5:2 Diet Thread Part Six! Now's the time to de-lurk and chat with us..

(985 Posts)
GreenEggsAndNichts Thu 25-Oct-12 12:49:03

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 in August, 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 started is a good resource for some of the links and tips that get lost in these big threads. In addition to sharing links, we try 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 mentioned BMR and TDEE often. Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) quantifies the number of calories you burn in a day. This measure is best estimated by scaling your Basal Metabolic Rate to your level of activity. TDEE is critical in tailoring your nutrition plan to desired fitness goals. Here is a link to a calculator to help you figure out how many calories you should be eating in a day.

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!

pookey Sat 17-Nov-12 17:06:58

Welcome Helena! I have just done a sort of 48 hour fast which Talkinpeace outlined to me a few posts up and I feel itis something I will now include once or twice a fortnight. I think mixing things up is mentioned on here so some weeks trying 4:3 another time have a week off vary length of times going without food etc. There is an explanation in the Times article that is linked a few pages back that a certain period of time without eating can kick start weightloss and they reccommend having a meal at say 2pm then not eating until 2pm the following day. My weightloss hasn't been that impressive but there are some really inspiring posters on here!

Madhouse2012 Sat 17-Nov-12 17:51:08

Hello everyone, I found this forum after googling the 5:2 diet as it was recommended on another forum I use. I started with my first fast day Thursday which surprisingly went well, I had black tea and water until 12pm had egg on toast 200cals, a banana then dinner had homemade soup 100 calls and a slice of bread 100 calls, I drank lots of herbal tea and water and felt fine, fell asleep in an instant and didn't wake up hungry, I am trying to eat sensibly on the 5 feast days but won't feel guilty if I have a naughty! I'd like to lose half a stone, but I'm more interested in the health benefits, I am the wrong side of 40 and ageing and illness makes some serious thinking about, this diet is doable for me so I'm giving my best shot, sounds like lots of you have done fantastically well, Well Done all of you it's very encouraging.

Liberty132 Sat 17-Nov-12 18:35:13

As I feared I lost nothing - but not gained either. I am not sure whether I want to start weighing myself daily but I guess if it works to help me better understand my body then maybe I should give it a go. Will have another week at weighing once a week first though.

It is an eating day today and in an attempt to cheer myself up I have eaten an entire tiger bread from Asda. Feel totally sick now and wished I hadnt but I gave in to my bad mood. Still have a cold, still suffering with constant headaches and had the worst two weeks at work in a long time.

Hey ho - tomorrow is another day - an eating day. Will try and eat a bit more sensibly. Having to change my fast days for next week to fit in with a couple of social arrangements so fasting Tues and Thurs rather than Mon and Wed. Curious to see if that makes a difference to my Saturday morning weigh in. IE having only had one eating day before scales rather than two.

Right - off to make dinner.

LatersX

catsrus Sat 17-Nov-12 20:03:09

was going to have a fast day - but was hungry this morning so have some scrambled egg on a slice of toast (fab new non stick pan so no oil grin) - and have put 2+2 together and realised that I had glass of wine last night and it does seem that the morning after any alcohol I feel hungry - interesting!

That kept me going till I had a small skinny Chai latte while window shopping - came home and ate the rest of a lentil curry with some yoghurt then banana and yoghurt for pud. Just now catching up with some TV and a glass of gin and slimline. With drinks during the day I reckon that's about 100 (milk in tea etc) 176 (latte) 300 ish for the egg on toast (thick bit of bread blush) maybe 300 for the curry, 120 for the large banana, 300 for the yoghurt (full fat Greek) and 200 for the gin (being totally honest about my portion size!). So that's around 1500 which is my maintenance level. If I hadn't counted all that I think i would have thought I'd had quite a 'light' day blush

literarygeek Sat 17-Nov-12 22:35:47

catsrus I had a day like that yesterday: just spot on my tdee despite feeling like I hadn't eaten very much. it just shows how easy it is to get into the habit of eating more than we need just because we're not aware.

TellMeLater Sun 18-Nov-12 08:46:57

Amazing how easily the numbers add up - we had Peking duck for dinner last night - I munched my way through 5 small pancakes - 900kcal, was horrified. Off for a long run this morning to burn some off the damage.

