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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!

HairyMaclary Sat 19-Jan-13 22:13:05

Wow - i didn't realise this thread was here, there are so many of you and at thread 9!

I've been doing 5:2 since the beginning of January, I don't have too much to lose but enough to keep me motivated, approx 10kgs although suspect 8 is realistic. I've lost about 2 but my waist has returned!

I've found it relatively easy although probably do go overboard on the eating days, I am wondering if I'm just noticing how much I usually eat though!

I do however get massive, serious headaches on fast days, really, really bad ones. I usually drink 4 - 5 cups of tea, nearer coffee or coke etc a day and have assumed that they are caffeine withdrawal headaches. However it has such an impact on my family that unless they start to fade I'm going to have to reconsider this way of eating. Has anyone else had this? Does it stop with time? Any tips on this?

skippyscuffleton Sat 19-Jan-13 22:14:25

Border collie
Apologies, I don't appear to be able to copy from the paper on my I-pod but if you scroll all the way down to the study limitations section you'll find what you're looking for.
Those words on long term adherence in the study are well entrenched in my mind. I truly hope I'm 5:2ing this time next year and for ever more but I have my doubts....

GiraffesEatPineapples Sat 19-Jan-13 22:19:15

ch1pea if you want to eat 1500 cals per day to lose weight you could eat 500 on a fast day then 2500 the following day and this would average out at 1500 per day. This would mean alternate day fasting would be necessary and lots of calorie counting - not really the 5:2 we were buying into but possibly with quick results. MFP and the hairy dieters seem to advocate 1200 for lightly active people to lose weight, this would be a very diety woe and work out at adf 500/1900.

For about 3 - 4 months I have done 4:3 only counting calories on fast days and lost about 10 lb, realistically I quite possibly have eaten up to 3000 calories 4 days a week which explains why my weight loss is half that of others on here ( Clearly I really need to address my non fast diet grin
). It has been fairly easy weightloss but can I lose 10 more lbs over the next 3 months?

Bordercollie I do remember seeing a reference to that study on here but unfortunately I haven't a clue which of the 9 threads it is on and i have a feeling it was a while ago.

Oh ps, name changed from pookey but might change back as login isn't as quick!

GiraffesEatPineapples Sat 19-Jan-13 22:23:06

Bordercollie Isn't cocnut oil supposed to be good for cooking (patrick Holford reccommends) or is that the one opinion has changed on?

GiraffesEatPineapples Sat 19-Jan-13 22:27:40

Welcome HairyMacLary!

GreenEggsAndNichts Sat 19-Jan-13 22:47:06

Hairy I hate to tell you, but we're close to needing a new thread. wink

Are you not having coffee on your fast days? Most of us live on hot drinks on fast days! Just count the milk you use, and obviously avoid sugar if possible..

joeysdreamgarden Sat 19-Jan-13 22:55:58

My 4th fast day is coming to an end, I've been a bit quite hungry today but I've had less than 500 cals. AND I've lost 4lbs this week, so that's a stone in two weeks!! grin I do have A LOT to lose though. Is there anyone else on this thread who has a BMI of over 30? Mine is now 38.5

I can't do this 16hr fast thing without feeling ill, last night I had my tea (quorn sausage sandwiches, yum yum!!) at 7pm then a last cup of coffee at about 8pm... went to bed really late, so I didn't get up til late and had breakfast (25g porridge,100ml skimmed milk, 1 sweetener) at about 11am and felt pretty ill & confused, then I had lunch (110 cal soup) at about 1:30pm and felt really tired... so I don't think that a long period of no food at all suits me! 12 hrs is enough.

GiraffesEatPineapples Sat 19-Jan-13 23:40:55

HairyMacLary I need a lot of milk with my coffee so cals quickly add up but green tea and white tea are good withiut milk and have caffine.

