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5:2 Diet Thread! 12! Cheaper by the dozen!

(1000 Posts)
GreenEggsAndNichts Fri 08-Feb-13 10:09:40

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!

ManVsFoodRocks Fri 08-Feb-13 12:30:31

I'm just marking my place, and dropping my to say Franny your post made me a bit teary-eyed, because I understand only too well how you feel. One can feel so utterly desperate and worthless over something like this, even when in all other aspects of life things are by any standard at all a success. Punch on the arm for you, old thing. It's too soon to say (for me) whether this WOL will work but you're most certainly not alone.

ManVsFoodRocks Fri 08-Feb-13 12:31:11

*dropping BY.

Incidentally I am not yet face-down in a Tiramisu (although I did just eat about 2oz grated cheddar on my spud!)

SpiralSkies Fri 08-Feb-13 12:41:52

Mmmmm FastFeeder I so wish I'd just had something from that delicious-sounding hamper instead of the leftover Hairy Dieter Sweet 'n' Sour chicken I've just scarfed.

I hate the diet industry, trading on people's desperation. Pah.

BsshBossh Fri 08-Feb-13 12:49:53

Frannyfeet I can see how miserable you are (((hugs))). I don't think you were doing 5:2 correctly and also your calories for the residential week seem quite low - perhaps your body was reluctant to let go of the lbs because it thought you were never going to feed it enough? As swallowed says, today's another day... the residential course is over and you can start again. Start with your TDEE and eat it (please don't go much under) 5 days a week and do your 500 cals on 2 days a week. Start now (or Monday grin).

swallowedAfly Fri 08-Feb-13 12:56:11

the diet industry is sick.

wouldn't it be wonderful if this way of eating booted it out of the profit margins.

misscph1973 Fri 08-Feb-13 13:13:47

Hello! I saw the program in August and was blown away. I immediately fasted once for 24 hours, that went well, but researching fasting led me to Paleo, and I was amazed and started that, so the fasting took the back seat while I adjusted to no grains etc. I then started skipping breakfast once a week in December, and it worked well, I didn't gain weight over the festive period.

I have just bough the book as a refresher and I am well into it now, doing my 3rd 24 hour fast day today (2 last week).

I really like it, I am mainly doing it for the health benefits, although I wouldn't mind achieving a smaller bottom ;) I am not looking forward to even smaller boobs (inevitable when I lose weight), I am already an AA and shopping for a bikini is just so depressing! I don't own scales as they are depressing and inaccurate. I doubt that I have lost any weight yet.

So far I have noticed more energy, better mood (less irritable with DCs) and better sense of taste.

And it's saving me money! My DH is also doing it, so effectively we are saving 2 x breakfast + 2 x lunches. It's a real credit crunch diet ;) No need to buy special equipment or special food, just eat less.

BsshBossh Fri 08-Feb-13 13:14:32

longsunnydays thanks for your post, it was a lovely summary of your experience. I should do one too...

TalkinPeace2 Fri 08-Feb-13 13:30:54

Greeneggs Thank you for the new thread. While swimming this morning I wondered what you would call it. grin

Slow down and count to ten. And breathe.

You were on a residential course with food included.
So you did not hoover, do laundry, run up and down stairs, walk to the shops, go up the garden.
All the little things that easily burn off a couple of hundred calories a day.
And you have no idea what was actually IN the sauces and stews and puddings so calorie counting on that sort of food is impossible.
Do not try.
When you are at home you succeed.
That makes sense - if you cook from scratch you know what you are having.
And bollocks to all those diet product things.
Reset your relationship with food a bit.
Work out your TDEE (link in the wonderful OP as usual)
and then try to think (roughly) in terms of
500 : TDEE : TDEE : 500 : TDEE : TDEE : splurge
each week.
And remember, the more active you are, the higher your TDEE (my swimming means I'm allowed more wine at weekends).

It will be fine, but you have to get your brain to learn new habits as well as your tummy.

Frannyfeet Fri 08-Feb-13 13:33:55

Thank you all for the replies.....I spent half an hour after posting it sobbing and researching gastric surgery, then I realised that lots of people who'd had it eventually put weight on again.

Then I considered going to my GP, but figured he would take one look at my now blotchy puffy face and tell me I am depressed, which I didn't want.

In the end, I had a long bath, cried a bit more (now have a headache from all the crying) and am catching up on the posts.

I can't figure out who as someone that is considered by my family and friends to be a 'high achiever' is such a failure at achieving the one thing I have consistently wanted since being a child.....not to be fat.

Today has turned into a fast day, purely because ive been to busy blubbing to eat.

Thanks again for the advice.

BsshBossh Fri 08-Feb-13 13:38:06

Yey, onwards and updownwards Franny!

TiP2 it's interesting what you say about TDEE and exercise. If I did no exercise my TDEE would be 1734 cals a day; but because I exercise quite hard for 4-5 days a week my TDEE is 2240. The difference is amazing. Hurrah for exercise as I love to eat grin.

64zoolane Fri 08-Feb-13 13:38:36

Mmmm those diet 'powders' look delicious. I like the fact that you can't just stir them with a spoon and need to buy their special shaker too.

I have been wondering when the dieting industry's backlash against 5:2 will start, haven't you? It is so revolutionarily simple, and it is growing so exponentially - soon companies like WeightWatchers and Slimming World are bound to be affected.

I wonder if we will start seeing articles attempting to discredit Dr Mosley or the scientific underpinnings of fasting. Has anyone come across anything yet?

