To Your Health
November, 2021 (Vol. 15, Issue 11)
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Another Way to Lose Weight After Pregnancy: The 5:2 Diet

By Editorial Staff

Last month, we talked about gestational diabetes, a pregnancy-related condition that can develop into full-blown diabetes after pregnancy if not managed appropriately. Here's a diet that can help reduce the risk of gestational diabetes advancing to diabetes by helping mothers lose weight – something that can be a challenge for many moms after gaining weight during pregnancy.

Researchers investigated whether the 5:2 diet, characterized by five days of normal eating per week and two days of restricted-calorie eating, could help new mothers lose weight. Adult mothers 18 years of age and older and diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy were randomized to either intermittent energy restriction (two day a week of 500 kcal per day, with unrestricted eating the other five days) or a continuous energy restriction (control) group (1,500 kcal per day, every day) for comparison.

Over a 12-month period, women in the 5:2 group lost approximately the same amount of weight as women in the control group. This suggests the 5:2 diet may be a viable alternative for women trying to return to pre-pregnancy weight and avoid diabetes, but who are unable or unwilling to restrict their eating habits every day. Findings appear in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.