If you're starting the 5:2 diet or looking for more inspiration, cookbooks are a great place to get plenty of ideas particularly when it comes to reaching 500 calories a day.
"The 5:2 diet is essentially a calorie limited diet which follows a prescriptive programme based on days of the week. Essentially, the basic rules go something like this: for two days a week, if you are a female, eat just 500 calories, or 600 if you are a man. These foods can be consumed at any time of the day and consist of any food you like. Then, for the remainder of the week, eat and drink as you would normally," says Clinical Nutritionist, Mike Wakeman from the evidence-backed personalised nutrition service Vitamedics.
Cookbooks in this roundup include the sought-after Pinch of Nom Everyday Light cookbook, The 5:2 Diet Cookbook, and The Simple 5 Ingredient Skinny Slow Cooker Recipe Book to name a few. The majority are available to buy online on Amazon - most with free delivery and some with free Kindle Editions too.
These cookbooks aren't just full of recipes either, they also include top tips and tricks to help you along the way as well as guides and explanations on how the 5:2 diet works and what rules apply.
Where to buy 5:2 diet cookbooks online
- Amazon: Free Kindle Editions for a range of 5:2 diet cookbooks on Amazon
- Waterstones: A large selection of diet cookbooks from the fast diet to the keto diet
- LoveReading: Choose from the 5:2 diet, Pegan diet and Met Flex Diet guide books and more
Best 5:2 diet cookbooks
1. The Fast Diet Recipe Book
If your biggest problem on fasting days is figuring out what to eat, then this book by Mimi Spencer is a good place to start. Full of 150 recipes to make fasting days easy, the book received a whole host of 5-star reviews when it came out in 2013 for its 'health revolution' approach to dieting.
2. The Skinny 5:2 Diet Meals For One
A huge hit when the diet first found its feet, this book is considered the go-to for many lovers of the 5:2 diet. As one Amazon buyer said, "Love it! to find a recipe book that has recipes for one great!! I have either had to eat the same thing twice or calculate the recipe to make it fit."
3. The Simple 5 Ingredient Skinny Slow Cooker Recipe Book
This book promises to transform the way you eat, using a slow cooker and only five ingredients. Each recipe is measured out to be 300, 400, or 500 calories, so you can be sure that you're sticking to the plan while enjoying lovely slow-cooked food.
4. 5:2 Veggie and Vegan
Looking to get a jump on your new diet and also make some changes to your eating habits? Then the 5:2 Veggie and Vegan cookbook is the one for you. It's packed with yummy, vegetable-based recipes, all calorie controlled so you can be sure that you're sticking to the diet.
5. The Fast Diet: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, Live Longer
In this fully revised edition of the classic book that inspired the 5:2 diet plan, with a focus on intermittent fasting, Michael Mosley introduces the science behind the diet and explains the wider health benefits of intermittent fasting.
6. Pinch of Nom Everyday Light
There's no need to skimp on favourite with this recipe book from Pinch of Nom. It has all the recipes for family favourites like fish and chips, hash brown breakfasts, and pizza-loaded fries and they come in at under 400 calories. Yes, really!
7. The New 5:2 Diet Cookbook: 2017 Edition
Written by Jacqueline Whitehart, an expert health-food writer and best-selling cookery author, this 5:2 diet cookbook is bursting with information on the diet as well as deliciously simple recipes to try at home too. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner - sorted.
8. Hamlyn All Colour Cookery: 200 5:2 Diet Recipes
Choose from 200 5:2 diet-friendly recipes including breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, and even cakes and desserts. This cookbook has been rated highly among Amazon customers with over 60% giving it 5 stars. A small, compact book with plenty of recipes.
9. The 5:2 Diet Cookbook
An easy-to-follow cookbook that is full of over 75 different recipes that are perfect for enjoying the 5:2 diet. This book isn't just about healthy, filling recipes either, it's brimming with tips and tricks to really make the most out of each ingredient and hit the calorie count.
10. The Updated 5:2 diet cookbook
Everything you need to know about the 5:2 diet from how it works to the different types of food you can eat. This cookbook includes a meal plan-type list of meals you can enjoy on fast days along with plenty of recipes from pork loin chops with mango salsa to miso soup with bok choi and shrimp.
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Jessica Dady is Food Editor at GoodtoKnow and has over 11 years of experience as a digital editor, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the must-buy seasonal food hampers and advent calendars for Christmas to the family-friendly air fryers that’ll make dinner time a breeze, Jessica loves trying and testing various food products to find the best of the best for the busy parents among us. Over the years of working with GoodtoKnow, Jessica has had the privilege of working alongside Future’s Test Kitchen to create exclusive videos - as well as writing, testing, and shooting her own recipes. When she’s not embracing the great outdoors with her family at the weekends, Jessica enjoys baking up a storm in the kitchen with her favourite bakes being chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, and a tray of gooey chocolate brownies.
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