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5:2 Diet Thread! Number 15! Our quinceañera!

(1000 Posts)
GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 11-Mar-13 15:33:12

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- 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.

There's a link to the aforementioned Horizon programme here.

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 by Dr Mosley himself, very informative if you're just starting.

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!

AmericasTorturedBrow Mon 11-Mar-13 18:37:41

Just checking in at the beginning of the thread....and to say sorry for the cold! Cheered me up no end in my self indulgent flu induced wallow that I'm able to post this from my garden in the sunshine wearing jeans and t shirt.wink

Not fasting today as I've already quaffed orange juice and hot honey and lemon (all from our garden but probably a shit ton of sugar). Not hungry yet so paying attention to my body rather the usual "I'm a bit sick so I'll eat lots and lots of carbs" and fast properly tomorrow

Talkinpeace Mon 11-Mar-13 18:38:48

Welcome aboard.

Yes, I heard Lustig on Radio 4 : Carolyn had been told to challenge him. He was not phased. It came out well.

silverbeetle Mon 11-Mar-13 18:50:46

Fasting today, but found it really hard and I'm so bloody cold and miserable. When are we going to get some spring like weather?

flowers for the new thread Greeneggsandnichts as efficient as always.

Welcome to all the newbies

mehefin Mon 11-Mar-13 19:06:56

I returned to work yesterday after a week off to find that out of 6 night staff 4 of us are now doing 5:2 ! I have found a marked decrease in 'jet-lag' symptons after my nights since starting this. Does anyone else work nights ? What is your experience ?
Good to read everyone's encouraging updates

postmanpatscat Mon 11-Mar-13 19:20:34

serotonin interesting that you say that about naysayers...I haven't told anyone I'm doing this! DDs haven't noticed (as long as they're fed they're happy) and DP is away, has been for nearly 6 weeks. DP estimates he has lost 11kg over the last 5-6 weeks through sensible eating and drinking, using MFP and almost daily workouts thanks to using the gym in the various hotels he has stayed in. We skype every day but I haven't said I'm doing 5:2, just that I'm also trying to lose weight.

I guess he'd be fine with it (it clearly works, I've lost 7lbs already) but I think I'm embarrassed to admit how much I'd gained! He's back on Saturday and I plan to come clean and continue fasting twice a week.

What sort of comments have you had? Since I only have 15lbs to lose, many would tell me I don't need to lose weight.

BetsyVanBell Mon 11-Mar-13 19:37:01

Ooh shiny new busy thread already!

Today is a fast day, aside from still being full of cold and it being bloomin' freezing today it's gone ok, plus as my last meal yesterday was lunch I'm guessing I had a nice 22 hours of zero consumption.

Just found myself foraging round the kitchen for something, had a few nuts and dried fruits, which has probably taken me over my calorie count but I'm not too strict about it, and realised it was the anticipated sugar cravings post-chocolate infused weekend. Now I know that I've stopped desperately scratching through the cupboards and settled myself with an aspartame laden low cal hot chocolate. I try to avoid the (aspartame) stuff completely but sometimes it's the lesser of two evils.

And there's actual cake and biscuits and chocolate in the house so I've done ok actually grin

monster54 Mon 11-Mar-13 19:38:19

Well my fast day and full of cold and exhausted from many sleepless night with poorly DD I've had a boiled egg at lunch and I've got a 400 cal meal for dins....

On the face of it pretty good. But I've drunk loads of coffee today with milk and I've not counted the milk....

Anyway...Wed is another fast day. For now I'm just ready for bed!!!

BsshBossh Mon 11-Mar-13 19:48:02

Good lord, the 15th thread!!

I'm 22 hours into my fast. Going to try and hang in for another hour before breaking. Fasting has gone really well today - no impulses to eat, no major hunger pangs. Even managed quite an intense cardio session at the gym. I think it's because I ate so much over Mother's Day weekend - my body is still fuelling itself from the food grin.

Anyone else more productive on fast days? Because I'm no longer breaking to get breakfast, lunch, snacks (I try and eat nothing until dinner) I'm getting loads done. It's a terrific bonus.

Bramblesinafield Mon 11-Mar-13 19:52:29

Well it's been a freezing and a busy day. Usual fast broken around 3pm.

As a practicality, I batch bake and freeze my fast day meal. Then I know I ahve it and its easy. I can bung something else in, or the men sort stuff for themselves.

Major self control as our chickens ahve been laying a lot (they think its spring, poor girls) so I used half a dozen eggs to make banana bread and a Vsc. Major mum points when two tired teen boys arrived home from school, and goodies for our lunchbox boxes tomorrow.

Hoping to still be under 11 stone tomorrow, at least I should fit into my night out clothes midweek. smile

GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 11-Mar-13 20:10:58

dines oh good, sorry I must have mis-read. And well done grin

Good idea Brambles I like to have my fast day food fairly easily accessible, too. smile

BumBiscuits Mon 11-Mar-13 20:15:58

Hey everyone. I've just done my eleventh fast and broke my 11lbs lost barrier today!

marking place

ellenbrody Mon 11-Mar-13 20:16:09

Evening all! Fasted today fairly successfully, 540 cals, but I'm not too worried about going a teeny bit over as I'm maintaining now.
It was soooo cold I really didn't fancy my salad lunch, but it was all I had with me at work. Lots of tea helped keep me warm until my chilli soup for dinner.

I think one more cuppa with a tiny splash of milk and a warm bath before an early night.

Well done to all faster today, another day under our (loosening) belts.

monster54 Mon 11-Mar-13 20:19:28

Well done bumbiscuits!!!!

Iwearblack Mon 11-Mar-13 20:44:27

Well done bumbiscuits! 11 stone barrier is the next target for me and am about 11-2 to 11-3 at WI last week so hopefully there soon.

