Tips and links for those practicing Intermittent Fasting (IF). 5:2 or Alternate Day Fasting (ADF)(267 Posts)
This is where those posters who have been IFing for a while can pass on any tips they may have on how to get the best out of this new WOE (way of eating).
It's also where you should post any new links on the subject that you come across - and would just get buried in a very long thread.
I just wanted to get this thread underway, so that GreenEggs can link to it in the new 5:2 thread (the 5th in just 2 months!) that's she is currently planning.
and on fast days think of things that are bulky and slow to eat but low calorie : like veggie stews
then you do not feel like you have lost out
PLAN your menu
Do read the stuff and links on the main 5:2 thread .. and watch the Michael Mosley Horizon programme if you've not seen it .. its still on YouTube.. Get onto something like myfitnesspal to count calories .. and Jump In!!
Stick to 500 cals 2 days a week (or 3 days ,or every other day whatever you are doing .. 5:2 or 4:3 seems about the most popular here ) in one or two meals ..with plenty of non or very low cal liquids (diet drinks are not really the best idea because they can make you hungry amongst other things ) liquids like water or green tea or recommended, coffee is fine (I couldn't do without it!) but do count milk calories if you have it.
Try to have a period of 16 hours when you don't eat at all but do have liquids - l (for optimum cell repair) - most of us do most of this at night!
And on non-fast days eat somewhere around your normal calorie needs (check this out for your weight activity level on the BMR link above ) .Eat what you want but don't go mad ..you are aiming for an overall calorie deficit not making up for your fast days .
Good luck , we are a friendly group and I can honestly say that this WOE (way of eating) has been great for me doesn't feel like a diet at all..
Keep in mind the first few fast days can be quite tough, so try to stick through them before you decided if this is the way of eating for you. I recall barely making it through the first one, but now I find fast days very easy.
I personally find it a lot easier to skip breakfast and lunch on fast days, and have most of my calories for dinner. This means I can have a fairly sensible meal and don't go to bed wanting to gnaw off an arm.
Hot drinks during the day are a good way to keep busy if you're feeling the need to snack or just have "something". Keep track of your milk consumption, though.
Cuppa soups are also good.
Come join us in the other thread if you're interested in chatting about this!
Agree with Greeneggs about skipping breakfast.
My biggest tip to to avoid what I call white carbs (bread, pasta, potatoes, rice) on fast days, they seem to make me hungrier.
And that is coming from a carb freak whos entire menu, 3 meals a day, is normally based around white carbs.
Here are some tips Ive extracted from the first thread from 8th to 20th August. For brevity Ive left out the posters - but this info can be found on the thread. I have edited some of them for accuracy - but if Ive got anything wrong, Im very happy to be corrected.
Some suggested foods are:
1 Beetroot salad with peeled apple. The peel of the apple has all the nutrients. To avoid the waste stew the rest of the apple and give to children/babies as weaning food or have it on your non fast day
2. Plain omelette
3. Sticks of carrot
4. Wafer thin salmon and rocket salad with beetroot
5. Tinned mackerel in tomato sauce with rice and green beans/veg
Remember it is not about eating nothing. You are aiming to eat no more than 500 calories on the fast days. Keeping busy really helps as well. If you are getting the rumbles put the kettle on and have hot water. I found that I didn't need tea/coffee and my body had become accustomed to hot/warm water.
On Twitter, [Dr] Mosley said that he has had to cut back to 6:1 now, as he was losing too much weight! He has 2 meals a day on his fast days, so it must still work fine.
So I had miso soup (17 calories, folks)
If any of you are interested in some of the rubbish we have been told in the last 30 tears wrt [sic?] calories, weigh control etc then I really recommend Dr John Briffas book "Escape the diet trap". It is sobering (and angering) reading.
I think part of what this 5:2 plan (and others) is getting at is we need to learn it's OK to feel hungry and in fact is an essential part of being slim. I speak as a lifelong overeater - the FULL feeling is so normal to me and I had some weird fear about feeling hungry. Well guess what - it's not the end of the world. I live in a city with stores everywhere - I can have food at any moment I want, so hunger isn't a sign I'm about to perish or get weak. The last couple of months I've been learning to embrace feeling hungry and being comfortable with that - it's a sign from my body to eat again soon (and hopefully that it is burning fat now), not a sign to be feared.
Whoever said this upthread is a genius - it will be my mantra from now on. It IS ok to feel hungry. Immediate death from starvation will not occur.
Well normal day. I just had a handful of blueberries, a chopped plum, some strawberries and 3 teaspoons of strawberry yoghurt. It came to 127cals. Definately will bear that in mind for a fast day lunch!
In fact, this whole notion of 'you must eat breakfast' is a killer for me. If I don't eat breakfast, I don't get hungry, if I do eat breakfast, I'm ravenous all day long!
Dinner was prawns, broccoli and pak choi stir fry - found a lovely low cal soy, chilli and coriander dressing in M&S today which worked great with this and I expect to use quite a lot on my fast days!
Can I just add that whether you're going ADD or 5:2, it will really be counter productive to lower your calorific intake on the up days. The whole point of this diet is to get start the gene SIRT1 into working properly, if you don't eat a sufficient calorie load on your updays then this won't happen, your body will go into starvation mode and fight to keep every last ounce of fat that you have by lowering, rather than increasing( which is what we are aiming for) your metabolic rate. Please read: The Alternate Day Diet by James B Johnson for a more complete explanation.
Oh, and waitrose Love Life hot chocolate is only 38 calories per mug (4-6 tsp) and their chunky minestrone soup is 140 for a whole tin.
Just had an M&S Fuller Longer Asian style king prawn and rice salad (255 calories)- yummy! Noticed that Pret are doing some nice stuff too - Crayfish and avocado salad for just over 200 calories. Well that's Wednesday sorted!
I can definitely recommend the Waitrose Love Life chunky minestrone soup. Huge bowlful for 140 cals, really yummy and didn't feel the need for any bread either as it had pasta shells in.
Asparagus is weirdly filling and grated (or whizzed to chips in a processor) courgette blasted for 30 secs in microwave is a great rice substitute
The people on Mosley's documentary were strongly against too much protein which is counter to most low carb diets. I think the argument was something to do with proteins creating hormonal issues in the body affecting the health effects but not really sure... Mosley recommends 60g per day max on his Twitter discussions.
I'm thinking it might be an idea to put aside some milk in a jug so I know how much I am using in coffee or tea.
I have a pot of jelly (hartleys) that is less than 10cals a pot. Hate to think what's in it, but if it helps me get through a fast day, then I don't really care
Another tip: Corsadyll(sp?) Mouthwash leaves such a strong taste in the mouth, the only thing you can put in your mouth without it tasting foul is water.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I'm awfully sorry about these multiple posts!
First of all I posted the full message - but the site hung up on me for ages - so I posted it again - same result, the URL line just hung there forever.
So, I thought, Mumsnet doesn't like long posts, I'll split it in two. Unbeknownst to me, however, the messages had got through, so I was duplicating like mad!
I would be grateful if some kind moderator would sort this out for me! and
Breadandwine you can report your posts and they'll delete the excess ones.
My top tips for easy eating on a fast day:
vegetables are your best friends
small quantities of legumes
lean protein eg seafood
adding spices makes it more interesting and filling
starchy white carbs
Here's more info on IGF-1 and protein restriction generally on The Fast Doctor site:
Sorry, forgot to say thanks to Sputnik! [thumbs up]
really tasty spicy soups or meal soups are great and filling if you pefer to buy ready made food, if I'm fasting on a home day I tend to cook from scratch, but at work ot when i don't have much time it's much easier to bring something in, Covent Garden soups/New York Big Soups/Glorious! soups?sainsburys meal soups - the chicken arrabiatta is lovely.
I agree also that home made curries and stews with plenty of veg and tinned tomatoes and mushrooms (really low calorie) work really well. I definitely like to feel full and therefore not deprived on this WOE.
I have a panini press that I use like a george forman and it's great for quickly cooking chicken/mushrooms/courgettes/peppers aubergines without any oil to add to some salad greens.
and if I'm opening the fridge door in boredom in the evening I either take myself off for a bath and a pedicure or go to bed early with a book, both things that feel like a treat!
Hi really useful thread, thanks.
Been ADF now for around 8 weeks, things I've found that get me through:
No breakfast start eating as late as possible
Hot tea instead of breakfast
Sugar free gum
Choosing the best days to Fast according to your schedule
Reminding myself I can eat everything I want tomorrow
On feed days making sure I get enough of the nutrients (loads) my body might crave the following day when fasting (note nutrients - not necessarily calories)
Knowing the calorific values of stuff (loads of free websites out there that'll tell you how many calories in 100g of green beans etc
Cuppa soup, thick, salty and filling - there are some decent ones out there as low as 60 calories (Ainslee Harriet Szechun Chicken being one)
Having most of my calories in my main meal and keeping that till as late as poss.
Exercise usually suppresses my hunger and kills time.
And if things get really tough....reading all the inspirational stuff on here from others following this WOE.
Good luck to all
I can't add anything to this - even the sugarfree jelly! For years when dieting I have divided a Hartleys jelly into 6 babyfood pots, around 6 cals each, and they just finish off a meal nicely.
In the 8 weeks I've been doing 5:2 my fast days have settled down into:
breakfast - nothing
Lunch - soup
Dinner - prawn salad or eggs
Drinks - Diet fizzy drinks (don't shoot me TalkinPeace it works for me), black coffee, teas and lots of water.
They are easy now, especially when I do them on working days.
The whole point of this WOE is that you stop snacking and leave decent gaps between the times that you put calories into your system - at least one 16 hour gap per fast.
Are you snacking?
Why are you snacking ? What prompts you to start picking in the evening?
Why is that food in the house in the first place .....
Take a step back and get the 16 hour gap easy to do.
Then add in an extra bit to do the 500 in 24 hours.
If you are hungry in the evening, avoid eating all day and then have a really filling supper (I just had a HUGE bowl of soup and had to loosen my belt - all 420 calories thereof!)
Others have very accurately said that there is a real mindset to eating too much, and only once you have recognised it can you turn it round and get the eating the right amount mindset.
Hang on in there.
And take little steps at first
one key coping strategy: keep yourself busy on fast days.
For me one of the strengths of this WOE is it is a longterm lifestyle choice (I sound like a bl**dy hippy) and not a short term diet. So if you don't lose weight for a month or you feast when you planned to fast or you hit 2 calories over your target one day none of this matters as we all have (hopefully) many years of this in front of us. Even losing on average only 1/2 a pound every week over 13 weeks you'd be half a stone lighter, by the summer a stone lighter...it will come and the health benefits, if the studies can be believed are there all the time.
I think my main take on this thing so far has been - do what works for you! The thing is, there hasn't been enough research on this yet to know exactly what is best (400, 500 or 600 cals? alternate days or 5:2? How to eat on eating days?), and also, everyone is different so what works best for one person may not be the best thing for someone else.
So the way I see it is, do whatever works for you to make it sustainable and to get some benefits - we don't know exactly how to get MAX benefits so that's not a good target to aim for! But if you can do a good approximation of what's being suggested (approx. 500 cals, 2 or 3 days a week, ideally with a long-ish fast period incorporated at some point) then you are likely to see benefits.
I second everyone who says don't worry about occasional weight blips. I've been doing this for 9 weeks now and have had some big loss weeks and some no loss weeks, and I've been rigorous about the fasting and exercising. No idea why it's so uneven, but it's all downwards over time and I can definitely see myself doing this forever if needs be.
:-) I thought that did not look like your typing style breadandwine !!!!
mollysfolly The diet fizzy drinks are working for you, but in the long term they are NOT a substitute for healthy food and drink. They were only invented comparatively recently, health risks associated with them are starting to appear and they are completely avoidable.
Can I recommend Marigold bouillon (sp?) powder for fast days? Makes a really filling hot drink at 12 calories a cup. They do a low salt version too. I have a cup when I'm bored, hungry or cold, and it stops me from thinking too much about food. I also don't associate it with food-I struggle to have tea or coffee without wanting a biscuit or piece of cake to go with it
Ouch TalkinPeace!! I realise the diet drinks are 'completely avoidable' but thought this thread was tips to help people cope with the 5:2 diet. There is nothing forbidden according to the Horizon documentary.
As I've been drinking them for over 35 years and I enjoy excellent health I'll have to risk the 'long-term effects'
:-) Mollys - sugar free drinks were originally done with Saccharin, now its mostly aspartame. But my problem with them is that they are designed to trick your system - they meet the craving for sweetness without actually giving the bloodstream its sugar rush - which is why they are implicated in Insulin problems. Also the acid in the carbonated water is really bad for your teeth.
Since I read up on the issues with fizzy drinks I now treat them in the same way I do alcohol - a treat for weekends and with meals, no more. DH and I now hardly have fizzy, and the kids are down to the three meals a week when DH and I have booze ... and when we are out or on holiday....
If your metabolism copes fine with them, cool. Many people do not.
Tips from me, I've lost 3 stone so far (quarter of my body weight)
-all kinds of tea, unlimited
-either small breakfast or lunch, never both in same day
-2 nights per week, no dinner (breakfast and lunch both allowed on those days)
-2 x exercise per week
-no white carbs allowed at dinner ever (bread, pasta, rice, potatoes)
That's about it in a nutshell :-)
I have no rules, other than sticking rigidly to 500 cals or fewer on fast days. I don't always eat particularly healthily and I don't avoid white carbs. Today I had tea with milk, a low cal hot chocolate and one slice of bread, toasted and spread with tomato sauce, with two grilled fish fingers. I eat what I want on eating days, but don't go mad. I'm doing ADF and have gone from 11 stone to 9 stone 11, so it is working. I think white carbs do make you hungrier, but I can cope with that on fast days.
I dont avoid white carbs either on food days - but then I adore pizza and past and bread!
