five days. All the recipes are flavorful, quick and easy!

Are you ready to get back on track with healthy eating but aren’t sure where to start? You’re in the right place! Whether you’re looking to lose weight or just want to start eating healthy, this meal plan is for you. I’ve created this 5 Day Clean Eating Meal Plan to take the guesswork out of healthy eating. I’m giving you a healthy meal plan for five days, delicious meals that are gluten-free (many are vegetarian as well!), a grocery shopping list, a meal prep guide for Sunday to get you started.

Healthy food doesn’t have to be complicated or boring and that’s what I’m here to prove today.

How to Prep Your Meals

I like to set aside a few hours on Sunday and then another couple of hours halfway through the week. Start by looking over your week and taking note of when you have busy days or plans at night. See which recipes you can prep ahead of time or which components you can make ahead of time.

What Clean Eating Means to Me

I think everyone has their own philosophy when it comes to clean eating so I thought I should share mine! First and foremost, I believe in balance. I love salads but I also love french fries. I love meal prepping and cooking at home but also love a night out. Depending on what my health goals are at the time, I try to eat at home for most meals during the week. I don’t follow a specific diet, I just always make sure I eat balanced meals of lean protein, high fiber and healthy fats.

Can I Snack?

Yes! I didn’t build snacks into this meal plan but please enjoy a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack if you’re hungry. Tune into your hunger cues and listen to your body! Always make sure your snacks are just as balanced as your meals – incorporate a mix of healthy fats, lean protein and fiber. Here are some of my favorite snacks:

  • Fruit + nut butter
  • Protein balls
  • Veggies + hummus
  • Trail mix
  • Protein bars
  • Leftovers!

How to Use This 5 Day Meal Plan

Start by printing out the grocery shopping list and then head to your local grocery store. Pick up all the items and start prepping the first couple of days! I’ve added a Sunday Prep Guide to get you started.

I’ve created a complete PDF for you with a meal plan, recipes, a grocery shopping list and a prep guide. Enter your name and email above and you’ll receive the PDF via email! Print it out, mark off what you already have in your kitchen and head to the grocery store. Easy peasy! 🙂

I’m a chef (and a mom). You might think that eating frequent meals wouldn’t be an issue.

I understand the concept: Five small meals a day takes the edge off your appetite, evens out blood sugar levels, and keeps your energy steady. But I confess: I don’t always eat this way.

Although my fitness trainer encourages me to eat healthy food every few hours, my meals usually look like this: coffee, a bit more coffee, lunch at 3 p.m., dinner at 9 p.m. I start over again the next morning.

When I decided to change this habit, I found that doing these five things helped:

  1. Plan ahead. Five meals a day equals breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks. To do this right, you need to plan what you’ll eat every day for each “meal.” And you need to schedule eating every 2 to 3 hours.
  2. Stock up. Face it: You’re going to grab whatever food is closest. So stock up on veggies, fruit, healthy carbs, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cottage cheese.
  3. Go for taste. Choose snack foods that will sustain you and taste good. Remember, healthy food can be satisfying.
  4. Whip up a smoothie. Blend fruit, milk, yogurt, and a little honey for a sweet, filling snack packed with vitamins, fiber, protein, and calcium.
  5. Combine carbs and protein to stay full longer. Try whole wheat toast with peanut butter or a hard-boiled egg; whole-grain pasta with olive oil and cheese; or oatmeal with fruit, milk, and honey. Or make yourself a big pot of soup (like my Tuscan chicken soup) to heat up for lunches or snacks.

How to look better NAKED: Nutritionist reveals top five food tips

(Image: GETTY)

Body confidence can affect your sex life – especially if you’re reluctant to strip off in front of your partner.

While many think they need to crash diet, making some small tweaks to your lifestyle can be all it takes to help your self-esteem.

Daily Star Online spoke to Water for Health’s Amy Morris to find out more.

The naturopathic nutritionist revealed which foods to eat to feel sexier in the bedroom.

Here’s what you should put in your basket during your next grocery shop:

1. Asparagus

If you’re looking to beat bloating, this protein-rich food source could be for you.

Expert Amy explained: “Asparagus is a great confidence boosting food as it is rich in potassium, a nutrient known to help our bodies flush out water and sodium – the two things that make us feel unnecessarily bloated.

