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Tips and links for those practicing Intermittent Fasting (IF). 5:2 or Alternate Day Fasting (ADF)

(275 Posts)
Breadandwine Sun 07-Oct-12 00:27:12

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.

Breadandwine Sat 02-Nov-13 23:41:22

Could this explain the dreaded 'plateau'?

Breadandwine Mon 04-Nov-13 00:58:55

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):

Breadandwine Sat 16-Nov-13 14:58:00

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.

Trying2bMindful Mon 18-Nov-13 08:35:05

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....

Thermalogica Mon 18-Nov-13 21:02:54

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.


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:

TDEE calculator

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:


Lazysuzanne Tue 17-Dec-13 21:53:56

This is a very interesting thread, I wish I'd spotted it earlier!
thanks for all the links grin

Lazysuzanne Wed 18-Dec-13 17:54:51

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.

Breadandwine Mon 30-Dec-13 09:53:16

Thanks, Suzanne.

Here's another approach, recommending a 5 hour eating window:

Brilliant TED talk.

Lazysuzanne Mon 30-Dec-13 11:15:44

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!

Lazysuzanne Mon 30-Dec-13 17:04:17

Bread, I watched the talk and have read the free book download on his website

very interesting.
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

TalkinPeace Thu 02-Jan-14 20:57:49

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
family supper

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

BetsyBell Sat 04-Jan-14 10:14:25

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.

Lazysuzanne Sat 04-Jan-14 10:58:18

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 angry

Breadandwine Sat 04-Jan-14 11:25:28

Interesting conversation here about Harvie's 2 day diet clinical study paper:

"Important statement:
'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... "

frenchfancy Sun 12-Jan-14 13:20:54


frumpet Sun 12-Jan-14 18:21:48

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 ?

Breadandwine Mon 13-Jan-14 00:03:45

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! smile

Lazysuzanne Mon 13-Jan-14 12:21:35

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

Lazysuzanne Mon 13-Jan-14 12:25:21

give it 10-20 years and much of the current advise will be rubbished, some new paradigm will be in

Lazysuzanne Mon 13-Jan-14 18:56:26

(btw Breadandwine, I'm currently pursuing your blog, trying to make a sourdough starter...again blush )

TalkinPeace Mon 13-Jan-14 19:56:37

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

but mainly

Breadandwine Mon 13-Jan-14 20:13:31

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! smile

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!

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