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5:2 Diet Thread! 13! Now, the baker's dozen!

(992 Posts)
GreenEggsAndNichts Tue 19-Feb-13 10:09:14

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!

If you've been at this a while and are moving on to maintaining your goal weight, there is a thread here to discuss that.

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.

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!

frenchfancy Tue 19-Feb-13 12:30:36

Yes countryhouse that is right. Stick to your 2500 for 5 days and have 2 days of 500.

I used MFP at the beginning to make sure I knew what I was eating. And don't forget to weight things, I was going to log a jacket potato today, but the first result on MFP was for 100g, so I weighed a similar sized potato and it was over 300g (only a medium sized potato). Obviously portion size makes a lot of difference to calories.

BsshBossh Tue 19-Feb-13 12:31:00

countryhouse yes aim for your TDEE on non-fast days and don't exceed. I tend to eat less TDEE on weekdays and (sometimes well) over TDEE on weekends.

BsshBossh Tue 19-Feb-13 12:40:31

kirsty for weightloss 500 cals spread throughout the day is fine but my understanding is that the health benefits accrue the longer you leave your stomach in a fasted state ie no food for eg 16hrs, 24hrs..,

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Tue 19-Feb-13 12:41:41

Holmes I seem to remember it's not a great idea to do heavy exercise on your fast days. As to calorie count, if you look at the OP you'll see a TDEE calculator. Find out your TDEE with the amount of exercise you'll be doing to train and go for that I guess.

I would really keep an eye on yourself though - if you are training for a marathon AND fasting, that's a lot of stress on a body. I'd stop fasting if you start to feel at all out of sorts.

And up your iron content.

My DH is not doing it and I find it hard cooking for him and not eating. He is having a lot of pizzas on the days I can't face it! Otherwise it's cool. He loves the fact I'm coming 'back to myself' so he's very encouraging.

BsshBossh Tue 19-Feb-13 12:47:49

Yes agree, ensure your TDEE calculation includes your regular 90 min training sessions and eat to that amount holmes.

kiwigirl42 Tue 19-Feb-13 12:51:58

morning everyone! fasting today - usually do Mon, Wed and Fri but woke up yesterday morning and really wanted a peice of chocolate cake for breakfast ;0) So hence fasting today instead. Barely hungry at all. My hysterectomy op date is 12 Mar 13 (eeeeekkkk!) so 3 more weeks to drop a few more pounds.
My fab MIL dropped a spare cauliflower round this morning so sounds like we are all eating cauli today! My teenage son LOVES cauliflower cheese which I have always thought a bit strange for a child. I remembered hating it as a kid but then again my Mother was an atrocious cook. Which has in turn made me a very good cook!
DS started his own sourdough starter this morning. He is semi- home schooled and this project covers science, home ec, geography and French (will do by the time we're making Batards!)

ubik Tue 19-Feb-13 12:54:12

I've found yoga to be really beneficial on fast days. I do the 'hot' Bikram yoga and reckon it only burns about 2/300 calories a session but i feel really relaxed and calm afterwards, and it's pulling me in, in all the right places.

Am on nightshift tonight and tomorrow night so am going to try a fast on Thursday, although it won't be perfect - i think i'll have 2/300 cals at 4am, got to bed at 9am and then have another meal 3/400 cal meal at around 7pm.

holmessweetholmes Tue 19-Feb-13 12:56:20

Thanks all! According to MFP my run this morning used up 958 calories shock! So by the time I'd had lunch I had still consumed a minus amount of calories - big dinner for me tonight eh?grin First fast day tomorrow - am going to hop over to the 5:2 recipes thread for some ideas.

BlackMaryJanes Tue 19-Feb-13 13:12:03

Hi guys. I'm finding my fast today rather challenging. I feel hungrier than normal. I'm on my period - could that be why?

Aftereightsarenolongermine Tue 19-Feb-13 13:31:22

greeneggs thanks for the new thread

bmj some fast days I'm hungrier & find them tougher than others.

Someone on the previous thread was talking about 5:2 book that's very restrictive this is the book that Dr MM wrote

BlackMaryJanes Tue 19-Feb-13 13:33:22

I certainly wouldn't kick MM out of bed. There. I said it. He's gorgeous.

[/random crush confession]

Aftereightsarenolongermine Tue 19-Feb-13 13:36:53

& thread of his live web chat

politico Tue 19-Feb-13 13:57:23

Thanks for the new thread greeneggs. I had my third fast yesterday - it was fine, I even baked a cake last night and held off eating a slice of it until today!shock

I am getting sick of eggs though. And I need to get more organised, as I'm eating a poached egg / plain omelette with toast for lunch, then either a veggie meal or a tiny portion of what I make for DP and DS. On fast days my mind just goes blank.

I have been weighing myself every day, and have lost 3lb since last Monday - I've not been calorie counting the other days and I've had a few beers and the odd biscuit. So I'm pretty pleased with this new WOE! A stone or so to go...

