5:2 Diet Thread! 12! Cheaper by the dozen!

(1000 Posts)
GreenEggsAndNichts Fri 08-Feb-13 10:09:40

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!

Ezzza Fri 08-Feb-13 10:12:02

Woohoo! New thread! Thanks GreenEggs. thanks

FlouncingMintyy Fri 08-Feb-13 10:16:17

Marking place. Did fast day number 42 yesterday, been doing 5:2 since 1st September with a 2 week break for Christmas.

Dh has done 45 fasts and lost about 20lb! Was chuffed with himself and bought a new belt yesterday.

Going out for fabulous posh meal with old friends in London tonight ... cannot wait! Am probably going to have duck or lamb, red wine, cheese ... yummy.

artemis17 Fri 08-Feb-13 10:18:53

Ok so ive put this rather than leave it on the old thread as i could really do with some motivation...
Well after my 1st week done, my 2 fast days went well, I jumped on scales (in Boots so paid for the privilege) and sad ...no change! I have stuck ridgidly to the plan, even done 2 high impact fitness classes. My BMI is 21.2 tho i'd like to lose 7lbs as well as a few inches as my waist/hip ratio is bad (ie waist too big for my hips). I suffer with the cold a lot so on fast days it was even worse, but the thought of the benefits spurred me on. I know its silly but i thought i would see some difference...
Any inspiring stories out there to give me hope that it will work please ??

GreenEggsAndNichts Fri 08-Feb-13 10:20:03

So I was sitting here, looking at car hire sites, and thought I'd check the 5:2 thread (as I might obsessively do whenever I'm online grin). whew.

Welcome to the new thread!

I second TIP's post regarding calorie consumption over the course of a week. Many diets focus on daily caloric intake, but (I think) it's really best to keep an eye on your average over several days. It's very natural if you think about it- some days you might have more food than other days. You might have a drink or two with friends one day, and have a busy day at work where you forget to eat on another. There's no reason to force yourself to eat if you aren't hungry one day, because it's very likely that you'll find yourself wanting to make up for that another day.

When we bring up TDEE, that is really for a general guideline, to bring some of us who have been eating too much (or too little, if serial dieters) back to the amount which our bodies need on an average day. We don't always, every non-fast day NEED to eat TDEE. But it's something to aim for, generally. Especially if your previous consumption might have been far higher than that.

It's also to give a general idea, as many people read "eat what you like on non-fast days" to be a challenge. grin It's not a 5-day buffet and 2 fasting days. Or, well, it could be, but you're unlikely to lose weight for long that way. Depends on your starting weight, of course.

GreenEggsAndNichts Fri 08-Feb-13 10:23:46

Mintyy that's great, re: your DH. Mine's been doing this with me ever since I told him about it, and he's had great success as well. I don't ask his weight (because then he might ask me mine hmm and I'm not ready to go there) but he's definitely slimmer.

My weight is finally coming down again, and I'm very pleased with that. We're off on holiday next week, I'll try to get a fast in, and probably a few half-fasts. Otherwise, I'm looking forward to some seafood. grin

mamamoomin2 Fri 08-Feb-13 10:25:54

Yipee! I've lost again this week. Been doing this for 5 weeks now and have lost 16lbs. I'm hoping that this is ok as its more than the 2lb a week average I was aiming for. Definitely not complaining!

Also, can I have your thoughts on the occasional options aspartame filled hot choc question I asked on last thread. Will the occasional one be THAT bad? Or what do you do to satisfy the sweet cravings you get on fast days? Since being pregnant and having a baby I have quite a sweet tooth that wasn't there before!

FlouncingMintyy Fri 08-Feb-13 10:30:10

Artemis - I think you need to give it longer than a week quite honestly! Also, you already have a low bmi, its not like you have handfuls of flubber to lose like some of us smile.

My dh, who has lost 20ish pounds in nearly 6 months (1lb a week), for instance, is around 3 - 4 stone overweight. Its hard to tell because he's a very tall bloke, but he needs to get down from 18 stone to 15 or under.

