There's a new diet in town and this one's here to stay, says GTG's editors Sarah Vine and Susannah Taylor

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Minister for Women and Equalities Jo Swinson is absolutely right to highlight the hazards of fad diets at this time of year. Too many people embark on unfeasible or unhealthy eating regimes in January, and most of them fall off the wagon before the month is out.

Nevertheless, most of us, unless we are lucky enough to have the metabolisms of a hamster, need a workable solution to controlling our weight. And it's not easy. Modern life is frantic, but it's also largely sedentary. What's required is a long-term sustainable solution to weight control.

Diets that offer quick weight loss with little effort are very obviously fads, as are those that exclude certain food groups. But diets that offer a workable solution to the problem of weight control are not. That's why nutritionists and scientists are so excited about the 5:2 diet (to find out more, read our article on the 5:2 diet , and watch our video created with nutritional therapist Vicki Edgson here ). It's sensible, flexible, it works and it offers long-term benefits.

Five reasons why the 5:2 is NOT a fad diet

1. You don't cut out any food groups

As nutritional therapist Vicki Edgson says in our exclusive 5:2 video guide , “This diet encourages healthy eating.” It is not about bingeing on the days when you can eat and starving on the days you can’t.

Need inspiration for what you can eat on the 5:2? From 1st January 2013 on Get the Gloss, Vicki Edgson will be showcasing a six week 5:2 healthy eating plan for you to follow - all for free.

2. It allows you flexibility in that you can choose which days you "fast"

You don’t have to stick to the same days of ‘fasting’ every week. If you have a party planned or a big work lunch, it’s totally fine to switch around which days you wish to cut back on food.

3. Even when you are fasting, you are still eating

As Vicki Edgson explains in our video, the term ‘fasting’ here is not about starvation, but about cutting back to 500 calories a day for women and 600 calories for men. Don’t be put off by the numbers - for ideas on what to eat on those days, follow our six week plan from January 1st 2013.

4. It has proven metabolic and health benefits

Clinical studies have shown many health benefits to come out of intermittent fasting other than just weight loss. Other benefits are lowered cholesterol, lower blood pressure and regulation of blood sugar levels, as well as many mental health benefits including a reduction in the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

5. It's sustainable

Due to the flexible nature of this diet, and the concept that ‘normal’ eating is only ever a day away, people have been following this diet for over a year and are not only able to maintain it, but are seeing amazing health and weight loss benefits to boot.

Don't forget, you can also sign up for our expert tips  brought to you daily throughout January to help keep you on track - plus, there's a beauty prize for one lucky subscriber at the end of the month...