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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!

Chocupid Tue 12-Mar-13 10:48:34

aftereights I have nausea feeling after a fast day, have it today in fact.
had a really good fast day yesterday did 22 hrs on herbal tea then ate my 500 cals
but today feeling a little sick to the stomach, just need to force myself to eat something as i know it will then go... but it defo makes two in a row impossible for me.

Breadandwine Tue 12-Mar-13 10:51:00

Anyone who has ever been overweight, spends their time first of all trying to lose it - and then trying to gain control over their weight. This WOL allows us to do just that! smile

Certainly, for the first time in my life, I feel I'm in complete control of my weight. (Not of my eating - because I can still overindulge with the best of 'em! grin But I now know how I can correct any weight gain - generally the next day, but certainly within a couple of days.)

And the word 'control' is often used on these threads as posters become more confident with this WOL.

Here's Sophie on the subject on the Fast Diet forum with a very inspirational post. Well worth checking out.

Ps. If you haven't been on that forum before, spend a bit of time looking around - there's a great graph on members' weight loss, and also a facility for tracking your own diminishing size. grin

storminabuttercup Tue 12-Mar-13 11:15:14

Just checking in again, I'm starting to feel a bit hungry now but I think it's in my head, just had a pint of water and come to get a bath.

I'm still freezing. Think I need to find a hot drink I like, I usually have one coffee a day and I find if I'm hungry and drink tea it makes me feel sick.

I used to like bovril, I'm wondering if that would help?

brutusbaldwin Tue 12-Mar-13 11:28:46

Hello- Please can someone answer this question ? Have been doing the fast diet for 6 weeks now and have lost half a stone. Was explaining to friend of mine about it and she questioned whether or not I have been doing it right? So, I have a normal meal say on Monday evening at 7. I then do not eat until 12 the next day where I have approx 300- 500 calories. I then don' teat until 8pm that evening where I have a normal meal. Because I have only consumed 500 calories between 8pm-8pm I have asssumed that that is correct. although I have lost weight this way I also want the 'health ' benefits of fasting so want to make sure I'm doing it right. Thanks

Dotty342kids Tue 12-Mar-13 11:46:26

brutus that's not normally how it's done. It'd normally be something like this: Eat tea at 7pm Monday. During ALL of Tuesday, only consume up to 500 cals, preferably going as long as possible in that time with none of them. So for me, I'd go till about 4pm, then have a banana, then eat the remaining 420cals or so for my evening meal.
However, if you're losing weight this way then that's great! There is no one set way of doing this although the general rule that most people stick to is 500 cals during one calendar day.
Perhaps that's something you can aim for though, if and when you hit any kind of sticking point in your weight loss.

Daisy1407 Tue 12-Mar-13 12:15:25

Hi all - happy Tuesday!
I'm off wrk today as feeling a little under the weather and I'm on an eat day, so far I've had coffee coffee coffee and dime fruit! I'm craving shredded wheat which is a bit odd....ill have some shortly!

Hope your all doing okay...good luck to those fasting today! X

Dotty342kids Tue 12-Mar-13 12:32:01

Well, I have no idea how this happened but when I got up this morning I was wavering between 11st2 and 11st3 and when I had breakfast and came back from a game of tennis I was 11st1! A new low! So pleased although won't be surprised if I pop back up to 11st2 through this week.
But it's typical of the "bounce" lots of us tend to experience.
Headintheclouds, how are you doing this week?

brutusbaldwin Tue 12-Mar-13 12:51:45

Thanks Dotty. Have obvs not been doing it right then. Will try the other way and see how I go. x

NurseEzzzaChapel Tue 12-Mar-13 12:58:01

brutus as Dotty said, the way most of us on here do it is have no more than 5/600 kcal on our fast days and our fast days are calendar days so we don't have more than the 5/600 kcal from waking up to going to bed. That said, there is a mention in the fast diet book about doing a 24 hour (e.g. 2pm to 2pm) fasting period, but I wasn't clear on whether that was meant to be a zero calorie fast or whether you could eat the 5/600 kcal during those 24 hours.

