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5:2 Diet Thread! Perfect number 10!

(1000 Posts)
GreenEggsAndNichts Sun 20-Jan-13 15:24:08

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.

Michael Mosley has recently unveiled a new website to accompany his new book on the subject. Please go check them out, as he's the whole reason most of us are here!

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!

TalkinPeace2 Fri 25-Jan-13 14:31:17

I'll back fillybuster up here.
As of today my BMI is 20.5, but I can still pinch an inch all round my hips and under my armpits. Yes I'm comparatively very slim, but I have thin long bones so look a lot better now than I did at ten stone.
Other people my height and age would look gaunt at this weight.

Chatting to a couple of very slim friends, they were considering doing the 24 hour fast for the health benefits, but none of the calorie restriction - as their normal diet clearly suits them. It will be interesting to see how they do. One has persistent bowel problems that she'd LOVE to sort ....

Lakota Fri 25-Jan-13 14:33:49

Laska has a point. I'm aiming for around 8st 10 as I have a small frame. Ideally I would like to know that even after a weekend of pigging out my max weight is 8st 12ish. If you have a bigger skeleton this could look gaunt. There is a calculator here which is quite interesting, putting me at between 117lbs and 132lbs (I think I would look too skinny at the former).

Mind you, I am beginning to realise it is more about clothes and how they fit than the scale. If I gain muscle (and weight) but lose inches that will also be fine.

Lakota Fri 25-Jan-13 14:36:18

Sorry, calculator below:

sarajaynevz Fri 25-Jan-13 14:43:59

Lakota-thanks for the calculator link! I just did it and my ideal weight is anywhere between 130-145lbs. I started out at 170.5lbs, am currently at 142.5lbs and my goal is 135lbs, with the possibility of going a bit lower to the 132lb-133lb range smile I'm 5 foot, 6 inches, 34 yrs old and have a medium frame.

TalkinPeace2 Fri 25-Jan-13 14:48:25

According to that calculator, my weight should be between 51 and 57kg.
I'm currently 56.
I'd have no boobs (and therefore no husband) if I dropped to 51.
Then again because of my swimming and gym habits I'm more muscly than some

Lakota Fri 25-Jan-13 15:11:10

Well you are between those weights and sounding slim and fit, so all's good!

GreenEggsAndNichts Fri 25-Jan-13 15:29:02

Filly I know the feeling of frustration. I've only just starting losing again after an almost 2 month plateau (it included Thanksgiving through New Years, though, so I got through it just by knowing it's probably the first holiday season in years I haven't had to struggle with weight gain!)

My advice isn't very specific (perhaps someone else can help there) but all I can say is, stick with your fast days, and tweak your calories on your non-fast days. Up your exercise a bit if you can, as I always see improvements on weeks that I've done more exercise. (Probably another reason for my plateau- it's been cold and I've been in half hibernation!)

You won't lose loads, of course, as you don't have much to lose, but I'd expect you should have some results eventually. Good luck!

mumrunner that's a very kind post, thanks for sharing with us. grin I absolutely love that you have a pair of leather trousers. I have a pair, but they're in storage at my father's house in the US, and in a long-forgotten trouser size. If I keep this up, though, who knows?

GreenEggsAndNichts Fri 25-Jan-13 15:33:31

Welcome back to the thread, Alaska77 thanks Congratulations on the loss!

Alaska77 Fri 25-Jan-13 15:38:38

Thanks Greeneggs it's good to be back grin

Crikey, I just did the calculator and it looks like I still have 15lb to lose just to get to the top end of my ideal weight!

Fast day for me today; just grapes and a banana so far. I'm planning an omelette tonight packed with herbs and spinach. Yum.

