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5:2 Diet Thread! Going up to 11!

(1000 Posts)
GreenEggsAndNichts Tue 29-Jan-13 13:17:37

The continuing thread for those of us following either the 5:2 diet or the alternate-day fasting diet.

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, or approximately your TDEE (see explanation below). 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 for a woman, 600 for a man, on those days.

You'll find on these threads we use a number of acronyms. If you're new to the threads, or Mumsnet in general, they might not make much sense.

WOE/WOL = Way Of Eating/Way Of Life. We use this term instead of "diet" as many of us see this as something to do in the long term.

MFP = My Fitness Pal, a website many use for keeping track of the number of calories they're eating.

TDEE = Total Daily Energy Expenditure, 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.

ADF = Alternate-day Fasting, as it says on the tin, fasting every other day rather than 5:2.

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!

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%).")

Something to consider 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.

Another food link, here is a link to the BBC Good Food site, with a list of low-calorie soups.

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!

swallowedAfly Sun 03-Feb-13 17:30:07

thinkican - have you got a juicer? maybe replacing a meal a day with home made vegetable juice? i feel for you veggies. i assume the same deal applies with needing high protein, low carb but harder to achieve as a veggie. do you eat eggs? also could replace lunch with a good handful of nuts - high protein, filling and yes some fat but good fat.

i gave up on the idea of fasting today. sunday, full of cold, just got my period and not the day for it really. hoping for tomorrow but will have to see - when i feel ill i kind of need to eat what i can fancy eating when i can fancy eating it itms.

ManVsFoodRocks Sun 03-Feb-13 17:33:39

Hello! I'm de-lurking for a bit, having faithfully read most of this thread and the 'hints and tips' one.

I'm on my second fast, and am doing ADD to begin with, because I am substantially obese and am staring YET ANOTHER bridesmaid-dress fitting in the face. Once I've made enough progress to look in the mirror without it cracking from side-to-side I'll go to 5.2

I have a question, and have searched the archives to check no-one has asked this yet - can't see that they have - please forgive me if I'm repeating myself!

In the 'Fast Diet' book, Mimi Spencer mentions occasionally doing a fast from 2pm to 2pm. I assume this would mean stopping 'feast' eating at 2pm, then consuming only 500 cals until 2pm the next day.

This sounds almost too good to be true, since of course you'd be asleep for a good 30% of the fast. Have I read it wrong? Has anyone tried this?


Iwearblack Sun 03-Feb-13 17:34:23

cardiffmummy it's a feed day for you so if you want to snack you can - no one is going to tell you off; it is between you and your food cupboards! Sometimes if you give yourself permission, the urge to binge fades as it's no longer forbidden!
For a displacement activity ... Clean your teeth/ have a shower/ sort outt the food cupboard/ put on nail varnish ...
Good luck!

Breadandwine Sun 03-Feb-13 17:39:07

ever2optimistic, nearlyniftyfifty, LoveinaMist, DancesWithWoolEnPointe, Sjr1969 - welcome to you all - and anyone else I've missed - you've come to the right place! grin

cardiffmummy, you need to reset your 'appetite switch'. You've recognised that it's in the 'on' position, ATM - the longer you don't succumb, the easier you'll find it!

Good luck! B&W

TheSamling Sun 03-Feb-13 17:41:40

Hi all. Just marking my place for the future. Have spent the first two weeks of my fasts catching up on these threads and reading up on the 5:2 world. Am on a fast day today, and after a dreadful fast day on Friday, when I almost gave in and hid in bed at 7 to stop me eating, i now feel fabulous! Today has been easy! I never though i would say that. I have survived on decaf coffee til 4.30 and then had a 300 cal meal, and I still have enough for a little something tonight! Am so, so chuffed! grin
not a morning eater so this is definitely the way forward for me. Usually fast on a Sunday and Thursday but have to do Tues instead of Thurs this week so even considering a 4:3 week this week. Am going to try and do Tues, Thurs, sun. And not beat myself up if I don't manage the Thursday.
Never stuck to a diet in my life. I lOVE my food and just can't give uo chocolate and cake...and now I don't have to!
Huge thank you to every poster on here, reading you all spurred me on last night when i was dreading today and I now believe this WOE is within my grasp! grin grin grin

cardiffmummy Sun 03-Feb-13 17:44:20

Thanks I wearblack. Have just had a pice of wholemeal toast and a cup of tea and hunger is wearing off! I know snacking is allowed but I have a tendency to overdo things - once I start I can't stop!! Consequently have been keeping an eye on my calorie intake to make sure I don't go crazy on feed days!! This is the first day in nearly 4 weeks that I've felt my control dropping - is TOTM though so maybe that's not helping.

