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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!

Breadandwine Sun 20-Jan-13 22:05:30

Here's a slightly different take on IF by Brad Pilon (Eat-Stop-Eat) - worth a look:

sarajaynevz Sun 20-Jan-13 22:50:00

Hi everyone! I'm new to the site, but a friend told me I had to check out the 5:2 threads over here smile I'm in the U.S. and this way of eating is pretty unheard of yet in my area, but I've been following a variation of 5:2 (JUDDD) since November and love it! I have been doing every other day rotations (up/normal days and then down/fasting days), but now that I've lost 27lbs and I'm now 9lbs away from hitting my goal weight, I'm interested in transitioning to the 5:2 format for maintenance smile Mosley's book doesn't come out in the states until next month, but I have watched the documentary and have also seen his interviews/browsed his website etc. I'm very excited that I found this forum where so many of you are doing the 5:2 plan and are having success on it!

Breadandwine Sun 20-Jan-13 23:27:31

Welcome, saraj. Glad you found us - I'm sure you'll enjoy your time here. There are several posters from the States, so you're not on your own.

Congratulations on your weight loss!

Have I got this right? You've been doing ADF? Respect!

redbobblehat Sun 20-Jan-13 23:31:05

bookmarking to read later

sarajaynevz Sun 20-Jan-13 23:41:55

I started with a general low carb/low sugar plan in October. Lost 10lbs in just a few weeks, and then promptly gained 3 right back. That's when I stumbled onto an online group of women who had decided to switch from low carb eating to this crazy thing called JUDDD smile It's based on the book, The Alternate-Day Diet, by Dr. James Johnson, and follows an every other day rotation of 'Up' days and then 'Down' Days. Very similar to the 5:2 plan, except more fasting days and also on fasting days you actually eat less than 500 calories after a while, based on your weight. On my fasting days I currently eat between 350-600 calories. My normal days I don't really keep track, but I aim for 1,700-2,000 calories on those days. The 5:2 plan was brought up on the JUDDD forum and there's several of us interested in it for maintenance. I love doing JUDDD, but it would be great to not have as many fasting days grin I'm currently doing a two week experiment with 5:2, to see if A. I continue to lose weight, even though I'm cutting back on fasting days and B. to see if I stop losing, but maintain at my current weight (144lbs).

Ezzza Mon 21-Jan-13 02:19:32

ErikNorseman, you’re not alone in getting ‘bunged up’. I’ve just been reading the earlier threads to catch up and there were quite a few people on threads 1 and 2 who mentioned getting binged up after a fast.

I actually had the opposite problem. Everything fine and normal in that department after fasting but once I started eating again things were a little - how shall I put it? – a little, er, loose and urgent. I put it down to the change in food as I’m half way around the world and I started this WOE the day after my plane landed, but when I spoke to someone back home who started this WOE at the same time as me she said she’d been having the same trouble. Our systems adjusted after a couple of weeks and went back to normal again.

Some advice which had been posted on previous threads to help with being bunged up were: “buy some whole senna pods . and make a pot of tea with them.. They taste fine as tea, -a bit like herby green tea - but dont put more than a 2 or 3 in at once!” from Laska42; “Can I recommend dried apricots for 'digestion'? I've found that having 4 - 30g which is 55 calories - will help a lot with bowel movements” from PigeonPie and “have an little evening snack of prunes and apricots to keep things, er, moving when I fast again tomorrow” from WilfSell

Hope this helps.

Ezzza Mon 21-Jan-13 02:20:57

That should have been 'bunged up after a fast' not 'binged up after a fast'. Tsk. Completely different problem that!

ErikNorseman Mon 21-Jan-13 06:21:46

Thanks for the advice!

Snowkey Mon 21-Jan-13 07:12:31

And if you are bunged up try drinking more water everyday too. A tummy massage can help get things moving.

cardiffmummy Mon 21-Jan-13 07:23:29

End of second week of 4:3 and have lost another 4lb - 8lb total! Not sure I can keep with 4:3 long term - may have to drop to 5:2 eventually - but this is a great start and is keeping me motivated smile.

Aftereightsarenolongermine Mon 21-Jan-13 07:30:41

Well as expected no weight loss this week but 1.6lbs gained & that's with fasting twice. Only other time I've gained is on holiday & Christmas. So will try & fast today but don't feel great, migraine from hell & very very dizzy so will just have to see.

Mind you did eat my own body weight in crisps & chocolate this weekend so no surprise really!

Good luck one & all, this WOE works if you don't make a pig of yourself on your normal days!

Snowkey Mon 21-Jan-13 07:35:21

aftereight you will not have put on proper weight - I suspect you are retaining water, given the amount of carbs you'll have eaten with the chocs and crisps. Remember people on low carb diets easily lose 7lbs and more in the first week and that is mostly water associated with the storage of glycogen. Try not to stress about it, migraines and fasting don't sound like a happy combination.

Laska42 Mon 21-Jan-13 07:35:54

hi theresarajay thats interesting according to the JUDD calculator I should only be having 319 calories on a down day for my now weight and exercise level ( 21lbs down and pretty much nowt) . I'm back to doing 4:3 but haven't lost any more overall for the last few weeks ( except to lose my christmas gain) . so ihaving read the JUDDD i'm now thinking that as I'm so much lighter than I was when I started this , perhaps I might lower than the 500cals ( which was Dr Ms and the researchers guestimate) for my fasting days..

