to think this 'diet' is an eating disorder

(301 Posts)
BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 10:52:08

I'm dieting the old fashioned way - exercise and reducing calories to about 1800.

My friend recently told me about a diet she's thinking about doing called "The Alternative Day Diet". In this diet, you eat 400 cals one day, then you're allowed to eat whatever you like the next day, then back to 400 cals the next day, then eat whatever you like for a day, etc.

I've done some research on this seemingly popular diet. Apparently it switches on a 'skinny gene' which keeps your metabolism in top condition, burning calories. It also has other claimed health benefits such as - making you live longer (there was a Horizon documentary on the BBC backing this up). The internet is full of gleeming reviews.

But surely this pattern of eating is unsustainable and encourages disordered thinking? I feel a bit concerned for my friend. When she latches onto an idea she tends to go hardcore.

BIWI Fri 25-Jan-13 10:54:16

If you've done some research on it, then what is your view of all the scientific stuff? Or are you just ignoring that?

Calling it an eating disorder is really extreme!

There are lots of people on MN already following this, very successfully - why not point your friend in the direction of those threads - look for the ones with 5:2 in the thread title.

BIWI Fri 25-Jan-13 10:54:50

Sorry - yes, YABU.

madlibscientist Fri 25-Jan-13 10:55:43

It's not particularly something I would choose, but I don't think it promotes an eating disorder. Intermittent fasting has been shown to work, and actually, I kind of live by the rule 'if I'm not hungry, I won't eat', which means that I probably miss a meal here or there a few times a week; I actually find has really helped me cope with a former binge eating issue, oddly enough. So...though this alternate day thing is probably pretty faddy, I don't think it's the worst diet out there!

twinklesparkles Fri 25-Jan-13 10:56:01

Yabu

Its a crash diet. Not an eating disorder

WorraLiberty Fri 25-Jan-13 10:56:04

Anyone on a diet has 'disordered thinking' while they're on a diet surely?

Having to think about every single thing you eat/measuring calorie intake/fat content/sugar content.

It's all 'disordered' compared to 'normal' everything in moderation eating.

BartletForTeamGB Fri 25-Jan-13 10:57:02

There is a lot of robust scientific evidence that we are designed for times of feast and famine, the problem nowadays being that famine never comes. It appears that people using this diet/eating plan (as perhaps we should all be eating like this all of the time) don't overindulge or binge on their eating days.

Read the Michael Mosley webchat. There are A LOT of benefits beyond just weight loss.

MolotovCocktail Fri 25-Jan-13 10:57:05

I'm with you in that I think this diet is a load of bollocks. To lose weight successfully involves a lifestyle change, and 400kcal on alternate days isn't a healthy or sustainable lifestyle change.

Having said that, an eating disorder is a mental health issue, and going hardcore on a stupid diet won't make your friend anorexic/bulimic ... if that happens, it's likely it was always in her to do so, regardless of what diet she follows.

notMarlene Fri 25-Jan-13 10:57:24

Yes, YABU. As an exED (not sure that's technically possible) sufferer I can assure you that is NOT an ED.

notMarlene Fri 25-Jan-13 10:58:22

If I followed thta diet it'd probably bring up my old ED stuff but TBH that's true of all 'diets' for me.

MarshaBrady Fri 25-Jan-13 10:58:37

It's not an eating disorder.

But it's the first time I've seen this diet, am surprised it works. But it appears to do so. Lots of people on here on doing it. With success I believe?

FlouncingMintyy Fri 25-Jan-13 10:59:01

It is working very well for hundreds if not thousands of Mumsnetters.

Trust me, I would not embark on any eating regime if there was a chance it would lead to an eating disorder - been there and done that 30 years ago and there is no way I am going back to that horrible place again.

Why do you think it would lead to disordered eating?

McBalls Fri 25-Jan-13 10:59:39

Why concerned?

Lots of people find it a good way of changing their eating habits. Maybe it won't be sustainable but then maybe your way of dieting isn't either? Otherwise everyone who went on a cal counting diet would succeed and as we know that's not the case.

Let her get on with it, there are innumerable ways a person can choose to eat (whether to lose weight, gain weight, have increased energy, cut out additives etc etc) we get fed so much bollocks about the 'right' way to eat and it's largely nonsense.

Almost always when a person is choosing to eat in a mindful way they are doing something positive compared to whatever way of eating caused the excess weight in the first place.

BIWI Fri 25-Jan-13 11:00:16

Oh, and it's 500 calories a day for women and 600 for men - not 400.

FlouncingMintyy Fri 25-Jan-13 11:00:24

The version that most of us are doing is 500 calories on two days out of seven. It is EASY to achieve that, far far easier, imo, than keeping down to 1400 calories or whatever day after day for months on end.

BIWI Fri 25-Jan-13 11:01:02

I can't bear it when people slag something off before they even bother to read anything about it. Read the research and then give your opinion.

Trills Fri 25-Jan-13 11:02:42

YABU

An eating disorder is something in your head.

A diet is something that you do.

No behaviour is an eating disorder. It may be a symptom of one, but it isn't one itself.

notMarlene Fri 25-Jan-13 11:03:17

THe version Mintyy mentions sounds like it'd be sustainable life long. Healthier and more likely to lead to sustainable weight loss / weight maintenance than the daft temporary diets I see my friends doing.

StephaniePowers Fri 25-Jan-13 11:04:14

It's not an eating disorder in itself, however it's easy to get hung up on what you weight on the low-cal days, the day after, etc etc. I don't see how that's different to any other diet. I do think fasting can be addictive but for me the overall benefit is that I eat less, where I had been overeating (in a standard, Western, never-let-me-be-hungry way).

catkitson Fri 25-Jan-13 11:04:43

YANBU. If not an eating disorder in itself, it sounds like a path to procuring one. I know my eating disorder (which Ive now recovered from) started in much this way, as I tried to lose weight after having my first dc.

KobayashiMaru Fri 25-Jan-13 11:05:31

You can't have done much research on it, since anti-diet experts (serious scientists) have said it is the only "diet" they would ever recommend. It's a sensible way of eating, although if you are alternate day-ing you should be on about 5-600 cals on fast days. 5 off 2 on is more popular.

It not only helps you lose or control weight, it also helps you to live longer, and live healthier for longer.

VinegarTits Fri 25-Jan-13 11:06:11

YABU, are you worried she might lose more weight than you and your diet?

FlouncingMintyy Fri 25-Jan-13 11:06:44

But why do people think this is more likely to lead to disordered eating than any other kind of diet? I don't understand.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 11:06:54

Its a crash diet. Not an eating disorder

starving one day and binging the next, then back to starving is a crash diet?

FlouncingMintyy Fri 25-Jan-13 11:07:29

You don't binge the next day. Don't be so fucking stupid!

catkitson Fri 25-Jan-13 11:09:16

I can only speak from personal experience, but once I started restricting on some days, then some meals on all days, it spiralled until I was restricting what I ate all the time. Going down the path of severely restricting what you eat is not normal or healthy eating, and as I said, in my case led to an eating disorder.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 11:10:11

Oh, and it's 500 calories a day for women and 600 for men - not 400.

She said it was 400 for women and 500 for men.

specialsubject Fri 25-Jan-13 11:10:35

Michael Mosley is not promoting this for his health (or anyone else's). 'eat properly, move more' never made anyone any money.

the diet will work short term, and then the weight will go back on again.

I've never dieted and I'm not fat. I just eat normally and move about.

tell your friend that as starving like this will make her miserable and grumpy, you don't want to see her until she is back on normal eating.

VinegarTits Fri 25-Jan-13 11:11:58

you dont binge then starve, you eat normally one day, then very low calorie the next

your obviously making up your own interpretation of this diet

notMarlene Fri 25-Jan-13 11:12:22

Dunno minty. For me, the constant calorie counting required diets by leads to obsessive thoughts about reducing food intake, I'd guess that'd be less likely to happen with the 5/2 diet (no idea what it's called) and thus that a typical weight loss diet would be more likely to trigger an ED in someone who has no history of them.

mrsjay Fri 25-Jan-13 11:12:40

tbh I am iffy about any sort of crash diet or miracle diet it is denying and rewarding yourself about being 'good' and the 'bad' if you slip up I think they give people unhealthy attitudes towards food

diets do no cause eating disorders eating disorders Id assume are more complicated than being on a diet,

Winternight Fri 25-Jan-13 11:12:51

I kind of agree with you black. I've been reading about the 5:2 and it scares me.

Starting a binge gorge way of thinking about eating isn't a great idea. Imo if it becomes habit could be similar to bulimia which i used to suffer from.

I would personally Avoid.

I find that sitting down to eat, focusing on the food, avoiding snacking, being active is a better way for me. However, this might work for people short term I guess.

FlouncingMintyy Fri 25-Jan-13 11:13:05

Oh grrrrrr I do wish people wouldn't opine when they haven't even looked at the basic facts.

StephaniePowers Fri 25-Jan-13 11:13:32

I'm sure there are differing interpretations, and many MNers are following 500/600 cals for men/women - that's not the point though.

Firstly the BBC would have been really bloody daft to have allowed a programme to suggest a dangerous or unhealthy eating plan which was in itself going to mimic any kind of eating disorder. People with eating disorders will gravitate towards unhealthy eating patterns no matter what plan they are following, if they're not controlling their disorder.

Secondly you don't binge eat on other days. There's nothing more to say there.

KobayashiMaru Fri 25-Jan-13 11:14:44

"Hey, I really don't like this thing I know nothing about. I'm going to tell you why its shit, even though I haven't a clue!"

hmm

StephaniePowers Fri 25-Jan-13 11:15:01

I'm in two minds though about Michael Mosely. He's a tv producer who went to medical school a long time ago. I inherently distrust people who call themselves Dr without actually practising medicine.

catkitson Fri 25-Jan-13 11:16:05

Oh sure, because the BBC is SO moral and upstanding and cares about people and so much, it just HAS to be fine! grin

TepidCoffee Fri 25-Jan-13 11:16:18

LOVE that this thread appeared right next to the 5:2 thread on active convos when I clicked grin

YABU. Eating disorders are serious mental health problems <polishes survivor badge>

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 11:16:29

YABU, are you worried she might lose more weight than you and your diet?

No, she's encouraging me to join her.

Is the book worth a read?

StephaniePowers Fri 25-Jan-13 11:17:32

Can you imagine the fall out if any of those researchers featured turn out to be Patrick-Holford style charlatans? Or if people start dropping like flies because of some unknown side-effect? I imagine the BBC went through it all with a fine tooth comb (or their lawyers did).

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 11:17:53

You don't binge the next day. Don't be so fucking stupid!

That's what she said. She's going to eat McDonalds, pizzas, fudge cakes. She's under the impression that you can do this on your 'feast' days.

KirstyoffEastenders Fri 25-Jan-13 11:17:57

How can people cope with between 0 and 500 calories in a day? I'd have to lie in bed all day. No idea if it's physically 'healthy' or not but it just sounds mad.

StephaniePowers Fri 25-Jan-13 11:19:48

It's fine (so long as you're basically healthy).
We're mentally addicted to food; your body doesn't need as much as you're conditioned to think. You drink a lot on fast days - being dehydrated will make you feel dizzy/ears ringing/etc.

StephaniePowers Fri 25-Jan-13 11:20:40

BlackMaryJanes your friend's got the wrong end of the stick, not sure what you can do about that but unless she's got underlying health problems the worst that can happen is she'll just not lose weight.

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 25-Jan-13 11:21:57

It is based on when we were Hunter Gathers on the day of the hunt we would bing on what had been caught on the hunt then for several days after we would just eat nuts, seeds and fruits till the next hunt. So actually is keying into our physiology much more than regular diets do.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 11:23:16

How can people cope with between 0 and 500 calories in a day? I'd have to lie in bed all day. No idea if it's physically 'healthy' or not but it just sounds mad.

That's the major thing that put me off doing this diet myself. I'm not sure how I could function as a SAHM to two toddlers.

