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5:2 Diet thread! Number 17- ready for Spring! Any day now!

(1000 Posts)
GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 08-Apr-13 13:21:14

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. smile

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!

BetsyBell Mon 08-Jul-13 17:20:11


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BetsyBell Mon 08-Jul-13 17:19:41

Thread closed.

BetsyBell Mon 08-Jul-13 17:06:03

Hello Becky - this is an old thread, we're currently on 22 here and will shortly be moving to the 23rd thread!

You can eat your calories however you like - easiest thing is to skip breakfast and see how long you can hold off. My preference is for 2 small meals but most seem to save up and eat 1 larger meal in the evening. Try it out and see what works best for you.

Come and join us on the current thread

becky1983 Mon 08-Jul-13 13:22:20

Hello ladies,

I would like some advice on this 5:2 diet, you all seem to do really well on it, and I think I could stick to it knowing that the next day I could eat;

So what is the best way to eat your 500kal, a weight watchers meal in the evening? And try not to eat in the day? Also do you eat whatever you like in the eating days?

Also if I done it 4:3, what are the best days to fast on?

BetsyBell Mon 13-May-13 16:46:35

Reffy You might want to try the most up to date thread... we're on number 19 now.

Reffy1 Mon 13-May-13 15:43:40

JOURNALIST LOOKING FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE TRIED THE 5:2 DIET. Hello, I am a journalist looking for ladies who have lost weight on the 5:2 diet for a national newspaper feature. Must have before and after pics and be happy to be photographed. Fee and expenses paid and it's for a nice feature about how the diet works. Please get in touch with me at if you are keen. warmest regards, Nilufer :0)

oculi Tue 30-Apr-13 16:25:32

hellloi,could or does anyone no the diffrence between the 5;2 diet and the 2 day diet.i am rather confused by it all

Southeastdweller Tue 23-Apr-13 22:12:05

Of course we will have you mrschambers grin

We are here now:

mrschambers Tue 23-Apr-13 18:41:12

Hi everyone!

I posted on here a few weeks ago, but have been super stressed moving house, but I'm back now if you'll have me!

Managed to keep up the fasting whilst moving and have managed not to put any weight on, which is great. BUT....I still can't seem to get below 10st 3lbs, been stuck at that weight for about a month now. To be fair, I'm not putting any on, but would love to get below 10st for once in my life sad((

Breadandwine Mon 22-Apr-13 17:28:59

Alice most of us avoid cereal/bread, etc, on a fasting day - as you've discovered, it simply triggers the appetite.

Come and join us over on the new thread, and repost your message:

AliceinSlumberland Mon 22-Apr-13 17:21:56

Well it's my second fast today, did really well until half three when I had a bowl of cereal, now I am STARVING! I have work to do but I just can't concentrate at all so having to leave it until tomorrow as my brain just won't work. Just need to make it through a couple more hours when I'm having a stew for tea. Wondering if my increased hunger is due to my run this morning, although I actually felt less hungry after it.

Have lost a pound since starting last thurs with my first fast even though I didn't eat that we'll over the weekend so it does seem to be working at least!

Bramblesinafield Mon 22-Apr-13 15:45:10

Staying off sweets and sugar in tea took a couple of weeks, but I allow myself some slack pre Tom as I realise that's what my body craves.

Back on 5:2 after a couple of weeks off for holiday and manic workload. Feels good. Days been too busy to break fast until just now with a soup and I've an innocent pot for a later supper to vary what I eat.

