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5:2 Diet Thread: Part Five! Top of the Mornin' to you!

(978 Posts)
GreenEggsAndNichts Sun 07-Oct-12 17:53:33

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 a month or two ago, 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 we've filled several threads by now. Please share if you find something particularly useful, and we'll add it for the next thread.

First things first, here are links to some of our previous threads: most recent one before that another one.

Another thread which breadandwine has just started can be found here. We'll be trying to condense some of our top tips for fasting there. Keep in mind, we all do this differently, so these are just tips, not rules.

frenchfancy has a recipe thread over here, please post any low-calorie recipes there so they don't get lost in these bigger threads!

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.

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. We tend to favour lots of hot drinks during the day (count your milk if you use it!)

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

We often mention basal metabolic rate (BMR) here. This refers to the amount of energy (calories) a person uses when at rest; so, the basic number of calories a person needs to stay the same weight. This number is often quoted as being 2000 calories for the "average" woman, but of course is different depending on how tall you are, how much you weigh, etc. Here is a calculator which will easily help you to find out what your BMR is.

A BIG THANK YOU to all who have been contributing, btw. Most of us are learning this way of eating as we go along. All of the links above have been posted by others in our previous threads, and they've been very helpful. 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!

Laska42 Mon 08-Oct-12 12:21:08

No problem with hair loss here.... perhaps a vitamin supplement would help? Dr John Briffa recommends fish oils .. (I've been taking them when I remember ..)

I do recommend his his book 'The Diet Trap'.. though is mainly about why the usual diets 'cant' work in his opinion. Was quite fascinating for me being a long (and only partly successful) WW devotee (and he does favour a more low carb method -whereas here there is no consensus as people have been losing with or without carbs ) .

But there is a chapter on IF at the end of his book and he talks more about it on his [[ blog}}

Laska42 Mon 08-Oct-12 12:23:10

sorry ill try that link again
Briffa blog

TalkinPeace2 Mon 08-Oct-12 12:37:50

Weighed myself out of interest this morning.
Same as Friday Morning.
Not bad considering the amount I felt I ate and drank over the weekend.
Will be interesting to see if I can get my BMI down to 21.5 by the end of the week ....

I got severe alopecia after stopping feeding DS. About 1 in 3 get it .... we just never talk about it !

Aftereightsaremine Mon 08-Oct-12 13:04:21

I've started taking a multi vitamin pill on the days I'm fasting as I'd noticed I was getting more tired than I usually do.

dalek Mon 08-Oct-12 13:05:55

I watched the programme on youtube last night and have been reading some of the threads.

Could I please ask a few questions.

Do you have to fast on the same two days every week?

What if you fall off the wagon for a couple of weeks (Christmas, holidays etc) -does the weight pile back on like with Atkins?

Do you low carb on your fasting days?

Can you really eat whatever (and however much you want) on feeding days?


TalkinPeace2 Mon 08-Oct-12 13:10:30

Fast days - nope, whenever fits with what you are doing.

Wagon : not sure yet as most of us only started in the summer, BUT, those losing a lot of weight are finding such a sea change in their attitude to food that chances are the wagon will be hard to fall off - as ALL foods are allowed every week.

Carbs : sort of, mainly because 500 calories of pasta leaves you ravenous after ten minutes!

Non fast days : you do NOT want to know the list of what I ate (and drank) this weekend ....

dalek Mon 08-Oct-12 13:15:04

Thanks talkinpeace2. I am currently doing cambridge (day 5) and I'm bored already. Was thinking to start with I could do cambridge on fast days as that will be just under 500 calories and eat normally on other days.

If I can make it work maybe move to real food on my fasting days as well.

Sounds like you had a fabulous weekend foodwise!

Thank you for taking the time to reply.

MsIngaFewmarbles Mon 08-Oct-12 13:22:58

Just had the amazing carrot, tomato, red pepper and lentil soup. It was delicious and sooooo filling, and I can have another bowl at supper time smile

mumofcrazynamedkids Mon 08-Oct-12 13:44:50

dalek i don't low carb at all on the non fast days, although in the past I have done atkins and know overall that it works fro me (it wasn't a woe I could carry on all the time and the weight did come back as soon as I stopped) i wouldn't say that you can binge on non fast days, althoughyou can eat what you want, but like talkinpeace said you will probably find that you becaome more aware of what you want to eat on those days. I agree also that it is definitely a WOE and not a diet, so there isn't really any falling off teh wagon, but if you choose to stop fasting and you haven't changed your eating habits from before then in all likelihood you will gain back again. one way or another to maintain weightloss you have to only be eating as many calories as you are expending energy.

Laska42 Mon 08-Oct-12 13:44:57

oh goody..msInga Was that from my recipe? (actually I should have admitted earlier it was Mr Laska who made it first..) Its great isnt it?

MsIngaFewmarbles Mon 08-Oct-12 13:52:04

Yes Laska, thank you and MrL so much grin

Thelittlestranger Mon 08-Oct-12 13:52:11

Fast day here, and thank goodness. I felt yuck after over eating on pizza last night...only lost 1lb last week, but that makes an overall loss of 10lbs in 5 weeks, so I'm happy with that. This weekend I'm going to attempt to not drink much, as I think this makes a huge difference to me...I tend to have to lose the weekend's weight gain, before I lose 'new' weight...

Anyway, just had carrot soup and have omelette planned for tonight. Planning on fasting today, Wednesday and 24 hour fast on Friday so I can have a nice dinner.

