5:2 Diet Thread: Part Five! Top of the Mornin' to you!

(978 Posts)
GreenEggsAndNichts Sun 07-Oct-12 17:53:33

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 a month or two ago, 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 we've filled several threads by now. Please share if you find something particularly useful, and we'll add it for the next thread.

First things first, here are links to some of our previous threads: most recent one before that another one.

Another thread which breadandwine has just started can be found here. We'll be trying to condense some of our top tips for fasting there. Keep in mind, we all do this differently, so these are just tips, not rules.

frenchfancy has a recipe thread over here, please post any low-calorie recipes there so they don't get lost in these bigger threads!

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. We tend to favour lots of hot drinks during the day (count your milk if you use it!)

Another food link, here is a link to the BBC Good 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 learning this way of eating as we go along. All of the links above have been posted by others in our previous threads, 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!

Alaska77 Mon 08-Oct-12 09:27:34

Thanks for the new thread GreenEggs. Just marking my place here as I love to read everyone's progress.

Still going well for me on week 5. Doing 5:2 some weeks and 4:3 others depending on what I've got on. Clothes continuing to feel looser but I made the foray into the 'slim' part of my wardrobe over the weekend and was disappointed to find everything's still more than a tad tight. I must have started off heavier than I realised! Oh well, this WOE isn't just about the weight loss and it's early days. I can feel the benefits in my skin, energy levels and also I sleep much better too. Weirdly, in the first week my hair fell out so much! Don't know if that's got anything to do with diet but it was a bit alarming. Never suffered before! It stopped after about a week so maybe it was my body adjusting.

Feed day for me today but holding out to decide what I really want to eat. Just a banana so far.

Good luck today feasters and losers x

Reading through for some inspiration - feeling really disheartened as I'm starting week 4 and have managed to PUT ON weight... I know it's not about the weight loss, I do know, but hearing everyone else's stories I would have expected at least a lb or two! Come tell me I'm being silly and make me stick to it...

Thanks Greeneggs smile

Now to work out what to have for my meal later.

Supervixen80 Mon 08-Oct-12 09:43:23

Thanks ThinkICan and congrats on your loss! 10lb is amazing in a month, I would be very chuffed if I can achieve that. It's good to hear that you lost even on thyroid meds as everything I read about losing weight when you have an under active thyroid is so disheartening.
After a busy night with my dd thinking it was all-you-can-eat night, I am pretty tired today. But so far so good, only water has passed my lips! And we are just off to playgroup so will be strong and resist the biscuits and settle for my black coffee. Oh, and weight today is 11st6lbs. Boo.
Good luck to all the newbies today! X

Sputnik Mon 08-Oct-12 09:54:17

Littlemiss, sorry to hear you've not lost weight. Some people here with low BMIs have not lost weight either, might that be why? Or if you are exercising more perhaps you have added muscle? Otherwise try logging what you eat on non fast days on fitday or myfitnesspal just to check you're not eating more than you thought, remember to drink plenty of water.

MikeOxard Mon 08-Oct-12 09:56:11

End of week 8 weigh in. No weight loss this week. No surprise there, I did 3 fast days this week, but the other 4 days were big pig outs with over 2000 calories (I maintain my weight at about 1300 cals!). Going to stop being such a knob about food this week as I want to lose the rest of this weight quite quickly so I don't feel 'on a diet' anymore. I want to get to the stage where I'm happy just to maintain, which I think will be in about 1stone.

Stick with it littlemisstan. You wont lose by giving up that's for sure! Xx

Mintyy Mon 08-Oct-12 09:58:43

Also, littlemissstan, its very important to remember that you could be eating too little overall and your body might have gone into starvation mode. What are your stats?

awaywego1 Mon 08-Oct-12 10:04:04

Weigh in today-have lost 3 pounds in 2 weeks. I'm now 9.7 and top end of healthy bmi. Would be really happy if I continued to lose a pound a week but weight loss always seems exceptionally slow for me.

Fast day am on coffee %232 like greeneggs I allocate a 100cals a day to tea and coffee-which is about right as I drink a lot of it-but with skimmed milk.

Ham salad for lunch, Hm soup for tea and a bit of fruit salad.
Happy fasting everyone!

