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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!

NurseEzzzaChapel Tue 09-Apr-13 13:37:58


New threads have been opened since my above post, so if you'd like to post something, please join us on thread number 17

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 Sat 23-Mar-13 17:00:38


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 15.

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 16 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!


s03bf122 Tue 19-Mar-13 22:54:12

Hi Guys,

I have just found your thread and find all your stories really encouraging, like many I have struggled with my weight since school and am keen to shift that stubborn last 1.5 stones. I am getting married in 10 weeks and this seems like a really "doable" way of losing a bit of extra weight. I would love to hear more weight loss success stories to spur me on smile

NurseEzzzaChapel Mon 18-Mar-13 13:28:22

Oooh! Well done on the weight loss so far btc1951! I'd recommend having a good read of the OP and some of the links in there, especially the tips and links thread and have a browse through the recipe thread (both are linked to in the OP) and then come and join us on the latest thread for a chat. All the best with today's fast!

btc1951 Mon 18-Mar-13 12:49:43

Hi - new here, and maybe the only participant in the US, right? 5:2 is not very well-known over here yet, even though it was featured on the uber-popular Diane Rehm Show (on NPR) last week. I suspect it will become more popular soon. I lost 50 lbs using the hCG drops last year, but I struggle keeping it off (and have actually gained 7-8 lbs recently), so I'm anxious to give 5:2 a go and see if I can lose the regain and then maintain the loss. I will be following this site, as well as Kate Harrison's Facebook page (which has been immensely helpful so far). So today is officially my first "fast" day. Wish me luck!

BlackMaryJanes Tue 12-Mar-13 20:40:48

Thanks for letting me know Betsy smile

BetsyVanBell Tue 12-Mar-13 20:33:36

winnerK We're over here now! This thread's nearly full...

BlackMaryJanes Tue 12-Mar-13 19:28:30

WinnerK What height are you?

WinnerK Tue 12-Mar-13 12:19:30

Hi everyone, been lurking for a few weeks now but wanted to update you with my progress.

I decided to cut out refined sugar from my diet for January and February and lost half a stone this way (from just under 10 and a half stone to just under 10 stone), but I realised it wasn't sustainable as I love chocolate and puddings so much and was miserable as a result of it! So the 5:2 diet sounded way more appealing.

I started the 5:2 fasting about three weeks ago, I am 30 years old and not overweight, just wanted to shed a few pounds and get healthier. I go to the gym three times a week and make sure these are on feast days (still don't feel up to exercising on fast days). It has been manageable so far and I'm actually enjoying the self restraint of not eating what I want on fast days. It's nice to go to the supermarket on a fast day to look and smell everything on offer and plan what to have on feast days! I sound weird when I say that.

Last week I weighed myself and was shocked to see that I'd dropped down to 9 stone. I am now eating more on my feast days (I was sticking to 1500 calories but have now upped it to 1800) as I am concerned that I'm losing too much too fast, thoughts?

Daisy1407 Mon 11-Mar-13 21:12:09

Ooooh thanks Nurseezzachapel x

NurseEzzzaChapel Mon 11-Mar-13 21:02:52

Well done Daisy! Have you seen the new thread?

Daisy1407 Mon 11-Mar-13 20:41:57

Hi all fast day for me! Weighed in this morning lost 2lb woooooooo! I was an animal last night and had 4 bars of chocolate oops! Did a gym session though and burnt 600kcal so I guess that helped!
So in 6 weeks I've lost 4lb total not a huge amount however at now weighing 9stone 6 I guess it's gonna b slow and steady and I'm happy with that!
Tonight I had chicken and chorizo soup from waitrose OMG u all need this soup in your life! I then had a ww yogurt and a hot choc - nearly bedtime now!

Food day Tomo hurray x

NurseEzzzaChapel Mon 11-Mar-13 15:45:29

storminabuttercup, welcome to you and other new posters! A good thing to read in addition to GreenEggs's OP is the tips and links thread (which is also linked to in the OP) as lots of questions are answered on there.

GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 11-Mar-13 15:34:54

Okay due to restrictions on the sizes of threads on MN, this thread will be ending within 30 posts. I've made a new thread over here to continue the discussion.

Tis not a massive rush to need to go there, but if you have new questions etc you should probably post them there so they don't drop off the end of this thread. smile

maza66 Mon 11-Mar-13 15:34:11

Hi storm it does get better and that's a fantastic start smile

blue2 Mon 11-Mar-13 15:23:15

Hello storm - I'm on week 2 this week, and fasting today.

