Advanced search

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!

NurseEzzzaChapel Tue 09-Apr-13 13:36:40


Mumsnet threads have a maximum number of posts which is 1000. As 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 14.

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. As I'm posting this, the latest thread is number 17 which you can find here.

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!


janetxb Fri 29-Mar-13 15:46:42

I'm fairly new at this, having done 6 fast days in 3 weeks. I'm finding it pretty difficult to get through the day, and I even go over the recommended calories because my TDEE is high and I'm active. Here is my question: Yesterday was a fast day. I ate 732 calories, but burned 630 calories doing my normal daily exercising. Net calories taken in: 102. I have Mosley's book, but haven't read all of it, so I don't know if he addresses this or not. Obviously I'm going to feel quite a lot different at the end of the day than someone who's not exercising. I'd be quite interested in any thoughts any of you have about this.

That said, my scale is down a fourth pound this morning, and I am happy to be doing this. smile

I have found these mumsnet threads to be so helpful and encouraging... even though as an American I don't know what you're talking about often when you refer to various foods! Thank you to all of you who have shared your experiences. You're the wind underneath my wings!

NurseEzzzaChapel Sat 23-Mar-13 16:58:29


A new thread has been opened since my above posts, so if you'd like to post something, please join us on thread number 16

We soon outgrow the threads, but there's always a link to the next thread in the previous one so come and join us!


NurseEzzzaChapel Mon 11-Mar-13 16:07:36


Mumsnet threads have a maximum number of posts which is 1000. As 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 14.

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. As I'm posting this, the latest thread is number 15 which you can find here.

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!


NurseEzzzaChapel Thu 07-Mar-13 12:37:01


A new thread has been opened so if you'd like to post something, please join us on thread number 14

We soon outgrow the threads, but there's always a link to the next thread in the previous one so come and join us!


BsshBossh Wed 06-Mar-13 22:16:59

Everyone, this thread is closed. You need to post in thread 14 smile

daisyji Wed 06-Mar-13 22:13:34

Help, please...

I looked to start this back in the summer, bought the books, but then decided I couldn't do it in case it made me feel deprived, binge etc. I like so many others have tried every diet under the sun, from ww. to atkins, sureslim etc, .

I in a desperate attempt have been following a low carb plan called natural ketosis, cost me a lot of money I didn't have, and I really didn't like the prepackaged food. I've manage to lose over a stone, need to lose at least 3 to get back to 12 stone, but as always happens, time of stress + ill health and I crave all the carbs/choc etc I haven't been having and have put on over 5 lbs in two weeks.

After much sobbing and despair, I am again looking at this woe, as I soooo want to find a way of lifethat enables me to lose weight and feel normal. I would very much love anybody's opinion as to how this diet has affected their cravings, denials etc, and whether anybody who is an emotional eater or who binges now and again has managed on this diet?

I need some hope!

thanks v much x

surfbrickie2 Tue 05-Mar-13 14:07:06

Hi everyone

First day fasting today! Struggling quite a bit as I am such a big grazer so the hunger seems to come regularly. Also I am very active and do a lot of sport.

I really hope this gets easier!!

I had a Bovril to try and trick myself into "lunch" without eating...

I'm 47 and would like to lose about 10 pounds - has anyone else about my age noticed they looked OLDER when they lost the weight? Bit worried about looking gaunt!

Wish me luck!

Treacleq Tue 05-Mar-13 12:14:51

Wow! I have spent the last three days reading through this amazing thread and couldn't help but want to join in!

I'm very new to dieting, and have become rather depressed since attempting Diet Chef from the New Year.

I weighed myself just before Xmas and realised I had put on a stone since I last weighed myself about three months before! I thought 'Now is the time and I really must do something about this!'. I'm 30 now and have been 14 stone and a size 18 for about the last 10 years, I'm 5'10 so just about got away with it but have always been overweight and unhappy with my extreme apple shape - but never so bothered as to actually do something about it... Then I got sucked in by the ads and thought I would try DC as I want to get to a healthier weight.

Well that backfired big time - I'm now 15 st 8! Horrendous! Its left me feeling worse than when I started sad (and considerably lighter in pocket) I did cheat at weekends because I felt so restricted but hoped to loose at least a pound or two!

