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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!

Peggy69 Fri 08-Feb-13 16:23:52

Thanks so much grin

kiwigirl42 Fri 08-Feb-13 16:24:28

hi guys. fasting today. just heating up chicken paprika. I seem to eat a lot of tomatoes and onions gussied up with different herbs/ spices with a bit of protein (chicken, ham or bacon) on fast days.

franny just keep on with the fast day. This is a new way of eating, not a diet so its slow but the results will stay with you for life

swallowedAfly Fri 08-Feb-13 16:27:20

non fast day and so far have only had a pita with edam and turkey ham. i am drinking that beer now though.

trying to think what to have for dinner and weirdly enough i actually feel like eating something quite healthy shock on the other hand i can't be bothered to cook so takeaway might happen.

would be great if there were healthy takeaways where you could order delicious healthy food at reasonable prices.

TalkinPeace2 Fri 08-Feb-13 16:42:09

buffs nails and feels UTTERLY vindicated
Newspaper Article
online reference
Actual source
(translates nicely into English)

no more diet fizzy drinks if you want a healthy insulin system

TalkinPeace2 Fri 08-Feb-13 16:42:59

Chicken shish kebab with extra salad and no mayo sauce ....

Itsaboatjack Fri 08-Feb-13 17:06:06

Firstly well done to Betsy and all other losers; and welcome newcomers smile

Franny I hope you are feeling better now, I've nothing to add really to all the good advice you've been given. I'm with you though on having do all the other diets, I lost 4st 7 yrs ago on lighter life, yet here I am again smile

I am 3 weeks in now though and very confident that I will be able to happily wear a bikini come my summer holiday.

Also wanted to say to those that struggle to find the time (or indeed inclination) to exercise regularly. I was browsing the 'everything must go' stock in hmv yesterday and found a couple of DVDs in a range called 'the 10 minute solution', each one has 5 10 min routines. I did one this morning and it was pretty good, I feel like I have exercised, heart rate up and sweating but don't feel like I have been tortured ala Jillian Michaels. Just thought I'd share.

BsshBossh Fri 08-Feb-13 17:07:41

swallowed I am so f**king happy you're drinking that beer finally grin

ErikNorseman Fri 08-Feb-13 17:08:31

Marking place!

swallowedAfly Fri 08-Feb-13 17:22:10

don't tell anyone but i'm on my second now bssh grin

talkin that would have been a wise order - i've gone for indian though - there's a 30% off offer on tonight and i couldn't resist. sag aloo, prawn rice, a garlic prawn dish and egg naan - i will endeavour to have a small portion and save plenty for tomorrow.

but hey no chocolate or ice cream on the cards so that's something.

have always hated diet drinks - when i try them they make my stomach feel awful - taste like antifreeze to me. if you're going to have a fizzy drink have a full fat one and just make sure it's rare imo.

Dotty342kids Fri 08-Feb-13 17:44:57

so, it's 5.45 now and food is in sight (fast day)! Thank goodness for that! I would happily have chewed off my own arm earlier this afternoon (think early afternoons are the worst time for me) despite a boiled egg and several lovely asparagus spears but now that I know food is imminent (well two hrs away) I'm feeling more sane.

On a slightly different note, I've got my period this week which is normally accompanied by a three day headache. Did first fast on Monday, period arrived Wednesday. Woke up this morning with start of a headache but by lunchtime it had gone of it's own accord which NEVER happens usually. I generally drink quite a lot of water anyway but wonder if the extra I'm drinking on fast days is helping my body to keep more topped up, thereby avoiding the dehydration which often causes headaches...

swallowedAfly Fri 08-Feb-13 17:48:22

could be dotty. i also heard from a lady who does colonic irrigation that your period is a natural time of detox - a good time to have a colonic or an enema or whatever as it is in the mode of releasing stuff already. it's the liver that deals with toxins and the liver that does a lot of the work of dealing with the excessive amounts of food we have to process - so could be a sign of your liver being better able to cope.

sounds random i know and nothing to back it up really but??

