5:2 Diet Thread! Going up to 11!

(1000 Posts)
GreenEggsAndNichts Tue 29-Jan-13 13:17:37

The continuing thread for those of us following either the 5:2 diet or the alternate-day fasting diet.

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, or approximately your TDEE (see explanation below). 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 for a woman, 600 for a man, on those days.

You'll find on these threads we use a number of acronyms. If you're new to the threads, or Mumsnet in general, they might not make much sense.

WOE/WOL = Way Of Eating/Way Of Life. We use this term instead of "diet" as many of us see this as something to do in the long term.

MFP = My Fitness Pal, a website many use for keeping track of the number of calories they're eating.

TDEE = Total Daily Energy Expenditure, 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.

ADF = Alternate-day Fasting, as it says on the tin, fasting every other day rather than 5:2.

Michael Mosley has recently unveiled a new website to accompany his new book on the subject. Please go check them out, as he's the whole reason most of us are here!

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 You'll find a lot of support here.

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!

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. This might be a good place to catch up with us if you're feeling a bit lost!

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.

B&W has found a new link to the aforementioned Horizon programme here. If you're keen to see it, watch it soon, because BBC has been quick to find these copies and shut them down online. We're hoping they'll re-play it again soon. I know these threads are popular, maybe they'll read my request. wink

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%).")

Something to consider 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.

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

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!

Ooo I like the boiled egg tip. I'll build that into tomorrow's menu I think...

basildonbond Mon 04-Feb-13 09:10:29

signing in for week 2 - fast day 3

I lost 3lb last week which is enough motivation to keep going ...

off to work in a minute which I hope will keep my mind off food grin

Betterlatethan Mon 04-Feb-13 09:11:39

Ezzza thank you so much for your reply (and for cutting and pasting snowkeys comments from the earlier thread) It certainly makes me feel better. Usually if I know there is something more that I can do, I'm okay, but I honestly didn't know where/what I was doing wrong. It turns out that perhaps I wasn't doing anything wrong, it's just by body and its pesky water supplies! smile
Although I had a very gluttonous weekend (reverting to the 'sod it' mentality) I'm back on it today and will keep in mind your post. Yes, I have lost 4lbs in a month even taking into account the gain, and as I keep saying, this is for life, so I shouldn't be too hard on myself but I guess that once you hit on something that is so sustainable, you just want to get to maintenance as soon as possible and stay there!
Back to my apple and ginger tea with renewed vigour! smile

Toddler21mum Mon 04-Feb-13 09:32:03

Hi everyone. I have been reading your blog for a couple of weeks now since starting on the 5:2 diet but had been apprehensive about joining due to not really feeling confident enough. I have however seen how friendly and encouraging you seem so decided to join and looking forward to sharing kind words with you all.

Aftereightsarenolongermine Mon 04-Feb-13 09:38:28

Im hoping that this will give some of you an incentive to keep going when you find things difficult. Just worked out that I've been doing this WOE for 27 weeks & I've lost 44lbs in total in that time. Some weeks I've plateaued & other weeks have gained but its still a downward trend & that's what counts. Mind you I still have the same amount to lose to get to my goal weight!

I was 14&half stone when I started & am now 11.5. I would like to be 8&half but will be happy if I reach 10 if that makes sense.

After that is AMAZING. Amazing. And I'm going to do a screen cap of your post and look at it when the prospect of a cup of Marigold Swiss Bouillon seems a little dispiriting thanks

Betterlatethan Mon 04-Feb-13 09:56:37

Thanks after8 and welcome toddler!
I needed the words of encouragement, and I knew this was the place to get them. It really does help to share. I'm now at 11st 4 (down from 11st 8) and am 5ft 6, my goal is 10 stone. I find that any lower than that and I look gaunt (and my boobs disappear...which won't please the OH ;)). I guess I am pretty lucky that all the years I ran and took part in competitive sports I am quite muscly so if I hide my tummy well, I don't look particularly overweight!. I have a few weeks off work now, so planning to get outside and run more now the days are finally getting a little longer. Isn't it funny how we all just want what's realistic and healthy for us and not to be whippet thin? I like that and is testament to how important being healthy is to us all.
Off to have my second herbal tea....liquorice and cinnamon! Mmm

