The celebs who swear by it – and those who don't
Any wonder diet du jour is always made more palatable if it's served up with a hefty dollop of celebrity endorsement – and the 5:2 eating plan has been no exception.
Presenter Phillip Schofield was recently revealed to have lost 9lbs on the weight-loss plan.
During the filming of a recent episode of ITV's Mr & Mrs, Schofield told the audience: "I am on the new 5:2 Diet, I've been doing it for about three weeks and I'm really hungry," before revealing his weight-loss success.
Portly River Cottage chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has likewise taken the trend to heart, refusing even to snack on carrots or almonds between meals on fast days, in a bid to shift the extra weight he put on over Christmas.
Towards the end of January, after just three weeks on the diet, he announced: "I believe in the fasting thing, I really do. With my non-snacking version, I've lost 8lbs already and I find the whole thing rather exhilarating."
A host of all together more glamorous names, including Beyoncé, Liv Tyler, Ben Affleck, Christy Turlington, Miranda Kerr, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston, have likewise been attached to the 5:2 phenomenon.
Whilst it's not clear how many of Hollywood's finest have been strictly following the two-days-on-five-days-off regime, intermittent fasting has long had fans in the image-conscious world of showbiz.
Unsurprisingly, clean-living Gwyneth Paltrow has long been a supporter of fasting and regularly embarks on five-juice fasts, saying "I find it very rejuvenating . . . it's like being high."
Model Miranda Kerr, pictured left, has also enthused over the benefits of liquid-only fasts, while Jennifer Aniston reportedly swears by following a calorific night out with a morning of hot water and lemon.
But Beyoncé's experience of drastically cutting calories is a cautionary tale in the importance of approaching fasting in a sustainable way.
Back in 2006, she lost 20lbs in 14 days to film Dreamgirls, saying: "I had to lose it really fast, so I fasted and only drank liquids and had fish, protein shakes and vegetables."
But the singer and actress later added: "As soon as it was over, I gained the weight back on – I ate everything when it was over . . . the second I looked at a donut, it came back."