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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!

silverbeetle Sat 23-Mar-13 08:26:42

To fast or not to fast? That is this mornings question.

Hit an all time low yesterday at 10st 11lb but back to 10st 12lb this morning, didn't over indulge but did eat more carbs than usual and had 2 glasses of wine last night. I'm also 5ft 4in, larger frame aiming for around 10st but I may look too scrawny so will see how it goes.

Perhaps 5ft 4in ish was the average height in the late 50s to early 70s? I never used to feel small but these days the younger people seem to tower over me. DD who is 15 is 5ft 9in and DS at 13 is 5ft 6in. Have to stand on the stairs to tell them off these days grin

I digress, to answer to my question on this crappy, cold, snowy, 'spring' day = I will fast, I quite enjoy

Keep warm everyone and please send some of the sunshine over Wildwater

katiegirl Sat 23-Mar-13 09:03:02

How do people manage their fasts if they're working night shifts? I'm struggling to work out when I can fit mine in next week.

Monday- I will be sleeping most of the day because I'm working Sunday night, usually eat after midnight at work.

Tuesday is a possibility but I'm baking for a coffee evening which I'm attending so not very realistic

Working Wednesday and Thursday nights

Friday - same as Monday but may be visiting family on the afternoon which would involve a meal

Saturday and Sunday - Easter weekend, not sure of plans, dd is with her Dad so hoping for a night out, will probably have Sunday dinner with my family plus looking forward to some chocolate!

So I'm thinking I will try one on this Sunday, have my meal at work tonight, usually around 1ish and then nothing till 1am on Sunday night/Monday morning when I'll have a 500cal meal, then nothing else till Monday teatime. That gives me 24hours of fasting. It seems like it will be much harder with tiredness and a confused body clock thrown in though! Plus this weekend my night shifts don't start till 9pm - so longer to wait till I go to work, and they're at the quiet place - so less distractions!

During the week if Sunday's fast goes okay I'll do the same on Thursday. I start at 7 and I'm at the very busy place so might be a bit easier.

I like working nights for a few reasons, although don't request them specifically just get given a lot, however it can't be good for you health to effectively lose a nights sleep every week and have to switch your nights and days back and forth so frequently.

mehefin Sat 23-Mar-13 09:20:31

katiegirl I am just off to my weekend day job but I work nights in the week. I will read your post and reply later

GreenEggsAndNichts Sat 23-Mar-13 09:34:30

PaintingRainbowSkies Welcome to the threads! Sometimes I think having to have new threads as often as we do is a bit irritating, but I think it helps get new people posting. grin I think they get so large and unwieldly, people don't feel like jumping in and getting lost in it all.

I agree, it truly is a WOE for me. I have to admit, I'm probably not in losing mode at the moment. Mum is visiting (so lots of cooking at home and eating out) among other things (house move) and I think normally I'd just accept that I'd be putting on a few pounds with her visit. However, I know for a fact that I am, at the very least, not gaining right now. If I'm the same when she's left I'll consider it a success.

I'll be truly back on next week, though. I'd like to lose a bit more before meeting my dad in Paris at the end of May. smile

Pile of snow out there today! And TOTM started today, would explain a bit of mood swinging I had the other day hmm. It's always a nice bonus when it falls on a non-fast day, I have to admit.

Hope everyone is doing well out there today.

Itsaboatjack Sat 23-Mar-13 09:47:02

Morning all. Well I had far too many carbs last night (bread and chocolate mainly), and now I feel very sluggish this morning. Was planning on a fairly long run today but this weather is just awful, it's not the snow particularly, we don't have any settled here so not worried a out slipping and falling but it's so windy and the snow would be in my face the whole time. I may try saf's yoga instead.

dines Sat 23-Mar-13 10:04:04

Hello all.. getting ready for my long day goin to a concert at Wembley arena so really buzzing.. feed day for me so gonna go out somewhere in london for a lunch then off the concert at 7... today is gonna be full of alchol and food so im not looking forward to my weigh in lol but never mind.. is anyone fasting today?

mummyof2girlsx Sat 23-Mar-13 11:57:51

Enjoy dines sounds like you have a fantastic day ahead! Don't think about the weigh in, enjoy your day and fast again next week grin
I'm doing a mini fast today so nothing until late afternoon, then a nice meal and wine......can't wait!

frenchfancy Sat 23-Mar-13 13:02:05

Unexpected side effect of the weight loss. My feet have shrunkshock . I'd not really noticed all winter as I've been wearing thick socks. But spring has arrived here, so I tried pn my shoes I want to wear with my (size 12) dress tonight and they are too big. I had to go out and buy new shoes!