Just to add - when I say I don't have white carbs at dinner that is true...however the either/or breakfast lunch is often a cake! But cake isn't pasta/rice/bread/potats so it's fine! ;-)
Sun 09-Sep-12 13:19:15
Found this guy while doing 5:2 research though you might like to have a look. He has been doing it for years and wrote "Eat Stop Eat"
[From Herrena Fri 07-Sep-12 17:31:16]
I think someone asked a question on the previous thread about IGF1... by a curious coincidence I used to work on the receptor for that hormone!
The receptor for IGF1 is massively overproduced in many cancers, with the result that the cancer cells are very responsive to the hormone, thus growing faster than normal cells. This links in with the IGF1-deficient people featured in the Horizon documentary; they don't produce the hormone and so don't grow large, but they also don't develop full-blown cancer. I think that's because even if they did develop cancerous cells, they wouldn't get the chance to grow fast because there's no hormone about.
In the documentary there was some mention of the fact that decreased protein intake led to decreased production of IGF1, thereby driving the body into 'fix-it' mode rather than 'growth' mode (these aren't official terms, I'm paraphrasing). So logically those people who are doing this for health benefits such as increased production of neural cells probably ought to reduce protein intake, or at least not have too much of it for the last meal of the day.
Confusingly, there are also studies showing that low-carbing long-term will also extend your life-span significantly (worms lived twice as long). Maybe it activates the same sort of 'fix-it' mode as ADF, who knows.
Good job with all the links, I have found them v interesting.
Re your above post:
What is the receptor for IGF-1 that you mention? Is it Estrogen? I have done some basic googling on links between and IGF-1 and lung cancer and found a paper claiming that that the estogen receptor and IGF-1 upregulate the progression of NSCLC. Is estrogen receptor the only one or are there many receptors?
The amount of protein intake seems to me to be a tough one to gauge, especially if one is doing a fairly high level of aerobic exercise in conjunction with IF. I'm keen to see more research in this area on how much to take, what kind of protein to take and when to take it. All seems a bit inexact at the moment.
One more question, on the main thread do you know where the idea of doing a 16hr fasting period comes from? I don't recall any reference to this practice on the Horizon prog.
Hi skippy! Thanks for that - I feel that all the research should be in one place, otherwise it'll just get lost.
Your first question you should address to Herrena, who first posted that info. Might be best to PM her since I haven't seen any activity from her recently.
About protein intake, if you follow the link I gave on the 8th October, to The Fasting Connection, it leads to a discussion about the levels of protein. .8 of a gram of protein per kilo of body weight seems to be the agreed level - although the Fast Doctor (it's his forum) says that's too high.
The 16 hour fast question has been answered on one of the earlier threads - I'm hoping I've got it somewhere to link to it. Perhaps later today.
Thanks Breadandwine. Apologies I should have noticed that the IGF-1 info was a copy of a posting from Herrena.
0.8g of protein per kg of body weight seems fairly generous.
Please don't worry about finding the ref to the 16hr fast idea, I'll go trawling thru the other posts myself.
OK skippy - although I have some info here on the 16 hour issue since others may be interested:
Laska42 (Wed 22-Aug-12 15:07:33) said:
"I may have this wrong but I believe what Dr M was saying is that you should go 16 hours with no food at all , to give your body time to go into cell repair mode.
So 500 cals on a fast day (I think he said the optimal is only 400 for a woman , but I don't think I can do that right now) and then eat your last meal so that you have time to make up 16 hours of no eating over night to reduce the amount of insulin in your body and stop cells from being in 'Go go' mode ..
Perhaps some one else who's been doing it longer can clarify / confirm"
Important article here on how fasting helps combat cancer.
Thanks again Breadandwine. I don't recall any mention of a 16hr non eating period on the Horizon prog. My understanding was that on a fasting day Dr M ate his 600calories at any time of day either spread out or all in one go.
The Dailymail article/link is also interesting. Hopefully IF will prevent cancer in the first place. Not sure if I could handle IF and chemo at the same time, although some chemo drugs go a long way to ensuring you don't want to eat at all without you making any intentional effort to fast.
No worries, skip!
I don't remember MM mentioning 16 hours, either. But I have seen other comments/reasons which I was hoping to include - I've got them somewhere, and I'll post them when I find them.
It's beginning to seem as if most of the ills that afflict us in later life can be cured or ameliorated by fasting. What effect would this have on the NHS and caring if fasting became mainstream?
The only people who would suffer would be those in big pharma! Remember what MM's wife (a GP) told him, " This means that you'll never have to take tablets!"
On a personal note, I thought I'd do the balance test featured in the Horizon prog, this morning, 'Standing on one leg, eyes closed'.
I managed 21 seconds on my right leg - and 28 seconds on my left before I got bored and stopped. Not bad for a bloke my age!
I do a lot of balancing as part of yoga and yes, its hard, but INCREDIBLY good for your vestibular, circulation and musculoskeletal systems
To make the balancing harder, with eyes shut, S-L-O-W-L-Y raise your arms out sideways (or all the way up if you can) and back down ....
Thanks, TP2, I'll try that and report back.
Here are a few more links I've found on the first thread:
alfiemama Wed 08-Aug-12 11:18:52
Found this link which is interesting.
hopkinette Wed 08-Aug-12 13:34:55
nutritiondata.self.com/ is a fantastic website that someone linked me to, which lets you search for about a million different foods and gives you a huge range of values for them - not just calorie count but also protein, sodium, and shitloads of other information.
From Dr Mosley's Twitter feed:
Interview with Professor Mark Mattson (May 2012) on the link between fasting and disease prevention
BAW really like this thread , which I'd forgotten about .. well done for putting all this in one place ..
That article from PUFAS and Fructrose Really interesting
Some interesting research on the BBC news website today:
I appreciate that this study is not about long term fasting but could these findings be one of the reasons why 5/2 fasters aren't losing the weight they expect in the first few weeks of 5/2 IF?
Another link to a blog with some v interesting articles on the subject of fasting, this one in particular caught my eye as so many people on these pages seem to be coming at IF from the angle of how much can I get away with eating, when really the benefits of IF come from the fasting itself.
That's a great link, skippy, thanks. It's made me rethink my MO - I've got in the habit of eating late on the evening before I fast (didn't last night), and then eating about 6.30 or 7.00 on the next day.
For further reference Mark Butcher's blog is here and his questioning was based on 5:2 IF:
Interesting to note that in the horizon prog Dr M states that "(prof)Mark Mattson doesn't think it matters when you eat your calories on a fast day" but in Mattson's e-mail reply in the blog he advocates the one meal per day approach
I've referred to your links on the main thread - it's pretty important stuff!
In the light of this, skippy, I went 22 hours from eating on Tuesday evening to dinner on Wednesday - without feeling hungry at all. I would have done the full 24 hours, but my wife wouldn't let me go out without a meal inside me. I didn't want to upset her, so I had my dinner (a plateful of chilli with a baked potato - 274 cals altogether).
I came home around 11 after a game of cards with some mates feeling on top of the world - I had so much energy I was almost buzzing. I went to bed at 1.30 and now I'm up again, can't sleep.
Here's a health study:
"The effects of intermittent or continuous energy restriction on weight loss and metabolic disease risk markers: a randomised trial in young overweight women"
I smiled when I read you did a 22hr fast. Yesterday was a fast day for me too and after reading that e-mail I too thought I'd skip dinner, and did so with out too much discomfort although wasn't a very active day.
I've skim read your link to the research paper. From my layman perspective that looks like a good study. Interested to read that only just over half of the IER group thought they would continue with the regime after the 6mth study. I guess the goal is to find a comfort level with IF that we can all achieve and stick to that provides health benefits, as Dr M was seeking to do. Hard core fasting obviously has the best health benefits but is not so achievable.
I wish my wife shared the same concerns as yours re going 24hrs without a meal. Mine just shakes her head and rolls her eyes when I mention I'm hungry or comment on good smells coming from the kitchen...
Total Daily Energy Expenditure. More important to know than your BMR (Basal Metabolic rate)
The following link takes you to the history of someone who started various forms of Intermittant Fasting. He started with a pretty low body fat % of 10 and dropped to 4%
ideal weight calculator Interesting link as it takes into account frame size and tells you how to work out your frame size using your wrist.
Hi all, following on from the link I posted last night. At the end of each chapter of the report, people are able to post comments, some of which are very useful/interesting. After Chapter one discussing WHY I.F., is the following link:
Nothing much new there BUT it is a good summary for anyone looking to make a decision about following this WOE (way of eating) or not.
Apologies if this link has already been posted
I was too lazy didn't have time to check
that precise nutrition blog makes the REALLY IMPORTANT point
that part of the power of IF is that it teaches your body to recognise hunger pangs, accept them and know that a blow out meal is not needed to take them away
and to accept that on a small scale that are a good thing not a bad thing.
the antithesis of the snack, graze, eat when you want mentality that brought most of us to this forum in the first place!
Here are some Q&As on fasting, written by a bloke who, while admittedly is flogging stuff, seems to have most of his info freely available. It's a fascinating blog - well worth a bit of a browse:
Found this link discussing IF/ADF. Mostly about exercise and IF. It does however totally contradict the evidence regarding the increased benefits you 'may' get from reducing your protien intake alongside ADF. The authors seem to have had a long association with the High Protien mantra in the States post Adkins. The artical also seems to assert that IF promotes the beneficial actions of IGF-1, this totally goes against Moseley's assertions and evidence in the Horizon programme. However I thought the info should be added to the thread:
Another assertion is that IF can have a negative short term effect upon fertility something that has been stated as a possibility in some other data
1. My absolute top tip is chilli sauce! (Franks red hot extra hot is my favourite) ill say no more..... those that know me here have heard it all before!
2. Don't be afraid of hunger.. We are just not used to being hungry mostly, but it really is manageable once you stop fearing it and doesn't build , I'm always amazed that the morning after a fast day I'm often just not hungry.
3. I found at first I wasn't sleeping well on fast days.. but now I'm fine ..
4. Make every fast meal as tasty as possible. Add fresh coriander, parsley and mint, lemon or lime juice, gherkins, garlic, mustard ,black pepper, soy or Worcester as these all perk up your meal no end for very few calories. (in the unlikely event you are not a Chillihead!)..
5. Miso soup is good(around 20 cals) if you really think you cant wait for dinner ..
6. Drink lots of Mint tea, green tea with lemon grass , water water water (its easy to get dehydrated on fast days I find) . I have real black coffee too ,
I tend to base my fast day meals around eggs and fish and veggies .
Oh yes , and did I mention chilli sauce? .. Look I said I wouldn't mention it again, but I lied OK?
oh.... and beetroot watercress, celery and olives ..
Agree laska I usually make a 4 portion chicken vindaloo on the first fasting day of the week for dh and i and then i have the second days fasting sorted. I make the curry to 250kcal and serve with 50kcal of cauliflower rice - it's a massive portion and we often can't finish it.
I spend the rest of my 200kcal on tea, coffee, miso soup and total yogurt.
Liquorice tea is a sweet flavoursome almost calorie free tea.
I've been struggling to find the reason why I feel more hunger on feed days than on fasting days.
Discussing this with some friends, I thought I may have come across the possible cause of this phenomenon - and it relates to the way our bodies have developed during our evolution.
When we were hunter-gatherers, we never knew when our next meal would appear. We made a kill, we feasted - and then, when the food was all gone, we fasted until we could find more. And it could be a long time before we found any. So our bodies are well used to going without food for long periods.
When we don't eat, our bodies assume there is no food available - famine situation - so it suppresses the (for want of a better term), 'hunger switch';
When we do eat, our bodies assume there is food available - feast situation - and turns on the hunger switch. So, we eat. Then, a short time later, the body says, "This must be a feast day, so I want more food - to store up fat reserves against the next famine". The result is we feel hungry again - and again and again, every time we eat.
When we sleep at night - or have any period where we don't eat for a while - we reset the switch.
More people are reporting that they are feeling good on their fasting days.
There's a theme developing: "Feeling more alive," says Laska; "I always seem to have more energy after a fast," says Blondie; I myself feel fantastic after a 22 hour fast. Many posters say they're looking forward to their fast days.
Seems to me there's a perfectly logical reason for this phenomenon:
During our hunter-gatherer days, the more alert we were whilst deprived of food, the easier it would have been for us to find some. Successful hunters would have passed their genes down to us. So you could say we're supposed to feel good when fasting.
About not feeling hunger when fasting: put simply, hunger would have been a distraction in the search for food - it just would have got in the way and made us less successful hunters.
Here's an article on IF from yesterday's Times magazine, reinforcing most of what we know, posted on a blog. The journo's idea of what 500 calories represents for a day is well worth checking out! Good for a laugh, anyway!
And while the Times is coming round to the idea of IF, here's the Telegraph recommending cake for breakfastas a way to lose weight!
welshmill posted this research into Extended Daily Fasting (on Mice it has to be said) on the main 5:2 thread:
Hi all. The following is a link to a website that offers IGF-1 tests. I have no idea whether they are any good but the following page lists some of the symptoms of reduced IGF-1.
These symptoms could also of course be nothing to do with IGF-1 levels but I thought the link might be of interest, (I'm just off to go and buy shares in Labtestsonline.org )
Furhman's book `Eat to live' is here: curezone.com/upload/PDF/Joel_Fuhrman_Eat_To_Live.pdf and tells you how to lose oodles of weight and all your illnesses and risks with a plant-based diet for 6 weeks followed by an option to add meat for a maintenance diet.
What seems to be a good description of 'Autophagy' here by a bloke who seems to know what he's talking about.
The forum itself is concerned with hard-core fasting - but there's loads of relevant info on there.
Another step along the way to this WOL becoming mainstream - a good, positive article on the subject by Dom Joly:
I thought I'd posted this link a while back - can't find it, so here it is (again?):
It's a discussion thread on the effects of ADF on cycling - these folks do a lot of miles (kilometres!):
A few people have found this useful so I thought I'd post it here so it didn't get lost:
Here is some maths (sorry I like numbers)
I don't know your height and weight so I am going to invent a person, lets call her Annie.
