The 5:2 thread number 33 - Counting down to Christmas (and NOT thinking about the impending chocapocolaypse. Yet)

(1000 Posts)

The continuing thread for those of us following the 5:2 fast or other forms of fasting such as 4:3, ADF, or daily 16:8.

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 normally - or approximately your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE - see explanation below). 4:3 is the same except you fast on 3 days in the week. Alternate-day fasting (ADF) is just how it sounds; you fast every other day. 16:8 is another form where you stick to only eating in an 8 hour window each day, therefore fasting for 16 hours each 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 or app 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.

NFD = Non fast day

NSV = Non scale victory

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

Lurkers and new starters: please just jump in and post - you'll find a lot of support here and we’re a friendly bunch.

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:

All our previous threads can be found by browsing through the fasting section of the site.

Another thread which breadandwine has started is a good resource for some of the tips and links 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!

eatriskier’s thread has some lovely inspiring stories which are worth checking out if you want some motivation to get started or keep going through a plateau. Please add your own too.

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.

There's a link to the aforementioned Horizon programme here.

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.

This link nicely demonstrates that there are many body ‘right’ body shapes and types, because what we are actually aiming for is low body fat for fitness and health.

A Telegraph article which comments on the diet and gives a brief overview by Dr Mosley himself, very informative if you're just starting. (I highly recommend this for an 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. 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.

A HUGE THANK YOU to Greeneggsandnicht for putting together all this info and resources into one concise OP text, much appreciated by so many 5:2ers!

Come join us, and tell us about your experiences with this diet!

hopefulgum I agree with you about why you don't want to calorie count on NFDs but it is a useful exercise from time to time. It's worth checking that your normal eating habits are in line with your Tdee - after all, there is a reason that weight got put on and it could be as simple as going over by 10% on a daily basis.

Also, it's worth remembering that your Tdee shrinks as you shrink. I do the odd day here and there where I check my calorie intake, just to make sure I haven't normalised over sized portions. In fact, I'll probably do an Mfp checking day in the new year as Christmas eating may well have skewed my perception!

bigchoc thank you for new thread supplying flowers grin

Also your comment about sleep ties in with my experience on this WOL - For a couple of months I'd only manage a few restless hours, but always feel fine on it. Now I sleep fine on fds.

In fact, I probably sleep better than I used to and no longer find that drinking caffeine after midday keeps me from switching off like it always used to.

That might be that I've just raised my caffeine tolerance though... Definitely become more of a coffee junkie since starting IF!

I think I'll fast today - it is Monday after all grin

Good Morning everyone.

MFD for me. Have been for a run and cycle on my cross trainer already this morning. Am feeling back in the groove. DH and I have hit the holidays in a completely different way - he's decided that until next Christmas there's not really going to be an excuse to blow out like this again and he's kind of right. However I feel the need for the detox brought from a fast nothing to do with the fact he barely drinks and I drink like a fish

Hope everyone fasting yesterday was successful as is everyone joining me today, especially all you newcomers or wagon-fallers fgrin

DinoSnores Mon 30-Dec-13 08:32:36

I've not noticed any changes in my sleep on FDs. If anything, I think I am keeping myself more busy, so am more organised, so can get to bed earlier with everything sorted, and might be sleeping better.

Although I weigh myself every day, given that my first fast was on a Monday I've made Monday my official weigh in day - and I have lost another 1.4 kg, so that's almost 3 kg after a fortnight! And that's been over Christmas, with Christmas dinner, dinner out, visiting people and having people to visit, and I've never felt deprived, so I am very pleased at the weight loss and about how I can see this fitting into my lifestyle in the long term.

Welcome to all the newcomers!

BiscuitsAreMyDownfall Mon 30-Dec-13 08:41:04

Signing in for FD day today. I was over 11 stone this morning for the first time since mid December so I have to do something. Soup for lunch and stew for dinner with an options hot chocolate later and lots of water. I can eat more tomorrow. I am determined today, DH can just do 1 if he has a problem.