Hi Toddler! I'm a bit apprehensive too but I'm sure we can get stuck in smile

Betterlatethan Mon 04-Feb-13 09:59:27

after8 thanks

speckers Mon 04-Feb-13 10:07:27

Hi all, hope you've had a good weekend. I found this recipe and it is delicious and only 236kcal per portion which seems too good to be true, but will be having it again tonigth! http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1681/salmon-with-mustardy-celeriac-mash

Toddler21mum Mon 04-Feb-13 10:21:23

Thanks man! Just think being slim prior to having my daughter, I stupidly thought the weight would fall off and now 21 months down the line it hasn't. All my mum friends from anti-natal lost it in weeks and I am still fat!

Foundapound Mon 04-Feb-13 10:22:00

Hello. I started doing 5:2 fasting last week. Tried doing all at tea time on a busy working day, which was ok, but ended up snarfing my way through food all evening (floodgates scenario). Had a chat with a friend who's been doing it for a while, and on Friday I tried her way, of having all 500 through breakfast and lunch, skipping tea. Actually found this better, as I wasn't really that hungry in early evening, and could look forward to the next day not being so far away. Also was a day I was at home, and somehow this worked out well. And it means there's an 18 fast after lunch till breakfast.

So today is 3rd fast day attempt, and I'm home doing it as all 500 on breakfast lunch (will have steamed veg and tuna with chilli sauce for lunch after 2 boiled eggs for breakfast).

I found on Saturday, day after fast day, I was really hungry, but proper hungry rather than bingey-hungry, iyswim. But still ate less than a bingey day.

This has been my problem for sticking to any WOE for more than a day before, that I am inclined to bingeing. By fasting on home days I am restricting the possibility of bingeing on feed days by those being busy days, iyswim. Seems so much more doable to me, and I can promise myself eat what you like tomorrow. So far so good.

Should say, I am about 60lbs overweight, have been overweight for about 6 years, and really need to sort it out now, has sapped all my confidence and I'm job-hunting in a professional field, just feel I wouldn't employ me looking like I do. I may also be experiencing early symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (will see gp this week), with sore knuckles, early 40s, autoimmune problems and strong family history of it. Being overweight is really not helpful for that, so there you go, big incentive.

So, hello <waves>, pleased to meet you all. Looking forward to catching up on your stories, as I've just scratched the surface of this thread!

MummaMoosey Mon 04-Feb-13 10:27:03

Morning all! I weighed in this morning... 2lbs loss grin

Not a massive loss but a loss all the same and it makes me think about the health benefits I can't see which must be taking place! smile
Very impressed.

I've got a query that you lovely long time fasters can hopefully help me with... I'm wondering if I should try 4:3 while I get into the swing of it? I fasted on Monday and Wednesday of last week and found that Tuesday and Thursday I was unconsciously making better food and portion size choices but I feel like that has worn off. Will this improve with time? Or should I help it kick in by trying a 4:3 ?
Hope that makes sense.

ErikNorseman Mon 04-Feb-13 10:38:08

Hi mumma! I'm doing 4/3 because I don't find it harder than doing 5/2. I am still only losing 1lb a week though because I still overeat on eat days.

Dotty342kids Mon 04-Feb-13 10:41:04

it's ok, just been to zumba which is a nice distraction. Good thought about the boiled egg............. though havn't got them out of the fridge and have been fantasising about the banana so will stick with that for today. Thanks for the tip though aftereights

Breadandwine Mon 04-Feb-13 10:55:35

Mumma why not try a 3rd fast in the week - but if you feel it's too much, have a normal dinner? Or, if you're still feeling good, go for the <500 cal dinner.