Annie is 5'4" tall and is 5 stone over her ideal BMI (of 23) so weighs 14st7lbs.
She has a moderate exercise regime. To maintain her weight she needs to eat 2500 cals per day.
She wants to lose the weight as quickly as is healthy, according to caloriecount the recommended loss is 2lb per week. In order to do this on a normal calorie restriction diet Annie should eat 1444 cals per day (or 10108 cals per week)
If Annie wants to do 5:2 then she should eat 1821 calories on eating days and 500 cals on fast days. (so the same 10108 per week)
If Annie wants to do 4:3 then she should eat 2152 calories on eating days and 500 cals on fast days. (again the same 10108 per week)
These figures are for optimum weight loss. As Annie loses weight the figures can be reduced according to her new weight.
If Annie eats much less than these figures then her body is going to go into gluconeogenisis. Annies body can metabolise fat in all organs but 2, her red blood cells must have glucose, her brain needs some glucose but can survive with the rest of its energy coming from something called ketone bodies. The body can make limited amounts of glucose by breaking down stored fat. Ketone bodies are made from fat. However a body cannot make enough glucose from simply breaking down fat (if you are not eating enough) because the by products of the fat breakdown (fatty acids, ketones like acetone) simply overloads the blood. So the body starts to break down protein to make the glucose. This is starvation mode. This is when your body stops working properly. This is what Annie needs to avoid in order to stay healthy.
This is why the weekly calorie number is so important. If you are fasting on some days you need to give your body some fuel on the other days. Simply reducing the calories lower and lower will not help you lose weight, it will make you ill. It may also cause your skin to lose elasticity which means when you have lost the weight you will have excess skin. Steady, healthy weight loss avoids this problem.
Good job frenchfancy
I very much doubt anyone is going to reach starvation mode on a 5:2 regime. Fat stores will supplement energy requirements for a long long time and 5:2ing will not deplete them. If she did manage to do so by doing an extensive fast(weeks?), then her body will go into starvation mode and she will start burning protein as well as her remaining limited fat stores.
Basically, reducing your calories will result in weight loss if you're energy expenditure doesn't drop correspondingly(plus ignoring any possible hormonal effects). If Annie above is v active then she is going to really burn the calories and on the above regime she is is probably never going to properly replenish her glycogen stores and will become more dependent on burning fat and in addition will feel lousy, but she is going to lose weight.
To all those who are feeling cold when they're fasting - and I'm starting to find myself in that company - you can take heart from research which says that the colder your inner body temperature, the longer you are probably likely to live!
But on low carb diet where I have used protein and fat to fuel my body, with very low carb level from veg...and I have trained and run a very fast 10k and felt strong and energetic.
I thought starvation mode existed only when body fat stores were extremely low - below 10% for woman and it was defined not by protein being converted to glucose - this would suggest all low carbers exist in a permanent starvation mode and they don't but rather it is defined by burning muscle for energy in the absence of adequate fat stores.
I have a BMI of 20.5, I do intense exercise 5 days a week and my fat percentage is still around 20-25% depending on calculators - so I have a long way to go before my body goes into starvation mode and starts to eat muscle, even if I don't eat very much for a while.
virginposter pasted this on the main thread:
Has anyone seen this blog? helenahalme.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/five-ways-to-do-52-diet.html
It's particularly interesting because someone posts a comment stating that they are in touch with Michael Mosley and that he is keen to hear from people who have been doing 5:2 for a while. They give an email address to contact him so maybe here's our chance to put some of our questions to him??
Tellmelater apologies and thanks for drawing attention to my point on someone in starvation mode using protein as an energy source, I should have been clearer and stated that the protein would be the body's muscle, like you said.
The two points that I was trying to make were that firstly I think it's very unlikely that Annie above or a regular 5:2er will reach starvation mode. References have cropped up on the main thread about starvation mode which I think are misleading and unnecessary. Secondly reducing calories will result in weight loss as long as energy expenditure doesn't drop or there's some strange hormonal effect.
Am impressed that you could do a comfortable fast 10k whilst low carbing. Sounds like you we're/are well adapted to relying on fat for energy. I still struggle with this mainly due to my high intake of choc and other sweet stuff, but have made some improvements since starting IF.
Apologies also to frenchfancy if my above post reads as being confrontational, it was not my intention.
bandw so now we have to be cold and hungry to live longer. What next, sleep deprivation?
I'm not joining in myself, but seeing this thread in Active reminded me that you all might be interested to learn that there's a significant piece on this in this week's New Scientist. You can't read online without a sub, but should be available at local library etc. It's more of a "here are some interesting people doing some thought-provoking research" piece than a "this is definitely the way it is" piece, but v interesting.
I like the fact that it attacks the "always eat breakfast" dogma, with which I have never had much truck.
skippy no offence taken. I agree that the term starvation mode is probably the wrong one. No one is going to starve whilst they still have a decent percentage of body fat, but relying soley on the burning of that fat can make you ill which is the point I was trying to make.
In order that this post stay within the links purpose of this thread I present this blog: http://schrokit.wordpress.com/category/twofiveexperiment/
Lets try and keep discussions to the main thread so the links on here don't get lost in a load of discussion.
Thanks for that, ff - it's very tantilising, isn't it? She promised us some IGF-1 test results "Ill be getting it tested in two weeks, so stay tuned!".
That was on the 25th September, and I can find nothing on the subject since.
For anyone else, here's a clickable link:
No low carber relies solely on fat to fuel them, they consume a few carbs in the form of veggies and of course a normal amount of protein. Lots of people not just me low carb and exercise intensely, it's easier for me to exercise on low carb than low calorie - which will leaves me feeling ravenously hungry.
I think the key is to get to know your mind and body - some people struggle to cope with low carb and some don't, some can't manage low calorie, if it works for you it'll be fine as long as you are getting your nutrient requirements. On any diet it is always possible to eat junk while you lose weight rather than real food and in my opinion that will be the thing that makes you ill in the long term.
Hi all. For free fun workout videos, I like www.blogilates.com
For those struggling with black tea or coffee, try pukka teas. All good but vanilla chai, three ginger and detox are my favourites.
For the past few weeks until yesterday I have been on max 500 calories a day every day.
No white carbs, they're calorific and wont keep you full.
Green tea is your friend, Twinnings do a selection box of different flavours and they are lovely.
Salad is great to fill you up and to bulk out meals, remember to still check the calories though.
Hellmans do a "lighter than light" mayonaise, 10 cals per tbsp and actually tastes great.
Weight watchers oat and wheat crackers if you need a snack or something bready to bulk a meal out, they are 55 calories a pack of 4 and are lovely.
Laughing cow cheese triangles, the light ones are 25 calories a triangle if you are craving cheese.
No breakfast or lunch. Save it all for a big meal later on, before that just drink loads of water or tea.
Go out and do something or be active to help take your mind off food.
I appreciate that the following is not really about 5:2 or weightloss specifically, but those of you who are interested in the health benefits of IF and specifically IGF-1 reduction may be interested.
I read the article in this week's New Scientist today in a newsagent (link on the main thread). In addition to the main article is a subsection (not included on the link on the main thread) on one of our friends from the Horizon prog, Luigi Fontana. His view is that IGF-1 levels are reduced in line with reductions in protein as opposed to calorie reduction, quote from the conclusion in the link to the below study (from 2008): "In conclusion, our findings demonstrate that, unlike in rodents, long-term severe CR (calorie restriction) does not reduce total and free IGF-1 levels in healthy humans if protein intake is high." The paper in full can be read here:
Googling "low protein diet" I came across the following article in the Daily Telegraph from 2009:
Other then the horizon prog the only other sound advice on this whole area of 5:2 IF for me comes from the following blog, which being a blog admittedly could be erroneous but I don't think so. I've posted the link before but I think it's worth reposting:
On this blog it's also interesting to note that Volter Longo (when not cruising in his ferrari) advocates "The evidence indicates that it is better to do 4 days of (consecutive) fasting every few months and then skip meals during the week to maintain weight and try to adopt a plant based low protein diet. " with regards to IGF-1 reduction.
All interesting stuff. As ever, over to you to draw your own conclusions...
That's great, skippy. Really helpful stuff.
Just for interest, here's an article in the Irish Independent on the subject:
Nothing in it that's new, but I like her final sentence:
"Right now, the jury's out. But smaller jeans? Who's going to argue with that?
Been following this WOE/WOL now since August 8th and got a hell of a lot out of it. But over time I think like many, I have tweaked and changed things a little. The more I looked into ADF/5:2 the more interested I've become in the insulin cycle and diet and how it related to this WOE (Way of eating).
On fast days now I leave at least 16 hours between meals, but I;ve also started to try and do the same on non-fast days so in effet eating within a 8 hour window. The following link is a short report about a study that was done (again on mice ) and it's conclusions.
It's not ADF but something I personally am starting to do more and more as part of this WOL
I'm currently on 5:2, but trying to eat more on my feeding days because I'm happy with my weight. But if I overeat on one day, I'll happily add another 'mini-fast' the next day - that is, not eating until the evening, and then eating a normal dinner.
Check out the info on this site (you'll love this, skippy):
There's a fantastic mine of information on here - research on all aspects (it seems to me) of IF, stretching back to 2006:
Give me a shout when you've read and digested it all!
Here's another positive look at IF, with some known, and some new, research - by someone new to fasting:
You are right, the mind and muscle link is a great one. Unfortunately it has helped to highlight just how little research has been done on humans with regards to IF.
So far the paper that has interested me most is one looking at:
* The effects of intermittent or continuous energy restriction on weight loss and metabolic disease risk markers: a randomized trial in young women. *
Subjects doing caloric restriction (CR) diets and subjects doing 5:2 IF regimes over a 6 mth period had equally effective results for:
Reductions in leptin, free androgen index, high sensitivity C-reactive protein, total and LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure and increases in sex hormone binding globulin, IGF binding proteins 1 and 2.
Both groups experienced modest declines in fasting serum insulin and improvements in insulin sensitivity which were greater amongst the IF group.
The CR folks were on a diet where they were prescribed a daily 25% restriction based on a Mediterranean type diet (30% fat, 15% monounsaturated, 7% saturated fat, 7% polyunsaturated fatty acids, 45% low glycaemic load carbohydrate, and 25% protein).
The 5:2ers were asked to undertake a Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) (75% restriction) on 2 consecutive days and to consume estimated requirements for weight maintenance for the remaining 5 days according to the nutrient composition above. The VLCD provided 2060 to 2266 kJ (500kcal ish) of energy and 50 g protein/day and comprised 1.136 litres (2 pints) of semi skimmed milk, 4 portions of vegetables (~80 g/portion), 1 portion of fruit, a salty low calorie drink and a multivitamin and mineral supplement.
Fewer of the IF group (58%) planned to continue with the regimen beyond 6 months compared to the CR group (85%) suggesting difficulties with long term adherence to IF.
I suggest you read the paper in full before coming to any conclusions with what Ive posted above.
Here's someone - a weightlifter - blogging about his fasting experiences and the merits of 16 hours versus 24 fasting:
Lifted from the main thread:
virginposter Fri 30-Nov-12 16:08:58
"Has anyone else seen this? Always a bit loathe to read Daily Mail stuff but this one is ok. She has an IGF-1 test before her month of 5:2 and then again at the end and it has dropped significantly. Have a look you guys."
It is well worth reading - as are some of the comments, though I've only read the first page.
Below is the post I put on the main 5:2 thread detailing my blood test results 4 months after starting ADF with a short background paragraph about my past health. At the foot of this post I have added some other blood results not listed on main thread as there was no omparison from the July tests so no point. However they may be of interest to anyone with a medicall background (or may not )
Well as I said earlier got the blood test results back this afternoon and I'm sad enough to sit down and share them with the greater research project that is this Thread approaching the midnight hour.
A bit of background first. Up till two years ago I basically had a quite an issue with alcohol, namely a bottle and a half of Merlot in front of the Telly after work every day of the week. This had no real effect on my health until about 3 or 4 years ago when basically that and my increasing weight led to me starting to fall apart physically (no need to go into too many details). Anyway the docs start sending me for blood tests every 6 months or so to see how the 'markers' in my blood were doing.
Initially although my cholesterol was always fairly good, never really above 5.2 most of the other markers weren't great. My liver enzyme test coming out at about 130 when the upper limit should be 40.
I stopped drinking 2 years ago but put on a little more weight till a year ago I was 18 stone (but naturally big boned ). Although I hadn't drunk for a year the Liver enzyme test was still in the 60's this January. I lost a few stone between last November and early July when I had my last test and the Liver enyme test had dropped to 46, nearly the upper range of healthy.
So below are the results from July a couple of weeks before I started this WOE, initially 4:3 then more recently 5:2. As it said in the programme I have had 600 cals on Fasting days and eaten anything on none fasting days including chocolate, pizza, curry, crisps and anything up to 3,500 cals although my TDEE is around 3,300 because of my build,sex and activity levels. I keep my protein levels down, I'm not a great meat eater but do eat meat, I have no concerns at all whether something has carbohydrates in it but avoid most of the time very high GI foods but not all of the time. I eat a diet high in oats, fibre and veg as well as other 'less wholesome' foods and the only supplements I take are ALIMAX garlic tablets and Boots own label Omega 3 supplement.
The first column was the score in the July blood test the second the score now and the 3rd the recommended normal range. The results on the whole are pretty amazing.......