ConsiderablyBiggerBuns Tue 19-Feb-13 13:58:10

BB to answer your query around which days I choose to fast, the criteria in the week for me are 1)non-consequetive 2)not a day when I have any plans that involve eating i.e. socialising, working lunches(I'm a bugger at refusing free food) 3)Days when I am as busy as possible - particularly in the evenings when the fridge does tend to call 4)try to avoid weekends (wine and family meals not conducive to few calories) So nothing scientific.
Non fast day for me today but verty much MFPing while I learn what are 'normal' sized portions and where I have been wasting calories. I actually measured the amount of milk I have in a drink of tea, I use only skimmed but I do have a very large mug and like my tea milky and so was shocked to find that i have 45 calories of milk in every drink - I had ben estimating 20cals. A few of those a day can throw the TDEE right out the window.

GreenEggsAndNichts Tue 19-Feb-13 14:02:07

envy at panpiper's 6'5" washboard stomachey DH. grin But yes, they do just seem to drop weight by thinking about it, don't they!

BMJ I do struggle through a fast when TOTM is approaching. I can always tell, because it's the only time I really want chocolate.

Well done holmes! I have been pondering C25K. I've always enjoyed exercise and getting out, but am not sure how good of a runner I will be...

eek indeed, kiwi, I hope the operation goes smoothly. Good luck on getting a few more pounds off in the meantime. smile

TacticalWheelbarrow Tue 19-Feb-13 14:32:34

Hey guys, I was looking for some advice as I would love to try this diet. My weight has crept up since being on anti depressants sad. However, I am currently waiting for an operation for suspected endometriosis that is leaving me bed ridden for 2 weeks out of a month.
I wanted to know how much exercise everyone does whilst following the diet?
I think I will only be able to manage light exercise until my operation.

BlackMaryJanes Tue 19-Feb-13 14:33:11

GreenEggsAndNichts don't mention the c word!!!! I've had to wean myself off chocolate because I've found myself binging on it during non-fast days blush

Daisy1407 Tue 19-Feb-13 14:36:19

come on 6pm! im struggling today!
Time for yea another hot drink!

notapizzaeater Tue 19-Feb-13 14:47:48

Gosh I could have been famous ! Well its a normal day for me today and I've had multigrain ryvita with tuna for dinner, DS has requested chicken salad for tea (very strange eating habits for a 10 yr old ! Adores all salad and veg!! - just need to train DH !!) just not hungry but know I need to eat some calories today.

SpiritedLondon Tue 19-Feb-13 14:54:29

I can't keep track of these is a plea for help I posted on the last thread.

Not losing weight. Help!

This is my first time posting but I really need some inspiration to carry on with my 5:2. Initially I started a WW diet in the middle of Jan and quickly lost 5llbs or so in the first 2 weeks. I then switched to 5:2 ( v bored of counting points) and have completed 3 weeks. Yesterday was my 7th fast day. Over that time I have not lost any weight...I promise you not a pound. I started at 13stone 10 pounds four ounces and I have remained that throughout ( even down to the ounces) Today I weight 13stone 9 lbs but I know that in the morning it will be back up. I believe I'm following all the appropriate advice and am not going over my calories ( I log them all online). I've been reading through the thread trying to find some suggestions and have become so tearful at reading all the weightloss that everyone else seems to be enjoying over the same period of time. Any ideas anyone? I have not been particularly careful on my "feast" days and have enjoyed a moderate amount of treats chocolate, cake and takeaways etc but I have by no means gone mad and gorged. I guess I could cut down my calories on those days but then that seems to be just "dieting" which is what I was trying to avoid.

BlackMaryJanes Tue 19-Feb-13 14:56:06

Daisy1407 I'm struggling too. What things do you drink? I survive off diet pepsi alone, which means that I'm buzzing by bedtime. Darn.

BlackMaryJanes Tue 19-Feb-13 14:58:04

SpiritedLondon Sorry to hear of your troubles. Do you count cals on non-fast days? All I can think of is that you may be consuming 'hidden' cals in drinks, etc.

BsshBossh Tue 19-Feb-13 14:59:00

Tactical I do 45 mins Couch to 5k and stepper machine at the gym 4-5 days a week including fast days.

notapizzaeater Tue 19-Feb-13 15:10:14

I'm trying to avoid the caffeine rush so I glug about a litre of Black coffee before 12 ish then switch to peppermint tea. My china mugs (just hate thick mugs !) hold 1/2 litre each and I am having 6 at least of peppermint tea from 12 onwards. I can't drink it unless I put a sweetener in it though hmm this helps ward off the hunger !

Today it a normal day and as yet I haven't had a real tea - seem to prefer peppermint now - as a Yorkshire girl never thought that wold happen ....

ErikNorseman Tue 19-Feb-13 15:18:51

Marking place!

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