Giving the 5:2 diet a go, or thinking about it? Our 500 calorie meal plans for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks will make your fasting days a breeze...
Looking to slim down in 2019? What is the 5:2 diet all about, and how can it help?
It’s simple. For two days each week, you eat no more than 500 calories. The other five days, you eat normally. That’s it! You should lose around 1.5lb a week – more if you have a lot of weight to lose.
The two days fasting also helps you to eat normally on other days. Simply carry on with the plan until you’ve achieved the weight you’re happy with. At this point, you can maintain your weight by having a 500-calorie day once a week. Read on for details of what to eat (and when).
On the days you eat normally, you should be aiming for around 2,000 calories a day, but don’t worry if you have a blow out, such as going out for a meal and/or drinks, a couple of times a week. Your 500-calorie days will help to stabilise your insulin levels and hunger. You should find your appetite is smaller on normal days, so you won’t have to work so hard to stay around the 2,000 calorie mark.
If you’re on medication, or have any ongoing medical condition, consult your GP before starting this diet plan.
You can still exercise on the plan too – and in fact, you should. Exercising on 500 calories a day might sound daunting, but it can speed up weight loss and improve overall health and fitness. Some people even find that exercise alleviates hunger pangs.
Research shows fasting has no negative effects on the ability to do moderate activity. Even so, it’s important to listen to your body.
Also, doing cardio can help your body tap into its fat stores, and maximise the benefit of your fasting days. High intensity interval training (HIIT) could be your best choice (check with your GP if in doubt), as short bursts of intense exercise have been shown to be hugely effective, with the fat burning lasting for hours after the workout is finished. HIIT can be as simple as sprinting in short spurts while jogging. And try saving some calories until after your workout. The thought of a tasty meal will keep you going!
Read on to discover our favourite, filling 500 calorie meal plans for the five two diet:
We’ve got 27 meal 5 2 diet plan day ideas below – so there are lots of options! Plus, the best bit? All days come in under 500 calories!
Recipes for meal plan day 1
Breakfast: Start your day with 2 Rye Ryvitas and spread with 2tsp Marmite. Calories so far: 90.
Lunch: Make soup your choice of lunch with a can of Weight Watchers’ filling Chicken, Potato & Leek soup (96 cals). As lunch is low cal, you have room for another snack, and a Sun-Maid Mini-Box (42 cals) is a great choice. Calories so far: 228
Dinner: You still have quite a few calories for today, so tuck in to our tasty chicken tikka masala (225 cals), which leaves you with 89 calories extra for the day – see if one of our under 100 calorie snacks takes your fancy. Total intake for whole day without snacks: 453.
Recipes for meal plan day 2
Breakfast: Top 25g of low-fat Greek yoghurt with two chopped apricots. Calories so far: 68.
Lunch: Tesco’s Broccoli and Stilton soup (160 cals) is a great option as you can still get a cheese fix. Calories so far: 228.
Dinner: One all the family will enjoy, a serving of this sausage dinner with roasted ratatouille comes in at 262 calories. Total intake for whole day = 490.
Recipes for meal plan day 3
Breakfast: Give a slice of white bread a kick – toast it and top with half a teaspoon of cinnamon. Calories so far: 91.
Lunch: Mushroom soup keeps lunch healthy and Knorr’s version (106 cals) means you’ll have more calories to use up for snacks. For a sweet afternoon treat, have two Jaffa cakes (90 cals). Calories so far: 287.
Dinner: Fusilli makes this American dream pasta salad (210 cals) super filling. Total intake for whole day = 497.
Recipes for meal plan day 4
Breakfast: Start the day off with a Muller Light Strawberry yoghurt (89cals) and 25 blueberries (20cals). Calories so far = 109.
Lunch: Heinz Weight Watchers Tomato Soup is just 76cals, and if you need a bit more filling up try munching on two rice cakes (70cals). Calories so far = 255.
Dinner: Low calorie doesn’t mean tasteless! We love these low fat spiced lamb skewers that are 239cals. Total intake for the whole day = 494 calories.