Itsaboatjack Fri 08-Feb-13 17:58:28

swallowed it's not your second beer - remember the first one was for me smile and have a little bit extra prawn curry for me too that sounds yum.

swallowedAfly Fri 08-Feb-13 18:02:41

will do itsa smile always happy to help. selfless is my middle name.

Snowkey Fri 08-Feb-13 18:22:34

Just marking my place, and expressing thanks again to Green eggs for starting another thread.
Eating day for me - haven't eaten much today though as I'm out tonight and didn't want to overindulge.

For those concerned with the lack of movement on their scales in the medium term - longer than a week or two, too long to be explained by TOM, ovulation, carb loading or muscle repair, there is another theory for your lack of progress - your fat cells have emptied themselves of fat but have replaced the fat with water.
Interestingly this link goes some way to try and explain why people who have stalled lose weight following a blow out on their diet - this situation has happened to me in the past. Seems a bit rude of the fat cells to fill with water but some of them are just damned determined to hang around as long as they can. I've read that this temporary effect can last up to six months in some people....but they do eventually give up the water, so don't give up folks if you aren't losing, just know that if you are sticking to the rules you will see the benefit but you might just have to wait a little longer for your victory dance.

BetsyVanBell Fri 08-Feb-13 19:01:09

Have successfully managed my post-fast day - was very conscious that I must not stuff my face with carbs as it has previously made me feel dizzy & weird, and indeed I did not. smile A lesson learned and paid attention too, very unusual for me when it comes to food. 5:2 has given me a measure of control, which is very exciting (for me anyway!).

Made a thai-esque prawn & spring greens stir fry for dinner, if I get round to it I'll MFP the ingredients and check the calorie rating - I reckon not more that 250 for a portion. However, this is an eating day for me so when I get hungry in at 8ish I can damn well have a yogurt, maybe even with some granola grin!

BetsyVanBell Fri 08-Feb-13 19:13:20

Thank you Itsa! I'd better make sure not to weigh myself until after my next fast day though... chances of scales going up at the weekend are high!

I'm not a fizzy drink fan, diet or otherwise, unless I'm on holiday and then I'd always choose the sugary option. The only time I ever fancied a diet coke was after a heavy night on the tiles with an early morning start in the office, and frankly if it's a hangover talking it's usually a bad idea wink. Luckily I don't have to do office stuff now and frankly rarely have a night on the tiles. Actually, I don't know if it's a by-product of healthy living/diet, having kids and/or getting older, but I really can't drink much at all anymore without severe consequences.

Scratch the granola, I'm in the mood for cheese now, and it's guilt-free so I will grin.

Happy Friday everyone!

drmummmsy Fri 08-Feb-13 19:39:47

omg, i made it to 10,30 this morning from 10pm on wed night on only 600 calories... and guess what? nothing bad happened! i didn't implode or die from the hunger!

instead at night I read the kindle, listened to book at bedtime and dozed off

i am now relishing a glass of white, packet of ready salted and looking forward to m&s chinese meal deal

i've lost 3lbs since last week, which is due to post-menstruality, a dose of sodium picosulfate a laxative (v. unhealthy attitude, i know!) on a sunday night, and living on 1200 calories, working off 200-500 per day.... sooo we'll see how it goes

BsshBossh Fri 08-Feb-13 19:45:04

I think I'm going to go back to monthly weigh-ins. It's what I did all last year and made me less anxious about weekly losses and gains.

frenchfancy Fri 08-Feb-13 20:07:38

Marking my place and sending a big hug to franny. You obviously have good will.power, but you need to get your self estime up to the same level. Doing any sort of diet on a residential course shows a lot of control-well done you.

Rember 5:2 is different. It is not lighterife. You will not lose a stone in 2 weeks. But as you have found out lighterlife is not sustainable -this is. I have NEVER stuck to a diet for more than a month. But I have been on 5:2 since Sept and it doesn't feel like a trial. I am finally a normal BMI and I know I can stay that way forever.

