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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!

Laska42 Thu 10-Jan-13 09:32:13

Marking place . .. (but at work so cant read through yet ) , thanks once more Greeneggs

But just quickly .. determined to be more positive today .. .. fasting today but have woken up with ‘Chinese food’ hangover/ headache .. could be MSG..

I have virtually stopped eating processed food . but also had a pkt of cr@p crisps. (a new 'air popped' low cal sort Yeuch… foul ..just dont go there )

After 8s .. I have new recruits also! And now in backing old office lots of people on diets and asking me how Ive done it . so perhaps I could also become a consultant !

maniacbug Thu 10-Jan-13 09:35:40

Blimey, sorry lottie I didn't realise 16hrs was 'advanced' - I am new to this so not really sure what I'm doing confused and just experimenting a bit. Maybe I had better work up to it gradually. Not sure I can hold out till 2pm anyway - just made DS2 a piece of toast and jam and it is torture watching him eat!!

virginposter Thu 10-Jan-13 10:16:56

Hey everybody Dr MM's website is up and running - yippee!!

GreenEggsAndNichts Thu 10-Jan-13 10:22:16

oh yes, I hadn't caught up on the posts towards the end of the last thread, but if you measure out your wine, you can have a small glass for around 100 calories. I've been known to do it on a fast day, if I haven't eaten a lot (obviously) and just want something to sip in the evening. I'm not a big drinker, though I made an exception over the holidays for the homemade Baileys. wink

Very nice new name aftereights! I really should change mine, if I come up with something clever I shall.

16 hour fasts aren't difficult at all once you can skip breakfast. 24 hours with no food, now that's professional. In my opinion, anyway! smile You aren't required to do either of those things; if you can keep under 500 calories for the day, then you can eat them whenever you like. But most of us have found that it's much easier to leave a large non-eating window, then eat a larger amount later in the day. And not only does it happen to be easier, a number of the Drs involved in the studies on Horizon have said that it's better, in terms of the health benefits etc.

So it's good, but if you can't do it that way, don't stress over it. You'll find some things get easier with time with this WOE.

GreenEggsAndNichts Thu 10-Jan-13 10:23:52

ooh VP good for him, I'll check it out if I can get a quiet moment here!

GreenEggsAndNichts Thu 10-Jan-13 10:37:20

rosemarysage I didn't think there was anything wrong with your weight loss, probably because I've lost about the same amount that you have. grin Maybe a tiny bit more, but then I have more to lose. I lost a lot at first, then plateaued, then holiday season kicked in (made all the longer because I have Thanksgiving at the end of Nov as well). But. I'm not disappointed at all, because during that holiday season, of Thanksgiving, several nights out over December, then sluggishness and eating over Christmas, I put on (maybe) one pound. I'm still down, and I am keeping with this WOE to see if I can get more off.

I am so pleased because my holiday season was essentially not disrupted. There was none of the ridiculous guilt over food, and not a lot of worry about undoing hard work. Over the Christmas/NY period, I fasted twice, and it was enough to offset the rest of it. I actually enjoyed the fasts more than usual then, because we'd just become so complacent towards food (oh look, more biscuits/chocolate/mince pies/ whatever) that I think my body was grateful for the rest.

I'm babbling. I'm glad we have more new people joining us. smile

Iwearblack Thu 10-Jan-13 10:52:32

Oo good i'll checkout the website later - wonder how much stuff is a copy of all the good advice on here!
At home with poorly child today but am trying to fast and already finding it harder than usual! How often have any of you lot had to abandon a fast day? So far I haven't done so, and feel it may be the start of a slippery slope if I do! Maybe I'll treat myself to a cuppa soup at lunch......

mumofcrazynamedkids Thu 10-Jan-13 11:11:10

thanks again greeneggs for new thread thanks

laska I totally get your mini rant yesterday, the thing is your focus for a really long time has been weight loss, first with WW (or was it SW) and then this, you've done amazingly well, but as you say, you are now in the middle of healthy BMI, and so now what? the moral boost from losing so brilliantly kind of ebbs away as it becomes normal, you won't be losing at the same rate, as you have reached target, and yes you could set a new lower target, but I think really, as you have worked out yourself, you need a new focus, something to tackle to give you the feel good factor, the exercise demon might be it? imagine how toned you could get? think about the future and being a super fit 70 year old breadandwine I'm sure can vouch for how good that must feel?

