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5:2 Diet Thread! 14 threads in a stone?

(976 Posts)
GreenEggsAndNichts Thu 28-Feb-13 10:18:18

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!

BlackMaryJanes Tue 05-Mar-13 12:29:56

So I'm full of cold and fasting. It's no biggy. My taste buds are dead at the moment.

Dotty342kids Tue 05-Mar-13 12:32:27

treacleq welcome to the 5:2 gang! I'm so glad you've been inspired by what you've read so far, and so sorry that you had a terrible experience with Diet Chef (whatever that is!).
Anyway, well done on getting through your first fast, sounds like it went well and that you're invigorated for the next one.
Menu planning is the way through this, I sit down on a Sat / Sun morning and plan for Mon-Fri's meals (two fast days included in that) then I let loose and forget about it all over Sat / Sun. I have found however that I eat less without thinking about it at weekends, and am able to feel hunger without automatically eating something. A habit clearly learnt from my fast days.
I tend to do fast days of around 20hrs before having something like a banana / boiled egg which leaves me a good 400 cals before my evening meal
But others here, as you'll have seen, prefer to eat earlier and share the calories slightly more evenly. It's entirely up to you, whatever works best, based around a period of no cals within each fast and no more than 500ish on those fast days!

Dotty342kids Tue 05-Mar-13 12:32:43

BMJ get well soon!

Treacleq Tue 05-Mar-13 12:45:44

Thanks Dotty342kids DC is a bit like LL as in they send you all your meals and they are all calorie counted at about 200/300 cals - so this has made meal planning for fasting easy as I just restrict to two of those - one for lunch and one for dinner - yesterday went so well - I was amazed how well!

Going to try and weigh in every Thursday morning - fingers crossed!

swallowedAfly Tue 05-Mar-13 12:53:27

welcome treacle - hope this works better for you - will certainly be a hell of a lot cheaper.

are there any enema doers on the thread? have a q if anyone is into them.

Breadandwine Tue 05-Mar-13 13:25:48

I have given up Bread and Wine [Eeeek!]

And why the worship of mosley for creating the diet. he didn't create IF! People had been doing it for ages before mosley did horizon.

BlackMaryJanes Hope you've had a chance to listen to the interview with Dr Mosley - twice he says he didn't create the 5:2 diet - he's merely drawn together all the research and published it. And we're the beneficiaries! smile

Here's the link again:

Daisy1407 Tue 05-Mar-13 13:32:32

Im on an eating day and something bizzare just happened - I went and bought the chicken chorizo soup from Waitrose ready for my fasting day tomorrow (thanks for that - i cant wait to try it) and whilst browsing for something for lunch i picked up Carrots with houmous and i bought some pineapple - This is very very very unlike me but for some reason i want healthy ish stuff today - This may be so i know i can have a nice meal tongight but usually i would never go for healthy options - IM A CHANGED WOMAN LOL for now anyway - till the weekend and then the DEVIL comes back x

BlackMaryJanes Tue 05-Mar-13 13:38:35

Thanks Dotty.

And thank you Breadandwine (for the info and moreso, for the opportunity to perv). He really is a sexy specimen.

BsshBossh Tue 05-Mar-13 13:49:04

Daisy1407 it's the same for me. My taste buds are slowly shifting for the better. Also, I'm finding my body naturally craving nutrient-dense foods and I feel fuller on them than the processed stuff.

swallowedAfly Tue 05-Mar-13 13:58:58

is anyone else viewing this, 'the family that eats together, stays together' hyping of the evening meal as dubious and marketing orientated as 'breakfast is the most important meal of the day'?

my quality time with my son is spent sitting at the table playing cards and chatting, or lying on his bed at the end of the day cuddled up talking before the bedtime story or walking through the fields with the dogs.

why is quality time and 'food' linked? i don't buy it.

politico Tue 05-Mar-13 14:06:13

Hi all, I'm fasting today - I normally do Mondays and Thursdays but was meeting a friend yesterday and didn't want to be restricted. I feel a bit thrown by doing it on a different day, to be honest. Plus I had quite a lot of food all weekend, so the fast was overdue!!

Feeling pretty hungry already, I've had a cup of soup and having a veggie chilli for dinner. Need a distraction....

Hope you're all having a good day today and seeing the benefits. I think this is my fifth fast and I'm 4lb down.

Daisy1407 Tue 05-Mar-13 14:14:47

BsshBossh - i cant believe it i was craving fruit Wow!!!!!

