5:2 diet meal plans: What to eat for 500 calorie fast days

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Photo: very easy Thai chicken and coconut curry
Are you doing the 5:2 diet or thinking of starting it? Well, we’re here to help!

The 500 calorie fast days are obviously the hardest part of the diet - how on earth are you supposed to survive on just 500 calories all day? Don’t worry it can be done. We’ve got it the 5:2 diet covered with handy meal plans, recipes and tips and tricks along the way.

The point of the 5:2 diet is that you give your body 2 fast days and 5 days where you eat normally, albeit slightly healthier. The diet is fast becoming the nation's favourite weight-loss option and the fast days needn't be as scary as they sound.

We're not saying they're not going to be hard but if you plan your day thoroughly with the help of shopping lists and meal plans you can make sure they're as easy as they possibly can be.

We've collected together calorie-counted recipes and ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks so you can piece together a 500 calorie meal plan that suits you. Some people like to have one big meal, while others need to eat more frequently.

Our meal planners below will show you how it's done, then it’s over you. Pick from our breakfasts under 100 calories, lunches under 200 calories and dinners under 200, 300 and 400 calories to make the most out of your 500 calories.

And of course, we’d love to hear how you’re getting on with your 5:2 diet progress so feel free to comment below.



Sample meal planners 

476 calorie day

491 calorie day

Breakfast - 94 calories

Sultanas, Greek yogurt & almonds

Breakfast - 94 calories

Spinach omelette

Lunch - 170 calories

Crushed new potatoes and shoots

Lunch - 132 calories

Chicken miso soup

Dinner - 170 calories

Chinese vegetable chow mein

Dinner - 238 calories

Moroccan root tagine with couscous

Snack - 42 calories

Two satsumas

Snack - 27 calories 

1 Bear Pure Fruit Yo-Yo snacks



Now make your own meal planners with our calorie-counted breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks! 

Breakfasts under 100 calories 




Lunches under 200 calories 



Dinners under 200 calories 



Dinners under 300 calories 



Snacks under 100 calories 


Download 5:2 meal planner app!

The 5:2 diet app from the makers of Woman is out NOW! The simple meal planner has over 75 delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes to help you out on those 500 calorie fasting days. Only £1.99, download at the app store now!  





Where to next? 

Healthy recipes 
150 meals under 500 calories
Never be hungry again: 30 ways to stay fuller for longer


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VERY DISSAPOINTED as I can't download the App!! Hope it has not charged me :-(( I have iPhone and would have thought that it would work....


Me too Lisa. I cannot download the Apple App, as i don't own anything it is compatible with.

Lisa Convery

Disappointed I cannot get this app as not available on iPhone :-(


Well, it's either lies or a severe medical problem. Your tone suggests that: scores of academics, undisputed proof and evidence based results are simply wrong where people who do over eat through lack of self control are unable to lose weight (where a severe medical condition is not concerned). Don't argue with me, argue with facts and undisputed science.


For those who have made derogatory remarks about overweight people , you obviously have had perfect lives . Thank goodness there is support for people struggling in whatever is complicating their lives . Common sense tells us not to smoke , drink , over eat , whatever , we all have a weakness . I envy people who are perfect . I'm neither fat , or skinny , 100% fit or lazy , I certainly know there's room for improvement , and occasionally try the healthier lifestyle thing until I fall off the wagon again . Good luck to all those who are trying .


What about me, Allan? I am a vegan. Self-control is my middle name. I eat nothing processed and have been on a strict low-carb 1200-1500 calorie per day diet for 6 months, logging absolutely everything I put in my mouth. I exercise for 90 minutes a day, 5-6 days a week (with a heart-rate monitor so I know I am not "slacking"). I haven't lost a pound yet and have about 100 to lose (that I gained in a YEAR for no apparent reason). So, what am I doing wrong? You seem like a expert. The doctors and specialists can't figure it out...which is peculiar since you say it is SO SIMPLE!


Yeah that's correct, I'm selfish, I do the following: Eat myself silly to the point I'll probably die early. Crush people on public transport. Cost millions on a service that should be helping cancer victims. Embarrass all my relatives. Have people worry about me. No wait, that's what fat people do, isn't it!!! It really is that easy. Accept it, I know how easy it is. Also I couldn't care less if you detest me lol

Mrs T

How I detest people like you. Totally selfish and if it were that easy as you say, there would be no overweight people.


