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5:2 Diet Thread: Part Three. Come join us!

(987 Posts)
GreenEggsAndNichts Fri 07-Sep-12 15:51:33

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.

Here is a list of the links we've gathered so far about this diet. I hope I haven't left many out, but it was a 40 page thread! This is a good start for anyone, though:

First things first, here is a link to our previous thread, which we've outgrown. Lots of good support and ideas still to be found there.

Here is the link to the BBC article regarding Michael Mosley's findings, which was featured on Horizon.

Here is a link to the first part of the aforementioned Horizon, subsequent parts of that episode are linked on that page.

There is a Wiki article here which explains intermittent fasting and gives a short summary of some studies which have been done on it.

A blog post here gives some of the scientific explanation for why this way of eating helps you to not only lose weight, but improve your all-around health.

A Telegraph article which comments on the diet and gives a brief overview.

A study discussed here gives commentary specifically addressing the effect of this diet on obese people (both men and women), with regard to both health and weight loss. ("After 8 weeks of treatment, participants had an average 12.5 lbs reduction in body weight and a 4 cm decrease in waist circumference. Total fat mass declined by about 12 lbs while lean body mass remained relatively constant.) it also mentions "Plasma adiponectin, a protein hormone that is elevated in obesity and associated with heart disease, dropped by 30%. As did LDL cholesterol (25%) and triglycerides (32%).")

Important link if you are currently your ideal BMI: this appears to suggest the benefits for women at a lower BMI might not be seeing the same health benefits that are found on men at their ideal BMI.

And for those already fasting, here is a link to 100 snacks under 100 calories. smile

Another food link, here is a link to the BBC Goof Food site, with a list of low-calorie soups.

I will start a different thread just for recipe links, though, as there seems to be some demand for that.

A BIG THANK YOU to all who have been contributing, btw. Most of us are new to this diet. All of the links above have been posted by others in our previous thread, and they've been very helpful. Sorry if I haven't given credit where it's due, but it was just enough of a job getting them all in one post this afternoon. wink

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

teaandthorazine Fri 07-Sep-12 19:41:01

TalkinPeace - where do you get the idea that we evolved to 'get most of our calories from carbs'? It's my understanding that the opposite is true...

Fruit, leaves and seeds are not very carby, from an evolutionary POV. Fruit is very very sweet these days (which is why many low-carbers avoid most fruits except berries) but it's intentionally bred that way. Plus it would've been seasonal and would'nt have featured in the diet for months on end.

Meat, fish, eggs - not many carbs in them...

What long-term blood chemistry is 'knackered' by avoiding carbohydrate? Maintaining normal, stable blood glucose is very beneficial. The brain, if 'deprived' of carbohydrate, works very well by a process of gluconeogenesis.

I eat with my child every day. He eats what I eat. Sometimes he has carbs with it, sometimes he doesn't. There are a lot of assumptions throughout your post.

catsrus Fri 07-Sep-12 19:41:29

my experience is also that I am a lot less hungry on non-fast days.

I don't do any 16 hr fast thing apart from those days when I'm in the office and just have tea (with milk) and coffee all day until I come home for a meal. On days I'm at home that are fast days I tend to eat during the day - but make sure I have a big pot of veggie soup on the go.

I am really just being very relaxed about this, i know enough about calories to know that if I only eat veggies and maybe a couple of hard boiled eggs I will be under 500 on fast days. On non-fast days I have had lots of takeaways, meals out and alcohol - but not every non-fast day, honest grin.

For me the biggest thing is that I can really see this as a way to maintain a healthy weight for life. In the past there was always the worry of how to keep it stable when I "came off the diet" as it always crept up again, particularly when I was under pressure. If that happens this time I will just throw in a few more fast days for a week but won't have to "go on a diet" because this doesn't feel like "being on a diet" to me.

MamaGeekChic Fri 07-Sep-12 19:41:50

I had my second fast day yesterday (posted on other thread after it closed), I'm finding it much easier than I expected. Hope I'm not speaking too soon! I had a glass of skimmed milk and an espresso during the day (plus lots of water) then a small portion of pasta, about a third of what everyone else had and a slice of garlic bread at 7pm ish. I felt a bit weak around 5pm but generally ok and not as headachey as my first fast.

Today I felt good, much more in control of my eating than i have been, none of the guilt or worrying about having things i shouldn't be or falling off my diet. I'm really pleased. I've had a bowl of cereal, a baked potato with chilli and a small tub of icecream. Have just ordered whilst drinking a gin an indian and have made quite good choices but don't feel like I'm missing out.