Thanks for the new thread BigChoc

Well done Dino

BsshBossh Mon 30-Dec-13 08:52:50

Good loss Dino.

Checking in for FD Monday. Green and rosehip teas all day then green veg soup for dinner.

hopefulgum Mon 30-Dec-13 09:23:29

Wow Dino, that is an amazing loss, with all that Christmas food. What an inspiration!

I have been mucking about with the My Fitness Pal Ap and have worked out a couple of things. According to the Ap to lose 1kg a week I have to have an intake of only 1200 cals a dayshock. To lose 1/2 a kilo it was a bit over 1300. But when I work out my TDEE for the weight I want to be (rather than the weight I am now) it comes in at 1797. So I did the math and it makes more sense to have two fast days at 500 and the rest at TDEE. However it turns out to be more calories over the week than if I did 1200 a day all week, should I worry about that, or stick with TDEE on NFD's?

1797 is alot easier to live with than 1200. Today I have had two pieces of toast with butter, peanut butter and vegemite for breakfast, an atkins chocolate bar and a lemon yoghurt for snacks, a toasted ham cheese and tomato sandwich for lunch and plan to have fajitas (without the tortilla) for dinner, with guacomole, followed by grilled peaches and mascapone, and it comes in under 1700! I certainly wouldn't be having much to eat on 1200 calories.

I hope that by sticking with the TDEE of my goal weight (with "light" exercise, though I do more than that usually), I will reach my goal.

I'd love to hear what others think of it - do you stick to TDEE on NFD's? Or less?

ELR Mon 30-Dec-13 09:32:54

Stick to 2 x500 fast days and then 1797 tdee on the other 5, well that's what I'd do.

Ignore the 1200 gum! You are creating a calorie deficit with the 2 fasting days. It's helpful to look at weekly rather than daily intake and divide up the calories over the week.

Many of us subscribe to 2 fast days, 3 or 4 days at Tdee or 10%ish under, (ie being 'good' on weekdays), 1 or 2 days where anything goes (eg Saturday night plus Sunday roast feast!)

The contrast between a feast day and fast day seems to keep the metabolism guessing and can help weightloss (not scientific but anecdotal evidence on these threads). It also means you don't feel deprived and constantly on a diet.

I think you can set Mfp to maintenance rather than weightloss then it'll give you the correct Tdee which you can ignore on fast days!

Dino nicely done!

hopeful don't worry too much about the numbers. MFP doesn't take into account fasting day deficits and also the figures are averages. They do work for a lot of people, but not necessarily everyone. For instance they say you need a weekly deficit of 3500 calories to lose 1lb. If I get that sort of deficit now, I could easily lose 2-3lbs and that's at a BMI of 21. Conversely though it may well be I don't need much over calories to gain. But we've already addressed my freakishness on this thread! Like ELR and Betsy say, set MFP to maintenance and stick to around that on NFD with 2 FDs of 500 (or a quarter of maintenance if you want). If you find you are losing weight decently like that then stick to it, if not then there are plenty of tweaks you can build in.

BetsyBell Mon 30-Dec-13 10:37:49

Well done Dino - if you can manage that over Christmas then I think you've got it sussed!

Well done, Dino, 5:2 obviously suits you.
Yes, it does fit so well into everyday living and doesn't require any special shopping, which is why it is a sustainable WOL, not a short-term diet.

Chubby Working in a pizza house ! You have one of my dream jobs (along with quality control for Lindt choc)

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Mon 30-Dec-13 11:42:11

I will catch up later. Currently struggling with asthma attacks fairly often while refereeing DD being a PITA with DS2 and keeping an eye on the cheese twists I have in the oven. I feel so grotty. Supposed to be fasting. Have no energy. No appetite. No patience as the kids are driving me mad. I suspect DH will get well just in time to go back to work sad. He has been ill for a week now. DD got a cold. I have a headache. I may take a break from this thread as I am sure I am getting boring now and bringing everyone down.

inamerrymuckingfuddle Mon 30-Dec-13 11:46:23

well done dino amazing loss - I think I might have 'found' it though! FD today, so far so good...
hopeful I ignore what MFP recommends and work on a basis of 1700 a day, restricting to 500 twice a week and overdoing it at the weekends, its worked for me so far (I didn't stick to it last week though!)