CrackerJackShack Mon 08-Oct-12 10:39:11

Greeneggs I'm in the UAE. The fattest country on the planet! Which isn't hard to believe given the complete lack of healthy food options. Just went to the grocery store and was shocked to find fat free yogurts. Bought a bunch of them! LOL

Sputnik I am far from having a low BMI, but your suggestion did at least put a smile on my face smile I am 5'6", started out at about 12 st 6 and this morning was 12 st 8...
Drinking lots of water so I don't think it's that... I am tending to have nothing in the morning on a fast day, then soup and a couple of crackerbread at work in the afternoon, and small portion of pasta or WW ready meal when I get home, with an apple or carrot in between if I'm desperate.
Mintyy I have been trying to stay below 2,000 cals on an eating day, as I found that if I don;t I do go mental and eat all the food possible...
Thanks all for your help!

HelgatheHairy Mon 08-Oct-12 10:45:24

I'm in. I've had my first fast week but the other thread was a bit big and scary, at least I'm in early on this one!

I lost 2.4 pounds my first week and that was 2 fasts and not counting calories the other days. I plan on being a bit more organised this week.

I was surprised how easy it actually was. I thought I'd be ravenous but I wasn't. I also thought I'd eat loads more on my eating days but my appetite seems to have shrunk. I did have a pig out Saturday (pot olives, 1/2 bag kettle crisps, pizza and nachos) but I've decided to give up alcohol for the month so at least no wine.

My only exercise at the moment is walking the puppy (bout 45 mins a day) but I might add shred soon/next month.

GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 08-Oct-12 11:08:12

Welcome to the thread, Helga! We're not scary, but I know trying to come in on a long thread on MN can feel daunting. smile

I tend to just push myself to keep up with my fast days, regardless of what I might have eaten (or over-eaten) on eating days. I do still lose weight, just some weeks I lose more than others, obviously! It's why we keep trying to stress that it's a way of eating, rather than a temporary diet; it can fit around anything. I love it.

Laska42 Mon 08-Oct-12 11:12:30

eating today smile Well, yesterdays fast was about the easiest yet.. I do usually have breakfast and dinner but that's how it works for me especially as I feel nausea after drinking a couple of cups of tea on an empty stomach - Also, I'm definitely a 'morning' person so I think trills that you need to try it out and see what works best for you.

As for BMR its really just a guide .. we've had several new people here asking about what you should eat on eating days , and we now seem to be in agreement that the idea is not to go mad and eat tons , because you are aiming for an overall deficit over the week. .

Greeneggs .. I think this eating day issue is still worrying new comers ..and quite understandably given what we've all been told about the 'correct' way to diet in the past ..Just a suggestion, but on the next thread how about adding a sentence to the BMR section above that says something like this?

..'and after working your BMR out there is a calculator on the next (link?) page to work out your approximate base daily needs based on your activity levels... This way of eating is largely untested, but the consensus of those who have been doing this and seeing good results, suggests that this second daily needs figure is a good approximate guideline of the amount not to fall below on an eating day.

Most of us however,would recommend eating more than the base daily needs amount and do not count calories at all on an eating day, but we also feel that it is sensible not to overeat to replace the calories 'lost' on a fast day, as we are aiming for a total calorie reduction over the week . People are still reporting good losses (and good potential health benefits) here by not calorie counting at all on eating days.

Mintyy Mon 08-Oct-12 11:13:08

Oh dear, littlemissstan, I don't know what to suggest. Are you premenstrual? That can easily put 4 or 5lb on me. I'd suggest carrying on for another week or two t least, the scales might suddenly shift or something.

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Mon 08-Oct-12 11:18:14

I think I need to cut back on my drinking. Definitely undoing any good work sad

trills there is no wrong, we're all different, michael moseley did breakfast and dinner, I started doing brunch and dinner, sometimes even 3 small snacks throughout, but as time goes on, this is the start of week 10 for me, I tend to skip breakfast and go for lunch and dinner, i haven't yet only had one large meal, i think my stomach shrunk tooo much for that.

yesterday I was seriously hungover, a very late friends b'day til 5am, slept in til 11, then the day spent on the sofa, felt hugely guilty for such a waste of my child free day, but I guess it was my birthday week and it's ok to have a blowout every now and then.

