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The new 5:2 diet thread

(1000 Posts)
GreenEggsAndNichts Tue 21-Aug-12 23:46:48

The continuing thread for those of us following either the 5:2 diet or the alternate-day fasting diet. Both are two versions of Intermittent Fasting, which you can read more about here.

The 5:2 diet was featured on Horizon recently, and essentially requires you to fast for 2 non-consecutive days per week. The other 5 days, you can eat what you like. Alternate-day fasting is just how it sounds; you fast every other day. By "fasting", we mean that we keep our calorie consumption very low, around 500 calories on average, on those days.

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

GreenEggsAndNichts Wed 22-Aug-12 15:27:36

Here is the very informative link LBY posted in the old thread, if you would like to read a bit about the science behind why this works.

GreenEggsAndNichts Wed 22-Aug-12 15:35:21

Here is an article from Dr Mosley in the Telegraph about the 5:2 diet and its health benefits. This might be the first place I saw this quote: "It doesn’t matter which days are spent “feeding” and which “fasting”, as long as the fasting days are non-consecutive and you stick to the 5:2 ratio."

Here is a food blog which features some recipes we can use on fast days, as well as a bit more info on the diet.

LookBehindYou Wed 22-Aug-12 15:37:32

Brilliant GreenEggs!

SilveryMoon Wed 22-Aug-12 15:48:14

Reading the thread can see some of you are experiencing sore throats.
Not noticed that myself, but bowel habits have changed.

I really struggle on fast days because eating for me is now just habit. It has nothing to do with being hungry but mostly about being bored. Need to find something to replace eating. Something easy and nice, so not studying and not ironing.

HeartsJandJ Wed 22-Aug-12 15:52:30

Hi Lookbehindyou - sorry if not clear what I was trying to say. I meant I did Day 1 yesterday and doing Day 2 today. And this is the first week of my new 5:2 life!

I had overlooked the 16 hours without food bit, I eat my last meal about 5pm and then b/fast at 7am so a bit off. Hmm will have to try to work on that.

GreenEggsAndNichts Wed 22-Aug-12 16:03:02

ooh I don't mean to spam you all with links (you can tell I'm home again for the day, and DS is entertaining himself a bit) but here is another interesting article which was linked in one of the above articles, but is good enough that I think it deserves its own read.

It cites a study done on a small group of obese patients in Chicago. In addition to the weight loss benefits ("After 8 weeks of treatment, participants had an average 12.5 lbs reduction in body weight and a 4 cm decrease in waist circumference. Total fat mass declined by about 12 lbs while lean body mass remained relatively constant.) it also mentions "Plasma adiponectin, a protein hormone that is elevated in obesity and associated with heart disease, dropped by 30%. As did LDL cholesterol (25%) and triglycerides (32%)."

So it seems worth doing, even if your weight loss isn't happening as quickly as you'd like it to.

headfairy Wed 22-Aug-12 16:04:49

Hello everyone, just checking in on the new thread. A feed day today for me. I have had a knowing hunger all day today despite eating pretty well. The kind of hunger I get on fast days. I'm a bit nervous of over doing it on feed days because I'm a greedy pig

LookBehindYou Wed 22-Aug-12 16:16:55

Interestingly this article stresses that there is no research that says how you should spread out your food on fasting days (which is what I originally said). But Varady clearly says spreading food out is not good in her interview and the science holds up. Need to do more reading.

catsrus Wed 22-Aug-12 16:20:03

I'm on a fast day and am trying the 'only one meal' approach for the first time - will have a jacket potato, cottage cheese and salad tonight (which i love anyway!). my weigh in day is friday but I couldn't resist this morning and it was hovering under the 11st mark for the first time in years - I was thrilled grin

WopBopALooBop Wed 22-Aug-12 16:33:35

Afternoon! Yesterday was my first fast, which went fine, but today has been bizarre!!:

Woke up with no appetite, felt really full, which is unusual for me.
Then once I got out of the shower was suddenly ravenous so had 1 poached egg on 1 slice toast smile my favourite breakfast smile
Mid-morning I was not hungry but HAD to have a Bounty for some reason, so had that and bought a pot of grapes/blueberries/pomegranate from tescos to compensate for the bounty..... Crazy logic I know.... So much sugar!!!
My lunch break was scheduled for 2pm and got peckish around 12 so had 2 oatcakes with peanut butter.
Come my lunch break I was still stuffed from all my snacks so just had a cup of tea.
Have just eaten my lunch now, at 4pm, as was suddenly hungry. Cous cous with peas and sweetcorn.
Am making macaroni cheese tonight and was so looking forward to it, but now I might be too full of couscous!!

This is waaaay more than I normally eat, and much less veg than I normally have. Don't know whether it's to do with the deprivation yesterday or just a well-timed coincidental bad day. I really didn't feel deprived yesterday though! I rather enjoyed it.

Another fast day tomorrow, so I shall see whether Friday is as bad as today... Hope not!

Oh hang on, I'm hungry again, perhaps I will get to enjoy my macaroni cheese!! Gaaah.

Laska42 Wed 22-Aug-12 16:35:27

green eggs these are great links thanks .. i've looked up the 16 hour thing again and it may be more pertinent to the ADF , However , the idea is that you eat your food in an 8 hour feeding window and fast for 16 hours so 16:8. although some people seem to think women can do 14:10 (fast for 14 hours eat in a 10-hour window) .. but from what the Horizon programme said i think its also probably useful for people also doing 5:2 as it is about insulin production and letting your cells go into 'repair' mode.

