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5:2 Diet Thread! Number 8, fast away fast away fast away all!

(1000 Posts)
GreenEggsAndNichts Fri 14-Dec-12 15:51:14

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 You'll find a lot of support here.

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. Here is a link to the programme's page on iPlayer, which features a couple of clips, and might have updates eventually. Let us know if you find another site hosting it.

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. (This is a new calculator to previous threads, this one seems to give me approximately the same results the last one did, but without the virus warnings on my browser!)

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!

Guineapigfriend Sat 29-Dec-12 11:51:50

Hello all" I tried my first fast yesterday whilst at work - i managed to hold off from eating til 1.30, then had cuppa soup and a small clementine. I was starving when I got home for dinner. Feeling very tired today, not sure whether that it is typical? Thanks for all the advice on this thread.

Jobyloo Sat 29-Dec-12 12:16:24

well decided to be positive despite the scales this morning. The OH and myself decided to get off our lardy behinds and start C25k day 1 week 1 completed and when we got back home the MM book was waiting for me...know what I'll be doing now for the rest of the day wink mmm think I might have to invest in some Miso not had it for years but really like it.

scripsi Sat 29-Dec-12 13:29:34

SarahWithAFringeOnTop thanks! Is it this the tesco thermos?
I am hoping that it has stainless steel inside and not plastic?
(am posting at odd times of day and night as DCs have The Virus)

SarahWithAFringeOnTop Sat 29-Dec-12 14:32:50

Hi Scripsi, yes, that looks like it except mine didn't come with a spoon. But I think it's the same. Definitely kept food hot from breakfast to lunchtime. Ours are steel inside and pretty indestructible smile
Hope the kids recover soon!

EllenRose Sat 29-Dec-12 14:33:32

Doing my first fast day today and feeling really positive. Have been lurking for the last couple of weeks - the threads are great and have convinced me to try it. Have just added my Fast days to my calendar as I like to have a plan grin - fingers crossed!

scripsi Sat 29-Dec-12 16:21:39

Thanks Sarah.

I must also get a pack of shirataki noodles. I have also discovered Scandinavian bran GG crackers at Holland and Barrett which are very low calorie and also very filling due to the fibre content. I have a couple of those with soup if I am very hungry and it really helps.

Jayne266 Sat 29-Dec-12 21:48:08

What sorts of things do people eat on the non fasting days. I heard it can be what you want (within reason) but can you give me examples. Thank you for the coffee/ herbal tea tip I think I might struggle with that part as I only drink cold drinks, trying to train myself to like water on its own.

Breadandwine Sat 29-Dec-12 22:58:50

Welcome SpringHeeledJack and other new posters!

That's a smashing post, piebald, thanks for sharing!

"New Year is just around the Corner and some very wonderful Butterflies in this forum emerging from last years chrysalis."

And a lovely way of putting it!

I intended to fast until dinner time tonight - but, after spending 4 hours on the A303 after leaving the grandchildren I got out of the car feeling decidedly logie! The grandchildren haven't been at all well over Christmas - nothing major, just a general feeling of unwellness - and I've caught it as well. Good that it waited until after the visit to show itself!

I was shivering, with a bit of a temp, so I've retired to my bed and now I'm lying here in a pool of sweat, feeling rather sorry for myself!

Before I came up, I fancied a luxurious cup of cocoa, so I melted 3 large squares of chili chocolate in the mug which just filled the bill! I had it with a couple of Hobnobs, which kickstarted my appetite, so I fried up some leftovers.

I wonder if I could ask you guys a favour? There's been several links posted recently, which should really go on to the Links thread. I'd do it myself, but I'm shattered!

TIA! smile

TreadOnTheCracks Sat 29-Dec-12 23:17:59

Have just been reading through the thread and am very interested.

I have a lot to loose, my bmi is about 38 blush

So, my questions are how to you deal with being starving on the fast days? Does it make you grumpy? How long did it take you to get used to it?

Do you really eat what you want on the non fast days or are you "sensible"?