Cholesterol overall 4.1 / 3.4 / 3.0-5.0
HDL good Cholesterol 1.35 / 1.5 / 1.0-3.5
LDL bad cholesterol 2.3 / 1.6 / 1.0-3.00
A very good cholesterol reading and a huge improvement in the good to bad cholesterol ratio, espeially considering my unrestricted diet on feed days
Trig levels .88 / .71 / 0.5-2.3
Although Triglyceride levels were good in July they were over 15% better a few months later, this is also a sgn of a liver working healthily
Liver Function Tests
ALT/SGPT Serum 46 / 30 / 0.00-40.00
Serum Protein level 71 / 69 / 60-80
Serum albumin 44 / 45 / 35-50
Serum globulin 27 / 24 / 18-36
All markers basically going in the right direction with the main marker being within the healthy range for the first time in a decade
Serum urea level 5.4 / 3.9 / 2.5-7.8
Serum creatine level 93 / 87 / 74-110
Serum Potasium 4.3 / 4.1 / 3.5-5.3
All fairly healthy with slight improvements. The drop in the urea marker probably down to my low protein diet showing up
Fasting Blood Glucose Level
4.5 / 4.7 / 3.5-6.0
Up slightly and I think it was in July from the previous one so will watch this.
Serum TSH Thyroid function / 1.67 / .35-5.5
This wasn't done last time
I post these results because people have asked to see whether this WOE has health benefits as well as weight loss benefits so I hope they don't look like I'm saying 'look at me aren't I great'. So overall in a matter of 4 months this WOE has has marked positive effects on some major body functions. Of course there may be other areas not tested that are going in the wrong direction only time and more evidnece from others will tell.
However all I can say is I feel better than I did 4 months ago, my Liver and Kidneys are working better and my cholesterol levels are markedly improved despite me eating basically anything I wanted...be it every other day .
It made the curry tonight taste all the sweeter....washed down by a cool pepsi with loads of ice of course
Full blood count:
Haemoglobin concentration 14 g/dl (13.3-17.3)
Total white count 5.5 10*9/L (3.8 -11.0)
Red blood cell count 4.92 10*12/L (4.5-6.0)
Haematocrit 0.42 ( 0.4-.05)
Mean cell volume 13.7% (9.0-15.0)
Mean cell Heamo concent 33.7 g/dl (32.0 -36.0)
Platelet count observation 192 10*9/L (150 - 400)
Mean platelet volume 10.3 fL
Diferential white count:
Neutrophil count 3.1 10*9/L (2.0-7.5)
Lymphocyte count 1.7 10*9/L (1.5-4.0)
Monocyte count 0.5 (0.2-0.8)
Eosiinophil count 0.1 (0.0-0.4)
Basophil and Promyelocyte counts both 0.0
Blood Haematinic levels:
Serum vitamin B12 406 ng/L (246.0-911.0)
Serum Folate 8.4 ug/L (5.4-20.0)
Serum Ferritin level 76.8 ug/L (20 - 300)
I have no idea whether these last figures are any use but put them there on the off chance.
Been on 5:2 diet for 11 weeks - lost weight very steadily ~1.5lb/week for first 8 weeks then a bit of a blip - still going down but more slowy. Have lost just over a stone so far, 2 more stone before I reach my ideal weight.
I have found it gets easier as you go on - I started having 3 small meals a day but am now down to two and may go to one later. However many meals I have, I like to save at least 250kcal for an evening meal as I dont like going to bed hungry (dont sleep so well if I do)
Other benefits apart from weight loss include -Sleeping better, More energy, better mood & feeling in control of my diet/weight.
Apart from mumsnet I have noticed a 5:2 diet entry on Wikipedia which has a reasonable summary & some useful links
In their paper these researchers discuss a 1957 paper from the Spanish medical literature.
the subjects were eating, on alternate days, either 900 calories or 2300 calories, averaging 1600, and that body weight was maintained. Thus they consumed either 56% or 144% of daily caloric requirement. The subjects were in a residence for old people, and all were in perfect health and over 65. Over three years, there were 6 deaths among 60 study subjects and 13 deaths among 60 ad lib-fed controls, non-significant difference. Study subjects were in hospital 123 days, controls 219, highly significant difference. We believe widespread use of this pattern of eating could impact influenza epidemics and other communicable diseases by improving resistance to infection. In addition to the health effects, this pattern of eating has proven to be a good method of weight control, and we are continuing to study the process in conjunction with the NIH."
I came across it in this very interesting blog:
Mind you, he does have a couple of books to sell!
Still, I do like what he says about IF activating new brain cells!
Thanks a lot for that latest link, B&W.
In addition to books, Dr. Mike is selling a low-carb - or maybe it's no-carb - eating regimen that's at the opposite end of the spectrum from low-fat, plants-only Fuhrman. (Hard to know what to believe. Research just isn't there yet. And the problem is further complicated by all the variations from one person to the next.) As a vegetarian of long standing, I find the meat+fat diet a bit hard to swallow, but I'm keeping an open mind.
That said, I found the comments (over 400 of them), dating back to 2006, to be worth reading. Plenty of people have been experimenting for years with all sorts of variations on intermittent fasting. Their posts, along with Eades' replies, offer a lot of interesting anecdotes and touch on some of the questions raised in the 5:2 threads here (feeling cold, bf, fertility, etc.). The links that some posters provided are also thought provoking.
Thanks, Natasha, there's a lot there, isn't there? I haven't gone though all the comments yet, I must admit.
There's also a lot to take in in these links posted by fretfree on the main thread:
I found the research on male and female fertility a bit frightening, TBH!
As you say, B&W, there's a lot to digest. Unfortunately, none of it is conclusive. Maybe it never will be.
I take reassurance in the fact that fasting, particularly in the form of water fasts, has been a part of many of cultures and traditions for thousands of years. There is plenty of fairly current documentation of the healing benefits of extended fasting (under the appropriate conditions). And the 5:2 plan that Mosley adopted is hardly radical, even if it may appear a bit extreme from the perspective of "three squares a day". It simply comes down to eating less two days a week, which just doesn't seem like that big of a deal to me.
What's more worrisome to me is the question of what's best for us to eat, which does not appear to have a one-size-fits-all answer. Even if it did, the research keeps contradicting itself, with cholesterol and salt now coming back into fashion, at least in some circles.
"Alzheimer's risk less for hungry kids" said a headline in today's Mirror.
After a lot of searching around, finally found the report here:
It's from the American Academy of Neurology, Dec 2012.
Although you can no longer see the original Horizon programme, Eat, Fast and Live Longer, the webpage is still on iPlayer.
Clicking on 'See all the buzz about this programme' takes you to a number of different blogs and forums about IF.
Haven't had a chance to look at them yet, but I can see there's a wealth of info on there - well worth a browse.
ManOnBoard posted this back in November. Apologies for not repeating it here earlier:
"Finally I have had the results of my annual medical and the only lifestyle change from last year has been this WOE so, rightly or wrongly, I am attributing the changes to it. My first fast day was 10/8/12 and I have so far completed 34 in toal, 5:2, 4:3 and some days consecutive and my weight has reduced by 29lbs. I have weighed and recorded the weights daily and it is very apparent that there are fluctuations that could distort the results were I to weigh weekly or monthly. The results from last year are in brackets:-
Resting heart rate: 48 bpm (52)
Blood pressure: 112/71 (118/79)
Cholesterol: 4.2 (4.6)
BMI 29.0 (33.1)
Once I reach a BMI of 27 I intend to switch to 6:1 but having nothing but water, which I have tried already except for tea with milk which doing without will be the true test. The thought of a BMI below 25 does not appeal to me but as a wise-ish woman once said "You can never be too rich or too thin" so I might chane my mind, which is not just a woman's prerogative.
Although I have more energy overall I do still struggle with anaerobic exercise when fasting but intend to stick to moderate fitness methods, such as walking or cycling on certain days. My main exercise is resistance training (weights) and the day/s off will be useful in muscle recovery.
Yesterday I made up a backpack weighing the same as my weight loss (13kgs) and walked with it on and it was an eye opener I think you should try."
This was posted on 19-11-12.
Initial link posted today on main thread:
Here are some thoughts about fasting and weight loss that are of interest - especially the bit about the harmful effects of fizzy drinks:
Couple of useful links on the thread as well.
Thought we should mention these scales on this thread, recommended by several posters on the main threads:
"Omron BF511 Body Composition Monitor which you can see on Amazon. I too heard that these type of scales can be inaccurate but DrMM himself answered a question (on twitter) about his scales used at the end of the Horizon prog (they look similar to mine). He said that they may be inaccurate in the first measurement but they will at least tell you how much fat you are losing (or gaining)."
Sorry, posted too soon. Meant to add this:
Souper Mon 17-Dec-12 06:57:56
"I have some Salter Ultimate Accuracy scales which I got for around £40 from Argos. Unfortunately they do not have an eye level display thing but the digital display is a reasonable size. I literally love them. I would save them from the house in the event of a fire!"
Just been reading Dr M's Twitter feed:
It's full of fascinating detail and some great links!
Just to confirm, his book, The Fast Diet is out now!
B&W have Pm'd you re some videos ive found
MM's book £5.99 Amazon The Fast Diet
Thermos suggested by scripsi and sarahwithafringeontop for taking soup to work thermos flask
welshmill added link to facebook group which MM is on (sorry if alreadfy here)Facebook
BecBro gave this link about skipping breakfast postgame
A link from Laska about artifical sweetners causing weight gain drbriffa
Literary geek reccommended this excersie blog www.blogilates.com/#sthash.yoX8kqzX.dpbs
pookey! Well done - you're a star!
Here's a link to an extremely interesting and informative blog - found by Laska42:
There's also a lot of info in the comments section below.
Be interested to hear posters' comments - there's such a lot on there that neither myself nor Laska has been able to check it all out.
The link above for Getting Stronger is a series of short films of a lecture from a guy called Todd Becker who is interested in the role of moderate stress as a positive force applied to health, nutrition, rehabilitation and psychology. This is a talk about Intermittent Fasting and you'll see its in 5 short bits .. .
B&W and I thought it was quite informative .. and the second to last two short videos gives a good practical and scientific explanation of the role of fasting on insulin .
OK its not DR MM ( and this guy is not saying he's an expert although you'll see how well its working for him ) but in the absence of the Horizon programme I thought it gave and accessible and pretty good an explanation of why IF works as any i've seen or read so far .. do take a look if you have time ,
I was pretty interested in his confirmation of making sure you have a total fast (he seems to be advocating 19hrs , but if I remember Dr Ms scientists went for 14-16hrs as being optimum ) to ensure that you are getting the greatest benefits from this WOE.
Would be interested to hear what other people think of these (have also posted this on the other board Thread 8 )
I would encourage paying a visit to the Getting Stronger site, for which Laska and B&W have provided links. A few months ago when I was researching fasting in general, I came across that site. Amidst all the rabid paleo eaters I encountered, Todd Becker comes across as level-headed. His interest in IF fits into a coherent WOL that has many facets, some of which he discusses in some depth. The comments on his IF piece and the relevant links are worth reading. He may not be MM, but he and many others have been experimenting with IF since long before MM may have heard of it. In many hours - probably days and days - of reading I never came across any negative comments from people who had been doing IF long term (years) other than sometimes feeling chilled. A few newcomers complained that they weren't losing weight, but that was explained in several places as being due to the fact that for some people it takes several weeks for the metabolic changes to get sorted out.
While Dr. Mosley isn't the first person with respectable credentials to publicize IF, he certainly seems to have generated more interest and excitement than anyone else. Maybe the clamor for more information about important related issues will hasten the necessary research and trials. In the meantime there are lots of real-life anecdotes scattered around the web and plenty of encouragement in these MN threads.
My recollection about the length of total fasting is the same as yours, Laska - 14 hours for women and 16 hours for men. I've read in several places (perhaps derived from the same sources) that that's the minimum amount of time required before the body shifts into "repair" mode.
bordercollielover has also suggested this article from the Getting Stronger site Obesity starts in the brain
Thanks NatashaMousse for your input on the Getting Stronger site.. I agree Todd Becker does seem to know whathe is talking about . His article on Hometism is also interesting (though I'm yet to be convinced on the cold shower issue!
The eat stop eat diet seems amazing but I need some help. I am quite good once in the zone but it's quite hard to go from the 'eating' phase to the fasting phase. If one minute you are able to tuck into cholocate fingers guilt free, I'm finding it hard to switch that happy state off. Any advice would be warmly welcomed. Thanks!
The first thing you need to do is get yourself over to this thread:
This thread is where we collect tips and links which would otherwise get lost in the other threads.
So, if you don't mind, I'll answer your query over there...
catsrus has posted this below on the main thread , and i'm putting it up here also as I think its a really good explanation and advice for this WOE
I'm very relieved to have found this WOE too - its so bloody simple once you get the basic idea.
Those of you new to it, you will find what works for you. It's flexible so you fit fast days around your own life, you can be veggie, vegan or omnivore - your choice. You can eat junk if you want to, drink wine or not, do low carb if it suits you, have restricted eating times or not - But just stick to the basic rules that some days you eat very little compared to your usual WOE and you are likely to lose weight as well as gain other health benefits. The rule of 500 cals for women 600 for men is a good standard to aim for but it's not magic, slightly more or less will still work but slightly differently.
The crucial thing is to find what works for you and stick with it I think. For me that's a primarily plant based, veggie diet (but I do eat some meat and fish ). I now only have breakfast one day a week (sat) and try to do 4:3, eating only in the evening on fast days. This pattern has taken a few months to establish - but now I feel better on fast days with no food at all until the evening.
I really do eat what I want on non fast days - including cake, biscuits etc. but what I WANT to eat has also shifted - so I refused a pudding the other night because they sounded lovely but I knew I was full- by the time I got home a few hour later I did attack the blue cheese in the fridge though - with toast grin and that's fine (I've lost 22lb since starting in August).
I don't expect to lose any more weight in the next week or so, just not gain, until life properly gets back to normal in mid Jan and I get back to 4:3 again. But being able to eat as I have over Xmas and not put weight on is brilliant.