eating today, but so far just a chocolate covered macadamia nut that a colleague brought back from california and a satsuma, brought a yugurt, apple and banana for breakfast, but still not feeling hungry, so just going with it. fasting tomorow and hoping to see some weight loss by Friday.

littlemissstan your stats are very similar to mine, I'm also 5'6" and starting weight was 12 8, I lost 4 pounds in first 2 weeks but then gained 3 back over next 2 weeks, I stopped stressing about it and stopped weighing myself and weighed again after 8 weeks and then I had lost 8 pounds, (gained back after b'day week last week....but only 2 pounds) hoping to get back to teh 8 pounds loss by teh end of this week and then finally get under teh 12 stone mark next week. I just think it's a long term plan, that many of us find easier as a WOE than daily worrying about eating, or not worrrying ever and it just permanently creeping up! keep at it, ignore the scales for a couple of weeks if you can, enjoy that you are improving your health indicators and I promise it will start to work!

thanks greeneggs for continuing the thread, it's really appreciated.

insprognito Mon 08-Oct-12 11:38:03

Hi am thinking of joining you ladies as I have managed to gain a stone and a half since January. I had a contraceptive implant put in after havng dd4 and I honestly believe this is the cause. My BMI is still normal but I don't feel comfortable at this weight and would like to drop a stone. I tried WW earlier this year but it was slow progress I lost about a lb a week then nothing for 3weeks and gave up. I work out every other day for an hour but tore my achilees tendon 3 weeks ago and have gained 2lb again already! My question is can this work for me even if I have a healthy BMI?

alaska77 i actually noticed lots of my hair coming out too....do hope that's just coincidence and not the diet, really don't have enough to lose lots!

GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 08-Oct-12 11:51:04

Sounds good Laska.

I don't want to dwell too much on BMR, though what you've said is reasonable and I'm happy to include it. (er, not to make it sound like I'd need to be the one starting the next thread, btw, if someone else wants to they're totally welcome to! I only do them because I happen to be around and I think it's nice to have the OP feature the informative links, rather than "hey here's the new thread" grin) I know it worries some people, as you say, so it's good to have it said in the OP.

GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 08-Oct-12 11:53:38

insprognito there are several people here in healthy BMI range, and it does work for them, albeit slowly. You've no doubt noticed in WW, but bigger people lose more weight because our bodies are working harder to carry around all the weight. I suspect that if we looked at weight loss by percentages, we might all be losing at around the same rate.

It's definitely worth trying. At least it's not costing you money, unlike WW. smile And you'll get loads of support here.

Laska42 Mon 08-Oct-12 11:54:22

insprognito I hate to say this and worry you but It was after I had the implants that I first put on 2.5 stone after being a normal weight for years (I was just 40 then now 54) . I stopped using this method after a year and went for sterilisation, but its taken me years to lose it all. (not helped by my lifestyle of course..)
There's loads of stuff on the net about contraceptive implants and weight gain.. If you've finished with having kids perhaps you should think again about your method

Laska42 Mon 08-Oct-12 11:59:10

I think you are right greeneggs I don't think we should dwell on BMR too much either..
Personally, I just don't bother any more with calories -even too much on a fast day - because i eat the same things - eggs and veg or soup..

Breadandwine Mon 08-Oct-12 12:09:02

Had a long day in the car, yesterday, and, since my wife prefers her driving to mine, hmm I thought I'd use the time to trawl through the first thread for anything I could move over to the Tips thread.

I made a rod for my own back, in the end, since, having no internet connection which would enable me to transfer the info direct, I cut and pasted into Word. When I went to put it back in the tips thread, loads of random characters appeared - which only showed when I previewed! angry

Anyway, I got past that hurdle - only to find that, when I posted what was a fairly long message, the address line hung up for ages. So I tried again, same result. At one stage I thought I'd crashed Mumsnet, because I couldn't access the main site! blush

Then I thought I'd divide the message in two and posted those.

In the end, the result is there for all to see - multiple posts! sad

Ah, well! On the plus side I learned a hell of a lot!

Mike Mosley now on 6:1 because he doesn't want to lose any more weight - who knew? Since I'm in the same position, that's what I think I'll do.

There's such a lot of info on that first thread - and I only got about three quarters of the way down!

hoops997 Mon 08-Oct-12 12:09:33

I'm glad a couple of you have said about hair coming out, I've been losing brushfuls a day, thank god it's not just me

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