DR MICHAEL MOSLEY'S easiest ever 5:2 recipes (2024)

By Dr Michael Mosley for the Daily Mail 22:57 12 Jan 2019, updated 01:22 13 Jan 2019

When I created the 5:2 diet in 2013, it was based on cutting-edge scientific research – and inspired by how the plan had improved my own health.

Today, there is more evidence than ever for its benefits. It could help cut your risk of breast cancer, bowel cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart attack and stroke. It could also reduce your blood pressure, improve your sleep and boost your sex drive, and may help fight dementia. And it’s easy to stick to.

I hope the recipes in this pullout will make preparing for days when you’re cutting back easier – and more pleasurable – than ever.


Each calorie-controlled dish uses just five main ingredients. That means they’re simple to shop for, quick to prepare and kinder to your wallet.

We’ve included 22 new recipes for breakfasts, lunches, family favourites and even a few healthy sweet treats to have on non- Fast Days.

So, whether you’ve already started a weight-loss drive by following my latest 5:2 plan, The Fast 800, or are still wondering whether dieting is for you, read on for inspiration…


It’s very simple: for five days a week you don’t calorie-count, then for two days a week you cut your calories to 800 a day.

Use the recipes in this pullout, or take them as inspiration to create your own. For some, this will mean having just two meals a day; for others, it could be three smaller ones.

Your Fast Days can be consecutive or you can split them – whatever works for you.

You’ll get much more benefit from intermittent fasting if you switch to a Mediterranean-style diet, both on the days when you are fasting and when you are not. That means more olive oil and nuts, as well as plenty of eggs, full-fat yogurt, oily fish and vegetables.

Make sure you fill up on protein and veg on your fasting days. Protein is very satiating and you can eat a lot of fibre-rich vegetables for very few calories.


The recipes in this pullout couldn’t be easier. Each contains just five main ingredients, alongside these most basic pantry staples:


● Salt and pepper

● Olive oil

● Extra-virgin olive oil

● Red or white wine vinegar

● Dried mixed herbs

Peanut butter and overnight oats with toasted seeds

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Serves 2

● 50g oats

● 1 banana, mashed

● 2 tbsp peanut butter

● 50ml full-fat milk

● 1 tbsp mixed seeds, toasted

Mix the oats, mashed banana and peanut butter with the milk and 50ml of water. Leave to soak in the fridge overnight. Serve topped with the seeds.

Smoked salmon and tomato omelette

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Serves 2

● ½ tbsp olive oil

● 3 eggs, beaten and seasoned

● 50g smoked salmon

● 2 medium tomatoes, sliced

● Small bunch of parsley

● ½ lemon, juiced

Heat half the oil in a pan and pour in half the egg mixture. Cook for 2 minutes, then add half the salmon, half the tomato and half the parsley. Fold the omelette in half and cook for a minute more. Repeat with the rest of ingredients for a second omelette. Add a squeeze of lemon to serve.

Nut butter breakfast bars

Makes 8

● 100g oats

● 50g mixed seeds

● 3 tbsp coconut oil

● 75g almond butter, or any nut butter

● 4 dates, pitted and finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 4. Mix the oats and seeds on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 15 minutes until slightly golden. Melt the coconut oil and almond butter in a small pan. Tip the oats and seeds into a bowl, then pour over the melted oil and almond butter and stir in the dates.


Scrape the mixture into a small lined baking tin and press it down well with the back of a spoon.

Chill in the fridge for 1 hour until set before cutting into 8 squares.

Courgette mini muffins

Makes 12

● 1 large courgette, grated

● 3 dates, pitted and finely chopped

● 2 eggs

● 50g ground almonds

● 1 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 4. Line a mini muffin tin with 12 paper cases. Put the grated courgette in a clean tea towel and squeeze out the moisture. Mix the dates, eggs and courgette in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the almonds, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Stir the almond mixture into the eggs, mixing well, then spoon into the paper cases and bake for 15-18 minutes until firm and slightly golden on top.

