'Warts & All' 5:2 Diet Guide - Part 5


A 'bad' day?

Beat the yo-yo

Right back at the start of this series, when I asked you to step up with me, I talked about the need to step off the dieting treadmill.


“Here’s first secret of dieting, NO-ONE SHOULD DIET ALL THE TIME. That means you are cutting yourself off from life’s simple pleasures FOREVER. But so many of us are ALWAYS ON A DIET. When we ‘break’ our diet, we feel guilty. An occasional slice of cake makes us feel guilty for days. We give up and consider it another ‘failure’ and immediately look to start the next diet. The cycle of “diet, failure, give up, diet…” continues forever and ever.”

The Truth about Dieting, Jacqueline Whitehart (that’s me!)


Now we’ve been talking about the mindset shift from an ALWAYS ON DIET (basically every diet on the face of the earth) to the 5:2 DIET (where you only diet for 2 days out of 7). This shift in attitude is very helpful in breaking the yo-yo cycle.


But we need to go further. If you feel properly starving on your diet day (which happened a lot on the old 500 cal 5:2 diet), this would often lead to binge eating. With the new 800 CAL DAY, it’s possible to avoid the gnawing hunger of a diet day. But only if you eat the right food at the right time…


[Note: if you need a reminder about ‘What to eat’, check out Part 4: Eat the right calories. If you need help with ‘When to eat’, go back to Part 2: ‘When to eat’]


Do you remember Jane’s problem from an earlier lesson?


Jane is on her first diet day of the 5:2 diet. She’s read all the rules and wakes up excited to start and finds she’s not particularly hungry at breakfast time. She reasons that she should probably skip breakfast and save her calories for later. WRONG! In the afternoon, Janes feels hungry so eats her breakfast calories then. But there seems to be a problem. She can’t stop eating. She eats a bit more because she’s got some ‘calories in hand’ from breakfast but SHE CAN’T STOP.

Do you think it’s about will-power? It’s not. It’s about your body going into starvation mode and ‘taking over your brain’.


As well as remembering this whenever you think you’ll skip breakfast on an 800 day, there’s a few extra techniques that will help you live the 5:2 as a new lifestyle.


Some of these techniques are pretty simple but I’m also going to introduce you to some new and exciting science.

The Three Pillars

Let’s talk about the 3 pillars of a healthy body.

If you don’t have these three working together you are not primed for weight-loss and you will find you lose weight slower.

  1. Food and diet
  2. Exercise
  3. Sleep and stress


I’m not very good at photoshop – but imagine these 3 pillars as a triangle with you in the middle. Or perhaps as actual pillars with you lying on the top. No? Too much?

Well just be glad I can’t manage to create these actual visions for you…


Pillar #1: Food and diet

We’ve talked a lot about the food you eat – on both your 800 DAYS and your NO LIMIT DAYS. It’s all about eating #nojunk. If you eat the right, filling foods then they will sustain you throughout the day.


The New 5:2 Diet is not a low carb diet. But it is a balanced diet. And for most of us, a balanced diet means increasing our protein (because we eat too little) and decreasing our ‘bad’ carbs (because we eat too much).


The easiest way for me to think about carbs, and to differentiate between good and bad, is to think about their colour…


Beige carbs, white carbs and green carbs


Starch is what we usually understand carbs to mean - foods like bread, pasta, potatoes and rice - but these "beige" varieties aren't good for you.


Neither are "white" carbs - found in sugary foods such as fizzy drinks, sweets and processed and refined foods including cakes and biscuits.


Most of the starch and sugar in these beige and white carbs are broken down into glucose for energy, and if you eat too much, the glucose is stored as fat.


But there is another type of carb - dietary fibre, found in fruit and vegetables - what we might call "green carbs". It keeps you full, slows stomach emptying, and is usually the part of the plant that supplies you with vitamins and minerals.


Included as part of the ‘green carb’ family is resistant starch - found in high-fibre foods such as lentils, beans and unprocessed whole grains. Resistant starch is also hard to digest in a good way: it gets right down into your lower digestive tract (your colon) where its main job is not to feed you but rather to feed your gut bacteria.


If you think about the carbs that you are eating. Are they beige or white? Then they are probably bad carbs which are quickly broken down and stored as fat.


If your carbs are coloured – green, brown, red, orange… anything that’s not a shade of white – then they are good carbs.


Pillar #2: Exercise

We haven’t talked much about exercise. Exercise is important for a healthy body but it’s only 20% factor in weight-loss – with food being 80%.


In fact, if you exercise hard on your 800 days, you will get an energy crash. This could easily lead to cravings and unstoppable hunger.


For this reason, I would say AVOID intensive exercise on your 800 days.

That means no running, no cycling, no gym classes, no cardio and no strength training.


What you do on your NO LIMIT days is totally up to you. We’re all different, with different bodies, different needs, different challenges. The 5:2 diet doesn’t seek to change what you are doing for exercise.


Restrict your exercise to your five NO LIMIT days


Walking on your 800 days


There’s still one exercise which I heartily recommend on your diet days. And that’s simply walking.


