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The 5:2 Diet Thread number 18! Breaking out the summer wardrobe?

(999 Posts)
GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 22-Apr-13 10:51:27

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. (I highly recommend this for an overview)

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!

Dotty342kids Mon 22-Apr-13 11:01:30

ooh, I'm the first over here grin. Thanks greeneggs

BsshBossh Mon 22-Apr-13 11:55:22


EhricLovesTeamQhuay Mon 22-Apr-13 12:11:21

Just checking in, I need to get back in the zone! I'm on a fast day but just got my period, I've just tried coming off the pill to see how I cope with pmt and it's not good. I'm so hungry and combined with period pains (forgot about those) I'm very uncomfortable. I can't fast tomorrow though (birthday dinner) so I think I'm going to eat lunch and make today and tomorrow mini fast days (hold of eating as long as possible, miss breakfast and lunch if poss but eat a normal dinner) then fast on weds. I've never felt this hungry on a fast before!

Dotty342kids Mon 22-Apr-13 12:23:30

After a weekend of three, rather hefty, meals per day I can really feel the difference in how my usual Monday fast is going.
Instead of a usual level of hunger (normal and manageable!) I feel absolutely starving - my husband and I are both sitting here working with the most horrendously growling stomachs grin.
Amazing how quickly your body can get used to eating too much.
Mind you, whilst feeling super hungry it's really nice not to be feeling bloated and full.

monster54 Mon 22-Apr-13 12:45:44

Same here dotty ridiculously over indulgent weekend. And I am tired and starving today!!!

Arrrghhhh! Going to have to go small lunch and dinner I think to make this doable!

And some mini fasts thrown in this week to undo all the damage thats been done!!!!

Feel terrible.....but needs must it was a committed social weekend.

Dotty342kids Mon 22-Apr-13 12:49:39

Same here monster, going out for a curry tonight so today's not really a proper fast so will do normal fasts tomorrow and Thursday. Today's really to try and undo a bit of the damage from the weekend!

monster54 Mon 22-Apr-13 13:40:19

I might up to 4:3. Just to balance things. Cals at the weekend are ridiculous!!

250cals soup had....I feel a little more human now. Soup saved for later on!!

Hopefully I'll be fine now, majority of the working day is over!!! I find this hardest as I sit at a desk pondering FOOD!!!

frenchfancy Mon 22-Apr-13 13:47:23

Just checking in. Another one fasting after an indulgent weekend. I am hungry and a bit irritable today. I think it is because I drank too much yesterday blush.

applegate Mon 22-Apr-13 13:49:13

on a fast day here too. I really wanted to make it to supper before eating but am starving! I might treat myself to a miso soup to see if that

akarucker Mon 22-Apr-13 13:54:39

It must be in the air...I'm ravenous on my fast day today, too. Tea is just not cutting it.

popsnsqeeze Mon 22-Apr-13 14:00:11

Hi All,

I'm looking for advice here really.
I've been doing the diet for about 3 weeks now, I've been fasting 3 days a week instead of 2 (fasting Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday). I didn't feel the schedule if 4:3 would work for me. It's been going well, BUT I have lost maybe a kilo. That's it. And I've been bouncing around with that kilo so it's not even definitely a loss.
On the days I'm not dieting I try to eat about 1500 calories.
I really don't know what I'm doing wrong.
I weight 54 kilo, I'm short - 4"11. Small build. I want to lose about 6 kilos. I'm at the top end of my BMI, so healthy but could do with he weight loss.
Please help me! I have dieted before but I am enjoying doing this one and I want it to work for me!


monster54 Mon 22-Apr-13 14:08:07


Whitecat Mon 22-Apr-13 14:14:49

Out for dinner on Friday.
Cook at home pizza on Saturday.
BBQ and too much sunshine boozing on Sunday.
All equal a bloody hard fast on Monday.

ELR Mon 22-Apr-13 14:41:04

Just checking in, thanks for new thread.
Haven't really caught up with posts for last few days been super busy, so will try to read through in a minute.
Fasting going ok today only a small soup and a cuppa so far but feeling a bit hungry now. Good luck everyone

ceebeegeebies Mon 22-Apr-13 14:56:03

Just checking in and bookmarking the thread smile

Fasting not been too bad today so far. DH has gone away for a few days now so envisage I will be in bed by 9 tonight!!

MelanieCheeks Mon 22-Apr-13 14:57:40

Fasting today and have persuaded my husband to join me this time!

I usually go for an egg at breakfast, but I skipped that today. Though I had a 100 cal WW soup instead of a 30 cal miso soup for lunch.

Dinner will be harissa chicken from the Hairy Dieters. In their recipe it's accompanied by a bulghur wheat salad, but DH hates cold food. So I'll replace that with some roast veg (leeks, courgettes, mushrooms)

akarucker Mon 22-Apr-13 15:00:55

Well, that's Monday's fast day down the drain! Tuesday it is then...

virginposter Mon 22-Apr-13 15:49:57

I'm re-posting this as I put it on the last page of previous thread.

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 .
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

Sleepwhenidie Mon 22-Apr-13 16:08:48

Hi, I'm interested curious about how the 5:2 works and have a question please - for those who fast and exercise on the same day, do you allow yourself any additional calories above the 500 during the 8hr period?

I exercise every day, occasionally twice in a day, at fairly high intensity, burning perhaps 800 calories if two sessions (weight training, bit of cardio and kickboxing), obviously that puts my calories into a negative position. Would you view that as a bonus or potentially unhealthy confused?

monster54 Mon 22-Apr-13 16:33:45

sleepwhendie the rules are that you don't get to eat back the calories I'm afraid.

As it is also about giving your digestive system a break by reduced calories.

I don't exercise (I struggle for time) but a lot of people here do and on fast days and they find it Ok!!!

monster54 Mon 22-Apr-13 16:35:23

Ohhhhh no aka....what made you buckle?!?

I'm feeling Ok at the moment although will be flagging by the time I get home!

And I want to stay up and watch the final Broadchurch!!!

Chipstick10 Mon 22-Apr-13 16:50:10

I am so cold today it's unreal. I am always cold when fasting but today is worse.

Bramblesinafield Mon 22-Apr-13 16:54:01

Tomorrow is another day aka.

Cold here, extra jumper. Not at my trigger point in the evening yet, which is normally about 7.30 after I've had tea and have nothing more to have til morning. Once I've got to about 9pm all is well. I have an innocent pot for tonight.

Weigh in will be interesting - have had a couple of weeks off due to holiday and busy time at work, but not been brilliantly well so haven't eaten loads.

Hazelbrowneyes Mon 22-Apr-13 17:05:01

I did a fast day last week, mainly by accident (skipped breakfast, had a mugshot for lunch and veg stir fry for dinner) and I'm going to give it a go again this week except I know I'm super busy with work all week, I'll be doing physical stuff all week and I feel shaky if I don't eat. I need to keep a balanced head to as if I do something wrong, it screws up the whole project and costs us a fortune.

So. Help please. grin

What's your typical fast day menu? How do you cope with the hunger? What do you eat on your non-fasting days?

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