Egg wrap with avocado and tomato

Serves 2

● 3 eggs, beaten and seasoned

● Pinch of chilli flakes

● 1 tbsp olive oil

● Small bunch of parsley, roughly chopped

● 1 avocado, peeled, de-stoned and sliced

● 2 tomatoes, sliced

Beat the eggs and add the chilli flakes, half the parsley and some seasoning. Heat half the olive oil in a frying pan, then pour in half the eggs to make a thin omelette. Cook for 2 minutes before flipping over and cooking for 1 minute on the other side. Remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining oil and egg mixture.

Top each omelette with the avocado, tomato, parsley and some seasoning, then roll up into a wrap and cut in half to serve.


Roasted tomato and feta toasts

Serves 2

● 1 tbsp olive oil

● 1 tsp dried basil

● 200g cherry tomatoes, halved

● 2 small slices of wholegrain seeded bread, toasted

● 25g feta

● 100g mixed leaves

Preheat the oven to 200C/ 180C fan/gas mark 6. Toss most of the olive oil, basil, tomatoes and some seasoning together and spread out on a baking tray. Cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the tomatoes have softened. Top the toast with the tomatoes, crumble over the feta and serve with the salad leaves dressed in the remaining oil and some seasoning.

Luscious lunches

Griddled prawns and pineapple with red pepper and spinach

Serves 2

● 200g raw peeled king prawns

● 100g pineapple, cut into prawn-sized pieces

● 1 tbsp olive oil

● 1 lime, zest and juice

● 1 red pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced

● 100g spinach, finely sliced

Mix the prawns, pineapple, most of the olive oil, lime zest, half the juice and some seasoning in a bowl, then thread on to 4 skewers. Preheat a griddle pan, or use a non-stick frying pan, and cook the skewers for 5 minutes, turning twice until the prawns are cooked through and the pineapple is charred. Mix the red pepper, spinach, remaining oil and lime juice and some seasoning together and serve with the skewers.

Beef and black bean lettuce cups with avocado

Serves 2

● 2 tbsp olive oil

● 150g lean minced beef

● 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped


● 100g black beans, rinsed and drained

● 6 little gem lettuce leaves

● ½ avocado, cut into small cubes

Heat half the olive oil in a frying pan and cook half the garlic for 1 minute, then add the beef, breaking it up with a spoon. Cook for 4-5 minutes until it is browned and starting to crisp up. Pour into a bowl and cover with foil to keep warm. Add a splash more oil to the pan, then add remaining garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the black beans and cook for 2 minutes to heat through. Fill the lettuce cups with the beef, followed by the black beans and avocado.

Salmon nicoise salad with yogurt dressing

Serves 2

● 2 salmon fillets

● 1 lemon, zest and juice

● 200g green beans, cut into thirds

● 2 baby gem lettuce, leaves separated

● 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

● 2 tbsp full-fat natural yogurt

Season the salmon with salt, pepper and lemon zest, then steam for 6-8 minutes until cooked through. Leave to cool, then flake into chunks. Cook the beans in boiling water for 3-4 minutes, then drain and leave to cool. Mix the lemon juice, olive oil, yogurt and some seasoning in a large bowl, then stir in the beans, lettuce and salmon flakes.

299 calories per serving

Courgette fritters with salad

Serves 2 – makes 8 fritters

● 2 courgettes, grated

● 2 eggs, beaten

● 1 tbsp wholemeal flour

● 20g parmesan, finely grated


● 1 tbsp olive oil

● 1 head romaine lettuce, finely chopped

Put the courgette mixed with a pinch of salt in a sieve and squeeze out as much liquid as you can, then mix in a bowl with the eggs, flour, parmesan and some seasoning. Heat a drizzle of the oil in a non-stick frying pan and cook spoonfuls of the batter for 2-3 minutes on each side, then repeat with most of the remaining oil and batter. Drizzle the lettuce with the final bit of olive oil and season and serve alongside the fritters.

