5:2 Diet Thread: Part Three. Come join us!

(987 Posts)
GreenEggsAndNichts Fri 07-Sep-12 15:51:33

The continuing thread for those of us following either the 5:2 diet or the alternate-day fasting diet. Both are two versions of Intermittent Fasting, which you can read more about here.

The 5:2 diet was featured on Horizon recently, and essentially requires you to fast for 2 non-consecutive days per week. The other 5 days, you can eat what you like. Alternate-day fasting is just how it sounds; you fast every other day. By "fasting", we mean that we keep our calorie consumption very low, around 500 calories on average, on those days.

Here is a list of the links we've gathered so far about this diet. I hope I haven't left many out, but it was a 40 page thread! This is a good start for anyone, though:

First things first, here is a link to our previous thread, which we've outgrown. Lots of good support and ideas still to be found there.

Here is the link to the BBC article regarding Michael Mosley's findings, which was featured on Horizon.

Here is a link to the first part of the aforementioned Horizon, subsequent parts of that episode are linked on that page.

There is a Wiki article here which explains intermittent fasting and gives a short summary of some studies which have been done on it.

A blog post here gives some of the scientific explanation for why this way of eating helps you to not only lose weight, but improve your all-around health.

A Telegraph article which comments on the diet and gives a brief overview.

A study discussed here gives commentary specifically addressing the effect of this diet on obese people (both men and women), with regard to both health and weight loss. ("After 8 weeks of treatment, participants had an average 12.5 lbs reduction in body weight and a 4 cm decrease in waist circumference. Total fat mass declined by about 12 lbs while lean body mass remained relatively constant.) it also mentions "Plasma adiponectin, a protein hormone that is elevated in obesity and associated with heart disease, dropped by 30%. As did LDL cholesterol (25%) and triglycerides (32%).")

Important link if you are currently your ideal BMI: this appears to suggest the benefits for women at a lower BMI might not be seeing the same health benefits that are found on men at their ideal BMI.

And for those already fasting, here is a link to 100 snacks under 100 calories. smile

Another food link, here is a link to the BBC Goof Food site, with a list of low-calorie soups.

I will start a different thread just for recipe links, though, as there seems to be some demand for that.

A BIG THANK YOU to all who have been contributing, btw. Most of us are new to this diet. All of the links above have been posted by others in our previous thread, and they've been very helpful. Sorry if I haven't given credit where it's due, but it was just enough of a job getting them all in one post this afternoon. wink

Come join us, and tell us about your experiences with this diet!

BuntCadger Fri 07-Sep-12 15:52:21

Pulls up a comfy beanbag smile

BuntCadger Fri 07-Sep-12 15:52:55

thanks greeneggs

BuntCadger Fri 07-Sep-12 15:54:21

Re health benefits. Dh has IBS and on his fat days he's not needed his medication

GreenEggsAndNichts Fri 07-Sep-12 15:55:25

<waves> grin

and brew all around for the fasters today.

TalkinPeace2 Fri 07-Sep-12 15:55:28

Bunt THAT is reason enough to go with it. Wow.

frenchfancy Fri 07-Sep-12 16:04:01

wine for those that aren't fasting today smile

HorryWinwood Fri 07-Sep-12 16:04:23

I am on 3rd day fast in my first week - aiming to do 4:3. So far, and I am aware its just week 1, I am finding this much easier than I had expected. Primarily I am doing this for weight loss as i have a lot of weight to lose but the health benefits seem so good I see this as a lifestyle change rather than the latest diet.
Thanks greenEggs for the OP its very handy to have all that info in one place

Aftereightsaremine Fri 07-Sep-12 16:07:23

Thanks greeneggs! As I said on previous thread it's improved my RA quite considerably so I'm definitely going to carry on!

ILoveLemonCurd Fri 07-Sep-12 16:12:58

Popping my head up to mark my place <hope I won't need a tin hat> wink

Thanks green eggs. Off to cook a nice healthy tea smile.

ChazsGoldAttitude Fri 07-Sep-12 16:24:43

Hello all!
<<Sits down - realises that following gym session today she can't get up again wink>>

LulaTheOneAndOnlyMrsPistorius Fri 07-Sep-12 16:26:40

thanks GreenEggs

TalkinPeace2 Fri 07-Sep-12 16:27:18

wine tonight here too - no booze all week even on food days.

Chaz Agreed - still ache from BodyPump on Wednesday but got through my swim and classes today and then scrambled egg on toast for lunch. PIZZA for supper though ...

Sputnik Fri 07-Sep-12 16:28:14

Thanks for gathering up all the links Greeneggs.

As it's a new thread I thought I'd quickly sum up my experience so far, also to help newbies coming to the thread.

I'm doing 5:2, I usually skip breakfast then divide my 500 cals between lunch and dinner. Usually it'll be a big salad with a bit of fish or cheese, cooked veg, omlettes, soup. With this kind of stuff I can usually get a good platefull and don't feel deprived. I've found it relatively easy so far, some days more than others, keeping busy and drinking lots of water and tea helps.

Been doing this for 3.5 weeks now, I've definitely noticed I have less tendency to snack and reduced appetite generally, especially the day after a fast day.

I am also very much enjoying being able to forget about monitoring my food on other days, I've always eaten healthily, just too much! So for me a treat is homemade cake, a pizza out, Greek yogurt, I can enjoy all these guilt free!

I am planning to do this long term, for the health benefits and as a way of controlling my weight (leading to further health benefits), in the time I've been doing this I have lost weight quite quickly, something I thought had become impossible for me at my age (45).

