By

Amanda is Healthy Food Guide's nutrition editor with a degree in nutrition and a post-grad diploma in dietetics. She is a member of the British Dietetic Association, The Nutrition Society and The Guild of Food...

Although research shows the safest way to lose weight and keep it off long term is slowly and steadily, many of us need a kickstart to get us going. Here at HFG we’ve looked at the eating plans our readers have been trying and have found the most popular is the 5:2 – an ‘Intermittent Fasting’ diet to give it its proper name. This is where you eat ‘normally’ for five days a week and stick to 500 calories daily for two days a week.

People have seen great results doing the 5:2, so if you want to give it a go, cooking your own low-cal dishes on the fasting days will make it a whole lot easier, and more enjoyable.

Sticky chicken stir-fry

Six 5:2

Pan-fried chickpea fritters

Six 5:2

Carrot, spinach and pumpkin seed muffins

Six 5:2

2x smoked salmon, prawn and dill fishcakes

Six 5:2

Garlic and white bean stew

Six 5:2

Garlic mushrooms on toast

Six 5:2