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5:2 Diet Thread Part Six! Now's the time to de-lurk and chat with us..

(985 Posts)
GreenEggsAndNichts Thu 25-Oct-12 12:49:03

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 in August, 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 started is a good resource for some of the links and tips that get lost in these big threads. In addition to sharing links, we try 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 mentioned BMR and TDEE often. Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) quantifies the number of calories you burn in a day. This measure is best estimated by scaling your Basal Metabolic Rate to your level of activity. TDEE is critical in tailoring your nutrition plan to desired fitness goals. Here is a link to a calculator to help you figure out how many calories you should be eating in a day.

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 Thu 25-Oct-12 17:18:43

Right, marked my place..

I've just had my fiery soup .. but was only 50 cal .. so it wont be 22 hrs with totally nowt after all.. oh well....

thatbint Happy Birthday 21 again? hope you enjoyed it ...

Welcome toffeechops I'm like you.. scales well into the 10s now after years of 11's -13s and i'm eating things forbidden in all my WWatchers years....Great isn't it?.. Though i have WW friends who simply wont believe in any other method.. but they are mostly all 'stalled' also! Its the 'mustn't miss a meal .. its bad for you' mentality that these diets are peddling.. and then yes , people simply eat more than they should because their insulin keeps on the boil ..) Obvious really , but I never saw it before ..

Hi again catrus lol at superglue noodles.. I've only managed the one packet so far..

DGTdaisy agree with TIpeace2 don't go there,diet drinks just make you want more . Could you learn to love mint tea? its my lifesaver. Also id suggest you go for less carby veg rather than corn on cob on fast days , maybe a stir fry of different types? You can eat an awful lot of beansprouts with mushrooms, spring onion, broccoli garlic and ginger i've found... perhaps with some prawns or shredded chicken in ..

Right! must stop talking about food!
Im fasting!

ToffeeChops Thu 25-Oct-12 17:20:50

grin Ha! Have just worked it out (peri-menopausal brain not what it was - more pink mist than grey matter these days........)

Laska42 Thu 25-Oct-12 17:36:50

talkinpeace2 I've just seen that link you posted on *bread and wines8 thread showing people at different weights and heights .. Fascinating! .. especially for someone like me who really has such a distorted mirror -view of herself .. I'm more acceptable than I thought!! Thanks

ManOnBoard Thu 25-Oct-12 17:38:30

Green Thankyou for the new thread

AGeeksWife When I first told people that I was trying this woe a few people mentioned that it sounds like an eating disorder but I did point out that 8 vanilla slices in an evening was not whatI consider orderly. Maybe you could try keeping a food diary which would emphasise what you are eating and include Mr Geek.

TLS raised something towards the end of the last thread about how we are all so positive about this woe which may be due to people who may have given up no longer contributing. If anyone has given up, or intends to, but continues to follow the thread I would like to hear why as it would give balance to our experiences and perhaps support others who have stopped,

Aboutlastnight Thu 25-Oct-12 17:47:29

I really think it's important to take the long view. This is the way I will be eating for the rest of my life and therefore blips like holidays, Xmas
nightshift are not important in the grand scheme of things.

So I will not be fasting when on holiday and Christmas week will be a fast free zone. I suspect though that I will naturally modify my eating anyway and if I gain a few pounds, well so what, I'll lose them again later.

Laska42 Thu 25-Oct-12 17:54:20

Hmm..... yes December.... I have two birthday weekends (one of them mine!) two works Christmas meals, and Christmas and new year themselves. with visits from and to friends and reles all over the place meaning fatted calf slaughtering all round ...

I might have to get my excel spreadsheet out and work this out .. because I AM NOT going to start next yearany heavier than now ..

Laska42 Thu 25-Oct-12 17:59:46

... but I AM going to enjoy myself..(this year I may even have actually allow myself a mince pie or 2 -never would have even one in the WW years ) so I need to plan my fasts

catsrus Thu 25-Oct-12 18:01:51

I don't like mince pie.... but I do love Christmas cake and Christmas pudding grin so really looking forward to enjoying those this year!

