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The 5:2 Dancer’s Diet

There’s a lot on a dancer’s mind. Suck it in, remember your posture, create the line, point your toes, breathe, entertain, and smile. But whether a dancer is on or off their PortaFloor, the work that goes into presenting it in top form is this: the diet. Whether dieting in a crash-sense or developing a lifestyle adequate for a dancer, this new one in the news may be somewhat fitting for the lean requirement… that of a dancer.


It’s called The Fast Diet and has been on morning shows and in the news as, Dr. Michael Mosley, creator of the fad, travels on-air and preaches the good word of this 5:2 intermittent fasting diet.


Called “fast diet” more so because it involves fasting and less so because of how fast it works, it most certainly will act faster if funneled into the life of someone as active as a dancer. The concept is to eat only 500 calories (for women; 600 for men) two out of the seven days of the week. The other five days you can eat whatever you want (but more so “how you normally do” – it’s not an excuse to binge).


Although some fear this sets your body into “survival mode” – also known as starvation mode or famine response, one need not worry over a 24 hour span. This tends to happen over a few days and is evident because you’ll stop feeling hungry; your body will give up growling and will stop telling you that its hungry (with hunger itself) because it has decided energy will not be coming from food. Therefore, the body slows down the metabolism and holds onto the food it has, taking a longer period of time to burn fat. That is why the “2” days of fasting should not be consecutive, but rather a small break reoccurring throughout the week for your body to burn up some of its fat that it already has and not get scared that food is actually sparse.


Since your body doesn’t store protein, a trick is to eat almost all protein on your “2” days – similar to the program of the Atkins diet but on a smaller scale, This will allow your body to move on to the stored fat and break it down into glucose as fuel and ketones for the brain immediately after using up the 500 calories of protein. It has no other choice!


This is why the basic concept – exercise or “burn” more calories than you intake – actually works. Although pushing it to the “survival mode’ stage slows down the percentage drastically and prevents your energy levels from being up (where dancer’s energy levels need to be) this fast diet is a great compromise as it won’t subject your body to such an experience yet will give it a couple days a week to rebound to your ideal size and appearance if that is something of concern for you as a dancer. It’s good to know there’s a healthy and not-so-drastic way of going about shedding some pounds and getting yourself slick in the leotard and tights while you strut your stuff on the Porta-dance-Floor!



– love from J