FreePeaceSweet Fri 25-Jan-13 11:23:20

If you don't read the webchat then read this. Its not about weightloss its the other health benefits too. www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/miriam-stoppard-on-alternate-day-fasting-1534408

Boobz Fri 25-Jan-13 11:23:41

5:2 doesn't work as well as Low carbing anyway. Get your friend on that diet / way of eating. I've lost nearly 2 stone and am now a size 6/8 on LCing. And never have to restrict to 400cals per day either.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 11:24:33

It is based on when we were Hunter Gathers on the day of the hunt we would bing on what had been caught

So you do binge?

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 11:25:38

Which is best, 5:2 or alternative day?

Viviennemary Fri 25-Jan-13 11:27:02

It's a method of losing weight that certainly seems to be working for quite a lot of people. I am always starving on WW and don't lose much because I find it very hard to stick to the diet over a longer period of time. I've sent of for a couple of books on this method and am going to try it.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 11:29:36

So here's the book I'm thinking about buying.

As you can see, the cover features a burger, cupcake and other unhealthy foods to symbolise 'feast' days. Looks like binging to me.

here's the most popular book, which also features a burger to symbolise feast days.

FreePeaceSweet Fri 25-Jan-13 11:29:56

I'm going to give it a go too. I've been reading everything I can get my hands on and found the web chat on here very informative.

KobayashiMaru Fri 25-Jan-13 11:31:32

you'd be surprised how much you can eat for 500 calories if its mostly vegetables. Don't waste it on drinks, and you'll be fine.

FreePeaceSweet Fri 25-Jan-13 11:33:23

Are you doing it Koba? I plan to be carb-free on fasting days. I can easily do without breakfast so if I push through to dinner time I'm sure I'll be fine.

nefertarii Fri 25-Jan-13 11:35:06

Its recommended with a paelo diet. Which is cutting out and eating only fresh food. Basically what we did when we were hunter gathers.

Its very healthy. People don't need the same calories everyday. Eating low calorie one day will not make you knackered. Your body has reserves and unless its a sugar crash because you ate to much sugar earlier. You don't become knackered because you ate less that day.

nefertarii Fri 25-Jan-13 11:36:13

Also ensuring you eat 1800 calories a day. Everyday could be considered an eating disorder by your explanation.

MarshaBrady Fri 25-Jan-13 11:38:53

They should get rid of the burger, fudge images for the non-fast days.

VinegarTits Fri 25-Jan-13 11:40:28

eating a burger or a cupcake isnt binging (unless you eat 20) any sensible fool will know that

SpicyPear Fri 25-Jan-13 11:41:26

YABU. If you have a healthy relationship with food it sounds like a great way to eat. For me unfortunately it would probably trigger my ED, but that's because my recovery is recent and ongoing. The authors specifically state that it is not suitable for people with EDs.

It does sound like your friend has misunderstood a feast day and possibly isn't approacching it in the correct spirit though.

MarshaBrady Fri 25-Jan-13 11:41:57

And the eat-anything-you-like days if it's meant to be with a paleo diet.

Better just to say do this with the other days in moderation.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 25-Jan-13 11:43:19

Yabvu. It's great, and I'm finding it really easy to do.

500 calories for two days out of a week is plenty. You can have soup, loads of veggies, yesterday, one of my fasting days, I had tinned plum tomatoes on toast for my main meal. Yum.

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 11:43:19

Can not believe the number of people who think they would have to be in bed/not be able to take care of their kids etc after ONE day with 500kcal.

You know what that would work out to?

2 medium eggs and a slice of ham for breakfast.

Salad with a bit of chicken for lunch

Couple of bowls of veg soup for dinner.

feeble

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 11:44:54

Oh and OP, YABVVU

VinegarTits Fri 25-Jan-13 11:45:19

does sound like your friend has the wrong idea, why not buy her the book as a nice jesture? and wish her luck on her new diet

fgs dont tell her its an eating disorder

Viviennemary Fri 25-Jan-13 11:45:22

There's no doubt in my mind that processed food and ready meals are responsible for weight gain. I also think that all these special low fat and low sugar foods don't do anybody any good. They make things worse.

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 11:47:12

The idea being that if you follow a 5:2 diet, you will have 'saved' circa 3000kcal for the week. So if you did decide to have a burger of a big piece of fudge cake as a one off whilst following this plan, you will in theory still drop weight over time.

It's just a picture on a book? Presumably the content of the book will actually be read?

MadBusLady Fri 25-Jan-13 11:48:37

She's doing Alternate Day Fasting. Most people here are doing (and defending) 5:2, which is a great deal less extreme - only two days a week fasting, and on those two days you get 500 calories a day (600 for men).

The Mosley book discusses ADF and concludes it has great health benefits, like all managed fasting, but is much less sustainable than 5:2.

Roseformeplease Fri 25-Jan-13 11:48:56

Read "The Fast Diet" where it is all explained, and backed up with evidence. MM does not advocate Alternative Day as it is too extreme and difficult to maintain. I am doing 5:2 and it is working. I skip breakfast, eat a very light lunch and supper and then eat normally on 5 days. I can have the odd cake or treat on the 5 days where other diets leave me planning every mouthful. You get through the 2 days by looking forward to the next. It also teaches you not to be scared of hunger pangs and to deal with them. I too have low carved, successfully, but found it unsustainable as a way of life.

Read the book, do the research, then decide.

C0smos Fri 25-Jan-13 11:49:29

YABU I list weight the calorie counting way a few years ago it was hard work, constantly counting calories never getting a day off for meal out etc. I tried the 5.2 diet and it is so much easier, just fasting for 2 days a week and very easy to do. I used to skip breakfast, have Bircher muesli for lunch some veg to snack on and soup for dinner. Really easy and you can juggle the days if you have a night out planned. You don't binge on the non fast days just eat normally but you tend to eat more sensible as your fast days teach you what it is like to feel hungry.

Research has proven it reduces risk of Alzheimer's and other nasties.

I've just found out I'm pregnant so have stopped, but I quite miss it and will be straight back on it to lose the baby weight if I make it that far.

BIWI Fri 25-Jan-13 11:50:05

I'm just wondering what you think is wrong with a burger, and why that would be a 'binge'? Although, personally, I wouldn't eat the bun (as I'm a low carber and don't eat bread), a meat patty with some cheese and lettuce/tomato on it is a perfectly acceptable thing to eat.

And your friend has got it wrong. It is 500/600 cals per day - the book you linked to says that too.

Binge is a very unhelpful word with a lot of negative connotations.

MarshaBrady Fri 25-Jan-13 11:52:06

A fresh burger is fine as is a bit of fudge. Shame if the media sell it as eat all you want on days off, loads of processed food etc

MarshaBrady Fri 25-Jan-13 11:53:26

Sometimes it's just spin isn't it to get people talking, but in reality the diet will be far more sensible.

GetOrf Fri 25-Jan-13 11:53:35

The alternate day thing really is good. I got into it after reading into paleo eating.

I tended to do 4-3 and not 5-2 as that works for me.

So 4 days at about 600 cals, and the other three (fri, sat, sun) at 2000. Ish.

It was great as the calorie deficit was the same as every day on 1200. But it didn't feel as if I was on a diet.

Keeping to 600 is a piece of piss, I am busy at work so don't 'miss' meals, never eat breakfast anyway, so would have a soup or salad for lunch, then chicken or fish with a load of veg for dinner, or more soup. Certainly didn't feel exhausted!

I got out of that habit after christmas madness but back to this eating pattern again, and it is an easy way of eating which doesn't feel at all restrictive.

The normal 3 days are certainly not binge days - just regular eating days with some extras added in, and treats. cocktails

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 11:53:43

eating a burger or a cupcake isnt binging (unless you eat 20) any sensible fool will know that

Are you supposed to eat only crap on the feast days? That's what the book cover (and my friend) implies.

So let's get this straight:

On this diet you starve for 2 days, then eat 'moderately' on the other days? Whereas the diet I'm currently doing (1800 per day) is basically eating moderately every day. Hmmmm I know which is looking more appetising.

lastSplash Fri 25-Jan-13 11:54:01

Um why are you thinking of buying the book when an hour ago you thought it would cause eating disorders? Manufactured controversy to promote a diet perhaps?

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 11:54:06

^
This! Agree comletely but if they didn't sensationalise it ('eat burgers, fudge and cake and still lose weight') it wouldn't get so many headlines

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 11:54:31

last comment to marshabradys post

ivykaty44 Fri 25-Jan-13 11:54:46

I wonder what are ancestors would think to this way of eating being described as an eating disorder - thousands of years ago it was how the human race eat, sometimes though they would have more days with little calories and a few days with more calories - it would depend on what was caught and what was picked from the bush

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 11:56:33

You don't starve.
You eat 500 kcals.
See many examples as to what you can eat in a days diet that have been given and remove your selective reading glasses.

And if, assuming for the average british women the daily calorie allowance for weight maintenance is 2000 (depending on how big you are of course) then cutting back by only 200 per day, will take a long long long time to lose weight.

StephaniePowers Fri 25-Jan-13 11:57:18

What a bloody pointless thread!

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 11:57:25

A picture of a burger to most sensible people, does not imply that you should just eat crap.

Are you being purposely obtuse OP?

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 11:58:06

Manufactured controversy to promote a diet perhaps?

lol yeah I wrote the book.

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 11:59:10

Where does it say you eat moderately on the other two days?

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 12:00:04

What a bloody pointless thread!

Why the F are you in it then?

I want to disect this diet and see what the deal is. If you don't want to join me, off you fuck.

FreudiansSlipper Fri 25-Jan-13 12:00:13

Reading up on this diet it seems like a very natural way to eat if you are not binging

Its the way many children eat and most his friends seem to follow this pattern

Most of us far more than we need to because out bodies have become accustomed to it if we ate when we needed to I am sure it would be more like this eating plan

StephaniePowers Fri 25-Jan-13 12:01:17

Ha ha, my SIDES

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 12:02:26

OP, you have been given the lowdown repeatedly by many different people yet you don't seem to either get it or believe it.

I kind of agree, it's a bit pointless if you keep coming up with the same points, yet not addressing the answers to some of your questions or acknowledging the information you are given.

There are so many threads on this right now, so many.

MarshaBrady Fri 25-Jan-13 12:02:51

Agree Damn. It's a press release for maximum coverage, and it works.

Actual diet is less sensational, and more sensible.

I'm pretty welded to low carb. Not sure if you can do both.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 12:02:52

A picture of a burger to most sensible people, does not imply that you should just eat crap.

It has a burger, a cupcake and a sugar lolly symbolising the feast days. Then just veg symbolising the fast days. If this isn't two extremes then what is!

MadBusLady Fri 25-Jan-13 12:03:51

I've just bought The Fast Diet on the kindle by the way, and a good chunk of the book is taken up with stuff that's a bit unnecessary if you've seen the Horizon doc. Notes and references to the various supporting studies will be handy for internet arguments (as if I need any encouragement to do more of that), but the tables of calories in common foods can be found online for free.

And then there's Mimi Spencer's slightly restrictive food advice, which at times threatens to turn the whole thing into yet another "women's magazine diet" - nuts, leafy greens, grilled chicken etc, lots of wibbling about low fat and things like "low calorie hot chocolate" <boak> which to me rather goes against the spirit of the diet. The whole point is that it's supposed to be easier than the standard "healthy eating" advice. If you start eating more veg on normal days as a result of fast days (as many find) so be it, but being told in advance that this WILL happen made me feel exactly as discouraged, and as if I had a giant mountain to climb, as the standard low fat, eat less, move more diets do.

So I don't mind paying £3 just to have the written principles on hand, but I think the Horizon doc is still where you'll have the revelation.

GetOrf Fri 25-Jan-13 12:03:56

Op the 1800 a day diet you are on - are you sure that will work at all. My basic metabolic rate to maintain weight is about 1900 cals, have you worked yours out? 1800 isn't much of a deficit really.

whois Fri 25-Jan-13 12:04:11

I'm not a fan of 'diets' but there really does seem to be a lot of positive research around this one. I think eating normaly, including going out to restaurants and having a glass of wine on 5 days a week coming in at 1800 to 2200, and doing 500 on 2 days is easier then keeping to 1500 or whatever for months.

