5:2 Diet Thread! 13! Now, the baker's dozen!

(992 Posts)
GreenEggsAndNichts Tue 19-Feb-13 10:09:14

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!

If you've been at this a while and are moving on to maintaining your goal weight, there is a thread here to discuss that.

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.

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!

GreenEggsAndNichts Tue 19-Feb-13 10:11:43

A special mention for notapizzaeater : her comment towards the end of our last thread regarding how much coffee/tea she's been drinking really almost made it as our new thread title. I had visions of 5:2 Diet Thread: No time to eat; too busy peeing , but we'd already come up with this one for number 13. grin

(also I'm not sure if we secretly harbour delicate souls who would think that sort of title distasteful wink )

MyGlassIsJustHalfWet Tue 19-Feb-13 10:19:35

Hello, just starting 5:2 this week so very happy to join and just about to sit down with a cuppa and read through links for tips!

GreenEggsAndNichts Tue 19-Feb-13 10:23:38

Hi there MyGlass smile I personally think the Telegraph article has a very good synopsis of 5:2, as it was written by MM. There are bullet points at the end which I think sum things up nicely.

Welcome to the threads! thanks

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Tue 19-Feb-13 10:33:26

Going from my previous post about doing 600...

greeneggs that's interesting, didn't realise it was 1/4 of daily amount (doh). My TDEE is 2100 so not that much more than average.

Any advice for the end-of-day lack of patience vis a vis small children?!

GreenEggsAndNichts Tue 19-Feb-13 10:39:30

Yep, that's how they came up with the 500 for women and 600 for men; since the average female daily consumption of calories should be 2000, and for men it's.. 2400? 2500? So basically, 500 and 600 are 1/4 respectively.

My TDEE is about the same, but much higher when I'm actually getting some exercise, which now that the weather is better, I am.

I tend to spend my calories all at the end of a fast day, so my end of day patience is actually quite okay. I'm so relieved to have eaten something by that point. grin Hopefully someone else can come along and help with that.

kirstys23 Tue 19-Feb-13 11:02:53

Have been lurking around these threads for a while and today is my first fast day. I have a quick question that I would be grateful if somebody could answer for me. Is it okay to eat a lot of food within your 500 cal limit? What I mean is, I was planning on having a few different all veg dishes today. Obviously since veggies are low in cal I will be eating quite a lot of them. Is that okay? Or is the point to eat as little food as possible for your calories?

Bit confused as I've read a few example daily menu's for fast days and they seem to be eating smaller, higher calorie meals as opposed to the more filling all veg menu I had planned.

BumBiscuits Tue 19-Feb-13 11:07:57

Happy new thread grin. I'm off to the recipe thread to post my fabulous made up veg chilli/cauli-rice recipe that I had last night for dinner.

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Tue 19-Feb-13 11:08:01

You could eat an entire head of cabbage if you so chose, just as long as it's within 500 cals. It's not the volume, it's the calorie count.

You might fart a lot though grin

PS a really good cheat is green tea - it seems to fill you up when you get nagging hunger.

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Tue 19-Feb-13 11:12:36

GreenEggs interesting. Perhaps I need to rearrange my meals. I've been eating at 12, 3pm and 8pm. Perhaps I should have my 'big' meal at 5pm with the girls and then go to bed really early rather than eating with DH?

I have been eating with him as otherwise I watch him eat and it freaks him out. DH is not doing 5:2 as he is 6'5 and has a washboard stomach by merely existing, the lucky bastard.

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Tue 19-Feb-13 11:15:21

kirsty just to add to my post - there is no 'right' way of getting the calories in.

And you can adjust as you go along if you find you get hungry at certain times of day. I eat soup, a veg dish, then a soup with prawn or chicken and more veg at the end of the day. But I'm finding that's stopped working which is why I'm here asking for advice.

Honestly, as long as you stick to the count you can't go wrong.

countryhousehotel Tue 19-Feb-13 11:20:26

Pan and Greeneggs thanks so much for your replies! I've decided not to buy the MM book for now and to follow the very simple, easy to understand guidelines that you have both outlined. Thanks!

As for the 2 Day Diet - it came out last week and has therefore been having lots of press - MM wrote about it on the Fast Diet blog, he was quite positive about it - but if anyone is thinking about it - DON'T!!!!!!!!

There are many restrictions in place even on so-called unrestricted days.

I'll be starting enxt week, fast day Monday, so will be on here loads!

catsrus Tue 19-Feb-13 11:23:02

Hi to the new comers to this way of life (not just eating!) to those worried about the 500 cals - like panpiper - I often went way over to 700-800 and I have still lost 27lbs since starting in August (now on maintenance). Other days I would have less than 500. Dr MM said that the 500 wasn't a magic number - it's just a good compromise for most of us who would find a total fast difficult to sustain. Those of us doing this a while now have found it gets easier to fast so a 24 hr one seems quite do-able if we choose to do that.

When I'm out and about I find it easier not to eat and save my cals for an evening meal - when I'm at home on a fast day I find it easier to go for bulky veg (eg huge stews). The rules are simple. At least 2 days a week severely restrict your calorie intake, the rest of the time mainly eat sensible but you can have treats such as wine and meals out. Nothing is forbidden.

As for kick starting - I had a carb fuelled weekend, including home made bread which I over indulged in, and yesterday my weight was at the lower end of the 9st 5lb to 9.st 7lb wobble that I'm currently on and I expected it to be more like 9st 9lb confused but the key thing is that I was not worried either way as I now feel in control of what I eat, knowing a few days fasting will get me back on track. I do weigh every day as I have a history of pretending the weight is not creeping back on - seeing the scales keeps me grounded in reality smile.

good luck and welcome!

catsrus Tue 19-Feb-13 11:23:59

oh - and I bought the 2 day diet book too - blimey. great for references to the research but oh so over complicated I'm afraid.

