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!

just read your post again franny - seriously just do the 5:2 now for two weeks and i'd personally say don't even weigh yourself till that fortnight is over. it sounds like you have, like someone else was saying they have, an overemotional relationship with the scales! yes you put the weight back on after a weekend of social eating BUT if you had then done a fast on monday and thursday you'd probably have still seen the downward trend rather than see a move in the wrong direction briefly and have a panic and assume it's not working.

2 weeks of 5:2 - weigh yourself the day before you start and then two weeks later after a fast day. then don't weigh yourself again for another fortnight of 5:2. give it a proper go and try to take the emotion out a bit.

my sister who has been very overweight for years only really had success with lighter life overpriced fucking madness and of course like you put it all back on again when she started eating (after spending a bloody fortune).

if you can do lighter life you can definitely do 2 days a week of fasting but you have to give it time and not jump on those scales for a while i reckon.

sorry for the bad language but lighter life really pisses me off. complete and utter exploitation of desperation and misery. there is no way to justify the vast sums of money they take from desperate women.

BetsyVanBell Fri 08-Feb-13 11:16:10

Ooh, thanks for the shiny new thread greeneggs

Miffy - I'm 5'5". New target is definitely to get under 10 stone now. Part of me cannot believe that is achievable but what's another 11lbs after dropping 38 already! wink

GreenEggsAndNichts Fri 08-Feb-13 11:20:46

franny I can only second swallowed's excellent post.

Restricting yourself every day does wear you down, and constantly reminds you that you are dieting to lose weight.

You say you had success with 5:2 but gained it back when you stopped. I would, personally, just get right back on with 5:2. smile Yes, you've put the weight back on, but you know you can get it off again with 5:2. Just stick with it, and keep posting here. I've always found these threads a good source of inspiration, or just a place to comment on my various hot drinks throughout one of the tougher fast days.

Good luck. Stick with us, kid. You aren't alone. smile

chipmonkey Fri 08-Feb-13 11:22:00

marking place!

Madeyemoodysmum Fri 08-Feb-13 11:25:05

Artemis
I'm the same though still have a good 9/10 lbs to lose
I'm 5.4 and have 38 inch hips with a 35 inch waist
I'm 0.9 away from a normal bmi but it seems for every inch I loose off my waist I lose an inch off my hips too. I have ALWAYS been big waisted with small hips even as a very slim teenager, and my mums the same
It's possible I could get to a 32 inch waist but I know I'm unlikely to get much less as my hips will carry on shrinking with me

I don't know wether to worry or not with this hip waist ratio thing
Surely at a normal bmi you can't be at too much risk anyway?

Any ideas anyone. Thank you

SpiralSkies Fri 08-Feb-13 11:25:41

Oh, Franny, I can empathise entirely. I know how it feels when the number on the scales seems to colour even the good things about life black. And I know it doesn't mater how many of tell you that by 5:2ing you'll reap the health benefits when, in reality, you just want to look in the mirror and like what you see. I do get that.

The things about this WoE is that it's for life. It's not another crappy diet that we 'get wrong' or 'fail' and have to go to bed sobbing because we've gone over our daily allowance or eaten a slice of white bread. I know you want a quick fix. This will get you to where you want to be but it will be one step at a time. But you will get there, and you'll get brilliant support here while you take those steps.

Do PM me if you want to - I understand completely where you're coming from and am happy to help if I can. You're not alone you know smile

Daisy1407 Fri 08-Feb-13 11:28:51

Very sad read!

The thing is the only person who can change the way you feel and look is yourself, if your in the right frame of mind anything is possible!
I agree you should weigh and then not get on those scales for 2 whole weeks - im usually on the scales every day but i know that whilst on this 5:2 the day after my fasting day im bound to be lighter (nt a true weighin) wait till the week is up or 2 weeks is up

I only lost 1lb on my first week - havent been on the scales since and wont till Monday!