DR Mosley's and Mimi Spencer's Fast Diet site is now working!
another link to the Horizon programme
There's a new 5:2 forum, which I suspect is linked to The Fast Diet site - it's
www.52Fastdiet.co.uk which looks very interesting.
Just as we have done with this thread, they have set up a thread simply called 'Science watch', where any research can be reported.
I've already spotted a couple of pieces of research I don't recall seeing on here.
Here's a link to the thread so that we can keep an eye on it:
I'm awaiting registration on that forum, and, when I'm allowed, I'll place a link back to here on it. Seems only fair!
Well done, Laska!
Lots of calcs on here, from BMR to calories burned for lots of activities.
Horrifying film here on the dangers of fructose. Called 'Sugar: The bitter truth', it's full of absolutely shocking facts:
This led me to another series of short films 'The Skinny on Obesity' by the same team from UCLA:
I've just watched the first one and it is riveting viewing!
Once gain you've found some very useful stuff, B&W. Entertaining, too. I'm nearly an hour into the Sugar video and hope to finish watching tomorrow. I remember Yudkin's work from ages ago. At the time I believed he was right, but that didn't stop me from indulging in all manner of sweet sins in the intervening decades. Fortunately, I never much enjoyed fizzy drinks (except champagne ) and never patronized fast food outlets. Still, though, I'm sure HFCS made its way into various packaged goods I consumed. These days I'm avoiding processed food. It's not so convenient but I'm having a lot of fun preparing things from scratch ... and enjoying the results. Under no circumstances, however, will I give up my dark chocolate.
Thanks, Natasha - although 'morbidly fascinating' would be nearer the mark, I reckon!
I'm up to the 6th of the short films - and each one is a complete eye-opener. The information on obesity certainly explains a lot!
In this light of all this it is even more important that we all do as much home cooking as possible and avoid processed food.
I agree completely with your last two sentences!
This 4 minute film by Dr Lustig (he of 'Sugar: The bitter truth' film and book) gives 4 tips for making your home safe for your children.
In summary, here they are:
Nr.1 Get rid of every sugared beverage in the house that includes fuit juice.
Nr.2 We need to keep insulin down by eating fibre. If you eat your carbohydrate with fibre, you will lessen the insulin response. Look at the side of the package, you need 3g of fibre or more
Nr.3 Wait 20 minutes for second portions. It takes that long for the body to realise its had enough to eat.
Nr.4 Buy your screen time with activity if youre outside for half an hour, you can have 30 minutes of TV; if you spend an hour out on your bike, you can have an hour of video games (Good luck with that one - but it can be done!)
The film is here. Well worth watching.
If the Bitter Truth film is too long for you, the following article on Sugar by Gary Taubes in the NYT also makes for interesting reading:
Excellent link, skippy, thanks!
Thought we'd lost you earlier this week - to that 'other thread'!
Thanks for the mention!
Here's an extremely informative - not to say, frightening - film about, among other things, the dangers of artificial sweeteners.
This has been mentioned before, but the link was buried inside another link. Thought it deserved it's own reference.
b&w not lost sir, but I do like format of the other site. Would be nice if we could get the mine of info on this site into that format.
I have linked to this thread on the 52 'Resources' forum - I'm sure we can learn from each other.
Links are coming thick and fast on Dr M's Twitter feed. Here's Hugh F-W in the Guardian, with a very positive view on this WOL:
I have just this week started the intermittent fasting diet, and would like to ask: do you find that by fasting (eating 500 calories) every other day you can literally eat what you want on the non-fasting days?
I can motivate myself to fast 3-4 days a week if I know I can eat (and drink) what I want the next day. I don't necessarily mean eating pizza and burgers all day but for example yesterday I probably consumed up to 2500 calories having some pudding and wine in addition to my normal meals.
Do you think it can work? I find the idea of fasting two days a week and then "eating normally" tough when you've been starving the day before!
I find the idea of fasting every other day and not having to count calories at all on the other days easier.
Welcome to the 5:2 WOL.
I'll answer your query on here, but this really belongs on the main thread:
You'll find all the answers you need in the OP of that thread. (If you don't, you only have to ask.) Look for TDEE - this tells you how much you can eat on your feeding days. (Bear in mind, on these days, you can eat what you want - this doesn't mean how much you want. We all had to learn that! )
So the answer to your first question is, yes!
See you on the other thread.
From MM's Twitter feed:
Lustig gives you the science, Gary Taubes the politics
Here's the blog of Gary Taubes:
[Posted too soon}
Here's the link to the NuSi website:
Is this the research we've all been waiting for? It's a start, certainly.
Yay, finally! Been banging on about Taubes, Lustig, Noakes for over a year and finally they seem to be hitting the mainstream
The link for this is already on this thread - but I didn't make the specific mention of its content. For addicts, this film might give you the impetus you need to wean you off diet coke.
About 20 minutes in, Dr Christiane Northrup describes how brain cells are affected (read 'killed') when aspartame and caffeine are combined. The film then goes on to detail the myriad harmful affects of artificial sweeteners:
Here's another article about 5:2, from a well-respected US medic, Dr Andrew Weil - he gives the clearest, most succinct, description of the benefits of IF, I've yet come across:
Here's a slightly different take on IF by Brad Pilon (Eat-Stop-Eat) - worth a look:
Here's a survey about vegans and veggies living longer:
Interesting discussion on !GF-1 and Protein:
Interesting recent study on rats doing ADF, with less than favourable cardiac function results:
Prof Mattson's name is on the paper. It's also worth quoting the following from the paper, paying particular attention to the last sentence:
Only 4 human studies have been published to date on the effects of ADF (3134). A decrease in body weight and fat mass, an increase in insulin sensitivity, an increase in plasma HDL cholesterol concentration (women), a decrease in plasma triglyceride concentration (men), and decreases in markers of oxidative stress and inflammation have been observed. While these results are promising, the dietary intervention lasted for a relatively short time periods (13 months), involved small sample sizes, and baseline (pre-ADF) measurements were used as control values. The present findings of deleterious effects of ADF on cardiac function in experiment on rodents provide a cautionary note to the adoption of long-term ADF regimens in humans.
As ever, over to you to draw your own conclusions...
Hi and welcome, solittletime - but you should really be over here:
See you over there!
(Still mulling over your link, skippy)
Hi I have been reading the IF posts and they are really helpful. Have only just started (couple of weeks now) and I have to say I find it really hard. Was kind of hoping to find anyone who'd found it hard to say it gets easier!! But mainly it seems people don't notice they're hungry or feel better for it.... I'm doing all the miso soup stuff and drinking lots of water but I'm basically starving the entire day. Which is fine as I know no pain no gain but I haven't noticed any difference yet and on fast days I'm depressed and lethargic. Just want to know there is a point to sticking with it! Any thoughts vv welcome!
Hi MiuMiu I really feel for you and your predicament!
I've always said that I'm one of the lucky ones when it comes to fasting, in that I've yet to feel hungry, even after 24 hours.
Don't know how I would have fared if I was hungry all day!
One difference between your fasting and my beginning is that I began last Feb, when not a lot was known about the 5:2 WOL (Way Of Living ), so I was very tentative in my approach. I began by just halving my calories on two days per week, as a quarter seemed a bit extreme - so, I was eating approx 1200 calories. I still lost weight on this regime, both because I was eating less calories and it gave me an insight into how much we should eat each day. For instance, both my wife and myself started using side plates instead of dinner plates.
I did this until the Horizon programme was broadcast in August, and, when I saw that all the research I'd been doing was vindicated by Dr Mosley, I went on to the 5:2 fully, going down to <600 calories twice a week.
But I still ate 3 meals a day - small breakfast and lunch, bigger dinner. I did this for a couple of months and then, after reading of the health advantages of fasting, I decided I wouldn't eat until I felt hungry on my fasting days. To my amazement, I never did! So, from then on, I've endeavoured to go for 24 hours without food on my fast days.
I guess the difference between us can be summed up by saying that my body gradually got used to doing without food on occasion.
What I would suggest for you is that you start having 3 meals (still <500 cals) on your fasting days - and continue with the odd miso soup if you feel like it, between meals. If this doesn't work, then I would up your calorie count, perhaps to 750 - still a lot less than a day's normal intake - and see how you go.
If you were to ask your question on the other thread (sorry, this is the Tips and Links thread! ), I'm sure you'd get many more suggestions.
So I'm going to cut and paste both your question and my response (to save anyone else duplicating it) into the proper thread.
See you over there!
Best wishes - and good luck! B&W
Having got bored of repeating myself on the big threads, and having been enjoying this WoE for nearly five months now, my tips are as follows
- STOP SNACKING : remove all snack foods from your shopping list and then house. You do not need to eat more often than three times a day, ever.
- Avoid all "diet foods" - anything that is laden with artificial sweeteners is scuppering up your digestive system feedback loops about fat and energy.
I am utterly anti diet fizzy drinks - if you want a glass of coke, have one, but be honest with yourself that it contains seven spoons of sugar
- If you can, go for at least one 20+ hour fast per week as the clarity that kicks in when you het past 18 hours without food is quite astounding. GREAT for work concentration
- setting a fast day on a Monday is good for lots of people as it fits well after a weekend of relaxing
- EXERCISE : as much as you can possibly manage, including walking a tad faster than you normally would, and using stairs instead of lifts.
- Get into the habit of cooking from scratch - aim for prepared foods with as few ingredients in as possible - then you reduce your chances of hidden additives and sugars and fats
...have been doing 5:2 for about two months now. Have lost 25 lbs & 11 cm from my waist. Very pleased, and looking forward to results from blood tests taken recently. (Hoping to have dealt with both cholesterol & pre-diabetic blood sugar levels.) Have already inspired my partner to do 5:2 with me - he has lost the same amount of weight. It's so easy, if a little plain boring on fast days! I guess we all have to learn other things to do, rather than eating! Also am enjoying exploring these links...thank you.
This doesn't seem to be on here yet, Ori Hofmekler of The Warrior Diet - article on what he believes are the optimun times to eat. Potentially this just makes things more complicated but might be interesting to someone:
Summary of Key Points
The one meal per day is the only regimen that can maximize the benefits of your IF on a daily basis.
Eat your main meal at night to accommodate your circadian clock.
Whey protein, berries and greens compliment your fast if you know how much to consume and how often.
If you exercise during the day, have a recovery meal after your workout consisting of whey protein with no sugar added.
If you're engaged in super intense training, have a pre-workout meal consisting of whey protein and berries.
If you're engaged in prolonged intense training, have a bowl of oatmeal with your whey protein about an hour before your workout.
optimum Ori Hofmekler
ALL the articles and books on 5:2 summarised into one paragraph
Just go for it.
Pick a day - tomorrow is good - and skip breakfast. Have plenty of tea and coffee and water to drink. See if you can skip lunch. If you can't, have soup or something vegetable based. More drinks. See if you can make it to supper and have something off the BBC 300 calorie menu options. Then pat yourself on the back. You have just done a 16/24 hour fast and a 500 calorie day.
Sleep well, eat normally on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Fast again Monday.
Thank you for the perfect 'KISS' summing up! Some people appear to over-complicate what is in fact really simple.
Just started this calorie restriction 5:2 again. First time didn't work: on for one month and no weight shed. Am finding that calorie restriction day is ok but it's the 5 days food intake I'm interested in. What are people eating those days? I think that my body needs to always calorie restrict. Am doing 500 on 2 days and 1200-1400 on 5 days. I don't find Mosley very clear about eating what you like- for me, that's a license to pig out and thereby defeat the hard work on cal. Restrict on days 2. What are you doing/eating on your "off" days? Thx.
well in my case TDEE averages over the five days because I leave spare calories for wine at the weekends, but average of TDEE.
Otherwise its not sustainable.
Thx. Assuming TDEE is on another thread?
Tip for non-fasting day (posted on thread 11 too):
One thing I've realised today: I must keep up the drinking fluids habit - especially water - on a non-fast day because at least 50% of the hunger I experience on a non-fast day is thirst. I always drink loads on a fast day so don't know why I forget on the non-fast day. But remembering to continue to drink loads on fast days means I'm less likely to eat for the sake of it.
Also, I don't need to snack all day just because I can. Even on non-fast days it's good to give my digestion a break for a few hours.
On the question of maintenance and the benefits thereof, I just came across an interesting study from ten years ago here (Mattson is one of the authors):
The summary says (emphasis added . . . but, alas, it doesn't seem to appear properly):
"Dietary restriction has been shown to have several health benefits
including increased insulin sensitivity, stress resistance, reduced
morbidity, and increased life span. The mechanism remains unknown,
but the need for a long-term reduction in caloric intake to
achieve these benefits has been assumed. We report that when
C57BL6 *mice are maintained on an intermittent fasting (alternateday
fasting) dietary-restriction regimen their overall food intake is
not decreased and their body weight is maintained*. Nevertheless,
*intermittent fasting resulted in beneficial effects that met or
exceeded those of caloric restriction* including reduced serum
glucose and insulin levels and increased resistance of neurons in
the brain to excitotoxic stress. *Intermittent fasting therefore has
beneficial effects* on glucose regulation and neuronal resistance to
injury in these mice that are independent of caloric intake."
The report includes this intriguing bit:
". . . rats with a moderate reduction in
IGF-1 levels live longer, whereas those with a greater decrease
in IGF-1 levels have a reduced life span (20). The latter results
suggest that there is an optimal level of the GHIGF-1 axis to
maximize survival in mammals."
Baskina, if you haven't already found it, the current discussion of the regimen is here:
As you can see from the link, this is the 11th thread. It's worth reading through as many of the threads as you can - and the OP - for information and tips.
Thanks NatashaMousse for the link. Just finding the whole maintenance ofvthe days I'm not supposed to be thinking about a bit frustrating. I don't think I'll ever be free of counting calories. Sigh.
As requested, the summary for newcomers to help them hold steady
Think of your food on a weekly basis.