Aftereightsarenolongermine Sun 03-Feb-13 17:51:20

Well I've had a feed day today & have eaten so much - lovely & no guilt. However I've eaten 6 after eights & feel sick. I used to eat a whole box in one go grin no wonder I got to 14&half stone! So anyone wanting to binge go ahead but stop before you end up feeling like me.

Really need a pig emoticon.

cardiffmummy Sun 03-Feb-13 17:52:20

Meant to say - despite really being able to tolerate (and even sort of enjoy) the feeling of hunger on fast days, and usually on feed days too since starting this WOE (ie not eating just for the sake of it), this evening is just more difficult for some reason. Toast seems to have done the job though and fast day tomorrow so hopefully will be able to refocus...

GiraffesEatPineapples Sun 03-Feb-13 18:03:38

cardiff it's weird how hunger can vary so much, some fasts are a breeze others impossible.

GiraffesEatPineapples Sun 03-Feb-13 18:34:24

Well done samling grin

BsshBossh Sun 03-Feb-13 18:55:45

Well a non-fasting weekend is coming to an end. One of my weekend meals was spent at Wahaca, the Mexican place, where we each racked up about 1400 cals at one sitting! Needless to say, I ate over my TDEE both days but am 3683 cals under for the week so all is well.

I've become a bit of a slave to MFP recently and am catching myself eating just because I have calories left over in a day as opposed to eating due to genuine hunger. Fasting even just twice has made me rediscover true hunger signals so I am much more conscious now of eating when not hungry on non-fast days. So I'm beginning to think of ways I can still use MFP to keep a check on portions etc but not be a slave to it.

I've lost a lot of weight this past year pretty much entirely because I've used MFP's help but now I'm 10-19lbs (depending on my mood!) to goal I need to go back to basic principles of hunger (eat) and satiation (stop eating) (ie what Paul McKenna et al go on about).

The great thing about my 1 week experience of 5:2 is that I am beginning to attune myself to hunger and fullness (not being stuffed).

BsshBossh Sun 03-Feb-13 18:57:22

Aftereightsarenolongermine consider it a great achievement that you stopped at six mints smile

Aftereightsarenolongermine Sun 03-Feb-13 19:04:21

Aah thank you bssh but I only stopped because I felt sick otherwise would most definitely have carried on eating.

GreenEggsAndNichts Sun 03-Feb-13 19:17:56

ManVFood well, there are some people on the threads who fast that way (5pm to 5pm or whatever). I believe they have luck with it. I don't fast that way, though, so perhaps someone else can comment.

The only thing I have to say about ADF is just watch that you don't overdo it. I did 4:3 (so, pretty much ADF, though every once in a while I'd have 2 eating days in a row) and while it was doable, I did eat a bit more on my non-fast days to compensate, I believe. I do find 5:2 much easier.

cardiff I know what you mean. My last fast day was the same. I blame the cold weather, myself. Also, TOTM was on the horizon that day. smile

aftereights grin Sometimes I think we're the same person.

cardiffmummy Sun 03-Feb-13 19:19:37

Just worked out my calorie intake for the week, and even with my overindulgent weekend I still average out at 1500 cals/day because I ate less than my TDEE on my other feed days. So hopefully will still see some good news on the scales this week smile. Might wait a couple of days before I weigh myself though....

ever2optimistic Sun 03-Feb-13 19:29:24

Thank you to Breadandwine for the welcome. Does anyone have any experience of, not so much a plateau, but an initial failure to lose any weight on this diet? I will have to calorie count my fast days more carefully perhaps