ToffeeChops Thu 25-Oct-12 18:13:15

Thanks Laska - and yes, it's great! With this WOE I feel as though I've stumbled into something that could end the old cycle of dieting-gaining-dieting for good. I'm doing it with Mr Chops and we've both settled into a Mon / Thurs fast pattern that, while not exactly easy, has become a regular thing that neither of us want to break.

Not sure if this will be of interest to anyone else but I'm also doing something called 'eating window' on my non-fast days. I didn't feel I could commit to ADF or 4:3 but on Sun, Tues, Wed and Fri I don't eat before 1.00pm or after 9.00pm (could be any 8 hour stretch but those times suit me.) I get the benefit of a 16 hr fast on non-fast days (if that makes sense) and I'm sure it's helped the weight loss and given me a greater sense of control over my eating.

That leaves one day a week - Saturday - for FEASTING! smile I do sometimes miss eating breakfast (I love cereal) but like many others here I feel less hungry if I don't have breakfast than if I do...... and toast and marmalade on a Saturday morning now feels like such a treat!

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Thu 25-Oct-12 18:44:24

Bleurgh to Christmas cake, pudding and mince pies - hate raisins! But yay to roast potatoes dripping with goose fat!

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Thu 25-Oct-12 18:48:31

DH working late tonight do debating doing a second fast day in a row today rather than tomorrow as I have a gorgeous beef casserole and fluffy mashed which I intend to cover in butter waiting for dinner for us, so swap that to tomorrow and get an early night tonight. Trouble is I've probably already used 200cal on breakfast (one slice of bread with home made lemon curd) and no 16hour break, but could have leftover veg curry for a late lunch then not eat til morning. Will prob go to bed with the children in any case tonight.

Ramble ramble ramble!!

TalkinPeace2 Thu 25-Oct-12 19:02:12

My MEGA top tip for fast days is baked beans - a whole tin of healthy ones is around 400 calories - leaving spare for a slice of ham and a sprinkling of cheese and for the men a slice of toast.
Comfort food!

And as Laska pointed out - its good to see yourself as others see you ....
the 5'5" 130 pound pictures are pretty representative of how I know I look.... what about you?

GreenEggsAndNichts Thu 25-Oct-12 19:09:30

Laughing at the turn this thread is taking with all the Christmas food being discussed. grin

I look forward to the holidays. With this WOE I won't have to stress so much over baking, whether or not I should, etc. I love that I will be able to have a meal at Christmas and not be worrying in the back of my mind how I'll be paying for this later, or making excuses for it but will be back to normal after the holidays. I will just plan fast days when I can (I can't imagine straying too much from my current schedule, actually, except that I might move a day or two around, or drop down to 5:2 or a week instead of 4:3) and accept that my calories will be higher than usual. I won't break from fasting entirely over that time period, as I think it helps to keep me focused (and I imagine I'll appreciate it after a day or two of eating Christmas foods!)

Re: coffee. I think if you want to wean yourself from sugar, you could try sweeteners. I realise I incur the wrath of TalkInPeace2 by suggesting such a thing, but I use them in coffee sometimes on fast days if I want something sweet. Your reaction might vary, though- I don't have a problem with cravings after having a cup.

Another suggestion is to buy/make nicer coffee, which you'll appreciate the flavour of more, and might not feel the need to sweeten. I have a mokka pot for my stove which I use for a strong cup of brewed coffee, and use either Douwe Egberts or Lavazza ground coffee. So, nothing fancy, but they have a good flavour. DE also has an okay instant coffee which I keep around for emergencies, or for when I don't have access to the stove. (Though a french press is good for work as well!)

Sorry to go off on the coffee nerd tangent. smile

Aftereightsaremine Thu 25-Oct-12 19:14:57

Well at 5ft 3" & 13 stone it isn't pretty but 14&half stone was worse!

FoodieToo Thu 25-Oct-12 19:30:50

Hi everyone. I love this woe!

However,I have been sticking with Ryvita for dinner on fast days. This is not good as I have five young kids. I don t want them know I am fasting.

Any ideas for a meal that looks like a dinner but with very few calories lol?