FlouncingMintyy Fri 08-Feb-13 10:31:42

Crikey mammamoomin! Are you doing 5:2 or more than that? Are you counting calories on your non-fasting days?

GreenEggsAndNichts Fri 08-Feb-13 10:33:28

artemis a couple of things I can think of. You don't have a lot to lose, so your numbers won't be going down terribly quickly. More importantly (to me), were the Boots scales the ones you weighed yourself on a week ago? Because being consistent with your scales is important when tracking a matter of pounds. I think most scales vary by a few pounds (so if I weighed myself at Boots I might get a number a few pounds up or down from what I got from my own scales this morning). Even moving the same set of scales from carpet to hard flooring will change the results. etc.

Otherwise, I think just keep going as you are? You sound like you're doing what you should be. Be sure to keep around your TDEE on non-fast days, don't go too low cal on those days because your fast days will make your average low enough. Keep up the exercise and good work. smile

mamamoomin2 Fri 08-Feb-13 10:36:51

I'm doing 4:3 as had over 3 stone to lose....I'm finding the 3 days ok too for now. I am counting on non fast days for now (will prob stop soon) as I wanted to know what it is I do eat to help long term. At the beginning on one day I easily ate over 3000 cals! And I think I could still consume that still although its not as easy to. I still have a lot of relearning to do....that its not ok to continuously stuff my face!

drmummmsy Fri 08-Feb-13 10:37:58

marking grin well done all the 'losers'!

artemis17 Fri 08-Feb-13 10:45:04

Mintyy thank you for responding. Although im slim on the outside because of my waist/hip ratio i suspect im not so slim on the inside and it seems im storing up problems if i dont lose a few inches. Im 46, 5'8.5 and weigh 10st, but my waist is 31 compared to my hips of 35!!. So i need to do something.
I guess becasue i jumped in all excited last w/e i expected something to show for it, but i shall persevere as it wasnt too tough.
If anyone has a similar tale to mine then i'd love to hear how youre doing.

just marking place smile

fast day yesterday and the one thing i craved was a beer - non fast day today and haven't eaten yet as not hungry BUT am still craving that bloody beer! grin got a feeling that whatever we feel we've deprived ourselves sits in our minds as an unfulfilled desire till we give in. bit like sweetener setting up an expectation of sugar that won't rest till it's satisfied.

artemis17 Fri 08-Feb-13 10:47:36

Thankyou too Greeneggs i know i probably seem like a pouty child lol, i guess i just needed a bit of attention lol and to know its ok not to lose £s. Appreciate your input smile

artemis but is there actually any fat around your waist? i know these figures and facts are well intentioned and generally probably apply but they can't fit everyone you know? some people don't have hourglass figures not because they're fat but because their build is just like that - you might just have small hips that no amount of dieting will make your middle that much smaller than. just thoughts. stick with it because the healthy on the inside bit is what this woe supposedly really helps on - not convinced our health can be measured by a hip to waist ratio of one size fits all though.

mummyof2girlsx Fri 08-Feb-13 10:50:32

mamamoomin2 I too have developed a sweet tooth since having my second daughter, before I was never really a chocolate person.....now I love it! I am not sure about the hot chocolate question but I'm sure one every so often can't be so bad? hmm I enjoy the occasional hot chocolate in work on a fast day wink
Weigh in today and after staying the same for a few weeks I have lots another 2lb this week grin

though i am now wondering where my tape measure is and if i'm brave enough to take some measurements shock

artemis17 Fri 08-Feb-13 10:57:30

SAF I'd love something remotely like an hour-glass rather than an apple, and yes i have a "boys bum" no sexy squidgy bits, just flat!!, so my tummy is always going to a bit big in comparison, tho I think even if i can lose an inch or so round my middle i'll be happy. Just shows though that even us so called slim folk arent happy with our bods.