Pea and ham soup

Serves 2

● 1 tbsp olive oil

● 1 onion, finely chopped

● 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

● 300g frozen peas

● 300ml low-salt chicken stock

● 50g good-quality ham, finely sliced

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and cook the onion for 6-8 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then add the peas and the stock and some seasoning. Bring to the boil and cook for 1 minute, then take off the heat and allow to cool slightly before blitzing briefly using a stick blender, so it is almost smooth but still slightly chunky.

Put the pan back on the heat and add the ham, heating through for 1 minute before serving.

Roasted stuffed squash with greens, brown rice, feta and seeds

Serves 2

● 1 small butternut squash, or half a large one, cut in half lengthways, seeds scooped out and reserved


● 1 tbsp olive oil

● 100g cooked brown rice

● 50g feta

● 2 tbsp mixed seeds

● 1 tsp dried mixed herbs

● 100g cabbage, finely sliced

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C/gas mark 6. Place the 2 squash halves cut side up on a baking tray, score the flesh with a sharp knife and drizzle with some of the oil and some seasoning then roast in the oven for 40-50 minutes until the flesh is soft.

Mix the rice, feta, seeds, dried herbs and some black pepper together then fill the centre of the squash halves.

Spread the squash seeds on a baking tray and drizzle with some of the oil and some seasoning then roast in the oven with the stuffed squash for 10 minutes.

Steam the cabbage for 3 minutes, then serve alongside the squash with the seeds scattered over the top.

Kidney bean chilli

Serves 2

● 2 tbsp olive oil

● 150g lean minced beef

● 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

● 100g black beans, rinsed and drained

● 6 little gem lettuce leaves

● ½ avocado, cut into small cubes

Heat half the olive oil in a frying pan and cook half the garlic for 1 minute, then add the beef, breaking it up with a spoon. Cook for 4-5 minutes until it is browned and starting to crisp up. Pour into a bowl and cover with foil to keep warm. Add a splash more oil to the pan, then add remaining garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the black beans and cook for 2 minutes to heat through. Fill the lettuce cups with the beef, followed by the black beans and avocado.


Dynamite dinners

Roasted veg, grain and feta salad

Serves 2

● 1 large carrot, cut into rough cubes

● 2 medium beetroots, peeled, cut into wedges

● 1 tbsp olive oil

● 250g pouch mixed whole grains

● 100g mixed salad leaves

● 1 tsp white wine vinegar

● 50g feta

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/ gas mark 6. Mix the carrot, beetroot, most of the oil and some seasoning, then spread out on to a baking tray and roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the vegetables have softened and turned golden at the edges. Heat the grains as per the packet instructions, then leave to cool slightly. Stir the grains and roasted vegetables together in a bowl, then toss through the salad leaves, remaining oil and vinegar. Serve on plates and crumble over the feta.

Seabass and roasted veg tray bake

Serves 2

● 1 tbsp olive oil

● 1 courgette, sliced into 1cm rounds

● 4 tomatoes, cut into quarters

● 1 clove of garlic, finely sliced

● Small bunch of parsley, finely chopped

● 2 seabass fillets, approx 100g each

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/ gas mark 6. Mix the courgette, tomatoes, garlic, half the parsley, oil and some seasoning and spread out on a baking tray. Cook in the oven for 15 minutes, then season the fish and place on top of the vegetables and cook for a further 8-10 minutes. Garnish with the remaining parsley to serve.

Baked ham and leeks

Serves 2


● 100ml low-salt chicken stock

● 1 tbsp mustard

● 2 large leeks, approx 500g, trimmed, washed and sliced

● 100g good-quality sliced ham, roughly chopped

● 8 almonds, toasted and finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/ gas mark 6.

Whisk the chicken stock and mustard in a jug. Arrange the leeks in a baking dish, then pour over the stock and mustard. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes, then remove the foil, stir in the ham, cover the top with the almonds and bake in the oven for another 10 minutes.