TalkinPeace2 Thu 25-Oct-12 19:38:23

a hot salad : bed of lettuce, sliced peppers, mushrooms, bit of tomato, then warmed up smoked salmon fillet and a hot poached egg on top and fresh ground pepper
with a bit of portion control and aesthetics, something you'd be happy to have in a restaurant

and that IS the secret you know - what most restaurants now serve as starters make perfectly good main courses - lots of the skinny people I know have two starters when they go out rather than a main course - plenty of flavour and texture, low calories

I have less of a problem with sweeteners in coffee because the coffee is the main flavour.
Its the carbonated sweet aspartame drinks that have health implications :-)

Aracsmum Thu 25-Oct-12 19:39:33

Been lurking a while! Time to join in..... Thanks for all the advice...
Followed 5:2 since beginning of sept and settled in to a pattern of going 'local' (sounds less bonkers than 'fasting') on Mondays and Fridays.... This week started skipping breakfast as recommended here and have found this makes a big difference - after all those years of being brainwashed into brekkie being the most important meal of the day etc (it is much easier to extend the fast if don't eat first thing and no I haven't fainted in a heap yet).
Re drinks - I can handle black coffee but have found Earl Grey tea without milk surprisingly nice and peppermint tea good too. All other herb/fruit teas taste like Sellotape!!
Oh and lost 7lbs so far; if I lose another 3 I will be under 12 stone for the first time in 20 years ... Fingers crossed! (that will still make me have a BMI of 26 but getting nearer the Holy Grail!)

TalkinPeace2 Thu 25-Oct-12 19:39:41

PS Foodie : baked beans. Serve them to your kids with toast under and bacon or hotdogs chopped in and cheddar on top. you just skip the toast and have less bacon and cheese

dalek Thu 25-Oct-12 19:42:01

Could I please ask a question about the 16 hour fast? Does this mean NOTHING for 16 hours - eg say from 9pm on an eating day to 1pm on a fast day? Can you have a little milk in tea and coffee or should you just stick to water?

Does this WOE produce weight loss even if you don't do the 16 hour fasts?


TalkinPeace2 Thu 25-Oct-12 19:47:24

I often have a mug of tea with milk at breakfast but otherwise nothing ....
mainly cos I need caffeine to do the school run!

not doing the 16 hours - the thing is that skipping breakfast or supper is the ONLY way to keep the calories down to 500 on fast days

frenchfancy Thu 25-Oct-12 19:49:31

Foodie - Think of veg based meals. Veg chilli, veg curry etc. My favourite fast day meal is a butternut squash and sweet potato casserole. Or do jacket spuds, but do sweet potato for you instead of normal. It doesn't need butter, I just add a bit of tuna and chilli. Check out the recipe thread for other ideas.

Dalek - I don't think the 16 hour fast affects weight loss,(Dr Mosely didn't do it) but it seems to enhance other health benefits

frenchfancy Thu 25-Oct-12 19:51:27

Not it isn't TalkinPeace You could skip lunch instead. Or you could eat three very small meals (soup for example).

One of the benefits to this WOE are the lack of rules. You do it your way.

Aracsmum Thu 25-Oct-12 19:55:55

I find that skipping breakfast means I have more calories for later on and I am no hungrier by say 11am than if I had eaten breakfast.... So I can have a better tea so as to not look like a weird eater in front of my daughter (I have to leave for work early so we only overlap for a brief chat at breakfast time)

Thelittlestranger Thu 25-Oct-12 19:59:37

Most of us will still have milk in our coffee/tea within the 16 hour fasting period, but we won't eat anything...

I have sweetener in my tea (but have always had that since I was in my teens as I just prefer the taste) but funnily enough, since starting this WOE I am going off the taste of sweetener in drinks. It hasn't affected my love of my daily can of diet coke, but I have recently tried a shapers drink from boots and it tasted SO sweet and yuck. Never thought that before...

Made lemon drizzle cake with my middle child today, and enjoyed a slice and am having fish and chips tonight as a treat! 16 hour fast then until tomorrow afternoon.

I suspect with Christmas it will be easy to skip meals around other large ones, and also, think of all the yummy salads you can have. One of my favourite parts of Christmas is the leftovers (cold turkey, boiled eggs, smoked salmon) All of which can be incorporated in to a fast day salad...

FoodieToo Thu 25-Oct-12 20:52:57

Thanks a million for those food suggestions. Yes I think the idea of a plate of salad is good,with something thrown in.

I worry a lot about food messages I give the kids!

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