Recipes for meal plan day 5
Breakfast: A medley of a banana (90cals), 25 blueberries (20cals) and a kiwi (46cals) Calories so far = 156
Lunch: Young’s Cod Steak in Parsley Sauce (101cals) is perfect. Eat it on a bed of 30grams of lettuce (4cals). Calories so far = 261
Dinner: Try our hunger-busting veggie balti to fight off the fasting blues! (211cals). Total intake for the whole day = 494 calories.
Recipes for meal plan day 6
Breakfast: Kickstart the morning with a mini bagel – halve and toast, spread each side with 2tsp of low fat cream cheese. Calories so far: 96 cals
Lunch: Chunky soups are a great way to fill you up at lunch, whilst still keeping the calorie count low. We love a bowl of Weight Watchers from Heinz Tuscan Minestrone soup (129 cals). Calories so far: 225.
Dinner: Creamy chicken kormas aren’t off the menu, as our version is low cal at 186 calories. You’ve got calories for a low-cal snack, so why not go for a tasty Weight Watchers Summer Fruits Yoghurt (60 cals). Total intake for the whole day: 471
Recipes for meal plan day 7
Breakfast: A banana (90cals) is ideal for breakfast on the go and will give you plenty of energy for the rest of the day. Calories so far = 9
Lunch: Low calorie foods don’t have to be boring. Pop to Prêt and grab a Simple Tuna Salad (170cals). Calories so far = 260.
Dinner: Try whipping up a low cal lemony chicken with vegetable couscous (238cals). Total intake for the whole day= 498 calories.
Recipes for meal plan day 8
Breakfast: Make a fruity concoction with a strawberry and almond yoghurt, using 25g Greek Style yoghurt, 50g strawberries and 4g ground almonds. Calories so far: 75.
Lunch: For lunch, rustle up our delicious roasted vegetable cous cous (160 calories). Calories so far: 235
Dinner: For dinner, it’s a Hairy Dieters’ treat with their mouth-watering roasted cod with Parma ham and peppers (224 calories).
You’re left with 41 calories, so why not choose a snack from our treats under 50 cals to take you up to 500? Total intake for the whole day minus snacks: 459
Recipes for meal plan day 9
Breakfast: Start off the day with an omelette with two eggs, 50grams of red pepper and 50grams of onion (156cals). Calories so far = 156.
Lunch: A sachet of miso soup (14cals) will warm you up, and try snacking on two carrot sticks (50cals). Calories so far = 220.
Dinner: Lean meats are perfect for a low calorie diet. Try a small sirloin steak with 200grams of mixed lettuce salad. Drizzle with some lemon for extra flavour (275cals) Total intake for the whole day = 495 calories.
Recipes for meal plan day 10
Breakfast: Enjoy a medley of 100g hulled sliced strawberries, 100g cubed watermelon and 50g halved seedless grapes. Calories so far: 88.
Lunch: Tuck into Sainsbury’s Be Good to Yourself Cous Cous & Chargrilled Vegetable pot (127 cals). Calories so far: 215.
Dinner: Filling and delicious, make this Quorn burger for dinner. As a final treat to end the day, grab your spoon and enjoy a serving of Hartley’s Sugar Free Raspberry Jelly (10 cals). Total intake for whole day: 466.
Recipes for meal plan day 11
Breakfast: Get fruity with a 75g low fat peach yogurt and top with 30g raspberries. Calories so far: 100.
Lunch: Make our flavoursome vegetable jalfrezi (150 cals) the night before and heat up for lunch. Calories so far: 250.
Dinner: Make fish the dish of the day with our Italian-style cod (200 cals).
You’ve still got 50 calories to use up on low-cal drinks and snacks – take a look at our gallery of guilt-free snacks. Total intake for the whole day without snacks: 450.
Recipes for meal plan day 1
Breakfast: Grab a banana and give it a sweet kick with ½ tsp of honey. Calories so far: 95.
Lunch: For lunch, enjoy our crayfish salad which is one salad that guarantees to fill you up (162 calories). Calories so far: 257
Dinner: In the evening, enjoy our spiced chicken with giant couscous (227 calories). Total intake for the whole day: 484
Recipes for meal plan day 13
Breakfast: Begin your day with a bowl of porridge with a sweet maple syrup topping. Put 20g porridge oats in a bowl with 2tbsp water and 2tbsp skimmed milk. Microwave on high for 1 min 20 secs until the oats are tender and then stir in 1tsp maple syrup. Calories so far: 100
Lunch: For lunch on the go, opt for Tesco’s Healthy Living Chicken Noodle Soup in a Mug (44 cals) and one Salt & Vinegar Snack a Jacks Rice Cake (41 cals). Calories so far: 185.
