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5:2 Diet Thread! Number sweet 16!

(1000 Posts)
GreenEggsAndNichts Fri 22-Mar-13 20:05:14

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!

BsshBossh Fri 22-Mar-13 20:17:53

I'm first, I'm first grin

Northstarmum Fri 22-Mar-13 20:19:04

2nd the best!

BsshBossh Fri 22-Mar-13 20:22:06

Or as my 4 year old daughter likes to say, "The last is the winner!"

GreenEggsAndNichts Fri 22-Mar-13 20:54:27


Fast day here today. Not entirely sure I'm below 500, but I'm not far off if I am over. I had a carton of veg soup for supper, and carrots with hummus earlier on. I don't usually have anything in addition to the soup but I needed something solid today.

Last weekend with my mum visiting. DS definitely has chicken pox so we won't be inflicting him on others by dining out. We'll see what we end up doing.

MickPortly Fri 22-Mar-13 21:13:34

Thanks to all who shared information about their long-term achievements with 5:2. That is so great to hear that you are in maintenance mode without serious yo-yo effect. And thanks to TinP for the tip on the other forum with more detailed progress reports here. I'm looking forward to tracking my progress. So far, I find the WOL very appealing. Good luck and see you in the threads. --MP

Dotty342kids Fri 22-Mar-13 21:15:48

Thanks as always greeneggs
Fast day for me today, had a few of the kids' oven chips whilst they were eating tea, then a 321 cal ready meal from Waitrose. Had two small squares of Dairy Milk and the rest is safely in the cupboards.
So, I suspect I may have tipped slightly over 500 but only by a handful of cals!

Paintingrainbowskies Fri 22-Mar-13 21:15:56

Since there is a new thread I'm going to come out of the shadows and join in! I have had loads of tips and information from these threads and have been doing 5:2 for 8 weeks and think it is great.

I am about 4 stone overweight and have been heavier but lost a bit through breast feeding for 14 months but I stopped at the end of last year and didn't really adapt my eating habits and ended up putting on about half a stone. I'm glad I spotted this diet and bought the book.

I've not lost a great deal,only 7 pounds but I know that is because I don't count calories at all on my eating days, I just know that as my usual pattern I will go in all guns blazing, being excellent for a couple of weeks then get fed up and blow it all.

I am really viewing this as a way of life and I'm sure this is something I can stick to going forward. The health benefits are really appealing.

If I hadn't of started 5:2 I would probably have put on another half or stone or so in that time so I am really pleased I found this.

Thanks again for all the advice and tips (just finished a huge portion of Laksa's chickpea, aubergine and spinach curry -yum!)

frenchfancy Fri 22-Mar-13 22:01:32

Thanks again greeneggs.

Eating day today. Currently enjoying a glass of wine and some cheese. Debating whether to have a bit of chocolate as well. I love this WOE grin

ellenbrody Fri 22-Mar-13 22:06:10

bshhboshh , I'm the same height as you: 5ft 4.5".
I carry my weight on my bum, tum and thighs, although I have a small waist.
At 9st, I am a large size 12.
I am trying to maintain at 8st 3 or 4, bmi 19 which is a size 10.
I know this seems low, but with the way I carry it, I feel uncomfortable any heavier.
Unfortunately it means my TDEE is low and even on eat days I need to be careful.
I try and exercise 3x per week, not on fast days,
And eat those calories back.

ellenbrody Fri 22-Mar-13 22:07:11

Oh, I forgot - thanks greeneggs for starting this thread.

SerotoninCanEatTomorrow Fri 22-Mar-13 23:25:06

Hello smile marking my place, will come back tomorrow smile

virginposter Fri 22-Mar-13 23:48:57

peplum41 I suspect that there are a few 'oldies' lurking on here who are still as keen as ever on 5:2 but do not post (or not very often, like me) smile

virginposter Fri 22-Mar-13 23:51:41

Oh yes, thanks again greeneggs flowers

virginposter Sat 23-Mar-13 00:05:41

It's very strange how some of us who are 5' 4.5" ish are different shapes and sizes and proves that there is no 'normal'.
I am the same height and now weigh 10st 2lbs but I am wearing size 10's and they are not tight. I think if I went into the 9st's (maybe 9.10) then that would be my limit and verging on the too thin. At the moment I feel that I'd maybe ok to lose just a few more lbs to allow for maintenance 'bounce' smile

