5:2 Diet Thread: Part Four! Sit down, have a cuppa..

(984 Posts)
GreenEggsAndNichts Thu 20-Sep-12 22:36:04

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 thread before that..

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.

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.

We often mention basal metabolic rate (BMR) here. This refers to the amount of energy (calories) a person uses when at rest; so, the basic number of calories a person needs to stay the same weight. This number is often quoted as being 2000 calories for the "average" woman, but of course is different depending on how tall you are, how much you weigh, etc. Here is a calculator which will easily help you to find out what your BMR is.

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!

GreenEggsAndNichts Sat 22-Sep-12 12:27:08

I don't know. Might have been the sheer amount of oil. To be fair, even before this WOE, I wasn't keen on having much fried food outside of the odd side of chips. However, I'd never had that reaction before. I felt as if I'd swallowed something large and I felt unwell until the next day.

I'm not going to claim I've been a saint on my eating days grin but I think I'll be avoiding fried foods except in small quantities.

ShortLass Sat 22-Sep-12 12:50:31

Just want to thank people who have posted on these threads with their experiences. I've found that skipping breakfast is the best thing for me. I then have my "breakfast" close to lunctime and have a dinner at dinner time. I try not to eat too early otherwise I go to bed hungry and can't sleep.

Also found that saving some milk calories to have a proper cup of tea or two during the day helps me.

I've been doing it on and off, with a few weeks of only one fast day. Had a holiday (ate loads!) and been to see friends, so results are kind of hidden at the moment, but I'm optimistic.

worldcitizen Sat 22-Sep-12 12:59:52

Hello everyone,
this thread has been pointed out to me yesterday and I will spend this weekend reading through all 4 parts and the recipe fast day thread and have a look at the links etc.
BUT I do have one quick question for now, do I need to decide which days will be the fasting days before, or could this change from week to week? or do I even go with what feels good, so if I said to myself Thursday and Saturday will be my fasting days, but then after having eaten well on Monday and Tuesday i for some reason feel quite good on Wednesday and not so hungry and think oh well today I won't need to eat much and make this my fasting day instead, is this how it works?

Thanks for your answers in advance as my boring question might have been discussed to death already?!

rosemarysage Sat 22-Sep-12 13:26:59

I move mine around Worldcitizen, partly depending on what else is going on in my week, and also partly if I wake up after a few relatively large eating days I might feel like a fast so do one.

catsrus Sat 22-Sep-12 13:27:06

welcome worldcitizen smile

do the days that suit you and be prepared to be flexible - if you plan a non fast day but realise that you are "in the zone" go for it (happened to me last week) if you plan a fast day but can't face it then make it a non-fast day (and yet again, it happened to me last week - had a few glasses of wine on a non fast evening and needed to eat the next day blush).

You'll soon work out what is right for you - just have the confidence to allow yourself normal eating on non-fast days, not over eating, just "not worrying about it" eating!

HappyOrchid Sat 22-Sep-12 13:39:22

Second what others put here. I try to plan, but sometimes RL gets in the way. So this week knowing I was working away and would have to eat in restaurants I fasted aroundthat.

usually I try to do Mon / Wed / Fri, but the whole point is this is a flexible WOE that adapts to you.

Goos luck

worldcitizen Sat 22-Sep-12 13:51:33

Thanks to you all, now I know much more. I have to say, this makes totally sense, as it becomes something where you listen to your body and go with the flow.
makes me think of how breastfeeding by demand kinda works as well, for the baby anyhow.
Also makes me think how different I feel depending on on which day of my monthly cycle I am etc.

Also this sounds to make sense as when I was younger we definitely ate on Saturdays and Mondays less, as Sunday was such a day of over-indulgence. We also had meat-free days etc.
It's only since I am an adult and so much food, sweets, and all the other in-between-stuff available all this gaining weight started, also the kinds of Starbucks with whip cream and syrup and those kinds of things.
And also that a tube of ice-cream used to be in our household for an entire family and not just for one person me

loulou969 Sat 22-Sep-12 14:14:57

Just found these threads which I think answers the milk in tea/coffee question smile
http://www.leangains.com/2010/04/leangains-guide.html
http://www.marksdailyapple.com/fasting-questions-answers/#axzz27ITEhfnj

Thelittlestranger Sat 22-Sep-12 14:17:20

Joining this thread finally after reading it for the past few weeks. I've completed 3 weeks of 5:2 and lost 7lbs, although I stalled last week. I put this down to having an 'extra' night out where I overindulged in wine...

I agree with many other posters...I've lost my addiction to chocolate, and having never counted calories (carbs, fat, WW points etc) it's an eye opener to learn what is in stuff.

I'd like to lose another 9lbs to get to pre-pregnancy weight (i have a 14 week old) and then another 10lbs which will take me to 10.5 stone. As I'm also a shortie at 5,2 this is still considered overweight - but I feel positively thin at that weight grin

I usually do Mondays and Thursdays as my fast days, but may change to Tuesday and Thursday this week as I'm busy on these days. Will see he I feel. Usually by Monday I'm ready to fast after the weekend.

Fast days I usually just have tea and coffee until dinner at 530ish. This week's fast dinners are chicken Caesar salad, and salmon with roasted vegetables.

Looking forward to sharing with you all...

Thelittlestranger Sat 22-Sep-12 14:18:23

That was supposed to say I've counted everything apart from calories to lose weight in the past.

worldcitizen Sat 22-Sep-12 14:20:45

Littlestranger are you saying you did NOT count calories, right?! Oh and congrats on losing that much!!!!

coribells Sat 22-Sep-12 14:47:24

Fast day for me,and I am finding it quite difficult this time. i also have a headache so not helping. Ive eaten one piece of toast today and some porridge. I will have some home made veg and chicken soup later, which will probably mean ill go a bit over a bit.

