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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!

scripsi Sun 30-Dec-12 15:16:37

Laska hope you feel better soon. Just popping in to interfere and say that I don't think you should sleep soon after a hitting your head if you think you might have concussion? I was told this after I famously almost knocked myself out on an outside lamp while trying to find a neighbour's dog.

Yesterday was my first fast in a while and oh my goodness, the hunger!

froot Sun 30-Dec-12 15:22:16

Oh dear scripsi am dreading Wednesday already ....will not beat myself up if have to get back into the zone over a week or two ...planning to start the Shred again too a couple of times a week. Fierce ski trip in March need to be ship shape by then.

froot Sun 30-Dec-12 15:25:03

greeneggs am well jell your jeans still fit I am sat here in velour granny joggers with belly spilling over the top ! The good thing is I know 5/2 works for me so hopefully within a few weeks normality will be restored. And perhaps I won't be quite such a pig next Christmas !

Breadandwine Sun 30-Dec-12 15:37:51

Fasting does get easier, folks! Honest!

About weightgain over xmas - here's Dr M on Twitter:

"over Xmas I did overindulge and put on a kg in a week, but have shed most with couple days of 600 cal eating"

I myself lost the 4lbs I'd gained over a weekend, after fasting on Mon and Wed. [smug] smile

scripsi Sun 30-Dec-12 15:42:54

Froot when I started this WOE I cut down gradually on my total food intake over a week, then I started the fasting. Going cold turkey (pardon the pun) and fasting after a week of indulgence was not the cleverest thing I've ever done!

EllenRose Sun 30-Dec-12 17:52:03

First fast done and not as bad as I had imagined. Went out with the family today and felt very virtuous sticking to a cup of the whilst everyone else tucked into cappuccinos and snacks but I genuinely wasn't hungry and it seems a bit pointless having put in so much effort yesterday. My Fitness Pal is really helping too so thanks all for the links and the previous threads. Will keep reading.

Breadandwine Sun 30-Dec-12 18:28:59

Well done, Ellen - and, it gets easier! smile

IvySquirrel Sun 30-Dec-12 20:07:26

Right I am going to stop lurking & start posting for a bit of motivation!
I did 4 weeks of 5:2 running up to Christmas and was v happy to lose 4 lbs which I have put back on in the last week. So will be back on it on Tuesday. Hope it is not too painful.
I certainly found it got easier each time and felt much healthier as well. smile

Laska42 Sun 30-Dec-12 20:15:26

B&W have PMd you.. do look , have watched the vids I sent you now .. looks pretty good on the science but would just like your thoughts before I post about them (also dont know if these have been posted before)

TalkinPeace2 Sun 30-Dec-12 23:27:10

Can I open the sweepstake for max Christmas weight gain? I've not had access to any scales but I'll bet that by the time I get back to the UK I'll have put on over half a stone - that I so carefully lost while planning this trip.
It will be interesting and useful to see how effectively I can lose it again when I restart fasting :-)
Actually cannot wait for my first fast day. Am loving the meals (and cannot home cook here so have little choice) but am NOT loving the muffin top.

Breadandwine Mon 31-Dec-12 00:06:20

Bet it won't take long, TiP! You'll be svelte again before you know it! smile

I've PM'd you back, Laska - I forgot to say I haven't seen this particular blog before.

As far as I've seen - and there's a lot on the blog I haven't yet seen - on IF at least, I think he's pretty OK.

Welcome, Ivy, sounds like you're in the groove!

TalkinPeace2 Mon 31-Dec-12 03:27:14

What I am finding fascinating is how darned near impossible it is to maintain a healthy diet on other than home cooked food.
Yummy supper out tonight (Dad's birthday) but every dish came with cream and veg was a side order paid option.
For those who work full time with long commutes, managing to eat well must be much, much more of a struggle than it is for us part time workers.
As a habitual menu recorder I might even do a mini list of my meals so that people can dissect where the problem areas (in general habits) lie.

literarygeek Mon 31-Dec-12 05:33:39

TiP2 glad you are enjoying yourself and the food! It's true, Americans are not known for their health...

If you feel like something a little lighter one of the days, and are in manhattan, try the peacefood cafe.

I, too, am certain it won't take you long to get back to normal. You strike me as discipline personified!

mandyr Mon 31-Dec-12 09:31:52

Hi Everyone,

I've been following the 5:2 plan since August, having watched the Horizon programme, and have been lurking on this fantastic thread ever since.

