Best Diet To Lose 50 Lbs Fast – It’s called a fasting diet, but it doesn’t mean you starve for two days. Patrick Strattner/Getty Images/fStop
Fasting may seem like a drastic way to lose weight, but it can be safe and effective if done in moderation, says self-improvement blogger Dave Wentworth.
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The mechanical engineer, who lives in Michigan, decided to try the 5:2 Intermittent Fasting Diet after joining a weight loss competition at his job in 2011. Simply put, the diet required him to eat normally five days a week and fast two days.
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“Put simply, five days a week you eat as normally as possible, and then two days — in two 24-hour periods — you don’t eat,” Wentworth tells NBC News BETTER.
That doesn’t mean going hungry for two days, Wentworth explains. This means that you eat only one meal on two non-consecutive days of the week. On fasting days, for example, he would skip breakfast and lunch and eat only dinner.
“It’s an easy way to basically achieve a 20 percent reduction in total calories,” says the engineer.
Five days a week, Wentworth ate what would be considered a normal amount of calories for a day. (How many calories a person should consume per day varies by individual and gender.) Like any diet, the 5:2 diet required him to watch what he ate, he says, because he had to be careful to stay in a calorie deficit throughout the week.
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For example, he would have a protein shake for breakfast, fried chicken for lunch and a typical dinner of meat and vegetables, he says.
As he was without food for almost the whole day in those days, he says that he had to be careful not to overeat during dinner. He said he ate a lot of vegetables and high-fiber foods.
“I knew that if I ate more vegetables and whole grains, I could eat a lot more, which also helps,” he says. “If I were to eat wild bison wings or something like that — some kind of fast food — then it’s like there’s just a little bit of food for the same amount of calories.”
“You can eat a five-pound salad, but it only has 1,000 calories,” he says. “You can eat a ton of food and get a ton of nutrients and feel full, but you can’t exceed your calorie budget.”
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Wentworth recommends tracking calories when starting the 5:2 diet. This will help you not to overeat during meals, especially on fasting days.
Your body weight can fluctuate drastically from day to day, especially on non-fasting days, he says. To figure out exactly how much weight you’re losing, he said, weigh yourself once a week instead of every day.
“It depends on the person, but tracking your weight weekly rather than daily can be helpful because with fasting there can be a big shift [in your weight] every time you go back to eating,” he says. “So you might think, ‘Oh, I’ve been fasting, but I haven’t lost any weight.'”
“It’s like burning the candle at both ends,” says Wentworth. “You can’t not be nutritious and try to burn thousands of calories.”
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After six months on the diet, Wentworth lost about 50 pounds. He said the diet worked for him because he had to limit his eating to just twice a week instead of every day, and he was still able to eat junk food.
With the extra pounds gone, Wentworth says she has “a ton of energy.” She still tracks her weight and goes back to fasting temporarily if she sees she’s starting to gain weight.
Want more tips like this? NBC News BETTER is obsessed with finding an easier, healthier and smarter way to live. Sign up for our newsletter.• Stephen Sieminkewicz ate nearly 3,500 calories a day, which led to steady weight gain as he entered his thirties.
• Thanks to some simple dietary changes and weekly meal prep, Sieminkewicz was able to get his calorie intake under control.
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Stephen Sieminkewicz thought his job would keep him from gaining weight. The 32-year-old auto shop owner from Raleigh, North Carolina, figured that working hard, physically on cars all day meant he was burning enough calories.
Yet by the time he reached his thirties, with a new daughter on the way, he felt drained and tired. At 5’8″ and 216 pounds, he could feel the extra weight he carried. “I could always feel it on my chin and my shirts would always be tight in the wrong places,” he says. “[It] used to be done “. I feel quite self-conscious in public.” He decided he had to change.
The weight wasn’t new — Sieminkewicz says he’s been heavy since he graduated high school. Despite his physically demanding job, he didn’t exercise regularly, and his diet really needed to be improved. “I never learned good eating habits growing up and that continued into my twenties,” he says. “I had lunch out every day, dinner and snacks until I was full every night.” He consumed 3,000-3,500 calories a day, mostly from fast food with a high sugar content.
Therefore, he focused on solving the problem of nutrition. He used a food scale and MyFitnessPal, a calorie-counting app. “Just keeping track of what’s touching my lips made it a lot easier to see what I needed to focus on,” he says. “Meal prep for balanced lunches and a healthy breakfast after a gym session makes most of my days easier.”
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It’s a pretty simple diet: three eggs or a protein shake for breakfast, then a bowl of chicken, rice, corn and salsa for lunch. He snacks on nuts and fruits, and dinner consists mainly of protein and greens. (He also credits his wife’s excellent cooking for providing a variety of new and healthy meals.)
At the beginning of his journey, Sieminkewicz joined a gym, but instead of hiring a trainer, he created his own workout regimen using online resources and learning from other gym-goers. It combines cardio with free weights, keeping you fit as you go. “I’m still learning, but I feel really good after this training,” he says.
Sieminkewicz was able to make his way, but like everyone, he had to stay motivated. In the beginning, it took determination to get out of bed every day and go to the gym,” he says. “After a few weeks, I crave my training and will be very angry if I have to miss it.”
The change in mindset paid off. He lost 56 pounds in about 8 months. All his friends and family supported his progress, and he came out of it happier and more confident. “I feel much lighter and more agile,” he says. “It’s much easier for me to work and keep up with a small child. I just feel healthier.” With his beach body achieved, his next goal is to run the Tough Mudder in November – one year since his transformation began.
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Jesse Hicks is a Detroit-based writer and former features editor at The Verge who specializes in long-form stories about science, health and technology. He has written for Men’s Health, VICE, Harper’s and many other publications.
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