5:2 Diet Thread! 7 is our lucky number...

(992 Posts)
GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 19-Nov-12 12:57:16

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 2012, 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.

I know a number of people lurk on this thread, as this is currently quite popular. Please just jump in and post if you're new- we won't bite. Well, maybe on a fast day. wink

Here is a list of links to get you started with this way of eating. Please let us know if you find a new article or some other information online:

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

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 where I would link to the aforementioned Horizon programme, but it appears as if the BBC have finally noticed it on YouTube and have taken it down. If you have another link for this episode, please PM me with it, or post it to the thread and we'll put it up for the next thread.

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 all the links re-copied and back into one post.

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


A new thread has been opened since my above posts, so if you'd like to post something, please join us on thread number 17

We soon outgrow the threads, but there's always a link to the next thread in the previous one so come and join us!



A new thread has been opened since my above posts, so if you'd like to post something, please join us on thread number 16

We soon outgrow the threads, but there's always a link to the next thread in the previous one so come and join us!



A new thread has been opened since my above posts, so if you'd like to post something, please join us on thread number 15

We soon outgrow the threads, but there's always a link to the next thread in the previous one so come and join us!



A new thread has been opened since my above posts, so if you'd like to post something, please join us on thread number 14

We soon outgrow the threads, but there's always a link to the next thread in the previous one so come and join us!


Ezzza Fri 08-Feb-13 10:36:56


A new thread has been opened since my above posts, so if you'd like to post something, please join us on thread number 12

We soon outgrow the threads, but there's always a link to the next thread in the previous one so come and join us!


Ezzza Tue 29-Jan-13 14:06:29


A new thread has been opened since my above post, so if you'd like to post something, please join us on thread number 11

We soon outgrow the threads, but there's always a link to the next thread in the previous one so come and join us!


Ezzza Sun 27-Jan-13 06:11:00


Mumsnet threads have a maximum number of posts which is 1000. As this discussion is so popular our discussion has continued over many new threads.

If you would like to continue reading the discussion, here is a link to thread 8.

If you’d like to read the discussion from the beginning here’s a link to thread number 1.

If you would like to jump in and join the conversation we'd love to hear from you. Please join us on the latest thread to post your comments. As I'm posting this, the latest thread is number 10 which you can find here.

We soon outgrow the threads, but there's always a link to the next thread in the previous one so come and join us!


GlassWorld Tue 22-Jan-13 19:39:07

On day two... Yesterday was a fast day and I ate a low cal soup for lunch, a cup of milky tea and a light choices bangers and mash.

Today is an eating day and I have eaten an all day breakfast sandwich, some gingernut cookies, a cream cake, a chicken pie and dauphinoise (sp?) potatoes, a chocolate melty thing and wine.

Surely I can't possibly lose weight from this BAD BOY of a diet?!?!

fynelady Tue 22-Jan-13 12:07:42

That should be fast day but I suppose fats still works!!

fynelady Tue 22-Jan-13 12:06:55

Hi everyone,
I am new to the site so hello all.
I started the 5.2. diet on Friday and did my first fats day yesterday and the next will be on Thursday...Could anyone tell me if it is o.k. to drink diet cool drinks while on the fast days as plain water doesn't do it for me and lemon water gives me cramps!! I also do not really like coffee without milk and never drink tea! Awkward I know. So help please?

Jadean Mon 21-Jan-13 16:03:02

Hi - im about to start the 5:2 "way of life" - just a few questions before I start that I really need help with:

On the "non" fast day - is it ok to restrict calories, i.e. 1200?
Ive heard that you need to leave 16 hours before eating after a fast day?
Do you have to eat the 500 cals in one go or can you split them for the day?