TalkinPeace2 Fri 25-Jan-13 15:42:58

I genuinely think that calculator is less than useful.
If I set my frame as small its 51-57, medium is 57-63 : so a 12 kg range in weights just on wrist size.
The UK one that was found ages ago made wrist size adjust BMI by around 10% tops - which seems a much saner target IMHO.

welshmill Fri 25-Jan-13 15:59:31

Hmm I'm not sure either. According to the calculator I'm a medium frame and it sets my weight to between 90 and 110 lb. last time I was 90 lb I was about 12! 110lb is more likely as I was this when I got married at 22 and pretty slim. Nor sure if this is a possibility but something around 112 - 115 would suit me just fine!

TalkinPeace2 Fri 25-Jan-13 16:06:38

Calling any posters or lurkers who are Breast Feeding
Please could you post on here
to reassure the OP that it will work for her grin

Lakota Fri 25-Jan-13 16:24:01

Fair enough! I've looked further and there are tons of ways of working it out. I guess the only real way is the mirror (and deciding that if people are recoiling in the street you may have taken it too far!)

nicnac58 Fri 25-Jan-13 16:25:50

Newbie here have sat reading the threads around the 5 2 diet this afternoon. There appears to be a lot of wisdom and experience on here. Started the 5 2 plan Monday of last week and did 2 x500 days, 4 X1200 and 1 X 1400 also 5 exercise classes weighed myself on the 9th day after my 3rd fast day; result not one single solitary pound gone. Wondered what peoples thoughts are, is it better to just eat normally on feast days or should you calorie count, wanted to give things a a kick start but failed dismally.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 25-Jan-13 16:39:11

Thanks TalkingPeace2

Who's BFing and how old is your nursling?

Laska42 Fri 25-Jan-13 17:52:21

Hi again all.. Hmm.. that calculator is interesting .
id say I was a small large or big medium! as my fingers dont touch by a smidge , but i have very small hands and quite short fingers (some people think they are cute Grrr ) .. and my wrists are also small, but i have big rib cage and knees and very small hips but quite strong legs (I'm really selling this body shape eh? its kinda orang-utan but shorter and not covered in orange hair!!grin) anyway the calc says I should be anywhere between 135 and 153 on large and also 125 to 140 on medium .. (and that is such a difference , I'm tempted not to believe it. I was 141 this morning .

BTW just to reiterate I was NOT suggesting filly or anyone at around my height and 10st shouldn't look to lose weight.. as TIP2said its all about what looks good on you.. I'm wearing size 10 jeans and 12 tops now and looking to start on sz 8 jeans as the 10s are getting too big ..( however i know that the sz 10s im wearing now are bigger than the ones i used to wear as a teen.. i still have some! 40yrs on and cant fit into them.! hmm

starlady Fri 25-Jan-13 18:45:24

I think the calculator is about right. I am 5 ft 11 and am 11 stone 8 (roundabout - weight has def plateaued though). I'm 42 so 11 stone would be perfect for me I think.

However, I'm going to docs tomorrw to ask advice if I can still follow 5:2. Gutted if I have to stop ...

GiraffesEatPineapples Fri 25-Jan-13 18:53:09

Laska even now when sizes have become bigger there is so much difference in a size 10 from shop to shop its really annoying! I am a 14/16 in places like new look but I cant fit in a large in H&M. when I was 9 stone something I was still a 12 in some shops coast, top shop even monsoon I think.

Hi BMJ not nursing I tried fasting when bf a year ago but there was a lot less information and I regretably gave up.

Nicnac it can happen that people don't lose weight for the first month there is information about that on here will try to find it

stickygingerbread Fri 25-Jan-13 18:56:50

Hello to all my fellow newbies who are just starting and/or just now posting. I am ending week 3 of adf. Still standing, though definitely irritable this morning after yesterday's fast.

Some posters who are starting have reported having some trouble, like falling short of their fasting goal for the day, or weighing right after a fast and seeing no difference. I hope you won't throw in the towel though. Please take some time to experiment and tinker with aspects of it, and I think you will hit upon a method that works for you. As BreadandWine said above, when he started, he didn't go straight to 25% calories on fast days at all. Neither did I all of 3 weeks ago. I am only experimenting with that target starting this week.

