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!

bitchesbrew Thu 14-Feb-13 21:38:29

thanks snowkey smile

BsshBossh Thu 14-Feb-13 21:38:48

I made it to 24 hours fasting. Yes!

tomorrowweeat Thu 14-Feb-13 21:45:28

BMJ you had support, advice and kindness here. Feels a bit like you are kicking that in helper's face sad

Laska42 Thu 14-Feb-13 21:45:51

eriknorseman Sadly Talkinpeace has been blocked due to a dispute so she cannot post any more . You can find her on this website

Prettymaidsallinarow Thu 14-Feb-13 21:50:46

Lol Laska grin I've been doing it about 18 months to be fair and mix and match with other dvd's. I am pretty fit and ran the Edinburgh Marathon in 2011. These days I prefer to fell run off road and workout with Jillian.
When I first started doing it I could only do a few pressups on my knees and I thought Jillian was a mentalist!! It gets easier I promise, you will be busting those full press ups out before you know it.
Can I join the maintenance thread do you think, been lurking since I started in early December and have lost 9 lb. I now weigh 9 st 4 lb and am 5'6 which sounds great but I have a lot of visceral fat on a small frame so still have some to lose but I love this wol

Snowkey Thu 14-Feb-13 21:56:37

Let's not be too harsh on BMJ - I expect she's feeling pretty shit about her weight gain as it is - no need to make her feel worse....better to think solutions people or maybe say nothing, this isn't a religion, you can question the methods and it's effectiveness without being persecuted.

ErikNorseman Thu 14-Feb-13 21:59:08

What a shame!

Skinnyeye Thu 14-Feb-13 22:09:45

Hi all finally caught up with the thread and still amazed at the number of new fasters and the new old hands grin

Thought I would share my top tips with you...

1. Plan ahead to fit fasts, exercise and socials in - this is a very flexible WOL so make use of the flexibility.
2. Plan menus in advance. I know some people have the same foods over and over again but I like to keep it interesting and try new menus and flavours to get maximum bang for my calorie buck
3.Don't trust the calorie counts on websites, always weigh and count.
4. Stay away from fruit and refined carbs on Fast days something I was reluctant to do but have gotten used to. So much so that I am considering a period of low carbing to help me get to target.
5.Revisit foods you didn't used to like - my tastes have changed I have now started eating mushrooms, fish, and yoghurt and have gone off Haribo and wine
6. Oxo is my fast day afternoon treat hot, salty and very low calorie it holds my hunger until I get home for dinner.
7. If it stops working tweak it - I started on 5:2 with 2 meals, then switched to one. I then changed to 4:3, before stopping taking milk in tea and coffee, and now I have greatly increased my activity levels to get the last few pounds off.

Laska42 Thu 14-Feb-13 22:14:01

come on over prettymaids we are not exclusive.. Its just a place where those of us who have been doing it a while and are at or near target cann continue to encourage each other about how we make this a 'forever WOE' when we are no longer losing weight and also to make sure that it was 'our last ever diet'
(oh and only if you indulge us newbie shredders!)wink

Questions like 'what is a TDEE?' strictly banned though!! grin

Aftereightsarenolongermine Thu 14-Feb-13 22:26:21

Ok I can give everyone some important advice.

1. Do not drink a whole bottle of champagne yourself.
2. Do not order indian food as if you had never eaten anything before in your life.
3. If you do the above you will feel awful & then you will have a lightbulb moment that this is what you used to do regularly before August (but maybe wine instead of champagne)

I'm taking myself off to bed before I do any more damage- fast day tomorrow I think! grin

Laska42 Thu 14-Feb-13 22:27:22
Prettymaidsallinarow Thu 14-Feb-13 22:28:19

Laska, questions...No worries on that score from me. I read all the tips and links weeks ago. I have a passion for knowledge and love understanding the science of nutrition, have done for a long time. I promise I will help out all the new shredders as much as I can and will pop over tomorrow smile

One initial tip to maybe pass on if you get chance is the reason everyone's calf muscles are aching is most likely because the warm up is short. I have no problem with that at all but with all the high impact jumping around doing star jumps and jump rope your calves really need a little help. When you are doing your arm crosses and the like in the warm up try adding a few gentle calf raises. That should do the trick, it works for me wink

Snowkey Thu 14-Feb-13 22:35:41

I think Jillians stretching is much too brief in the The Shred, I was a bit shock at their brevity], am also a bit hmm at the suggestion that people do it for 30 days in a row, muscles need rest days, especially when they are not used to working so hard - that was apparently something she had forced upon her - she gets more thorough in her subsequent exercise vids like "Ripped in 30" with better stretching and reduced recommended frequency.