TalkinPeace2 Fri 08-Feb-13 13:40:04

Your last post has just crystallised what you need to sort ....
achieving the one thing I have consistently wanted since being a child.....not to be fat

No, you do not want to NOT be something
you have to want to BE something.
You are already successful etc but unhappy in your skin.
Your skin will change when your head tells it to.
You have come to the right place to get chivvied along grin

catsrus Fri 08-Feb-13 13:45:06

AS SaF says Franny - you have seen it works when calorie restriction doesn't. We might not fully know why, but for many of us on here it HAS worked to fast a few days a week when low cal hasn't worked. This is for the long term, finding a WOE that you can stick to. Try another week or two of fasting within the 500 cals and see how you feel.

I'm now on 27lbs lost since august and working on maintenance strategies - but I promise you that was not a nice straight line of the same few pounds a week blush the line wobbled up and down a fair bit but each time it went up again I kept fasting and it slowly, over time, went down grin. This is not a diet that you can 'fail' with - if you stick with it all the evidence is that there are health benefits even if the weight is not coming off as you want it to - keep that in mind as motivation.

congrats to those of you who have cracked your BMI barriers smile I bought a lovely size 14 Jacket in an online sale - fits perfectly - that's my own personal barrier (am top heavy) before this I was an 18.

Aftereightsarenolongermine Fri 08-Feb-13 14:43:24

Can anyone tell me how to do a link to this thread on my phone please. I've just posted a reply to someone on the live web chat with Dr MM & I didn't know how to direct him here with a link blush

Daisy1407 Fri 08-Feb-13 14:51:25

I really love this thread i should be working but this is far to much of a good read! Im currently on an eating day and today ive had cous cous with chicken and snack a jack crisps - however i bought the team in work treats (cakes/sweets and chocolcate) and im dipping in to them too! I dont care as im out tonight with the girls - cannow wait to have a ice cold glass of prosecco! We deserve our treat days guys! Hope you all have a lovely weekend and dont beat yourselves up! Everyone had bad days and good days x

headintheclouds Fri 08-Feb-13 14:53:50

64zoolane you were wondering if anyone had seen any articles trying to discredit DrMM. I havent but I work with a medical Doctor who thinks this is a ridiculous way of eating and 'its not the way to lose weight you know'.
This comes from a man who eats an oxo sized piece of cheese with black coffee for breakfast,an apple for lunch and a' normal' evening meal 5 days of the week to maintain his weight. thats fasting in my book !!grin

ayshigirl Fri 08-Feb-13 15:04:18

Giraffes Eat Pineapples thanks for your words of advice. I can't believe someone else shouted at me on here. Guess what, some of us are new to posting on these forums!

On a cheerier note i wanted to share a delish lunch I just ate:

Miracle noodles
A cube of garlic
Soy sauce and chili sauce
A few sprays of olive oile spray
Tossed in an egg.

... feeling fine wink

64zoolane Fri 08-Feb-13 15:08:20

Hi headintheclouds. I wonder if there's a bit of professional envy going on there as well?

I'm almost perversely looking forward to any negative publicity as proof of what we all know: that 'dieting' is a big-bucks industry profiting mostly from women's misery, like I think BsshBossh said further up.

ManVsFoodRocks Fri 08-Feb-13 15:13:22

Franny old bean, I'm PMing you, whether you like it or not grin

Peggy69 Fri 08-Feb-13 15:20:14

I've been following this WOE for 4 weeks the first week, I lost around 5 lbs, and then the following week, I put on 3 lbs and the following week 1lb. Has anyone else found this? I'm doing the 4:3 version, and eat 550 cals on my fast days and I'm now sticking to 1950 cals on my feed days (on the second week, I did pig out a bit on my feed days, but only over by about 200-300 cals). Along with this, I run about four miles 3 times per week (and don't re-eat the exercise calories). I'm going to stick with it and hope that weight starts to drop off again. I'm 162 pounds and want to get down to 133 pounds.....please help blush

TalkinPeace2 Fri 08-Feb-13 15:58:20

I shouted because I had clearly answered your question twice and you kept reposting it in the hopes of getting a different answer - but there isn't one.
Nothing to do with you being new, just to do with you implying you were being ignored and you were not.

What is your TDEE?
If you are exceeding it by 300 calories, that is 15%
I do 5:2 so it does not interfere with weekends and I never have to fast on two consecutive days.
Why 550 calories?

moonbells Fri 08-Feb-13 15:59:42

Hello people. Here I am, on day1, having so far eaten 360 calories and had about 60 of milk in tea and aiming to eat maybe a cracker later. The widget says I have a TDEE of 1902, and I know I need to lose about 4 stone.

This time I really need to do it. Hoping you can chivvy me if I vanish for a few days. Have had success in the past with WeightWatchers but a decade and a small person has helped it all creep back. Hoping 5/2 works!

Dotty342kids Fri 08-Feb-13 16:03:23

Welcome moonbells! Hope your first day is going really well and that you enjoy guilt free "normal" eating tomorrow grin

Peggy69 Fri 08-Feb-13 16:06:26

My TDEE is 1985, and I've stuck to it this week.
I do 4:3 and my fast days are Monday, Wednesday and Friday - like you, so that I don't have to fast on the weekend. I measure and record everything.
It's just worked out on my fast days that I've eaten 530-550....I can keep it strictly to 500 I suppose, but didn't think 30-50 cals over on my fast days would make be put weight on!!

TalkinPeace2 Fri 08-Feb-13 16:15:30

Hmmm. OK, I cannot see the flaw in your plan. And you do exercise.
Cogs whirring round in brain.
Mintyy has had huge problems getting weight shifted even though she's 'doing it right' as well.
Will have a think and see what others come up with.

Welcome, and will keep an eye on you grin

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