GreenEggsAndNichts Sun 30-Dec-12 00:43:33

Tread you'll get away with the odd day of eating what you like, but overall you should be sticking to approximately your TDEE. There's a link in the OP with a calculator for it.

Basically, most of us have interpreted it as "eat what you like" as in, the calories your body needs in a day, not low-calorie dieting. However, many of us don't naturally know what our body needs in a day, because we've been doing other diets or have been overeating so regularly we've lost track of what a normal meal is. Figuring out your TDEE will help a lot.

And there are no "free" foods, no all you can eat fruit or whatever. grin

Your first few fast days will be tough but they get MUCH easier. It helps to remember that whatever it is you're dreaming of on the fast day, you could theoretically have it the next day. It's kept me going on some of the tougher ones.

scripsi Sun 30-Dec-12 00:48:09

I am relatively new Tread, but I find making sure I opt for high fibre bulky foods - lentils, low calorie veg, bran crackers, helps me to feel fuller on fast days.

TalkinPeace2 Sun 30-Dec-12 03:02:47

Ye gods.
I've only been in New York for a week, but seven days of eating out - even trying to keep to two meals a day - and I'm bloated out like a balloon!
It really makes me appreciate how damaging takeaways and fast food (that at home I do not touch) is for the waistline.
I have regained the muffin top I spent most of the autumn removing (but its been great fun)
Both DH and I are looking forward to restarting fasts and lots of exercise come the start of term.

Aftereightsaremine Sun 30-Dec-12 04:02:07

I've been up half the night with indigestion - since doing this WOE I had actually forgotten what it was like. So a few days of richer food makes me feel rubbish, my indigestion med which I had stopped needing is not even touching the sides. Not a nice feeling. Wouldn't mind but off to sis inlaws for a few days & she's been so thoughtful in buying me gluten free treats that I feel it would be rude to say no.

frenchfancy Sun 30-Dec-12 08:08:27

Gosh it is busy on here at the moment, I guess it will get even busier after the new year. Hello to all the newbies.

I know there are lots of old threads but it is definitely worth reading through them as there is lots of information there, as well as the hints and tips thread.

I know you won't believe it but you really do get used to it. The first 2 weeks are the worse then after that you can gradually extend out the period when you et nothing. I'm afraid I don't go in for fake food like the low calorie noodles, if it isn't delicious I don't want to eat it. Cutting out carbs on fast days definitely helps to reduce the hunger pangs.

On eating days I eat the kind of diet I would like to be able to eat for ever. So I don't stuff myself, I keep portions reasonable, but I do eat lasagne (tonight) pizza (tomorrow) and drink wine. I am however trying to cut out snacks altogether (devils work!)

I don't see this as a quick fix, I could certainly have lost weight quicker with a normal low calorie diet, but I couldn't sustain it. If I have to stick on 5:2 for the rest of my life I won't be sorry. 4 months in and it just feels normal.

Thegirlinbrighton Sun 30-Dec-12 09:15:26

Hello again. Haven't been on here for ages and ages due to travel and work and Christmas but so much looking forward to fasting again today. I suspect I've put a couple of pounds on but have decided not to weigh myself till the first week of the new year so I don't feel disheartened.

Planning to eat some soup and a Kirsty's veg and quinoa dinner, slightly watery but they're incredibly filling. Don't quite know how you get such a large portion for under 300 cals.

I have noticed that I don't seem to be able to eat as much these days without feeling super full. And I resisted cheese last night even though I love it, because I didn't 'need' it. Me? Resisting cheese? It's a festive miracle.

Had a quick recap of what's been happening and saw a mention of the Spanish study - I understand that the reason it was dismissed/not really on the radar for years was due to a translation error! Perhaps everyone assumed the results were too good to be true. Better late than never for everyone.

Scalehopper Sun 30-Dec-12 09:46:28

My fast lasts about an hour so farsad

raspberryroop Sun 30-Dec-12 11:55:27

2 fasts and 4 ilbs gone already - I know its probably water but its very motivating! I am finding the fasting easy but the regulation of the 500 more difficult so just fasting for 24 hours

Laska42 Sun 30-Dec-12 12:48:27

Hi again all, signing in but feeling a bit odd today myself, but not what poor B&W has hope you feel better soon , I did something really stupid this morning and walked into my glass patio door, bashed my head and have been feeling quite strange ever since.. I'm sure ill survive though.