Good luck to the new and old fasters. The best advice is to just do it, and find what works best for you and be flexible. Most fast days now I won't have breakfast or lunch, but today as my oh is home, I had soup with him...

mommybunny Mon 08-Oct-12 14:37:38

Hi all, checking in after a weekend of fairly "normal" eating and drinking. Fasting today with my usual 2 egg omelette and toast, and will have PB on toast later for tea. I know I should fill up more on veggies but I need something I really like to look forward to on my fast days, and I do look forward to my PB toast. I can handle the fasting when I know I have that.

At least DH says he's back on track with me (though had a cheeky banana after lunch, and was a little shocked when I tild him it had 100 calories in it!).

I have to admit I have been feeling a little discouraged, especially as I don't know if I've lost any weight (promised not to weigh myself for a couple more weeks) and my clothes don't feel significantly looser, though sometimes I think my thighs may be a little thinner (maybe just wishful thinking!). I am in the healthy BMI range (though at the top of it) so that may account for the difficulty in shifting it. It has helped though to check in here and see what amazing progress everyone's been making.

Happy fasting and feasting everyone, and thanks as always to greeneggs for keeping the thread going.

captainmummy Mon 08-Oct-12 15:48:10

I low-carb most of the time, but I find on a fast day (like today) I feel i have to go low-cal, as I don't know how many carbs i'd need for the same effect, IYSWIM. I know that I can have 500 cals, but not how many carbs I should eat on a fast day. I try to keep to 20-30g carbs on a normal day.

So it feels strange to have a cup-a-soup, as it has 15g carbs in, tho only 84 cals. I only had half tho, as it was horrible - powdery, tasteless, sweet. Had leftover celeriac mash with butter and cream with mushrooms instead, and am still at 370cals.
Will be eating normally tonight.

ManOnBoard Mon 08-Oct-12 16:09:51

It seems that many of us feel that our appetites have changed due to our stomachs shrinking so it occurred to me that if you you have reached a plateau you might try a) Doing your fasts on consecutive days, as I did when I first tried this WOE b) Changing to different foods with the same calories but less bulk, or c) Splitting your meals and having a longer gap netween them, so brunch at 11am and perhaps your main meal at 7pm

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Mon 08-Oct-12 16:14:53

hi all - first fast day in what feels like FOREVER (last was last Wednesday), very indulgent few days with having visitors who are here on holiday so I end up acting like I'm on holiday too - did well the first few days but yesterday was a total blow out so expecting today to be difficult.

No major problems with hairloss here, but I have very thin, fine hair that falls out in clumps anyway! One of the myriad of reasons to be said I'll never be pregnant again - my hair looks amazing in pregnancy!

I did 5:2 last week and will be doing 5:2 again this week but think I actually prefer doing 4:3, I find the fasts easier to cope with if there are of them! Assume once I'm at a weight I'm happy with I'll go to 6:1, but it's slow going for me as I'm already in healthy BMI range. Seriously need to get training again though - no exercise for ages and a few training rides coming up.

Will make a big batch of miso in case of hunger pangs but otherwise looking forward to a courgette and feta and mint salad for dinner.

Fast day yesterday which was fairly easy as I have the remnants of a stinking cold so not much appetite. Made a large pot of prawn tom yum soup as I am mainlining chilli in a hope of clearing my cold once and for all.

I am seeing a difference in my eating habits. I bought a chocolate mousse from the canteen today, took one spoonful and though this isn't to my taste and then threw the rest away. Previously, I would have eaten it anyway or replaced it with something else.

Thina Mon 08-Oct-12 16:44:08

Laska42 is the carrot, tomato, red pepper and lentil soup on the recipe thread?

Littlemisstan I too and same-ish as you, 5' 5", 11st 0-4lbs, not sure of your age (no need tonreveal) but I am 45.

I am on week three. The first two weeks I tried hard to keep to 500 but was nowhere near, I FEEL better though haven't lost weight, am starting to sleep better, but for some reason I am continuing with this WOE and want to give it a real good go. I think it's this thread, it's so supportive. I am in a bit more of a routine with fast days now.

Thina Mon 08-Oct-12 16:44:59

Thanks too MOB for the tips.

Laska42 Mon 08-Oct-12 16:49:09

thina yes it is I had some today even though its an eating day... was generous in working out the calories as put in for 10ml olive oil, but with a olive oil spray would be quite a lot less.. I also found today that a squeeze of Lemon juice in the bowl with it was nice..

BurningBright Mon 08-Oct-12 17:05:46

Fast day for me. Just marking my place on the shiny new thread.

ManOnBoard Mon 08-Oct-12 17:13:49

Fast day for me and so far all I have had is water and 2 cups of tea, was thinking of having chicken biryani but realised I could have a mars bar and 2 packets of quavers instead (but I won't), diet schmiet I love this WOE.

GE&N thankyou and for maintaining this thread so well and GWTMH I blame you for the Mars bar as I cannot help but sing Life On Mars whenever I see your name

Breadandwine Mon 08-Oct-12 17:48:17

Here's a YouTube film by Luigi Fontana, one of the scientists on the Horizon programme, on Caloric Restriction, Lifespan, Protein and IGF1:

Also posted on the Tips thread.

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Mon 08-Oct-12 17:53:27

that's because it is an AWESOME song MoB!! It will be played at my funeral....

Dad has agreed to fast with me today - taking the children to the Science Museum in the hope the distraction will help the hunger pangs!

ManOnBoard Mon 08-Oct-12 18:10:00

GWTMH Couldn't agree more, just not when I sing it. Hunky Dory was the first LP I ever bought and for you young ones an LP is a 30cm plastic disc rhat music used to be stored on before CDs and I-Pods came along

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