Salmon and tomato tray bake with spinach

Serves 2

● 1 tbsp olive oil

● 200g cherry tomatoes, halved

● 1 clove of garlic, finely sliced

● 2 salmon fillets, approx 100g each

● 200g spinach

Preheat the oven to 200C/ 180C fan/gas mark 6.

Mix the olive oil, tomatoes, garlic and some seasoning on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 15 minutes. Season the salmon and lay on the tomatoes and cook for another 10 minutes until the fish is cooked through. Meanwhile, put the spinach in a colander and pour over a kettle full of boiling water. Squeeze out the excess water, season and serve with the salmon and tomatoes.

Beef meatballs with courgette salad

Serves 2

● 2 tbsp olive oil

● 250g lean beef mince

● 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

● Small bunch of parsley, finely chopped

● 1 tsp white wine vinegar

● 1 courgette, coarsely grated


● 8 cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters

Mix half the oil with the beef, garlic, half the parsley and plenty of seasoning. Roll into ten balls. Heat a splash of the oil in a frying pan and cook the meatballs for 6-8 minutes until browned on the outside and cooked through. Mix the remaining oil with the vinegar and some seasoning, then toss through the remaining parsley, courgette and tomatoes. Serve the meatballs with the salad.


Baked choc chip banana bites

Makes 8

● 2 bananas, mashed

● 2 tbsp mixed seeds

● 50g mixed nuts, roughly chopped

● 50g mixed dried fruit, roughly chopped

● 50g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/ gas mark 6.

Mix all the ingredients together and press into a small lined baking dish, then bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until firm and golden. Allow to cool, then cut into eight squares.

Frozen chocolate chunk bites

Makes 14

● 100ml coconut cream

● 2 dates, pitted

● 100ml full-fat milk

● 1 tbsp cocoa powder

● 25g dark chocolate, cut into small chunks

Blitz the coconut cream, dates, milk and cocoa powder in a blender, then pour the mixture into ice-cube trays. Top with the chocolate chunks, then freeze for 2-3 hours until they pop out of the trays easily. Serve two per portion.

DR MICHAEL MOSLEY'S easiest ever 5:2 recipes (2024)


What should I eat on 5.2 fasting days? ›

How to eat on fasting days
  • A generous portion of vegetables.
  • Natural yogurt with berries.
  • Boiled or baked eggs.
  • Grilled fish or lean meat.
  • Cauliflower rice.
  • Soups (for example miso, tomato, cauliflower, or vegetable)
  • Low calorie cup soups.
  • Black coffee.

What does Michael Mosley recommend for breakfast? ›

Doctor Michael Mosley shared on his TikTok account The Fast 800 a delicious "two-minute breakfast" recipe: Cottage cheese with blueberries and walnuts. He explained that the simple and healthy breakfast will keep you fuller for longer, helping with weight loss.

Can you eat bananas on The Fast 800 diet? ›

Dr Mosley, who created the Fast 800 diet and popularised the 5:2 diet, claims bananas aren't as beneficial as you think when it comes to weight loss. He acknowledges you should eat fruit and veg, but urges dieters not to eat more than seven portions in a day.

Can you do the 5:2 diet on 800 calories? ›

The New 5:2 approach involves restricting calories to 800 on fasting days, then eating a healthy lower carb, Mediterranean-style diet for the rest of the week. The beauty of intermittent fasting means that as your insulin sensitivity returns, you will feel fuller for longer on smaller portions.

How much weight can you lose in a week on the 5:2 diet? ›

In the meantime, eating a balanced diet and being more active will help you lose weight steadily and gradually – a weight loss of 1-2 pounds (0.5-1kg) a week is achievable. This is the safest approach. Our booklet Fact not fads will help you to get started.

