The 5:2 thread number 36 - Fighting (& losing) the Battle of the Bulge? Eating too much junk? 5:2 is a healthy, sustainable way to achieve & maintain your goal weight. Join our friendly support group!

(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 TDEE calculator to help you figure out how many calories you should be eating in a day.
NFD = Non fast day
NSV/LSV = Non scale victory/Lifestyle (change) 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:
_Other Threads_
All our previous threads can be found by browsing through the fasting section of the site.
_Tips and Links_ : 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!
_Inspirational_: 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.
_Recipes_: frenchfancy has a recipe thread over here, please post any low-calorie recipes there so they don't get lost in these bigger threads!
_Exercise_: bigchocfrenzy has an incredibly informative and helpful exercise and fitness thread for discussion and advice on combining 5:2 with an exercise regime.
_Maintaining_: 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.
_Other links_
This is a BBC article regarding Michael Mosley's findings, which was featured on Horizon - link to that programme here.
This Telegraph article comments on the diet and gives a brief overview by Dr Mosley himself, very informative if you're just starting.
This blog post 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 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 article 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. (Though anecdotal evidence from these long-running threads may suggest otherwise…)
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 way of life!

Breadandwine Tue 14-Jan-14 20:40:12

For anyone struggling to make it down to 500 cals on a FD: when I started, pre-Horizon programme, I was nervous, so I halved my calories - going down to approx 1200 twice a week. And I still lost weight - 8lbs over 6 months.

Even so, I've just remembered, I found myself googling "What can you eat on a fast day" in the evening. grin

Nowadays I can cheerfully manage on a <150 calorie FD - or even go through the day on liquids only.

It's amazing what the body gets used to.

So, what I'm saying is, you don't have to jump in at <500 or <600 calories. Just ease yourself into things gradually. Same with eating 3 meals on a fast day. I did this for a while, then decided I wouldn't eat until I became hungry. This never happened, and I ate my evening meal just to keep my wife company! I found it far easier to fast for 24 hours until dinner rather than have the faff of making three low-cal meals. But I could never have done this in the beginning!

BTW, I love to see just how quickly newcomers to this WOL start giving others a helping hand! flowers

Thanks for the new thread, BCF! 6 days, eh? That's manic! shock

Ubik1 Tue 14-Jan-14 20:41:17

Hello
I am new, I did 5:2 back in 2012 and lost half a stone. Have had a rather indulgent Christmas and seem to be on a bit of a sugar frenzy - it's funny how you get used to eating sugary things and they are hard to resist.

So anyway. Today first day and have eaten 600 calories which is more than I wanted to but, hey got to start somewhere. Will be more organised on Thursday with recipes taken from the thread. Thankyou for this thread, it makes 5:2 a little more enjoyable.

Exercise-wise I'm continuing with Bikram yoga twice a week. It's mainly filled with fit young things which is another incentive to shift my gut!

BsshBossh Tue 14-Jan-14 20:43:49

TIP love love love your TIPs at the end of last thread grin. TIPisms!

Eatriskier Tue 14-Jan-14 20:53:59

I've had a yummy roast dinner, 97g of good chocolate and am settling down with a couple of ales. A calorie bomb, but a planned one!

Mumraathenoisylion Tue 14-Jan-14 21:05:14

Just checking in, I've only posted a couple of times but find reading your posts very helpful.

Completed my 3rd or 4th fast day yesterday? It depends as on the first fast day I gave up at 7pm and had a chinese takeaway, so probably my 3rd true fast day. I had quorn chilli for dinner - calories calculated by me rather than a recipe but found it really filling and I enjoy having at least two days a week off meat or fish.

Also very pleased that I've found the weight watchers ready meals for days when I don't have the time or energy to cook a main dinner.

frenchfancy Tue 14-Jan-14 21:10:42

Well done BigChocFrenzy and I'm loving the TIPisms

NotAsTired Tue 14-Jan-14 21:17:17

Yay! FD over. In the end, it was not too much of a struggle. I had a small bowl of soup at 4pm and my dinner at 6ish. Off to bed soon.

BetsyBell Tue 14-Jan-14 21:17:30

flowers BigChoc

Some of these needed?

CLENCH

MEDS

DRINK WATER

grin

Tinkertaylor1 Tue 14-Jan-14 21:19:07

Hi ladies hope your all well

Tiredemma Tue 14-Jan-14 21:22:14

I fell off the Wagon today so will try harder tomorrow.

Gluezilla Tue 14-Jan-14 21:31:42

Marking my place so I can find you all again.
Off to bed with a herbal tea - night everyone smile

zedzedzed Tue 14-Jan-14 21:32:45

I'm full. I'm really full.This is some kind of miracle woe. I hope anyone struggling today isn't pissed off with my loving this but is reassured instead. It'll be me struggling another day.