Further up this discussion are some love-erly links to puddings we should not even dare think about today - so be careful what you click on smile

My second fast day this week is Wednesday, and I'll weigh in after that. Well done with your weight loss so far - lots only manage a pound or two a week. The jurys out for me, but I'm liking the empty feeling I get, and I'm liking the fact that I can eat properly again tomorrow.

storminabuttercup Mon 11-Mar-13 15:14:26

Hi all, just wondering if I can join in, I've done one week on 5:2 and lost 7lb.

Tomorrow will be my third fast day, and I'm not at work so plan on doing lots of cleaning to take my mind off things, I've struggled on both my fast days but I'm hoping to get support, ill try not to ask questions until I've read the whole thread tonight! grin

artemis17 Mon 11-Mar-13 15:13:00

Well fast day & just had first food since 6pm last night.. A pot of NYC skinny soup-ideal for this weather. Have also got the Aubergine & Chickpea curry for tonight though substituted the auberine with squash, mushroon & courgette. Had an indulgent w/e, steak, wine, chips & massive cooked breakfast, but no chocolate, cake or crisps etc & swam, sauna-ed & steam-roomed so probably wasnt all that bad really. smile

GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 11-Mar-13 15:01:26

wow. Just had a look, you're right TIP. I've got a quiet period here at the moment (mum has arrived from the US but is having a nap at the moment). I'll copy the links and get it sorted.

Fast day here! Thought it'd be good to get one done, am sure my mum will be wanting to go out and/or cook a bit while she's here. It's a damn shame we have no oven at the moment.

Meanwhile, it's snowing sideways out there. hmm Bet she's glad she flew in from New England for this. grin

BumBiscuits Mon 11-Mar-13 14:58:36

My coleslaw was lovely. Lunch came in at 155 cals according to MFP. I only used 1/4 of the coleslaw and had a potato with 100g raw weight.

Talkinpeace Mon 11-Mar-13 14:51:59

Blimey, this thread is nearly full Greeneggs are you OK to start the next one

and so glad that the No Snacking approach is starting to pay off - especially for emotional eaters.

Fasting today - snow flurries so have done LOTS of housework and will do the ironing this evening to keep my hands warm!

maza66 Mon 11-Mar-13 14:09:14

Hi monday fasting peeps :-). I am new to mumsnet but have been doing 5:2 for 6 weeks now, with a loss of 8lbs (maybe a bit more but am factoring in the bounce issue others have mentioned)Interestingly though my weight has always 'bounced' so am not surprised its still happening.
I am generally sticking to mondays : pro's - shifts the excesses of the weekend, cons- no nice munchies when Corrie is on!!!
and wednesdays or thursdays depending on work. Am managing ok, but need to be planning in advance or I end up crying into a plate of cauliflower or something equally uninspiring. Am having spicy chicken and broccoli dish (bbc good food) for dinner tonight, after a stint at the gym.
Like other posters I am freezing - posting this from the comfort of my electric blanket! as is snowing here today and am working from home. Surviving on hot water and lemon.
Is anyone else dreaming of food? I had dreams of black pudding suppers all last week, caved in on friday and had one. and it was great! Good luck to all the fasters today x

Madondogs Mon 11-Mar-13 13:39:20

Hi everyone, another fast day here. Had my most indulgent weekend since starting this WOE, cream tea with my Dd,DM,Dsis and Dn on Saturday.although my appetite is so much smaller now I eat very little. Delicious brunch yesterday followed by cheese and wine in the evening, not too much wine,but felt VERY full last night and have felt a bit uncomfortable all morning.

Have not weighed today, think I will leave it for later in the week.Have drunk loads of water and a few black coffees, looking forward to my broccoli and salmon this evening.

Good luck to everyone x

BsshBossh Mon 11-Mar-13 13:13:02

Hello all, another Monday faster here. After a very indulgent weekend (due to onset of TOM plus Mother's Day) I've decided to do a 24 hour (well, as close as I can get to it) fast today rather than my usual 16 hour fast. Just keeping busy - went to the gym, am now working and will pop to the shops quickly before picking up DD from school then she has swimming so the afternoon should whizz by. Chicken and lemon tagine with olives tonight for my 500 cal dinner with DH. Can't wait!

tracedw Mon 11-Mar-13 13:09:22

Just wanted to add that DH is eating well below TDEE, his TDEE was 2750 but probably eating only 1200 , on his non fast days too.
He has a will power of steel atm,TIP , you will be pleased to hear, NO SNACKING OR NIBBLING.

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