So here I am - your posts have been so inspirational, and along with a male colleague at work loosing a lot of weight on 5:2 I'm giving it a go! First fast done yesterday ( the DC meals are handy for out and about calorie counting on these days - one use for all the left overs anyway!) and just over at 540 cals - felt elated and 'lighter', didn't sleep wonderfully but woke feeling lively and happy this morning!

So fingers crossed for another fast on Wednesday... and then another, and another smile

Apols for the lengthy post but this thread has been wonderful and inspiring and I so hope I can succeed just as most of you have done! Thank you!!

Dotty342kids Mon 04-Mar-13 17:16:08

new thread here folks, come on over and join us

Outnoobered Mon 04-Mar-13 17:09:30

Hi everyone, first post!

Male, 46. Been doing mostly 5:2 (occasionally 4:3) since the beginning of September and I've lost around 2 stone in that 6 months. BMI is now around 23.

Anyway, I have a question I never thought I'd need to ask: when do I stop trying to lose weight? what is the ideal BMI? Obviously the advice is 18.5 to 25 but within that range, is it best to be at the mid point or the lower end? I did read some stuff that said around 19.5 is ideal but other stuff said over 22.5 was better = confused!

I'm thinking of the best weight for health and I'm aware of the shortcomings of the BMI scale.

Apologies if this has been asked before and thanks in advance,

wildwater Sun 03-Mar-13 17:57:57

Can somebody please point me to the new thread?

wildwater Sat 02-Mar-13 19:58:59

Fast days are being shifted around every week - always a reason - and seems to be OK.

Onto my third month of this WOE/WOL. I feel so much better in every way: much more energy, happier, and my clothes fit me again (if not falling off!).

Have adopted (mostly) not eating carbs after around 4pm. Not set in concrete, but easy to do: eat your rice/pasta/potatoes at 'lunch' and then veges with protein for dinner.

Also getting out there and moving more...a brisk 20 minute walk most days. And my wonderful set of 'wall exercises'...starting to get a toned midriff! (And I am 62...)

My partner is doing 5:2 as well - looking much younger and loving it!

Cheers to all, and good luck.

charliegreentea Fri 01-Mar-13 02:44:11

Hi bmj, two things I find really good if I feel like snacking are raw, sliced cabbage (nice and crunchy) or if you're wanting a sweet treat, frozen blueberries and natural yoghurt. Or how about some plain popcorn? Good luck!

BlackMaryJanes Thu 28-Feb-13 21:22:46

Someone talk me out of over-eating. My mind is playing tricks on me, urging me to binge on snack a jacks.

PassTheSherry Thu 28-Feb-13 14:16:53

Argh just seen new thread - see you over there!

PassTheSherry Thu 28-Feb-13 13:07:26

Hi everyone! Gosh this thread moves fast - I posted a little 'hello' less than a week ago and meant to say thanks for the welcome, been busy a couple of days and now I've lost track from when I last posted as it's moved on so much! Anyway - thank you for the welcome, and the helpful posts for newcomers.

Quick update - had first ever fast day last Saturday and it went OK - the fasting was hard, but doable - however, I had the worst night's sleep in quite a long time that night, couldn't drop off until well after 4am, and tired all next day. Second day of fasting went a lot better, as I deliberately chose a busy day, with lots to do to keep my mind off food. I also bought in two ready meals and saved myself the hassle of cooking and totting up calories of every ingredient etc. Lots of water and vegetable bouillon. The total calories came to more than 500 - but as I was out and about, on my feet for a lot - and walking around I took that into account. MyFitnessPal app is my new best friend.

Heh talking of which - today is a non-fast day, and I went for a full english breakfast, coffee - used the app to see how much of my daily calories I've eaten, and to my horror it's already up to 1800!!! I had no idea it would be that much. shock

So, now I'm thinking - shall I just count today as a blip and eat more sensibly for the rest of the day, and spend tomorrow on 430-500cals fasting - or shall I start fasting now, stick to <500 cals between now and tomorrow, and eat normally again from tomorrow lunchtime??