Skinnyeye Thu 14-Feb-13 22:44:32

More mature muscles older need to be treated with a little extra care with regard to stretching, be careful. I'm doing C25K week 4 and am stretching for much longer than my runs. I really want to increase my activity levels and know that an injury will really derail my plans so am erring on the side of caution.

Snowkey Thu 14-Feb-13 22:49:06

Very wise skinnyeye. Enthusiasm is brilliant but an injury is a huge backwards step and more likely if you aren't used to exercise.

MeDented Thu 14-Feb-13 23:01:23

On my first fast day today and have had to go to bed because I am starving, don't trust myself anywhere near the kitchen. Have realised how clueless I am at how many calories are in things so hope I have kept under the limit. Had 1 cup of regular tea with spot of semi-skimmed milk at breakfast time then nothing but water until about 2 pm, had small pack of sushi that said 170 calls. For tea I made 1 egg omelette with bit of onion, pepper and couple of chopped up baby corn but needed something sweet so had activist fat free yoghurt. Also few cups of fruit tea. I am sooooooo hungry will dream of my weetabix all night, bet I don't have a lie in tomorrow even though kids are off school!

LackaDAISYcal Italy Thu 14-Feb-13 23:41:21

MeDented, no expert (just started IF this week) but it seems to me that you could have had another egg in that omelette. Have you logged what you've eaten into myfitnesspal or similar? I think you may well come in a lot less than 500 calories.

LackaDAISYcal Italy Thu 14-Feb-13 23:44:05

also, my first day I would habve killed for some carbs. 2nd day yesterday was much easier and today (after two consecutive, but not strict at all, fast days) I didn't eat till mid morning as I jsut didn't feel hungry. It does appear to get easier!

LackaDAISYcal Italy Thu 14-Feb-13 23:44:40

lol aftereights grin

Breadandwine Fri 15-Feb-13 00:01:32

bitchesbrew if you can go the full 36 or so hours, that's great! IIRC, NatashaMousse is one who does this - and she's on maintenance.

I'm pretty sure I could do it, but haven't attempted it yet.

About exercising muscle. I didn't realise until I read this guy (link found by Laska):

gettingstronger.org/2011/05/intermittent-fasting-for-health-and-longevity/

He explains that when we exercise we create small tears in the fabric of the muscle, which, when they are repaired come back stronger. So if you don't warm up properly, maybe the small tears are bigger?

Just a thought!

But Todd Becker - whose blog it is - applies this to many other parts and organs of the body. It's the theory of hormesis, which says that
applying moderate stress results in increased strength, or whatever. Hence putting the cells of the body under stress by fasting causes the body to go into repair mode.

Well worth looking around his blog, the guy makes a lot of sense and his explanations are very clear.

Just to add to the tips above - recognise that when you eat something, you flick the hunger switch, and you will want to eat again soon. So when you do eat something, set the timer for 20 minutes (Cyclist recommends 30 minutes) - if you still want to eat, then do so, but be aware that by doing so you'll flick the hunger switch again!

Best not eat, eh? grin

Have a glass of water instead!

MeDented Fri 15-Feb-13 00:01:54

Just put it in MFP and it came in at 509 but I suspect my omelette had fewer cals than theirs. Can't sleep I'm do hungry

Breadandwine Fri 15-Feb-13 00:06:31

MeDented don't beat yourself up about a few calories - especially when you're just starting out. It won't hurt to have a bite to eat at this time. Far better, IMO, to get a good night's sleep.

Tomorrow's another day on this WOE! smile

When I first started I only reduced to 1200 calories - and I still lost weight!

Prettymaidsallinarow Fri 15-Feb-13 06:26:55

snowkey I love Ripped in 30 it's a cracking workout! I do know for sure that on the Ripped dvd she does say have one day off a week. She may well give the same advice on the shred. Not sure, I will check when I'm back from work tonight.

Aftereightsarenolongermine Fri 15-Feb-13 07:00:35

mcdented don't worry so much I sometimes go over 500 calories & I've lost 47lbs since August.

DoubleMum Fri 15-Feb-13 07:24:39

2 nights away from tonight, and I'm thinking about what good choices to make - Nandos or Subway, or the Leggera pizza at Pizza Express seem the best possibilities for lunch (given that we are with others so will need to make a proper sit down meal of it), and maybe a plain steak for dinner in the hotel. Dry January has stretched into even Dryer February so no empty calories there. I'll hope there might be fruit available for breakfast. Any other tips welcome!

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