Just play it by ear and see how you go.

DancesWithWoolEnPointe Mon 04-Feb-13 10:56:54

Right - first day of proper focused attempt at this eating plan. So far eaten a pear and 2 ryvita thins, so on about 120 calories. Boiling up a ginormous vegetable soup on stove to eaten for lunch and dinner. If smells rather tasty.

MonthlyNeedsToDecide Mon 04-Feb-13 10:58:35

This thread moves so fast!!
2 week of 5:2, day 3 of fasting today. First fast managed 650cal, but managed 500 the second. Have found I last better going completely without as long as I can, apart from my tea with measured milk, then having a cup a soup around 6pm then bowl of soup around 8pm. Find I am better having ready made stuff, which I pre calculate the day before so I know this is my limit. I.e. 100,ls of milk, cup a soup and whole tub of TESCO finest soup and maybe an options hot chocolate. I don't think I have the will power yet to cook and serve up portions on a fast day.

I did buy the dr m book as a kindle book from amazon and it was only 99p!

thekingfisher Mon 04-Feb-13 11:30:53

week 2 for me and 3rd fast. Am going to hold off until lunch time then salad and some soup, then an innocent veg pot for the before heading out to choir tonight.

V dissappointed to have 'lost 2 lbs' in the week but my weigh in this morning had basically only lost 1 lb...having said that I went a bit mental with snacks on sat night and we had friends over for lunch y'day so had wine, lasagne and cheese - so not particularly measured.... so perhaps I can't expect miracles...

Ghanagal1717 Mon 04-Feb-13 12:19:17

Finally.....I did it.....i've lost 6lbs!!! HURRAYYYYYYYYY!! I'm just so pleased after a wobbly start (4 wks in and no loss) and some excellent advice off seasoned 5:2ers...I got on the scales after my last fast day (looking a bit like a tom and jerry cartoon i.e. one toe holding me up lol)...and there it was 6lbs off. I really appreciate the advice ive been given by others on my journey in this last month. It's been very hard for me to accept this woe in my mind having been a diet fad fanatic for years, so old habit took a while to get out of. but some straight down the line advice (cushioned by warmth I must add) has guided me well. thanks all.....onwards and upwards (actually downwards would be better smile).

Breadandwine Mon 04-Feb-13 12:22:13

Well, I went down for breakfast this morning - but came back up again. Feeling achy and bleaugh, mainly - nothing too dramatic.

I thought I'd treat myself to a flask of filter coffee - only to find it tastes lousy! I'm much better off with water. sad

Might go to sleep in a minute. It's a pity, because the weather is terrific out there - sun streaming through the window - a very welcome sight!

For all those wondering about 5:2 versus 4:3. Why not, after fasting on Monday and Wednesday, say, do a 'mini-fast' on the Friday. By that I mean miss out breakfast and lunch (or have your lo-cal equivalents) and then eat a normal dinner. If you find this OK, you can then try to go for a full 4:3 the following week - secure in the knowledge that, if you feel you need a proper dinner on the third day, you've already completed your 5:2 for the week. smile

Dotty342kids Mon 04-Feb-13 12:23:41

That's fantastic ghanagal well done! Interesting that you didn't lose at all for four weeks though - perhaps I won't jump on the scales next Monday then.... just in case grin

Breadandwine Mon 04-Feb-13 12:24:14

Oh, well done, Ghanagal. Let me be the first to congratulate you! [star]

Long may it continue, eh? smile

Breadandwine Mon 04-Feb-13 12:25:23

Damn! Dotty you're so quick! sad

MummaMoosey Mon 04-Feb-13 12:33:06

Hey Ghanagal way to go!!

BandW that's a fab idea actually, safe in the knowledge I've already done 5:2 I could attempt 4:3 and if I can't manage/struggle/whinge/go over I can't fall off too spectacularly having already done the main body.... smile Yes, I really like that idea, thank you!

Erik me too blush How long have you been on this WOE?

This thread is not accepting new messages.