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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!

Laska42 Tue 29-Jan-13 20:34:15

marking place... lurking for a while... will be back later

parrotsandcarsnips Tue 29-Jan-13 20:54:23

2nd day of fasting for me, I struggled to be honest this afternoon, but as dh is doing it with me, moral support was good, as was this thread. The mantra of I can eat what i want tomorrow has been repeated just a few times. We are opting for the 16 hour fast 6pm-10am with light breakfast mid morning then supper in evening. Roasted veg tonight with basil,balsamic vinegar and parmesan, it was yum

I admire those of you who are exercising on fast days, there is no way I could as exercise just makes me hungry, so I have my rest days on fast days iyswim. I found it difficult to sleep first fast day so I have the sleep easy tea for tonight, fingers crossed.

I'm turning 40 in May so that is my motivation and main goal is to reduce cholesterol without medication, (family history of cardiovascular disease sucks)

Southeastdweller Tue 29-Jan-13 21:07:54

Still on my first week and today was the first fast day at work. It was quite tough but OK. I had plenty of work to do which really helped.

I need to look at options for lunch because mine today was uninspiring - an apple, some low cal crisps, and a cup of Pret miso soup which I know is very good for you but is bloody boring.

There's a box of biscuits for our team five feet away from where I sit and I couldn't believe I didn't touch them because usually I have a few for 'elevenses'

I never thought I'd see the day when I looked forward to eating half a tub of cottage cheese but I enjoyed it just now. grin

Looking forward to a homemade curry and glass of vino tomorrow night...

TalkinPeace2 Tue 29-Jan-13 21:08:58

you need to retrain your brain - exercise suppresses the appetite.
and if you have family history of heart disease you NEED to be getting more active - I posted some ideas on the tips thread but basically
- speed up your walking till you cannot talk at the same time
- use stairs not lifts
- stand up when on the phone
- carry each item up the stairs rather than several at once

parrotsandcarsnips Tue 29-Jan-13 21:35:16

thanks for tips-I am trying, walking plus aerobics. I might need to change time of exercise to mornings. I am my ideal weight which is good but excess weigh is on belly= risk

Snowkey Tue 29-Jan-13 21:35:26

Interesting advice TIP about walking so fast you can't talk - runners are given the opposite advice - you should always be able to speak in sentences or you are working too hard - has advice changed on this - it's sometimes hard to keep up with advances in fitness advice. confused

TalkinPeace2 Tue 29-Jan-13 21:41:39

less a yomp, but not an amble - yes, runners have to stay breathing well, but many people's walking pace barely gets their heart going.
Trainers at the gym have been encouraging people to get out of puff a little, several times a day

Snowkey Tue 29-Jan-13 21:52:23

A little out of puff is not the same as being so breathless they are unable to hold a conversation IMO that is not a good aim - I'd be concerned that someone who gets so breathless they can't talk while walking briskly, might be over doing it and potentially putting their health at risk especially if they are very unfit.

TalkinPeace2 Tue 29-Jan-13 22:01:24

There is a lady who swims with me who has lost 10 stone.
Her natural walking pace was an amble while talking.
Her trainer got her to speed up such that she could no longer talk non stop.
It was only up to a normal walking speed - but she was so unbelievably unfit.
For those not used to exercising, the cardio limit of walk and talk can be shockingly low.
Anything to incrementally raise it - especially for those who do not "do" gyms - is a step in the right direction.

Snowkey Tue 29-Jan-13 22:10:32

tipBut it was her trainer that decided she was fit enough - she took professional advice from someone who knew her limitations and would have professional liability for the advice he/she offered.

TalkinPeace2 Tue 29-Jan-13 22:13:35

fair enough.
What would your wording be to stop people ambling and start them walking?

Snowkey Tue 29-Jan-13 22:31:20

I would say to someone walk fast enough to raise your heart rate, you should be able to speak in sentences though. As they get fitter they have to move fasting to raise their heart rate - a little out of puff isn't a bad way to describe it. I do think an amble is better than nothing and that working too hard at the beginning of an exercise program puts people off exercise, working hard only becomes fun when you are fit enough to do it and that takes time. I'd suggest people walked faster for 30 secs and ambled for 1min - almost like walking intervals, allowing their heart rate to slow and recover between fast walking, increasing faster walking periods every week - getting a heart rate monitor is another way to do it but I'm very reluctant to give general advice because I don't know what shape people are in that might be reading this. I do think very unfit people need to see their GP for advice and get their heart checked out before embarking on a new fitness regime.

Itsaboatjack Tue 29-Jan-13 22:53:10

Tracedw, I'm not sure if you were joking but you know fat doesn't actually turn to muscle don't you? You have to burn off the fat whilst building the muscle underneath, he shred though is particularly good at this as it combines fat burning and muscle building together.

Breadandwine Tue 29-Jan-13 23:09:19

Thanks, GreenEggs! Wow, 63 posts in less than 10 hours!