You are not 'depriving' yourself. You are saving your health and balancing.
2 days a week of fasting
2 days a week of trying to stay under your TDEE
2 days a week of trying to stay within 10% of your TDEE
1 day splurge
The topic of fertility and Intermitent fasting has come up several times on the 5:2 threads so thought this link might be useful.
This article was linked to in the nerd section of the 5:2 fast diet forum
Can anyone tell me whether they've heard of anyone 5:2 fasting whilst BF? I'm exclusively BF my 15 week old, but I'm desperate to try, and I can't find any info so was wondering if anyone here had tried it?
FastFeeder posted this on the main thread - good, positive review:
From literary geek thread 10
I am BF an almost 6 month old, who is very bonny and fat and happy. I have enough milk to feed the whole street. I have to express on order to sleep comfortably/ exercise comfortably.
There's also been a lot of research on women who have fasted for religious reasons - Ramadan and Yom Kippur- and there were no ill effects to either bubbas or mamas. And near in mind- those fasts involve no food or water so a much more restrictive scenario. I have posted the links to that research on the most recent 5:2 thread - yesterday I think. If you are interested, I will dig it out.
If you want to give this a go, eat proper food where you can. If you like ready meals, go for it, but do try and include as much veg as possible- it will fill you up. Try innocent veg pots or glorious soups for not many calories/ lots of goodness.
Don't do your 2 days in a row.
Fluids are your friend- particularly water and try herbal teas ( the pukka brand is good). Diet drinks are not your friend and kill your brain cells.
1 quick question before my new WOE life begins.
If I start my fast for example on a monday evening at 7pm and i don't eat again until Tuesday lunchtime 12pm(150kls) - that is a a 17 hr fast. I then have my remaining 350kls dinner at 6/7pm. Do I then fast again until wednesday breakfast or can I start eating normally after 7 pm??
Many thanks in advance!
Quick answer - Wednesday breakfast.
For discussion see the main thread.
Couple here testing their IGF-1 at regular intervals. Interesting and positive results:
An important point that came up several times on the 5:2 forums where I've been staying lately ....
Avoid "diet" and branded "healthy" foods
as once you actually look at what is in them, half a portion of the real thing will actually be much better for you.
Look at the ingredients list of a "zero fat" yoghurt .....
then remember that "full fat" yoghurt is the grand sum total of 6%
The thing to remember is that you will be doing 5:2 for ever, but you will not be a 'dieter' for ever.
So once you genuinely stop looking at calories on non fast days, and are lean enough to be much more active, the 'real' foods will always be a better bet than the targeted ....
What always helps me on a fast day is to have had a decentish meal the night before with more protein than carbs.
If hungry on a fast day a boiled egg is great at tiding you over.
Drink plenty of water. It's no calories & it costs nowt.
This is a great post from EZZA on thread 13.. I'm putting it on here as its a fantastic overview of just how SIMPLE this WOE is .. So take her advice and dont complicate it
So over to Ezza with Thanks
--- - ---------
Reading through some of the posts from the new starters, I think many people are finding it hard to believe how staggeringly simple the rules for this WoE are. Simply put, the rules are:
On fast days eat no more than 500 kcal (600 for men). On non-fast days eat normally.
That really is it as far as rules go, and if your main objective for doing this is weight loss then whatever you eat, whenever you eat, if youre following those two simple rules then youre doing it correctly. Everything else that we discuss on these threads are tips which help us and research which has been done for the health benefits that also come with this WoE. If you find it too difficult to go down to 500 kcal on fast days straight away, there is no harm in starting out with a slightly higher allowance on fast days and easing your way down to the 500 kcal.
One of the things some people struggle with is what it means to eat normally on non-fast days. Simply put, this is roughly the amount of food your body needs to stay the same weight, so not a diet portion and not a binge either.
When I started this WoE I wasnt actually planning on using it to lose weight (I was highly sceptical and didnt think itd work but Im always willing to give things a fair shot). I was just intending to use it to keep my weight under control while I was away studying in China for six months because I knew I loved the food out here and I wanted to be able to fit into the seat on the aeroplane when I flew home. grin So I didnt restrict my eating on non-fast days at all because for me the whole point was to be able to eat all the yummy Chinese food I wanted and stay the same weight. But after 4 weeks I noticed my clothes were much looser so I went out and bought a cheap set of scales. I did start out on ADF though (because I hadnt heard about 5:2 then) so it would have been pretty hard for me to eat so much on normal days that it would undo the fast days. After a week or so I also noticed my appetite got reset and I simply didnt want to stuff myself silly anymore.
Others have a different experience to me. Some come from years of calorie restriction diets, so the eating normally on non-fast days seems a lot of food to be eating while trying to lose weight. Others have spent years overeating by quite a lot and find it a challenge to only eat a normal amount for their bodies. For both these groups of people it can be really helpful to work out your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE theres a link to a calculator in the OP) and then use MyFitnessPal (MFP) or some other method to track your calorie intake on normal eating days. You dont have to do this for the rest of your life, just a few weeks of doing this can help you get a good idea how much food is the right amount and then you can stop calorie counting on your normal eating days and just relax into it. Its also perfectly ok to average out your calories over your normal eating days, so if youve got an event coming up one day and you know youll be eating loads theres nothing wrong with having a little less on your other normal eating days just so long as your normal eating days average out at roughly your TDEE. Im told MFPs weekly tab is great for this. Another option for those doing 5:2 if you have a calorie laden few days coming up is to throw in an extra fast day if you can and if youre feeling up to it.
Another thing people are curious about is the 16 hour and 24 hour fasting periods that get mentioned a lot on these threads. These are done for two reasons: 1) because many of us find that the later we start eating on a fast day the easier it is to get through the day successfully and 2) because one of the principles behind the health benefits that go along with this WoE is that giving your digestive system a complete break from digesting food helps the body go from grow mode to repair mode. Repair mode is where the health benefits come in. How long is optimum to fast? The short answer is we dont quite know but studies seem to suggest a 16 hour fasting window will bring health benefits and that possibly more benefits come from longer periods of fasting such as 24 hours. Some on this thread achieve this by not eating from after dinner the day before a fast until either lunch time (for 16 hours) or dinner time (for 24 hours) on a fast day. This is not compulsory though. I had breakfast lunch and dinner for the first 4 months on this WoE, and I now usually have lunch and dinner, just occasionally doing the 24 hour proper fasting period.
A wise man once wrote: He who walks with the wise grows wise. This is certainly true with these threads. There is a wealth of information and research as well as personal experiences on these threads. If you dont have time to read through all 13 of these main threads (who does?) I really recommend the links and tips thread (linked to in the OP). Youll also see some other tips about what kind of foods to avoid on fast days etc. such as avoiding processed foods and really carby stuff like pasta or avoiding diet fizzy drinks. These tips are here to help us stick to the fast days and to benefit our health but they are not rules, so if you really like your fizzy pop then you can still have it. There are no banned foods on this WoE. When I started this WoE I had a two litre per day diet coke habit. Reading these threads and the links to health risks associated with aspartame (particularly the association with depression, which is a risk factor for me) Ive now cut back to around a litre or two per week. All of us on here are experimenting with this and finding what works best for us and then sharing our experiences.
Noodles made out of veg. Use a Julienne cutter or potato peeler to make courgette, squashes, potatoes, etc into noodle shapes, blanch or steam until soft and use instead of pasta on fast days, a much lower calorie alternative, but still gives the sensation of eating pasta/noodles.
Also cauliflower rice - blitz a cauliflower in the food processor using the grater attachment then fry or microwave for 8 minutes until tender. 100g = 25 cals as opposed to 130 cals for 100g white rice.
BordieCollieLover came across this info regarding 'Nutritarianism' - maximising the amount of nutrients in our food.
I'm sure Dr Fuhrman has been linked to before on this thread - and, while he's got books to sell, he makes a lot of sense!
Here's the guy from the Feed, Fast, Feast blog switching his 24 hour fast from evening to evening, to 2pm to 2pm.
From the Fast Diet forum (well worth keeping an eye on!), is this interview with Dr Mosley on ABC radio Sydney:
That's one of the best presentations I've encountered. Articulate, clear, focused on the science and health benefits, and forthcoming about what is and isn't known at this point.
And I completely agree!
Hi everyone! I have been doing this for about a month and a half now, and I really like it. Although I usually seem to go over a bit, by about 20-50 calories. Do you count the cals of things like coffee and tea? on fatsecret it says every 8 oz of either is 4 calories, and so is sweet and low.
Here's a discussion, also on The Fast Diet forum, on the subject of insulin sensitivity. I haven't read the link, but the consensus seems to be that, for anyone whose weight loss has stalled, it might be worth while checking it out:
ZeldaForever - you really need to get over to the main thread:
No-one will see your request on here!
Just transferring a couple of points from the big thread ....
500 calories v. 25% of TDEE
I always go with 500 calories even though my TDEE in a work week is now 1500.
Because its easier, its still a significant calorie deficit over the week
and I can always up my TDEE by going to the gym or digging the garden.
Breakfast for children
DH and I have been doing 5:2 since September. Our kids are 12 and 14. They have seen the programme.
And they "get" the fact that there is a big difference between growing children and middle aged adults.
DD does not eat breakfast, but I do insist that she has milk or fruit juice to drink.
DS is at the hollow legs stage and gets through industrial quantities of cereal in the week and bacon at the weekend.
Overindulging at the weekend
Too right, that's the bit I love about this WOE. I eat and drink too much on the weekend and then detox and restrain myself in the week.
Plan to carry on doing so for the next 40 years.
Maintaining Healthy Weight
I think the thing to do is to stay with 5:2 - to get the health benefits of the fasts
but to relax a bit about the 500 calories
that way the weight loss slows down as you have less to lose.
What weight should I stop at?
Probably a LOT less than you originally thought.
You need to look at your frame,
but if you can pinch an inch on neck or shoulders or arms, chances are you can safely lose more
so long as you tone up the butterfly that is coming out of its shell ...
Does your weight fluctuate during the week?
Of course it will. Your digestive tract will be full after a food day and empty after a fast day. If I can be bothered to go to the scales I know that I weight two pounds more on a Monday than I do on a Friday.
How often should I weigh myself?
Ideally very rarely.
You need to start listening to your clothes and your knee joints to tell you how much you weigh.
For those who have a set of scales at home, put them in the boot of the car.
Then pick a specific time each week, and a specific outfit and weigh yourself.
Then your bowels and clothes will be in the same level so any weight loss will be real.
All the other days, try to listen to your body.
Should I use bodyfat scales?
Because they are up to 20% inaccurate.
Pinch an inch instead.
Over time the number of places where you can will diminish.
But I need constant feedback ....
Diana Rigg once said in an interview that she kept a thin piece of ribbon tied around her waist - always. If it dug in she was too fat, if it slid around she was too thin.
I'm not losing weight, why not?
5:2 and all other forms of intermittent fasting are not primarily about weight loss. That is a happy side effect for most of those who are over weight to begin with.
THe true reason for doing any form of intermittent fasting is to kick your body into repair mode, reset your insulin system and possibly reduce your chances of alzheimers and dementia. Fasting will definitely reduce your chances of diabetes, heart disease and bowel disorders.
Therefore do not give up. Think of the good you are doing and the weight might just sneak away when you stop watching it.
I'm ravenous on non fast days
You need to alter the mix of what you are eating.
Michael Mosely's first programme for Horizon www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00ksh7c covered the fact that different foods affect hunger in different ways.
Low (not no) carb, high protein diets slow down hunger
as do thick soups and stews (like this www.waitrose.com/shop/ProductView-10317-10001-8009-Waitrose+pea+%26+ham+soup
that way your meals will keep you sated for longer.
Also, 90% of what people think is hunger is actually thirst. Have a pint of water or a mug of tea or a pink of skimmed milk.
I'm new to all this - can I ask a question?
You are more than welcome, but first of all read the tips and hints thread - which I'm just about to bump.
There is more in these threads than all the books put together.
Join in and add your ideas and data.
Here's a graph from the 52FastDiet forum, showing weightloss over the past 2 months. The average weekly weightloss is 1lb a week - with no difference between 5:2 and 4:3. Also check out the Tracker on that site.
Well worth a visit!
Here's a TEDx talk on Fast 5, which has been mentioned several times on the main thread:
This was posted on the main thread by swallowedafly. Thought it belonged here as well:
"to those wondering over 'proper ways to do it':
basically there is a principle that a 24hr fast is really good for the body but an awareness that that is difficult for some. even a day of drastically reduced calories is good for you re: 500 as in the 5:2.
the 'ideal' would be to have a full 24hrs of nothing then eat your 500 at the end of the day (so fasting from tea one night to tea the next then having 500cals so you get to go to bed satiated). it's one to work towards.
any extended fast for example 16hrs (from teatime to lunch) or 20hrs (maybe tea time to late afternoon) is good for you and allows better access to fat burning whilst also giving your digestive system a good rest amongst other things.
some of us were natural breakfast avoiders anyway so it was easy to extend that out to lunchtime or for those like me who regularly didn't eat till the afternoon it was not such a stretch to try to go through to teatime. it can be done very gradually - just extend it. if you're a breakfast eater try eating a little when you get to work instead of when you get up then stretch it out to 10, 11 etc till you're going through to lunch.
if you're just looking for weight loss and spreading your 500 over the day is working for you then stick with it - if later you want to start getting more health benefits or if your weight loss stalls you can try this way of extending gaps between eating.
this is flexible.
sorry for essay. incidentally the 24hr figure seems to be because from 12hrs up to 24hrs the benefits are all going up - growth hormone release, dropping levels of nasties, easy fat burn access, increased metabolism etc and the benefits seem to peak at 24hrs and taper off there after. so 24hrs is the 'best' effects zone - any hours over 12 and up to 24 are hours where good stuff is definitely happening."
BlackMaryJane found this link to Brad Pilon's book, Eat, Stop, Eat:
Well worth a read!