Oats so simple 27g made with water = 98c
Crush prawn noodle soup (big and tasty) = 167c
Dinner made up of loads of steamed/boiled veg with a small bit of fish.
Drink plenty of water, have a black coffee with sweetener of you need mid morning, a fruit tea in the afternoon.

I don't actually find that too big a drama and I can move the days around depending on my social life or sports matches.

BIWI Fri 25-Jan-13 12:04:38

On this diet you starve for 2 days, then eat 'moderately' on the other days? Whereas the diet I'm currently doing (1800 per day) is basically eating moderately every day. Hmmmm I know which is looking more appetising.

Why not read the book first before you jump to conclusions? And why would you think that 500 calories = starving? If it was 0 calories, then perhaps I might agree with you, but there are plenty of things you eat for 500 calories.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 25-Jan-13 12:04:55

You need to stop thinking that you starve for two days. You don't.

You eat a lot less calories than you usually would, but you don't starve. It is ok to be hungry sometimes you know, and hungry doesn't mean starving. Anyway, 500 calories is really very doable if you eat the right thing.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 12:05:07

OP, you have been given the lowdown repeatedly by many different people yet you don't seem to either get it or believe it.

No one addressed my point, where I compared the 5:2 diet and my own 1800 diet. Or did I miss that?

Mine is moderate eating every day whereas 5:2 is moderate eating and some starvation days.

Which sounds most enjoyable and sustainable?

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 12:05:07

Is there no element of common sense here? Really.

The same way that if you look at a cookery book you don't expect that you would cook all the food on the front cover in one go, any more than you would expect that you would eat all the 'crap' in one go.

And it isn't just veg on fast days

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 12:05:46

Yes, I did.
At the top of this page.

VinegarTits Fri 25-Jan-13 12:05:48

maybe a lump of lard and a plate of dust?

GetOrf Fri 25-Jan-13 12:05:59

There is a proper term used to work out your basic calorie rate - can't remember what it is (not just making shite up honest).

MadBusLady Fri 25-Jan-13 12:06:29

Well, I say we let the OP do exactly as she likes. Good like with that daily 1800 calorie restriction!

<innocent face>

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 12:06:51

5:2 is eat what you want on the 5 days (not dieting but not shovelling back buckets of KFC either) and cut back on 2.

This is very different to continued energy restriction which is what your 1800kcal per day diet would be.

BIWI Fri 25-Jan-13 12:06:57

Well if you're enjoying the way you eat, and it's working for you, why bother thinking about something else? Why bother slagging something else off?

VinegarTits Fri 25-Jan-13 12:07:09

my diet is better than your diet boohoo

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 12:07:21

MadBusLady thank you for the book review. I found that useful. Have you read any other books on the topic? Does anyone know if the 5:2 book is worth a read?

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 12:07:58

BMR

Harris-benedict equation

is how you work out how many calories you need.

Although it's not totally accurate outside a laboratory setting.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 12:08:16

Op the 1800 a day diet you are on - are you sure that will work at all. My basic metabolic rate to maintain weight is about 1900 cals, have you worked yours out? 1800 isn't much of a deficit really.

I'm breastfeeding and I work out regularly. I lose about 2lbs a week.

BIWI Fri 25-Jan-13 12:09:08

Here's a thing, BMJ - why don't you buy it and see?

BIWI Fri 25-Jan-13 12:09:48

Or do some Googling and read up about it, as you obviously don't believe anyone here who is telling you about it!

GetOrf Fri 25-Jan-13 12:09:53

Ahh I see re breastfeeding.

Fair enough then. That mnakes sense (and god knows of alternate day would be a good idea when you're feeding a baby)

whois Fri 25-Jan-13 12:09:58

FYI OP, eating 1800 a day as your diet isn't great. You'll be fat for ages unless you're topping that up with plenty of exercise.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 12:10:34

Why not read the book first before you jump to conclusions?

Which one would you recommend?

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 12:11:13

You are losing two pounds a week on an 1800kcal diet because you are breast feeding which is a very energy intensive process, not because you are on a diet!

VinegarTits Fri 25-Jan-13 12:11:53

competitive dieting, could turn into a bun fight [pun intended]

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 12:11:54

OP, if you are reducing you kcal per day to 1800, how many were you consuming before?

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 12:12:18

5:2 is eat what you want on the 5 days (not dieting but not shovelling back buckets of KFC either)

What if I like eating buckets of KFC? I fear that if I was allowed to eat 'anything I want', I'd just eat crap sad

MadBusLady Fri 25-Jan-13 12:12:29

Ah, I'm pretty sure Mosley said on his chat thread that he didn't recommend fasting while breastfeeding. And the book definitely says don't fast while pregnant.

ivykaty44 Fri 25-Jan-13 12:12:48

Which sounds most enjoyable and sustainable?

Having done both

The 5:2 is more sustainable and more enjoyable

Firstly it is easier to work out 500 calories for the two days
The other 5 days as my eating has already being restricted I rarely eat over 1800, eating less has a habit of restricting what you eat at other times, meaning I don't over eat on the other 5 days and enjoy my food more so than other eating regimes

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 12:14:35

OP seriously.

Sort yourself out.

This is feckin' ridiculous and surely a wind up

For the 54th time, who said you can eat what you want outside normal non-calorie counting. If you are dumb enough to think that eating a bucket of KFC is a good idea whislt on diet, or indeed any other time, good luck to you

-

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 12:15:31

And no, you wouldn't think a bucket of KFC was ok but if you actually read the booK it quite nicely, explains the principles behind this.

You are making false arguments
Your diet is moderate eating every day where you may not actually lose weight and have to calorie count every single day.

5:2 is two days of calorie counting and low food intake (not starving), and eating moderately with occasional feasting the rest of the time. Not only will you probably lose weight on this diet, there are additional health benefits to fasting (mostly tested on men though, it has to be said).

BIWI Fri 25-Jan-13 12:17:30

I don't know which one to recommend because 5:2 isn't a diet I'm interested in following - I'm a long-term low carber, which works for me.

And as it's a relatively new diet there probably aren't many books to choose from.

Personally I'd go with the Dr Moseley one, as he was behind the Horizon programme that discussed the science behind the idea of fasting.

That said, there's loads on the internet to read about fasting - and there are different approaches to fasting - so why not just spend some time Googling before you spend money on a book?

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 12:19:03

You'll be fat for ages unless you're topping that up with plenty of exercise

Yes I am - step aerobics, bootcamp and spinning, every week. Plus breastfeeding (3 feeds a day).

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 12:20:26

You are losing two pounds a week on an 1800kcal diet because you are breast feeding which is a very energy intensive process, not because you are on a diet!

So if I didn't restrict my diet intake to 1800 I would still be loosing weight? Nope. Because BFing makes me hungry so if I ate what I'd like I'd just be consuming all the calories back.

If you're breastfeeding and doing that much cardio, I recommend you hit the TDEE calculators and work out your BMR. It's possible you could not be eating enough, in which case you will slow down your metabolism.

Also, many people cannot lose weight while breastfeeding - I did a bit by a low carb + shred month, but the same amount again came off with no effort when I stopped feeding.

shine0ncrazydiamond Fri 25-Jan-13 12:21:56

I looked into this diet and read a lot about it so hopefully can offer up my opinion without being lynched grin

I currently weigh 9 stone after following a calorie controlled diet with moderate carbing. I was interested in the alternate day diet for maintenance so read up on it. I'm not convinced. This is just a calorie controlled diet by any other name. So, < for example > 500 calories one day, 1800 the next. 2300 over two days. 1150 a day. THIS is what makes you lose weight - not some sort of metabolic swing.

Another point.. I have followed diaries on a forum devoted to this diet... some have been following it for a year or so. And the vast vast majority are the exact same weight as they were at the start of it, so I'd be interested to see on here where people are in 6 months time. My guess would be not much further forward.

I think if you have a lot to lose then yes, initially you are going to see weight loss. I also think that if you want to maintain your weight then, yes, it will be OK for this too. But for knocking off 3 or 4 stone? Maybe.... but be prepared to lose a pound or two a month at most once you have been doing it a little while.

I know it is really dull and I speak as someone who tried every diet in the world before finally getting it right - but the only thing that really works is to eat less, stop eating white carbs, keep alcohol to a minimum and don't snack between meals. That works.

We are all looking for something different/unusual and this seems like it could be it... in my view it's 'just another diet' and should be approached as such.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 12:22:29

The other 5 days as my eating has already being restricted I rarely eat over 1800

I eat 1800 every day and I go to bed hungry sad I'm hungry a lot. So the thought of adding 2 days with just 500 cals does not sound veasible to me.

whois Fri 25-Jan-13 12:22:52

Yes I am - step aerobics, bootcamp and spinning, every week. Plus breastfeeding (3 feeds a day)

The pounds will be shedding off then. My SIL is bf a monster eater 5 month old on the 98th weight percentile, she is shovelling food down like there is no tomorrow and getting can't keep her weight on. She didn't have any to loose to start with tho.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 12:23:53

I'm sick of being hungry tbh sad that's why I worry that if I were to follow the 5:2 diet, I would just 'go crazy' on the feast days. My hunger is seldom satisfied.

The last time I felt satisfied was when I hate a large pizza before new year.

BIWI Fri 25-Jan-13 12:23:56

BMJ - I see you are new to MN. I did a search on your name because I was beginning to think you were deliberately being provocative with your posts. Is there a reason why you are being so confrontational about this? Starting it in AIBU was also a pretty provocative thing to do.

If you really want to know about fasting there are plenty of threads with people who have been doing it for some time - which you would know because you've already posted on one of them. Why not join one/some/all of those and see what you can glean from people who are already experienced in a fasting diet?

I'm interested that you say you're interested in fasting but at the same time, keep slagging it off and defending what you're doing!

What's the point?

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 12:24:09

So if I didn't restrict my diet intake to 1800 I would still be loosing weight? Nope. Because BFing makes me hungry so if I ate what I'd like I'd just be consuming all the calories back

Err no, that's not what I said. The point being is if you weren't breastfeeding and like an average British female (realise there is big variance) to stay in energy balance you required 2000kcal per day, dropping down to 1800kcal per day for weight loss, would not be very effective at all.

BIWI Fri 25-Jan-13 12:24:34

Sorry - that was a genuine question - what is the point?

VinegarTits Fri 25-Jan-13 12:24:50

i think the op is just looking for a bun fight

[another wasted pun emotion]

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 12:26:03

OP, how much do you have to lose?

ivykaty44 Fri 25-Jan-13 12:26:38

If you are constantly feeling hungry - is there a medical condition that you don't know about causing this? When you were pg did you have a problem with your thyroid at all? It isn't unheard of to have an over active thyroid during pg which would make you very hungry and find it difficult to fell satisfied after eating

BIWI Fri 25-Jan-13 12:26:56

And massive cross post there, BMJ. Now I understand why you would see 500 calories as 'starving' if you're always hungry after eating 1800 calories!

1800 calories is quite a lot to eat, yet still feel hungry. Are you eating a lot of carbohydrate? (Bread/pasta/rice/fruit/sugar?)

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 12:27:21

OP, you got issues with hunger, eat lots of protein and fibre where possible. ANd this shouldn't be an issue for you any more.

BIWI Fri 25-Jan-13 12:27:49

grin Vinny!

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 12:27:59

This is just a calorie controlled diet by any other name.

That's my gut feeling too.

But what's all this 'skinny gene' lark?

shine0ncrazydiamond Fri 25-Jan-13 12:29:02

It is exactly that BMJ. In my opinion : )

However i think you're possibly spoiling for a spat, no?

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 12:29:34

If you really want to know about fasting there are plenty of threads with people who have been doing it for some time

Yeah I posted on the 5:2 thread but was ignored.

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 12:29:48

But what's all this 'skinny gene' lark?

Look it up!
You don't believe any of us on here anyway, may as well do your own research

<thinks OP is comms person for some kind of weight loss place, or a budding author and is stirring shit trying to discredit popular diets>

E

curryeater Fri 25-Jan-13 12:29:58

Sorry to hijack, but as there are so many here who are doing well on the 5:2, can I briefly ask whether anyone is doing it on ADs, specifically fluoxetine? Thanks.