You have all been so inspirational. I've loved reading about your own experiences with this WOE and have tried out some of the recipes you've posted. Thank you. It really has helped me to stick to it.

I started out at 10st 8lbs (I'm 5' 6.5") and managed to get down to 9st 12lbs just before Christmas. I began by fasting on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but would binge on all the other days. I have a long history of eating disorders and do tend to binge. I'm very much an 'all, or nothing' kind of person, so, although I manage the fast days quite easily, as soon as I'm allowed food, I go off the rails. I lost a few pounds initially, but then plateaued. So, I decided to fast on Mondays and Thursdays, use MyFitnessPlan on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays to maintain my weight, then eat what I want at the weekend. This seems to work really well for me, and my hubby has also joined me in the last couple of months.

I don't really have much weight to lose, but I've started thinking about ageing a lot recently. I'm 43 and have just discovered that I'm makes you think. I know so many people that take pills for this, that and the other, and I don't ever want to rely on drugs to get me through life. Like Dr Moseley on that programme, I want to be healthy for as long as possible.

I have to admit, I have eaten way too much over Christmas. I did my last fast the day before Christmas Eve, and I haven't dared weigh myself since. We have decided to fast on Wednesday and Friday this week, then get back to normal next week. I'll weigh in on Wednesday morning. Whatever the damage is, I know what I need to do to get things back to how they were before Christmas.

Thanks again to all of you for sharing your experiences. I truly believe that I can stick to this forever. It's the best thing I've ever done for myself.

A happy and healthy New Year to everyone.

Jobyloo Mon 31-Dec-12 11:25:42

Hi everyone
Mandy it's great that you've decided to post, Happy New Year to you and everyone else on here. Mollysfolly MM has replied twice. Once to say that if women wanted to eat 600cals on fast days then it shouldn't really make any difference and in relation the to the tweet about his book .. he was pleased that I had enjoyed it and hoped I would write a good review smile will be interested to hear others views about the book when they've read it. Mumsnet mentioned a few times as a positive resource and quotes from a few peeps on here were included too.

Well fasted yesterday as the previous days attempts was aborted due to falling in to a large glass of Prosecco...and the scales were a whopping 5.5lbs lighter this morning. Have discussed with OH and because we're going tea-total in Jan as per usual, I'm going to alternate weeks with 5:2 and 4:3 and see what effects it has on the numbers...

GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 31-Dec-12 11:40:01

Fasted yesterday so I'm prepared for today/tonight. grin We aren't going out this evening but we still have lots of nice food in the house and I'm sure a bit of wine will be flowing.

I've eaten more than usual over the holidays, and only fit in two fast days, but I still ate a lot less than I normally would have. I haven't even had a mince pie this year. shock I still intend to have one, but usually they just exist in our house in droves and are eaten practically as a snack.

mandyr I think that's a great plan. A lot of it is similar to what I went through with this WOE. I overindulged on off-days at first, but I did eventually change things. I'll be changing it again once we TTC.

I hope everyone has a good new years eve!

Aftereightsaremine Mon 31-Dec-12 13:48:51

tip2 I reckon I will have put on at least half a stone by next Monday when my fasting restarts. Have been eating so much!

But today skipped brekkie as I really wanted Starbucks hot choc - this is a sign of how much I've changed. I would have had both in the past. Last night skipped dinner so I could have sainsburys root crisps at 500 calories a bag. So I AM saving calories where I can. grin

Aftereightsaremine Mon 31-Dec-12 13:50:39

Almost forgot HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone. Just think we are all starting next year with a positive outlook. smile

comraderoy Mon 31-Dec-12 14:09:38

Hi first post, not a mum but a dad of a 21 year old but I have seen a few dads post on this thread. I have been following this thread for some time and I have to say it is the best thread on the 5:2 I have found on the net. I have dipped my toe in so to speak but haven't went the whole hog, using xmas as an excuse. I watched the programme and have found it again on line (not youtube) also the book dropped through the letter box today. So I think I'm about ready to go for it and will also use MFP on feast days.

This thread certainly has been an inspiration and I hope to post my progress.

Thanks all and Happy New Year

BigSpork Mon 31-Dec-12 14:12:56

Baby stepping into the thread...