Dinner: Our succulent steak with balsamic onions is a delicious dinner option (249 cals). This daily plan leaves you with 66 calories to enjoy. Total intake for the whole day: 434.
Recipes for meal plan day 14
Breakfast: Using egg whites for an omelette is a great way to cut calories. Use 3 egg whites, 80g mushrooms and 80g spinach. Calories so far: 60.
Lunch: You can afford to treat yourself, as Sainsbury’s tabbouleh salad (147 cals) is indulgent but still low-cal. Snack on 50g of blueberries in the afternoon (28 cals). Calories so far = 235.
Dinner: This sizzling chicken and cashew stir-fry (257 cals) beats a takeaway. Total intake for whole day: 492 calories.
For more delicious fast day meal plans, snack lists and more, download our NEW 5:2 diet complete meal planner today!
Recipes for meal plan day 15
Breakfast: Start the day with a fruit medley of 1 kiwi, 1 medium satsuma and 25g low-fat Greek yoghurt. Calories so far: 101.
Lunch: Go green with this crunchy three bean salad (131 cals) and snack on a packet of Weight Watchers salt and vinegar Crinkle Crisps in the afternoon (78 cals). Calories so far: 310.
Dinner: Speedy and super low in calories, this chicken dinner is only 177 cals per portion. Total intake for whole day = 487.
Recipes for meal plan day 16
Breakfast: Kickstart your day with a banana at 90 calories. If you fancy a mid-morning treat, opt for two Ritz crackers at 17 calories each. Calories so far = 124
Lunch: Pick up a Beetroot and Cheese Salad from Waitrose for the ultimate crispy and chunky fix at 172 calories. Calories so far = 296.
Dinner: This super-easy chicken tikka masala is also surprisingly good for you at 200 calories a portion – and with a mini nan you can get your carb fix too! Total intake for the day = 496 calories.
Recipes for meal plan day 17
Breakfast: Start off the day with a hard-boiled egg (78 calories) and a satsuma (25 calories) as an elevenses snack. Calories so far = 103.
Lunch: Take half of Weight Watcher’s Mediterranean Veg Quiche (156 calories), and a Tesco side salad (12 calories) for a midday meal to give you a real energy-boost. Calories so far = 178
Dinner: Soup for dinner might not sound very filling, but this lovely leek soup (200 calories), served with yummy cheese toasts will definitely you leave you feeling full – perfect! Total intake for the day = 481 calories
Recipes for meal plan day 18
Breakfast: Blend ½ banana, 6oz semi-skimmed milk, 1tsp vanilla extract, 1tsp cinnamon and 1/3 cup of crushed ice for a delicious banana milkshake (128 calories) and top up your fruit fix with a tangerine (24 calories) to keep you going until lunch. Calories so far = 152.
Lunch: Half of Sainsbury’s Creamy Vegetable Soup is a super healthy option at only 53 calories. Add a rice cake at 35 calories to the lunch menu to make it that little more filling. Calories so far = 240.
Dinner: Warming, chunky, delicious and easy – what’s not to love about this beef stew especially when it’s 240 calories per portion? Total intake for the day = 480 calories.
Recipes for meal plan day 19
Breakfast: Perfect to grab on the go, an Alpen Fruit and Nut Bar starts your day off at 109 calories. To keep you going until lunchtime, have a Tuc cracker (24 calories) as a mid-morning snack. Calories so far = 133
Lunch: Make your midday meal a filling one with a slice of toasted rye bread with a small can of reduced sugar and salt baked beans at 195 calories. Calories so far = 328.
Dinner: Forget a Thai takeaway and try this fiery prawn tom yam soup instead. At just 172 it’s your better option by a mile! Total intake for the whole day = 500 calories.
Recipes for meal plan day 20
Breakfast: Chocolate for brekkie isn’t as awful as it sounds. A Tesco white chocolate and strawberry cereal bar comes in at just 85 calories.
Lunch: Pack a fiery punch at lunchtime with Tesco’s Chilli Chicken Noodle Salad at 195 calories. Calories so far = 280.