Yesterday, fancying a change from my usual curry or chilli - I simply took my usual veg stew, made it a bit more tomatoey and had it with homemade tagliatelle:

I've already added it to the recipe thread - at less than 300 calories, this is a great addition to my 5:2 armoury (he said modestly! grin)

Iwearblack Tue 29-Jan-13 23:13:02

southeastdwelleryes it's amazing how nice any food tastes when you are starving! If you are splitting calories between 2 meals then Dr mosley's book and website has some good ideas.
Or look at the recipe links on here - Laska's roasted pepper and carrot soup is yum and easy to portion control out -you could take some in for lunch at work (better than lo-cal crisps).
Well done for pushing the biscuits away. Keep in the 'zone'!

tracedw Tue 29-Jan-13 23:14:31

Thanks itsaboat well i didnt mean that but it sure does read like that doesnt it, must re read my posts before submitting blush
Sounds like a good workout to ease me in gently (i haven't exercised properly in 15 years)

GiraffesEatPineapples Tue 29-Jan-13 23:29:31

I must try that recipe Bread and wine, the tagiatelle looks great and so sweet that your granddaughter helped. My 5 yo dd would love measuring pasta strips! Looks like a fun way to spend an afternoon and now I have made successful millionaire shortbread I feel like I can bake anything!

On the running and talking, I sometimes find it hard to keep up walking and talking in a non excercise situation without getting a little breathless. It is def one of those pieces of advice that could be interpreted differently by different people.

The only time I really enjoy veg is on a fast day, does make me think eating healthily would be easier if i ate less in general though.

Bordercollielover Tue 29-Jan-13 23:30:16

So many posts today that this is a bit late to respond, but welcome Wheresmy, I turned 58 yesterday and have a 15 year old daughter. I feel 10 years younger than I did on my last birthday, entirely owing to the Horizon programme. I have been doing a rather slack version of 4:3 ( i never count or weigh anything and don't exercise) since last September and have gone down several clothes sizes and lost about 21lbs. I hope it works as well for you . I have another 2 stones to lose but never even think about it now as I know it will just trickle slowly away.

literarygeek Tue 29-Jan-13 23:30:20

trace I haven't done the shred for over 3 years but I seem to remember there was a whole lot of jumping around and I don't think it's marketed as gentle!

15 years is quite a long time.. are you active in general? I normally say, get stuck in to exercise/dietary changes etc but I wonder whether you might be better off starting with something gentler if not?

Only you can answer that, I guess.

Also, take a look at, there's lots of beginner exercise vids on there.

Breadandwine Tue 29-Jan-13 23:56:26

Thanks, Giraffe!

Definitely a lot of fun! And a pizza cutter is very easy to handle - both for children and the adults with learning disabilities I work with.

Elsewhere on the blog is a recipe for a sweetened bread based jam tart. Roll out a circle of dough, cut strips round the sides to turn it into a square, then use the strips for borders and across the middle of the tart. Great fun again - especially when you use different coloured jam in opposite corners.

Look for 'Breadmaking with kids' on the blog for more ideas - breadmaking and kids were made for one another, IMO!

Fanjounchained Wed 30-Jan-13 00:02:50

Starting my first fast tomorrow....quite excited ! Plan the following tomorrow...

Breakfast: Hot water and honety + teaspoon of honey

Lunch: Courgette & Watercress Soup + Boiled Egg

Dinner: 100g Mackerel, red, green and orange pepper + salad+ 10g houmous

Worked out the above to be about 450 cals.

I'm 39 this year, I've never been happy with my body...Don't want to be fat and 40 !

BsshBossh Wed 30-Jan-13 00:10:13

Okay, I'm going to try this "new fangled fad diet thing" grin wink. See how I go. I'll fast tomorrow and Friday then eat up to my TDEE on the other days. I'll take a weekly view of calorie deficit and weigh in on Fridays. I've already lost 32lbs since last June by sticking to 1800 cals a day (about 15/20% deficit from my TDEE) and I exercise 4-5 times a week (cardio and strength). Will report back tomorrow night.

Breadandwine Wed 30-Jan-13 00:13:15

Sounds like a plan, Fanjounchained.

'honety'? confused

But welcome to you and all the newcomers who've come on board today. smile

Fanjounchained Wed 30-Jan-13 00:15:44

Och you know what I meant B&W...does that sound about right BTW..,from what I gather reading these threads you are quite a seasoned faster ?

Breadandwine Wed 30-Jan-13 01:08:35

Sorry, I thought that 'honety' was some sort of honey! confused

I have been IFing for a while - but I went into it very half-heartedly. Eventually I went to <600, but eating 3 small meals on fasting days. After a while I thought I wouldn't eat until I felt hungry - and found I never did.

This may suit you after a while - we all have to find out what works for us.

One thing I've found about eating - not sure if your sweetened drink will do the same - is that once I've started, hunger comes back stronger than ever. So not eating until dinner is the way to go for me.

Good luck - and let us know how you get on.

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