What is the best intermittent fasting window to lose belly fat? ›

A 2023 review of research found that the 16/8 method and 16/8 combined with restricting calories were effective strategies for weight control in adults with overweight or obesity. An eating window starting before noon led to greater weight loss than one that began after noon.

Which oats does Michael Mosley recommend? ›

Not the instant stuff, but rolled wholegrain oats with wheat bran. I buy supermarket own brand." The presenter is a fan of the meal, having recommended it to a couple trying to lose weight on his latest show, Michael Mosley: Secrets of Your Big Shop.

What is a healthy breakfast before fasting? ›

A good before-fast meal might be a bowl of oatmeal topped with fresh fruit, a scrambled egg on the side and a glass of milk. If you're used to downing several cups of coffee a day, be aware that you'll probably feel tired or headache-y because of caffeine withdrawal during your fast.

What is the ultimate healthy breakfast? ›

Good choices for breakfast foods will be ones that fill you up, so you don't get hungry again for a while, and they are nutrient-dense. Try whole fruits, eggs, wholemeal toast, nuts, and smoothies for a tasty and satisfying start to the day.

Can I eat tomatoes on Fast 800? ›

Eat different coloured veggies

From dark leafy greens to bright red tomatoes and purple aubergin, more variety of colours means more variety of nutrients.

Can you eat potatoes on The Fast 800 diet? ›

The trick is not to cut carbs completely, but rather to be choosy about the ones you regularly eat. If you want to try going lower-carb then white bread, white pasta, potatoes and sugars, including maple syrup and agave nectar, are best eaten sparingly, if at all.

Can I eat apples on Fast 800? ›

Sharing the advice on the Fast 800 Instagram page, Mosley said that fruits such as pineapple, mango and melon should be limited. Instead, the weight loss expert recommends that those looking to slim down stick to berries, apples and pears, reports the Express.

What does Michael Mosley eat in a day? ›

The 5:2 diet involves cutting calories to 500-600 on two days of the week, and eating normally the rest of the week. Mosley was first introduced to it through a 2011 study and it became the backbone of his 2013 book The Fast Diet.

Can I eat bread on Fast 800? ›

How does the Fast 800 work? The first stage of the diet works on the premise that when we eat refined, typically 'white' carbohydrates, like white bread, pasta and rice, they are easily broken down in the gut to release sugars which, over time, leads to fat accumulation and possible insulin resistance.

How many pounds will I lose if I only eat 800 calories a day? ›

Very Low-Calorie Diet (VLCD)

On a VLCD, you may have as few as 800 calories a day and may lose up to 3 to 5 pounds (1.5 to 2 kg) week. Most VLCDs use meal replacements, such as formulas, soups, shakes, and bars instead of regular meals. This helps ensure that you get all of the nutrients you need each day.

What foods should you eat when fasting? ›

Foods you can eat while fasting
  • Water. Plain or carbonated water contains no calories and will keep you hydrated during a fast.
  • Coffee and tea. These should mostly be consumed without added sugar, milk, or cream. ...
  • Diluted apple cider vinegar. ...
  • Healthy fats. ...
  • Bone broth.

What should I eat before fasting for 5 days? ›

A typical pre-fast meal would include brown rice, baked chicken, a cooked veggie like carrots or broccoli, a tossed salad and fresh fruits for dessert. Those fruits, veggies and brown rice provide fiber to help me feel fuller a little longer and, of course, offer tons of vitamins and minerals.

What is allowed on a 5 day fast? ›

Once you feel that you are ready, begin your 5 day water fast by abstaining from all food and caloric beverages for a full five days. Some people choose to also have non-caloric beverages like green tea, herbal tea, club soda, or very low-calorie beverages such as black coffee during the fast.

What happens after 5 days of fasting? ›

Fasting did seem to spur noticeable short-term weight loss, the researchers found. People who fasted for five days lost about 4% to 6% of their weight; those who fasted for seven to 10 days lost about 2% to 10%, and those who fasted for 15 to 20 days lost 7% to 10%.


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