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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!

Ezzza Fri 08-Feb-13 13:23:53


As GreenEggs mentioned, Mumsnet threads have a maximum number of posts which is 1000. Since this discussion is so popular, it has continued over many new threads.

If you would like to continue reading the discussion, here is a link to thread 12.

If you’d like to read the discussion from the beginning here’s a link to thread number 1.

If you would like to jump in and join the conversation we'd love to hear from you. Please join us on the latest thread to post your comments. We soon outgrow the threads, but there's always a link to the next thread near the end of the previous one so come and join us!


TalkinPeace2 Fri 08-Feb-13 13:19:46

That's all on this thread folks ....

Time to go to number 12 :-)

TalkinPeace2 Fri 08-Feb-13 13:19:09

Weighed in today.
No loss no gain.
If I can keep my BMI at 20.5 for the next 20 years I'll be a very happy TiP

Ezzza Fri 08-Feb-13 11:45:57

Rosiei21, cxome and join us on the latest thread!

Rosiei21 Fri 08-Feb-13 11:27:17

Laska42 ..Mine was a latte though, made with all milk. shock
Will the eggs still come under the 114 calories though ?
I may boil some eggs the night before, and have them with some ryvita. I dont have a lot of time in the morning to actually make breakfast

GreenEggsAndNichts Fri 08-Feb-13 10:11:40

omg y'all and your posting! grin

New thread up HERE!

(for new posters, these threads max out at 1000 posts, and we are currently 5 posts away from that!! So please continue the conversation on the new thread!)

Move along, nothing to see here, go bookmark the new thread


Miffytastic Fri 08-Feb-13 10:06:45

That's greatBetsy ! Do you mind me asking how tall you are? I'm 5-6and 10/10 and would love to get under ten stone.

Eating normally today... decided not to fast on the same day I'm doing a party for my almost-five-year old's birthday. However, I did manage to bake a cake last night - on a fast day - without cracking, I just had a wee scraping of the sponge that stuck to the tin <polishes halo>

Ghanagal1717 Fri 08-Feb-13 09:41:47

morning all......just arrived at work, turned on this thread as I like to read it throughout the day.....and was given funny looks by others going passed me in office as I was actually howling laughing at ManvsFoodrocks comments on "lying face down in a tiramisu". Soooooooo funny. What a brilliant start to my day, literally wiping tears from my face ive laughed so loud at that. Have a good day all (I'd better get back to work) grin

artemis17 Fri 08-Feb-13 09:39:59

Well after a week 5-2 done my 2 fast days jumped on scales (in Boots so paid for the privilege) and sad change! I have stuck ridgidly to the plan, even done 2 high impact fitness classes. My BMI is 21.2 tho i'd like to lose 7lbs as well as a few inches as my waist/hip ratio is bad (ie waist too big for my hips). I suffer with the cold a lot so on fast days it was even worse, but the thought of the benefits spurred me on. I know its silly but i thought i would see some difference...
Any inspiring stories out there to give me hope that it will work please ??

Ezzza Fri 08-Feb-13 09:32:04

Oooh! Congratulations BetsyVanBell! I’m sooo looking forward to that day. I’m still 5lbs away from BMI normal yet, and that’s the current BMI charts.

swallowedAfly I figured you were probably around that height. When I said “us shorties” I meant ‘me and other shorties on this thread’ us rather than ‘you and me’ us. That’s the problem with the English language not having two separate words for the exclusive and inclusive second person plural pronoun. blush grin

BetsyVanBell Fri 08-Feb-13 09:18:44

Thank you everyone, such lovely support here. smile I guess I could have got to this weight quicker if 5:2 had been a concept in 2011 but on the other hand I've learned so much about me and my body keeping an honest food diary that it's been a good journey. Got into 5:2 just when I needed it though - it's clearly a fantastic 'regime' for everybody, no matter what the starting point and that's why it's so exciting.

And the health benefits! I had my bloods done last year and am hoping I can get them done again after the 1 year point (I'll have been 5:2ing for 4 months then) to see where I'm at. I feel great too, full of energy. I really noticed at Christmas while I was pigging out how sluggish and sleepy I got, such a difference. Never again! I love this WOE. grin

Dotty342kids Fri 08-Feb-13 09:08:12

BssBossh that is fantastic! Well done to you, it's really good to read stories like that.
I bought Dr M's book yesterday and am hoping for some recipe inspiration. Fasting today, got a slight headache so need to really keep my water intake up today.
Nigella's Squash and red lentil curry for tea tonight + one chapatti, so looking forward to that already!