There are lots of newcomers on the big thread (YAY) who could do with a quiet read through this thread .....
Here's an article from last Sunday's Observer with some fascinating research on ageing:
Cynthia Kenyon: 'The idea that ageing was subject to control was completely unexpected'.
The molecular biologist talks about the discovery that led to a revolution in our understanding of the ageing process.
'Why are thin people not fat?' Horizon programme from 2008:
Thin people fidget.
Fat people do not.
Watch when you are on the train or in a traffic jam or at any social gathering ....
My oldest best friend is such an incurable fidget he breaks things.
Such an interesting thread! Rarely have time to do forums but wanted to share our positive results on 5:2. Started mid Jan 13, size 16 and 75 kg (sorry work in metric), hubby a shocking 95 kg - he couldn't believe the new scales! As of last weekend he has lost 11 kg and I have lost 8.5 kg, dropped dress size and feel much better.
BUT we drink two glasses of wine each Sat and Sun, still have our Vodka/tonic (Lite!) before our weekend meals and enjoy normal meals, puddings, ice cream etc at the weekend. We cut down our portions generally but not too much, but try to stick to the 2 fast days - usually Monday (after Sunday pig out) and Thursday (before a drink on Friday evening).
I would recommend trying it to anyone, just plan the first couple of weeks of fast days in advance and then stick to the meals you have planned. After that you will get the hang of it. We eat breakfast, lunch and tea on fast days to ensure the kids don't find it odd, and I can't cope missing out a meal. But really, it honestly does work.
Obviously you will feel hungry on fast days, it is inevitable but that is not a bad thing, just a bit inconvenient. And the next day you can eat normally again - what's not to like!
Anyway just thought I would mention it is for people who have never done diets as well - so give it a go if you haven't already.
I have now been "maintaining" since before Christmas as a BMI much lower than 20.5 will look a bit manky.
Why am I still fasting?
Habit and health benefits.
I stop in school holidays and enjoy myself and then restart in term time -
it seems to work!
Can I fast for a 24 hour period say from 1pm to 1pm and just stick to my 5/600 kcal allowance in that time?
Ive been giving this one a lot of thought. Ive always thought that if you choose to do a 24 hour fasting period then this is meant to be a zero calorie fast for 24 hours with normal eating either side. This is another form of intermittent fasting.
Personally Id say that if you choose to do 5:2 then, as others have said, it is helpful to think of a day as a calendar day, not as a 24 hour period. If you need to think of it as a 24 hour period to get your head around it then think of it as midnight to midnight. (You dont get to choose what time e.g. Tuesday starts, by the same token, you dont get to choose what time a fast day starts only which days you are going to fast on IYSWIM). Like I said though, this is if you want to do 5:2 and keep it simple. There are other forms of intermittent fasting which are perfectly valid and can work.
Heres an illustration (not intended to tell anyone what they should be doing, just an illustration) of why it might not be helpful to think of a fast day as a 24 hour period which spreads over two calendar days:
Lady with a TDEE of 1750 kcal per day does 5:2 the simple calendar day way:
Monday fast day eats 500 kcal
Tuesday normal day eats 1750 kcal
Wednesday normal day eats 1750 kcal
Thursday fast day eats 500 kcal
Friday normal day eats 1750 kcal
Saturday normal day eats 1750 kcal
Sunday normal day eats 1750 kcal
Total calories consumed: 9750 kcal
Total calorie deficit for the week: 2500 kcal
Lady achieves this by having on normal days: 400 kcal breakfast, 500 kcal lunch, 600 kcal dinner and 250 kcal for drinks and treats; and on fast days by either having a 16 hour fast until lunch and then having 200 kcal for lunch and 300 kcal for dinner or by having a 24 hour fast and having a 500 kcal dinner.
Ladys friend, who also has a 1750 kcal TDEE decides to give it a go, but decides to do a 24 hour fast from 1pm to 1pm:
Monday until 1pm 400 kcal breakfast plus 500 kcal lunch plus 100 kcal drinks total: 1000 kcal
Monday 1pm to Tuesday 1pm 24 hour modified fast 300 kcal dinner plus 200 kcal breakfast total: 500 kcal
Tuesday after 1pm lunch 500 kcal plus dinner 600kcal plus drinks and treats 150 kcal total: 1250 kcal
Wednesday normal day eats 1750 kcal
Thursday until 1pm 400 kcal breakfast plus 500 kcal lunch plus 100 kcal drinks total: 1000 kcal
Thursday 1pm to Friday 1pm 24 hour modified fast 300 kcal dinner plus 200 kcal breakfast total: 500 kcal
Friday after 1pm lunch 500 kcal plus dinner 600kcal plus drinks and treats 150 kcal total: 1250 kcal
Saturday normal day eats 1750 kcal
Sunday normal day eats 1750 kcal
Total calories consumed: 10750 kcal
Total calorie deficit for the week: 1500 kcal
(This also assumes that Ladys friend is not tempted to eat a bigger lunch on the two days either side of her fast and is also not tempted to have more calories in treats either side of the fast)
Each week Lady gets in two 16+ hour periods of zero calorie fasting and reaps the health benefits and has a calorie deficit of 2500 kcal per week which sees her slowly but surely losing some weight.
Ladys friend doesnt get in any periods of zero calorie fasting except what every human being gets overnight while asleep and her calorie deficit is only 1500 kcal per week so she may not be getting the health benefits and she begins to get frustrated because it seems like shes not losing weight very quickly.
Ive been thinking about how the 24 hour modified fast could still work. If Ladys friend did, say, 3pm to 3pm instead and so skipped lunch on Tuesday and Friday she could increase her calorie deficit to 2500 kcal, which is the same as Ladys. If she also had her 200 kcal meal on Tuesday and Friday closer to lunch time instead of at breakfast then she could also get in two 16+ hour zero calorie fasts per week for the health benefits that come along with that.
So I think it is possible to do it.
The downsides though are: a) its more complicated that going from sleep to sleep and b) the fasting affects 4 calendar days per week to get in just two fasts whereas a sleep to sleep approach only affects 2 calendar days per week. It also may be true that for anyone who doesnt want to calorie count at all outside of their modified fasts this approach may not work as these people (me included) may be inclined to eat too much on the morning and afternoon either side of the fasting period for it to work.
But Im not by any means an expert and Im just typing out my musings on this so if it works for you, please let us know!
and if everything Ive typed above seems way to complicated then ignore it completely and stick to this simple principle:
On a fast day eat no more than 500 kcal (600 for men) from waking up until going to sleep. On a non-fast day eat normally.
Thats it, it really is that simple.
For anyone who finds themselves putting on weight on this WOL, you are not alone!
Have a look at this thread on the subject, on the Fast Diet Forum:
Well worth looking around this forum if you haven't already seen it. It's very like these threads, lots of support, but with much more research.
I have just started doing ADF- week 2. I'm doing the 4:3 approach, keeping kcals below 400 on fasting days. Is there a big difference in results with 5:2 as opposed to the 4:3 approach?
Still trying to find the research that says feeling cold whilst fasting is a sign of things working.
In the meantime, anyone interested should simply google 'feeling cold whilst fasting' and check out the results. Just remember that the blogs that come up are just someone's own experiences.
But here's what I take to be authentic research on autophagy and Vitamin D. Another good reason for IFing.
Back on the 1st December I posted some blood test results basically to illustrate the effect IF has on the body. The results were pretty good, basically the best I've ever had as an adult. The tests were taken mid November when I'd been doing 4:3 since early August. Er well since then the 4:3ing hasn't gone quite as well, there was about a 3 week break around Christmas, then a month or so of 4:3ing until mid Feb when it went a bit Pete Tong again. So the following are that of someone who had huge improvements from a period of a few months on 4:3 but then followed it on and off for a period of 5 months or so. When not fasting I eat a fair amount of junk food but plenty of veg and high fibre food. When I was following 4:3 strictly I kept my protein intake low, but haven't followed that so much since, although my diet is never overly high in protein and I do a fair amount of cardio exercise (cycling)
Cholesterol over all 4.2 mmol/L
HDL (good cholesterol) 1.69
LDL (bad cholesterol) 2.2
Serum Cholesterol Ratio/HDL 2.5
*Not as good as original post on 1st Dec but pretty good especially the ratio of good to bad Cholesterol, although the bad cholesterol has risen from 1.6 last time and the overall cholesterol when tested in November was 3.4
Serum Fasting Glucose 4.5 mmol/L
*slightly better than last time which is surprising considering the amount of junk food I've been eating on nonfasting days
Liver Function Tests
Bilrubin Levels 13 umol/L
Total Protein Levels 74 g/L
Serum alanine aminotransferase 34 iu/L
All pretty good considering before following this way of eating my liver markers had been pretty poor
B12, Folate and Ferritin levels were all slightly lower but still within normal ranges
I've put these up as this Way of Eating is pretty new in so much as there's little evidence about how following IF but still eating a Westernish diet on nonfast days can effect health. And in a way we're all Guinea Pigs. If anyone with a medical background is interested in the full results as per last time then feel free to PM me.
In summary then, a lot of the positive effects have diminished somewhat since I've drifted away from strict adherence to a low protein 4:3 regime. But despite eating a hell of a lot of what could be classed unhealthy food all the markers are still pretty good....for now
MNHQ : could this be moved across to 5:2 pretty please
We've moved this for you now.
bump lots of good stuff here ..
The no snacking concept is not part of the "official" Moseley/Harrison 5:2 books but some of us who have been fasting for a while have found no snacking between meals an obvious extension of intermittent fasting. It makes sense (to some of us) that if we can fast for extended periods of time on fast days - giving our digestive system an extended break, not allowing insulin to constantly spike, allowing the body energy for cellular repair - then why not extend that to non-fast days too? Not snacking between meals is the best way to give digestion/insulin a break on non-fast days. 5 hours is the average break between meals for me. I do eat a little more for my main meals now (not too much more though) and I am still maintaining my goal weight doing this.
Here are some interesting links about snacking:
www.quickanddirtytips.com/static/nutrition-diva-snacks.pdf (PDF link)
The other point about snacking is that it was only invented in the 1970's (by food companies to sell more product in the West)
and the advent of snacking and the advent of obesity run a very similar course.
For most of human evolution we worked all day and stuffed ourselves at night before sleeping it off.
In fact in much of the world that is still the case
its what our digestive tract has evolved with
try it : not only might you lose weight but other diet related problems migh be helped as well
just because this post earlier made people smile!
Too right I do not fast full time!
Not on holidays, not when I feel rough, not when I've got a better excuse
I work on the basis that if I fast strictly 24 weeks a year
fast roughly 24 weeks a year
and say 'bollocks to it' 4 weeks a year
my life will be much more enjoyable as well as being healthy
For those interested in 16/8 fasting :
Good article here by Dr Mercola:
and quoting Mark Mattson:
Mattson has also researched the protective benefits of fasting to neurons. If you don't eat for 1016 hours, your body will go to its fat stores for energy, and fatty acids called ketones will be released into the bloodstream. This has been shown to protect memory and learning functionality, says Mattson, as well as slow disease processes in the brain.
For more info on the No S ( no snacking/sweets/seconds) diet. Common sense really, but how uncommon common sense has become!
Yes, NoS website and forum (I'm a member) is excellent, as is the book:
I don't know if this is completely against the rules but I am not actually a mum - but this is by FAR the best thread chatting about 5:2 and I have felt like a bit of a weird lurker over the past couple of weeks. Happy to head off elsewhere if this is only for those with offspring!
I started 5:2 six fasts ago - so three weeks, today is my seventh and I'm struggling as I had a glass too many last night.
In the past I lost 5 and a 1/2 stone through weight watchers. At my lowest after work and home stress I was down to 11st4 from a high of 16st10 five years ago.
I am now at a starting weight of 11st13 (I'm 5'10) starting at 12'4 three weeks ago and I want to see 10st on the scales for the first time in my life! But I just cannot bear to go back to the days of counting everything and having a nightmare trying to eat out with friends. And WW low calorie wine is just a depressing thought.
1) Am I fasting right? I stop eating after dinner on a normal day and then try and make it until about 3 or 4pm before having a miso soup or some avocado or fish - never more than 100 cals. then wait until 8pm for a fullish evening meal. Then I start to eat normally again the following morning.
2) I find is that I need at least 400 cals in the evening meal to have any chance of getting to sleep -which leaves me with barely anything to play with during the day - I almost always go to 550 / 570 during the days as I just cannot seem to stick to 500 once you factor in every sip of skimmed milk or every extra pea. Is this ok or would I be getting much better results sticking to the 500?
Any advice would be welcome!
Sorry to dash without replying eastlondonlite but the thread below is the main 5:2 thread with lots of new and old fasters on it who'd be able to help you quickly:
Post there. Welcome by the way
Fasting and cancer.
This thread on the 52fastdiet forum contains some serious research into the subject couched in layman's terms:
It's well worth checking out the rest of his blog. (Although he's into selling stuff, his research and his willingness to share are to be applauded.)
How Fasting Fights Cancer:
Here are several useful links I've gathered over the past few days that you might want to peruse. I'm not certain they're all new to this thread, but most of them are:
This is an absolutely brilliant article on the subject of fasting, with many historical references plus some personal experience:
Benefits of fasting help kill cancer cells
Do Intermittent Fasting Diets Actually Work?
Many of you will have seen this, but Ill include it anyway - What the Science Says About Intermittent Fasting:
Chemotherapy and fasting to treat cancer. (I found it easer to go to Show transcript)
Some stuff about the thyroid (not related to fasting)
How Plant-Based to Lower IGF-1?
Why you should starve yourself a little every day:
Hope you'll find something of value amongst this lot!
crap aren't they.