I'm another one that hated exercise (apart from sailing) all my life, but when I lost 3 stone a few years ago doing Paul mckenna i was going through stressful time about to sepaarate from husband and decided to do teh couch25k, I didn't stick to it religiously, I found it a bit slow for me, although I still find running 5k without stopping pretty impossible, but as a lifelong asthmatic, that's ok, and I've stopped running again just because I can;t get out of the house with 2 kids! but I did find rather surprisingly that I really enjoyed it, I enjoyed teh space to think, and teh fresh air, that it was free and that it was a challenge, i could push myself to go a bit further or just to do teh same as the time before when i was struggling.

running may not be for you, but maybe teh challenge is to find what is for you? or forget exercise and challenge yourself in another way, maybe a new skill, not losing weight, but mastering something else would give you the same lift?

good luck anyway, you've been so inspiring, and always available to answer others.

lottie63 Thu 10-Jan-13 11:12:57

Maths was never my strong point... I've looked at the TDEE expenditure link and punched in weight, height, exercise level and age. The figures it gives me are: BMR=1289 and TDEE=1997. Does this mean that on a non-fast day, I should only be having around 2000 calories? Or should I be eating less than this? Sorry to be so thick at this...

Ezzza Thu 10-Jan-13 11:15:18

Iwearblack I've abandoned about 4 fasts since starting this WOE in September. Each time it was because I'd got to 5pm and was craving more than the 150 kcal I had left for the day. I usually just try to push through and ignore the desire for Honghuo tudou pian (a spicy potato and rice dish - my favourite thing on the menu of the restaurant which is on the ground floor of the building I live in). But very occasionally the desire was too difficult to ignore and I gave in.

The way I look at it is that as long as it doesn't happen too often I'm not going to beat myself up about it. The whole reason I love this WOE is that I don't have to feel deprived so I just start again the next fast day.

Try to make it through the fast by focusing on what you can have tomorrow, but if on a rare occasion you have to abandon the fast then don't let it get you down. Keeping positive you'll be much more likely to stick to this WOE long term than making yourself feel guilty over one little slip up.

TheCyclistist Thu 10-Jan-13 11:19:18

aftereightsNOLONGERallmine love the name change grin

Fasting day here as back to 4:3 to address Christmas excess. Woke up hungry but one Raspberry and Chilli tea later and the hunger's gone (the smell of toast left by kids as they left for work didn't help sad though)

Someone was talking about PUKKA teas on Thread 8, they're on offer in Sainsburys at the mo...but selling fast.

Thanks for the brand new thread GEAN who'd have thought when you started this in August you'd have over 8000 posts and counting....

Have a great day all, if you're Fasting like me, remember the pangs pass and....there's always tomorrow for that toast or whatever nibbles your taste buds.

Ezzza Thu 10-Jan-13 11:20:09

Hi lottie. Yes on non-fast days stick to the TDEE figure. Your fast days are creating the calorie deficit that gets you losing weight while eating within your TDEE on non-fast days is meant to stop your metabolism from slowing down.

Iwearblack Thu 10-Jan-13 11:26:55

Thanks all. My stomach has just had an enormous rumble which makes me feel more comfortable now - I always imagine this feeling like shaking a duvet out in my tummy (blush)

Like the sound of raspberry and chilli tea!

Snowkey Thu 10-Jan-13 11:27:17

Iwearblack I started in August and I have abandoned 3 fasts - first 2 were pre menstral and the hunger was unbearable and i was grumpy and didn't see the point! Third time was a nasty cold. I never regretted giving up, those days were just too tough and were fairly insignificant in a lifetime of eating. I still returned to it, without much of a hitch.

GreenEggsAndNichts Thu 10-Jan-13 11:29:25

lottie yep that's about it. smile You don't want to be eating low-cal on non-fast days, but you also don't want to be eating high-cal. (Obviously you can have the odd day of it, I certainly have, but you don't want to be in the habit of it if you want to lose weight)

Thanks Cyclistist, it's crazy, yet great, that this has taken off so well. smile All of our regular posters make this such a positive place for people to find support.