You're losing weight the way you're doing it so that's clearly working for you at the moment. As you say you're interested in the health benefits, it seems from some of the links on these threads that the important bit for health benefits may be the length of your zero calorie fasting (I don't think that's been conclusively proven yet though). You're already doing a 17 hour fast from what you've said so this will likely get you some of the health benefits associated with fasting.

I reckon you're doing great, and what you've been doing is a form of intermittent fasting, even if it's not quite 5:2. If it's working for you then keep it up and if you want to tweak a bit you've got plenty of options like: extending your zero calorie fast period from 17 hours to 24, or maybe do the more traditional calendar day modified fast.

Anja1Cam Tue 12-Mar-13 13:10:19

mistlethrush - yes finding it easier and easier too - went the full 20hrs (late night biscuit the night before blush!!) yesterday and it was fine. Saving up all my calories really allows for a decent meal and the family really don't notice. We all had home made lean chicken pie (lost of Veg and a Filo crust) with broccoli and optional potatoes... Yum and easy. Obviously they had a proper pudding and I had a yoghurt.

The first week I had a salad or/and cup a soup for lunch, last week miso soup sachet and yesterday nothing, just kept drinking herbal teas... We'll see what the second fast brings.

I really really noticed how I warmed up about 30 mins after eating. Even going out later for a 20min cycle to my choir rehearsal in that biting wind did not feel half as bad as the short walks to and from school during the day. And I don't think the weather had improved smile

whatsforyou Tue 12-Mar-13 13:25:44

Having a food day today, had two egg rolls for lunch but regretting it as I am now uncomfortably full - that is unheard of for me, normally I can shift my own body weight in food before I feel the urge to stop. My appetite and stomach capacity are def changing.
I am hoping for an early tea tonight so I can try 24 hours total fast tomorrow, I am making the famous chick pea and aubergine curry with skinny rice for tea tomorrow to break my fast with so will be thinking about it all day - yum yum!!

tomorrowweeat Tue 12-Mar-13 13:28:53

Well yesterday was the first time i didn't stick to a fast since I began in January. I just got overcome with an urge to eat carbs. So I'm fasting today instead and no dire urges so far! Am wondering whether to try my first 2 in a row fast to get my second fast in on Weds and back on track. Unfortunately I'd already planned to go to a friends for dinner Thursday and do like to have a few glasses of wine Fridays and over the weekend.
My tastes have changed too and generally find myself wanting to eat healthier foods. (Apart from yesterdays blip of course!)

greenfig Tue 12-Mar-13 13:29:33

Done the yoga, managed not to fall over, now going to brave the freezing weather & take the dog out, brr! Had some oatbran porridge & not hungry just feel like I 'want' something. Could be the excess carbs from yesterday I suppose. Am hoping the exercise will fire me up a bit. Was on a mission this morning & acheived lots (work) but feel lethargic now (on my time)hmm.

daddyorchipsdaddyorchips Tue 12-Mar-13 13:48:46

Hello everyone!

Newbie here, I have started 5:2 this week and today is my first fast day. Finding it not too bad thus far.

I previously lost 4 stone through SW but about 1.5st of that has crept on since I stopped paying £20 a month to be judged weighing in with them.

I decided not to go back with SW as I realised that I had previously adapted it to suit myself - missing meals when I just wasn't hungry, eating normally a couple of days a week then hardly anything other days. It just makes sense to me to regulate it.

So, today thus far I have had 2 teas with skimmed milk and a bowl of chilli chicken soup (delicious, if anyone wants the recipe, just shout) and about 2l of water been peeing like a racehorse

This evening I will have a bowl of red lentil, chilli and chickpea soup, taking me to just under 500kcal. (I last ate at 7pm last night and had lunch at 1pm, so that was a good 18 hour fast).