Sounds like your doing great joey but porridge with sweetner would leave me hungry whereas skipping bf doesn't leave me shakey at all, its very strange. Maybe try waiting as long as you can then having 150 cals worth of prepared chicken or eggs or suitable other protein food with some microwaved spinach and vinegar or some other kind of veg and see how you feel? Good luck

GiraffesEatPineapples Sat 19-Jan-13 23:47:07

Greeneggs you must be on permanent thread count alert at the mo!

Breadandwine Sat 19-Jan-13 23:54:01

joey! I remember you when you had a BMI of over 40! grin

So well done!

It took me something 8 months of IF and a month or so of >600 cals on my fast days before I decided to give up breakfast. It takes time for your body to get used to the new regime.

(And I still lost weight on around 1200 cals on my two fast days.)

Even Dr M doesn't go longer than 12 hours, since he has breakfast and dinner on his fasting days.

I guess what I'm saying is - give yourself a chance! smile

Breadandwine Sun 20-Jan-13 00:14:50

I'd start a new thread but would be afraid people wouldn't follow me there.

Remember that, GreenEggs? grin

Bit of research for you all:
The first 5:2 thread lasted 14 days
The second one, 17
And this one will be finished in under 11!

The pace of modern life, eh? smile

Don't think it's going to be over, anytime soon!

GiraffesEatPineapples Sun 20-Jan-13 00:19:17

Only 64 messages to go - well now 63. feel like one of those footballers waiting for the full time whistle!

literarygeek Sun 20-Jan-13 00:24:13

BCL you're right, it is controversial- as I understand it:

1. for cooking, better to choose oils with a high smoke point like, rapeseed oil or, as Giraffes rightly said, coconut oil or peanut or grapeseed oil or, for lower temperatures, sesame oil. These will not degrade with heat. However, some people would say to avoid coconut oil due to the sat fat content. It increases LDL and HDL cholesterol but doesn't affect the ratio. It tends to divide opinions. The others are high in either monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids or both.

2. For salads, extra virgin olive oil is still good, as is walnut or hemp oil. Not for cooking cos they degrade and create nasties.

Try to find unrefined, cold-pressed oils whatever you're using them for, and store in dark bottles in a cupboard.

Hope that helps!

west243 Sun 20-Jan-13 02:27:25

just started doing the 5/2 diet 2 and a bit weeks ago. Have completed my 5th fast. fast days have been hard at first but seems to be getting easier. and I like the fact its only 1 day and I can eat whatever i want the next day. Was just wondering in terms of weight loss, those of you who have been doing it for a few months now, what sort of weight loss were you getting weekly in the first few weeks?

Snowkey Sun 20-Jan-13 06:11:35

IMO we should be very cautious in our use of polyunsaturated fat, which is really too high in omega 6 to be consumed in the quantities we do. It's important to get the right ratio of omega 3grinmega 6 for optimum health . So if we increase our consumption of omega 6 we have to increase our consumption of omega 3 to keep the ratio of 3:6 in balance - but as a nation we already struggled to meet our body's need for omega 3, so by consuming poly oils we are causing a bigger omega 3 deficiency in our bodies - the over use of poly oils in processed foods to make them appear healthy, not to mention the amount of it we now use at home isn't good.

We use butter, olive oil, coconut oil and I have some palm oil in the cupboard unused as yet for stir fries. I am trying to get my head around animal fats - would like to increase their use too.

My understanding was that coconut oil was incredibly stable at high temps and it is supposed to help your body metabolise fat.

Snowkey Sun 20-Jan-13 06:13:08

Apologies about omega6's smiley - punctuation isn't what it used to be! smile

Breadandwine Sun 20-Jan-13 07:23:32

Welcome, west243

I'm not the best person to answer this, since I began this half-heartedly - going down to >1200 cals on my fasting days - still lost weight though.

If you work your way down this thread you'll see many examples from posters of how well they've done.

Glad fasting is getting easier for you! smile It'll become second nature after a while!

Snowkey Sun 20-Jan-13 07:23:36

Wow just weighed myself - I have lost 8.5lbs in just under 3 weeks. Dry January is really working for me this year, 10 more days to go!

