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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!

ELR Sat 04-May-13 19:28:35

Well I have calculated my ideal weight by looking at a bmi of 22 then choosing somewhere within that range. Bit if you google ideal weight loads of suggested formulas one up.

ceebeegeebies Sat 04-May-13 19:49:18

Ok have just checked the ideal weight calculators. My ideal weight is 10 stone apparently confused this would make me look ill to be honest and is very unrealistic! My target is 11 and a half stone which would put me in a healthy bmi by a whisker but I would be a comfortable size 12 which would suit my frame!

Anyway happy Saturday nights with lots of wine


applegate Sat 04-May-13 19:58:29

Aka, I have definitely noticed that I am less inclined to overeat on a nfd, Today I have had breakfast and lunch but not snacked at all in between, just not fancied it, whereas normally everytime i go into the kitchen I pick at something. Looking forward to supper and pudding (!) in a while but just feel I may finally have got some control over my snacking.
With regard to the calorie counting that others have been talking about, although I guess it is a little restrictive, I have been monitoring everything I eat on mfp even on days when I am eating normally. It has been helpful so I can see how all those extra calories sneak in but is making me a bit conscious about what I eat all the time which I suppose could be seen as negative but the scales are heading, mostly, in the right direction so its obviously working.....

Miffytastic Sat 04-May-13 20:26:36

Posh and others this shows the range which various calculators will give based on age and height:

I feel ridiculously bloated today, not over-eaten compared to 2012 standards IYSWIM but a fair bit of white carbs ... and I think my stomach must have shrunk....

Paintingrainbowskies Sat 04-May-13 21:32:29

akarucker thanks, I think that's good advice to shake things up a bit, I could definitely try to do something different.

headintheclouds you've done really well being lighter than in 7 years, I think I have to remind myself that even though it is coming off slow it is better than putting on which I definitely would have done if I had not started 5:2.

I'm on an eating day today, made a Saturday night curry, I made it so blooming spicy that I could only eat about 2/3 of the bowl and no seconds!!! So that is a great tip for eating days!!!

postmanpatscat Sun 05-May-13 07:35:39

Morning all smile

A new low for me this morning, decided to fast yesterday instead of Bank Holiday Monday (when I plan to be eating candyfloss and chips at the seaside!) and am now down to 55.5kg so only 200g away from my target of 8st 10lbs. Woo hoo!

I lugged three boxes of summer clothes from the garage up to my bedroom yesterday and had a sort through. The size 12s from last summer are going to the charity shop and the size 10s from summers before are going back in the wardrobe. There were a couple of pairs of M&S trousers in size 10 that I haven't worn for two years (is it just me or does anyone else think their sizing comes up small? Even at 9.5st I couldn't get in these!)

Enjoy the lovely weather today!

swallowedAfly Sun 05-May-13 07:44:59

i might actually kill to be 8.10 postman. well done smile interesting though as i'm a size 8 bottoms at that weight. i've saved some beautiful clothes from the last time i was that weight but doubt i'll get to fit in them again.

10.13 this morning so not too huge a bounce yet.

managed to keep moving yesterday and end up with over 5 miles on my pedometre which is good for me on a weekend day. guess i'll aim for similar activity levels today in the hopes i can make monday without being back up to 11stone. not sure whether to fast today or not.

Bramblesinafield Sun 05-May-13 07:47:56

Morning all. After two nfd I am still at my new low smile I had bounced up the day after the fast day, but glad to be back at that weight - I'm getting to the point of wondering if the scales are wonky!

Shopped for bras yesterday and my rib cage size has gone down, whilst I still have the same amount of boobage. Result! Also treated myself to a dress and am back to a 12, although the best part of that is that it is a sheer jersey maxi and I now have only a little wobbly tum - before I just wouldn't have bought the style as I would not have felt confident in it.

tiredemma Sun 05-May-13 08:26:45

Morning- can I join?

im 5ft and currently 64kg (the heaviest I have EVER been- even when 9 months pregnant)

Im keen to start but just worried about food on fast days- basically Im not a very extravagant cook and I purchased the 5.2 food book and some of it is quite 'fancy'.