Madhouse2012 Sun 18-Nov-12 11:50:55

Was planning a fast day tomorrow but after last nights over indulgence of food and drink at a friends house I am not hungry today, so am fasting today, can anyone tell me is it possible to have roast chicken dinner 300-400 cals? Has anyone worked out portion of chicken, veg, possibly a roast potatoe, little bit of stuffing? Or is it out of the question?

Breadandwine Sun 18-Nov-12 13:08:48

When I've over-indulged, I just do without breakfast and lunch on one or two extra days - thereby fasting for up to 22 hours or so,

Why not just eat a normal roast dinner today, then have your planned fasting day tomorrow? smile

Fab41 Sun 18-Nov-12 15:08:54

Starting the 5:2 tomorrow with my first fast day, fed up being over 11 6, when 10 3 would be healthier

Bordercollielover Sun 18-Nov-12 15:57:32

Liberty. I think that you might be best off to choose one of the 2 extremes of weighing: either daily so you see all the ups and downs OR monthly so that you have a longer term overview. It's the traditional weekly weigh-in which can be so inaccurate and therefore so discouraging for some people. I can see it might have made sense on a traditional slimming diet which aimed for the same calorie intake and output everyday, but that is exactly what we are NOT doing so it does not seem to me to make sense to expect a linear weightloss.

Iwearblack Sun 18-Nov-12 16:44:58

bcl I think that is very good advice!

Laska42 Sun 18-Nov-12 16:47:56

SexbombBC I hope you are ok (ish) as much as you can be today . I do feel for you.. I felt dreadful when we had to do the same with our Mabs (though she was only 13) and we both cried after.. Our house had a huge cat-shaped hole in it .. but only 3 months later I was down the cat s protection league (having said Id never have another) and now we have our Barney..

Well tis Sunday and i've NOT been fasting! ,, it feels a bit odd as this is the first eating Sunday since August.. but i've decided to go down to 5:2 again , so will be just Mondays and Thursdays now and will see if put any weight back on on this regime.. .. But I'm going to try and go for 24 hours from now.. have eaten all I'm going to today and planing for my next meal to be 500cals tomorrow evening...

Size10tobe Sun 18-Nov-12 18:35:53

That is amazing discipline to have fasted every Sunday since August Laska! Does that mean you have been doing 4:3 for about 12 weeks? I am assuming it has been successful if you are now reducing to 5:2, have you got any tips?

healstorturepeople Sun 18-Nov-12 18:54:04

I totally pigged out today but for once am feeling optimistic I can get back on track tomorrow and have planned 2 hours of gym before work in the morning and a 1 hour swim at lunch time. I am going out for a meal tomorrow night which I can't get out of (friend who is about to give birth!) but feel that I can do exercise to compensate.

After not losing anything when I weighed midweek a couple of days later I had lost 3lb which I am very pleased with. Hope I haven't set myself back to much today but sure I can get back on track.

pookey Sun 18-Nov-12 20:55:45

well done on 3lbs heals.

Laska that's what I am planning to do. Finished my dinner by 5 and had planned some chocies and Tv this evening but decided to start a 24 hour fast. Felt all virtuous and full at 5 but already hungry!

Yes makes sense BCL maybe that should be a suggestion on the list at the beginning of thread or the hints thread?

Breadandwine Sun 18-Nov-12 21:28:11

I'm in! smile

Had an early roast dinner(ish) tonight, and I've eaten well over the weekend, finishing the last of my pudding at 1850. If we don't have our evening meal until 7 tomorrow evening, that'll be 24 hours - for the first time for me.

I agree that BCLs suggestion should be on the tips thread. And bear in mind, also, that we evolved to weigh differently depending where we were on the feast/famine cycle.

JewelsdeJour Sun 18-Nov-12 22:08:48

a) fasting since - MONDAY LAST WEEK
b) how many fasts a week - TWO A WEEK WITH A BREAK IN BETWEEN
c) pattern of fasts (set number of days inbetween, how many hours before breaking fast etc) FASTING DAYS - TUES & THURS. ON FASTING DAYS, I DON'T EAT BREAKKIE, BUT I DO HAVE LUNCH AND TEA ADDING UP TO 500CALORIES IN TOTAL
d) benefits noticed - SLEEP BETTER, FEELING CONFIDENT, EASIER TO ORGANISE THAN WEIGHT WATCHERS WHICH TAKES TOOOOO MUCH PLANNING
e) negatives noticed - NOT KEEN ON BLACK TEA, BUT MAKING MYSELF LIKE IT. SLIGHT HEADACHES BUT THAT IS MY FAULT AS I NEED TO DRINK MORE WATER