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 12:30:26

Yeah I posted on the 5:2 thread but was ignored

I can see why! (if you posted in the same manner as you are on here)

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 12:30:40

OP, how much do you have to lose?

About 1 stone.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 12:31:50

If you are constantly feeling hungry - is there a medical condition that you don't know about causing this?

I've recently had my thyroid tested, as I was worried about my hunger, but the doc said the blood test was fine. She dismissed my hunger.

ivykaty44 Fri 25-Jan-13 12:31:52

Op you ask questions - people answer, then you highlight the answer or part of and go off on another tangent.

It is like dealing with a teenager tantrum

Stop and listen to what is being said to you instead of throwing your toys out of the pram - you might learn something.

if you do some research of your own you will find out about this diet reducing the risk of cancer...

Off for lunch

BIWI Fri 25-Jan-13 12:32:04

Er - actually, you weren't ignored! Someone responded directly to you about 4 or 5 posts later!

MadBusLady Fri 25-Jan-13 12:32:07

I low-carb too. It mainly worked by retraining my appetite (nothing makes you hungry again like carbs do) and encouraging me to eat plateloads of vegetables (because there isn't really much else to eat, once you've reach your upper limit for bacon, which astonishingly you do have). These are both good things, and I've got nearly two stone off like that and kept it off for nearly two years with no problem. I do eat some carby foods now, they're just not the cornerstone of my diet any more - I totally lost the taste for crappy bread every day though.

To me, the 5:2 seems like a logical next step because it is also about retraining appetite. What interests me is it closely resembles how I used to naturally eat when I was skinny. Some days I'd pick at things and do weird things like have an apple and a piece of cake for dinner, other days I'd eat normally - all because I felt like it rather than because I was disciplining myself. I didn't eat enough veg, definitely. But the overall pattern meant my stomach was pretty small, which made it hard to overeat. Looking back, where it all went wrong was when I decided I was going to have three square meals a day like a grown-up!

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 12:32:40

1 stone is not a lot. Are you overweight? How old is your DC?

Why don't you just wait until you're no longer BF'ing and embark a new eating regime then?

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 12:32:49

Sorry - that was a genuine question - what is the point?

To debate the diet. I didn't think debate was appropriate in the general 5:2 thread as that seems to be for support.

BIWI Fri 25-Jan-13 12:33:40

Can you actually tell us what you want to get out of this thread, BMJ? You obviously have an issue, and it seems to have stopped being about your friend now.

If you tell us what you want, we can help you.

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 12:35:25

OP,

what do you actually want?

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 12:35:34

x post BIWI

GrimmaTheNome Fri 25-Jan-13 12:36:11

Did you know that big cats in captivity are usually fasted one or two days a week?

Perhaps it depends whether you're more of a herbivore or a carnivore what diet will suit you - could be that if you like low-carb then doing 5:2 as well is good but if you're a macrobiotic grazer it isn't.

I'm trying 5:2 because when you're only 5'1" calorie counting is horrible.

StephaniePowers Fri 25-Jan-13 12:36:41

Debate doesn't mean reiterating the untruth that it's a starve/binge diet several times and completely failing to acknowledge people who do answer your other, more reasonable, questions.

MadBusLady Fri 25-Jan-13 12:40:28

Thinking about it, it's interesting that you naturally see the 5:2 in terms of starve/binge, OP. I agree the publicity slightly sets it up like that, but truly, I think part of it is you projecting. Because that's not how I saw it when I saw the Horizon doc. I thought all kinds of things about control over appetite, living more naturally, returning to eating more like I did when I was thin... but bingeing and starving no, because I have never had that guilt/sainthood relationship with my food. I need to lose weight because I got into over-eating habits for a few years, rather than because I am a perpetual dieter who always loses/puts it back on IYSWIM.

VinegarTits Fri 25-Jan-13 12:41:30

youre probably hungry because you are not eating enough while you are BF, it might be better for you to stick to a healthy lower fat diet as and when you are hungry than counting calories, as thats obviously not working for you if you are still hungry

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 12:44:12

My kids are 2 and 13 months. I'm BFing the 13 months old 3 times a day. He's a big fella with a hearty appetite (hmmmm wonder where he gets that from). hmm

what do you actually want?

At the moment I'd like:

* To know which book I should buy to read more about this.
* Reassurance that I won't go crazy on the 'feast' days. After depriving myself for so long, I fear I'll go crazy which apparently (as I've found out on this thread) isn't inline with the diet.
* To understand the science behind the 'skinny gene' thing. Can someone explain it? If the skinny gene is bullshit then this is just a calorie-restriction diet.

Also I have a stupid question, but a question nonetheless:

If this diet is not recommended for breastfeeders yet this diet is 'how our ancestors ate' , didn't our ancestors breastfeed?

StephaniePowers Fri 25-Jan-13 12:44:17

<To be less confrontational for a minute>

One thing the 5:2 pattern has done for me is to make me feel absolutely fine with being hungry for a while. I had not felt proper hunger for years and years and when I did, I felt 'wrong' somehow. But actually it's all right to be hungry, it passes generally, and just because I have money and access to Greggs doesn't mean I have to eat NOW if that makes sense.
But if you feel hungry all the time on 1800 cals, that doesn't seem right, if it's making you miserable.

SpicyPear Fri 25-Jan-13 12:47:22

OP I've eaten in a disordered starve/binge cycle for years and it is nothing like this diet.

Plus, eating disorders aren't just about the eating patterns, they are about the mental and emotional stuff driving the patterns.

Considering it again, I'd find your diet more triggering because it involves constant daily calorie monitoring, whereas on alternate day or 5/2 you don't have to think about it on "binge" days. People who are prone to going nuts on several thousand calories on a non-fasting day probably have some sort of food issue already. A lot of overweight people don't have food issues, they just overindulge a bit on all the readily available food and drink we have on a consistent basis until their weight has crept up. These people should have no problem eating a sensible amount on non-fast days without strictly calorie counting.

StephaniePowers Fri 25-Jan-13 12:48:17

I think <not aimed at the OP> that all this 'how our ancestors ate' stuff is rather misguided. Our ancestors died very young and lived very different lives to us.They weren't living in some kind of amazing health utopia.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 12:49:53

People who are prone to going nuts on several thousand calories on a non-fasting day probably have some sort of food issue already

Yup I suspect that's my friend - and me! But unlike her, I'm very reluctant to allow myself to go down that path.

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 12:51:29

Reassurance that I won't go crazy on the 'feast' days. After depriving myself for so long, I fear I'll go crazy which apparently (as I've found out on this thread) isn't inline with the diet

No one can reassure you this!

Have you experience disordered eating in the past?

DamnBamboo Fri 25-Jan-13 12:52:25

Then BMJ post of 12:49, you've answered your own question. If you have a food issue, you may wish to seek other ways to manage your weight.

Advisable to do so even

StephaniePowers Fri 25-Jan-13 12:52:50

OP

The Michael Mosely book is probably the best, though as someone said it duplicates everything that was in the Horizon prog and doesn't add a lot except about ten recipes.

I think the first day on 500 cals is quite hard, the next time is easier, and thereafter for me it has been easy, surprisingly easy. I try to keep 100 cals for before bedtime so I don't go to bed hungry. Fizzy water and herbal tea throughout the day (I add a dash of orange bitters to water to make it taste better, tip from old bartending job) and refill my glass as soon as I finish so it's there to sip all the time.

The other 5 days are interesting because firstly you don't get the cravings for junk food (or at least I don't) but if you're out and fancy a slice of cake, there is no guilt necessary. I find I don't overeat on those days, and I am conscious of trying to eat more healthily...it's just happened.

phlebas Fri 25-Jan-13 12:53:07

curryeater I'm taking 50mg of sertraline a day (for anxiety/panic attacks) have been doing 5:2 since last August. Haven't notice any problems with the ADs.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 12:53:54

I think <not aimed at the OP> that all this 'how our ancestors ate' stuff is rather misguided. Our ancestors died very young and lived very different lives to us.They weren't living in some kind of amazing health utopia.

Hmmm good point. Everyone seems to have missed this.

Although presumably they'll argue that dying young had nothing to do with diet.

VinegarTits Fri 25-Jan-13 12:54:06

why do you want to buy the book if you are so against this diet?

i also think you should avoid it completely if you think you have food issues

im also boggled as to why you havent taken any of the good advice offered to you confused

BIWI Fri 25-Jan-13 12:54:27

How is eating 1800 calories a day 'depriving' yourself? The language that you use to talk about food is, IMVHO, actually quite worrying, as it is all so emotive.

What were your eating patterns like before you were pregnant? Do have an eating disorder yourself? What kind of relationship do you have with food would you say?

BIWI Fri 25-Jan-13 12:54:53

And, to ask another question, what are you eating and drinking every day, to make up those 1800 calories?

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 12:55:09

Have you experience disordered eating in the past?

Over-eating for sure. Yet most women I know, have also done this.

MadBusLady Fri 25-Jan-13 12:55:15

I think <not aimed at the OP> that all this 'how our ancestors ate' stuff is rather misguided. Our ancestors died very young and lived very different lives to us.They weren't living in some kind of amazing health utopia.

Hear hear. I am a confirmed "palaeo" dieter because it works and I don't care why, but there is something very ante-diluvian about this. Our hunter-gathering ancestors certainly weren't eating anything that bears any resemblance whatsoever to the domestic animals we eat today. Or even most of the plants, really. And given that we're talking about hundreds of thousands of years and most of the earth's surface, they wouldn't all have been eating the same diet as each other anyway.

phlebas Fri 25-Jan-13 12:55:15

I've also been breastfeeding the whole time I've been doing it (though the baby is 19 months old now).

TroublesomeEx Fri 25-Jan-13 12:57:50

If this diet is not recommended for breastfeeders yet this diet is 'how our ancestors ate' , didn't our ancestors breastfeed?

Perhaps they didn't do it whilst they were BFing?

I certainly don't 'binge' on the eating days. I have a balanced diet.

And I don't 'starve' on the fast days.

I don't feel I'm denying myself. I'm not preoccupied by food.

I haven't heard about a 'skinny gene'. My understanding is that there is a hormone associated with ageing and that this isn't as prevalent in people who practice intermittent fasting and that enables them to live for longer/not age as quickly.

As far as the weight loss goes, I think you just lose the desire to 'binge' and eat unhealthily. It focuses you on what you are eating and gets your appetite under control.

When I first started it, I found that I thought about food constantly on my fast days. That lasted for 2 weeks and now I have to remind myself to eat. I eat healthily anyway, so it was easy to eat healthily on the eating days.

whois Fri 25-Jan-13 12:58:37

There is a difference between feeling hungry and being hungry. I used to 'feel' hungry a lot but actually what I actually was feeling was a preference to eat something tasty.

Breaking the habit of habitual eating, and swapping a. 4pm pack of skittles for a boring ryeveta, and actually ensuring I am proper hungry has helped me 'feel' hungry a lot less.

TroublesomeEx Fri 25-Jan-13 12:59:49

1800 calories is hardly 'depriving' yourself anyway. The recommended daily calorie intake for women is 2000 calories, yet many people think that's too high anyway.

Apparently I need 1500 calories a day to maintain my weight. I don't think I ever eat 1800 in a day!

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 13:00:26

StephaniePowers - thanks for the info. So no point buying a book. I'll just watch the Horizon doc and report back smile

Does anyone else have any comments re: ancestors eating this way yet also breastfeeding?

why do you want to buy the book if you are so against this diet?

To learn more. Perhaps might change my views if the science is compelling.

How is eating 1800 calories a day 'depriving' yourself?

It 'feels' that way, because I'm always hungry. It's bringing me down sad

phlebas Fri 25-Jan-13 13:01:19

posting again - agree re the paleo stuff too.

I find it very easy to lose weight (& my natural gluttony means very easy to gain it too) but I'm not doing 5:2 because I think it is some brilliant diet (i.e. massively quick fix to lose huge amount of weight) but because it is a way I can lose weight (I've lost masses btw - nearly 50lbs) but I'm far more interested in the anti cancer/dementia/diabetes benefits. Even when I'm at my good goal weight I want to carry on with regular fasts.