MyGlassIsJustHalfWet Tue 19-Feb-13 11:31:52

Ok, have had a read through and just wanted to check I've got it right-
My tdee says 1700 cals a day so 5 days a week I stick to that then 2 days a week have just 500 a day.
I'm planning on having my 500 in the early evening.
Should I stick to the 1700 on non fast days? Does lowering it really make it les effective?
Can you do a fast day on no cals at all? Will this make it any more or less effective?
I've read about protein a lot- I don't have to make my meals high protein/low carb anymore?

kirstys23 Tue 19-Feb-13 11:38:19

Thanks for all the advice. I'm excited to get started! I'm planning on making a spicy chunky tomato soup that I used to eat on WW all the time. And Panpiper - It's going to be full of cauliflower! smile And I've got lots of camomile tea to stop my stomach rumbling!

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Tue 19-Feb-13 11:46:17

catsrus Thank you, sound advice. If I'm getting irritable I'll have an egg or something and not sweat it if it pushes me over the 500.

I think that as I'm getting close to my goal weight (I'm at 73kg and want to be 70) I'm getting nervous about something happening and my body going back to post baby blancmange state!

MyGlass I believe - but someone may correct me - that dieting on non-fast days in unneccessary as there is no evidence that you will lose more weight, and indeed you might screw up your metabolism. Stick to your TDEE.

BumBiscuits Tue 19-Feb-13 11:46:25

What fast days does everyone do?

I am on week three. First week I did Monday and Wednesday. Second week, due to expecting guests on the Monday (who cancelled), I did Tuesday and Thursday. I notice from the 5:2 forum that a lot of people do Monday and Thursdays. My thinking is that if on a Friday I feel I want to do a 3rd fast I can go ahead having already done a Monday and Wednesday. No point in me fasting at the weekends because that is my wine time.

What do you think/what logic do you use to choose your fast days?

ELR Tue 19-Feb-13 11:53:19

I have just started the 5:2 diet. I did try in August after watching the program but didn't succeed this time DH said he was doing it so have some support which is good. He started Saturday but I started yesterday and DH dd his second day.
I am so pleased with myself I coped fine yesterday on my first fastsay had 506 calories and planning next one for Thursday.
So plan to fast Mondays and Thursdays.
Had a large curry Sunday afternoon so just had apple crumble at 7pm on Sunday night my last meal before my fast day.

Yesterday I had green tea when I woke up and a few glasses of water at 12.45pm I had a bowl of porridge with grated apple and blueberries which I had soaked overnight using skimmed milk and a cup of tea with milk 185 calories.

I then had water and green tea until 5.45pm I then had a small bowl of homemade courgette and chilli soup followed by a 2 egg omelet, a ryvita and a tomato salad and a cup of tea with milk 255 calories.

At around 8.30 pm I had another small bowl of soup and a ryvita 66 calories soa total of 506 for the day.

This morning when I woke up I felt a little light headed and had a slight headache my skin on my face felt a little dry so have used some moisture surge on my skin and plan to use an overnight hydrating face mask on my fast days.
But I feel great and can't believe how easy it was I only ave about a stone to lose but ism also interested I the health benefits.

That's the longest post I've ever done I think!

Hello everyone. I'm thinking of joining you in the 5:2 thing but I have a question about exercise. I'm training for my first half-marathon (ouch). It presumably makes sense to fast on my non-running days, but what level of calorie intake should I be aiming for on my non-fasting days? I have been using MFP for a while, and obviously a 90 min run makes a huuuuge difference to your daily energy input/output. So do I eat loads to make up that deficit or try to stick with what my normal daily amount of calories should be? Sorry - boring and long-winded question! grin

Oh also, those of you who have a dh/dp who is not following this WOE, do you find that makes it harder for you to stick to it? My dh has a high metabolism and has been very fit and active all his life, so he doesn't really 'get' diets!

countryhousehotel Tue 19-Feb-13 12:24:22

catsrus yes the 2 Day Diet is SOOOOO complicated! Far too many rules and restrictions on the so called unrestricted days for DH and I to contemplate. I was so depressed reading it.

I just did my TDEE on the calculator and it came out at 2500. So does that mean i aim to eat a max of that many calories on non-fasting days and try not to exceed it?

ellenbrody Tue 19-Feb-13 12:28:09

Successful day yesterday (515 cals). I have normally had an omlette with lots of mushrooms and salad for dinner, but have found <ahem> that eggs, coupled with low food intake, leaves me a bit 'bunged up' so to speak (embarrassed face). Does anyone else suffer?
I tried a chickpea based dinner last night to see if that makes a difference - will have to wait and see!
Any advice welcome!

BsshBossh Tue 19-Feb-13 12:28:48

holmes my DH is fit, lean etc and has never dieted in his life but he's very interested in the health benefits of fasting so is doing 6:1. It makes it very easy for me to do 5:2 cause a) he understands why I'm doing it (health & weight loss) and b) we both fast on Mondays (Thursday additionally for me).

Daisy1407 Tue 19-Feb-13 12:30:35

Hi all

Im on my fast day today - so far ive had a little splash of milk in my tea and im trying to fill up on water and green teas. This is my 6th fast in total and today i am starving!
Im at work and its quite quiet which i feel isnt doing me any favours - im thinking of food!

Im popping out shortly to get some air lunchtime and will be picking out my tea for this evening - M&S meal coming up!

Good luck for all those fasting today x

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now