Frannyfeet Fri 08-Feb-13 10:58:54

Hi guys

I am in DESPERATE need of talking as I am in a proper state of cant stop crying misery.

I started 5:2 a couple of weeks ago and lost weight, then had family to stay for the weekend and put the 5lbs back on.

This last week I have been away on a residential course with all food and drink provided. I decided that my tactics were going to be to skip bfast and dinner each day and pick the healthiest option for lunch and try & stay within 1200 cals per day.

This was tough because of the social aspects of being on a residential course, but I did it and felt so proud of myself. I ate 1 meal every 24 hours and calorie intake was between 700-1200 cals a day.

I came home and weighed myself this morning and had put on 1.5lbs

I am heartbroken, literally devastated because I have tried so many times to lose weight and failed myself and this time I felt so in control and so proud of myself for my utter control and to have a gain has made me think I will never, ever be able to achieve my sole ambition of getting from 198lbs to 150lbs by the time I am 40 - in august

I don't know what else to try, Ive done:

Atkins
Dukan
SW
WW
Lighterlife
Calorie counting
Cambridge diet
Juice diet
Slim fast

I did the best with lighterlife probably when I lost 4 stone, but as soon as I started eating again it went back on.

Ive probably spent thousands on diets and diet gadgets since I first started dieting at 18.

I am not a glutton, secret eater or takeaway addict, I dont smoke and I dont drink....I eat a low fat diet and am healthy. I am not in denial about my food habits but what I feel like now and why the tears wont stop is that I feel like I am a hostage in my body and that nothing I can do makes any difference.

I am 39 years old and I dont want to spend another year trapped in this size 18/20 body that I hate so much.

I literally dont know what else to do and the sad thing is that losing weight is the only thing in life that I actually WANT to do because I have a career, a marriage, a family and a nice life.....I just want to not hate my body anymore.

Dotty342kids Fri 08-Feb-13 11:02:38

mamamoomin that is so fantastic! Great to read of your success so far, you'll reach your desired weight in no time, and feel so much better too of course. Result!

jumpingjackhash Fri 08-Feb-13 11:04:01

Hi there, I'm thinking of defecting from a no/low-carb WOE to 5:2, as I think I've hit a bit of a plateau and also like eating out too much, so this seems to offer more flexibility! I'm 5'4" and currently around 8st 12, not looking to lose much weight, just a few lb and feel a bit better (less bloated, more energy).

I'll be starting with my first fast day on Monday, any tips on making it go a little easier?!

Also, is this WOE compatible with ttc/ivf? Anyone know? I would imagine the wider health benefits alone would be a bonus here?

fanny - the 5:2 worked for you when you did it right? and now you haven't been doing it and you've put on weight.

residential is over and life resumes and you go back to doing the 5:2 and see what happens.

no disaster or proof of destiny to be fat forever has happened! you've mixed methods and muddled through because you felt you had to. now do the 5:2 pure for a few weeks and see what happens.

honestly - you haven't tried this yet properly so don't decide it doesn't work before you do x

sorry - franny not fanny!

Dotty342kids Fri 08-Feb-13 11:08:10

Oh franny that is so heartbreaking to read. A lifetime of dieting is just miserable I know. I too turn 40 very soon and whilst I'm not a serial dieter as such I can definitely empathise with the body hatred side of things. I'd say never more than half a day goes past without me thinking about bits of me I don't like / wish were different.
However, I think this woe is about so much more than the weight (though don't get me wrong, I'll also be seriously miffed if I don't lose any!). It's the internal health benefits which I'm just as interested in so perhaps it might help to focus on those and see the weight loss as a side effect?
Also, seems as though your restricting every day as you did last week might just be too much for your body to handle and that if you pushed the calorie intake up on some of those days, and down on others that you'd acheive the "swing" between the fast / non fast days that I think, is what triggers your body to react in the way Dr M talks about and causes the good health effects / weight loss.
Worth a try? Rather than sticking to low cal every day and feeling miserable?

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