Im not advocating anyone else to change the 5:2 here , as I do strongly believe this should be on simple principles -especially for those who are new -ish to this and that its just best and easiest to stick to 500/600 on fast days if you are still losing, but I may try to mix it up a bit and have a my fast days day at a lower figure (perhaps 350-400) as an experiment this week to see if I can break the 10st plateau I'm on ..
.. .
Yesterday . (unusually for me) I ate breakfast and lunch (was <500 all told ), instead of breakfast and evening meal ... it was very hard to get to sleep - something i've not found for some months and i kept dreaming of food and scales!) but have been up for a couple of hours now and not feeling that hungry

Aftereightsarenolongermine Mon 21-Jan-13 07:43:48

snowkey you may well be right. My body feels very achey & heavy today. It's a real effort to get out of bed & even lying in bed I can feel every single one of my joints is inflamed though I suspect that's its the cold causing a flare of my rheumatoid arthritis. All in all probably not a good day to fast!

Bordercollielover Mon 21-Jan-13 08:04:27

After8s, why not give yourself a day or two on lots of green veg and whatever protein you eat? That will get rid of the carb water without being as drastic as fasting. Hope you feel better soon

Jobyloo Mon 21-Jan-13 08:08:08

morning all - yay I've found you. Greeneggs thank you thanks. Snowkey hope you feel better soon. Well having a cheeky day at home due to not being able to get out of the village so no doubt will be lurking on here a lot of the time. Thanks for the link B&W makes interesting reading. Off to investigate JUDD ...

Laska42 Mon 21-Jan-13 08:10:49

after8s yes dont torture yourself. i agree with borderthough , just concentrate on looking after yourself and treat yourself to nice comforting soups, hot drinks ( preferably not chocolate if you can help it!) and a lightish diet until you feel better. Hope that's very soon

Laska42 Mon 21-Jan-13 08:14:19

Morning jobyloo glad to see you still here.. i'm also working at home again , but have lots to do so mustn't keep popping in to lurk ( probably will though )

sausages51 Mon 21-Jan-13 08:52:24

Hello-I am new to this site & intend to try 5:2. Have lost apx 1 stone on sw - v good but fancy a change to hopefully loose another stone at least. Fast 2 today. Feel confident that I can do it. I have a timing question though. How soon after the 24 hr fast period are we supposed to eat normally ? Could it be immediately or, if it's late evening could it be the following morning,say 9 hrs later ? This of course could take a fast period to potentially 33 hours-would that be acceptable I wonder ?

MatildaMay Mon 21-Jan-13 09:02:06

Morning all. Well, my second day of fasting starting today and I feel it could be challenging. Due to the snow both me and DS will be at home and my plans to keep busy (going to work etc) aren't going to happen.

MatildaMay Mon 21-Jan-13 09:03:19

Hello sausages51. Sorry I can't answer your questions as I've only just started this myself. I'm sure someone will be along soon who can. smile

Aftereightsarenolongermine Mon 21-Jan-13 09:11:26

Thanks everyone - going to make myself huge vat of medicinal chicken soup & hope that does the trick grin

sausages the aim is to eat no more than 500/600 calories in a 36 hour period, so basically if you eat your main meal on Monday night at 7pm do not have more than 500 calories until Wednesday morning which you should then treat as a normal day.

literarygeek Mon 21-Jan-13 09:17:56

Hi sausages, and welcome. ok everyone does things a little differently but in general this is how it works: For example if you choose Monday as a fast day then you eat normally on Sunday and then from the time you wake up until your head hits the pillow on Monday, aim for 500 cals. Then you go to bed and eat normally on Tuesday. So if you ate your evening meal at 7pm on Sunday and breakfast at 7am on Tuesday, then, yes, it is a 'fasting' period of 36 hours. That's what most of us on here do.

Whether you eat all your 500 cal at the same time or spread them out is up to you. Many of us like to save them up for an evening meal which also has the benefit of allowing the body to enter repair mode (lots of us built up to not eating anything for 16+ hours but lots of others don't do this and still get good results wrt weight loss).

Hope you enjoy this Way of Eating.

Ezzza Mon 21-Jan-13 09:25:03

Hi sausages51, welcome!

As aftereights said, it's more of a 36ish hour modified fast from when you go to bed the day before the fast day until you get up the day after the fast day. The 5:2 version means that on 5 days a week you eat normally and on 2 days a week you eat no more than 500 (women) or 600 (men) calories per day.

Some people have also chosen to incorporate an actual no-food-at-all period into a fast day by waiting 16 or even 24 hours since their last meal to have their 500 calories for the day. Personally, I can't quite manage 24 hours without food so I spread my 500 calories out a little though the day.

If you wanted to do a 24 hour fast you can, by not eating for 24 hours from when you finish your non-fast day evening meal until the same time on your fast day and then only having 500 (or 600 if a man) calories for the rest of the day.

As for your when to start eating normally question, on the 5:2 diet that would be any time after you've woken up on the day after your fast day.

Ezzza Mon 21-Jan-13 09:27:41

Cross-posted with literarygeek!

Also am rejoicing as I seem to have all the keys on my keyboard back! grin (Slight incident with spillage from a hot water bottle last week, been having to use the on-screen keyboard for a while blush)

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