I went up a size due to 3 pregnancies but never expected them to shrink back again 13 years later.

Talkinpeace Sat 23-Mar-13 13:27:11

that's surreal - but shows that your body is using up all the stores of fat it had hidden away.

ErikNorseman Sat 23-Mar-13 13:45:12

I'm back on it after a week away, came back weighing the same. I tried to fast on Monday but ended up having around 1200 cals so not great. But it did give me the motivation to start logging calories on eating days, which I did all week, going to TDEE on one day and under the rest, then I fasted Friday and dropped 3lb this morning! Back under 12st which was nice to see.
I had stalled on this diet because I was overeating on eat days so my deficit was too small to make a difference. If I can get my head back into calorie tracking during eat days I'm confident I can get back into fasting.

Breadandwine Sat 23-Mar-13 14:09:19

Here's an article from last Sunday's Observer with some fascinating research on ageing:

Cynthia Kenyon: 'The idea that ageing was subject to control was completely unexpected'.

The molecular biologist talks about the discovery that led to a revolution in our understanding of the ageing process.

ellenbrody Sat 23-Mar-13 15:15:03

I have, unexpectedly got a weekend, managed a 16 hour mini fast. I'm glad as I had a terribly indulgent day yesterday!

Went 17 hours, then had a baguette in a cafe whilst out. The DD's then had a cake, whilst I had an apple.

Will have a normal dinner tonight but will go easy (or even lay off) the carbs and have extra salad so I can have a glass of wine.

This is my second week where I've managed to maintain my weight with a 'proper' and then a 'mini' fast.

So far so good. Happy weekend fasters!

NurseEzzzaChapel Sat 23-Mar-13 15:52:01

Thanks for the new thread GreenEggs, it's almost as if you waited for me to log off before posting it! grin found it though!

Talkinpeace Sat 23-Mar-13 15:56:03

An interesting thought about changing shape without losing weight - toned versus untoned muscle.
After a week of gym classes my waist shrinks because my ab muscles are permanently taut.
After a week of office work, my waist can go up by over an inch as the muscle relaxes - but my weight has not changed.
Another reason to be hitting the Shred / Yoga / Pilates while fasting - because you'll look AMAZING when you get lean rather than just thin.

Breadandwine Sat 23-Mar-13 16:01:23

Well done, GE

Discussion on TOTM coming up on R4 - right now!

mehefin Sat 23-Mar-13 16:12:03

katiegirl Hi again. I work a mixture of nights and days but they tend to stay pretty much the same which allows me to have a bit of a routine also my 4ds are all over 18 so I get as much sleep as I need.

If Monday is my first night I eat about 7pm on Sunday and then drinks only til 4pm Monday . I then split my 500 cals some before I sleep and some when I get up at 8. While I am at work I have a healthy meal about 1am - this is my lunch for Tuesday ! Breakfast when I get home, some sleep and dinner in the evening . So I have fitted in a fast , a low cal day and had correct amount of food on the day after as well.

It took a while to arrive at this pattern it is a case of finding what fits for you.

I think occasions like Easter you have to enjoy and fast again next week

Some of us are finding that regular fasting is helping reduce some of the symptons of working nights. If you like nights could you offer to do a regular pattern of set nights to help with your sleep ?

Maybe this week you could try a fast starting after dinner on Tuesday so you get to eat some of your cakes

It really is a very flexible way of eating so I am sure you can make it work for you

linkainka Sat 23-Mar-13 16:14:35

Hi x I have just read the book and am fasting today. A good feeling. Looking forward to the long term benefits of IF xxx

BlackMaryJanes Sat 23-Mar-13 16:27:15

Carried on from previous thread:

SO MANY people are successfully doing it that WW / SW / diet columnists are starting to feel a tad insecure

Got any links showing these insecure columnists?