I'm intending to keep on with it as it seems do-able for me . in fact i'm just eating 'dinner' now which is a big bowl of veggies 'stir fried' in a little h/made chicken stock - so no salt- 150g turkey and a big splash of chilli..

This is fine while I'm at home ,but not sure how ill do this in the office , I might swop breakfast and dinner.. have my main meal at lunch time as early as poss and my breakfast fruit and yog late afternoon.

I think what's important is if your primary focus is weight loss,(then maybe the 16hr total fast period may not be so important) or if you are like me with other indicators pointing towards possible future problems.. Being over 50 I'm as interested in those health factors as well as in losing this last stone,, especially as I have stubborn belly fat that I haven't been able to shift , whilst my legs and bum have melted away on my previous WW diet ..

WopBopALooBop Wed 22-Aug-12 16:40:52

Thanks for the links everyone smile

Glad i'm not the only one extra-hungry on my feed days headfairy

Aboutlastnight Wed 22-Aug-12 16:50:00

On my fourth fast day and It's been the easiest yet. Bowl of porridge for breakfast(200 calories) , just had a bowl of miso soup ( 17 calories!) and am looking forward to so w fish and veg for tea.

Was concerned this morning as I appeared to have gained two pounds - but then went to the toilet and now er...appear to have list three...blush

(anyone else not um going as regularly?)

GreenEggsAndNichts Wed 22-Aug-12 16:52:56

I've honestly not timed my meals yet, myself. My fast days have consisted of me waiting until I'm needing "something" before I eat, and so far that seems to be around the 3pm mark. I do end up eating again at 6 or so, but then not eating after that. Then the next day (the feed day) I also don't eat in the morning, so if the spacing out the meals thing is necessary on ADF, I'm subconsciously achieving that, I believe.

Well done WopBop! My eating day today hasn't consisted of excellent choices, but I know I'm still within the normal eating calorie range (2000 for a woman) so I'm not worrying. I've lost weight despite most of my eating days not being great. I've not tried to diet on those days, which I think is the point. I had pizza today with DS at a cafe in town. smile

Laska42 Wed 22-Aug-12 16:59:10

ooh Pizza..... its been years since I've had pizza .. I've been far too long on WW..

LookBehindYou Wed 22-Aug-12 17:03:06

If you want to eat one that makes you feel less guilty this is a good and really easy recipe: zero carb pizza. I used smoked polish sausage, green pepper and onion for the topping.

Laska42 Wed 22-Aug-12 17:11:15

Thanks LBY .....

WilfSell Wed 22-Aug-12 18:43:13

Right, I've just had my veg soup which I didn't calorie count but the carbs would have been in carrots, squash and swede so I'm not really that bothered. I had a tiny bit of cheese on the top and a bit of oil to sweat off the veg, and a small slash of white wine... But I only had about a quarter of the panful so it can't have been that much in calories. Chucked in some caraway seeds and garlic too. Was yummy and filling.

I'm wondering if we can encourage MNHQ to get Mosley or the American researcher (Varady?) to do a live webchat... What do you reckon? If you think it's a good idea, someone report my post?! Then we could pin them down with all our questions...

Slimandhappy Wed 22-Aug-12 18:43:20

Hi marking my place on new thread and just wondered if anyone can tell me what miso soup is?? I looked for it in tesco but no sign? X

SpringGoddess Wed 22-Aug-12 18:53:21

Miso soup is a Japanese soup made from fermented soy beans - sounds horrid but it is very salty/savoury tasting and very good for you - apparently. Use very hot water rather than boiling as boiling water destroys the goodness. Made by a brand called clear spring.

Badvoc Wed 22-Aug-12 18:53:31

So today I have had:
Milk in 2 coffees
Alpen cereal bar (they are the best wrt sugar)
WW soup
Egg salad
Not really hungry tbh but as always the biscuit cupboard is beckoning!
I am off out to a meeting tonight so I won't be at home to scoff
Tomorrow I am not sure what we are having for dinner...perhaps courgette and meatballs with tomato sauce.
I will probably have a biscuit tomorrow (oh how I miss them!)

WilfSell Wed 22-Aug-12 18:55:09

Miso soup = cup a soup for middle class people grin

Sainsbos stock the Clearspring ones, a clear one with seaweed and a white one with tofu. Both very nice.

Badvoc Wed 22-Aug-12 18:58:51

The WW tomato and basil soup is lovely and only 77 cals.

LookBehindYou Wed 22-Aug-12 19:03:10

Wilfsell was just wondering the same thing yesterday!

phlebas Wed 22-Aug-12 19:14:24

I had a fast day today too - milk in 2 coffees, sardines on toast & salad. I've been trying to stick to one meal (apart from the coffee!) recently & it has been okay.

Was supposed to have a fast on Saturday but had a party so I just ate what I wanted (& had a bit of wine), Sunday was a hungover feed day & I had the closest I've come to a pig out in the last month (ice cream) but calories were just under 2000. Monday fast was hard because I'd eaten often in the previous two days; today was fine though.

Didn't weigh myself on Monday (scales out of batteries) but my clothes are still getting looser. I'm almost at the point of needing to ditch my fattest jeans! I am still eating what I want on feed days - though I'm not as snacky as before & am eating for hunger rather than habit. I had a slice pizza & a filet o' fish yesterday. Between that, the icecream & the party buffet it doesn't sound great wink but that's fairly atypical & I've been eating far less often & much smaller amounts without effort than I did before. So still happy smile

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