Re eating on eating days I tend to keep to my TDEE needs or thereabouts
and I eat what I want but do watch the portions. I do eat fairly low carb these days though ( and really noticed the difference over christmas when i indulged in more refined carbs). One thing I have rather overindulged in this last week is alcohol and thats definitely been responsible for me putting a couple of pounds back on so I think think ill be having a few weeks off after the hol

treadonthecracks You'll find that the hunger doesnt build and each fast gets easier. I think id forgotten just what being hungry was like, but you do get used to it.. for the first few fasts i found sleeping harder, but that also passed. Like others here who have been doing it a while (since August for me)
fasting has now become a way of life and feels quite normal.

aftereights and TIP2 the richer, carby food made me feel rubbish also..

oh dear just sitting here is making me feel weird I think ill have to go lie down again .. that was some bash on the head I gave myself .. I think might be slightly concussed.. what an idiot eh?

frenchfancy Sun 30-Dec-12 13:08:09

Ouch Laska I bet that hurt. It does sound a bit like concusion so be careful.

Breadandwine Sun 30-Dec-12 14:20:37

Oh, dear, Laska! That sort of thing can shake you up, certainly. You're doing the right thing by taking to your bed.

I, on the other hand, have just got up. Feeling somewhat achy, but not too bad. I'm pretty sure by the end of today I'll be right as rain. I don't mind feeling under the weather, occasionally, as long as it comes and goes quickly!

Don't suppose that's a result of the 5:2 I've been doing...

Nah - but it's a thought!

Just been reading Dr M's Twitter feed:

It's full of fascinating detail and some great links!

(Off to put the link on the Tips and Links thread!)

mollysfolly Sun 30-Dec-12 14:42:41

Thanks for the link B&W - I see Jobyloo has 'tweeted' DrMM. Any feedback on the book for us JL? Hoping mine will arrive tomorrow.

Laska mate hope you're OK.

froot Sun 30-Dec-12 14:50:40

I haven't been on here for ages but have been doing the 5/2 since the summer and shrunk a dress size and was easily able to maintain a weight 5 lb less than my old normal 'slimmest' weight. I found the fast days easier and easier over the months. However ten days in Cuba and now Christmas gluttony (and thus no fast days for a few weeks) has made me about 9 lb heavier so I need to get back to it pronto! I have ordered Dr mm's book and plan to fast weds and fri this week then back to my usual Mondays and Wednesdays. I will be looking at the 'tips' on here but my usual 'method' is no brekkie, bovril drink at lunchtime, bag of salad and bit of cottage cheese or prawns if too hungry to go without, then a waitrose soup or 2 cod in butter sauces for tea. And a gin n slimline! I don't get tooo hung up on exactly 500 cals, often around 550 but seems to work for me. Rest of family get a slow cooker meal so I don't have to prepare food when I'm hungry!!

froot Sun 30-Dec-12 14:51:53

And 'ouch' laska- if u start feeling weirder see a doc in case you have proper hurt yourself....

Laska42 Sun 30-Dec-12 14:56:00

hi there again yes feeling better now for a short sleep.. just about to have the last of my Borscht (on the recipe thread) Even if I say so myself , its really nice! not fasting again now until 1st Jan

I'm not on twitter , but if anyone here is can they please ask Dr M if they intend to repeat the documentary? .

my book has been dispatched also . but it says not due until the 7th sad

GreenEggsAndNichts Sun 30-Dec-12 14:56:06

Oh Laska I hope you're feeling better soon. That doesn't sound good. sad

Good to see you back, froot. It's an easy plan to stick with, isn't it, once you're in the habit? I'm very pleased to be down a size and to have made it through the majority of the holiday season without doing too much damage (jeans still fit very comfortably- I'm not stepping on scales til after New Years, though!)

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