Anyone here have quite 'basic' fast days with stuff that you would just normally find in your cupboard- without having to trawl and obscure aisle in sainsburys?

postmanpatscat Sun 05-May-13 08:31:59

welcome emma

Many of us have very ordinary fast days...mine usually comprise New York Skinny soup or similar for lunch and Quorn and veg stir fry for dinner, I might even push the boat out and have an apple too! Lots of people don't eat until dinner then the 500 cals goes a lot further and they get the maximum benefit of fasting by going longer without food.

I haven't bothered to get the book because I'm vegetarian. You could always go to Pizza Express - Leggera dishes are under 500 cals and they now do a salad that's only 300! (Guess who gets the marketing emails?!)

tiredemma Sun 05-May-13 08:33:35

Thanks Postman- I was about to message you because you appear to have lost exactly the same amount of weight that I wasn't to lose!

postmanpatscat Sun 05-May-13 08:38:56

emma I'm a tiny bit taller (5ft 4) but started at 63.7kg so not far from your current weight. I weighed considerably more when 9 months pregnant (11 and a half stone with DD1 thanks to pre-eclampsia fluid retention!) but that's my heaviest non-pregnant weight (and shame on me for letting it happen).

You'll get lots of support here. Plenty of us are on MFP too, are you?

tiredemma Sun 05-May-13 08:41:15

whats MFP?

postmanpatscat Sun 05-May-13 08:44:28

My Fitness Pal - ipod/iphone/ipad app and website. Useful for tracking your calories, if you want to, and your exercise, and general support and gossip! It's free.

tiredemma Sun 05-May-13 08:45:04

Thanks- will have a look

Southeastdweller Sun 05-May-13 08:58:44

Well done brambles and postman.

Welcome emma. You can get packs of miso soups in the supermarket that you just add water to. Alot of us here rely on eggs as they're very filling so get some of those. Also consider some herbal teas. I like having squeezing the juice of a lemon into a few glasses of hot water which lasts a couple of hours. Steamed or boiled veg, of course too. I've even started having raw broccoli on the recommendation of greeneggs. I have it with some reduced fat hummus, balsamic vinegar and a sprinkling of chilli seeds. There's also some good pre-made soups out there but be careful to check the calorie content. I also like having cottage cheese stirred with some jalapeño peppers.

Dotty342kids Sun 05-May-13 09:40:32

Welcome to the thread Emma.
I enjoy cooking but wouldn't say I do "fancy" stuff. I rarely buy cookbooks like that as they're stuffed with weird ingredients that I simply cannot find in my small town supermarket (coriander is considered "exotic"!). My fast day dinners tend to be something with a good strong chilli / curry flavour, often fish or chicken based, in a tomatoey sauce, with lentils or chickpeas for protein. But I have also been known to have quorn sausages (only 70 cals each) and scrambled eggs with baked beans! Entirely up to you and perfectly possible to either buy ready meals, cook something basic or go to town with trying new recipes. Whatever suits you really smile
Fasted yesterday and down to 1st 11bls this morning! Amazing. But intend to eat plenty over the next two days so that won't stay like that I'm sure. Great to see though and am hoping I'm past the point of seeing 11st anything!

Southeastdweller Sun 05-May-13 09:47:07

Morning all on this very bright morning smile

I've just finished my first 36 hour fast which started on Friday night. All quite painless but as with the 24 hour fast last weekend, it wasn't easy, not compared to a normal fast. I was at work and a colleague had the sheer audacity to sit next to me and have his creamy porridge breakfast from Pret envy. Had a 2 litre bottle of water with me all day which helped and also had a takeout black coffee from Starbucks. Had quite a few hunger pangs and stomach growls but not really tempted to eat...however there was this almost constant weird vaguely disgruntled feeling that's hard to describe. Had a long session at the gym also which was fine. I only think I'll do zero calorie fasts in the future every six weeks or so and that's only after I research the health benefits.