My issue is thus:

If 'SO MANY' people are doing 'the fast diet' now, presumably this is a result of the influx of media coverage - the same media coverage which portrays the diet as 'fasting for 2 days, gorging for 5'. But alas, the diet doesn't work when you gorge on the 5 (I learnt this the hard way). So either those who are losing weight following the media representation of the diet must have been pretty obese to start with, or you're mistaken about the amount of people actually on the diet. For instance, I don't know a soul IRL following this WOE.

It's also going to be harder to lose weight as your BMI is pretty low, so 4lbs in a week is really good going!

That's true, it is harder as I try to shift these last few stubborn pounds. My body is screaming for food (even on non-fast days). This is certainly the most grueling diet I've ever been on.

The bran flake diet was the best (and most successful) grin

sausages51 Sat 23-Mar-13 16:31:09

frenchfancy I have to say your post about your shrinking feet made me laugh out loud ! That's just unbelievable! I like it though. I think its a healthy sign. I hope MY feet shrink (& my tummy & bottom & thighs & upper arms !):-)

Talkinpeace Sat 23-Mar-13 16:32:35

I know lots and lots and lots of people (mostly at my gym) who are doing it - several since last September. All are getting results.

THe hunger thing is just a case of finding foods that sate you without putting on weight.

BlackMaryJanes Sat 23-Mar-13 16:39:46

THe hunger thing is just a case of finding foods that sate you without putting on weight

As I say, the bran flake diet was the best diet I've EVER been on. Suspend disbelief for a moment whilst I tell you about it:

* You eat whenever you like.
* You eat as MUCH as you like.
* You only eat bran flakes (which is fine by me as I love them).

Bran flakes are a great comfort food - carbs, sugar, synthetic vitamins, what's not to love? Now, you're probably thinking, "that sure as hell wasn't sustainable" and you'd be right - but not for the reasons you're thinking of. I found the bran flake diet really easy to stick to and didn't feel deprived (as I say, bran flakes are a great comfort food and they're roughage with a very low GI rating) but the diet had just one (albeit vital) snag.....

You fart like a corpse! Literally every 10 minutes I would fart, and cleared a room with it. The farts smelt like rotten flesh. Although I lost a stone on the diet (a stone!) and I was happy on it, the diet just wasn't socially viable. :sigh:

NurseEzzzaChapel Sat 23-Mar-13 16:40:37

BMJ, gotta agree with TiP that you may need to find some more satisfying meals if you're finding eating 1800 kcal on a normal day as being gruelling. My TDEE is lower than that and I need to accept that that is all my body needs and I shouldn't feel deprived at not being able to eat over that amount on a regular basis.

Dotty342kids Sat 23-Mar-13 16:46:17

Surely, BMJ the sign of a "successful" diet / way of eating is one that is your last ever diet? If you ever need to diet after it, then it was, intrinsically, a failure?
Any way of eating that you do, to achieve weight loss, has to be long term and sustainable and many of us are saying that for the first time in our lives as dieters, this really feels as though it is.
The proof, of course, will be in the pudding eg. 2-3 years down the line how many of us are still happy with our weights and feeling good but early indicators seem positive from those over on the maintenance thread.
And I know loads of people doing this in RL too even though I often have to out myself before they'll say so! I think people are still a bit scared of being seen as trying another faddy diet - only time and results will change that grin

Itslifejimbutnotasweknowit Sat 23-Mar-13 16:52:38

Hi folks I've had a look at your thread for the first time today although I've herd a lot about it. Just read the last comment by BMJ and frankly girl your soooo missing the point. Fasting is about reducing insulin production and increasing likelihoods of living longer, its a lifestyle change that has the benefit of wieght loss followed by weight stability, replacing Yo yo diets. BMJ get with it!

BlackMaryJanes Sat 23-Mar-13 16:56:46

If you ever need to diet after it, then it was, intrinsically, a failure?

Did you read why it failed though? If I could address that issue I would go back to the bran flake diet in a heart beat.

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