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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!

BetsyVanBell Mon 22-Apr-13 17:26:10

Marking place. thanks greeneggs

BetsyVanBell Mon 22-Apr-13 17:32:43

aka It's 2 weeks for me... hence setting the 2 week challenge! Why don't you try for letting yourself have the treats on a Sunday as suggested by saf but aim to perhaps do away with this sometimes and work towards a properly sugar-free 2 weeks at some point to see if that works with the cravings. As I've said, I still get sugar cravings but not after 1 chocolate bar or pudding - I tend to have a gradual slide back into it over a period of time. But when I realise it's happening I can now stop and back track.

I do think you've done amazingly well though, did you ever think a whole week without would have been possible?

BetsyVanBell Mon 22-Apr-13 17:50:46

Hazel I have a smallish lunch - sometimes a small ham & salad granary bread sandwich and an apple, or could be soup if I have heating facilities and then a reasonably sized no carb dinner - maybe a bit of salmon with loads of veggies pepped up with lime, chilli & ginger. I have an active physical job and it sees me through. Skipping breakfast is not a problem, I might feel hungry at first but once you get busy you forget about it and your body will be busy using your calories from last night's dinner so there's no reason to think you're going to expire! Drink loads, much more than usual and pop the kettle on every time you feel hungry. Don't forget to include milk calories if you're drinking tea/coffee with milk.

Sleepwhendle I much prefer an exercise session on a fast day to on an eating day. Feels twice as effective. Never eat back your calories, you are working to keeping as little food in your system for the day - you don't have to eat any calories at all - the 500 just makes it more 'doable'. You are running on a calorie deficit on a fast day no matter what - no one's BMR is as low as 500 calories. This is fine.

popnsqueeze persevere, you haven't got much to lose so progress will be slow. You are getting amazing health benefits and are losing weight.

AliceinSlumberland Mon 22-Apr-13 18:00:18

Fast day for me and I'm totally starving, looking forward to tea.

I went for a run this morning and actually found it made me less hungry and I was fine throughout the day, it's only since eating at half three that I've noticed a negative affect. I'm lethargic and just trying to pass the time until food!

Breadandwine Mon 22-Apr-13 18:11:08

Thanks, GE!

About feeling cold - it's a sign that things are working well for you. People with lower core temperatures live longer, IIRC.

I'll try and find the research.

Dotty342kids Mon 22-Apr-13 18:18:43

Hazel I find once I start eating I really can't stop! So, on a fast day I eat nothing until evening meal - usually 6-7.00 ish. Then I generally have something fish / chicken / vegetarian based. And it's often no or low carb as those pesky carbs just contain too many calories! Some of my fave dinners:
Moroccan chicken / fish in a tomatoey, spicy, chickpea sauce.
Couscous stuffed peppers
Vegetable based chilli or curry

Ladiesnight1 Mon 22-Apr-13 18:52:57

New to this 5:2 plan, as in I'm starting tomorrow. Looking forward to learning to control my food consumption and one day like my bathroom scales. Hope everyone is coping ok, thanks for being honest it has encouraged me to give it a gp

akarucker Mon 22-Apr-13 18:55:38

Lesson learned today. I was really busy this morning, so the fasting wasn't actually too difficult. BUT, I didn't drink enough. Hardly anything in fact, and then I got really hungry at about 2pm and instead of drinking, I had my soup (which wasn't even filling soup), which simply triggered my hunger and I forgot about my thirst. I therefore ended up eating my thirst as it were! So, by 3pm it was all over and I then attacked the kids leftover cake, and so it went on.

I really think today's fast fail was as simple as not drinking enough. Will be more prepared tomorrow.

As for the sugar free thing. Well yes, it all went a bit pear shaped, but bvb you're right, I don't think I've ever managed a whole week in my life so that's an accomplishment. It is possible!

My one stone loss has, of course, bounced back up to 13lb loss, but Tuesday is another day....

bugsyburge Mon 22-Apr-13 19:01:55

evening all, thanks for the new thread greeneggs... fast day here today, just eaten a lovely vegetable curry.

I try to do ADF but last week was pretty hellish due to social commitments... I had to fast Monday & Tuesday, normal Wednesday and then fast Thursday & Friday plus I do a lot of exercise. I have to say that by Saturday I was looking forward to 2 days of eating!!! however the bonus is a 3lbs weight loss this week... I'm prepared for it to bounce but it was still good to see

good luck fellow Monday fasters...the end is in sight smile

peplum41 Mon 22-Apr-13 19:04:41

thanks again green eggs. Didnt hear much from you on last thread, hope all is well.

monster54 have you seen the broadchurch whodunnit thread? good diversion technique.

whitecat still going strong?

swallowedAfly Mon 22-Apr-13 19:09:20

evening smile

thanks for new thread greeneggs.

i'm wrestling over whether to eat or not. have just had a marmite drink and that is all i've had today. can't decide whether to just go through till tomorrow without eating or to have a small meal and risk turning into a ravenous monster.

in my head i've consumed about ten thousand calories in the last half hour - have been totally obsessively thinking about food. think that's actually a good reason not to eat as i will want to eat loads.