“Asparagus is also incredibly low in fat and calories but high in soluble and insoluble fibre.

“This makes it a great choice if you are trying to lose weight, as our body’s digest fibre slowly, meaning we stay full in between meals and cut out the extra, high sugar snacks which harm our waistlines.”

2. Mango

Not only will reducing stress help you to feel energised and more confident in the bedroom, it can also work wonders on your waistline.

The nutritionist revealed that prolonged mental tension can lead to fat being stored around your middle.

She said: “While many forms of stress cannot be avoided, you can add vitamin C enriched foods to your diet to help combat the effect they have on your figure.

“Mangos, in particular, not only serve up just under a day’s worth of the nutrient in every cup, but will also remind you of a relaxing tropical getaway, slashing stress and helping you to slim down.”

3. Salmon

Oily fish are great fat-busting foods that also contain mood-boosting compounds.

Amy revealed: “Salmon contains tons of health benefits because of the high levels of omega-3 fatty acids it contains.

“These ‘good’, healthy fats can boost your mood and wellbeing, and there’s more good news for fitness-lovers, as omega3 has been proven to improve the flow of blood to the muscles during exercise, helping to stimulate enzymes which transport fat to where it can be used up for energy.”

4. Quinoa

Quinoa is often associated with dieting and weight loss, but it has many more benefits.

The grain helps to keep your muscles healthy, giving you a boost of energy and strength in in the bedroom.

The food expert explained: The plant protein in tofu provides a full range of amino acids, as well as isoflavone, which helps muscles recover from exercise.

“It is also a good source of magnesium which is vital for healthy and strong muscles.”

5. Beetroot

Glowing skin is a must if you want to look incredible in the sack.

You don’t need to fork out on expensive beauty products to achieve a beautiful complexion, as you can actually do so by tweaking your diet.

Amy believes that eating beetroot can work wonders to detox the body.

She said: “It is a natural liver and blood cleanser which helps to filter out more toxins from your digestive system, allowing the pressure to be taken off the skin, which is where toxins are released if our digestive system cannot cope.

“Incorporating beetroot into your diet can ensure your skin is clear, with a healthy glow.”

The five-day Bikini Blitz diet

You’ve booked your holiday and bought a bikini… but are dreading having to actually wear it. Sounds familiar? But don’t panic, it’s not too late to shape up before stripping off and hitting the beach.

We’ve teamed up with top nutritionist Zoe Harcombe to bring you a bikini blitz diet that is all you’ll need to kick-start looking and feeling amazing.

By following the plan it is possible to lose between 5lb and 14lb in just FIVE DAYS. And what’s more you can do it without having to count a single calorie…

Here’s how it foils the flab..

‘Everyone can keep to a diet for a short time.. especially if you never feel hungry’

The diet works by cutting out foods that lead to cravings and weight gain. So out go sugar, dairy products, wheat products and all processed foods.

But as there’s no portion control on what you can eat you never need to feel hungry – which means that, unlike other diets, this one is incredibly easy to stick to.

Zoe says: “This five-day plan gives you the kick-start you need. Most people lose an average of 5lb – but I’ve seen people lose up to 14lb.

“It works because everyone can maintain something for a short period of time, like five days.

“Once you see the results coming so quickly it gives you a boost to carry on with healthy eating.”

The key is to cut out the foods that lead to what Zoe has identified as three common medical conditions which cause insatiable food cravings and weight gain. They are:

/ Candida – a yeast that multiplies in the gut and can cause cravings for sugar and bread.

/ Hypoglycaemia – a condition which causes low blood sugar levels and leads to cravings for sugary foods.

/ Food intolerances – which can leave you craving the foods you are actually intolerant to, such as white bread. Zoe says: “I’m convinced all the diet advice we are given is fundamentally wrong.

“When we starve ourselves or just eat low-fat food our body will do everything it can to try and wreck it with cravings – and that’s when the bingeing starts and you end up back at square one.”

The 5 day plan rules

/ Unless specified, you can eat as much as you like so you shouldn’t feel hungry.

/ Drink about 1.5 litres of water, herbal tea, decaf tea or coffee (without milk) a day.

/ No dairy is allowed, apart from a knob of butter for cooking when stated, and as much natural live yoghurt as you like.

