New Research: The 5-2 Diet has ONE KEY ADVANTAGE over other Dietary Regimes



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The '5-2 diet', which is the brainchild of Dr. Michael Mosley, has exploded in popularity, transforming the eating patterns of thousands of people seeking to lose weight.
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Study: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0258853

At its most basic, the Michael Mosley 5-2 system means you can eat what you want five days per week (trying to still eat sensibly on those days), while on the other two days of the week, you restrict your calorie intake significantly, often to around just 500 calories.  
A new study led by researchers from Queen Mary University of London in the UK has identified another reason why some people may want to consider the Michael Mosley 5-2 diet over other approaches. In what the researchers claim is the "first randomized evaluation of the 5-2 diet", the team studied 300 adults with obesity, each of whom were randomly assigned to one of three different kinds of weight loss interventions.
In the experiment, 100 of the participants (one-third of the whole group) were given conventional weight management advice in a single session with an advisor, who provided written materials that explained things like portion control, keeping a food diary, and tips on how to avoid unnecessary snacks.
Another group of 100 participants (called the 'self-help' group) had a different session, in which: They too were given advise on how to follow the Michael Mosley 5-2 diet during the experiment, they were also given a leaflet listing meal examples, also they were given links to additional online support, but were otherwise left to try the diet by themselves without much additional assistance.
The final 100 participants received similar advice and documentation on how to follow the 5-2 Michael Mosley diet as group 2, but were also enrolled in a series of group support sessions that ran for six weeks, aimed at helping them discuss their experiences on the diet with others, ask questions of the advisors, and so on.
These three groups of participants were then followed for one year.
At the end of the year, each of the three groups showed signs of moderate weight loss on average: 15% of participants in Group 1, the 'conventional advice' group lost at least 5% of their body weight (the primary outcome measure of the study). The two groups of Michael Mosley 5-2 dieters lost slightly more weight on average in terms of that measure, with 18% of group 2, the 'self-help' group, losing at least 5% of their body weight, compared to 28% of Group 3, the 'group support' participants. When compared against the participants who received conventional weight management advice, the 5-2 diet participants rated their experience during the experiment more highly. In a survey about the experiment, the 5-2 dieters rated their interventions higher in terms of helpfulness than the conventional weight management advice, and indicated they were more likely to recommend the diet to others. Feedback also showed the 5-2 dieters had more readiness to continue the diet after the experiment ended, making it more of a lifestyle change as opposed to a diet.
Katie Myers Smith said "Here we've been able to provide the first results on the effectiveness of simple 5-2 diet advice in a real-life setting. We found that although the 5-2 diet wasn't superior to traditional approaches in terms of weight loss, users preferred this approach as it was simpler and more attractive."
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