I'm small - at my goal weight I won't need more than 1700 calories to maintain that weight!

TroublesomeEx Fri 25-Jan-13 13:01:41

Although presumably they'll argue that dying young had nothing to do with diet.

I think it probably had more to do with unsanitary and harsh living conditions and a lack of medical knowledge/care that lead to it.

We're going back a very long way when we're talking about 'our ancestors' and their diet!

StephaniePowers Fri 25-Jan-13 13:02:36

Madbuslady

OK, farmed animals and dairy - I get that.

But foraged seafood and plants, nuts, foraged grain plus the odd bit of lean meat from a kill...how is that different to a good healthy omnivorous, dairy-free diet of today?

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 13:03:09

What were your eating patterns like before you were pregnant?

yo-yo dieting. But I'll say again, I think this is (sadly) normal for most women.

TroublesomeEx Fri 25-Jan-13 13:03:13

What are you eating/drinking to make up your 1800 calories?

I can't imagine feeling hungry if I'd eaten that much in a day.

TroublesomeEx Fri 25-Jan-13 13:04:14

I don't think it's normal for most women.

In fact the only person I know who has ever 'yo-yo' dieted was my stbxh!

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 13:04:18

Perhaps they didn't do it whilst they were BFing?

I thought they didn't have a choice. They were hunter gatherers (days of plenty, days of none).

StephaniePowers Fri 25-Jan-13 13:04:46

I'm fairly sure they'll have died from bacterial infection, injuries, mosquito-borne disease, vitamin deficiencies, parasites etc - cumulative stresses that we can easily fight off (or have no exposure to in the first place).

Flowerface Fri 25-Jan-13 13:06:23

Oh for the love of god!! Maybe it's just sleep-deprivation induced melodrama but I am finding this thread symptomatic of everything that's wrong with society!

Why can't people just have a preference without dedicating a vast amount of energy to trying to prove that other people's different preferences are going to condemn them to a life of misery!?

Some people are good at moderation, some are not. Some need tonnes of calories, some do not. I, for example, am breastfeeding and eating about 3000 calories a day. If I reduced to 1800, I would be homicidal.

I am waiting for the 'Victorian London' diet of gin and pork scratchings to come into fashion, personally...

StephaniePowers Fri 25-Jan-13 13:07:40

'We' being 'we in the west' (sorry if not clear)

BMJ I think unfortunately the doc is not to be found online, but Michael Mosley says it's going to be reshown sometime by the BBC.

TroublesomeEx Fri 25-Jan-13 13:07:57

No, but maybe they prioritised BF mothers.

I've no idea, not having been around then! wink

BIWI Fri 25-Jan-13 13:10:08

Flowerface - don't read the thread then [shrug]

I think you'll find that a lot of us are actually trying to help the OP.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 13:11:12

As far as the weight loss goes, I think you just lose the desire to 'binge' and eat unhealthily

This is very interesting, and gives me hope.

It is my hope that, if I were to start the 5:2 diet, after being on it for a while and enjoying 'eating whatever I like' then the crappy food would lose it's allure. It would just become another piece of fuel.

I used to 'feel' hungry a lot but actually what I actually was feeling was a preference to eat something tasty.

Another interesting post! Perhaps 5:2 can help teach me the difference between appetite and hunger?

curryeater Fri 25-Jan-13 13:12:03

OP, my experiences, as it sounds as if I might be like you:
1.when I try to lose weight conventionally (low fat, calorie counting) I can get very miserable and hungry on what should be reasonable amounts of food. If you feel you are putting weight on, on 1800 calories, maybe you need to switch around the constituents of your diet and eat more fat, less carb. A calorie is not a calorie: some people need to eat more fat and protein. try sardines, good olive oil dressings, avocadoes, etc. If you are calorie counting you may need to cut the carbs to hit the numbers, but this diet may suit you much better and leave you feeling more energetic.
2. Or not. Maybe you will not lose weight while you are breastfeeding. For some people - including me - there is a deep tiredness associated with bf-ing which translates into physical hunger. It is as if some bodies have a safety mechanism that they refuse to drop more than a certain amount of fat when bf-ing. Although in my case this changed a lot when my babies were eating decent amounts of food too, which I guess yours is at 13 months. But anyway, I would say that if you're bfing all bets are off.
3. If you are not happy doing what you're doing, something has to change. You sound very resistant to change, quite grumpy about it. (this is common with exhausted people who are not eating enough). conventional diet advice is not good for everyone. Low carbing and 5:2-ing are things that do work for some people who do not do well on calorie counting. You don't have to do them but if you are not happy, why no try them?

Anyone any experience with 5:2 and ADs?

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 13:14:23

I, for example, am breastfeeding and eating about 3000 calories a day. If I reduced to 1800, I would be homicidal.

lol I hear ya. I go to bed hungry every night and have terrible insomnia. Yet a lot of people are saying I eat a lot.

I assume your baby is still young? How m,any feeds per day?

TroublesomeEx Fri 25-Jan-13 13:15:46

the crappy food would lose it's allure

That definitely worked for me. I ate well and healthily, but was guilty of eating too much chocolate and savoury snacks. But that just stopped.

I just lost the taste for it.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 13:16:20

BMJ I think unfortunately the doc is not to be found online, but Michael Mosley says it's going to be reshown sometime by the BBC.

It's on youtube smile

TroublesomeEx Fri 25-Jan-13 13:16:54

curryeater I'm doing 5:2 on ADs. Haven't noticed any problems. Why do you ask?

Viviennemary Fri 25-Jan-13 13:19:00

Our ancestors probably didn't have a choice about fast days. I expect these were days when there was no food available. But maybe b/f women were given priority with food. Well it would be nice to think they were at least.

sherbetpips Fri 25-Jan-13 13:19:01

Just been discussing this very diet in the office - it seems to appeal mostly to men!

StephaniePowers Fri 25-Jan-13 13:21:05

Then save yourself £7.99 grin

curryeater Fri 25-Jan-13 13:21:19

FolkGirl, thanks for answering. I have been prescribed fluoxetine and am worried about putting on weight, have battled hard to lose about a stone and a half of baby weight and have about a stone and a half to go. I know this is terribly shallow but being fat itself makes me depressed. I need a strategy and I hope it can work with ADs. (no point in talking directly to gp about this because I don't want a diet sheet full of grains and low fat cottage cheese, that stuff doesn't work for me, I spent decades living like that, and being fat, and being hungry, and being very sad)

BIWI Fri 25-Jan-13 13:23:10

BMJ - lots of questions you're not answering! What are you eating daily for your 1800 calories?

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 13:26:23

What are you eating daily for your 1800 calories?

I'm not answering on purpose. I'll get the shit ripped out of me.

Bottom line is, the 2lbs per week weight loss on my current diet is satisfactory.

TroublesomeEx Fri 25-Jan-13 13:27:27

Curryeater - well I'm on Citalopram. I don't know how different it would be with fluoxetine. But I'm certainly not having any problems smile

MadBusLady Fri 25-Jan-13 13:27:41

StephaniePowers The diet you've outlined sounds very healthy, it just doesn't necessarily stand for all times and places in which "our ancestors" lived. We're talking about the varied environments of most of world and (within homo sapiens) 200,000 years of prehistory. Some people wouldn't have had access to seafood, some people gathered and processed wild grains, some hardly did at all, and the lean meat they had access to would also have varied widely across time and space and included species we wouldn't eat now (eg insects), or that don't exist now, and the latter point also goes for plants. We're also basically making up the quantities they ate this stuff in by inference to the environment, because obviously it's pretty hard to reconstruct a week's typical diet from archaeology alone. And environments themselves are not easy to reconstruct. Palaeoethnobotany, zooarchaeology etc wouldn't be the wide fields of study they are if there weren't lots of unknowns around these questions - including what constitutes "domestication" itself, because obviously it's not like flipping a switch and every species pre-domestication is ideal and every species post-domestication becomes unhealthy. Eg, some archaeologists argue that the wild grains in the Levant were managed for several thousand years before organised agriculture (or rather horticulture) appeared, and this may have caused the grains to actually start evolving. So when does it stop being "good, foraged wild grain" and start being "evil, domesticated, processed grain"? By some definitions, probably not until the modern heavy processing of the 20th century.

So I tend to see the "palaeo" stuff as a convenient shorthand for "don't eat stuff that is obviously unhealthy". As I say, I'm not knocking it as a system, it clearly works.

TroublesomeEx Fri 25-Jan-13 13:28:14

I'm not answering on purpose. I'll get the shit ripped out of me.

Oh dear smile

Well I think the answer to your hunger might well lie therein, don't you!

MadBusLady Fri 25-Jan-13 13:28:36

oof that was a great big paragraph.

TroublesomeEx Fri 25-Jan-13 13:28:50

But if you're not eating healthily, then you're doing your body no favours at all.

skaen Fri 25-Jan-13 13:30:42

I doing the 5:2 diet. I thought I'd give it a go for January after a bit too much indulgence over Christmas. I have lost 4lbs so about a lb a week - not mega weightloss but am finding it much easier to do than the constant obsession about how many calories I have left a day which always makes me feel as though I need to eat.

I have found it helpful. I've never been a big fan of breakfast anyway so tend to skip breakfast, have a salad for lunch and a veg curry or chilli for tea. I'm trying to use it as a way of eating less meat and fish as well so the vegetarian 2 days is a big part of it. I do feel hungry on the 500 cal days but never as though I'm going to faint or be sick or anything; I can work, look after the children and do exercise without an issue. The main thing though, is that it regularly reminds me that I will not die if I miss a meal - it is okay to feel hungry.

(I'm breastfeeding but DS is 3 so only just about once a day - t hasn't been an issue)

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 13:31:21

Okay here goes. Here's what I eat on an average day:

4 ready meals (they're not advertised as low cal but have about 300 cals in each).
Apples.
Rice cakes.
Low cal jelly.

Yes, I know, I know. Not healthy. However I'm doing this for vanity, not health.

I know there are plenty of foods that would fill me up for longer, however I find it hard to count the cals they contain. For instance, bran flakes fill me up immensely. However I'd have to weigh and measure every meal to count the cals. Whereas on a ready meal, the cals are there in print.

sigh

I'm going to get lynched to fuck now.

skaen Fri 25-Jan-13 13:31:41

Oh, and to lose weight on calorie counting, I would have to eat no more than 1400 calories a day. That is much harder!

TepidCoffee Fri 25-Jan-13 13:32:11

Trauma and disease. But not the diet-induced diseases of civilisation.

Read The Primal Blueprint. Have a look at the Paleo for women website.

One point against IF for women (which I raised on the Michael Moseley web chat, but which got no response) is that while evidence of the effectiveness for MEN is fairly well established, the same can't be said for women.

StephaniePowers Fri 25-Jan-13 13:32:23

But it was interesting MadBusLady - I agree with you. I cannot see that within the paleo diet there is anything other than 'a great unprocessed dairy-free diet, light on meat most likely but basically anything that hasn't been faffed with or developed'.
I was keen on it for a bit but the books all seemed to be written by people who didn't seem very trustworthy.

ubik Fri 25-Jan-13 13:32:49

I havelost a stone on 5:2. Am now a normal BMI. Reduced my risk if dementia/diabetes/cancer.

I have three you children and do shift work. On a fast day I gave an omelette and ham or porridge for breakfast. Tea/coffee through the day and salad/soul for tea. I eat a normal amount the following g day - perhaps slightly extra carbs.

It works for me.

TepidCoffee Fri 25-Jan-13 13:33:28

Of course you're hungry on that. Seriously, look into low-carb/paleo.

MorrisZapp Fri 25-Jan-13 13:33:53

I have nothing against the 5:2 or any other diet, and if people are seeing success then good luck to them - I may try it myself.

But it is hard to take new diets seriously when they all introduce themselves pretty much the same way. ie; 'I tried every diet under the sun but I never kept the weight off, until this diet came along. It's not a diet, it's a way of life, and unlike other diets it's easy and sustainable' etc etc. They all say that.

And many of them have research apparently on their side. The research is probably right, but the bottom line is that in order to lose weight, the one thing that we all struggle with is willpower. And there isn't an effective weightloss diet on this earth that doesn't require willpower.

