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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!

TalkinPeace2 Thu 25-Oct-12 21:00:16

remember that this diet is for those who have stopped growing - DH and I are 47. I've told our kids that when their bones have totally stopped growing, then they will need to really be careful about food, but for now DS has hollow legs

then again OTT salads are hardly a bad meal to show them :-)

GreenEggsAndNichts Thu 25-Oct-12 21:23:09

I agree with TalkIn, foodie. When my son is old enough (he's 3 and takes very little notice of anything anyone else is eating, unless it's cake wink) I'll just explain that adults have to have a fast day sometimes.

I think this WOE is actually better than many other short-term diets in that we're eating normally most days of the week. We aren't teaching them that fat is bad, or whatever, because we're eating it. My eating on non-fast days has improved a lot, and overall I'm eating a lot of vegetables (fast and non-fast days). I can only assume this is sending a good message.

ManOnBoard Thu 25-Oct-12 21:25:43

Chicken and vegetable stir fry, serve the low cal and then add noodles for the rest of the family mmm soy sauce. My favourite low cal meal so far is tinned tomayues on 2 wholemeal toast with black pepper 250-300cals

Sputnik Thu 25-Oct-12 21:48:55

Frenchfancy, I like the sound of butternut squash and sweet potato casserole, can you put it on the recipe thread, pretty please smile

GreenEggsAndNichts Thu 25-Oct-12 22:00:43

Aracs welcome to the thread! I've also found I'm enjoying flavoured teas. I never really liked them much before. I've picked up some Chai tea this evening for my next fast day.

I also save my calories for the evening.

dalek if you have a look through the links in the OP, there is one which is about a study involving obese participants and weight loss. From what it says, they didn't have restrictions on when they ate their 500 calories.

This is just for weight loss, though. If you're interested in the other health benefits, it's best to have a 16 hour window to allow the cells to go into repair mode.

Oh damn I knew there was something I forgot. Does anyone have the link for the follow-up blog post where the blogger wrote to all the scientists and asked them questions? I meant to add that to the OP. At least I remembered to change the BMR/TDEE bit. sigh.

(the link should be in the tips and links thread anyway, I just thought it would be good there)

Skinnyeye Thu 25-Oct-12 22:20:40

Hi Losers, Gainers and Stay the Samers
2nd fast day of the week almost over and struggled a bit today. Strongly suspect a top of the morning is on its way. Cant weigh in tomorrow morning as the battery has run out in my scales angry
Heading to bed now night all

Florence1205 Thu 25-Oct-12 23:16:06

Hi all ( a shy little wave & blush),
I was going to wait until tomorrow to introduce myself but just realised I am reading the blog that GreenEggs requested the setails of, here it is
Just very briefly as it is past midnight here, I have been reading your threads since Sunday & started on Monday after your superior knowledge boosted my confidence that 'this is the one' ... fasted Mon & again, tomorrow. Found it quite hard but not unbearable & really taking notice of what I eat on 'feast' days ( could have had wine tonight but chose not to shock, that is a defo newone for me!!!).
Anyway, serious eye droop & need to get the breakfast things ready before I go to bed, I will bore you again tomorrow with a bit more about me but quite like the 'hungry' feel already.
Well done to you all & good luck for tomorrow, fellow fasters & feasters!!!
à demain!!!

TellMeLater Fri 26-Oct-12 00:06:50

foodie I have just told my kids straight up what I am doing /- avoiding dementia hopefully! They still hate me eating something different to them. Curry/chilli works though, butter in their rice, cauliflower rice for dh and I - still looks like a normal plate of food. Or baked fish with a fresh tomato sauce and veggies, kids can have pots.

ToffeeChops Fri 26-Oct-12 00:33:12

Good luck with your next fast, Florence - I'm definitely feeling that 'this is the one' for me, too. Somehow, knowing that nothing is forbidden and that if I can't have it today I could still have it tomorrow, helps me keep on the wagon. Half the time, when tomorrow comes the craving's gone anyway.

I've been watching Great British Bake Off thinking 'Ooh, I could make that!' and I'm starting to believe I may actually be able to eat all sorts of stuff that I always thought was taboo and still reach / maintain a healthy weight. It's liberating!

Happy Friday fasting or feeding to you all.

