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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!

housesalehelp Fri 04-Jan-13 21:41:03

no to facebook for me - done 3 fasts - got easier each time - lost 1 lb in a week so pleased - just drinking in the morning - ainsley harriot cup-a-soup - very spicy at lunch and large meal in the evening -

TheCyclistist Fri 04-Jan-13 21:42:36

Hi Skinnyeye, yeah I'm in the same boat as you but a couple of Fasts and a few miles back out on the bike up and down a few hills and the pounds are starting to shift. I know from what you've posted before you're one for the two wheels too so good luck on your treks across the Scottish hills over the next few weeks smile .

Aftereightsaremine Fri 04-Jan-13 21:49:50

Apologies but I will say no to Facebook - don't even have an account! I like to keep my anonymity.

I also find skipping breakfast helps on fast days. Most of the time I do a 24 hour fast but I would not have been able to do that when I started this WOE. Pretty sure I went over 500 calories a fair few times. Now I can easily have around 400 & it not bother me.

Goofymum Fri 04-Jan-13 22:08:50

I find it amazing just how much you can eat on 500 cals. My lovely mum made me a bouillabasse (sp?) tonight which was filling and so tasty. A big bowl of it for 350 cals - salmon, cod, smoked haddock, mussels etc in a tomato + fennel broth. For the rest of the day I had tea/coffee and a cuppa soup.

I am starving tonight though. This is only my 2nd fast - Do others find it gets easier (ie you feel less hungry) as days go on? I did it over summer and I always found I was starving on fast days.

Goofymum Fri 04-Jan-13 22:24:53

Have found a link to the Horizon program
It has polish subtitles.

Bordercollielover Fri 04-Jan-13 22:26:18

Goofymum, yes I think most people do feel less hungry after a few weeks, or perhaps less concerned about feeling hungry as you learn that it passes and is no big deal after all.
There are interesting ideas for learning not to feel hungry on the videos that someone, I think Laska and Breadandwine, gave a link to a few days ago from the Getting Stronger website.
Breadandwine, I am trawling through the Getting Stronger site, which is fascinating, and it recommends searching out sugar free bread. Any deas? I like Sourdough bread but never considered it might contain sugar.

Breadandwine Fri 04-Jan-13 22:54:28


I'm not much of an authority when it comes to sourdough, I'll freely admit - but here are some basic lessons on the subject:

There are many great bakers on that forum, who are always willing to help.

However, as a general rule, sugar has no place in a sourdough loaf, IMO! Or in any other loaf, come to think of it - unless it's a fruit loaf, of course!

Must follow up the rest of the links on that website!

Breadandwine Fri 04-Jan-13 22:57:29

Sorry - clickable link:

Bordercollielover Fri 04-Jan-13 23:00:08

Thanks BandW.
The bread thing was either in the Obesity Starts in the Brain or in a link I followed from there about Leptin Reset. It is really interesting to anyone who has become obese but probably not for you as I think you are quite lean!

froot Fri 04-Jan-13 23:15:04

mrsjingle app for calorie counting : myfitnesspal is brill has loads of calorie counts stored.

virginposter Fri 04-Jan-13 23:32:22

Have you tried plain rice cakes at 30 cals each?

GreenEggsAndNichts Sat 05-Jan-13 01:05:56

I would visit a FB group which was just people from this forum. (I don't mean excluding newbies btw, everyone welcome- I just mean, a smaller group than the main 5:2 FB group I see there.)

I understand the need for anonymity though and am not really bothered if we don't do it. I check this thread probably as often as I check FB anyway. blush

ThinkICan Sat 05-Jan-13 01:39:20

Belated New Year greetings everyone! Have been reading but not logging in for a while now as I had plateaued and was just looking for continued motivation. Well, went to a wedding where I saw myself in a full-length mirror after a long time - I don't have one at home. Thought it was a lovely mirror which showed me as being thinner till my sis in law told me it was me who was thinner! Saw my GP who was happy with my normal BP and 4 kg weight loss in 6 weeks since the previous time I'd seen him for high BP. He told me though to lose only around 2 kg more, though my BMI is still 28. He says we need reserves for illnesses and should look at health parameters and not at universal standards that may not apply to all. Says a lot of the standards are sponsored by commercial interests. Saw this recent report which lends credence to what he says too: What do you girls and gentlemen think about this?