Hope all you Monday fasters are going well.

virginposter Mon 22-Apr-13 15:23:53

From experience, how long of staying off sweets does it take until you are able to have something like a pudding or chocolate bar, and stop at that?? One week obviously wasn't long enough. I think I've set myself back a bit by giving in.
aka I'm about 3 pages behind on this thread due to travelling but thought I'd give you an answer about this. I've read that it can take anything from two weeks to 3 months but that is a vast difference. I'm sure that 1 week isn't enough time to make a difference to taste buds but any time sugar free has to be good.
When I did my 4 months sugar free (due to yeast infection etc) I cut out not only the obvious but even the obscure. At first it was a struggle but by about week 2-3 it was easy and by the end of the 4 months I was really worried about letting sugar back in to my diet. The obscure were introduced first, then fruit, yoghurt, milk and eventually and very slowly (like once a week) the naughties like cakes, puddings and choc. I was worried that once I started letting them back in I'd lose control as I know how addictive sugar can be, but that was June 2012 and at Xmas I still had control even though I ate yummy things.
I've just been away for 2 weeks at my sisters, working, and managed some control the first week but the second was a disaster as once I really started on her biscuits etc etc the demon sugar had me in it's grips blush.
I've put on 3 lbs but I know that by the end of this week about 2 of those will be gone and the rest next week, that's why I love this woe. But for the next 2 weeks at least I am going to be sugar free to try to gain back my control (only the obvious sugars not the obscure ones) and then I will start to allow myself something delicious again once a week grin

Whitecat Mon 22-Apr-13 14:02:09

Sammy have you started exercise or upped your exercise? Sore muscles hold water. Have you been eating salty food? Have you stopped exercise? Etc? Etc?
There are so many things that can make a difference once you think about it. Keep going, maybe tinker with your eating days but not too much and she how that goes. You'll see from the threads that it is so variable, there is no one way for everyone.
Thread 18 has started now you may get different ideas and views on there.

Sammy3 Mon 22-Apr-13 12:57:01

Whitecat, forgot to say: I do eat normally on non-fast days. I've been racking my brain trying to think what I've done differently the past week or so but my calorie intake & types of food eaten is similar to those first2 glorious weeks.

Sammy3 Mon 22-Apr-13 12:51:34

Thanks for the support.

@chipstick, I guess my weight loss (or lack of) might follow yours so I'll lower my expectations about losing weight at that initial quick rate. I think my body caught on that I was trying to get to a reasonable weight & put the brakes on then hit reverse.

Whitecat Mon 22-Apr-13 11:29:06

Chipstick you haven't only lost 10lb. You lost 10lb be happy, be proud of your achievement. It might feel slow but at least it's moving and its brain training us at the same time.

Whitecat Mon 22-Apr-13 11:21:47

Hi Sammy don't be despondent it sometimes takes people a while to settle into 5:2. Just make sure you are eating enough on your non fast days. I think for some people who have struggled trying to maintain or shift weight for a while its hard to change the mind set that it is ok to eat over 1200 calories or 1500 calories on a normal day and still lose weight.
This WOE seems to work best if you eat up to your TDEE on feed days and stay within the 500 or 600 calories on the fast days.
Stick with it. You'll see from these threads we all go up and down.

Chipstick10 Mon 22-Apr-13 11:18:54

I wrote something similar a few days back on this thread sammy. Have been doing this since early jan and have only lost 10 1b. I stick religiously to my fasts and don't overeat on feed days. It's slow and a bit depressing.
Also is anyone else really cold on fast days? I've got my heating on.

Sammy3 Mon 22-Apr-13 11:08:15

I could almost cry. I always struggle to lose weight on any diet so, when I lost 4 pounds after doing 5:2 for 2 weeks, I thought I'd finally found something that worked for me. My weight stayed the same for the following 2 weeks but I didn't worry since my body always tries to hang on to my weight. But, I weighed myself today & have gained the 4 pounds back. I'm fasting today & Wed as usual but feel a bit depressed about it now. Don't worry, it's not enough for me to go on a binge (never been able to do that - would put a stone on easily). But has anyone else experienced this? I'm confused since I'm following the advice about having a 16 hour fast before eating on fast days & then sticking to 500 calories. I don't binge on non-fast days since I don't feel like it anyway. I've got almost 3 stone to lose now that I'm back to square 1.

GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 22-Apr-13 10:53:14

A bit early with it, but, as we're closing in on the end of this thread, I thought I'd get the new one up. This thread will close in 20 messages or so, so here is a shiny new one for when we're ready for it.

Go and bookmark away! smile

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