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Fri 26-Oct-12 01:22:34

DH coming home after all so today will be feast day as planned and fasting tomorrow. I never stick to a fast day if I try to do one on the hoof and not planned! Note to self I suppose...

So my veg curry will keep for tomorrow, planning to wt early with the children so not too long a day to try to make it to 22 hours

Aftereightsaremine Fri 26-Oct-12 06:49:03

Yesterday was a feed day & we had Indian takeaway, I ordered the same amount as usual but I ate half of what normally do. I went to bed feeling stuffed & uncomfortable. It was not a nice feeling, & I used to go to bed like that most nights. Very much looking forward to a fast day today!

Off on hols tomorrow & I will not be fasting for a whole week, not particularly bothered if I put on some weight as I know I can lose it on my return. Holidays & weekends are the only time we eat as a family & I don't want to spoil that for dcs, but I intend to choose healthier options where possible.

Happy eating & fasting to you all.

Piebaldrider Fri 26-Oct-12 07:12:43

I allow my self the odd Coke Zero if I'm desperate for something. I find it takes away hunger for a while and stops me wanting a glass of wine which would be worse in my case. I have drunk black coffee for years so i don't miss milk or sugar in drinks but as i don't want to overload on caffeine i drink Lemon and Ginger tea which does give me a little hit and then i don't miss the caffeine. I don't like ginger much but in the tea its very pleasing.

As i have a couple of days off work i am going to find time to make up some of your recipes and freeze some for next week and get around to reading some of the other linked threads some of you have been writing .

I'm quite sore from the Gym but i will go again today and maybe try a class as they can burn up to 500 Calories in one go. I am also trying to do some
time on the power plates on fasting days as i know from previous experience that its good results from minimal effort and i wont get light headed. Swimming has also helped as its something i love to do but never have time , just a few lengths at a steady speed can be very relaxing and again takes all thoughts of food away from your head.

I would recommend power plates to anyone who doesn't feel they can exercise as anyone can do this even if they physical problems. Toning up will make you feel more motivated especially if you have hit a plateau.

Thank you Greeneggs for keeping us all together and thanks to all of you for putting up with my long boring posts lol... It helps me to get it out there and i'm now thinking of stating a diary instead .


Laska42 Fri 26-Oct-12 08:42:20

Yay! Friday Wi and ive lost another pound!!smile

Well apart from my 50 cal soup ive not eaten anything since yesterday 11am and feeling fine. so doesnt really count as a whole 22 hr fast .. but pretty much so than before .

not eaten yet and going out to lunch today but wil have some breakfast ..

BUT beware people this WOE may save food money but is expensive inother areas. as well as my berghaus jacket swamping me now I am wearing a skirt today (bought about 5 weeks ago only 3rd wearing ) and its too big and slipping off my waist and hips !! Ill just have to get it altered.. cant afford another one . .. not going to buy anything else for a while i think ....

catsrus Fri 26-Oct-12 08:47:48

with apologies for those who are not losing ATM... but despite what I considered to be a 'bad' week (because I haven't managed a proper fast since last week) I appear to have lost 1lb shock

it seems my sensible food choices while away DID compensate for the lasagne, spag bol and pavlova at the start of the week and clearly the wine didn't take me over the net calories I needed - it probably helped to be more active too - rushing for trains with luggage and lots of walking. So clearly I can eat 'normal' food with everyone else and not put on weight so long as most of my choices are good ones - this thinking like a thin person will hopefully become second nature at some point blush

Blondie276 Fri 26-Oct-12 08:55:28

Morning all!
Another fast day yesterday and went really well. Didn't struggle at all and went 23 hrs until I ate.
Feeling fantastic at the mo- first month is over an although only 1 pound weight loss on scales my body has obviously changed shape a lot. I notice ( and does df) a massive difference which is so motivational.
Have also started daily exercise since starting so suspect this could be affecting the scales.
Had my first ''wow you've lost loads of weight' yesterday- is that not one of the best feelings ever?!
Had a really good week of 4:3 this week- DF is away this week and so I have a suspicion this has made me eat really well without his bad influence which is good.
Also- headaches seem to have gone which is such a relief ( hope I'm not tempting fate on that one!)
So all in all a very positive morning! Feeling good and for those worried about scales not budging- mine haven't but not worried as evidence has come in other forms after perseverence!
Have a great day everyone! grin

frenchfancy Fri 26-Oct-12 09:00:31

sputnik link is now on the recipe thread.

