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5:2 Diet Thread! Number 9, welcoming the new year...

(1000 Posts)
GreenEggsAndNichts Thu 10-Jan-13 00:14:08

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. This might be a good place to catch up with us if you're feeling a bit lost!

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.

B&W has found a new link to the aforementioned Horizon programme here. If you're keen to see it, watch it soon, because BBC has been quick to find these copies and shut them down online. We're hoping they'll re-play it again soon. I know these threads are popular, maybe they'll read my request. wink

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!

Breadandwine Thu 10-Jan-13 00:22:29

Hi GreenEggs! On the ball, as usual! smile

We cross posted on the last thread - but I'm safely here, now! grin

Breadandwine Thu 10-Jan-13 00:26:13

Meant to say, GE - there were over 80 posts yesterday. Highest total for a while. smile

GreenEggsAndNichts Thu 10-Jan-13 00:46:15

shock Yes I knew we had quite a few, I honestly thought I wouldn't do a new thread til tomorrow afternoon. I just checked an hour ago and thought I should go ahead and copy links over just in case we had a rash of overnight posting. grin

rosemarysage Thu 10-Jan-13 00:48:36

I've been doing this WOE since August after watching the BBC documentary. I've lost most of the weight I wanted to lose (16 pounds lost so far) and only have a few pounds to go smile.

A friend of mind sent me this today which he came across:

Free full text:

Research article

The effects of modified alternate-day fasting diet on weight loss and CAD risk factors in overweight and obese women

Samira Eshghinia and Fatemeh Mohammadzadeh

Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders 2013, 12:4 doi:10.1186/2251-6581-12-4

Published: 9 January 2013

Abstract (provisional)
Obesity is a worldwide health problem with increasing prevalence. Decrease in energy intake has been shown to lower the risk of coronary artery disease in obese subjects. The common form of dietary restriction is daily calorie restriction (CR). Another form is alternate-day fasting (ADF). This study examined the ability of modified ADF to facilitate weight loss and lower cardiovascular risk factors in overweight and obese women.

15 adult subjects completed an 8 weeks trial (2 weeks observed and 6 weeks ADF). All women consumed very low calorie diet on the fast day and usually diet in every other day. Body weight (BW), fat mass and blood pressure (BP) were measured. Fasting blood samples were collected at the first and 57th day of trial for biochemical analysis.

During the course of the trial, BW of the subjects decreased (p<0/0001) from 84/3+/-11/44 kg to 78/3+/-10/18 kg. Waist Circumference decreased from 87/87+/-9/74 to 82/86+/-9/68(p<0/001). Reduction in systolic BP was seen from 114.8 +/- 9.16 to 105.13 +/- 10.19 mmHg (p<0/001) and diastolic BP changed from 82.86 +/- 10.6 to 74.5 +/- 10.8 (P<0.05). Total cholesterol decreased from 227/73+/-49/96 to 214/67+/-43/27, TG from 160/5+/-46/18 to 143/9+/-22/77, LDL from 149/46+/-49/81 to 131/3+/- 50/97, and FBS from 102+/-14/7 to 96+/- 11/79 mg/dl but were not significant. HDL increased from 42/32+/-18/01 to 50/58+/- 19/46 and was not significant.

These finding suggest that short time ADF is a viable dietary option to help obese individuals lose weight and decrease some CAD risk factors. More and longer-term studies in human subjects are needed to support this important result.

catsrus Thu 10-Jan-13 01:04:49

More good science - thanks for that link Rosemary

Fast day tomorrow and I can't get to sleep - and I have to get up early :-( am resisting the temptation to get a nightcap.... Just! Night all.

rosemarysage Thu 10-Jan-13 01:15:43

I thought maybe I should clarify, especially for the new people who might think that is not a lot of loss over that time. I was the upper end of a normal BMI but am now middling, so I didn't have a lot to lose to start off with. I also cannot exercise (due to illness) so the loss is purely diet related. And I had weeks off fasting as well.

I have done mostly 5:2 and 4:3 but did some 6:1 weeks when I wasn't feeling well, or during TOTM, and also took some weeks off when feeling extra bad and for Christmas (about 6 weeks off the fasting alltogether since August).