You're all doing so marvellously, I hope I can keep it up and be one of the many success stories on here!

ComeTalkToMe Tue 12-Mar-13 14:07:40

Hi, I've been a bit of a lurker on these threads but as I'm now into my second week of 5:2 thought I would introduce myself.

I've done every diet under the sun and was quite reluctant to do another 'fad' but after reading this book this WOL really makes sense to me and appeals for the long term. That, along with the great success stories on here, has given me the push I needed.

I found my two fasts last week were relatively easy but for some reason found yesterday very hard and probably ended up at around 600 cals. I had a run in the morning and don't know if that might have affected it. I'm having a food day today but defintely found I wasn't that hungry this morning - a strange feeling for me!

Anyway, it's great to read about everyone's journeys and there are some fab tips on here so thanks! smile

Dotty342kids Tue 12-Mar-13 14:17:55

Welcome cometalktome, it's been great to meet you and others joining this thread and woe grin
Well done so far and ask any questions you like and share your experiences!

Itsaboatjack Tue 12-Mar-13 14:28:59

aah greenfig, the two day hangover, I've definitely been there. I'm actually feeling pretty good today, I'm surprised I thought I'd be in for a two day one after a bottle of red wine, about a gallon of Guinness and I don't know how many shots of Jagermeister.

No food so far today, just black coffee and herbal tea. I've done a 10 min HIIT kettlebell workout and feeling good so far. I've got to last until 8pm before dinner as will be busy now with work and then ferrying dd to and from Brownies later.

akarucker Tue 12-Mar-13 14:30:13

I am definitely finding the fasts get easier as time goes on. I'm doing ADF and I'm on about my 10th or 11th fast day. So much easier than the first cou

akarucker Tue 12-Mar-13 14:31:32

...ple of times. Really like ADF because I hate, just hate, having to 'control' what I eat on feast days. This way, I really don't have to. I eat what I want!

Itsaboatjack Tue 12-Mar-13 14:33:59

tomorrowweeat, I'm going to o two in a row this week, I also couldn't manage a fast yesterday so am doing today and tomorrow. I did two together a couple of weeks ago too and managed it ok.

swallowedAfly Tue 12-Mar-13 15:01:40

fasting at home seems to mean getting loads done. my bedroom looks tidier than it has in a long time and the laundry mountain has been dented.

not finding it particularly easy today so keeping busy is essential.

next stop clean bedding and hoovering upstairs before moving onto mopping downstairs. fasting has done my house the world of good.

mehefin Tue 12-Mar-13 15:13:06

parrotsandcarsnips, I'll be interested to hear how that works for you. I do 2 or 3 nights every week so this way allows me to get in 2 long fasts without it taking over my non sleeping days. ( I have bought a silk black eye mask this week - best £5 I've spent in along time !).

The weight loss is brilliant but what jumped out at me from the Horizon programme was the dementia research my job makes me want to try this WOE for that alone. Hope it keeps working for you.

Mrsap I realised about 4 weeks in that I hadn't eaten any chocolate since I started, not a conscious decision I just had no desire for it. My routine means I tend to shop on fast days and I have no temptation to buy processed food of any sort. I have 2 grown up ds at home and have started baking again to meet their appetites so when I want a treat I know what I'm getting but they're not very good at remembering to save me anything!

Itsaboatjack Tue 12-Mar-13 15:17:46

saf can you pop round to mine after grin

mehefin Tue 12-Mar-13 15:20:58

Keep going swallowedAfly you'll have 2 resons to feel good about yourself at the end of the day - a tidy bedroom would be a great achievement for me

virginposter Tue 12-Mar-13 15:48:41

daddyorchips welcome to a whole new world. I too was a and lost 3 stone over a couple of years but slowly 1 of them came back. I've been doing this for 6 months and lost 21 lbs and it's been the easiest and most liberating weight loss ever. The freedom to consume so called 'forbidden' food is wonderful. Keep going, the benefits are great in so many ways.

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