Take each day at a time, try not to weigh for a couple of weeks, and remember life is for living not crying. We are here if you need to talk.

headintheclouds Fri 08-Feb-13 20:37:01

i think the Daily Fail are trying to get in on the act! ive just seen a cosy ad on TV about a supplement in their toiletnewspaper about the amazing new 2 day diet wink

MWOW1 Fri 08-Feb-13 21:14:40

HI FRANNY read your post and can imagine your frustration. Could it be that you didnt eat enough over the week and your metabolism dropped? Could it be bloating from fluids - happens to us all at certain time of the month? It sounds like you have a busy lifestyle - kids work etc - when I have been on residential courses in the past I have been a lot less active, sitting in lectures etc , maybe another contributing factor?

Dont lose heart, put this week behind you and begin afresh on Monday and keep reading this site for inspiration and, more importantly, a laugh grin

Madeyemoodysmum Fri 08-Feb-13 21:23:41

I just saw the daily failed too! Cheeky wotsits

needtaloseit Fri 08-Feb-13 22:11:32

Hi all been reading about this diet for a while now, and gona start it... It seems to be something that would really help me not only in losing weight but also to stop overeating and emotional eating... Finding it hard to stick to any other weight loss programme so gona start Monday. You have all done so well, hope I find it ok and fight through the first few days fasting as it seems to be the hardest

stickygingerbread Fri 08-Feb-13 22:12:51

64zoolane, long ago on Thread 11 you asked 'Has anyone got a link to what constitutes a healthy, low-risk waist measure, if such a thing exists?'

short article
waist to height ratio better than bmi

a waist to height ratio calculator selected at random


stickygingerbread Fri 08-Feb-13 22:34:23

I'd love to see people weigh less often. It seems to be so stressful. I know when I weigh it becomes obsessive in a very mentally unhelpful way. There's a lot to be said for concentrating on working out the lifestyle and nutrition to work for your best health and support, and only weighing very occasionally.

On another thought, I would like to share a little about my approach. Since getting diagnosed with pcos, a hormonal imbalance that is aggravated (seems to be inherited but some say caused) by high insulin levels (which must be fairly chronic, I suppose, to have an ongoing imbalance) - I stopped into the library and took out a stack of books about pcos, insulin and diet. The subjects covered were eating with awareness of how foods impact your blood sugar, measured either by glycemic index or by glycemic load (which apparently takes into account portion size of the food in a way the index does not?).

Based solely on a bunch of books and web links and no personal professional expertise (disclaimer), my understanding is that when your insulin levels are high your body is much more inclined to store calories as fat. Insulin is great at what it does, but our modern diet throws things akilter by abusing the system. Thus when you are trying to lose weight, but you are simultaneously urging your insulin levels higher - you are setting your body to work against itself.

Some people have very effective processing insulin systems, and others have wonky systems (like those with pcos or metabolic syndrome). If you are gaining around the middle, it is a symptom of some degree of high insulin. But I think our modern diet challenges/abuses everyone's insulin regulatory system to some degree and we would stand a better chance of being kinder and wiser to ourselves and our bodies if we knew what was going on.

Some other items I have recently read and found interesting/ am following:
-grains, potatoes, rice -the refined carbs - spike insulin. they enter into the blood stream quickly and drive it right up.
-cortisol also drives insulin higher. Cortisol is naturally highest in the morning and lowest in the evening. So, I reason, the afternoon to evening is the time to drink a caffeinated beverage or eat some carbs. But the morning is not really a good time.
-eating protein and fat before eating a refined carb can mitigate its impact by slowing entry to the bloodstream. So dessert is the time to enjoy dessert.
- vinegar apparently partially mitigates refined carbs effect so putting it on chips is the right idea.

So my approach to fasting is to try to eat to treat my insulin kindly on fast days and eating days too.

Because I love to bake I can't really imagine going full paleo, but doubtless there is a lot to be said for incorporating paleo ways of eating to some degree into complement with fasting. I can't imagine giving up coffee fully either, but am trying to accommodate it into my life by having it on eating days in the afternoon once or twice a week, becoming a treat. But I am finding you can eat well with a low insulin approach and miss bread much less than I thought I would. Though I did have a wedge of naan at lunch today after the rest of the food. It will have to be occasional though.

The reason I wanted to do adf and 4:3 and/or 5:2 in the future is also for its good effects on insulin regulation.

Have to run but hopefully plan to post some links related to this approach later in the weekend.

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