Just think that, with no other effects, a day or two of fasting may be one of the most effective things you can do to support your health. That's really powerful, and I wouldn't want to think you had quit over not finding immediate results.

And maybe weigh less often. There could be a variety of reasons for weight fluctuations, like water retention before totm. As with stock markets, the day to day usually doesn't mean much. If you are in it for the long term, you would want to tune out the day to day noise as status quo is better for you and impetuous snap decisions. smile

TalkinPeace2 Fri 25-Jan-13 18:57:14

agreed, my sister is 6 foot and her BMI is much more in the range of that Canadian site, because BMI does not work so well for those outside the centre of the normal distribution of heights.

vanity sizing is a HORRENDOUS problem. I'm now a size 8 designer - which makes me off the bottom of the supermarket clothes sizes.

In a cupboard I have my best ever pair of size 10 FU jeans from the early 1980's (utterly worn out because I lived in them) - I might be able to et into them after two fasts in a row!

stickygingerbread Fri 25-Jan-13 18:58:50

I meant to type '^rather than^ impetuous snap decisions.'

stickygingerbread Fri 25-Jan-13 19:02:54

Hi BMJ I am nursing a 2-yr old, just evenings for comfort. Unlike some people I am not the kind who drops weight through nursing. I don't even count the calorie allowance in. Adf hasn't had any adverse effect so far. Mothers in famine environments still generate quality breast milk so I don't see why I wouldn't too. However, with a new baby I would dial back from this adf approach, at least. I might do 6:1 and see how it went.

BetsyVanBell Fri 25-Jan-13 19:12:20

OMG - just remembered why I prefer to fast on Friday, aka pizza day in our house - completely bloated on carbs even though I didn't eat that much. I guess it doesn't help that I've drunk wine for the first time all week but man I feel awful. Carbs are not my friend. Might be making tomorrow a fast day - moving to 4:3 already?

stickygingerbread Fri 25-Jan-13 19:15:55

While I am holding the stage... this has been an interesting week. Fasts are becoming more comfortable, but eating days are unexpectedly difficult.

I have never liked breakfast - it often makes me feel ill. So I have taken the opportunity to drop breakfast and that's great. By lunch I am ready to eat an entire horse, never mind the tesco burger. But then I eat a very moderate lunch - on weekdays a spinach/broccoli/salmon/egg salad. Or the other day a small bowl of chili. Then I feel too full to eat dinner. I was expecting to be much more hungry, but it is only happening late morning! Then I have been eating a small dinner knowing that another fast is coming up but it doesn't feel comfortable. Has anyone had this?

Next, it is the oddest thing but on some days in the middle of a fast, when I am in the zone and feeling clear and energized, these shivers roll down my arms or back or legs. And it isn't the cold. I am fully bundled up in fleece tights and sweater dress and gilet and in a warm office. I have actually checked myself to see if fingers are warm etc. and yes, no circulation issue. It reminds me of aesthetic shivers one gets when hearing very beautiful music. I wonder if this is an indication of the body in healing mode?

Last, due to the health issue that galvanized me into adf, I gave up caffeine this week ( not as a part of fasting, I reassure all) and finally had a dry cappuccino today after lunch. It was heavenly. Decaf with unsweetened nut milk ... Dante possibly included that part in the Purgatorio. Eating days ought to mean something within reason, right?

GreenEggsAndNichts Fri 25-Jan-13 19:18:07

Betsy I'd just do what feels natural. If I've had a big meal I almost always feel like the next day makes a good fasting day. I'm often still feeling a bit full right up until lunchtime the next day, anyway. (And a "big meal" nowadays is nothing as big as big meals used to be for me! My stomach just hurts too much if I'm too full now)

sticky I didn't lose weight BFing, either. sad

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