I had awful hunger pangs when I woke up a few hours ago but went back to sleep and now feeling what I consider now to be proper hunger - like my body is ready for food but not so much my mind, which is how I feel most days on this WOL. Head hunger has almost gone as well as being food obsessed and emotional overeating.

Looking forward to a Sunday night of not dreading going into work tomorrow! Good luck to everyone who's fasting today.

swallowedAfly Sun 05-May-13 10:37:24

emma i live on easy stuff on fast days. HP Beans (280cals for a whole can) with a spoon of philly light and some shredded turkey ham is one of my staple fast dinners. also eggs are good, soup etc. i find it easier to eat something simple and fast.

swallowedAfly Sun 05-May-13 10:49:19

clearly there are better examples to follow than me though if you're actually aiming to be a decent healthy eater wink i hate cooking.

akarucker Sun 05-May-13 11:11:21

emma I love cooking, but on fast days it's too hard to be so involved with food. I pretty much have four or five ready items that I rotate: beans, tubs of fresh soup, innocent pots, sometimes a ready meal, although I find them usually quite carb heavy, and another thing I love is to whizz up banana, ice, & skimmed milk in the blender - it doubles in size and tastes like a big milkshake. Sometimes, if I make a pasta dinner for the family I try to do a healthier sauce (veg based) so that I can have a big portion over spinach or something. I'd rather not think of food too much because I just want to eat it ALL!!!

Tortoiseontheeggshell Sun 05-May-13 12:27:18

Postmanpatscat you are putting me to shame with your weight goal. I'm the same height as you and the same starting weight (roughly. My scale isn't very specific) and my ambitious weight goal is57 kg, with a caveat that idI'd be hahappy at 60. 54 sounds astounding, like, could that ever be me?

Fast day tomorrow after a very enjoyable - but less indulgent than usual - weekend. I'm craving much healthier things all of a sudden. DH and I both didn't eat till lunch, just not thinking about it, and I made us huge bowls of udon noodle soup with bok choy, seaweed, fish and miso. 220 cals each, roughly, we split one serving of noodles. So so yummy. I guess I was really ready to change my WOE because I keep wanting healthy green things, and oily stuff really bothers me. I'm so excited, guys, this is making me so happy.

And! It was my birthday Saturday (out for sashimi and seaweed salad and sake, yummmm) and I got a fitbit. Oh my god you lot. Seriously fabulous thing. I went for a run this evening, after a day of dragging the kids round a wildlife park, just to meet my activity goal. I am in love.

ceebeegeebies Sun 05-May-13 13:19:00

Emma - I tend to have the same food on fast days as I cannot be doing with cooking on those days. So I have 2 hard boiled eggs and one of those 18g bags of cheddar cheese cubes mixed in a little light mayo for lunch with carrot sticks and cucumber and then a ready made soup for tea (supermarket ones are good and you can generally eat the whole tub if you go for a tomato or veg based onewink ). I have an apple for emergencies and 2 or 3 cups of flavoured green tea.

Have just been to the gym and done a body attack class followed by a body pump class and I am knackered nowgrin

I know some of you have mentioned about feeling cold on fasting days but I keep feeling cold on non fasting days too - any ideas why? I am generally a very warm person and always seem to have one less layer on than everyone else so it is definitely unusual for mehmm

postmanpatscat Sun 05-May-13 13:27:54

tortoise sounds like you're doing great - even craving healthy food! My goal is based on my 'normal' weight when I'm exercising and eating well. I've considered 54kg but realistically I won't look better at 54 than 55.3 and in fact might even look worse.

Just back from the gym, burned 820 cals despite planning to take it easy due to yesterday's 36 hour zero fast! I made sure to eat breakfast and it was such a disappointment...crumpets with butter and jam planned but no jam left and they tasted really doughy and unpleasant.

Tortoiseontheeggshell Sun 05-May-13 13:37:39

Ah, I haven't been 55 kg naturally since teenagerhood. After having my first child I went down to 57 and I looked amazing though I say it myself. I just don't think I had faith that I could ever get back there without the props - ebf, colicky child, walking the corridors for hours - but without wanting to get ahead of myself, I can actually see myself doing this for as long as it takes.

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