Dinner: Curries aren’t completely off the menu if you’re trying to be good as this veggie balti curry is just 211 calories. Total intake for the whole day = 491 calories.
Recipes for meal plan day 21
Breakfast: Start the day off to a warming start with a sachet of Tesco’s Micro Oats. It’s speedy and healthy at 105 calories. If you fancy a mid-morning snack, opt for a fruity Weight Watchers citrus yoghurt at 60 calories. Calories so far =165.
Lunch: You can’t beat a classic tomato soup, and Heinz’s Cream of Tomato Reduced Salt comes in at a light 115 calories. Calories so far = 280.
Dinner: These zesty pork skewers are tender and filling and a great choice at 201 calories. Total intake for the whole day = 481 calories.
Recipes for meal plan day 22
Breakfast: Melba toast is great when you’re on a diet. Try having two pieces of Melba toast each covered in one tablespoon of Philadelphia Light & Healthy Cream Cheese (48cals each) and a pear (36cals). Calories so far = 132.
Lunch: One mini Quorn Sausage Roll (48cals) will stop you from missing comfort foods. Serve with a salad made up of 30grams of spinach (7cals), 4 cherry tomatoes (16 cals) and a medium cucumber (24cals). Calories so far = 227.
Dinner: This prawn and potato curry (266cals) will only take 30 minutes to make, and it’s well within the 500 calorie plan! Total intake for the whole day = 493 calories
Recipes for meal plan day 23
Breakfast: Blend 100grams of fresh strawberries with 150ml skimmed milk for a breakfast milkshake (95cals) and make sure you’re full by eating one tangerine too (25cals). Calories so far = 120
Lunch: Home made tomato and lentil soup (123cals) is super easy to make. Simply use 150grams of red lentils, vegetable stock, garlic, ginger and spices and one can of tinned tomatoes. This will make four servings so you don’t need to worry about lunch on fasting days for a while! Calories so far = 243
Dinner: A quick and easy veggie spaghetti (240cals) is perfect after a long day! Total intake for the whole day = 483 calories
Recipes for meal plan day 24
Breakfast: Try starting off the day with a hard-boiled egg (78cals). If you’re after a mid -morning snack, have a satsuma (21cals). Calories so far = 99.
Lunch: If you’re craving carbs, have a small jacket potato topped with 50grams of cottage cheese (198cals). Calories so far = 297.
Dinner: This roasted vegetable and cous cous salad (160cals) will fill you up in the evening, and gives you enough spare calories for a sweet treat! Try swapping pudding for one Walls Mini Milk (30cals). Total intake for the whole day = 487 calories.
For more delicious fast day meal plans, snack lists and more, download our NEW 5:2 diet complete meal planner today!
Recipes for meal plan day 25
Breakfast: a 100gram serving of Onken’s fat free raspberry and honey yoghurt (79cals) will give you a sweet start to the day. Calories so far = 79.
Snack: A serving of Saitaku Miso Soup (14cals) will leave you enough calories for a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. If you’re missing crisps, try snacking on a packet of Walkers salt and vinegar French Fries (97cals). Calories so far = 190.
Dinner: A veggie kebab (282cals) will make dinner time a little more exciting! Total intake for the whole day = 472 calories.
Recipes for meal plan day 26
Breakfast: for a sweet fix try having one crumpet with a teaspoon of honey (100cals) and 20 raspberries (20cals). Calories so far = 120
Lunch: Enjoy a Love Life You Count Tamarind Duck Lettuce Wrap from Waitrose (86cals). Calories so far = 206.
Dinner: This roasted cod recipe is the perfect healthy, filling dinner (224cals). Total intake for the whole day = 498 calories
Recipes for meal plan day 27
Breakfast: A 36g serving of Quaker’s porridge made with 180ml skimmed milk (216cals) will keep you going throughout the day. Calories so far = 216.
Lunch: You can still enjoy small treats on fasting days! Try having one McCain oven baked pizza finger (78cals) with a side of Tesco’s green side salad (12cals). If you need a sweet fix, have one party ring (29cals) Calories so far = 335.
Dinner: Sticking to 500 calories is a great way to get in your 5 a day. Try this Mediterranean vegetable stew (150cals) for a healthy end to the day. Total intake for the whole day = 485 calories.