I've also been combining this with strength training, I find the 2 combine very well.

saladfingers Fri 07-Sep-12 16:28:49

Wow greenEggs you have been busy.
Thank you.
I'm on 5th fast day of my 5:2 new lifestyle.I'm also not going to call this a diet as I always fail at those.This is increasingly feeling like something that is sustainable.
I want to live longer than my parents (DM 54 DF 62).I'm 45 with 4 children, whom I don't want to leave anytime soon.My BMI is 30.I have lost inches and approx 9lbs in last 3 weeks.
I had 2 eggs scrambled on 2 slices of wholemeal toast for a late lunch today followed by a nectarine.Not particularly inspiring I know but very easy and tasty.
I have no idea if this is really a suitable meal however it was just under 500 calories.
Would love some new ideas.I'm trying to leave 16 hours before and after the 500 calorie meal with just water/peppermint/green tea in between times.
I'm interested in reading everyone's stories.

OHforDUCKScake Fri 07-Sep-12 16:30:37

Thanks, loads and loads of links!

Im coming to the end of my first day fasting. Not too bad as it goes.

Im planning on giving it a month and seeing if its 'for me'. But so far so good.

I just keep thinking I'll have a ham roll tomorrow and being [shocked] about it.

Bread?! [shocked] White bread?! [shocked]

I still dont quite believe it which is why Im giving it a month so see if I put ON weight. wink

Sputnik Fri 07-Sep-12 16:32:05

Aftereights that's great!
Talking, muscle ache is excellent, means you've done something grin

OHforDUCKScake Fri 07-Sep-12 16:33:41

I need to work on my emoticons!

BIWI Fri 07-Sep-12 16:37:46

Great OP, GreenEggs.

Mintyy Fri 07-Sep-12 16:50:10

Thanks v much for the new thread greeneggs.

I am going to be very lazy (apols) and ask if someone can explain the 16 hours thing to me. I have seen it mentioned a couple of times, but no further detail. I know the info I am looking for is buried here in the threads somewhere but I wondered if it could be summed up in an easy sentence?

wine cheers to all non-fasting wine drinkers this fine evening.

GreenEggsAndNichts Fri 07-Sep-12 17:00:10

Thanks everyone!

Here is my own experience so far: I started this diet just over three weeks ago. I've lost over 8 pounds. I'm doing 4:3, so am fasting 3 days a week. I'd be doing ADF but 4:3 fits better, so I can plan to be eating every Sunday as that fits in best with my home and social life.

On fast days I plan it so that I don't eat anything until early evening. I drink a couple of cups of coffee or tea over the course of the day, with semi-skimmed milk in. My evening meal is usually just veg, or vegetable soup. I do also take vitamin supplements on these days as well as eating days; I'd started this before doing this diet but I try to keep up with it now.

I'm not doing cardio at the moment (have spent most of the summer on medication to get rid of a blood clot in my leg! And no, I was not sedentary before that- I'd been Shredding regularly, in addition to my daily walking everywhere). I'm gradually walking more, though, and still do about an hour of brisk walking on fast days.

Fasting itself is much easier now than it was the first day or two. I don't feel light-headed or desperate, though by about 9pm I might be planning the next day's dinner. smile

I'm finding these threads very helpful, and really appreciate all of your posts.

(I will start a recipe thread soon but am busy just this minute, will try to get some links together and post it tonight if that's alright!)

GreenEggsAndNichts Fri 07-Sep-12 17:02:59

oh and I should have added: on my eating days, I am not counting calories. I allow myself to eat whatever I might be craving.

TalkinPeace2 Fri 07-Sep-12 17:06:44

Mintyy
16 hours : have a medium sized healthy supper around 7pm. No snacks in the evening, sleep, no breakfast, lunch around noon : bingo 16 hour fast without even realising it!

Mintyy Fri 07-Sep-12 17:19:20

Yes, but why 16 hours ... is there something special about 16 hours in particular? And is desirable that on fast days or every day? (thanks btw).

I am not a breakfast person either and the constantly being told I must eat breakfast has really pissed me off in the past. I tend to eat my main meal much too late at night though.

Herrena Fri 07-Sep-12 17:31:16

Hello all

I think someone asked a question on the previous thread about IGF1... by a curious coincidence I used to work on the receptor for that hormone!

The receptor for IGF1 is massively overproduced in many cancers, with the result that the cancer cells are very responsive to the hormone, thus growing faster than normal cells. This links in with the IGF1-deficient people featured in the Horizon documentary; they don't produce the hormone and so don't grow large, but they also don't develop full-blown cancer. I think that's because even if they did develop cancerous cells, they wouldn't get the chance to grow fast because there's no hormone about.

In the documentary there was some mention of the fact that decreased protein intake led to decreased production of IGF1, thereby driving the body into 'fix-it' mode rather than 'growth' mode (these aren't official terms, I'm paraphrasing). So logically those people who are doing this for health benefits such as increased production of neural cells probably ought to reduce protein intake, or at least not have too much of it for the last meal of the day.

Confusingly, there are also studies showing that low-carbing long-term will also extend your life-span significantly (worms lived twice as long). Maybe it activates the same sort of 'fix-it' mode as ADF, who knows.

Anyway. Thought someone out there might be interested!

On a personal note: I am doing this primarily to lose the weight gained in two pregnancies and am not too fussed as to what ratio my calories arrive in smile

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