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5:2 Diet Thread! 7 is our lucky number...

(992 Posts)
GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 19-Nov-12 12:57:16

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 2012, 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.

I know a number of people lurk on this thread, as this is currently quite popular. Please just jump in and post if you're new- we won't bite. Well, maybe on a fast day. wink

Here is a list of links to get you started with this way of eating. Please let us know if you find a new article or some other information online:

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

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 where I would link to the aforementioned Horizon programme, but it appears as if the BBC have finally noticed it on YouTube and have taken it down. If you have another link for this episode, please PM me with it, or post it to the thread and we'll put it up for the next thread.

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 all the links re-copied and back into one post.

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

Madhouse2012 Mon 19-Nov-12 18:56:11

Ooh you lot are brave for doing a complete fast! Well done😄

Madhouse2012 Mon 19-Nov-12 18:56:49

^^^. That was supposed to be a smiley!

TalkinPeace2 Mon 19-Nov-12 19:00:39

Aah, stuffed. 1/3 tin baked beans, two eggs scrambled, one slice nice ham, lashings of pepper then a banana. Other than that its been two mugs of tea and a black coffee. That's my lot till tomorrow lunch....

ditto re booze and snacking - I have stopped lunchtime drinking at weekends - it reduces the number of hours during which I can get the munchies!

GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 19-Nov-12 19:03:46

I haven't weighed myself after the weekend, cats but I wouldn't be surprised if I put on a bit. smile I had a fun weekend in London, including an afternoon at Fortnum and Mason full of tasters of their holiday items, so I'm not going to feel bad about any of it!

Tis a fast day today, and I've had a good salad with iceberg, ham, and a bit of cheddar.

Which brings me to my tip: I use my microplane zester to grate my cheese, so that I end up with loads of fluffy shavings of it rather than thick grated pieces. It makes a small amount go far in something like a salad. I highly recommend it!

Jobyloo Mon 19-Nov-12 19:08:22

Evening everyone, on a fast day here and did manage 18hrs. Feeling like a bit of a cheat because I'm having an M&S count on us dinner - Jambalaya (360 cals) one of my faves, just could not be bothered with cooking as I'm the taxi driver for DS2 tonight ... so that'll do me until tomorrow and will have had just 500 cals today. The one thing I seriously can't work out is why you feel so good on a fast day??? Not moaning, loving it grin and loving this thread grin

frenchfancy Mon 19-Nov-12 19:11:44

Madhouse not that brave. I worked up to it, started having 3 small meals, then just lunch and supper, but lunch was just soup and it meant I couldn't have the meals I wanted at supper. Also stopping to have the soup just made me think about food.

Today was easy except for a slight wobble at about 2:30pm when I felt a bit woozy. Didn't last long.

Bienvenue Frenchfemme nice to see another Frenchy here smile

Aboutlastnight Mon 19-Nov-12 19:22:53

Had a weekend of night shift which always leads to crazy eating patterns with me.

I am fasting tomorrow and Thursday and I am hoping these days will curb my post-nightshift carb cravings which always come about because I am tired.

Anyway since August I have lost 10lbs even with a few weeks hiatus for moving house and difficulties with shift work.

potnoodles Mon 19-Nov-12 19:30:57

De-lurking here and would love some advice.

Been doing 5:2 and am now in my third week. I haven't lost any weight yet and wondered if anyone else had got off to a slow start?

Laska42 Mon 19-Nov-12 19:31:31

jobyloo Hi there.. Why do I feel good? cos I feel i'm in control of my eating (at last !!) and my tummy has gone right down (which it never did with the other diet ) , AND because tomorrow I can eat CHEESE and drink wine without much guilt and beating myself up for it grin LOL ..

Good on you for your 18hrs..

Mintyy Mon 19-Nov-12 19:38:27

I haven't really lost any weight and I have been doing 5:2 for 11 or 12 weeks now.

Am having thyroid checked.

There are a couple of other regular posters who have had the same experience and of course there may be others who have given up because it wasn't working.

Poppy1234 Mon 19-Nov-12 20:30:58

I managed my first 24 hour fast and was thrilled by how easy it was, I wasn't actually that hungry when dinner time came but really enjoyed it and wasn't tempted to Hoover up toddler leftovers as per usual. I think I found it easy as I wasn't eating until dinner time and that was it, I wasn't thinking about food all day and as I had no food my appetite wasn't triggered (too much).

Had lots of fun weighing ingredients and entering into myfitnesspal but I imagine this will loose its novelty shortly.

One questions, I just checked my TDEE and it's 1597, if I'm doing 4:3 do I need to stick to this on my non fast days or can I be a little more liberal?

rachelblythe Mon 19-Nov-12 20:45:35

Greeneggs, thanks as always for keeping us moving.

Fast day for me,i had rather an indulgent weekend. To much alcohol then got the right munchies and polished of half a tub of celebrations blush. Back on it today, i always look forward to a Monday fast.