/ Don’t mix fats (eg meats ) and carbs (eg brown rice) in the same meal – because the body will end up storing the fat.

/ Cut out all wheat such as bread and pasta. Replace with brown rice.

/ Avoid all processed food, alcohol, sugary snacks and fruit as all affect blood sugar levels and lead to cravings.

/ Eat as much natural yoghurt as you like as it kills off bacteria in the stomach and combats bloating.

/ A protein-only breakfast, like eggs and bacon, means you’ll stay full until lunchtime.

/ Unless mentioned, all foods can be cooked in any way – roasted, fried, grilled, baked, poached, steamed etc.

/ You can have unlimited amounts of any vegetables, apart from potatoes and mushrooms.

/ Salad can consist of any veg – lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, peppers, cucumber, onion, beetroot and so on.

/Swap any meal with another if you don’t like something – but don’t have rice or porridge more than once a day.

/The diet is only designed for five days, but you can follow it for up to 14 days then slowly reintroduce foods like wholemeal bread & pasta & baked potatoes. But take care not to mix them with fats.

Kick-start meal plan

Don’t forget to drink plenty of water, tea or black coffee – and if you don’t like the look of one meal, simply swap it for another. Just remember not to have rice or porridge more than once a day.

The key is no fruit, wheat, sugar, dairy or processed foods. And no alcohol!


Lunch: Steak and salad. Any kind of cut or size allowed. You don’t have to cut any fat off. Grill or fry the steak as you like.

Supper: Stir-fry vegetables and brown rice. Put 50g (dry weight) brown rice on to boil (takes 30 mins) – chop up loads of vegetables into strips (carrots, courgettes, onions, peppers, green beans, etc). Stir-fry them in olive oil.


Breakfast: Natural live (Bio) yoghurt.

Lunch: Chef’s Salad made from hard-boiled eggs, any cold meat, sticks of celery, spring onions, ice-berg lettuce, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and olive oil dressing.

Supper: Lamb chops with rosemary and roast vegetables such as courgettes, peppers & onions. Place lamb in large roasting dish and sprinkle with fresh rosemary. Add a handful of garlic cloves. Brush a baking tray with olive oil and roast some veg at the same time.


Breakfast: Unsmoked bacon and eggs all cooked in olive oil.

Lunch: Salad Niçoise. Mix a tin of tuna, or a tuna steak, on a bed of salad. Add a couple of hard-boiled eggs and anchovies.

Supper: Stuffed peppers. Boil 50g dry weight brown rice, stir-fry chopped, mixed, vegetables in olive oil and then mix the rice & veg and fill a de-seeded pepper shell. Then bake in a medium oven until the pepper is soft to a fork touch.


Breakfast: Up to 100g of puffed rice cereal (rice must be the only ingredient). Available in the gluten-free section of supermarkets.

Lunch: Brown rice salad. Pre-cook 50g dry weight brown rice. Leave to chill. Add finely-chopped salad ingredients (cucumber, spring onions, pepper, celery, crushed garlic clove). Use olive oil & black pepper as a dressing.

Supper: Roast or grilled chicken breast with garlic or lemon with vegetables and salad.


Breakfast: Porridge made from up to 75g porridge oats (a quick tip is to just pour boiling water from the kettle on the dry oats, until it’s the consistency you like).

Lunch: Pork and vegetable kebabs. Skewer cubes of pork and vegetables such as broccoli florets, peppers, onions and tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and roasted in the oven.

Supper: Salmon or tuna steak or a whole fish – as long as it’s not smoked or cured – served with a selection of vegetables and a side salad.

Eating healthy can seem like a daunting task when you’re just starting out. There are usually three reasons that people believe they can’t change.

1. Lack of time

Our lives are complicated by any number of the following: work, family, friends, spouses, school, travel, etc. And unfortunately, our food system does not necessarily set us up for success. The healthiest foods aren’t always the most convenient foods or the foods that taste the best.

2. Lack of knowledge

Do we truly understand the long-term implications that our diets have on our lives? But more than understanding what is a healthy diet, is how do we manifest a healthy diet that fits into our lifestyles?

3. Lack of motivation

No one can force you to eat healthy if you’re just not there yet. In order to be successful in making a change towards a clean diet, you have to be ready and willing to make that change. Assessing where you are in your willingness to create a change may be the most important step in making the dream of eating healthier a reality.