Whoosh 1000 calories used up between meals, not even on things you really wanted to eat
in fact on thing you know you'll regret
or on things you know are bad for you
and never shared with those you love
structure the menu
enjoy the preparation
enjoy the presentation
enjoy the eating
even more so when those you love say thankyou at the end for a delicious repast and a pleasant hour sat together eating well without distraction
Ooh that horizon programme was scary!!
I've started treating my body nicely on Fast Days. I have a long luxurious shower with my best gel, and I've got a bottle of Clarins Body Lotion that I ONLY use on fast days. I think this helps me to look forward to them and get in the right frame of mind, rather than see it as a negative deprivation experience. I also try to time any hair appointments or facial or nails for Fast Days too. If all else fails, I'll paint my toenails.
Interesting thing I just clocked on TDEE
put in my height and weight and then played with age .....
18 years = 1669 calories
28 years = 1613
38 years = 1557
48 years = 1500
58 years = 1444
68 years = 1387
78 years = 1331
Talkinpeace kindly pointed me here but tbh I am a bit overwhelmed by the length of the thread and trying to read and remember it all.
I need to lose 2 stones, ideally by October but I know that isn't possible really and is a daft goal.
I will get my notepad out later and make notes.
your best bet is to go to the main thread (number 24)
and you will get to surf the wave of support and cheeriness
My biggest tip is to have some little treat that you only ever ever have on a fast day. Mine is a low calorie hot chocolate. I know I can only ever have it last thing on a fast day and it gets me through.
Yours might be smoked salmon, luxury prawns, whatever.
On one day, when I was very tempted, I allocated calories to one very, very small (75ml) glass of very good white wine we happened to have in the fridge. Knowing I could have that if and when I kept to my fast was a real motivator. I don't drink on fast days, or on more days than not, but this was a day I needed motivating.
I will, thank you Talkinpeace.
Why Exercise? or Exercise Is Dangerous to Your Diet
Interesting thread here about the effects of exercise and weight loss.
Couple of blog posts on the benefits of taking a daily cold shower. Seems to make sense to me:
And there is an ongoing discussion about this on the 52fastdiet forum:
LOSING WEIGHT WITH A DIET
As an adult a person has a pattern of eating ( method z ) that results in them being overweight (at size a )
They go on a diet restricting calories all the time ( method y ) until they get down to "target weight" ( size b ) and then they come "off the diet" and rapidly return eating as per method z and hence size a
But actually "diet" just means "what you eat"
So you need to eat the right amount to stay stable at size b for ever ( method x ).
By chance, if you are starting from size a eating method x you will lose weight.
But because method x is nice : healthy meals, no excessive restriction, it becomes the new normal and you stay at size b for the rest of your life
If you see what I mean
Here's a visual to motivate you: Look at this double scan of two women, one 250lbs, the other 120lbs. The visceral fat, the joints, the enlarged liver and heart... Let it motivate you to lose the excess weight and get to a healthy BMI.
I used to be over 200 lbs and felt fine. I had no idea! I will never let my weight creep up like that again.
THose pictures are absolutely shocking : look at the body cavity ....
creamtea1 a huge well done to you for losing 3 stone! That is fantastic, it's given me great encouragement. Can I ask how long it took you ? Did you fast for more than 2 days per week ? On the NFD's day you limit calories or did you eat normally.
Yup, you will. You've done the equivalent of taking off two or three winter coats.
TiP's tip 1 : stand up to be on the computer. Adjust your desk or put the laptop on the kitchen counter. You stay MUCH warmer standing up.
TiP's tip 2 : do not turn the heating up in the whole house. Pick a room - ideally one with a sunny window. Colder houses make you burn more calories so aid your weight loss.
TiP's tip 3 : If like me you get really cold hands (Raynauds) , get a big fleece or jumper and keep the sleeves down over your hands .... remember to remove said manky jumper before going out to places
TiP's tip 4 : If you are really struggling, these are great www.marksandspencer.com/Heatgen-Long-Sleeve-Thermal-Top/dp/B0038FRUJS - or any thermal top ....
TiP's tip 5 : If in doubt, move around. Activity breeds activity, warms you up and burns calories. Blitzing a cupboard is a good workout and makes you feel better.
LOOK AT EVERY BITE YOU TAKE
Eating mindfully and with awareness seems to have made a big difference to those starting from high weights and with past food issues.
Eat what you like
- 400g bar of dairy milk in one go. Fine. But look at each and every square before you put it in your mouth and decide if you actually want / need to.
- Family pack of crisps after supper. Fine. But do not just shovel from bag to mouth. Lift out each crisp and look at it before scoffing.
Turn off the telly, turn down the radio unless it is music, sit around the table
Make a point of looking at your food on the fork before you eat it.
Also then you'll stress less over what the kids are doing.
Meals will take longer, but you will savour them more.
And I'll be gobsmacked if eating mindfully makes fat people eat more or scrawny people eat less.
Good stuff, Tip!
Here's a fascinating way to estimate your overall level of fitness.
My VO2MAX and fitness age are both 46 - and, for new readers, I'm 76.
Could this explain the dreaded 'plateau'?
New health blog, with articles on eating low-carb to defeat cancer - and how we've been misled for 30-odd years over the fat versus sugar issue (and more):
Here's a thread reporting a proposed new study by Dr Mark Mattson (he of the Horizon programme) into the effects of low-carb 2 consecutive day fasting.
Promises to be very interesting.
BTW, it's well worth keeping an eye on the 5:2 Fast Diet forum - there are many well-informed research oriented posters on there.
Morning! Am at a work conference today and it is a fast day.... How do I cope at lunchtime?? Its a mix between a canteen and buffet style....
Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.
OPTIMUM BMI AT DIFFERENT AGES
An article in Nature analyses the apparent paradox of slightly overweight people living longer than those within recommended BMI range. It examines why and has this very informative curve of age and best BMI:
Young adults should aim for the lowest end of the healthy BMI range.
In contrast, middle-aged and elderly might be better off slightly above BMI 25, but not obese.
Body Fat Calculator:
Healthy Body Fat Percentages at Different Ages:
Lets you specify how many hours of each activity level per day and allows a %BFat option. I found it more accirate for me than any other:
This is a very interesting thread, I wish I'd spotted it earlier!
thanks for all the links
in particular I followed a link to the writings of John Berardi
in which he mentions what he calls the lean gains approach to fasting which he summarises as follows
The Leangains program is based on a few simple rules.
•Fast 16 hours every day.
•Eat within an 8-hour window every day.
•Exercise with high intensity, a few times per week, often while still in a fasted state.
•Use 10 g of BCAA before or during your exercise session.
•On your exercise days, eat 2-3 big meals of protein (meat), veggies, and carbs.
•Eat your largest meal directly after your workout.
•On non-exercise days, eat 2-3 meals of protein (meat), veggies, and fats.
•Eat mostly whole, minimally processed foods, instead of processed foods or
Except for the BCAA this is pretty much what I've been doing for years.
I was quite surprise to see it recommended because most people look horrified at the thought of a heavy workout in a fasted state but I've always preferred it.
My last meal is usually midnight and I hit the gym at 2pm the following day by the time I get home it's 4.30 or 5pm, which is when I first eat.
Here's another approach, recommending a 5 hour eating window:
Brilliant TED talk.
Bread, thanks I'll watch that when I get chance, mind you I struggle to fit the day's food into an 8 hour windows!
Bread, I watched the talk and have read the free book download on his website
Strikes me this is a different variety of fasting to the 5:2 plan, for Bert Herring the 19 hour daily period of no food is key, with 5:2 (afaik) how to spread food intake on fast days is a matter of personal preference.
Really this makes me think about how advice about food intake shifts and contradicts itself so much.
Not long ago it was axiomatic that small regular meals were the best option for everyone, because this helps to keep blood sugar stable.
Thinking about that now it doesnt make much sense because we've always known that we are able to store plenty of gylocogen in the liver & muscle cells.
I've never liked frequent eating, I like to exercise and unless I've had several hours clear of eating any physical exertion causes digestive discomfort.
But, influenced by the dietary zeitgeist, I still felt as if I was in some kind of danger zone and being hungry would make me feel a bit panicky if I'd gone for too long without food.
Now I'm starting to not feel anxious about feeling hungry.
Even so, it seems a little extreme (?)
I like the 16 hour fast with 8 hour eating window, is there something important about the 19:5 approach, other than it tends to lead to lower food intake than the 16:8
Herring says in his book that his approach overlaps with CR and it certainly feels to me as if it strays into that territory
16:8 fits well with family life ....
no breakfast while shoving kids out of the door to school
a small light lunch on own in house during day
19:5 fits less well around work and kids and general guff!
the bit about many small meals to stabilise blood sugar
I always wondered because it was people keeping it steadily too high ..... leading to diabetes and obesity
rather than letting it steadily stay low ....
sugar being the only dietary group that we just do not need
BBC links on IF- these links are from someone doing 5 day fasts once a month:
The NHS site has updated its 5:2 article - it's still annoyingly says things like
"You are likely to be very hungry and have less energy and this could affect your ability to function (such as at work), in particular it may affect your ability to exercise which is an important part of maintaining a healthy weight."
but it is a vast improvement on the article there a year ago.
That's very annoying, in the midst of an obesity epidemic people are warned that dire consequences may ensue if you don't eat every few hours
Interesting conversation here about Harvie's 2 day diet clinical study paper:
'This is an important observation and confirms the present data and the data of others which show that intermittent dieting does not lead to disordered eating and overconsumption on non-restricted days'
Memorize and repeat to all the sceptics!!!
Oh, and note how they use the term 'intermittent dieting' not 'intermittent fasting'? It avoids that scary word...fasting... "
Can i just ask , if people do IF , do they do set days ? i was thinking of starting 4.3 , but was going to work it around my work days , so would fast tuesday and thursday and saturday every week .
Also do you fast for a 24hr period on each fast day ?
From Mike Mosley's Twitter feed:
"3 month trial of intermittent fasting v control group on mood: fall in body fat, tension and anger; increased vigour "
Subjects were mid-fifties males with BMI circa 26.
frumpet You really need to get over to the main thread - nr 35, ATM.
But yes, you choose the days which suit you.
Some choose to eat 3 small meals, totalling <500 or <600 during their fast days, others have two, whilst the majority find it easier to not eat breakfast or lunch and just have all their calories in their evening meal - so, yes, a 24 hour fast. I progressed to this over about 6 weeks or so.
But on the main thread they'll answer all your queries and give you loads of support should you need it!
I think Mosely's stuff is interesting but I'm not on board with much of what he advocates and he looks to me in many ways like just another diet & exercise guru
give it 10-20 years and much of the current advise will be rubbished, some new paradigm will be in
(btw Breadandwine, I'm currently pursuing your blog, trying to make a sourdough starter...again )
At the moment (January 2014) there are lots and lots of new people trying 5:2 for size and the points that have been coming up again and again on the recent threads are :
DRINK MORE WATER - at least two pints of water a day, more if not drinking lots of tea and coffee
TONING AND CLENCHING - as your body shrinks you need to get your skin to shrink with it, and that comes down to toning and exercise, lots of it.
Also look after your pelvic floor - as you get lighter you'll be able to exercise more and its really important to have your core muscles ready for the exciting stuff you'll be doing by summer
DRINK MORE WATER
give it 10-20 years and much of the current advise will be rubbished, some new paradigm will be in
Suzanne, some of us haven't got 10-20 years! Well, that's not quite true, since I think I've got another 30 years ahead of me yet. But you have to start somewhere - and the evidence from my own body is, that IF works. Check out my blood results on my blog after 12 months IFing. Look at my post - "Walking is too slow" - my increase in energy has been nothing short of phenomenal.
I have other markers as well - my VO2max is in the mid-40s - and I can stand on one leg for upwards of 100 seconds, given by Dr Longo (I think) as an indicator of a youthful body.
So, credit where credit is due. Although the research was out there, it took Dr Mosley and the Horizon team to pull it all together and present it in a manageable form.
About a sourdough starter - that's the easy bit! If you get stuck, either PM me or email me.
Good luck - and keep the faith!
Ps. If you go back through the 35 threads, and look at the number of times posters have said that they're now in control of their weight - often for the first time in their lives - that makes a powerful case for IF!
Thanks for the sourdough support, not sure if I'll persevere but I'm finding the relevant bits on your blog very helpful
not suggesting iF isnt beneficial, quite the contrary I've always been in favour of longish periods without food, I love a bit of calorie restriction.
It's more his exercise recommendations that I'm a little about, of course exercise is better than no exercise.
Haven't read the HIIT book yet - got it on order.
I'm about to read the book (very cheap on kindle!) I just wasn't too impressed with his interview with Richard Bacon.
I like that he mentions that exercise improves insulin sensitivity, I see that as the main benefit of exercise and I get so tired of people who insist that exercise isn't worth doing because you only burn x amount of calories.
After a year doing 5:2 I realised there is a big difference between being hungry and being empty. Empty without gnawing hunger pains (what were they anyway - my guts protestng at all that food?) is GOOD. To me, it means my body is doing what it needs to do without the added burden of digestion.
Self-control - a limited resource!
Fascinating lecture with much relevance to fasting and weight loss:
Thanks for the link, B&W.
There is still quite a debate about whether self-control has a limited supply.
Some refs re a paper disagreeing with Roy Baumeister: [[https://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/self-control-may-not-be-a-limited-resource-after-all.html Ref] and ref
Fascinating explanation - and demonstration - of how exactly fat leaves our bodies - 80% of it leaves as CO2. Who knew?
Effects of IF on men.
Small study confirming what we already knew.
Here's an explanation of what happens when the body's weight hits a plateau.
Posted by Betsy on thread 43.
Bump for the newcomers on the main thread
Diabetes study - 2 meals a day versus 6.
Mention in the comments section that it's also good for weight loss.
AS term starts and lots of people get back into fasting and new people join in, thought I'd bring this back up to the top and see if we have any new stuff to add
than the fact that even Diabetes UK agrees with me about NO SNACKING
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