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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!

Itsaboatjack Tue 19-Feb-13 15:26:26

I'm fasting again today of sorts. Haven't eaten yet and won't till dinner, but I will only be able to guess at the amount of cals as it will be a home cooked mel by my mum.

Holmes, do you have fat to burn, so to speak, for your fuel when running on fast days? If so then you should be ok. When I started training for my first 1/2 marathon about 8 years ago I was doing lighter life so only having about 500 cals every day, I felt I had plenty of energy though as I was using my fat stores. Also be careful of eating back the cals that mfp tells you you have burned, I used to use a heart monitor (broken now), and it said I used way way less cals than mfp did.

Crystaltips Tue 19-Feb-13 15:51:23

So glad that I found this ...
I started the 5:2 today - so far so good ... but I know that I will be looking for support and inspiration

[waves] ... used to be a very regular Mumsnetter about 10 years ago ... so I guess I am a newbie all over again wink

BetsyVanBell Tue 19-Feb-13 16:03:51

marking place

Daisy1407 Tue 19-Feb-13 16:13:38

BlackMaryJanes - I just drink twinnings tea's mostly and an americano in the morning- Today ive had Lemon & Ginger and a Green tea with apple and pear - they were alright.....Right now im sipping on a white hot chocolate - 44 kcal (IM HOPING ITS GONNA GIVE ME SOME OOMPH) I need to go to gym tonight as didnt go yesterday.

I have tried cutting down on my fizzy drinks and i do feel skinnier because of it (less bloat) i wasnt sure if i was allowed fizzy drinks or not on this diet but i guess you can have anything as long as its in the kcal allowance - i may have a diet pepsi tonight - what a REBEL lol

Notapizzaeater - Im so sorry that you are so upset about not losing any weight, i didnt lost much in my first 2 weeks and i felt upset too as people on here to lose alot of weight - however everyones body is different and you may find next week may be your lucky week ( i hope so) do you feel better in your health for this diet? If so thats a positive....

Hope your not too down in the dumps - Daisy x

holmessweetholmes Tue 19-Feb-13 16:16:58

Itsaboatjack - yes, plenty of fat stored grin! I was 13.5st after dc2 shock and am now 11st at 5ft6 and a size 14/12. I got down to 10.5st at one point but find sticking to my daily calorie allowance on MFP every day a bit of a grind. I'd like to be 10st. Apart from anything else, running feels so much easier when I'm lighter. Also, I like the sound of the other health benefits of fasting, particularly as the main reason I took up running was to combat my post-pregnancy high blood-pressure which never quite went away. Plus it kind of makes logical sense to me to eat loads less on my non-running days and eat more when I do run, so the 5:2 ratio seems ideal.

holmessweetholmes Tue 19-Feb-13 16:19:55

Btw, shock at training for a half on 500 cals every day! That's got to take some serious willpower. I sometimes need all my willpower just to get my trainers on and get out of the door!

BsshBossh Tue 19-Feb-13 16:24:02

spirited what is your TDEE and are you eating this (not more!) on non-fasting days?

notapizzaeater Tue 19-Feb-13 16:26:59

Daisy - tis not me who's not lot weight - lost 5.1/4 lbs in 10 days and this week is historically my eat anything in sight whether I like it or not week !! I'm "well chuffed" as don't feel like I'm dieting at all .....

Daisy1407 Tue 19-Feb-13 16:33:00

Notapizzaeater - sorry i was meant to post that to SpiritedLondon

Notapizzaeater - you are doing amazing then - thats a great loss - eeek! welldone xx

TheCatInTheHairnet Tue 19-Feb-13 16:34:49

Hello! So, I am now 18 lbs lighter than I was on Jan 1st. HURRAH! This week is going to be a challenge though. Today I'm taking the kids to the cinema and it's going to be a battle of my willpower not to steal any of their popcorn!! I may have to sit on my hands throughout!

Holmes, I agree about the running being easier when you're lighter. I'm finding my runs are getting easier and easier. I may have to start adding a few more hills for the challenge!! shock

BlackMaryJanes Tue 19-Feb-13 16:36:40

Daisy1407 Twinnings! Excellent idea! I shall put it on the shopping list smile

Woah you work out on a fast day?! shock

frenchfancy Tue 19-Feb-13 16:40:04

holmes not quite the same level as you but I have been doing couch 2 5k and have run on both fast and non-fast days. On fast days I run so I can eat my evening meal about 30 minutes after I've finished, which is when I find the hunger kicks in.