Really hoping this works for me because I reckon I can stick to it.

Mintyy Fri 07-Sep-12 19:49:25

What makes this way of eating so do-able to me is:

1. You only feel deprived for 16 hours maximum. Even I can defer my pleasures for that long grin.

2. And, anyway, you do get to eat on fast days. I had Pret A Manger mushroom soup for lunch on one of my fast days this week and it was honestly really nice. But I would never, ever, have chosen that before, it would always have been a sandwich or a wrap or something. So it forces you to try new things, even if only for one day. Now I might well choose the mushroom soup on a non-fast day because I know how much I enjoyed it.

3. It is dead simple, with no requirement to count calories or carbs or fat units or anything at all, if you don't want to, most of the time.

Mintyy Fri 07-Sep-12 19:59:15

As I read Talkinpeace's post I think she means we (as a race) went on to get most of our calories from carbs (due to agriculture etc), not that we actually physiologically evolved to process them efficiently unless we are proper athletes.

The problem I have with low carbing - if I can just say this - is that I know many many slim people who do not have to worry about or artificially restrict their carbohydrate intake. So if they don't have to, why do some of us have to?

Aboutlastnight Fri 07-Sep-12 20:25:42

Apostate???? Appetite damn iPhone!

TalkinPeace2 Fri 07-Sep-12 20:28:40

I know many many slim people who do not have to worry about or artificially restrict their carbohydrate intake
Have you actually watched them eat day in day out or fed their cats (and snooped through their kitchen cupboards) ?
Only ONE of the thin people I know (and there are lots through the gym) genuinely eats whatever - but she is 19 and has had two collapsed lungs.
The others have so trained themselves to eat LESS that know no other way.

My point about the carb / protein balance is based on articles in New Scientist etc about Papuans, Polynesians and the Kung - who most definitely get well over half their calories from carbs ...

BIWI Fri 07-Sep-12 20:30:34

Because we are all different in terms of our insulin sensitivity. This is the thinking behind Atkins; once you've done Induction (the strictest phase, where you are only allowed 20g carbohydrate per day), you move onto a phase where you gradually increase your carbs, till you reach a point where weight loss stops/you gain weight.

His approach recognised, very early on, that some people are more/less insulin sensitive than others.

As for why this should be, I have no clue. All that I know is that I'm married to a man who can eat whatever he wants - and who eats a lot of carbs - and who never puts weight on. Which is infuriating.

Sputnik Fri 07-Sep-12 20:32:03

I've always wondered that too Minty. I think part of the answer is just lifestyle, I do exercise but otherwise I am behind a computer or otherwise pretty sedentary for work, I live in a place where I have to drive to go to the shops and take the kids to school, I actually stop the car on the way home and go for a walk otherwise I wouldn't get to walk anywhere day to day. I think someone who has a more active job and or gets to walk more needs more of those quick burning carbs, I really don't so much so I'm better off limiting them.

BIWI about the plate of pasta and vat of wine business, I got close to that on Wednesday, we were at dinner at SIL's house and I will admit to scarfing down 2 plates of pasta, then dessert in abundance. I will think twice about doing that again as I felt terrible the next day, but anyway from a weightloss point of view it didn't stop me from losing nearly a kg this week.

TalkinPeace2 Fri 07-Sep-12 20:32:04

Does he fidget?

reddwarf Fri 07-Sep-12 20:33:33

Hi everyone, I'd like to join, well, stick my nose in every now and then. You all talk way too much for me to have any hope of keeping up.

I was dx with coeliac recently, so in effect on an enforced low carb diet anyway, but despite a month of not eating any bread, pasta, cake, biscuits, pizza or beer I have badly lost a gram hmm. I was also dx with nderactive thyroid, which i'm blaming on my steady weight gain. But despite my diet change, and thyroid being treated, I'm still not loosing weight.

I really want to both loose weight and try to do something positive about my health, so this really appeals to me. I've done my first fast yesterday, and it was a doodle. TBH food feels like my enemy now, so not eating is easy.

I also feel having low carbs and lots of protein really fills me up, so a bowl of yoghurt keeps me going no problem

Thank you green eggs for your links. I've read quite a lot and watched to programme and find it fascinating.