This seems to be having great results with people, saw Hugh Fernley Whittingstall and Chris Moyles have both lost quite a bit of weight doing 5:2 and im really keen to get going [SMILE]

frenchfancy Fri 04-Jan-13 17:31:53

************THIS THREAD IS CLOSED*************

new thread here www.mumsnet.com/Talk/big_slim_whatever_weight_loss_club/1636695-5-2-Diet-Thread-Number-8-fast-away-fast-away-fast-away-all

bubbles1231 Fri 04-Jan-13 14:40:24

I started this 2 days ago. I'm doing 2:1 which is a kind of halfway house between 5:2 and 4:3. It also means my fast days will change week on week but I think it will be ok.
On my first fast day I had a cup of tea for breakfast, a huge salad at lunch with,get this, 5g of cheddar and 2g of fat free salad dressing. Those little nuggets of flavour made a huge difference! For dinner i had roast beef, swede,broccoli and carrots. My plate looked fuller than a normal dinner.
Woke up the next day with a headache but it soon went. Looking forward to my next fast day tomorrow...
Start weight 12st 4 (5'7")
Target 11stone
Aiming for 1lb loss per week

mcteez Fri 04-Jan-13 13:40:46

Just wanted to say hello and thank you to everyone who has shared their stories. My first fast day was yesterday and I did very well. I am feeling odd today though; tired and a little strange (?)

I had a gastric sleeve operation 3 years ago now and lost 10 stone. I still have 6 to loose. It's never easy is it? However, it is easy for me on fast days because I only have a small stomach which fills much quicker with less food.

Thanks again.

Michelle xx

TalkinPeace2 Fri 14-Dec-12 17:41:43

was working on a spreadsheet!!!

This thread is full so the lovely *Greeneggs has started number 8



Laska42 Fri 14-Dec-12 17:27:58

TIP2 forgot to do her job !!


We are now over here

scripsi Fri 14-Dec-12 17:16:21

Hello! I have been watching but not posting on here since my first post about trying this diet (am trying it for reasons of very unfortunate family heath history, weightloss would just be a bonus but I don't really want to lose too much: I am interested in finding out what health benefits there are for those who are at the recommended weight).
I have managed OK so far even though I am juggling a new job. But: I have the following problem: I am getting incredibly bored with food. On fast days I am having homemade soup/stirfries with salmon or chicken/eggs/low fat live yogurt, but I just went shopping and while unloading the car I could have wept at the boredom I feel with the food I am eating. Anyone have any recommendations for something wonderfully low calorie and interesting? I don't eat shellfish or pork but pretty much eat everything else!

TalkinPeace2 Fri 14-Dec-12 16:12:53

Tee hee!

A thought for a New Year thread - to all post when we started 5:2, what we weighed then, what we'd lost by Christmas and what we hope to achieve in the New Year.

Just so that those making New Year resolutions can see that this is a diet for life not just for January :-)

No wine for me till 6.45

Hope you're enjoying that 'start the weekend well' glass of white Laska grin .Yeah there are so many 'broken people' and people who never had the support they needed right from the start in this country (and others). So much could be be done for the nation if this WOL was part of the mainstream health/welfare etc etc system.

However while there are people like you within the system that are open to some of the benefits of some of the aspects of this WOL the more chance there is of good being done.

Gawd! I really do sound like I belong to a cult now...keep the Faith, keep the Fast grin

GreenEggsAndNichts Fri 14-Dec-12 15:55:02

Once again we're closing in on the maximum number of posts a thread can have on MN (1000!) so I've started a new thread here with all of our links re-copied in the OP.