Spirited others on here have had the same problem at the beginning. Did you measure as well as weigh? Sometimes the inches seem to come off even if the pounds aren't. Often things start to move after about 3 weeks.

I'm on a plateau myself at the moment, but I've still lost an inch from my waist in the last 3 weeks, making 7" lost in total smile

patsfan12 Tue 19-Feb-13 16:46:23

Hello fast'ers. Sorry if this is a repeat question, but does it matter if you change your fast days as long as you maintain 2 a week?

I find that in my 3rd week, things have come up and I had to change from my usual Tues & Thurs to Tues & Sunday. I'm switching back next week & actually thinking of trying Mon & Thurs. I don't want the fluctuation to impact my goal.

Thanks and if anyone is fasting today like me, good luck!

BlackMaryJanes Tue 19-Feb-13 16:55:34

patsfan12 I can't see how changing your fast day would matter? I do it often, according to convenience.

artemis17 Tue 19-Feb-13 17:34:07

On the last thread (round about last thursday)you were very anti the 5-2 WOE, saying you had put on weight and it didnt work, what were the benefits etc, in fact you started a thread about it being "unreasonable".

Just wondering if now you found it is working??.

Sorry to ask if you have had a genuine change of heart, im guess im putting in writing what others are thinking, especially as there are a lot of us who ask advice, it would be good to know what changed your mind... wink

BlackMaryJanes Tue 19-Feb-13 17:36:44

artemis17 After 4 weeks on 5:2 I have lost nothing. Zero. So I'm finding that to have any kind of chance at loosing weight on 5:2 I have to restrict calories on fast and non-fast days, which wasn't what I originally had in mind. I've actually ended up doing my old diet with two added fast days per week. So on my weigh-in on Sat, I'm expecting some pretty amazing results.

Gherkinsmummy Tue 19-Feb-13 17:36:46

ellenbrody, try psyllium husks - that should get things moving smile

artemis17 Tue 19-Feb-13 17:43:36

BMJ well i hope you get the results you are hoping for as to not lose after a month of 5-2 seems bad luck. So basically you are are doing a full time diet rather than 2 days fast and 5 days normal eating?.

BlackMaryJanes Tue 19-Feb-13 17:50:00

Guys, what's with the stinky breath I get on fast-days?! It always starts about 18 hours into the fast.

BlackMaryJanes Tue 19-Feb-13 17:52:18

Yup artemis17 full time diet including 2 fast days. That should shift this stodge!

LackaDAISYcal Tue 19-Feb-13 18:01:51

bookmarking smile

LackaDAISYcal Tue 19-Feb-13 18:13:43

patsfan, you can choose the days youy fast ti suit whatever is going on in your life in any particular week. It's the ultimate in flexibility.

I've ordered the 2 day diet, but from the DM article a couple of weeks ago, it did seem more complicated. But you eat around 800-900 on a fast and a mediteranean diet on other days so I suppose it's horses for courses.

I came on this thread thinking it was the same as the MM diet, but have since been converted to the MM version as it is sooo much more straightforward.

BMJ, iirc you're BMI is in the healthy range already? Makes it harder to shift weight. I'm also curious as to why you are desperate to lose weight anyway if you are already in the healthy range.

countryhousehotel Tue 19-Feb-13 18:22:35

lackaDaisycal I posted on the previous thread about 2 Day Diet. DH got very excited about the idea of totally carb free for 2 days a week and then 5 "normal" days. I can tell you that the 5 day rules are not "normal" by any stretch! Have a look at my previous post at the end of thread 12 so that i don't bore you all with repetition, but it was hideously complicated and certainly not "free" in the sense that 5:2 allows you to be free. All food groups are restricted in some way even on off-days. We read it the day it arrived and ditched the idea straight away. The recipes might be useful though.

countryhousehotel Tue 19-Feb-13 18:31:00

BMJ maybe stinky breath is ketosis meaning your body is using fat for energy (you get it more when you restrict carbs, but it's not just a side effect of low carb / high protein).

LaurieFairyCake Tue 19-Feb-13 18:31:47

thecatintheHairnet - waitrose sell bags of 'Propercorn' popcorn in different flavours - sweet and salty in the same bag, sour cream/cheese, spicy Worcester etc all for between 87 and 127 calories per bag!!!

It's bloody brilliant stuff to take to the cinema or snack in the evening. Dead tasty.

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