DH and I started 4:3 after the Horizon programme but then everyone got sick and he had an op. and everything got busy and it fell apart sad. I'm currently working on trying to set up a realistic meal plan to begin the new year with. Issues with physical disabilities mean we have a few days where we a re sapped by the end so finding easy meals or things to prepare beforehand that can just be heated up is essential for us in emergencies on bad days.

welshmill Mon 31-Dec-12 14:27:05

snippet of info for anyone on Facebook...there is a 5:2 Intermittent Fasting page which THE man himself is now a member of....does he realise what he's letting himself in for?!

369thegoosedrankwine Mon 31-Dec-12 14:27:28

I have been on this thread all morning and I am so interested. I have posted on another thread how I have gained 6lbs over the course of December due to various nights out etc and feel out of control with my eating, so much so that I joined ww online two days ago. But, I feel that this plan rather than ww would fall in with my lifestyle a lot easier than counting everything. So, I am going to <takes a deep breath> give this a go in the New Year.

Going to do my first fast on Thursday. The plan is to cut down for the next 2 days so this isn't too much of a shock to my system. I have about a stone to lose. I am 5'3" and 10st 7lb at the moment and all clothes are tight and i feel fat as butter (I am). I will post my progress to be accountable.

I will keep on this thread to give me motivation and inspiration.

Laska42 Mon 31-Dec-12 15:41:06

Hi all fasters and feasters old and new.. just popping in quickly ( with clear head again after my small incident yesterday !) to wish you all a very Happy New Year .. , . Hopefully I wont have a bad head in other ways in the morning but the fizz is on ice..

I reckon after this evening ill be up about 4lbs on the festive season , which is pretty darn good , considering .. and having just more braved torrential rain and flooded roads as well as the whole Island trying to get into Sainsburys at once I'm about ready for a drink! wink

But not quite yet ..i've skipped lunch today and am just about to cook up a storm for this eve. I was given Claudia Roden's new book of Spanish Cookery for Christmas and am about to do her Duck and and pears recipe (but with Pheasant as that's what i have) .. it sounds fantastic! (and there will be more Roasties ..) grin

Heres to all you lovely 5:2er pals for 2013 winewinewine and thanks for all the fantastic support

btw369 as an ex WW'er of many years I can tell you this WOE beats 'propoints' counting and the attendent guilt of the foods you want but CANT have hands down..

frenchfancy Mon 31-Dec-12 16:45:53

I'm on the facebook group. Here is Michaels latest post, I feel it is a good way to round off the year:

Here's a poem you might enjoy from a 13th century Muslim


* *

There's hidden sweetness in the stomach's emptiness.
We are lutes, no more, no less. If the soundbox
is stuffed full of anything, no music.
If the brain and belly are burning clean
with fasting, every moment a new song comes out of the fire.
The fog clears, and new energy makes you
run up the steps in front of you.
Be emptier and cry like reed instruments cry.
Emptier, write secrets with the reed pen.
When you fast, good habits gather like friends who want to help.
Fasting is Solomon's ring. Don't give it
to some illusion and lose your power,
but even if you have, if you've lost all will and control,
they come back when you fast, like soldiers appearing
out of the ground, pennants flying above them.
A table descends to your tents, spread with other food,

better than the broth of cabbages.**

* *

Happy new year everyone wine

catsrus Mon 31-Dec-12 17:24:41

Hi all!

I got the book in the post this morning and have read it with great interest. It's a very very good introduction to the whole idea, with the kind of 'distilled' hints and tips that we have been sharing here. Nice to have the science all together in one place - I was reminded of some things from the programme that I'd forgotten (or they weren't in it!) so that was interesting. I showed my dd the pictures of the meals - as she had been asking what 500 cals looked like smile lots of inspiration stories from people like us - hang on, some of them are us wink. I think this is a book to give/lend to friends who are interested but not sure where to start, so i will probably get another copy.

I have to confess to feeling very pleased with myself as I have not put on anything over xmas. I'm a bit shock as I have eaten all the usual goodies - but the big difference to previous years is that I have tried to go as long as possible each day before eating anything - I haven't managed to stop eating before midnight on many days, and have had a few 3am turkey sarnies blush but seem to have done enough fasting at the start of each day to compensate - yeah!!!

Will start the proper 500 cal version once I'm back to work on the 2nd, hopefully will then start to lose again - but staying stable over xmas, despite the goodies and wine, has been the best xmas present ever grin. Thank you Dr M!

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