Politico - I was thrown last week when i fasted on a different day just try and keep busy - if your at work go and have a wander and a chat with someone, if your home sort your cupboards out LOL or under your stairs!

i need to do mine actually....maybe a job for 2mo night when on a fast day

surfbrickie2 Tue 05-Mar-13 14:47:50

Has anyone ever tried a fast the day after drinking a just wee bit too much? I just wondered if it's a good idea to avoid fasting the day after a night of a few glasses of wine? (Or half a bottle!!).


Betterlatethan Tue 05-Mar-13 14:56:24

Wow...I just came to say thanks for the cauliflower rice recipe and there has been so many more posts that I've read, I can't remember who sent it! Sorry, but thanks!
Hope everyone is okay on this lovely spring day....I've already walked 4 miles and may get out again later!

Aftereightsarenolongermine Tue 05-Mar-13 15:14:39

b&w thanks for link will try & persuade one of dds to let me 'borrow' their laptop so I can listen to it as link not working on my phone.

bvb grin

bmj hope you feel better soon.

NurseEzzzaChapel Tue 05-Mar-13 15:14:40

I’m back! Well actually my plane landed on Friday, but as I was packing Tuesday and Wednesday of last week so couldn’t huddle in the dusty dry patch outside the campus building with unsecured Wi-Fi to go on Mumsnet, and as I’ve had a bit of a busy weekend, I’ve only just caught up with the threads now! I got on the plane on Thursday, which was a scheduled fast day. I decided to give the fast a go but was prepared to flexible about it, so I packed myself a lunch to eat if I needed it at the airport then lugged all my bags on to two buses to the airport. When I got on the plane at 6pm though I was still going strong and hadn’t eaten anything. When the snack on the first flight came it turned out to just be a teeny tiny bread roll with a single slice of tomato, a single slice of cucumber and a thin slice of ham (so small it didn’t even cover half of the bread roll) and a squirt of what I’m assuming was mayo (you’d’ve thought that’d be a cold snack wouldn’t you? But no, it was served hot in tin foil hmm). I’m pretty sure that even if the mayo was real the calorie count was way under 500. So I felt really pleased with myself for sticking to my fast when travelling. My connection (the international flight) took off just after midnight, which I had decided was therefore not part of my fast day so I could eat anything I wanted to, but when it came to it I didn’t fancy a big dinner so just went for the side salad and fruit they put on the tray. I ended up doing pretty much the same thing when breakfast came around before the plane landed: I didn’t bother with the main and just had a few of the things that they put on the tray. That would never have happened before I started this WoE. I was always so afraid of feeling hungry and not being able to get food on the plane outside of meal times that I always ate everything up even if I wasn’t hungry.

I’ve noticed that a lot lately. I went for a mammoth shopping trip the week before flying home to get presents and other knickknacks I wanted to bring home with me. Previously, that sort of trip would have to have been planned around making sure I was near food at 1pm, but this time I was just able to get on with enjoying my day and grabbed some food when I was hungry, which was closer to 4pm in the end, even though it was a non-fast day. Another example was the Sunday before I came home: friends kinda sprung a goodbye lunch on me (I hate that, people who know me well make sure they get that kind of thing in my diary a few days in advance) which meant we only had 2 hours between meeting up with them and an afternoon appointment to find somewhere and eat. That would have been plenty of time for me to fend for myself lunch wise, but with the number of people, them not having booked a table in advance and all the other faffing and flapping that seemed to be involved there was a point at which I really thought I was going to run out of time and would end up not getting any lunch at all. Before starting this WoE, the thought of having to go without lunch when I actually was hungry for it would have been horrendous, I’d’ve been doing my nut at them all, but now I don’t see hunger as so much of a big deal, so I was free to just go with the flow. We did end up getting some nice lunch in time and I was able to enjoy it and not be all stressed out and cross about it too. grin That’s such a lovely freedom to be given by something as simple as this WoE!

Well I’m now 6 months in to this WoE, having started on 4 September, and today was my 26 week weigh in. It turns out I haven’t lost quite as much weight as I thought I had as my scales at home, which are the ones I used for my starting weight, weigh me at somewhere around 5-7lbs heavier than the ones I was using in China. Sigh. Never mind. So I don’t know quite how much I’ve lost since my last weigh in two weeks ago, but since starting 26 weeks ago I have lost 22.8lbs, which is just under a pound a week average, so if there’s anyone out there reading these threads who isn’t having the fast weight loss that some people are having you’re not alone! I’m still really happy with that though, because I only started this WoE as a way to maintain my weight while I was abroad (lots of yummy food so was scared of piling on even more weight while I was away), intending to go on a daily calorie restriction diet when I got home, so I have the double bonus of being a stone and a half lighter than I expected to be and not needing to muster the mental energy to ‘go on a diet’ because this WoE is working for me in so many ways.