Toffee You are definitely not boring us; this thread is for support, so feel free to vent whenever you want. Multiple illnesses and problems would get anyone down, so we all sympathise with you.

I recommend you stop FDs completely until you are fully recovered. Just stick to TDEE and healthy eating. And try to rest.
Hang in there !
(({hug}))]

BsshBossh Mon 30-Dec-13 12:39:41

Toffee don't take a thread break; we're a support thread; we're here for each other! Besides, if you feel you need to leave then the rest of us won't feel like we can offload here too. Illness is lousy and it's nice to have a moan about it.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Mon 30-Dec-13 12:40:28

Well done Dino. It is so great when a plan works, isn't it? smile.

Thanks BigChoc. It is my asthma causing me more worries at the moment as I know it can be serious. Just not getting any time to rest as we still have to sort out the kids. We had hoped to go for a walk today but it is blowing a gale and chucking it down and I would have still gone if I hadn't woken up worse. Just feel out of it.

I had a couple of cheese twists for lunch as I figured I am not going to get better on no food. Am I right that you need to eat when ill to get better or have I been doing it all wrong when people are ill?

Need to drink. Only had a Lemsip today.

BsshBossh Mon 30-Dec-13 12:40:48

Don't take a thread break, take a fasting break. Your body need fuel and nutrients to heal and you need energy to deal with the DC.

BsshBossh Mon 30-Dec-13 12:42:16

X-posted with you Toffee. Glad you've eaten. We're all different: sometimes when ill I have no appetite and food is something I don't need, but other times there's nothing like yummy food to make me feel better.

inamerrymuckingfuddle Mon 30-Dec-13 12:43:02

toffee I missed that in your post (PMT brain + fasting + taking 10yo girls shopping = useless) you mustn't go! Wise advice from BCF and bssh - stop fasting for a couple of weeks, take it easy, get yourself right again but don't stop talking!

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Mon 30-Dec-13 12:43:21

Oh no Bssh I don't want anyone thinking they can't post what they want. I am just saying the same moan over again and not being any help to anyone. I haven't been this poorly for a couple of years and I don't like it <would stamp feet if I could>.

Hopeful You need to average your 1800 TDEE on NFDS like Betsy & the others wrote (10% under some days, higher at weekends).
This helps keep up your metabolic rate and lean body mass, to avoid your body going into "starvation mode"

BsshBossh Mon 30-Dec-13 12:46:45

(((*Toffee*))) This is such an odd winter: nearly every one know (including DH and I) have cold-related illnesses that are lingering much longer than usual. Most odd. Usually, even winter, we recover quickly from winter ailments but certainly not this year. In our family we've all had colds for more than a month angry.

BsshBossh Mon 30-Dec-13 12:59:08

Can anyone here advise this poster in trying 5:2 with a history of disordered eating?

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/fasting_diet/1951757-Wondering-if-this-is-right-for-me-history-of-disordered-eating?msgid=43959757#43959757

WhenSheWasBadSheWasExhausted Mon 30-Dec-13 13:00:33

Hi I just wanted to join in, I'm a newbie and posted on the new thread before bigchoc redirected me here not even started fasting and I'm already cocking it up grin

I haven't really had chance to read the whole thread but I'm sorry a lot of you have been ill. We've all had the same bug, ds (nearly 9 weeks) has it and has a horrid cough.

I'm not starting till ds is over this bug, which will hopefully be soon.

BiscuitsAreMyDownfall Mon 30-Dec-13 13:04:03

Well so far my FD is going to plan. It's not easy with DH moaning about me not eating, but next week will be easier as I will be at work. Talking of working in tempting environments, my new job is in an ice cream factory. In the office I work in there is a freezer with ice creams for the staff. Apparently I'm entitled to a litre or two a week to bring home.

This thread is not accepting new messages.