Once I was doing 5:2 or 4:3 I was losing about a pound a week, mostly off my belly, thighs and a bit off my back (where I definitely had some extra fat), so it seems to me that it was mostly fat that I lost.

I did seem to have put up 2 pounds over Christmas but after one fast day I had lost it, and some extra, so I'm guessing some of that extra weight was just water retention.

I found the first fast day after Christmas almost like my very first one, and I found it really hard and ended up eating a little over 700 calories as I just couldn't stick to 500, but I did another fast yesterday which I found easy and ended up a bit under 500 cals.

rosemarysage Thu 10-Jan-13 01:22:37

A few more thoughts...

One funny thing I found over Christmas is that I didn't have much desire for overeating, sweet foods, or junk, and I ate fairly sensibly. shock I eat fairly sensibly anyway, but still I ate less treats than I thought I would want to eat.

I ate a bit more than I would normally, snacked a bit more than I do now, and some of the food was richer than what I would usually have, but I didn't have any inclination to go crazy or anything. I just had some treats when I felt like it, so didn't feel deprived, but I was a bit surprised myself that I didn't feel particularly tempted to eat a lot of treats even though they were everywhere grin.

I think some of it was from the habit of the fasting days where there is delayed gratification. I'm so used to telling myself "no, not to today, maybe tomorrow if I feel like it" that I find it very easy now to just leave things until I really want them, and not eat like every meal is my last and also I don't like an over-full feeling.

I've dipped in and out of reading these threads and have found them very supportive and encouraging so thanks everyone for contributing smile. I am thinking of telling other people what I have been doing now, and showing them these treads (I have only mentioned to a very few people in real-life that I am doing this so far, as it might sound a bit crazy to anyone who hasn't seen the documentary, and I wanted to lose the weight first before they might weigh-in grin with any negative opinions).

Breadandwine Thu 10-Jan-13 01:50:42

Good stuff, rosemary - quite understand your last comment!

Hopefully, with the book now out, more and more people will have heard about IF and its benefits.

A lot of posters (most!) find, as you have, that they don't feel so inclined to go after treats on their eating days. It's as if the body resets itself once fasting becomes routine.

I'm just coming to the end of my second fast day this week - and I feel more alive, and alert than I did at any time over Christmas, where I did indulge myself somewhat.

I know it's time for bed - but I'm buzzing! grin

I'll transfer that research over to the Links thread tomorrow - it's all good, and yet more grist to the mill. Thanks.


Ezzza Thu 10-Jan-13 03:11:08

Wow! Thread 9 already.

Just a note re the wine v. doughnut calories debate at the end of the last thread. That is actually plausible!

When I'm watching my alcohol or calorie intake I do stick to the 100ml glass of wine for a treat, but when not watching my intake my 'glass' of wine can get quite generous. 300ml isn't that unusual and I don't think I'm the only one - that's over 250 kcal! A Krispie Kreme powdered strawberry filled doughnut has 248 calories.

I didn't see the program on C4 that made the comparison but could that be why?

OddBoots Thu 10-Jan-13 06:41:13

Good morning. smile Thank you for the new thread.

The exercise video link looks interesting, I'll have a look at that.

Yesterday wasn't a fast day for me, it was a second non-fast day in a roiw which felt rather odd as I had been doing ADF for a week so had fasted the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th. I didn't eat until the afternoon and at a guess had around 1000kcal. It's a fast day for me today. smile

I will be weighing tomorrow and hope this weigh-in will be the one to bring me out of 'obese'.

Snowkey Thu 10-Jan-13 07:04:37

Signing in..used to love Krispy creme donuts till I had a look at their ingredients list - thankfully it was full of rubbish - a lot worse than normal, haven't touched them since. Weigh in this morning put me back into my pre Christmas weight, might lose another few pounds, I'm still doing dry January and going sugar free, so my Achilles have been eliminated.

frenchfancy Thu 10-Jan-13 07:20:36

Morning all. Fasting today, and I woke up absolutely ravenous. Normally I'm not interested in food for the first hour or so. Oh well!

Laska I'm doing to C25K too. Just finished week 2. The weight is definitely coming off quicker as a result, even though the runs don't really use that many cals (my pedometer showed 104 cals sad ) It has generally made me want to exercise more, so Wii fit has been ordered and will be here by the weekend.