I posted on the maintainer’s thread that I had a great experience when at the weekend I met up with most of my friends for the first time since being back. Lots of them noticed that I’d lost weight, even though I was wearing a big wool coat when they saw me. Not only that but lots of them commented on how well I was looking: things like my skin being clearer, my eyes being brighter and looking generally healthier. I put it all down to this WoE and my choice to eat fresh cooked local cuisine from the family run restaurants and café’s on normal eating days whenever possible.

All this has given me a boost to help me carry on with this WoE now that I’m back, and now that I have access to a decent kitchen again I’m looking forward to trying out some of the ideas on the recipe thread. But first I’m experimenting to try and make a stir fry that tastes like the food I got to eat in China. After 6 months of it I’m still not fed up of it!

Daisy1407 Tue 05-Mar-13 15:14:49

Surfbrickie - i had a few drinks Sunday night and fasted Monday - i found it quite hard but usually after drinking the next day i want to eat everything in sight!

Mind over matter (thats what i say lol)

If you drunk loads and loads i wouldnt do it - i think it could be more difficult xx Good luck

NurseEzzzaChapel Tue 05-Mar-13 15:23:43

sunnymum44, you're not alone in being a bit confused by the fasting window that we discuss on here. You're right that it is possible to eat the 500 kcal any time on your fast day. I posted a summary of this WoE on the last thread which some found helpful. I had internet connection problems so laska kindly reposted it for everyone on the tips and links thread. If you go over there and look for laska's post on Monday 25 Feb you can have a read.

ThinkICan Tue 05-Mar-13 15:39:56

Thank you B&W - I do know I can get back on and have managed a fast today. Also, I peeked at my weight and found it's within a kilo of where I was before I went off the WOL. It's true probably that the set point lets you eat more and stay on the same weight as well - when you are on a plateau. Just listened to the MM interview and it does help motivate me to continue losing fat! Thank you Bssh for the link - will be reading it next.

swallowedAfly Tue 05-Mar-13 15:45:14

welcome home ezzza and well done smile

having some cravings but going to distract myself by taking ds to the park and reading or hopefully chatting to other mums if i'm not the only person braving it today.

but we have to walk past the fish and chip van that sits there on a tuesday. going to take the opportunity to inhale deeply and crave and then not reward it with actually eating. bit of reprogramming.

FastFeeder Tue 05-Mar-13 15:53:50

Another one of those ill-informed-stories-to-read-if-you-want-to-feel-indignant: The Fast Diet: Yet More Proof the British Know Nothing About Food.

frenchfancy Tue 05-Mar-13 16:15:09

Welcome home Ezzza. Your weight loss of 22lbs in 6 months pretty much mirrors mine, though I did put on 6 at christmas and lose it again so I guess that makes it 28lbs lost.

I've been away for 10 days, I've tried hard to keep it under control but the last 3 days were pretty much wall to wall eating and drinking. I'm fasting today (easy as the ferry food is pretty inedible) and am going to prepare diner now. I've decided to wait until Friday to WI so I can get a couple of fasts under my belt to undo the worst of the damage.

I had a great time though, and definitely ate less than I would have done before this WOE. Now I just have to work out how to stop myself drinking too much.

Aftereightsarenolongermine Tue 05-Mar-13 16:50:20

ezzza & ff I think that's the beauty of this you can have a holiday or a few days off & not think I've blown the diet so I may as well give up. & before you know it all the weight has piled back on with probably more besides. BUT not on this which is great.

I read that pathetic article fast & just thought more fool them. The weight loss is just one of this WOE benefits.

swallowedAfly Tue 05-Mar-13 16:55:34

omg that article!

what a twat.

i do a job, exercise, look after a small child and allsorts whilst fasting and no i'm not dizzy, dangerous and passing out thanks.

and i've never eaten before lunchtime except on christmas day and the like and have managed to function all the way to 37 years of age - shocking eh?


swallowedAfly Tue 05-Mar-13 16:59:42

does she think the whole of the muslim world grinds to a halt in ramadan? that heart surgeons stop work and no one drives or looks after small children?

or that catholics drop down dead on fast days?


anyway i'm now 20.5 hrs into water and black coffee only fast. i am finding it a little tough mentally today because i'm pre-menstrual but reminding myself eating wouldn't cure that as it never has done before.

i've just wandered around the coop looking at food after walking past the fish and chip van and nothing appealed really. have bought a pack of fresh king prawns for later if i want them. i'd like to make it to 24hrs for the first time, will see if it feels doable or not.

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