Laska42 Fri 26-Oct-12 09:03:21

Please can I have a little celebration here? wine (balloons emoticon) wine

I've just realised that I am now at the GOAL weight (10st 7) that I set myself over three years ago , when embarking on a certain well known 13st 10 !!!!!!

(Happy Bunny emoticon) gringrin

.... Mind you I was stalled at over a stone heavier on that diet for about 18months until I started thisin late August ..

I LOVE love LOVE this WOE!!

catsrus Fri 26-Oct-12 09:19:39

well done Laska!!!!

and WOW blondie I think I would have to have a very busy day (NOT working from home) to do 23 hrs!

I am going to try for 16 today - should be do-able as long as I just have a late lunch / early evening meal.

Aboutlastnight Fri 26-Oct-12 09:31:27

Well today I weighed myself and have gained a pound grin but having done this for a few months now, I know this happens sometimes. Hopefully the weight will start to go down again in next few weeks. Well done all of you losing weight, it's exciting isn't it.

Florence1205 Fri 26-Oct-12 10:14:48

Just a quickie as i needed to say a BIG WELL DONE to Laska but could someone point me in the direction of the famous Mr L's famous tom, red pepper & lentil soup, I have had a quick look on the recipe thread but can't seem to see it, haven't really got time to go through all the links to see if it is there, many thanks
P.S. fast going well, had breakfast, a couple of cups of tea with milk, black coffee & currently ploughing through 1,5 ltr bottle of water. Looking forward to my lunch of tinned toms & toast which some nice person suggested (sorry can't remember who blush)& it used to be one of my favourite dinners when I was slim before DH & DC came along.....
Ok, on y va (off we go), onwards & downwards x

FoodieToo Fri 26-Oct-12 10:18:26

Well I lost 3 pounds last week and only three quarters of a pound this week!

A little disappointed but I do think my body has to rebalance after a big loss.3 pounds was a big loss for me. Going to stick with it .

Mid term,long weekend etc coming up so my aim is to maintain. I usually gain 3 to 4 pounds on such breaks.

We go to my mums and she is such a great cook. She cooks for a week before we arrive.

Am usually stressed about how much I eat there but feel relaxed this time.

Trills Fri 26-Oct-12 10:38:47

Hi all.

I have a cold. Are there calories in snot?

<just putting you all off your mid-morning snack>

SweetOnion Fri 26-Oct-12 11:09:33


Im starting the 5:2 diet today, first fasting day today. My last meal was 6pm last night and I'm not planning to eat until about 2pm today where I plan to have some porridge then eat again at 7pm a meal about 300 calls.

I am a bit confused about the 16 hour rule, as it will be 20hrs from my last meal until eating porridge at 2 today. Or does the 16 hours suppose to start after fasting from your last meal which will be 7pm today until 11 am tomorrow.

Hope someone can clarify this for me and I haven't confused you too much!

MoJoRegained Fri 26-Oct-12 11:26:46

Hi all, lurker here coming out of the shadows.

Have been following 5:2 with DH for mainly health reasons since we saw the original Horizon programme, but delighted with the weight loss like so many of you. Since we started, I have lost 14 lbs, and DH has lost 12 lbs. I'm down a trouser size and feeling so energised I just had to pick an appropriate nickname! Still have quite a bit of weight to lose, but finding this WOL easyish, especially with DH doing it as well.

Thanks all for the constant encouragement (even if you didn't know I was there blush ) and I have found all the links very useful. DH is due for a checkup at the doc soon, so we will see if the WOL has had any effect on his blood pressure. We are hoping so.

Did a fast day yesterday but eating lightly this morning as we are going out with friends tonight.

Have a great day everyone!

DontGoThereDaisy Fri 26-Oct-12 11:30:07

I try to think of my fast as 600calories in 36 hours – 8pm day before to 8am day after fasting.

I try to make sure at least one period of 16 hours as near calorie free as I can manage – so for a fast on Tuesday I go 8pm Monday-1pm Tuesday when I eat something, then eat again around 6pm Tuesday and nothing until 8am Wednesday - though I sometimes hold out for 10am the day after a fast (16 hours again). I then fast again on Wednesday evening through Friday morning.

So ‘usually’ one 18ish hour fast and one 14ish hour fast? Does that sound about right.

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