I've read the 5:2 and would love to try it, but I wake up each day starving, and think 'actually I'll try it another time'.

BIWI Fri 25-Jan-13 13:34:12

No - you aren't going to get lynched to fuck! grin

But we might point out to you, gently, (even if this AIBU!), that it's probably no wonder that you're hungry.

Those ready meals, if they only have 300 calories in them, must be very small portions - and you're not eating any fresh veg to go with them.

Do you like cooking?

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 13:34:57

while evidence of the effectiveness for MEN is fairly well established, the same can't be said for women.

Hmmm I wonder why studies have not been done? Bizarre considering women diet more than men.

TroublesomeEx Fri 25-Jan-13 13:35:48

BMJ Why don't you try using Myfitnesspal? It's really good for helping you work out the calorie content of food/meals/recipes you're making.

Tbh, it could be a lot better, but it could have been a lot worse (Mars bars and coca cola for a start!)

mummyharper Fri 25-Jan-13 13:36:02

my friend told me about this diet, except she said you could eat 600 cals then whatever you wanted. I agree with other posters who say its a crash diet - will only lead to yo-yoing.
I've always considered (may be wrong) that Eating disorders are often centred around illogical thought processes with food and fear etc? so def something different.

FlouncingMintyy Fri 25-Jan-13 13:37:26

So, given that you haven't read the book, don't know any of the most rudimentary facts about intermittent fasting, and have a rubbish diet yourself ... you thought you'd come on an declare that it "is" an eating disorde,r in aibu? How very annoying.

Flowerface Fri 25-Jan-13 13:38:19

My baby is 8.5 months but still not really eating solids.

I am just one of those people who doesn't cope with being hungry. I think my blood sugar is quite volitile and I become foul tempered very fast!!

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 13:38:31

Those ready meals, if they only have 300 calories in them, must be very small portions

They are quite small. They are tuna pasta bakes and chicken hotpots. In fact, the latter has just pinged in the microwave and my mouth is watering.

Still, not a very good role model for the kids sad

And no, I don't like cooking. DH does that.

FlouncingMintyy Fri 25-Jan-13 13:38:43

Biwi is a much nicer person than me! thanks to Biwi.

MadBusLady Fri 25-Jan-13 13:39:14

Stephanie Oh I see, you're agreeing! Sorry, am confused. I did enjoy the Primal Blueprint (and got a LOT out of it in terms of exercise) but it is very Californian in tone which slightly gave me that distrustful moany Brit reaction. With apologies to any Californians reading. I mean how can you all be that damn happy? <narrows eyes>

TepidCoffee Fri 25-Jan-13 13:39:29

That would be the patriarchy grin. On both counts (the lack of info/man as 'normal' and the greater number of dieters being women).

BIWI Fri 25-Jan-13 13:41:01

All an act, Mintyy ... grin

skaen Fri 25-Jan-13 13:41:12

It isn't really a crash diet. I haven't ever done a crash diet but my mum has done all of them. They typically involve 2 weeks of eating nothing but cabbage o you lose a stone within the first week and think you're doing really well (then realise it was mostly water and give up).
5:2 involves a weightloss of 1-2 lbs a week so not quite in the same league.

BIWI Fri 25-Jan-13 13:41:24

BMJ - have PMd you.

TepidCoffee Fri 25-Jan-13 13:42:29

PS, IMO 'wouldn't recommend for breastfeeding women' means nothing more than 'I haven't got a clue either way'.

curryeater Fri 25-Jan-13 13:43:58

Good luck BMJ. Being hungry all the time is devastating, especially with small children. I hope you can work something out that makes you feel better.

MadBusLady Fri 25-Jan-13 13:44:39

Ooh look at the smileys!

TepidCoffee grin I suspect so too. He did say it was a "conservative" recommendation.

NannyPhlegm Fri 25-Jan-13 13:47:38

It is slightly misleading to say "this is how our ancestors ate" because the truth is that this is the natural diet of many communities around the world TODAY.

In India (where my family originates from), people regularly fast for two days a week. It is connected to religion, and the entire community fasts on the same two days, and even join together to support each other through the day. I call it a "fast", but they eat fruits, nuts and raw vegetables throughout the day, and I suspect the calorie intake is round about 500cal. The other five days, they eat modestly, but without any restrictions.

So yes they could eat a pizza whenever they desired. Contrast that to saying "pizzas and cakes are BAD, so you must NEVER EVER eat the nasty things"...don't you then immediately crave it?

The 5:2 diet is about more than losing weight. It is about living a holistic lifestyle and not branding any food as good or bad. It is about self-control, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle in a natural manner. It is known to have an effect on longevity.

TroublesomeEx Fri 25-Jan-13 13:51:40

Nanny IIRC it was from those practices in India that the idea for this originated.

I believe there was an elderly man featured on the documentary who was around 100 and still physically fit and active (he was shown running).

I'm a bit sketchy on the details clearly grin

It certainly makes a lot of sense.

MadBusLady Fri 25-Jan-13 13:53:44

Yes, the Sikh guy! He was awesome. He was doing the London marathon. As part of a running group called "Sikhs in the City", bahaha.

StephaniePowers Fri 25-Jan-13 13:53:55

BMJ if your dh cooks, could you get him to cook big pots of tasty food and freeze portions of it? Then you just have to steam a bit of veg to go with it? It'll be cheaper than ready meals, too.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 13:55:57

That was a delicious chicken hotpot ready meal (I even licked out the tray!) I feel quite satisfied...for now.

Now for a can of diet pepsi to bloat my tummy even more.

God I'm bad.

Kendodd Fri 25-Jan-13 13:58:27

Sorry to jump in at the end.

This is the first I've heard of the 5:2 diet. I am trying to loose weight on a normal 1000- 1200 cal diet, it's hard to stick to. I've only been on it a week and I have stuck to it, but the 5:2 sounds much easier. Do you loose weight on it or is it just for health/maintenance? If so, would I loose as much as on a 'normal' diet?

I know this wasn't your intention OP but this diet sounds much easier/more appealing than the one I'm on.

StephaniePowers Fri 25-Jan-13 13:59:09

Water! No Pepsi!

NannyPhlegm Fri 25-Jan-13 14:00:19

FolkGirl yes he was awesome wasn't he?

But people don't seem to remember that bit. All I hear is "our ancestors ate like this". No! Modern people in modern cities living a modern lifestyle eat like this, and have a much healthier life for it. There is precedent for this diet, it isn't new or faddy

MadBusLady Fri 25-Jan-13 14:00:43

Ahhh, no wonder you're hungry! Diet colas etc are low cal, but they're still filled with sugary rubbish to substitute for the other sugary rubbish they took out so they could call it "low cal". That'll be why you're crashing by the time you go to bed. That stuff is addictive.

If you substitute tea or water for the fizzies that might cure the hunger problem on its own.

MadBusLady Fri 25-Jan-13 14:03:03

And it's not about you being "bad" by the way. There really aren't any "bad" foods if you eat them in moderation - which does not mean every day, or even every week. I pig out on chocolate from time to time but by god I pay for it in terms of the glucose hangover afterwards. I couldn't go through life feeling like that all the time - no wonder you're miserable.

ubik Fri 25-Jan-13 14:03:39

I find 5:2 pretty flexible too.

DP and I didn't do it gut 2 weeks over Xmas and then went back to it after. I just finished x3 nightshifts so only managed 1 day of fasting this week which is fine as my weight is maintained. Will do 5:2 when feeling less tired next week.

KobayashiMaru Fri 25-Jan-13 14:04:35

It has been tested on women. There was a long running study on its effectiveness in women who carry the breast cancer gene, the theory being that they might hold it at bay somewhat. Very positive results. And there are others.

SpicyPear Fri 25-Jan-13 14:06:16

Any advice depends on whether you feel hungry because of your poor diet or whether it's emotional. If it's the latter, a healthy diet won't fix it. You just need to think through what is driving your over-eating as if it is disordered this diet won't be the fix it is for others. Not saying either way, just think BIWI was right to raise it as something to consider.

brighthair Fri 25-Jan-13 14:06:42

Definitely ditch the diet drinks. It tastes sweet, your body expects a sugar rush and gets.. Nothing. So you get stomach growling away

brighthair Fri 25-Jan-13 14:08:54

How about low carbing/Paleo?

Today I've had
Breakfast - omelette with tomatoes, bacon, onion
Lunch - shredded mustard ham hock, loads of veg
Tea - (will be) roast chicken with piles of veg
I've snacked on a small handful of nuts and full fat Greek yoghurt
Not so much cooking as assembling I do, using steamed veg, and chickens off ready cooked counter

Samu2 Fri 25-Jan-13 14:14:16

How I wish I could eat 1,800 cals a day and maintain. I have to eat 1,300 to maintain, that is the problem the slimmer you get the less you need to eat, and for a foodie like me it's tough! It was much easier to lose weight when I was 5 stone heavier.

My mum has been doing the 5:2 diet and she really enjoys it and certainly doesn't binge on her non fasting days, in fact, she has got to the stage where eating too much just makes her feel ill so she is eating less on her non fasting days as a result.

Fasting is nothing new OP, there is so much research on the subject and it is worth it for the health benefits alone. Calorie cycling (which this a form of) is excellent for weight loss, nothing like keeping the body guessing!

I admit that I probably have a bit of "disordered thinking" over my weight and diet. I am very obsessive and a slave to the scales, but that can happen with any way of eating. This diet is no more likely to cause disordered thinking than any other.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 14:21:47

Water! No Pepsi!

But I'm proper addicted to diet pepsi blush oh...someone has mentioned the addiction issue. I like how it bloats my stomach and gives me a caffinne buzz. I also like the fizzy, syrupy sensation as it trickles down my throat. Ahhhhh

Samu2 wow! What is your height?

nothing like keeping the body guessing!

Can you elaborate? Is starvation mode (triggered by long periods of dieting) a fact or a myth?

StephaniePowers Fri 25-Jan-13 14:24:48

Well, un-addict yourself grin

Sugary drinks and their diet versions are increasingly being seen as major culprits in the rise in obesity. You can cut down more easily than you think. Drink tea and coffee - seriously, if you have a drink to hand so you can sip every few minutes, you don't crave sugary drinks so much. It really works.

MadBusLady Fri 25-Jan-13 14:30:00

I think SpicyPear is right, maybe before you start any particular plan you need to read a few things about over-eating, and your relationship with food generally, esp as regards what "full and satisfied" feels like. I don't think most people like having a bloated stomach, for instance. I don't think that's how I would define being full and satisfied.

SCOTCHandWRY Fri 25-Jan-13 14:30:04

I do love a good diet bun-fight thread (make my bun a paleo, coconut, grain free one! wink).

MBJ How is eating 1800 calories a day 'depriving' yourself?

It 'feels' that way, because I'm always hungry. It's bringing me down

Well, easy to see why you feel deprived and hungry on the diet you described - very processed, high carb and too little fat and protein. Honestly I dieted that way, "the proper way" ie low fat, low protien, high carb, high grain, for 20 years are got fatter and fatter and sicker and sicker (which is what is happening to all western populations!). Now I'm Paleo (7 years, started as low carb, developed into Paleo) and 6 stones shock lighter, and a whole lot healthier.

Eating the way we do now as a society, chronically screws up our bodies insulin response, and as a knock on effect, leads to a lot of metabolic disorders and autoimmune disease, including, but not limited to -obesity, diabetes (type 1 and type 2), gallstones, gout, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, heart disease, basically all the "diseases eof civilisation", which were very rare or non-existent in pre-agricultural humans. Western eating habits are not natural or healthy.

WRT Grains - these are a very recent addition to the human diet, before agriculture, probably small amounts were gathered by people, but only after cooking was developed - raw grains are indigestible. Also the grain we mostly eat now (semi-dwarf wheat) is hideously unnatural and was developed only a few decades ago. It it a hexaploid variety (6 sets of genes), and contains a lot of novel compounds which seem to make it much more inflammatory than ancient grain species (which are not very good for us either!)