I have lots of recipes to upload for lunches and dinners, so I will do that on the thread link for recipes given at the sticky topic at the top of this thread. This diet works folks...is it a diet? isn't it just an amazing way of eating, living and surviving...loving it. Will post my weight loss in one month of starting this...SO EXCITED!!!!! XXX

Skinnyeye Sun 18-Nov-12 22:09:31

Another fast day almost over and cycled 16 miles. Good luck to all those trying for 24 hours. The thought of it it's much worse than the reality and it's nowhere bear as bad as you think. Looking forward to hearing how you get on.

frenchfancy Mon 19-Nov-12 08:12:07

I'm going to try for 24 hours again today. Got lots of work to do so it avoids having a lunch break. Dinner is already prepared so I don't need to go near the kitchen.

I was getting a little bit peeved no one had noticed my weight loss. Turns out they had noticed but didn't want to say anything (by saying "you've lost loads of weight" you are kind of implying someone was fat to start with). I don't know why what other people think is important but it is.

ThinkICan Mon 19-Nov-12 09:32:37

How right you are *frenchfancy". Yesterday my sister in law told me I had lost weight and my stomach had gone in and I was thrilled. All the weight loss on the scales seems to pale in comparison with people noticing and remarking on it!

babbas Mon 19-Nov-12 12:04:56

Back after my mini meltdown last week. It was terrible. I had a stinking headache from Sunday through to Thursday. Aches cramps sore throat and feeling fluey all week. I only exercised on Monday and then was so down I didn't bother again all week. First break in exercise in months. I had a fast day wed but that was mainly due to not being hungry. Anyway, I lost 2lb last week. I wanted to report back as I had some lovely messages. I do think that fasting works better for weight loss when there is little exercise. That's just my experience. However I will keep exercising as it keeps me sane but maybe have more rest days

I can't tell you how shocked I was to lose 2lbs. The one week I give up fasting and exercising I get a whoooosh. Anyway, sticking to 5:2 now instead of 4:3 and still trying to shake off the lethargy and headaches. Thank you everyone once again.

GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 19-Nov-12 13:00:39

Alright folks, this thread is heading towards the 1,000 post mark, and we know what that means. (For those who are new to MN and might not know: these threads are capped at 1k posts)

I've started a new thread ready for posts over here.

I've not read the last page or so here as I've been copying links etc, but if you've got something new up for discussion you might want to re-post it to the new thread to start us off there. smile

ManOnBoard Mon 19-Nov-12 13:03:39

Finally I have had the results of my annual medical and the only lifestyle change from last year has been this WOE so, rightly or wrongly, I am attributing the changes to it. My first fast day was 10/8/12 and I have so far completed 34 in toal, 5:2, 4:3 and some days consecutive and my weight has reduced by 29lbs. I have weighed and recorded the weights daily and it is very apparent that there are fluctuations that could distort the results were I to weigh weekly or monthly. The results from last year are in brackets:-

Resting heart rate: 48 bpm (52)
Blood pressure: 112/71 (118/79)
Cholesterol: 4.2 (4.6)
BMI 29.0 (33.1)

Once I reach a BMI of 27 I intend to switch to 6:1 but having nothing but water, which I have tried already except for tea with milk which doing without will be the true test. The thought of a BMI below 25 does not appeal to me but as a wise-ish woman once said "You can never be too rich or too thin" so I might chane my mind, which is not just a woman's prerogative.

Although I have more energy overall I do still struggle with anaerobic exercise when fasting but intend to stick to moderate fitness methods, such as walking or cycling on certain days. My main exercise is resistance training (weights) and the day/s off will be useful in muscle recovery.

Yesterday I made up a backpack weighing the same as my weight loss (13kgs) and walked with it on and it was an eye opener I think you should try.

Can I have another gripe, please do not use "starvation mode" as an excuse for not losing weight, this is something that has marginal effects when people are literally starving which is unlikely to be the case for anyone on here.

GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 19-Nov-12 13:17:01

Oh heck, that's a good post, ManOnBoard. I don't suppose you mind putting it in the new thread? This one is almost dead here.

New thread!

ManOnBoard Mon 19-Nov-12 13:29:24

GE&N I'd do anything, for you dear anything. Ooops I feel a song coming on but can I be the first to thank you for your work on here

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