there are prawns in the fridge that i am tempted by but realitically i could pack some with some boiled eggs and take them to work and have lunch for once tomorrow to break my fast.

hmmm. what to do? i know i should just not eat actually - way the safest bet and it'd all be over with till friday. help!

peplum41 Mon 22-Apr-13 19:12:00

akarucker oh I see, easy done. Nothing worse than that void that needs filling so you keep stuffing, then too late realise you were thirsty. Been there my friend. Never mind. Must you fast again tomorrow? Sometimes pressure makes things harder.

silverbeetle great to hear from you and very well done. Bet you're pleased you stuck with it despite the trials in your personal life.

popsnsqeeze Mon 22-Apr-13 19:22:05

Thanks betsy!
I'll keep going, I really want to lose the weight before my best friends wedding in may but I'm not sure if I'll get there.
Can someone tell me how my typical fast day menu looks?

Breakfast: coffee with skimmed milk
Snack if I need: cucumber
Lunch at around 2: roast sweet potato. No oil
Snack: more cucumber if I need, or some spinach
Dinner at around 8: a small piece of white fish with some roasted cauliflower. No oil.

And then a couple more teas or coffees as I get hungry. I usually come in at just under 500 calories according to the caloriecounter app.

Whitecat Mon 22-Apr-13 19:24:42

Yes peplum still dedicated to the cause. The first fast of the week is definitely the most difficult. About to have a big beany soup.

monster54 Mon 22-Apr-13 20:12:29

Thanks peplum I just don't want to ruin the ending!!! Eeekkk I have no idea whoooodunnniittt!!

Well I'm finishing up on around 600-650 today. Not the best but its a start!

postmanpatscat Mon 22-Apr-13 20:19:02

marking my place smile

Cuddledup Mon 22-Apr-13 20:47:29

THiings not to do when fasting - watch Paul Hollywoods baking programme. He's just done a lardy cake _ I LOVE lardy cake and I'm having to make do with a tangerine. Hmm. hmm

Wishihadabs Mon 22-Apr-13 21:11:16

Hello all
Hazel I too have a physical job and need to be o top of my game. Fast day menu is;

Either coffee and banana in the morning. Then one meal around 3pm (usually a innocent pot or Morrison's NUME snack pots and another piece of fruit. I finish work at 9pm just have a herbal tea and go to

Or coffee +banana in the morning 100kcal soup for.lunch and 300kcal no carb dinner.

Southeastdweller Mon 22-Apr-13 21:37:18

Hi everyone. Not a great day here - I usually have some fruit to fill me up alongside soup at lunchtime but I didn't today because I thought I could manage on liquids alone. I realised I can't so got a bit pickish and helped myself to some sweets (10 pineapple cubes) and a jammy dodger.i've also found out that a new Greggs has opened down the road from where I work! The good news is that I went to the gym and had a very light and filling dinner.

LexingtonBear About your post on the previous thread, I've been doing this for three months and it took me about six weeks before I was making sensible choices that were instinctive...but I do slip up sometimes and had a little too much chocolate yesterday so not anticipating a loss this week. However my relationship with my food is much healthier than what it was before starting this W.O.L so that's the main thing I think, what's been the best part of doing this, which I'm determined to build on.

ellenbrody Mon 22-Apr-13 21:44:45

Grr - 750 cals, a bit of a fast fail angry

ELR Mon 22-Apr-13 22:15:46

Well another fast day nearly over. Gone over by 10 calories today as had a 99 flake only 45 calories was lovely with a cuppa!! Don't usually have chocolate in general never mind fast days.

GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 22-Apr-13 22:18:33

thanks everyone.

Am still here peplum! Thanks for remembering. smile I've been home alone with DS for two weeks and he was ill for a week of it so it's just been a busy time. I've kept up with fast days as usual, but did a lot of eating as well (TOTM) so I hold no hopes of having lost last week.

Fast day today. I ate some peanuts, which meant I didn't have supper because peanut calories add up way too quickly! So I had a cup of tea instead.

ceebeegeebies Mon 22-Apr-13 22:25:31

night everyone smile so glad that fast is counting down the hours until my shreddies in the morning wink

Am on pins tonight as well as I find out which school DS2 has got into tomorrow...positive thoughts please smile

Talkinpeace Mon 22-Apr-13 22:36:43

if you are very short, your TDEE will be pretty low
you need to make sure you do not go over it even at weekends
as 500 calories could be as little as 1/3 of your TDEE - comared with 1/4 for bigger folks
also - exercise - as much as you can manage - to kick your system into burning up fat when hungry

fluffypillow Mon 22-Apr-13 23:07:59

I'm a newbie to 5:2 smile

I've been lurking for a couple of weeks blush and I feel really inspired by all your efforts on here.

I have decided to give this WOL a go, and DH is joining me.

First fast day tomorrow, and I'm really nervous, as I really want this to work for us.

I will weigh and measure myself in the morning. I would love to lose 2st by December when I hit the 'big 40' !! grin

Any tips or advice you have for me will be very much appreciated thanks

Can anyone share what thoughts keep you motivated when you are fasting?

Oh well, here goes, wish me luck grin

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