If you are ready to implement a healthier diet, get started with this 5-day clean eating meal plan—a comprehensive menu that gives you the tools to succeed, while being conscientious of your busy life.

Download the Printable Meal Plan

  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday

Breakfast: Oatmeal

  • ½ cup Oatmeal
  • 1 cup low-fat or fat free milk
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen berries

Lunch: Turkey Wrap

  • 1 whole wheat or veggie tortilla
  • 2 lettuce leaves
  • 2 slices cheese
  • 2 slices of deli turkey
  • 2 slices tomato
  • 4 slices bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp hummus

Dinner: Loaded Baked Sweet Potato

  • 1 baked sweet potato
  • 1 sliced green onion
  • ¼ cup black beans
  • ¼ cup low fat cheese
  • 2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt

Snack: Handful of nuts

Breakfast: Banana Toast

  • 1 slice whole wheat toast
  • 2 tbsp nut butter
  • ½ banana, sliced

Lunch: Apple, Kale, and Quinoa Salad

  • ½ apple, diced
  • Handful of kale
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar

Dinner: Grilled/ Baked Chicken + Asparagus

  • 3 oz grilled or baked chicken
  • 6-8 asparagus spears sprinkled with lemon juice and pepper

Snack: ½ avocado, sliced

Breakfast: Veggie Omelet

  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup sautéed veggies of choice

Lunch: Summer Salad

  • 2 cups lettuce
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • Handful of strawberries, sliced
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • Sprinkle of gorgonzola
  • Apple cider vinaigrette

Dinner: Shredded Beef Fajitas

  • 3 oz shredded beef
  • 2 corn tortillas
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 bell pepper
  • ¼ cup salsa

Snack: Apple slices with nut butter

Breakfast: Smoothie

  • ½ frozen banana
  • ½ cup frozen berries
  • 1 cup low-fat or fat-free milk
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1 tbsp nut butter

Lunch: BALT sandwich + Fruit

  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • 2 slices turkey bacon
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • 1 lettuce leaf
  • 3 slices tomato
  • Fruit of choice (1 medium piece or ½ cup)

Dinner: Pasta Fresca

  • 1 cup whole wheat or brown rice pasta
  • ¼ wedged tomato
  • 1 tbsp diced red onion
  • ½ cup spinach
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • White Wine

Snack: Carrots and hummus

Breakfast: Yogurt Parfait

  • 6 oz low-fat yogurt
  • ¼ cup granola
  • handful of fresh berries

Lunch: Stir-Fried Veggies + Brown Rice

  • ½ cup broccoli
  • ½ red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/3 cup shredded carrot
  • ¼ cup edamame
  • ½ cup brown rice

Dinner: Healthier Fish + Chips

  • 3 oz grilled salmon or tilapia
  • 1 sweet potato, cut into wedges and baked

Snack: Celery and nut butter

How to do the 5:2 diet

Share on PinterestSome people choose to eat small meals throughout the day.

There is no correct way to eat on fasting days, as each person’s body may respond differently to fasting. The principle is that on fast days, a person consumes just 25 percent of their normal calorie intake.

For instance, some people may need to start the day with a small breakfast to get their body moving. For others, eating breakfast immediately may make them feel hungrier throughout the day. These people may want to wait as long as possible before having their first meal.

Because of this, everyone’s meal plan may look slightly different. Some fast day meal schedules include:

  • eating three small meals such as an early breakfast, afternoon lunch, and late dinner
  • eating an early lunch and dinner
  • eating a small breakfast and late lunch and skipping dinner
  • eating a single meal at dinner or breakfast

The main focus of these days is for a person to drastically reduce the calories they eat.

If an individual regularly eats 2,000 calories per day, they should only consume 500 calories on fast days.

A person who usually eats 1,800 calories a day should reduce their intake to 450 calories on fast days.

Foods to include

It is vital to keep the body satisfied on fast days by eating foods that are rich in filling nutrients, such as fiber and protein.

Vegetables and fiber

For people who are just getting started on the 5:2 regimen, eating more vegetables may help them feel as if they are not lacking during a meal. Vegetables can be very low in calories compared with animal products and grains, meaning more vegetables can fit into a small meal.

Dark, leafy greens and salads can be a great way to add bulk to a meal and help people feel fuller without eating extra calories.

Another example of this is to use a spiralizer to turn zucchini or carrots into noodles, making a low-calorie base for a sauce as an accompaniment.


Protein is vital for staying full during fast days. People should focus on lean sources of protein without too much fat.

Add small portions of lean forms of protein on fast days, including:

  • white fish
  • lean animal cuts
  • eggs
  • beans, peas, and lentils
  • tofu

Importantly, people can avoid extra oil and fats by boiling, grilling, or roasting these foods instead of frying.

Dark berries

While most fruits are rich in natural sugars, dark berries, such as blackberries and blueberries, may fulfill sweet cravings without adding many calories.

Other foods to include

  • Soup: Soup is a great tool for fast days, as the added water and spices from the broth may help a person feel more satisfied without eating too many calories.
  • Water: Water is vital every day, but during fast days it may help stretch the time between meals and keep a person from feeling hunger pangs.
  • Coffee or tea: Plain, unsweetened coffee and tea are acceptable during fast days. However, some people find that coffee or tea stimulates their digestive system, making them feel hungry. Herbal tea is another option and is a great way to increase the person’s water intake.

Foods to avoid

To avoid extra calories or using up the daily calorie limit on foods with fewer nutritional benefits than some other, more nutrient-dense ones, a person may wish to avoid the following foods on fast days:

  • processed foods, which are typically refined and high in calories
  • refined carbohydrates, such as breads, pastas, and white rice
  • excess fats, including cooking oils, animal fats, and cheese

The 5 Day Miracle Diet

A quick weight loss plan, the 5 Day Miracle Diet is designed to keep your blood sugar levels steady and constant throughout the day in order to control cravings and keep your energy up.
Without the intense cravings associated with most diet plans, the program claims to help you lose a lot of weight quickly.

Type – Quick Weight Loss
Are special products required? – No
Is eating out possible? – Yes
Is the plan family friendly? – Yes
Do you have to buy a book? – Yes
Is the diet easy to maintain? – Yes

So how does it work?…

This entire diet plan is focused around the idea of keeping blood sugar levels from dropping or rising too quickly. When you eat something high in simple sugars or anything high on the glycemic index, your blood sugar will spike causing your body to flood itself with insulin.
This insulin leads to low blood sugar which makes you feel tired and can make you have intense food cravings.
In the 5 Day Miracle Diet , you are instructed how to eat in order to avoid the spikes and dips that most people normally experience.
Specific timing as well as certain food combinations are important to this diet’s plans.

The Diet Plan

When you eat is very important with this diet. Breakfast has to be eaten within 30 minutes of waking on the 5 Day Miracle Diet.
You are supposed to eat every 2-3 hours, evenly spacing your three meals and two snacks throughout the day.
Each of the three meals has a certain type of food to focus on: Breakfast should contain lots of protein and you are allowed a little bread, for lunch you should eat fresh vegetables and more protein, and dinner should be mostly vegetables with some protein.
Starches and simple carbohydrates are typically avoided.
Women are allowed to eat carbs sparingly every other day, while men are permitted to eat three servings per day – note that this is still lower than the average consumption of starchy foods.
One unique attribute of this diet plan is the ability to indulge in something completely forbidden once per week.

Is it good for you?…

The best part of the 5 Day Miracle Diet plan is that nothing about it is particularly extreme or based on pseudoscience.
The science of blood sugar is well established and all adults, particularly those who have diabetes, pre-diabetes, or are obese, would benefit from attempting to control their levels. It is sensible and low carb.
The way that the 5 Day Miracle Diet works to help you lose weight is to reduce portion sizes and overall calorie content of your diet.
But because it is not extremely low in calories, you will not see a dramatic “miraculous” transformation as the name might imply.
Quick weight loss is sometimes a relative concept. It will help you lose weight over time and many people will have an easier time following this plan than others because of the way that it aids controlling blood sugar which can make the entire dieting process easier.
Spacing out your meals keeps your metabolism steady and high all day long which also helps with the weight loss.
Don’t expect any miracles on the 5 Day Miracle Diet plan, but stick it out and you can see success.