You can do it! Go for it! x

Madeyemoodysmum Fri 08-Feb-13 11:29:07

Franny. Stick with it. This woe is long term Chuck the scales and choose a place you can weigh every now and then. I've been using a tape measure and for every 1/2 stone lost I've shrunk approx 1/2 inch off hips and waist. You can do it. This forum is amazing and very supportive. X

chipmonkey Fri 08-Feb-13 11:29:46

Franny, your weight can fluctuate from time to time, don't forget that.
I have done WW etc and can tell you that the week before my period, I never, ever lost weight!
I have only started doing this but intend to keep going and see what the overall pattern is. Don't give up after one setback. You can do this!

BsshBossh Fri 08-Feb-13 11:44:35

Woo hoo, new thread. Hello! Non-fast day today but still didn't feel like eating until 11.30am. I hit the gym instead smile Looking forward to alot of pizza tomorrow. Oh yes, and wine wine wine. Not fasting again until Monday.

Aftereightsarenolongermine Fri 08-Feb-13 11:47:29

thanks greeneggs

franny I could have written your post 7 months ago until I discovered 5:2. If it worked for you to start with go straight back into it. Or try 4:3 see if that makes a difference. Just wondering if you've had your thyroid checked may be worth it.

longsunnydays Fri 08-Feb-13 11:49:34

Well, this is my story of doing 4:3 for a calender month. I have lurked and kept up with the threads for some time. I saw Dr M on the BBC and decided to give it a go. I don't have masses to lose (about 10lb) and the health benefits seem interesting to me. I am a bit of a running junkie. I decided long ago tracking everything day in day out would be unsustainable for me so I would rather compensate extravagent days with running more miles.

These are my experiences:

My fast days are Mon/Weds/Fri and the biggest challenge has been the sweetie drawer at work smile

For the first 2 weeks I had a horrible texture to my tongue and taste. I was paranoid I had smelly breath too! Happily, that has gone now and I feel normal again.

I have had two episodes of really bingeing like a mad thing - something I have to watch I think. I compensated by not having dinner so it just made for an unhealthy day of food.

My tummy has felt really uncomfortably full on a couple of occasions when I have had normal portions on feed days.

Some foods taste absolutely gorgeous - such as the porridge I had yesterday morning.

I have drunk more diet coke than I would do normally......I have a stock of fizzy water now instead. I think for me, it's about having a 'treat' rather than the taste of the coke without wasting the calories.

I like weighing myself everyday and can see the effects of eating/ not eating.

I am 6 days late for my period..........(no chance of being pg) so that's a little concerning......

So, weight loss? I am more than happy to say I have lost over 7lb in a month. 1.5 inches of my bus and 2.5inches from my waist.
My weightloss graph on MFP is a spikey line with a downward trend. I like to look back to what I weighed the same time each week every time I weigh. So today. I weight 0.5lb less than I did last Friday :-)

So, I hope this helps other newbies. It seems like a good WOL (other than the period bit). The next challenge for me will be when I'm on holiday in 2 weeks time.

Good luck everyone.

Aftereightsarenolongermine Fri 08-Feb-13 11:52:09

Sorry pressed post too soon.

Please don't beat yourself up about weight gain, everyone fluctuates.

For the first time in 14 years I have today bought size 12 jeans (m&s but hey) & they fit! I'm elated. I was size 18 (m&s) when I started & I'm now 45lbs lighter & all since beginning of August varying between 4:3 & 5:2! As well as time off at Christmas, summer holidays & half term so not bad!

literarygeek Fri 08-Feb-13 11:53:34

Oh dear franny feel better! I can only second all the good advice above.
And there might be all sorts of reasons why the weight on the scales has gone up.

I have to say, I have previously had a really emotional connection to the scales, too. in fact, i have decided to extend my non-weighing period because I was getting down if they hadn't budged- despite feeling happier, slimmer, much more in control. In a sense, I am trying to see the weight loss as secondary to a better relationship with food- and that is something I have- the way I see food now has completely been transformed. It is without guilt, and I love it.

As everyone else has said so eloquently, we are here for you and you can do it.

literarygeek Fri 08-Feb-13 11:54:25

Ps I don't know anyone in RL who managed more than three weeks of lighter life, so IMHO that proves you can do this. X

literarygeek Fri 08-Feb-13 11:55:44

And, of course, thanks to greeneggs, without whom none of us would be here. wink On the ball, as ever!

artemis17 Fri 08-Feb-13 12:00:19

Madeyemoodysmum oh the curse of a small bum wink. Just wondering if no scale change is due to it being my time of the month?? or am i clutching at straws...Anyway feel a little better having had a bit of banter with you guys. Onwards and upwards, pizza tonight smile

literarygeek Fri 08-Feb-13 12:00:28

And well done, after8s. M and S sizing is spot on there's certainly no other brand that does a size 6 dress I'll be able to fit my size 10 bottom into

FlouncingMintyy Fri 08-Feb-13 12:04:54

I dream of M&S size 12s. Well done aftereights thanks!

Rootvegetables Fri 08-Feb-13 12:09:25

Hello all, I've been trying to keep up with the treads but you're all too quick for me! I'm on my third week I did a fast on Monday and then usually Thursdays but things keep coming up. Is it as useful and effective to fast from lunch time to lunchtime so still a 24 hour period? Usually I would do wake up don't eat anything until 3pm ish and eat my 500 cal between then and bed then eat breakfast the next day. Today was going to be a non fast day as going out for dinner tonight but they've just changed it to tomorrow. So can I stop now and eat again tomorrow or bit really? I've already had lunch!

Ezzza Fri 08-Feb-13 12:17:26

Frannyfeet, I really felt for you reading your post. I also agree with other posters that you succeeded the first week you tried 5:2 and you will again. You had special circumstances recently. Don’t focus on that, focus on the success you had when you were following this WOE and keep going with it.

I have to say that I was really impressed at the efforts you went to not to overeat during your residential course. I really don’t think I could have done that. True, those efforts it didn’t give you the result you wanted on the scales, but it does show you that you have a tremendous amount of determination. Applying that resolve and dedication to your fast days I’m sure you will succeed.

Remember, this WOE isn’t like all of the others, because on your non-fast days you can accept dinner and drinks invitations and because you can fit your fast days around your life. As a result you can really enjoy life while you’re losing the weight.

Whenever I’ve started a diet in the past I’ve always been so desperate to lose as much weight as possible as fast as possible because I knew that soon enough my willpower would give out and I’d give up and the weight would start to go back on again and then some. This WOE feels different because 5 months in my willpower is as high as ever, probably higher actually because of the success I’ve already had and how much I’ve been able to enjoy life while I’m doing it. So now I’m happy to let the weight come off as it comes off… and it is coming off 26.5lbs so far.

You can do it. As others have said, keep posting on here and reading this thread, it’s a great source of encouragement and we want to hear how you’re getting along!

FastFeeder Fri 08-Feb-13 12:21:46

I hesitate to share this link, but it hasn't taken the diet industry long to jump on the 5:2 bandwagon: see this delightful 5:2 hamper of meal replacement items. Bleurgh.

Yes, for only 26.99 you could fill yourself up on (for example): Protein Blend (Milk Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate*), Sweeteners (Maltitol, Sucralose), Humectant (Glycerine), Dark Chocolate Flavoured Coating (13%) (Sweeteners: Isomalt, Sucralose; Non-Hydrogenated Palm and Palm Kernal Oil, Fat Reduced Cocoa Powder, Emulsifiers: Soya Lecithin, E476), Fructo-Oligosaccharide, Stabiliser (Acacia Gum), Peanut Flour, Sunflower Oil, Mineral Blend (Potassium Phosphate, Sodium Chloride, Magnesium Oxide, Iron Pyrophosphate, Copper Gluconate, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulphate, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenite), Inulin, Peanuts, L-Cranitine, Flavourings, Vitamin Blend (Dextrose Monohydrate, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin E-Acetate, Niacinamide, Biotin, Vitamin A-Acetate, Calcium-D-Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Cholecalciferol, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Vitamin B12), Green Tea Extract, Antioxident (Mixed Tocopherols).

Or you could just eat real food a lot more cheaply!

Aftereightsarenolongermine Fri 08-Feb-13 12:24:02

Ah yes literary but I started at m&s size 18 so it's all relative. AND more importantly I can now say I'm a size 12 grin

& I used to be a proper size 6 (ok 20 years ago but still)

Dotty342kids Fri 08-Feb-13 12:24:28

longsunnydays that is brilliant to read and hope you feel suitably proud of yourself! Really great going...

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