Good luck to all fasters today.

Ilovegoodfoodandwine Thu 10-Jan-13 07:38:29

Morning all, my 3rd day of fasting and after having such a large weight loss the first week I feel very motivated. I do still feel I need a soup lunch though. That would mean 17 hours without food, so that will do for now. I am even trying a black coffee, bitter but I will try and get used to it. Right off to work now.. Have a good day everyone smile

maniacbug Thu 10-Jan-13 07:54:39

Hello, my 2nd fast day today and just been planning how to spend my 500 cals on MFP. Cannot believe I have just weighed out 4g of Twiglets.
Anyway, 2 quick qu's:

I foolishly ate rather late last night due to a minor bedtime drama, which means that I have to wait till 2pm if I want to get to 16hrs, which I do... Just wondered, is miso soup considered 'food' or a 'hot drink'?

Also, I got an Innocent veg pot for dinner, but MFP has its calories at either 390 or 312, whereas the pot itself says 316. Which should I believe?!
Thanks + good luck to all today.
PS chipstick if you're there, how's the head?

OddBoots Thu 10-Jan-13 08:16:18

I would go with the kcal on the pot itself, or if you really want to then take an average. 500kcal a day is only a figure guessed at, we are all going to be different in what works for us anyway so don't let a few calories from vegetables worry you. I have no idea about the soup as a food, sorry.

Snowkey Thu 10-Jan-13 08:30:01

Frenchfancy I don't know why your pedometer is recording such a low value, I'd expect 20 mins do cardio to burn over 200kcals. I run and the difference between calories used on a fast run and a slow run isn't that much. Anyway you should look forward to burning around 350kcal for a 5k run....I did the C25k last this time last year, it's brilliant, I'm still running!

Salbertina Thu 10-Jan-13 08:43:50

Hello all
grin at weighing out twiglets!

My 2nd fast this week- intend to go 22-24 hrs from yesterday if i don't expire first
Then have low carb meal up to 400/500cals. Been 15 hours so far nit that I'm counting

lottie63 Thu 10-Jan-13 08:47:42

Marking place

lottie63 Thu 10-Jan-13 08:53:04

Oh I wonder now if I m doing this fasting thing all wrong??!! Having read Maniac's post, should I not be eating ANYTHING for a set period of hours? And then break this with a 500 cal day? I ate about 6.30pm last night and I was kinda defining 'fasting' today as 'eating 500 cals'. Is this creative licence on my part? Lol. In fact, I ve just had tea with milk and 2 dry small Carrs water biscuits as I ve an hrs exercise class at 9:30am and thought I d better have something. Can anyone tell me if I have rhis completely wrong?

OddBoots Thu 10-Jan-13 08:57:35

I think the only rules on the 5:2 rather than any other fasting diet are that you should have around 500kcal for women and 600kcal for men 1, 2 or 3 days a week (depending on what you want to achieve) eating normally but not frequently excessively on the days between.

Other than that you find the way that works for you and that will work for you in the long term not just for a few weeks.

I may have got that wrong though.

OddBoots Thu 10-Jan-13 08:58:56

I do find it harder to do if I eat little bits through the day though, it is sooooo much easier to have nothing until evening both in terms of willpower and quality of sleep. You may be different.

frenchfancy Thu 10-Jan-13 09:03:16

lottie it sound like you have got it just right. The whole not eating anything for 24 hours (or going 16hrs) is kind of advanced 5:2 (even the great DrM doesn't do it). Give your body time to get used to it before you try. And don't eat just because you feel you ought to. Many on here exercise without eating. Eat when, and only when, you really need to.

Aftereightsarenolongermine Thu 10-Jan-13 09:20:38

Thanks greeneggs on the ball as ever. New thread new year & name change for me!

laska I felt the same as you but my dsis has designated me as a 5:2 "consultant" so that's given me a new incentive grin

Salbertina Thu 10-Jan-13 09:21:34

Ff, not sure am advanced, just curious smile
Been reading round intermittent fasting -(which i practised a lot last year) Brad Pillon and some of the other 24 hr fasters. Longest I've done before is about 22.

Lottie, definitely not wrong to do as you are! As others have said, many ways to do 5:2 which is why it's so sustainable imho

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