64zoolane Fri 08-Feb-13 09:02:14

Wow. Well done betsy. So encouraging to read stuff like this for a newbie like me!

Has anyone got a link to what constitutes a healthy, low-risk waist measure, if such a thing exists?

Laska42 Fri 08-Feb-13 08:52:14

betsy and BSSh

Brilliant results .. well done!! AND you are getting the other health benefits associated with fasting rather than depriving your body in the way restricted diets do

getting to normal BMI after being so long 'obese' and then 'overweight' was the day I finally felt like this WOE was REALLY going to work long term for me .(ive been doing this since August) I'm well into mid range 'normal' for me now and its just great..

This is really a WOE I think ill do for the rest of my life now, because I never feel deprived. if I want curry or wine or roasties etc I just have it on eating days and then fast on others to compensate.. grin

ManVsFoodRocks Fri 08-Feb-13 08:48:21

51lb!!! It's just amazing. Thanks for hanging out here and bolstering folks!

On the weighing thing - I'm not weighing myself until I've done this for a fortnight. I have a very over-emotional relationship with my weight (I have had a lifetime of obesity and shame and body-hatred, and one lb in either direction would either send me elated or into a spiral of really, really desperate unhappiness) and need to let this WOE have enough of an impact to encourage me to stick with it. And today I've been doing this for a week so should weigh myself tomorrow really, but I have bloated up with PMT. And in fact I didn't weigh myself the day I started. I know I sound mad - I'm actually sane as a concrete breezeblock apart from this stuff! - but there it is. <sigh>

BetsyVanBell Fri 08-Feb-13 08:37:55

BsshBossh - doesn't it feel fantastic when the numbers are so huge? Feels like achieving the impossible grin!

BsshBossh Fri 08-Feb-13 08:33:24

BetsyVanBell well done! I've lost a total of 51lbs now in a year. I feel terrific!

drmummmsy Fri 08-Feb-13 08:33:23

ahaha 'face down in a tiramisu'

BetsyVanBell Fri 08-Feb-13 08:30:30

Total loss? When I realised I'd got fat in summer 2011 I was 13stone6lbs, I am now 10stone10. I haven't been losing all that time and my main process of losing was keeping a food/exercise diary & comparing with a buddy, ie just generally learning to eat better and move around more. Lots of periods of stable weight at 11stone something in that and was happy with maintenance but took up 5:2 in January to try and get the rest shifted (including Christmas extra weight) once and for all. Next stop? Get down to the middle of normal BMI range. Last time I was anywhere near 9 stone was because I was ill for months and months, certainly never been down that way healthily, but I reckon it's doable now. grin

ManVsFoodRocks Fri 08-Feb-13 08:21:25

Incidentally I have been freezing on my fast days but I'm freezing EVERY day, since this house is like an icebox - so I can't tell if there's a difference!

ManVsFoodRocks Fri 08-Feb-13 08:20:45

Oh lovely stuff Betsey - grin grin - what's your total loss, and how long has it taken?? <mind boggles at very concept of size 12 skinnies>

And well done all others. Do keep these tales coming - they cheer the noobies right up!

I second all those that say those body fat % things are nonsensical. I could get on and off mine three times in a morning and gain or less 2% body fat each time.

It's an 'off' day for me today, and my challenge is to keep calm and eat happily and well - not to kill the fatted calm and lie face-down in a tiramisu hmm

parrotsandcarsnips Fri 08-Feb-13 08:16:30

Just catching up with yesterday's thread.
PICKLE03 I have definitely felt much colder on fast days and have noticed this significantly. I'm consuming lots of hot drinks but still cold.

At this time of year my 500 calorie meal MUST be a warm one I cannot do salad. Sticking at 5:2 and going to bed earlier 2 nights so benefits are endless!

Snowkey Fri 08-Feb-13 08:15:42

Literarygeek is that the burnt aubergine dish? I have a bottle of molasses in the cupboard - it really doesn't get enough use.

BetsyVanBell Fri 08-Feb-13 08:14:23

WHOOP WHOOP! Broken the NORMAL BMI Barrier!!! Does happy Snoopy dance around the kitchen AND I'm wearing size 12 skinny jeans that are loose around the waist (admittedly that's in generous supermarket sizes but hey - 12!) Onward and downwards grin

Salbertina Fri 08-Feb-13 07:36:08

Yo-yoing 3kilos within a month tho downward trend

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