So why is 5:2 better than a "traditional" low fat diet? Probably because it improves you insulin response because on 2 days a week, if you are sticking to around 500 calories, you will be pumping out a lot less insulin and this is a good thing for your whole biochemical system. On 5 days a week you will be eating a decent amount of fat (much better for your insulin response than carbs).

A 7/7 low fat, low protein, high carb diet EVEN WITH EXACTLY the same amount of calories as the 5/2 diet (over the course of the week), will spike your insulin far more, leading to constant hunger (but more importantly it's potentially damaging your health).

Considering doing 5:2?
IMO, 5:2 in conjunction with paleo/primal eating sounds like a very natural way to eat, but I don't think I'd recommend anyone to do 5:2 with a "normal" junk food - you are not going to get the best results to your health, or your weight.
At the very least, 5:2 should be combined with eating as much fresh and cooked from scratch food as possible, even if you don't want to cut out carbs from grains and do the whole paleo thing (yet! smile).

Samu2 Fri 25-Jan-13 14:34:37

BlackMary.. I am 5ft 1 0r 2 and not very active these days.

I need to get on that. I used to exercise religiously, but a bout of depression stopped that.

TroublesomeEx Fri 25-Jan-13 14:51:00

Sikhs in the City haha grin

Yes he was awesome.

I don't much fancy living to such a ripe old age myself, but he looked good on it!

crypes Fri 25-Jan-13 14:57:02

It has been said that following the Alternative Diet can be addictive. If losing weight in this way is addictive then it could be an eating disorder.

TroublesomeEx Fri 25-Jan-13 15:03:22

That's probably true of all ways of eating though, isn't it, crypes?

I think if you're predisposed to disordered thinking around eating then any focus on eating can be taken to an extreme. I don't think that would be applicable to the majority though.

And it depends whether you are doing it for vanity reasons or health reasons.

MrsBethel Fri 25-Jan-13 15:20:14

IMO 5:2 is a better alternative to ADF. It's more sustainable.

I think it works because there's always a 'light at the end of the tunnel' to focus on. Attempts to permanently 'diet' don't have that, so people can't keep them up. 'Crash' diets do, of course, but what happens afterwards - the weight piles back on.

The science isn't concrete, but it does suggest that occassionally being hungry is good for us. And since I've started I've overcome the need to snack all the time - I think my body's blood-sugar-regulation-system is working a bit better. Decent studies are underway, so hopefully we'll know a bit more soon.

MrsBethel Fri 25-Jan-13 15:27:27

Thinking about it, I'd say constantly needing to shovel snacks down your throat in order to keep going is the eating disorder.

People doing 5:2 or in the midst of Ramadam are in control and (our best guess is) they are doing their bodies a favour.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 15:48:49

I think it works because there's always a 'light at the end of the tunnel' to focus on. Attempts to permanently 'diet' don't have that, so people can't keep them up.

Very true, and this appeals to me.

I'm tempted to give 5:2 a go, but as others have said, no one knows how it will work in conjunction with breastfeeding.

ubik Fri 25-Jan-13 15:51:09

MrsBethel- I have been 5:2 for 6 months and have noticed I no longer have a craving for a snack midmornibg nor at the classic 3/4pm.

TalkinPeace2 Fri 25-Jan-13 16:01:46

BlackmaryJames
There are several people on the 5:2 threads on weightloss who are breastfeeding and fasting successfully - Literarygeek for one.

I love this Way of Eating.
I fast on a Monday and a Thursday. Weekends are totally relaxed. Eat , drink and be merry.
I lost a stone last term and have just finished losing the half stone I allowed myself to put on over Christmas.

The snack food industry are going to get pretty pissed off as more people cotton onto this though - it will be like the 1960's before they had invented snacking.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 16:03:33

TalkinPeace2 that's great! How old is her nursling?

TalkinPeace2 Fri 25-Jan-13 16:07:48

OP
I've just put a call out on the big thread
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/big_slim_whatever_weight_loss_club/1663998-5-2-Diet-Thread-Perfect-number-10?msgid=36837782#36837782
for those who are breastfeeding to let you know how it works for them ...

GreenEggsAndNichts Fri 25-Jan-13 16:56:52

I know you're been inundated but I thought I'd chime in: I've been doing this since last August when Dr Mosley did his Horizon special. It's easily sustainable for me. It is much easier than daily calorie counting for me. Daily calorie counting means difficulty when going out to eat (not impossible of course) and is the more short-term diet, imo.

I don't binge on eating days. I eat a normal amount of calories, which is refreshing to be able to do after struggling to eat low-cal previously. If I overdo it one day, I know I can have a fast day the next day easily enough.

I'm hardly starving myself on a fast day. I still eat 500 calories, and I've got plenty of fat reserves laid in. My first few fasts were tough but I'd almost say it was more a struggle to break from the mentality that I should/could be snacking. Now, they're very easy, and I can do anything physically on a fast day that I could do a normal one.

ADF is pretty hardcore. 5:2 is much much easier.

SlowLooseChippings Fri 25-Jan-13 17:38:54

Skimmed the thread but thought I'd chip in to say: if you're hungry on 1800 cals, it's because you are eating the wrong types of foods. Combine it with low-carbing and lose the fear of fat, and you'll be fine. Basically: low fat foods usually have sugar added instead to make up for the taste. However, sugar is addictive and leads to cravings, but fat makes you feel more full. Do you remember that ad for a chocolate bar which was "so light it doesn't fill you up so you can still eat your lunch"? Yeah, that was the sugar. Leaves you wanting more.

Ditch the toast and cereal, have some eggs and bacon. Sauté a head of green cabbage in butter and oil instead of the low-cal spray. Keep track on MyFitnessPal and you'll be surprised.

I've been low-carbing since the beginning of January. I've lost 4kgs so far, the first 2.5kgs fell off but the last 1.5 has been a slower steady decrease. The first week was hell. I wanted cake, I wanted chocolate so badly. But my appetite has taken a nosedive since (apart from the week of AF, which was difficult but it always is). I set my limit at 1800 because I'm always hungry. I've struggled to make 1500 this week, with fairly decent meals too: e.g. yesterday I had 3 scrambled eggs with creme fraiche for breakfast, 2 helpings of cauliflower soup for lunch (with a spoon of double cream), and dinner was 3 lamb chops, cabbage as above with garlic and oregano, and steamed asparagus.

TalkinPeace2 Fri 25-Jan-13 17:42:23

Whereas the joy of 5:2 is that five days a week I can eat any type of food I like. No restrictions at all.

Yesterday was two scrambled eggs for tea and a pot of vegetable soup for supper.

Today was ham cheese and Branston sandwich and a banana for lunch
and Manhattan cocktail now, soon to be followed by Pizza and red wine for dinner.

FlouncingMintyy Fri 25-Jan-13 17:51:57

I've been doing 5:2 since 1st September and my appetite has definitely decreased. Today is one of my eating days and all I have had (and fancied really) is a piece of french bread with ham and avocado (plus butter and little mustard mayo, don't have to worry about not having those!) and some tea and two coffees. I am not hungry now but tonight I will eat a spicey bean burger with chips and salad with dressing and coleslaw with my dc before going out and drinking no doubt 3 large glasses of wine. Yesterday (fasting) I had a Pret A Manger soup for lunch and some home made vegetable chilli with a small spoonful of rice for dinner. Wasn't hungry! Only for about 10 minutes before I ate the soup.

BeanJuice Fri 25-Jan-13 17:52:50

I will never understand why people don't just eat a decent, healthy diet and exercise regularly grin

MadBusLady Fri 25-Jan-13 17:53:49

Cor, why don't I MN while sipping a Manhattan?

<aspires>

MadBusLady Fri 25-Jan-13 17:56:04

Some of us got too fat, Bean. Thin people are very fond of saying "Surely all you have to do is..." I know, I used to be one of 'em. blush

fourfingerkitkat Fri 25-Jan-13 18:21:04

Not sure if this has been mentioned but for those interested the book is in Tesco for only £2.95. I went to buy it off Amazon after reading the webchat but saved a quid in the supermarket...

curiousuze Fri 25-Jan-13 18:26:51

I'm with flowerface - bring on the gin, oysters and brawn!

BIWI did you write this book? You seem very invested in it...

BIWI Fri 25-Jan-13 20:43:08

Me?! grin

No. If I was going to be writing a book it would be about low carbing.

TalkinPeace2 Fri 25-Jan-13 21:23:54

Spat my coffee at the idea of Biwi being MM
he's a toast man.

Am so pleased that we have been able to cheer up OP

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 23:29:59

Ok guys I'm going to give this 5:2 diet a go, starting in the morning. But can you answer two questions please:

1. Can the fast days be spread out? For example, Saturday and Tuesday?

2. I breastfeed my 13 months old 3 times a day. Will fasting effect this in any way?

Thanks people!

literarygeek Fri 25-Jan-13 23:54:55

BMJ I think I was among those who replied to you on the 5:2 thread pretty much straight away, actually. So we didn't ignore you!

I am BF an almost 6 month old, who is very bonny and fat and happy. I have enough milk to feed the whole street. I have to express on order to sleep comfortably/ exercise comfortably.

There's also been a lot of research on women who have fasted for religious reasons - Ramadan and Yom Kippur- and there were no ill effects to either bubbas or mamas. And near in mind- those fasts involve no food or water so a much more restrictive scenario. I have posted the links to that research on the most recent 5:2 thread - yesterday I think. If you are interested, I will dig it out.

If you want to give this a go, eat proper food where you can. If you like ready meals, go for it, but do try and include as much veg as possible- it will fill you up. Try innocent veg pots or glorious soups for not many calories/ lots of goodness.

Don't do your 2 days in a row.

Fluids are your friend- particularly water and try herbal teas ( the pukka brand is good). Diet drinks are not your friend and kill your brain cells.

Check out the tips and links thread for 5:2.

Relax.

smile

fascicle Sat 26-Jan-13 16:52:14

Interesting NHS article on 5:2/intermittent fasting here:

www.nhs.uk/news/2013/01January/Pages/Does-the-5-2-intermittent-fasting-diet-work.aspx

I can understand the attractiveness of the concept of the diet (and the feeling of relative freedom it might give), but it seems wrong to promote it as a diet for life, which I believe Michael Moseley has done. Surely the ultimate goal (physiologically, psychologically etc) should be to return to a healthy, normalish pattern of eating every day, i.e. eating a reasonably balanced diet and enjoying food without having to focus on food/calories all the time?

Kendodd Sat 26-Jan-13 17:07:50

I'm giving the 5:2 diet a go as well, I had my fast day yesterday.

Does it work just because you consume fewer calories over the week? Should be counting weekly calories not daily?

Normal female low calorie diet of 1,000- 1,200 = about 7,700 calories per week

5:2 diet with 2,000 calories and 500 calories = about 11,000 calories per week

More than the other diet but this is still about 3,000 fewer than normal intake. Is that just how it works?

I have for the last week been on a normal diet and I've just been hungry all the time, even straight after I've finished a meal, my hunger has never been satisfied. So, two days a week of hunger sounds a much better option.

As I want to loose weight can I do 4:3 until the weight is reduced a bit, then more to 5:2 until I'm target weight? After that will 6:1 just maintain it and stop me gaining again?

GreenEggsAndNichts Sat 26-Jan-13 17:21:25

ooh fascicle thank you for bringing that article up again! The last time it was posted, they had a ridiculous "example" menu of a fast day (One sausage for lunch, one slice of pizza for dinner hmm as if no one knew what a vegetable was). The majority of us on the 5:2 thread make veg the biggest portion of our food on fast days, as trying to fit in calorific things like pizza just results in being hungry.

I guess I disagree with you in that I do think it's a long-term way of eating. Obviously if you don't need to lose weight anymore, you'd reduce to one fast a week or so (for the health benefits). At the moment, I'm a whole lot less focused on food/calories than I would be on another weight loss diet. This way of eating has also changed my desire for food dramatically, and I can now just eat a normal amount of food at the Chinese buffet (for example) rather than feeling as if I need to make multiple trips.

Naturally thin people often already make these subconscious decisions to skip breakfast or eat a small amount the day following a big meal. It's a bit ironic that it's those of us struggling with our weight constantly who are being told that we need to constantly eat.

