And then I came across some work done in England by Dr. Michelle Harvie, which was [fasting] two days a week. I thought, ‘I can handle two days a week.’ In a way, I kind of combined a number of different techniques together and ended up with the 5:2 plan.
One of my inspirations was the Prophet Muhammad because he had told his followers they all need to fast on a monthly basis for Ramadan but also cut your calories two days a week – Mondays and Thursdays. That’s what I did.
I’m not a very religious person, but I do believe that great religions have a lot to teach us, whether it is mindful meditation or indeed some of the benefits of fasting. I think the reason that these ideas persist is there is something very profound about them.”