A half hour walk is perfect exercise for your 800 days. But a gentle swim or a yoga class would be great too…


Walking is a fantastic exercise for many reasons. Perhaps the most important is that it lowers your stress hormones. This not only makes you feel better but also encourages your body to burn fat, not sugar.


Your metabolic response to walking means that each time you walk (or swim or do yoga) you are reducing your insulin resistance by a tiny bit and enhancing your ability to burn fat. So never dismiss walking as ‘not proper exercise’, embrace and enjoy it.


Pillar #3: Sleep and stress

We all know in theory that getting more sleep is important. Many of us just aren’t getting the full 8 hours we need. Our modern lives get in the way. We’re always busy, always on our phones. And when we go to bed we’re wired and take too long going to sleep.


Now the problem is not just that we feel lousy the next day. The big problem for those of us that want to lose weight is that we eat more when we’re tired. This has been scientifically tested and proven. But we all know it anyway. When we’re sluggish and tired we reach for the fatty sugary foods to give us that sugar surge that we need so much.


Let’s get to the root of the problem. We’re going to have to improve our sleep patterns to effectively lose weight. Otherwise we are going to be fighting an uphill battle all the way.


Luckily, I think there’s a simple solution that will help many of us to sleep more soundly.

 *** Prebiotics ***


I’ve tested it myself and they have improved my sleep cycle A LOT.


 “The simple fact of the matter is I now have it every single night, am drifting off to sleep quicker, sleeping sounder, waking later and generally feeling better for having had a good night’s sleep.” Jacqueline Whitehart (that’s me!)




  • Prebiotics increase the quality and duration of deep sleep
    Deep sleep is the most restorative sleep. It is here that the body repairs, tissues regrow, bone and muscle grow, and the immune system strengthens. With improved sleep quality, you can expect a lift in your mood, more energy and less cravings.
  • Prebiotics reduce stress and anxiety levels by calming our ‘fight or flight’ response
    Stress and anxiety increase levels of the stress hormone cortisol, as does illness and not enough sleep. But prebiotics works in a similar way to exercise to reduce stress levels and improve mood.


Prebiotics at bedtime are the dieter’s secret weapon. They stop carb cravings interfering with good sleep patterns. What to know the secret of weight-loss success? It’s sleep.


If you don’t get enough sleep (and many dieters struggle to sleep because they feel hungry and agitated) then the next day your cravings ramp up, you eat 50% more than normal and all your hard work on your 800 Day is wasted.


The prebiotic that I prefer is inulin. It’s a totally natural prebiotic that’s made from 100% chicory root. You can’t get it in the shops yet, but there’s quite a few places online where you can buy it.


Having a prebiotic drink at bedtime on an 800 DAY will help you lose weight:

They beat night-time cravings immediately, helping you sleep

AND reduce cravings and food consumption the next day


If you'd like to try inulin then I've included a link to buy it here from Amazon. You simply stir 1/2 to 1 tsp inulin in to your bedtime drink.



Think you can’t lose weight if you are a yo-yo dieter?


I got this great question from Janice:

And another one from Mary:

Believe it or not, these are actually the same question.


The same belief.


The 5:2 Diet won’t work for me because…

“I’m a yo-yo dieter”

Or “I tried it and I didn’t lose any weight”


If you’ve tried every diet going or are a yo-yo dieter, then your body builds up some resistance to change. It holds onto that fat for ‘dear life’ so you get that frustrating feeling that


‘You’re doing everything right and not losing a pound.'

I know because I’ve experienced it myself.


But your body can’t resist for ever. It can guard your fat for a few weeks or even a month. But it can’t hold onto it forever.


Remember Part 3 was all about COMMITMENT?


If you’re a failed 5:2er or a long-term yo-yo-er, you might have to wait a few weeks before the weight starts to shift.


But when it shifts, it will shift.


Just check out this Facebook message I got from Sharon:

“Just wanted to give you an update. I didn’t lose a pound on the 5:2 diet for 5 weeks and I very very nearly gave up. But then suddenly it started to drop off. I didn’t change anything. I’ve now lost half a stone and still losing. Thank you for keeping me on track.” Sharon



What if, instead of simply bombarding you with information, I actually
sent you the food and the tools you needed in the post...


Yes a real world parcel from me.


I’ve designed something a little different – more than just a book or videos – where you’ll get an amazing starter kit for the 5:2 diet - containing everything you need for a week of 5:2 in one easy package...


You'll get 3 amazing Supershakes per day

»» HOMEMADE SUPERFRUIT SHAKE with a nutrient-rich blend of concentrated fruit
»» HOMEMADE SUPERVEG SHAKE with 25 Super Green vegetables
»» HOMEMADE SUPERCHOC SHAKE with cocoa (rich in anti-oxidants)


+ a shaker to make your 5:2 Supershakes


They have been nutritionally designed to give you a perfect balance of macro and micro-nutrients. They’ll give you plenty of healthy energy to make your 5:2 day a breeze.

You won't find these anywhere else. I've designed them especially for this 5:2 Diet programme and I won't be selling them separately.


You’ve read all about the 5:2 Diet. Now I want to set your diet plan in motion. Let’s make the 5:2 diet work for you. Remember there's...


Calorie counting

And everything is homemade by me (so you don't have to).