I'm a little unclear about the 24hr 'fasting periods' - is it 24hrs between meals? Because that is a lot easier than a day of fasting with a night's sleep on either end iyswim.

swallowedAfly Thu 28-Feb-13 12:29:32

yay bvb ! i'm doing something right grin

i don't do formal exercise for weight loss because i know that for me personally it's not sustainable. i'm a single mum with very little time to myself and i work. there is no time slot where i could go running, go to the gym or go to classes. there's not really even a time slot where i could do an exercise dvd. if i artifically juggled my whole life to breaking point to fit these things in a) it would be breaking point (only 24hrs in a day) and b) i'd end up quitting.

anything i do needs to fit in my life and be sustainable. so the one thing i've done is never own a car and though the idea of a little moped keeps appealing in order to save a bit of time i stop myself because walking everywhere and doing that all of your life is actually hugely healthy and immensely good for your mental health imo.

haven't eaten yet and have been hulking furniture around and attacking the uncovered 'bleurgh' with the hoover. need to walk to the post office in a bit then home and more housework before school run.

stick with it everyone

GreenEggsAndNichts Thu 28-Feb-13 10:20:43

Okay everyone I'm away until later in the afternoon, so I've gone ahead and started a new thread here.

This thread currently has about 25 posts left before it ends, hence my starting the new one now so we have all our links in one spot. So, keep talking here if you wish, but keep in mind that the thread maxes out at 1000 posts.

New thread here!

Dotty342kids Thu 28-Feb-13 10:07:48

headintheclouds great to hear back from you! YOur weight loss is pretty much identical to mine, and from what I remember we were similar starting weights too so it's good to check in and see what each other's up to!
4-5weeks in (can't quite remember!) and I'm 4-5lbs down so am pleased with that. Also put some trousers on today that were def a bit too tight before and they feel comfortable now so that's a great incentive too. I'd like all my "bottoms" to get to on the slightly loose side!
Fasting today too, planning a banana at about 2.30 and then a dinner of Moroccan fish and brown rice. Yum!

BetsyVanBell Thu 28-Feb-13 09:43:54

Saf That's really brilliant info - I love that just adding some additional walking around work has added 3k to your day. I walk or cycle everywhere and actively create errands for myself to get myself out on my bike. I think it's made a difference to my weightloss and overall fitness & sense of wellbeing. Just being active on a daily basis (and getting out in the fresh air, even if it's freezing) is far better than driving to the gym 3 times a week. I do chuck in some more organised types of fitness too but these tend to be dropped easily if life gets in the way, whereas I have to do the other stuff as it's part of my daily routine.

Did you see the other Michael Mosely Horizon special on fitness a few months ago? One of the experts on there advocated exactly what you're doing smile

ErikNorseman Glad it's not getting you down - it sounds like you've got plans to make some positive changes. Something that helped me was that initially I found it really hard to eat much the day after fasting - I think I've got over this now but I've managed to keep that day a lower carb day. I love that I eat really healthily on fast days so try and make that next day equally healthy but more of it! Making sure that when I nibble it's nuts and dried fruit rather than crumpets and cheese. This seems to have saved me from weight gain as on the 2nd day after a fast I want to eat all the carbs! (Which is what happened yesterday...). Scales are good this morning (possibly aided by the hour or so cycling I did too), surprisingly so.

I would love to be like TiP and avoid snacking, but I'm not there yet. It is now limited to one particular time of day - when I'm in the kitchen cleaning lunch boxes and prepping the evening meal. I'm working on it though...

Oops, apologies, this turned into a much longer post than I was expecting! Good luck today fasters, I'm one of them and battling a seriously awful night's sleep - if I wasn't fasting I'd be wanting to eat everything today to try and make up for it. I have bumped off my planned exercise though sad.

ErikNorseman Thu 28-Feb-13 09:35:29

Thanks everyone. I won't let it derail me, in determined to lose this weight. I realised that since DS was born I have reached 12st 3 times then put almost a stone back on. I am sick of being this size so I'm determined. I usually lose interest in diets after 3 months, just enough time to see a loss and get complacent. That won't happen now because I don't feel like I've been dieting. I just need to tweak things a bit!

swallowedAfly Thu 28-Feb-13 09:26:08

seriously though erik you are describing where i was at until it magically just shifted again - and the exact timing too of doing 3 fasts rather than 2. the next week it is shifting again. don't panic yet. see how it goes over the next couple of fasts.

Minimammoth Thu 28-Feb-13 09:22:24

I am away from home this week and am finding it hard to stick to calories and food type. Not been able to log anything, so it will be a surprise when I get on the scales at home.

greenfig Thu 28-Feb-13 09:19:52

x post Erik sounds like a good plansmile

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: