5:2 Diet or NHS 12 Week Choices? Please Advise!

Hi all, I am a couple of stone overweight and I have managed to motivate myself into aiming to shift it! As stated above, I currently can't decide on what diet plan I should choose to follow. Aerobic exercisie is currently a no-go due to a rather nasty injury to my foot. 8 Weeks in plaster, 2 operations and a set of K wires later I am slowly hobbling from a to b. As a result of the above, my foot isn't able to withstand the rigor of exercise (Yet). I know both diets have their pros and cons, just looking for some guidance from those who have gone through it all. Many Thanks in advance for the advice!

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8 Replies

  • Hi

    Personally, my choice is the NHS 12 Week Choices as the focus is on healthier eating. I don't think I could eat normally for 5 days and restrict drastically for 2 (if I have understood the 5:2 diet properly). I know a number of people on this site have had dramatic results on the 5:2 diet.

    I think that whichever one you decide upon, it is about thinking about what we eat before we do it - we have the choice

    It will also depend on which one will fit in with your lifestyle most and which you are likely to be motivated by the most.

    Good luck.


  • I did the 5:2 diet for 4 weeks and lost no weight but after 10 days of the 12 week plan have lost weight. I do now take more Levothyroxine though. So personally the 5:2 diet didn't work.

  • So far I have lost 18lb on the nhs plan- took me longer than 12 weeks, but I know thats down to me not sticking to 1400 calories. nonetheless I now eat much less and am continuing to lose weight. I tend to eat far too much of the wrong things if I get too hungry so I could never do the 5:2. good luck whichever way you go.

  • Alternatively you can look at something completely different. It really is about finding something that you can be happy with.


  • I started on the 5:2 diet in May 2013 at 10stone 2lb. It was difficult for the first couple of weeks but after that I almost looked forward to the fasting days. It felt good, I didn't get any reduction in energy levels but the weight steadily dropped off. My waist measurement went from 32" to 27" and my current weight is 8stone 2lb. This is the first time that I have got back to the weight that I was when I left school in my late teens, despite having dieted several times in the past decades. Another factor that I think helped was that I recorded all that I ate and all my physical activity on myfatsecret.co.uk and that made me very aware of what foods carry the most calories and how much nutrient I get from my diet. When you are trying to work out how to "spend" your 500 calories on a fast day you really focus on what will fill you up and how much benefit you can wring out of those calories. That approach to food continues now that I am just working on maintaining my weight. In fact, I now look at how many calories I have eaten to ensure that I am eating enough since my appetite has really changed. If, at the end of the day, my calories are a bit low, I eat a handful of almonds.

    In addition to this, my blood pressure has dropped so that I have been able to stop taking one of my two blood pressure drugs. I am exercising every day and feel fitter than I ever have before.

    A very big advantage of the 5:2 diet is that it fits very well into many different lifestyles. I fasted on days when I was at my busiest or when I was most likely to be eating on my own. But I still managed to keep the diet going on holiday with my family - in the past I have found that a diet will often fail during a holiday and never really get going again.

    There is so much rubbish talked about dieting and I always approach any of the latest fads with a high degree of scepticism but I do think there is something quite important in fasting. You only have to look at how many religions include fasting as part of their way of life and look at people, like the ever youthful Cliff Richard, who have always fasted, to see that it must have some benefits.

    Whatever you decide, good luck.

  • The changes you make need to be for life and therefore practical for you. The 12 week plan teaches/trains you to eat a healthy well balanced diet with the aim of altering your food choices over the long term, 5:2 in theory allows you to maintain your current lifestyle choices (*assuming your weight is steady) apart from 2 days a week. Both Plans Aim to help you reduce weight through a calorie deficit, The 12 week plan by reducing your calorie intake daily, 5:2 by creating an overall weekly deficit via the 2 Fast Days.

    Both in essence are simply management tools, as are most plans. I can see 5:2 working for a certain type of person and the same can be said for the 12 week plan. For example for younger people that regularly socialise the 5:2 would enable them to continue doing this without much change. People that have a tendency to Binge though would be best avoiding 5:2.

    Personally I am a champion of Healthy Eating in whatever form that takes, Penel has offered you some good information about adopting a Lower Carb Lifestyle.

    It's immensely hard to say what works, because as I have said many times before how do you measure the success of a weight loss program, is done just on the amount of weight people have lost, do you wait a year and count the amount of people that have successfully maintained that weight loss for that period or do you wait a lifetime to see how many people manage to keep the weight off for the rest of their life?

    You should also not get too hung up on inability to exercise currently, although exercise is important for health it's not crucial for weight loss.

    Once again..... The changes you make need to be for life

    Good Luck on your journey.

  • Hi Ruskin92,

    Personally, I undestand the 'jury is still out' as to the longer term benefits of these 5:2 style approaches to weight loss. I seem to hear just as many people telling me they work as tell me they made no difference.

    BUT, the real issue is about taking control of you eating and therefore your body weight.

    And a weigth loss regime you can stick to will (almost) always be better for you than one you give up on.

    Good luck with your weight loss efforts.

  • My husband, after trying MANY different diets many times, bought the Fast Diet (5:2 plan). His cholesterol and IGF1 levels were high.

    He found (and still finds) this plan VERY easy to stick to, as he says "Tomorrow is another day with this, not just another day on a difficult diet". He has lost 2stones in just under 4 months. Gone down 4 inches on his waist and 1.5 inches on his neck.

    Today he went to see his doctor for the results of blood tests for cholesterol and to see if he needed to go on statins as his last tests for those were both high and he was expected to need statins now.

    The results blew his doctor away!! The doctor knows how he has struggled with his weight and to see the results that said his cholesterol was in the OK zone and he definiately DID NOT need statins was the doctor said AMAZING. He went on to ask him how he had done this and said he was goint to get a copy of the Michael Mosely book himself. He told my husband to keep up the good work!

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