Really happy that i gave my calories free Superglue noodles another try today in a stir fry. Last (and first time) i had then i was so disappointed and didn't enjoy the meal they were with at all. Made then with a Stir fry again tonight but with more sauce which made the whole meal slimy, then the noodles just fit right in there unnoticed, lol.

Making a couple of new recipes off the bbc good food website over the course if this week so if they are any good ilk post of the recipe thread.

Hope everyone is having a good day

GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 19-Nov-12 20:58:31

Poppy oh that's low, do you not have a lot to lose? If you like, you can eat a bit more than that, as it's 4:3 so you'll have more leeway. I don't count my calories on fast days but my TDEE is over 2000 calories, so it's easier to stay in range (cough, does mean I have a lot of weight left to lose, though!)

You can do what you like on non-fast days and see if it works for you. It's not a law that you need to stick to TDEE, but it's something to keep in mind if you are trying this way of eating and it's not working.

Madhouse2012 Mon 19-Nov-12 21:02:04

What's TDEE please?

TalkinPeace2 Mon 19-Nov-12 21:10:41

explanation and link in GreenEggs excellent opening post ....

Liberty132 Mon 19-Nov-12 21:26:53

BCL- thanks for the weighing advice. I am undecided. Would great to weigh myself monthly and get a nice surprise but on the other hand, weekly weigh ins keep me on track on there abouts.

Soooo,- whats involved in daily weighing? Like every day, same time, just once, whether fasting or eating? Are people tracking this electronically? At the mo, i just write the date and weight at tge back of my diary.

What would other weight stallers advise? Daily weigh ins or monthly?

Fasting tomoz. Days changed this week. Just taken my inlaws out for the most amazing thai meal.

Well done to those still losing. I envy you!!

Skinnyeye Mon 19-Nov-12 21:44:49

Hi all and well done to all the new 24 hourers. Changed my days around this week to fit in work and exercise this week so didn't fast today fasted yesterday and will do tomorrow and Thursday. I so love this way of eating!!

Yesterday I dug out some "thin clothes" from the back of my wardrobe and they fit now I couldn't be happier as I have a work thing on Friday and thought I would have to buy something new. People at work are commenting on my new shape and I can now wear clothes that I have been unable to fit into for 2 years grin Iv'e lost 17lbs and gone from size 16 back to 12 in 11 weeks and I feel like me again.

Thanks to Horizon and you guys thanks

Madhouse2012 Mon 19-Nov-12 22:06:48

Ah I see thanks, my TDEE is 2013 is that the amount of calories I should have? I use my fitness pal which says I should have 1100, don't think I could physically eat 2000?

TalkinPeace2 Mon 19-Nov-12 22:12:21

If your TDEE is 2,013, that means 14,000 calories a week will keep you at your current weight.
So if you are having 500 2 days a week, your weekly total drops to 11,000
which is an average of 1500 a day if you were doing 'normal' calorie control.
The implication of the MyFitnessPal figure is that you are quite short and have a fair bit to lose.
BUT be careful, you do not want to shock your system too much.
If you can manage three fasts a week of 500 calories, you should get weight results fairly soon, as well as the health benefits

GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 19-Nov-12 22:13:15

1100 calories? To maintain your current weight? That seems very low to me, but then, I'm quite tall. I've just tried to come close to getting 1100 as a response from the calculator but I think I'd have to start guessing well below 5ft tall.

literarygeek Mon 19-Nov-12 22:17:20

skinnyeye that's great, well done!

Iwearblack Mon 19-Nov-12 22:42:16

skinny wow well done! Love the idea of rediscovering some old clothes (have several tops never been able to wear but never got round to taking back... One day i may get in to them!)
I have never done fast days back to back - do you find them a challenge? Due to work commitments this week may have to do so...
liberty I get up, go to the loo, strip off and weigh then jump in the shower every morning. I could plot (in excel) a graph of weight vs day ...but I have actually just gone for weekly plots rather than daily. I just think oh up a pound, down a pound etc and it seems to be creeping down over a period. not that dramatic though (yet!) but only been 5:2ing since september.
mint hope the thyroid tests help. I was diagnosed autoimmune hypothyroid 2 yrs ago and found the foggy feeling has certainly lifted with taking thyroxine and now I follow this woe hoping the weight will shift too...

dontcallmehon Mon 19-Nov-12 22:48:12

I have eaten 2 apples today and had lots of tea with milk. I don't feel hungry. I find weight comes off quickly if I eat as little as possible on the fast days.

Madhouse2012 Mon 19-Nov-12 22:49:21

No I haven't got much weight to lose about half a stone and yes I am short! I'll see how it goes over the next couple of weeks. Although its the health benefits long term which I'm more interested in, shifting half a stone will be a bonus!
I used to have an over active thyroid, had it treated then went under which is treated with thyroxine, it makes you feel great once they get your dose right.

Bordercollielover Tue 20-Nov-12 06:43:45

Liberty, have you seen MOBs post above? I think from what he says that if you are having problems with losing weight then daily weighing would be better than monthly. My post was only based on a considered opinion, his is based on data.
Daily would give you the quick feedback you need to tweak what you are doing, you could then drop to monthly when things get going. Good luck, something will work.

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