GreenEggsAndNichts Sat 26-Jan-13 17:26:24

Ken the current 5:2 thread is here.

Short version: you can count your calories weekly. We don't know why it works, some people theorise it's just from being a low-calorie diet, some think it's due to the fasting period itself. I don't think anyone is qualified to say for sure at the moment. Your short calculations are about right, though. We aren't eating any fewer calories than someone else on a low-calorie diet, it's just a different distribution.

Figure out your TDEE (calculator in the OP of that thread) and that should give you an idea of what a normal eating day would be like.

The first couple of fasts are tough but I'd say it's half psychological- you don't have the option to snack, and you'll be amazed at how often you find yourself staring at the snack cupboard out of old habit.

Come join us on the thread. smile

Me23 Sat 26-Jan-13 17:53:49

Think some people get 5:2 diet confused with the brian butterfield diet, good treat dy on that one!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWgwJfbeCeU&feature=youtube_gdata_player

BMJ, if it bothers you weighing stuff all the time, how about weighing out two weeks worth of portions of, say, bran flakes and bagging them. Can do the same with pasta or other stuff. That way you can just grab a bag and go.

fascicle Sat 26-Jan-13 18:57:53

GreenEggs: ooh fascicle thank you for bringing that article up again! The last time it was posted, they had a ridiculous "example" menu of a fast day (One sausage for lunch, one stice of pizza for dinner hmm as if no one knew what a vegetable was).

That's not the example it gives now, and not a good reason to dismiss the rest of the article, suggesting a lack of appropriate research to back up some of the health claims. Anecdotally, clearly one benefit of the diet seems to be that many people say they find it easier to stick to than other diets.

GreenEggs: This way of eating has also changed my desire for food dramatically, and I can now just eat a normal amount of food at the Chinese buffet (for example) rather than feeling as if I need to make multiple trips.

That sounds brilliant. What I don't understand is why you wouldn't extend that approach to the whole week, cutting out/down days spent fasting. I'm not against fasting per se, and appreciate there are all sorts of reasons for doing it (religious, spiritual etc) but I wonder if a diet-based motivation would have a different effect psychologically. One of my reservations about the diet is combining two quite different types of eating each and every week. To me, 'normal' eating includes being comfortable long-term with variations in daily consumption, rather than choosing the more extreme variations required by IF type diets. Another reservation is whether the claimed health benefits turn out to be any better than those of other reputable diets.

GreenEggs: It's a bit ironic that it's those of us struggling with our weight constantly who are being told that we need to constantly eat.

Who is telling you to constantly eat?! I think the best end point is to get back to eating well, eating what you enjoy, but not having to overly focus on/analyse what you eat. And exercising.

GreenEggsAndNichts Sat 26-Jan-13 22:00:15

um. I meant thanks for bringing it up again, as I'm glad to see they've changed the example menu box.

"Constantly eat" = the typical advice of eating 3x meals a day + snacks, which is what WW and other diets tend to advise. As opposed to this.

Nothing I'm going to say is going to be new to this thread, as several people have already come out and listed the benefits of eating this way. It doesn't appeal to you. I get it.

sarajaynevz Sat 26-Jan-13 22:34:05

I've been following an ADF plan since last November (as laid out in the Alternate-Day Diet by Dr. James Johnson). I've lost a little over 20lbs on the woe and I'm now 7.5lbs away from my goal weight and then I'll be transitioning either to 5:2 or 6:1 for maintenance. I feel great and made it through the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons without gaining, which used to be the norm. I've also lost my belly fat, which had put me at higher risk of diseases. My bmi went from the overweight category, to the normal category.

With all the research coming out about IF, and seeing first hand how it works/makes me feel, I really can't understand why others would think it's some kind of disorder? To each his own I guess smile

fascicle Sun 27-Jan-13 11:12:12

GreenEggs: um. I meant thanks for bringing it up again, as I'm glad to see they've changed the example menu box.

Apologies - I misread your tone.

GreenEggs: "Constantly eat" = the typical advice of eating 3x meals a day + snacks, which is what WW and other diets tend to advise. As opposed to this.

Isn't it more a case of diets building in options for snacking if desired? It would be highly counterproductive to advise people to eat more than they need to if a diet is going to be successful.

GreenEggs: Nothing I'm going to say is going to be new to this thread, as several people have already come out and listed the benefits of eating this way. It doesn't appeal to you. I get it.

It's not about the diet appealing to me. The diet is rightly being examined because it's in its infancy (or at least the current variations are) and the claimed benefits are fairly hypothetical at this stage, requiring more human based research and evidence. Equally, it would be wrong to connect the diet with eating disorders at this stage for the same reason - lack of research and evidence. But I think it is valid to question some of the psychological/physiological aspects of the diet, interspersing very low calorie days with relatively normal eating. On the other hand, the diet could be a stroke of genius if it provides the opportunity to rediscover 'normal' eating, including sometimes going a few hours without eating/thinking about food, and, as you said in your previous post, not going overboard in a buffet situation. Clearly in terms of weight loss the diet is working for some people, but it will be interesting to find out if its benefits are superior to those of other diets, and if there are any downsides to the process.

Breadandwine Sun 27-Jan-13 13:23:21

fascicle if you think back to how we developed over the past millenia, this WOE makes perfect sense.

When did we ever, except in the very recent past, have cupboards and fridges full of food? We never ate three meals a day - and neither did we snack.

People concentrate on the weight loss aspect, which is understandable - but this is merely a side effect. The health benefits of fasting are indisputable:

It causes the body's cells to repair themselves, instead of producing new ones;
More BDNF is produced, which grows new brain cells;
Every health marker you can think of improves.

I could go on, but have a browse through the links on this thread - the evidence is compelling:

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/big_slim_whatever_weight_loss_club/a1581821-Tips-and-links-for-those-practicing-Intermittent-Fasting-IF-5-2-or-Alternate-Day-Fasting-ADF

See you over on the main 5:2 threads! wink

fascicle Sun 27-Jan-13 21:14:13

Breadandwine When did we ever, except in the very recent past, have cupboards and fridges full of food? We never ate three meals a day - and neither did we snack.

Maybe, but fasting through necessity in times of scarce food and choosing to fast when food is more plentiful are rather different concepts, especially from a psychological point of view. Exercise levels (presumably much higher than today) and life expectancy (much lower) that accompany the enforced fasting of which you mention would also have been very different. Besides, is there any evidence to suggest there's anything intrinsically wrong with the practice of eating three meals a day and/or snacking (assuming subjects eat an overall healthy diet and are not overweight)?

Breadandwine The health benefits of fasting are indisputable:

It causes the body's cells to repair themselves, instead of producing new ones;
More BDNF is produced, which grows new brain cells;
Every health marker you can think of improves.

Is this based on short term human studies/studies on rats? From what I gather (and glancing at your thread didn't change my perception), the (ambitious) claimed health benefits for humans are thus far pretty hypothetical (e.g. greater longevity), based mainly on the aforementioned rodents (whose life expectancy is obviously very different to humans). Without further research, it remains to be seen whether this diet really is superior to other diets in terms of improved biomarkers; whether there are any adverse implications and whether it's sustainable in the longterm.

Breadandwine See you over on the main 5:2 threads! wink

I can't fault your enthusiasm, but I'm not looking to lose weight (or change the way I eat) wink.

curryeater Mon 28-Jan-13 10:05:55

fascicle:

"I'm not looking to lose weight (or change the way I eat)"

Why do you care then? Some people have a problem, (or problems) and they are looking to this WOE to solve them. If you don't have a problem then you are one of the people who manages fine on conventional eating patterns: so lucky you. It is unkind to hector people who need a change and are trying to make one, when all you have to offer is the stuff that doesn't work for them.

Hi OP, I'd just like to thank you as I was ignoring 5:2 til I read this thread, as I don't have much weight to lose. But I'm trying it from today to see if it helps with my arthritis, based on the health benefit claims smile

fascicle Mon 28-Jan-13 12:43:56

curryeater: Why do you care then? Some people have a problem, (or problems) and they are looking to this WOE to solve them. If you don't have a problem then you are one of the people who manages fine on conventional eating patterns: so lucky you. It is unkind to hector people who need a change and are trying to make one, when all you have to offer is the stuff that doesn't work for them.

I'm not 'hectoring' anybody. This is a debate thread in AIBU, not a support thread for 5:2 dieting that exists elsewhere on the site. I'm asking legitimate questions and raising a few concerns, as well as ackowledging that some people feel the diet works for them. Essentially, the health credentials of the diet haven't been fully explored, so some claims are premature. Not sure what you mean by 'all you have to offer is the stuff that doesn't work for them' - what are you referring to?

ubik Mon 28-Jan-13 12:52:58

The research into health benefits is very new, largely on animajs rather than humans, and obviously needs much more investigation and analysis before the these claims can stand up.

That said, I've lost a stone and, as a shallow sort if person, couldn't care less about pesky research grin

ubik Mon 28-Jan-13 12:55:01

And in the Horizon programme they did emphasise that this research is very new and not properly tested and reviewed.

This didn't stop mumsnetters grin

mistlethrush Mon 28-Jan-13 13:10:15

I'm also doing 5:2 - and unlike a 1200 cal per day, low GI diet, I'm actually losing weight, albeit gradually.

Fast days are getting easier. I agree that on 'normal' days I'm less food-orientated - but its nice to be able to have a treat if taking DS out etc.

I think I'm probably having roughly the same number of calories per week - so having the fast days is helping my body to actually get round to using up some of the reserves, and eating 'normally' the other days is making sure that it doesn't go into 'starvation' mode where it feels as though if I look at a slice of toast I gain a pound.

When I do eventually get to the weight I want to be I shall experiment and see if 6:1 will be the best option for long-term maintenance - but I anticipate that this will be something that I keep up, rather than a diet to be lapsed from.

IfNotNowThenWhen Mon 28-Jan-13 13:30:05

I don't do diets, but I know semi-fasting a couple of days a week does control your weight because pre ds I always skipped a couple of meals a week, due to being busy. I can't eat a meal if I have loads of things I need to do because I need to be relaxed to sit and eat, so I would often eat a small packet of nuts or a couple of oatcakes with hummous for lunch, and maybe a banana mid afternoon.
It's fine to skip meals, the key thing is to lay off sugar, e.g don't just eat a biscuit for lunch-you will feel homicidal later!
And drink lots of liquids, because a lot of our liquid intake does come from food normally.

TalkinPeace2 Mon 28-Jan-13 13:52:17

ubik
5:2 may be new and untested but ADF and other forms of fasting have been around for a VERY long time and there are lots and lots of research papers about fasting in its various forms

ubik Mon 28-Jan-13 14:25:51

Yes but there is scarce info on 5:2 when introduced to general population - thus you have mumsnetters recommending it to an insulin- dependent diabetic.

And there is no research- based guidance on the effect if 5:2 on diabetics. Nor breast feeding mothers or those with a multitude of chronic health conditions.

Also I thought the research into the prevention of dementia and cancer was in early stages and primarily carried out on rats.

As I said, I lost a stone, it works for me but I can see there is a lot of work up be done

TalkinPeace2 Mon 28-Jan-13 14:45:44

What is the scientific basis for WW or SW or Dukan or Atkins or any of the others - even less.
There is little or no scientific evidence for the "three meals a day plus snacks" advice that the Department of Health give out!

jan2013 Mon 28-Jan-13 14:47:23

people can go on crash diets, even they can eat nothing for awhile and still not have an eating disorder. you can look up the criteria for eating disorders very easily

aldiwhore Mon 28-Jan-13 14:52:02

Just because I fast one two days, doesn't mean I binge on the other days. I've been vaguely followin the 5:2 for 3 weeks, lost 5lb, feel better than ever and am free of counting/banning food.

It doesn't even feel like an extreme or 'crash' diet, it feels like eating. 500cals worth of veg is rather a lot.

TalkinPeace2 Mon 28-Jan-13 15:05:15

500 calories = a WHOLE pot of Covent Garden Veg soup and earlier in the day a boiled egg on toast, interspersed with lashings of black coffee.

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