Why is Monica stupid? She's 100% accurate. You can't argue with her logic. You're fat cause you eat too much. That is a proven fact, Google it. Calories in vs calories out. Stop excusing it, deal with it. #Well said Monica


You're welcome. Show me where I'm silly or what I've said that lacks accuracy. You're clearly fat and in denial. As I say, stop eating so much, problem solved. Don't put a dress on it and call it a battle. fat people defending Fatness, how original. What does goober fan even mean? #Worstcomebackinapostever x


Thank you for your pearls of wisdom, Allan. I see so clearly now. Have you considered writing a book to help others in need? -Your #1 silly goober fan ;-)


turmeric, curry

Deb Ray

Lots of new info on fasting. Every one's body is different. I've lost 30 lbs on the 5:2 and I eat lunch on my fast days. I usually don't eat breakfast, but sometimes I do. It's very flexible.


why does anyone need to battle with their weight!!! Its lack of self control. Its also 80% diet, 20% exercise whether that be walking or hoovering!! Losing weight is easy, staying away from the fridge is hard! Refusing to buy crips, sausages and pizzas is hard. Just DONT DO IT, SIMPLE!!! Too many people over complicate the issue. Stop being greedy, control your portion, eat something small every 2 hours voila!!!! I feel my blood boil when i hear the expression 'battling with weight', this expression only serves to empower the weak minded / willed among us who excuse everything they do by eating excessively. You don't have to be physically able to perform this! Wrapping people up in cotton wool with this subject doesnt get to the truth. Absolutely no excuse for being fat, none whatsoever. The real reason is the fact that you refuse to slim down, REFUSE!!!


The fasting days should be, if at all possible, 250 cals in the morning a 12 HOUR FAST and then 250 cals in the evening (for a woman, 300 and 300 for a man). So where does LUNCH come into it? Some people find it difficult to fast so some have an apple or something during the 12 hour fast. The original Fast Diet written by Michael Mosley makes this very clear. It is the absence of any calories that does you good! Lunch is not feasible on the fasting day. Your article is very misleading. Some people do eat all their calories at the end of the day however a lunch of over 100 calories completely defeats the idea of the FAST.

Annie 58

App does not work


That was a thumbs down hit the wrong arrow ! Why are you on this site if that's you attitude ..not helpful and rather rude !


Not only was the comment made by Monica unkind/insensitive it misses the other benefits of the 5:2 diet which are the ones for your health. Luckily I have no problem with my weight but at 65, I am aware of the process of aging and the unfortunate 'conditions' that can come with it. I do the 5:2 diet , and have done for several months now to help lower any risk of high colesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetis, dementia etc. It may not be proven to do so but it certainly won't hurt to try.


All well and good calorie counting but that's not accounting the sugar and fat particularly in yoghurts and nuts. Caloriees shouldnt be the one being controlled.


Your a very sad lady I imagine, while what you say is probably correct, it serves no purpose for those of us who choose to support each other and those who are battling with their weight. Nothing to be ashamed of and its a great place to find new exciting recipes.

Maggie Smith

That's a very unkind comment it's not easy for some of us...


Why are you on a site such as this if you have no interest in a diet?? Get a life & keep your opinions to yourself, you are not being helpful or encouraging to anyone. Maybe you best look at a site which teaches you such things.


Everyone's metabolism is different Monica. You're the typical person who has never struggled with weight and is too stupid to see that not everyone is the same. I'm slim and have always been but I'm lucky like that, I have family and friends who eat so much better than I do but still struggle with their weight. Explain that one??


I have to agree with "other side". Not everyone is capable of remaining or becoming slim by just eating properly and sometimes we need diet suggestions to help give our systems a kick start. Plus not everyone is actually capable of "moving more". I've worked around a lot of people who are incapable of rigorous movement due to various health issues. Sometimes people just want difference in their diets in general. Just saying "diet and exercise" is rather high handed and narrow minded of you. What works for you personally doesn't work for everyone, after all, so there's no reason for you to be so dismissive of diet plans just because you don't need them and/or wouldn't personally do them.

other side of the coin

i'm guess your slim.......go figure!!!! not everyone finds your advise encouraging....


Hi, you can download the app to itunes and use it from there. Just put it on my mac so it should work on iphone too.


Why does everyone need a diet? Learn to eat properly and move more. Simple as that.


I downloaded it today onto my iphone :)

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