Example Day…

(30 minutes after waking)
• Egg
•Slice of toast with spread

(by 1pm)
• Tuna with spinach and tomato salad with balsamic vinegar dressing
• Grilled chicken with steamed spinach
• Salad of chopped tomatoes, chopped red or green pepper, chopped lettuce, and a balsamic vinegar dressing
• Slice of bread
(2 hours after breakfast, 3 hours after lunch)
• Nectarine, grapefruit, carrots, or raw cauliflower

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File under trends that won’t go away: the 5:2 diet, a type of intermittent fasting made popular by British broadcaster Michael Mosley and late-night host Jimmy Kimmel. Proponents claim it can decrease risk of chronic disease and promote weight loss. Plus, a few studies have linked fasting to longevity, which means you could get a few more days or years on Earth — just to spend them (mostly) not eating.

The 5:2 diet is not for everyone. Jimmy Kimmel himself recently admitted he stopped following the plan that he helped make famous.

“When I started working out is when it came to an end because I was just ravenously hungry,” he said on the podcast “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend” on May 6. Here’s what you should know before you try fasting two days every week.

What is the 5:2 diet?

The 5:2 diet is a type of fasting where followers eat about 25% of their recommended calorie needs (about 500-600 calories) on two scheduled fasting days and then eat normally the other five days that week. People generally intersperse their fasting days (like planning them for Mondays and Thursdays) so they’re not back-to-back.

Some followers take the 5:2 diet to an extreme by consuming zero calories on their fasting days. Others place restrictions on their non-fasting days by following a high-fat, ketogenic diet.

What can you eat on the 5:2 diet?

There aren’t any hard-and-fast rules about what to eat on the 5:2 diet. Generally, people will eat lower-calorie foods on their fasting days. These could include vegetables, fish, soup, eggs, and lean meat, plus zero-calorie beverages like water and black coffee or tea.

TatommGetty Images

Can you lose weight on the 5:2 diet?

It depends. The theory is that intermittent fasting (IF) limits the opportunities for eating and you’ll lose weight by simply by taking in less calories overall. That’s because many of us eat based on scenario, not hunger levels.

For example, if you’re fasting during your Tuesday meeting that always includes fresh donuts, it may prevent you from eating a higher-calorie food you would’ve had otherwise. However, you could likely achieve the same goal by having a healthy snack about 30 minutes before your meeting and opting out of deep-fried, doughy treats simply because you’ve had something more nutritious ahead of time.

More About Intermittent Fasting

A 2017 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that intermittent fasting didn’t help people lose more weight than traditional methods. Participants who practiced alternate-day fasting and those who simply restricted calories daily lost virtually the same amount over a one-year period.

If you’re trying to lose weight, start by planning when you’ll eat — I talk a lot more about this in my book, Dressing on the Side (and Other Diet Myths Debunked). Having too many options and too much time to decide what we’re eating in a given day can leave us susceptible to making snap decisions that ultimately leave us dissatisfied — either immediately, or when done consistently over time. Pick out your meals and snacks (as you would your outfit for the day) the night before, so you can make choices that support your health goals. Even if you don’t stick to the exact plan, you’ve got a general framework to work with.

Is the 5:2 diet good for your health?

Fasting can negatively impact your health. The same 2017 trial mentioned above — arguably the best to date that looked at humans, not lab animals — also found LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels significantly increased in the alternate fasting day group compared to the control groups.

Going for prolonged periods without eating can also prime you to overeat, creating a cycle that’s difficult to get out of because fasting can mess with our body’s hunger cues and metabolism. Other research has linked fasting with increased risk of depression and anxiety.

The Bottom Line

To make better choices for health and weight loss, it’s simply not feasible for many of us to restrict food for days at a time. Life is too short to cut the number of days you’re “allowed” to eat in a calendar year from 365 to 261 — especially if it stops you from doing other beneficial things, like getting regular exercise and enjoying meals with people you love. There’s more to nourishment than calories, so consider that before buying into any trendy diet or eating plan. Remember that, and you’re already on the right track.

Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, Good Housekeeping Institute Director, Nutrition Lab A registered dietitian with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University and a Master of Science degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University, Jaclyn “Jackie” London handles all of Good Housekeeping’s nutrition-related content, testing, and evaluation.

The 5 day diet

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