STILL haven't got to the shops as am so busy up-cycling crap chairs and posting twaddle on t'internet.
So here's my 'Whaddafucksstillleftinmafridge NFD Dinner II' (sorry to FD peeps, but you can eat it tomorrow:

Stuck this lot in the oven: honey & fennel sausages, skin-on boiled tatties, lightly sweated onions&mushrooms, steamed green beans, spring greens & peas, drizzle over a little olive oil, balsamic glaze, chilli, salt n pepper, fennel seeds& pop in oven for...um...the length of two baby baths, a baby feed & emptying the nappy bucket, top with coriander (still from that manky old bit) served with a poached egg on top (of the dinner, not the nappy bucket). YUM.
And a yoggy pud after.
And a hot chocolate in a minute.

Not only am I truly full but I still have 800 cals of TDEE left as I had to stretch this dinner to three not two people at the last minute.

WTF? Amazing appetite reduction going on here. Anyone else?

Yeah, I would still love to stuff shite down me gub coz I've been gratifying myself that way for ages and it's a hard habit to break (giant Galaxy, whole Camembert, my old Christmas friends) but the difference is I'M NOT HUNGRY ANYMORE SO I WON'T. Very odd indeed.

EarSlaps Tue 14-Jan-14 21:49:13

Marking my place

DRINK WATER

Maeve789 Tue 14-Jan-14 21:55:25

When u r at your correct weight u switch to 6:1

TalkinPeace Tue 14-Jan-14 21:58:14

Maeve - many of us have not - we stick with 5:2 as it leaves more leeway for wine

BsshBossh Tue 14-Jan-14 22:00:49

zedzed snap on the appetite reduction but it took me several months of 5:2 to get to this stage; it's taken you several days! This WOE most definitely suits you smile

ELR Tue 14-Jan-14 22:01:37

It's a weird feeling isn't it zzz!
Was just debating whether to have something to eat ie a snack! But then I clicked on the last thread and saw tips no snacking and changed my mind! I've clenched and had a glass of water instead! Thanks
Off to bed in a minute night all.

Southeastdweller Tue 14-Jan-14 22:06:12

My appetite also reduced shortly after starting 5:2 a year ago...maybe my stomach shrunk, I don't know, but it helps to keep my calorie consumption down on NFD's and helps me maintain. But I always encourage the occasional splurge if anyone feels like it.

zedzedzed Tue 14-Jan-14 22:07:21

God, I hope so, Bsssh hope it doesn't all go saggy-tits-up any time soon as I'm loving it. Hoping the dreaded weigh-in next month will confirm the koolness of this woe with a nice loss so I can relax (about this choice, not about what goes in my gob willynilly!) and let my body find its way back to normal and healthy.

Off to bed, NFD tomorrow, Cake Wednesdays at playgroup tomorrow now holds no dread...I can have a wee bit without being a failure or setting off a big cake binge.

thanks all. Night.

DottiestDoris Tue 14-Jan-14 22:18:58

Evening all! Marking place but also want to say that I made Rocky Road muffins today with ds1 and ate one guilt free as made allowances elsewhere to come in under my TDEE. I love this woe. I might even have one tomorrow too!

missjemima Tue 14-Jan-14 22:19:04

Hello! de-lurking quickly to ask a question... Have been fasting the last couple of weeks, all going fine. Went to docs yesterday with a raging sore throat (tonsillitis) and now on penicillin for 10 days. Should I stop fasting? Any experiences? TIA

DottiestDoris Tue 14-Jan-14 22:20:05

Evening all! Marking place but also want to say that I made Rocky Road muffins today with ds1 and ate one guilt free as made allowances elsewhere to come in under my TDEE. I love this woe. I might even have one tomorrow too!

missjemima flowers Hope your throat gets better asap.
We always recommend NO fasting when ill; even if you have a cold, best to cancel an FD. With antibiotics, don't fast until you are well again.

While ill:
- Drink plenty of water
- Avoid junk and snacking. eat as healthily as you can, to help your body.
- Aim for around TDEE daily, but don't force yourself to eat if not hungry.
- Avoid vigorous exercise, but if the weather is good and you feel like it, then wrap up warmly and take a short walk outside.

ImABadGirl Tue 14-Jan-14 22:47:33

woo hoo new thread, just got home from an important footie game, I did havw the biggest hot dog and half a pint of stout...oh and 3 mars bars!

Went over TDEE by 89 cals, fast day tomorrow smile

WhenSheWasBadSheWasExhausted Tue 14-Jan-14 23:11:51

bssh I like that bbc link. It seemed to suggest it can take a while to get used to fasting. So if you are struggling at first maybe you should ease yourself into getting down to 500 over a few weeks.
Breadandwine's experience seems promising, managing a 150 cal fast is impressive.

My fast day is over and I'm on 800 cals. Nfd tomorrow woo hoo.

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