Betterlatethan Sun 03-Feb-13 19:29:49

Oh been 4 weeks in and the last 2 weeks I have gained a pound, despite being really good on my fast days as well as my normal days. Have only lost 4lbs in all that time. Feeling pretty despondent, but trying not to be because the health benefits are so obvious (and I'm feeling so much more energised and alert). I think I am going to change my fast days around a bit to try and shake things up. I was doing Monday and Friday with a half day on Wednesday, but I think I am going to do Monday and Thursday with a half day sometime over the weekend.
Has anyone else found that switching days kick started the loss?

frenchfancy Sun 03-Feb-13 19:41:48

betterlatethan concentrate on that feeling of being more energised. Rather than moving your fast days (assuming you fit them into everyday life like the rest of us) use that extra energy you have to do a bit more exercise. I recommend couch 2 5k , but anything you can do is a bonus. Look on youtube for some exercise videos, or use the wii if you have one (just dance is great if you don't have wii fit).

I found I made a step change not only in weight loss but also in positivity, when I made the same step 5 weeks ago.

Betterlatethan Sun 03-Feb-13 19:58:03

frenchfancy I know you are right. Would you believe I was the epitome of fitness, I used to run for my County and played tennis in my school championships! The problem is I still class myself as fit, when all I'm doing is trading on my history...I guess it takes a lot to come to terms with the fact that I'm nowhere near as fit as I used to be, and it's not something I'm finding easy to come to terms with! That said, I went for a run last week and managed 5k in just over 30 mins, so I guess I should concentrate on that achievement!

Madeyemoodysmum Sun 03-Feb-13 20:01:18

2nd Feed day today after my first 5.2 week fasting. I feel awful. Had a roast dinner of 3 small pots. Veg and chicken and stuffing and I feel absolutely uncomfortably full!
Otherwise I've only had all day a bacon sarnie. Not huge and a slice of choc shortbread and large latte.
Laying on sofa to feel comfy? Anyone else had this? I don't mind being able to eat less but this is crazy.

ManVsFoodRocks Sun 03-Feb-13 20:15:30

Thank you so much, Green - I'll wait and see if anyone else has light to shed!

I have another question - again, I've looked for it specifically but can't seem to find it without reading ten thousand posts

A fast is 24 hours, during which you eat 500 cals.

If you finish your meal on the feed day at 8pm, then you eat 500 cals until 8pm the next day. Presumably at 8pm on your fast day, you can then eat a snack, because your 'feed day' has effectively started??

otherwise, if you don't eat at all until (say) 8am on the morning of your feed day, you've fasted for 36 hours, not 24.

Does that make sense?! Basically, can I have a slice of toast at 8pm, is what I'm saying grin

BsshBossh Sun 03-Feb-13 20:16:17

Madeyemoodysmum I'm definitely feeling fuller sooner. I haven't experienced true hunger in years until I did my first fast last week and it must have triggered my intinctive/primeval hunger switch (or something!). I have less appetite now. I've heard others say this too - even after one fast!

runfastrun Sun 03-Feb-13 20:17:46

Hi all,

I'm a lurker finally delurking after having had a brilliant experience of you lovely Mumsnetters on another thread who are helping me tackle a bit of a booze problem...

I've been doing 5:2 for 3 weeks and only lost 1lb, but now I've stopped drinking (I'm on Day 1!), I'm naturally cutting out about 2000 calories a week in alcohol and bad drink food (I'm a demon when drunk), so that should speed things up a bit!

I used to be underweight, due to being overly fixated on cutting calories and lots of running, but have put on 2 stone in the last 6-9 months mainly through drinking, but also through rediscovering chocolate.

Really hoping to get back down to a sensible weight, here's hoping!

Thanks to all the regular posters who have spurred me on by reading how you're doing- we'll all get there smile

Madeyemoodysmum Sun 03-Feb-13 20:33:12

Thanks bssh, glad to know it's not just me, today my dd who is seven ate the same as me and I'm suffering and she wants pudding!

Aftereightsarenolongermine Sun 03-Feb-13 20:48:13

manvsfood, I've been doing this since August:-

Sunday eat at 8pm do not eat more than 500 calories until Tuesday breakfast & lots of water. So yes effectively 36 hour fast. Same pattern for other fast days.

green smile

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