Here's a pedantic question for those doing 24 hr fasts ..... I eat my last meal at say 7 pm then may have one (or three) glasses of wine during the evening, but no nibbles. i then go to bed at say 11 pm. The next day I fast and don't eat until 7 pm .... would you class that as a 24 hr fast or go from when the last wine was quaffed and so call it a 21 hr fast?? I know it doesn't really matter but just wondered how precise you were about the 'no calories for 24 hrs' thing ....

Just wondering.....

Iwearblack Mon 11-Mar-13 20:46:20

Oh just realised it was 11lbs lost barrier blush . Must read more carefully!

NurseEzzzaChapel Mon 11-Mar-13 21:08:57

Iwearblack, I count the booze as calories so I count my fast as starting from when I swallow the last mouthful. I don't often make it a complete 24 hours though as I refuse to restrict myself on non-fast days, mainly because I do 4:3 so restricting myself the day before a fast would effectively mean the fasting would affect 6 days each week. (I wonder if this mentality is part of the reason the stats on the fastdiet website didn't show much difference in weightloss between 5:2ers and 4:3ers.)

swallowedAfly Mon 11-Mar-13 21:21:37

cold, cold, cold!

home from event - sadly they had indian tea and plates of pakora all over the meeting table and i did have a cup of tea (too cold to say no) and a few tastes of the pakora. am just heating up a 225cal ww chicken hotpot and i'm sure i'll still be under 500 or near enough and i managed nearly a clear 24hr fast so it will do.

tomorrow off of work thank goodness. plan is to stick to the 5hr window if possible and not go mad - will guesstimate what i'm eating to try and stick to tdee. i need a 'good' week after the week behind me.

hope everyone is enjoying their evening - plan is eat then sleep for me and hope it's a warmer day tomorrow.

Breadandwine Mon 11-Mar-13 21:24:23


I'm pretty strict about the 24 hour thing. I began my last fast at 6.15 last night, earliest I've ever started, I think! Means I was able to eat at a reasonable time tonight. It was only a mini fast - in that I ate a normal dinner afterwards. I'll do a proper, <600 cal 24 hour fast on Weds.

I call myself lucky, in that I have no trouble fasting; but somehow, knowing that I can have my usual glass of stout at 6.15 really slowed the clock down!

That last hour absolutely crawled by! So, yes, I am rather precise about it. I'm aware in the great scheme of things that it probably won't make a great deal of difference - after all, Dr M builds 2 shorter (12 hour?) fasts into one fasting day.

I do find that rather puzzling, in fact, since at least 2 of the scientists on his programme are on record as recommending 24 hours as the way to go. confused

BsshBossh I find I'm absolutely buzzing on a fast day, definitely! When you think about it, our ancestors never hunted on a full tummy, did they? They did all their hunting on an empty stomach - and they had to have all their wits about them when they did it!

The more I learn about fasting, and this way of living, the more I become convinced by it.

Saw this comment by someone on the 52fastdiet forum:

I hope I never go a week in my life without fasting at least one day ever again.

Hear, hear, say I!

Dotty342kids Mon 11-Mar-13 21:32:08

Hello everyone, can't believe it's another new thread already!
So I survived my stressy work meeting in freezing, snowy London and did my fast! Had banana at 3.00 and then resisted snacking on the train journey home apart from 2 fingers of KitKat (actually resisted the other two fingers which is unheard of for me), then got home to a spicy bulgar wheat and roasted veg salad. All came in under my 500 cals which was brilliant.

BumBiscuits Mon 11-Mar-13 21:33:26

I wish it was the 11 stone barrier. Or 12 lol. I'll be at 11 in 23 lbs time. It'll happen though, somewhere down the line. In certain of that.

rushka Mon 11-Mar-13 21:39:32

Hello one and all, I popped in a week ago to ask a question about fearing I'd turn into a bingeing monster on non-fasting days. Am very happy to say that those of you who said this wouldn't happen are right, which is a big relief!

I've completed my third fast day as of today. This was the hardest one, because of the cold and I had a few hours at home alone with the kids, when it was very tempting to eat. Fortunately a friend then came round and I was suitably distracted till supper-time.

bold: fancyanother I totally agree with you about what an eye-opener it is to the usual mindless eating that can go on!

I also find that successfully fasting means I now don't have a 'fear' of hunger, so it's easier to go between meals without panicking, and has made me more aware of when I'm full. Amazing the knock-on effects... but I'm only in week 2, so it's early days!

swallowedAfly Mon 11-Mar-13 21:43:02

well done dotty - not sure you believed you could do it but you did smile

glad the non fast days are going well rushka. some non fast days i overeat but then previously i was overeating pretty much every day so in context it's all good.

Dotty342kids Mon 11-Mar-13 21:47:08

Thanks swallowedafly. Looking forward to eating normally tomorrow I have to say grin

Iwearblack Mon 11-Mar-13 21:58:20

Hmm yes it's as I thought ... I too find that restricting from the night before is too restrictive for me. I'll stick with my 19-20 hr fasts!

brookiemegs Mon 11-Mar-13 22:02:47

Hi all, I'd like to join if that's ok? smile
I've been doing 5:2 with OH for about a month now. I have lost about 5pounds and had basically all of last week off so Its going pretty well.
I have definitely lost some inches in the waist too.
I was just wondering why snacking is so bad? I am pretty well suited to this diet in that I never have breakfast, and rarely lunch unless me and OH spend the day together. I do snack throughout the day though, usually on healthy stuff but I have been making bad choices hence the weight gain! But if I stop eating junk and carry on snacking on veg, fruit, nuts, yogurt etc throughout the day and have a big meal in the night, is that bad?
Sorry if this question has been asked already, it's hard to keep up smile

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