IWearBlack I don't think I've abandoned a fast. It's out of sheer stubbornness if I'm honest. I push off eating as long as possible (have a drink, have a hot drink, get busy doing something else). If I'm having a bad day, I tell myself I can have 'something' at x time, but then re-assess once it gets to that time. Once I've made it to the evening, that's when the stubborn kicks in. I've made it through the entire day, I sure as hell don't want to mess it up now and have to do it all over again tomorrow. grin Maybe I'll break out a recipe book and plan something nice for dinner tomorrow. (btw, "tomorrow" rarely actually features the foods I dream about on fast days. But I know I could, and that's the point!)

That's the mental struggle on a difficult fast day. I don't have those days too often now, but those first few were very difficult, and there is the one-off when it's cold and for some reason that makes me hungry. hmm

MrsHelsBels74 Thu 10-Jan-13 11:30:10

Marking my place, next fast day tomorrow!

lottie63 Thu 10-Jan-13 11:30:32

Thanks Ezzza. But gosh, only 2000 cals?!!! No wonder I've put on so much weight!

ubik Thu 10-Jan-13 11:36:00

Have been doing this since Sept and have lost 9lbs. Had a chridas blowout but only put on 2lbs which is astonishing. Am feeling rather blobby though.

On day 2 of this weeks 5:2 fast. Have just had Pret crayfish and avocado salad and black coffee. Will have a small omelette later.

Hoping to lose another stone by the summer.

Thanks for the recipe thread it is very helpful - will get DP to post his chickpea curry - it's spicey chickpeas with lots of veg and spinach leaves instead of rice, very filling and tasty.

Ezzza Thu 10-Jan-13 11:36:57

Yeah, I don't really like the idea of eating inside my TDEE either lottie. 2000 kcal per day is the standard recommendation for the 'average' woman, 2500 for men. I always feel a little jealous of that mythical 'average' woman though: I'm short and not very active so my TDEE is only 1770 kcal. I wish I could eat 200 kcal each day without putting on weight! envy

ubik Thu 10-Jan-13 11:38:09

And if you have a bad day just reason that you have reduced your calories on that day, which is good, and work at staying within 4/500 next fast day. It gets easier as you go on, so don't be discouraged.

Ezzza Thu 10-Jan-13 11:38:55

Ooops! I want to eat 2000 kcal a day not 200!

lottie63 Thu 10-Jan-13 11:49:11

Short here too! If I was taller, I'd be positively skinny am sure lol

GreenEggsAndNichts Thu 10-Jan-13 11:52:13

I should add that my desire for food has changed a lot since August. So you might be feeling as if your TDEE isn't enough now, but you might not feel the same in a month or two. The fast days really change how you feel about having too much food in your stomach. You also start to re-assess food you thought you wanted, because you're now aware of how many calories are in it.

cardiffmummy Thu 10-Jan-13 11:58:46

Hi all this thread is so busy at the moment! I received Michael Moseleys book from Amazon this morning - have only had a quick flick through so far but noticed there are several quotes from this thread!

I did my second fast yesterday and went well. A few episodes of hunger pangs but a drink and distracting myself seemed to get rid of them. So I wasn't planning on another fast day until next Monday and have four feed days ahead of me. Strangely though I feel guilty eating!! Don't want to undo my hard work fasting and having to remind myself that I need to eat to get the most benefit. Am resisting weighing myself as have such alot of weight to lose and think better to stick to weekly weigh ins. Having said that my jeans are definitely more comfortable today - they were a little snug around the waist (and I had secretly been undoing the top button under my belt...blush) but I did them up quite easily this morning.

Aftereightsarenolongermine Thu 10-Jan-13 11:59:49

I've found that the things like chocolates & crisps no longer tempt as they used to. I still eat chocolate but now like really good quality dark chocolate & so eat less of it as I'm not getting the sugar spikes that I used to get with cadburys for example or after eights grin

Has anyone found that as this WOE is becoming more mainstream that the negative comments have stopped? I've had so many people ask me about this now who before were telling me that what I was doing was bad for my health, bit hippyish & too radical.

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