Havent weighed myself in a few days, am not expecting as good a weight loss as last week , as i am just post period. However my size 16 trousers are starting to feel comfortable again as opposed to bursting out at the seams. wink so thats a good sign.

tumbletumble Sat 22-Sep-12 14:50:35

coribells, I'm also fasting and finding it harder than usual - probably because I don't usually fast at the weekend.

I've been doing this for 3 weeks and have lost 5lb so that is keeping me going!

claretandamberforever Sat 22-Sep-12 15:37:10

Hi guys, new to mumsnet especially so I could join this thread smile

Yesterday was my first fast day, so I'm on an up day today but frightened to death that my arse will expand and I'll gain the entire 23lbs I just lost on a VLCD. I don't suppose there is anyone here who went straight from a VLCD to 5:2 is there?

Aftereightsaremine Sat 22-Sep-12 15:52:28

I fasted Monday & Friday this week & had abt 600 calories on Wednesday. I woke up today with a horrendous migraine & nausea as I have for last few weeks after 3rd day of fasting. I then have horrendous runs & migraine goes,(though nausea remains) this is only happening after 3 fast days though. Has anyone else had this? & to cap it all no weight loss this week!

I'm sort of doing this, only I'm doing Eat Stop Eat which is 2 x 24 hours fasting on non consecutive days each week. Actually I have only done 1 fast a week so far because I'm wary of fasting all day when I have to do the school run, but I reckon I'll get there. Oh, school run is 800 cals of cycling with a child seat btw.

I find this easier than what most of you seem to be doing because there is no calorie counting. I eat dinner and then I don't eat anything until dinner the next night. I then break my fast with a normal meal (ie chicken/rice/veg or pasta/meat/veg type thing and a piece of fruit if I feel I need it).

I am losing about 2lb a week doing this. I do a lot of exercise since I do the school run by bike, but I am not particularly "dieting" on the non fast days, just eating three meals a day with no snacks with a general "no total gluttony" rule.

GreenEggsAndNichts Sat 22-Sep-12 16:20:54

littlestranger ooh sounds similar- I never counted calories before, either. I was always obsessed with fat. If I'm honest, that method worked just fine when I was younger, but lost its effectiveness once I reached my 30s.

The big eye-opener for me with this diet has been the fact that indeed, we do not need to eat all the time in order to lose weight. It feels very natural to eat a decent amount of food one day, then have a day with lower calories.

GreenEggsAndNichts Sat 22-Sep-12 16:22:52

claret ooh welcome to MN! Have you previously just been a MN lurker, or did you find us by googling the diet? We've picked up several new MNers on this thread. grin

Hopefully someone can answer your question. I'm fairly certain a few people switched to this from other diets (brain is fuzzy and we've gone through a few threads now!) so someone must have some experience with it.

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Sat 22-Sep-12 16:32:37

Helloooooo!! About to head out on a 35mile ride, good fast day yesterday, was high all day and not snappy at all. And used 400kcal, no alcohol!

Starving when I woke for first time after a fast day but that was good cos of doing this ride I needed a decent breakfast, 2egg and spinach omelette, feel full of energy!

dexterblu Sat 22-Sep-12 16:34:45

Hi I too have started because of this thread never commented on anything before!
I started doing 4:3 for 2 weeks and lost 5 lbs then I switched to fast5 where you fast for 19 hours and eat for 5 every day this has been the easiest for me. There's a free book to download on the fast 5 website too

GreenEggsAndNichts Sat 22-Sep-12 16:37:28

oh, and it's a fast day for me today. I'm baking a courgette cake (probably doesn't sound nice if you haven't had one, but trust me it is- it's about as courgettey as carrot cake is carroty, if that makes sense) for a BBQ I'm about to go to. I don't anticipate being tempted by much. It'd be nice if they had some wine there (I've not eaten yet so I think a glass would do me grin) but it's at a church so perhaps not.

Tomorrow is a food festival at a nearby village, or I'd chuck it in and make today my eating day. I think the food will be higher quality tomorrow, though, and I appreciate that sort of thing. smile

ThatBintAgain Sat 22-Sep-12 16:49:48

Aha, new thread, hello! I just posted on the end of the last one to say that I fasted on Thursday, but yesterday and today have had a horrid taste in my mouth, a bit like pine mouth if you've ever had that? Anyone know why this happens and if it can be avoided?

I've managed 3 fast days this week and am debating another tomorrow, although its quite tricky at the weekend! I don't think I've really lost much if anything though. I suppose should take comfort from the fact that I might now lose my marbles quite as early as I would have otherwise? grin

ThinkICan Sat 22-Sep-12 16:56:41

A question for you all: Do you think feeling hungry is good on a fast day, and shows you are losing weight? And conversely, that when you don't feel hungry, you are either eating too much or your body is digging its heels in and holding on to the pounds? smile

worldcitizen Sat 22-Sep-12 16:58:21

Is this diet good for not losing lean mass? I find that a huge issue when dieting, cause my main aim is to keep lean mass and lose only the fat. I know exercise obviously plays a huge role to succeed that way, but how come some of you fast three or even four days?
Would that not make the body feel more in a starving mode and then sort of slows down metabolism?

claretandamberforever Sat 22-Sep-12 17:07:39

Hi GreenEggs, Yes I have been a lurker for a long time. Reading threads has keep me with something to do on many a day at work when I have had nothing to do.

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