mumrunner Sat 23-Mar-13 00:30:35

I'm just over 6 months on this WOE and weight loss of 24 pounds. Started September 4, did 5:2 at first but was not losing much so decided to do 4:3, and was more successful. I did plateau from January until 2 weeks ago did not loss anything at all, mind you I don't calorie count on eating days but I like this WOE so I just carry on because if I don't loss any I can benefit with repair mode instead plus it's now a way of eating now that fasting is just a second nature. I'm training for the marathon so I also run on fast days, it's funny how much energy I now have with all the weight loss that I actually run faster when fasting. So for people who plateau just keep at it, it will eventually go down, like many people changing fasting pattern will kick start weight loss.

Nettnett Sat 23-Mar-13 02:02:13

I am 5'4" (1.63cm) too, and I am 56 kilos ( 8 stone 8 I think)
It's pretty evenly dispersed, but I am always aware of the dreaded 'scrawny' look us over fifties can get, and watch out for it like a hawk!
I am 'big boned' (size 8 feet!) broad shoulders, big hands etc., a size 10 here in Oz.

I wish I were taller, then my TDEE would be so much higher!

HotPanda Sat 23-Mar-13 05:14:31

I'm posting again because I was on the last page of the last thread.

Week 1. 3 fasts done. Weigh in.........4lbs off.
I'm so pleased.

Yesterday was an eating day but I got some good news so it turned into a drinking day! blush Still under my TDEE calories though.

catsrus Sat 23-Mar-13 05:29:42

Well done to all losers grin

I'm a long term loser (since August ) 30lbs gone, am now on maintenance - finding the level that is genuinely sustainable for me. Having been on 9.4- 9.8 since around xmas I'm working at moving to a 9st - 9.4 range. Having been away at a conference with hotel food and sandwich lunches and wine I was very pleased to find I hadn't put any weight on this week <phew>

TheEarlyBird Sat 23-Mar-13 06:54:01

Hmm - this woe has made me realise how much alcohol plays a part in my weight loss. Two fast days this week - the first at the start of the week when I don't drink alcohol and the second which ended yesterday when I can have a drink. Tuesday morning weigh in - scales went down, this morning - nothing. I'm looking at you, g & t sad

SerotoninCanEatTomorrow Sat 23-Mar-13 07:26:41

Well I fasted yesterday after my small gain on the scales yesterday morning - cheeky weigh ok saw a new low of 145.4lbs this morning - so it looks like I lose about 2lbs with every fast.

Today is meant to be a c25k day (on week 7) but woke up early and checked the weather - decided not too as its a little snowy! However, it's an eating and working weekend so I'm sure I can fit in that pesky third run either this evening or tomorrow evening. (Actually tomorrow evening after dinner - might keep me away from usual evening nibbles)

I will ask again about mfp - does anyone want to be added by me? My username is my RL name so I don't really want to add it, but can PM if anyone wants it. Would be great if I had people on my list that were eating like me! grin

Thanks to GreenEggs for the new shiny thread - these must be the fastest moving threads on MN!

BsshBossh Sat 23-Mar-13 07:40:36

virgin the height/weight/normal thing is amazing. I love hearing how different weights the same height take different sizes and have different goals.

When I was 15 stones (5ft 4.5) I was still only in size 16-18 clothes! I'm over 40 and a bit of weight suits me (I like my curves) so this is why my goal weight is the upper end of normal BMI.

I exercise to keep my TDEE high grin.

BsshBossh Sat 23-Mar-13 07:42:41

Right, unscheduled mini fast day for me today to mitigate against over-eating of curry and baked goods yesterday. I'll fast until 5-ish then eat normally (which should still end up being well below my TDEE due to small eating window). My stomach needs a rest.

akarucker Sat 23-Mar-13 08:21:43

Yesterday's fast was so, so, hard! I'm not sure why, as they've really become much easier, but not yesterday. Anyway, I persevered and so glad I did because I'm now at a 10lb loss in a little over five weeks. Eat day today so really going to enjoy every mouthful. I've really noticed Taft, actually - has anyone else - that I appreciate and enjoy food much more since starting this WOE. I used to shovel food down in one gulp, without even tasting it. Now I'm really enjoying the food I eat, and I savor every mouthful. Mmmm, this WOE is perfect for foodies...

akarucker Sat 23-Mar-13 08:22:23

That - not Taft!!

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