I've added B&W's link to the Horizon iPlayer page, and I've found a new TDEE calculator that didn't throw up warnings on my PC. I don't know if it's perfect or anything but it gave me approximately the same results the other one did. If anyone finds a better one, please post the link in the new thread. smile

I'd consider saying this thread is closed but I think that's TIP's job. grin

Laska42 Fri 14-Dec-12 15:38:10

oh yes, the Flat Earth Society...albeit in ever decreasing clothes sizes
Love it! I actually did LOL then grin

Laska42 Fri 14-Dec-12 15:24:09

Quite bro.. I didn't even manage to get onto the potential health benefits.!! . but I am hoping that this WOE will become more accepted in the general population though and not just for weight benefits though.. especially that the people I was with overwhelmingly are those who care for people who cannot make too many choices about their health and many of their clients live in residential homes etc. Also with exception of those who cannot look after themselves through their health or mental status a lot are there simply because they are old and have deteriorated in health either though bad luck or sometimes lifestyle choice

A lot of people in residential care are also very overweight through eating institution provided food coupled with a a lack of exercise and I think that any acceptance of a WOE which promotes good health in the future can only be good for keeping all but the most vulnerable out of these places for as long as possible.
cant see me losing any more over the Christmas period either, but thats fine.. I'm just aiming to still be able to wear my birthday dress for the new year party!

Oops.. making dinner (stuffed mushrooms with roast tomato red pepper and chorizo sauce and buffalo mozzarella and rosemary and olive oil bread (so who says im starving myself?) and heeded to open a bottle of white for a glassful to put into the sauce.. . Hmm guess who poured out 2 glasses ?grin Nothing wrong with a cheeky white on a Friday afternoon though I think . grin Happy weekend all. im fasting again Sunday.

See you on a new thread by then no doubt .. ..

Hi Laska , yeah I can totally relate to your frustration. Most of the people I have mentioned this to who have NOT seen the horizon programme have been very 'sceptical' or in other words patronising abot this WOE.

For me the over-riding draw was the positive impact this may have on your health. There's a lot of evidence to show that IFing reduces the risk of many of the modern day diseases ravaging Western and developing nations at the moment, and it is hugely frustrating when people (without having looked into the facts) voice concerns about the un-naturalness of this.

I reckon Dr MMs book and the many others about to hit the bookshelves will change a lot of opinions in early 2013 but untill then it looks like we'll be viewed by many as akin to members of a cult or the Flat Earth Society...albeit in ever decreasing clothes sizes grin

On the weightloss, can't see myself losing anymore over the Christmas period but tbh not really concerned about it as one of the great things (for me) about this WOL is that the short term really doesn't matter and 'parking' progress is easy to do as in the long term health and weightloss is very very likely. But with Dr Ms book coming out in mid Jan and the support of this Thread I know that any damage or stalling done over Christmas and new year will (probably hmm anyway) be sorted by the end of January.

Have a great day all and thanks to everyone for all the inspirational and supportive posts on this Thread grin

CecyHall Fri 14-Dec-12 14:00:30

I had my first failed fast in ages yesterday, so annoyed at myself especially after DH asked if I'd just forgotten I was fasting which made me feel silly that I'd made a conscious decision to eat crap on a fast day.

Trying to think positive by remembering that if I fast tomorrow I will still have done 2 fasts this week, plus I could have easily eaten the rubbish last night as well as breakfast and dinner so it was still less calories than it could have been.

Still cross though!

virginposter Fri 14-Dec-12 13:43:15

Yes Laska I had someone ask about my weight loss and react the same. They said no way could they go for a day without food (despite telling them they could have 500 cals) etc etc. Then I explained it all to them in more detail and they said they'd try it in the New Year as it would be too hard right now.
Imagine my surprise when they next tell me that they tried one fast day and survived and tried for a second but only managed a half day as unforseen events occured, but they weighed and had lost 1.5 lbs much to their surprise. We now have another 5:2er who is going for it after Christmas.

I'm on my second consecutive day today. Trying this for the first and hopefully only time as my daughter is coming tomorrow for 4 days and we are having a mini Christmas with the dinner and ALL the trimmings and she's bringing chocs which I have managed not to buy! So far had tea, coffee and water and tonight will have homemade bolognese with plenty of veg and a little pasta. Last week I made mince pies to freeze for her - big mistake as about 3 or 4 got stuck in the tray and broke when I tried to get them out. Guess where they went blush.

Good luck to all over the season and well done to all those lost lbs and inches.

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