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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!

cardiffmummy Fri 08-Mar-13 20:40:36

Uh oh!! Have completely lost control and had a carb fest today. It is a normal day but I got a little carried away and have eaten a load of bread and cake. Dread to think how many calories have been consumed. And was completely pointless as now just feeling guilty and bloated! Hoping can behave myself over the weekend to balance things out!

Dotty342kids Fri 08-Mar-13 20:41:23

laurie sounds like some distraction techniques are needed! Go have a bubble bath, paint your nails, menu plan for next week........... anything! Just keep busy for the next hour or two, then go to bed early and before you know it, it'll be morning and you can eat!!!
I've just had a really yummy fast day dinner, of ratatouille topped with basil and goats cheese, with a small amount of wholewheat pasta and it was under 350 cals! Result!

Talkinpeace Fri 08-Mar-13 20:55:45

I would normally not advocate low carbing (bearing in mind that carbs include all sugars) but in in your case - assuming others are correct about your past history posting on eating disorders - it may well be useful to swich to a high protein, low carb, low fat diet.
- go for eggs : scrambled, poached, boiled, hard boiled
- fish : lots of white fish, tuna and salmon
- veg : start easy - carrots, peas, french beans, broccolli
- pulses : start with pulses and beans in soup or kidney beans in a chilli
- hot salads .....

LaurieFairyCake Fri 08-Mar-13 21:10:07

Thank you for the donkey penis grin and distraction suggestions. I'm going to go to bed in about 15 minutes with a cup of sleepy time clipper tea and read a book - once I go to bed I won't be tempted to go back downstairs (too lazy)

LaurieFairyCake Fri 08-Mar-13 21:11:25

I have 2 almond croissants for breakfast which dh bought me on the way home from M and S and I'm really looking forward to them for brunch - never eat before 11 am.

Sutinder Fri 08-Mar-13 21:16:34

Help my fellow losers.... I've lost the plot. Can't stop eating...was meant to fast today but its been the complete opposite... I need to be admitted somewhere...

Sutinder Fri 08-Mar-13 21:19:59

I'm peri menopausal... Anyone having any symptons

Talkinpeace Fri 08-Mar-13 21:22:34

Slaps Sutinder round the back of the head
go high protein - chicken, ham eggs - soon you'll be full

Sutinder Fri 08-Mar-13 21:27:23

ThanksTIP just what I needed. Def fasting tomorrow. Need to focus. I feel disgusted with myself... Blip over x

Talkinpeace Fri 08-Mar-13 21:31:24

stick to cross rather than disgusted.
DH and I just demolished 3ltr of cheap cider in an offensively quick time. Bollocks to it, more to drink later.
both shattered
no room for self disgust though ....

Aftereightsarenolongermine Fri 08-Mar-13 21:44:03

An going to agree with TiP again, the weight loss on this WOE is a 'side benefit' to the main benefits of improved health, alertness & energy. So just take it slowly & if you find a fast day hard there is still tomorrow or the day after or the day after...

parrotsandcarsnips Fri 08-Mar-13 21:54:54

sutinder i feel your pain. I started out fasting today and at 3pm I couldn't cope with the cold and had to have some carbs with a cup of tea so had half a hot cross bun. This lead to an unplanned meal, despite my fast day curry being made and in the fridge, I ended up eating chips at teatime!
Only consolation is that I managed to achieve the 16 hour fast and calorie intake about 900 i reckon.

Itsaboatjack Fri 08-Mar-13 21:59:33

Evening all, it's been a better week this week. I was going to do 4:3 this week to try and make up for last week which was terrible. Wednesday's fast didn't quite go to plan though as I had birthday cake, and then a friend came over with a bottle of wine as she had had a rubbish day and needed a shoulder. Not too bad overall though and Monday's and today's fast days were successful. I'm actually quite hungry now though and so having a hot drink, can't go to bed yet though as I have to go downstairs and close the pub in an hour.

I did also fit in a 5 mile run yesterday too and am planning on another one tomorrow. I've rather rashly signed up for a half marathon in 5 weeks in an attempt to get a bit more motivation and consistency into my running so no excuses now.

And on a happy note my wine club delivery arrived today so I am going to unpack it now and chose something to enjoy over the weekend.

BetsyVanBell Fri 08-Mar-13 22:19:02

Happy Friday everyone. Feeling much less grouchy/coldy today (hooray!) and actually yesterday's fast was a good one after all. Today I had a craving for a decent rare steak cooked in butter, wine, garlic, mushrooms and cream, with little roasted potatoes and some crunchy greenery. So good. I've been keeping a food diary for the last 18months and checked when my last craving for semi-cooked bit of cow was - October 2011 apparently!

I've really missed exercising this week. Hoping to be completely back to normal next week - a copy of Jillan's Killer Buns and Thighs arrived this week so I've got some catching up to do! I don't think I've put on any weight this week but I feel squidgier and jigglier already - my body likes to revert to a completely untoned state as quickly as possible I think - so annoying confused.

systemsaddict Sat 09-Mar-13 05:50:20

Stuck to planned food for 3rd fast day. Didn't eat anything till 1 as I ran out of time to eat mid-morning, and managed to teach 11-1 no problem. Uncomfortably cold in the afternoon but not hungry.