ThinkICan Sat 05-Jan-13 01:44:23

And to clarify - the 4 kg lost was aeons back, I've not lost anything for over 6 weeks now!

scripsi Sat 05-Jan-13 01:52:08

Managed to get through my first post-Christmas fast day OK, now I am on the second fast day of the week and I am so hungry I can't get to sleep! I think I am going to have to adjust the timings of my meals so that this doesn't happen. DCs will be up in 4 hours ...

Breadandwine Sat 05-Jan-13 02:19:37

Hi scripsi that's hard luck!

I eat a large portion of veg curry about 7pm (>300 cals) - more than fills me up. Recipe on recipe thread - but I hope you're asleep, now!

lorgie79 Sat 05-Jan-13 02:47:19

My word. I've had to leave the facebook group. It's crazy! It moves way too fast and all the same questions over and over...and over! It ain't that hard people!
Having said that, I am actually struggling today with my first complete 24hr fast. I am used going 16-18hrs but the though of not eating until 8pm tonight is doing my head in. I am currently sipping on a Pepsi max (I know, I know, shoot me, aspartame is poison and all that jazz).
I've had a good read of the getting stronger site. A lot of great info there but it made me feel a bit depressed to be honest - as if all your body wants to do is be fat (or maybe that's how I was reading it as a carb-addict, considering most of the 'solution' involves low carbing it).
Haven't managed to exercise in 2 days as I cannot bring myself to leave the house as it is absolutely scorching here in Australia and the gym is barely air con'd. Maybe I'll get the kettlebell out.
Are there any other breastfeeders on this thread? Any luck?

Prolificmincepiebreeder Sat 05-Jan-13 04:55:26

Hello, I was wondering if I could join you? I've researched this for a while and although at first I was swayed by low carbing but tbh it's made me miserable and it not sustainable for me.
This seems to be a much better way of doing things for me and fits in better with my lifestyle.
I am slightly confused to how I work out how many calories I should be consuming and whether I should go 4:3 or 5:2?
Using the calculator I am my BMR is 1454 so I take 1000 away to get 454? This where I am confused can anyone help me please?
I ideally need to lose a stone, although I'm within a healthy BMI I don't feel or look right at the weight I am-10 stone 1. My clothes fit at 9 stone!
Thank you

ErikNorseman Sat 05-Jan-13 07:34:00

Hi, you don't use your BMR you use your TDEE (which is higher smile )
It's quite simple, you fast 2 days per week, at 500 cals per day, and on the other days you try not to exceed your TDEE. at least that's how I understand it. That should give weightloss of around 1lb a week, which is plenty for someone of your weight.

comraderoy Sat 05-Jan-13 07:46:51

I started recording my food and weight on mfp eight days ago. Yesterday and the day before I did my first two fast days, weighed in this morning and am down seven pounds smile happy with that.

Prolificmincepiebreeder Sat 05-Jan-13 08:15:01

Ahh that's where I was getting confused. Brilliant I start today. I do notice when I drop a pound so fingers crossed!
It makes sense to exercise on non fasting days I guess?
Not experienced steady weightloss before. This is the start of maintaining the weightloss I'm not prepared to go up and down anymore.
There I've said it, I best stick to it now.

mcteez Sat 05-Jan-13 08:16:17


First fast was Thursday, felt awful Friday and ate total crap! So annoyed with myself. I Woke this morning with a killer headache, not surprised really with all the rubbish I ate. The drive to eat yesterday after the fast was incredible, has anyone else experienced this?

Sorry for the moaning, but damn!!!

ErikNorseman Sat 05-Jan-13 08:24:35

I never rarely exercise so I'd say go with what works on that. Others on the thread say that they can exercise on fast days no problem.
Mcteez I did feel the urge to overeat the day after fasting the first couple of times, but not now.

Aftereightsaremine Sat 05-Jan-13 08:51:21

mcteez it does get easier. The first few weeks I had sore throat & headaches when fasting & day after. Now it's a walk in the park. I sometimes notice the hunger pangs but not as much as I did. herbal teas or black coffee is the way to do it. You need to keep hydrated on fast days. Good luck.

plecofjustice Sat 05-Jan-13 11:16:04

Hi scripsi

I find that my sleeping patterns are quite disturbed on fast days, regardless of how or when I eat - I either sleep really really well, or have very disturbed sleep. I think it's just the brain adapting to a different fuel source or something.

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