It is important though to make sure the food we do it though is high quality and highly nutritious to make up for the reduction. (I'll come clean about that crunchie,)

BIWI Fri 07-Sep-12 20:33:51

Not especially - but he does always walk up/down the escalator when getting on the tube, and walks around the bedroom (another thing that infuriates me grin) when he's brushing his teeth

TalkinPeace2 Fri 07-Sep-12 20:39:19

reddwarf - I'll duck after posting this BUT what you need is a dose of hookworms ! Genuinely : New Scientist regularly reports on methods to reset the digestive and immune systems esp for coeliac - might be worth asking your GP

BIWI - your little toad of a DH by doing that is burning off up to an extra 1000 calories a day : New Scientist (again) picked up on fidget / cannot sit still / perma bored people a few years back ... THAT is why he does not put on weight

reddwarf Fri 07-Sep-12 20:42:29


TalkinPeace2 Fri 07-Sep-12 20:48:28

Please do not read while eating !
the research is rock solid and only held back by the yeuch factor.

reddwarf Fri 07-Sep-12 20:54:35

I#m game for anything, me smile Not clear if you remain infected forever, or just have em in for a bit? My doc would think I am bonkers for suggesting it.

I'll have a word with dh, bet he'll love the idea grin

poachedeggs Fri 07-Sep-12 20:57:48

Checking in, thanks GreenEggs.

My first two fast days (Monday and Wednesday) went so well I thought I'd have a bash at another today. I was fine until lunchtime (I did OK - ate homemade soup with bread) but because I didn't have time to suss the calories out first I had to guestimate. I worked it out later and it came in at almost exactly 500 calories and the thought of nothing all evening was dire. I got hungry when feeding the DC so I had a bit of theirs then decided "sod it this isn't going to be a fast day any more!" and had some more bread and cheese and then icecream blush.

None of the above is a problem - I can fast another day, it was a bonus anyway as I'm sort of planning to do 5:2. BUT it demonstrated to me with great clarity how little it takes to make me waver and quit. If I'd just said to myself "Never mind, make it a 550 calorie day and have a carrot and a hot chocolate for supper" it would have been fine!

I need to lose weight but for me I need to stick to it as a healthy way of eating and no more. And I'd like to say for the record I agree very much with your take on things as mentioned in your final posts on the old thread, GreenEggs in that this is primarily about health and weight loss is a great part of that. I realise some people have a LC agenda but I think there's room for all of us here, whatever our motivations, provided nobody preaches smile

Many thanks again for your efforts smile

dontcallmehon Fri 07-Sep-12 21:00:07

After reading one of the links GreenEggs posted, I am wondering if ADF is going to work for me long term. I hope so - as I love this way of eating. Long term fertility is not an issue, as I don't want any more dc.

However, after losing just over ten pounds, I now have a BMI of 22 and the weight loss has slowed down a fair bit now. I want to lose another stone (BMI 19) if possible, but I'm wondering if ADF will affect my metabolism negatively, especially as I am not overweight.

I am going to keep at it though - hopefully weight loss will continue.

TalkinPeace2 Fri 07-Sep-12 21:08:37

various yoga friends (average BMI 21) are doing ADF and 5:2 for the anti alzheimers etc
500 + 2200 on other days is their normal - all that has changed is the 500 up on feed days with the leeway to pig out when family commitments need

dontcallmehon Fri 07-Sep-12 21:12:13

Thanks talkinpeace - that is good to know. I exercise a fair bit, too - so that should help with weight loss. This is the first 'diet' I've been able to stick to!

BuntCadger Fri 07-Sep-12 21:17:42

grin another 2lb gone. Week 4 and 9lb lost. I fitted comfortably into my jeans from before I had dc2 (I have 3 now), and that was over 5 years ago.

TalkinPeace2 Fri 07-Sep-12 21:20:03

WELL DONE on the jeans. weight is one thing but feeling good in clothes is THE BEST

reddwarf Fri 07-Sep-12 22:17:09

Wel done on the jeans. I tried mine. i thought they would be tight, but i couldn't even get past mid thigh on 1 leg.shock

BuntCadger Fri 07-Sep-12 23:11:28

reddwarf you will get there. Dh didn't lose at all this week but he looks slimmer. Felt bad for him but he's alright

Movingforward123 Fri 07-Sep-12 23:45:37

Hi everyone,

I have heard loads about this recently, I desperately need to loose weight sad

I am 10.2 stone right now and need to loose one stone. I'm only 5.2 so look bigger then ever right now!

How quickly have others lost weight on this diet?

And what do you eat on fast days? I can imagine I would be staving but as its only 2 days per week it might be manageable!! confused

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