For the first time in living memory, I didn't go to sleep while reading my daughter's bedtime story - though I had to pretend to, so she would let me leave, as that is normally the cue! Curled up in bed with a book last night and my final 40 calories - a weightwatchers hot chocolate - and went to bed all warm and feeling full up.

Woke at 5 again today with energy, despite having a nasty cold; and I'm still not particularly hungry, haven't eaten yet.

And I am down 2.5 pounds from the weight that really scared me a few days ago grin once I'm down a bit more I might share the actual stats.

Small spark of hope is getting gradually bigger.

Emilythornesbff Sat 09-Mar-13 06:58:58

What a great thread. I like the look of this 5:2 malarkey. Am 5 weeks post c/s and ebfeeding. Not exercising ATM as quite sore. Anyone else in similar boat?

swallowedAfly Sat 09-Mar-13 07:08:09

i managed a whole day without eating shock

water and black coffee only in the day and in the evening i just had 2 marmite drinks and it was fine. think a) i guess i've built up to it - did my first 24hr fast at the beginning of the week and had my 500 after and b) i was probably still digesting the food i massively overate for the 2 days before.

sadly though scales still look horrendous. the 11.2.4 i saw at the beginning of the week is a distant dream. am hoping that some of this is to do with being overdue on my period and i'll see a good drop once my body stops holding onto everything when it finally arrives.

not hungry this morning and feel pretty good. will eat something at lunchtime so in all it will have been about 38hrs as i ate late on wednesday night.

ELR Sat 09-Mar-13 07:26:54

Hi you I am also waiting for my period to come 9 days late now! It's so annoying isnt it? Ive been feeling like it will be here any day now, are you usually this late? Nice to here someone else can be so late too I am usually anywhere between 2-10 days late, but usually 3 or 4.
I have been wondering if it may be the fasting causing the real lateness what are your thoughts?

Bramblesinafield Sat 09-Mar-13 07:32:20

Morning. Gosh that was a tricky one yesterday. Once I'd pushed through mid morning it was fine, but I did feel hungry in the night - I did without the few tiny weetqbix before bed, so mustn't forget that.

Well, as predicted, after the slight 'up' on the eating days, the trend is downwards (only 1/4 lb below lowest measure! But definitely downwards). I might even go to the gym tomorrow.

Good fasting, all of you doing it today.

BsshBossh Sat 09-Mar-13 07:47:36

Excellent long fast swallowed well done! Keep the faith, it all takes time...

swallowedAfly Sat 09-Mar-13 07:47:40

ELR - i'd really recommend agnus castus. i had very long cycles that weren't regular for years and years. i also had bad pmt and started agnus castus for that reason (not allowed to take the pill due to aura migraine history and associated stroke risks). it helped with the pmt. a couple of years later i found a superdose of agnus castus after my usual brand stopped producing.

taking that superdose my cycles have gone from being 40-50 days long to 30-33 days which is a huge change for me. it works on the pituitary gland which regulates the hormone system. in many european countries it is prescribed for everything from pmt, polycystic ovaries to fertility issues and menopause.

if you are interested i can send you a link to the ones i take. not on commission honest wink

ELR Sat 09-Mar-13 08:05:26

Swallowed .....Thanks will google, I too can't take pill due to aura migraine. Luckily periods are not usually too long 6-9 days but quite heavy so suffer with anaemia.

swallowedAfly Sat 09-Mar-13 08:07:39

i tried the mini pill but it made things much worse.

try these

reasonably priced, great dose and it was when i started taking these ones that things really improved.

BetsyVanBell Sat 09-Mar-13 08:11:40

EmilyThornesBFF There are BF fasters on here - literarygeek hasn't posted for a while but she put some guidance up on an earlier thread (10) which has been copied into the tips and links thread and I'll paste for you here:

I am BF an almost 6 month old, who is very bonny and fat and happy. I have enough milk to feed the whole street. I have to express on order to sleep comfortably/ exercise comfortably.

There's also been a lot of research on women who have fasted for religious reasons - Ramadan and Yom Kippur- and there were no ill effects to either bubbas or mamas. And near in mind- those fasts involve no food or water so a much more restrictive scenario. I have posted the links to that research on the most recent 5:2 thread - yesterday I think. If you are interested, I will dig it out.

If you want to give this a go, eat proper food where you can. If you like ready meals, go for it, but do try and include as much veg as possible- it will fill you up. Try innocent veg pots or glorious soups for not many calories/ lots of goodness.

Don't do your 2 days in a row.

Fluids are your friend- particularly water and try herbal teas ( the pukka brand is good). Diet drinks are not your friend and kill your brain cells.


You've only recently given birth so be cautious - if it doesn't feel right then do stop and try again a bit further down the line, or you could modify it by doing 'mini fasts' maybe eat about 800 calories once a week? However, I'm no expert by any means and we're all experimenting here... If you do take the plunge please let us know how you get on as a BF and fasting query comes up quite frequently smile

frenchfancy Sat 09-Mar-13 08:12:45

Emily I really think you need to give your body a chance to rest before starting 5:2. There are sime poeople here bfing but I think their babies are 6m - 1y not 5weeks.

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