Ch1ckpea Sun 20-Jan-13 08:46:24

I survived my fast day woohoo... i even managed to wait an hour after getting up this morning to eat my porridge! Fasting makes you really appreciate your food doesn't it?!

I cheated and weighed myself this morning - only to see if this diet has worked at all (if not i was going to change tactics). I've lost 2lb in 6 days doing very little exercise! Not bad! I will exercise more this week, feeling more motivated now! I only have 7lb to go so will keep going for another 3 weeks and see how i feel. The fast days are very hard for me so i want to see if it improves after 4 weeks - if not then i won't be able to continue with this and will have to look at other alternatives.

GiraffesEatPineapples - thanks for the tips but i cannot do ADF, 5:2 is hard enough!! I don't think i need to lose enough weight to worry about that really but i appreciate the advice. smile

Bordercollielover Sun 20-Jan-13 09:19:08

Thanks for the oils info. It sounds as though I could use coconut oil for cooking and walnut, sesame or virgin olive for salads? But need to check that salad oil is cold pressed virgin? Hope I have it right.
To joey, I agree with Giraffes and would feel very ill and shaky if I ate porridge? Any grain based carb does that to me and the only " solution" is then to eat more of it very couple of hours. No food at all is fine but if I had to eat I would choose eggs with a few mushrooms.

Snowkey Sun 20-Jan-13 09:30:16

BCL I have also read that olive oil is much more stable that people believe, will try to dig out the link. So much info in nutrition and diet is bull, it takes on a life of its own, someone has an idea and if it is repeated enough it seems to become fact. Listening to "More or Less" on Radio 4 makes me doubt a lot of stuff we're told.

Snowkey Sun 20-Jan-13 09:34:14

BCL Olive oil

literarygeek Sun 20-Jan-13 09:38:20

snowkey well done! That's great weight loss.

Re omega 6 and omega 3. i agree with you to an extent: it's true that a 4:1 ratio or lower of 6:3 has been shown to be best for health, but let's not forget that omega 3 is a polyunsaturated fat. In general though, I agree that replacing sat fat with lots of high omega 6 PUFAs like soybean or sunflower oil, as has been touted as 'the answer' the west in recent years, is not good, and is certainly harmful, on lots of levels-implicated in everything from cardiovascular disease to alzheimers- particularly at high temperatures and when rancid oil is used. Hence my advice up thread about smoke points and storage. Also having lots of vitamin e in the diet can protect against any oxidative damage from PUFAs.

Coconut oil- some hail it as a health food in itself- there isn't really any hard evidence to say it is actively good for you in the way olive oil is, with its mufas, but previous claims that it was the devil incarnate have been withdrawn when they realised it doesn't alter the cholesterol ratios.

Also, re the animal fats. i know that lard is making a huge resurgence. but considering the scientists that advocate IF agree that sticking more to a plant-based diet helps harness the benefits, I'm not sure that actively adding animal fats is worthwhile.

COI: [hands up] I am a vegan.

In general, I think, as far as possible, we should be getting our fats in unrefined form- rather than squeezing the oil out of whatever the source is- and there we would probably not go far wrong. Personally I use very little oil in cooking, preferring to get my fats from nuts, avocados etc.

Sorry to go kind of off-topic but I think BCL's question is important: we are all doing this for our health, after all

Happy Sunday, everyone!

literarygeek Sun 20-Jan-13 09:39:57

snowkey re more or less: It's true!

NatashaMousse Sun 20-Jan-13 10:04:48

I want to chime in with the thanks for the discussion re oils. I settled on coconut oil, butter and olive oil and have been pretty comfortable with those choices, but all the so-called information floating around unsettles me from time to time. In fact, I had a few second thoughts when I was adding a bit of olive oil to the vegetable roasting pan earlier. Your link was very timely, snowkey. Just what I needed to put my mind at ease.

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