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The 5:2 Diet Thread number 19! Cup of tea? or three?

(987 Posts)
GreenEggsAndNichts Wed 08-May-13 13:17:38

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 a 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!

Sunshine78 Wed 08-May-13 13:24:32

Thats a surprise I'm first!!

Been good today and trying to eat healthy on my nfd - avoided the chocolate bar calling me and went for small pack of nuts instead!

EarlGreyTeabag Wed 08-May-13 13:44:07

This new thread is great timing for me as I'm just starting the 5:2 plan & could use some support.

I'll read through all the resources above & pop back in later smile

EagleRiderDirk Wed 08-May-13 14:08:51

Anyone dealt with being ill on this woe? I've done so well over the last 3 weeks but now the lurgy has caught oiur household and I just want to comfort eat. I really don't want to undo all my good work with tubs of Pringles and donuts!!!

ELR Wed 08-May-13 14:26:41

Hi just marking my place, thanks greeneggs.

Well today is an eating day and I'm trying to be a little more mindful of what I eat. I've got a job interview next week and want to fit into a pair of trousers I've got which I like. I've just tried them on and they fit perfectly so by next Tuesday I want them to be the same or slightly looser! I bought them in October 2011 with the intention of slimming into them!! I've worn them once when I'd lost a few pounds but they were still quite tight.

Even though I fasted yesterday I dd not weigh this morning I'm waiting ill after Thursdays fast as had such an indulgent weekend I don't want to see any gains on the scale even if its only a bounce!!

Dotty342kids Wed 08-May-13 14:26:44

Thanks as always greeneggs! Hope you're doing ok too?

greenfig Wed 08-May-13 14:31:28

Hi all! Welcome to all new starters, well done to all with losses & ppc for getting to goal!
I'm still hovering around 9. 5 but hopeful that I'm not going to bounce back up to 9.7 now, fingers xed.
Fasting today & it is really easy.
Eagle I wouldn't fast whilst ill personally but would steer away from donuts & pringles too! Is there nothing else that you fancy? Baked potato or chicken soup would be my poorly day food. At least be confident that any gain can't possibly be all fat so will come off again quite easily smile

INeedThatForkOff Wed 08-May-13 14:34:36

I'm going to start within the next couple of days. Just reading up and watching the Horizon programme.

virginposter Wed 08-May-13 14:38:06

greeneggs thanks

Kendodd Wed 08-May-13 14:43:41


Can I just say, I love you 5:2! I have lost a stone and have found it really easy, I think I could keep this up for the rest of my life. The way I look at it on my fast days, if I'm longing for a biscuit, well I can have one tomorrow, unlike other diets were I can never eat a biscuit again in my life!

MeNeedShoes Wed 08-May-13 14:45:58

Marking place. And yes Ken I found myself automatically thinking I can have it tomorrow when I saw a nice bun sitting on the kitchen counter earlier smile

Theyoniwayisnorthwards Wed 08-May-13 14:50:39

Hello I'm new! DP and I are both starting 5:2 tomorrow. I've wanted to try this for a while but as I'm breastfeeding I felt I should wait until baby was 6 months and we began weaning.

frenchfancy Wed 08-May-13 14:55:48

Thanks again Greeneggs. Welcome Theyoni

BsshBossh Wed 08-May-13 15:05:01

Thanks Greeneggs as usual you are on the ball. And loads of new starters too - woohoo! Welcome everyone. I've lost 20 lbs in 14 weeks doing 5:2 (66 lbs in total since February last year) and have hit target weight. It really works. Just keep on going through the stalls and gains that always tend to happen.

GreenEggsAndNichts Wed 08-May-13 15:16:58

I am Dotty, thanks! smile I've had far too many nights out and BBQs lately, so I suspect my numbers haven't gone down. However, I've kept up with fast days because this really is a WOL for me.

In fact, I think I'm going to 4:3 this week as I have yet another BBQ coming up and I'd like to get back on track actually losing weight rather than maintaining.

Also, I need to find our scales. grin We moved house, are decorating and loads of boxes are still packed so we can move things around easily. I've literally no idea where they could be at the moment.

I'm really pleased to see so many new people on the threads, helping each other out. thanks I'll be around more myself as I try to re-focus a bit!

BreakOutTheKaraoke Wed 08-May-13 15:19:56

Fast day yesterday for me, stayed the same this morning, which was annoying, but I'm putting it down to not eating til half 9 last night, when I got in from work.

NFD today, was really low on calories anyway as not particularly hungry, until I walked in my door, smelt the chicken I had cooking in the slow cooker all day, and needed food NOW! So 4 mini muffins disappeared. Hey ho.

Emilythornesbff Wed 08-May-13 15:39:18

Thanks greeneggs
Fasting day today. Not a total fast as I had milk in a coffee this morning and just had half an apple but I am doing 4:3 this week and just been to the gym (thanks dh for watching babythorne for an hour).
meneedshoes I often forget to drink enough so I fill a water bottle a couple of ime a day and try to have a few mugs of herbal tea too. The only time I get really thirsty is if the bottle is out if reach grin

Oh glory be. I had forgotten how good the gym feels. Wish I had the time to do that every day.

postmanpatscat Wed 08-May-13 15:52:37

Thanks greenfig for congrats and greeneggs for new thread. I never thought I'd get to goal on #18 so I hope many more of you do the same while we're on #19!

I've reached the 'I don't care if I never eat again' point of my fast usually hits about this time when I've survived no breakfast and no lunch so dinner starts to seem a bit pointless! I'm off to the gym while DD is at rugby training tonight but won't go too mad due to no food all day. However, I told myself to take it easy on Sunday and ending up burning over 800 cals!

Does anyone else have that feeling of 'I want food but I don't know what' at times? Sometimes now I look in the fridge and freezer and cupboards and I cannot find anything I want to eat even though there is plenty to choose from. I think my appetite has been retrained by 5:2.

ELR Wed 08-May-13 16:04:40

postman I know just what you mean! I usually just end up having a banana or glass of water! It's funny you want something but you don't quite know what!

EagleRiderDirk Wed 08-May-13 16:10:15

greenfig I hadn't even thought about not fasting on my next fast day - I'm really glad you said that. Unfortunately they've always been my go to comfort foods blush, I've decided to have some popcorn and some naughty skin from the chickens I've just roasted. Am now making a load of broth with the carcasses so may have some of that every time I feel the hankering to dive head first into a pringles tube.

BetsyBell Wed 08-May-13 16:30:06

New thread, thank you Greeneggs, and big welcome to new starters!

On the subject of thirst, I'm starting to think that I should force myself to drink a pint of water or weak squash when I get back home at 4pm - this is my snack dangerzone and I know categorically that I am actually thirsty but instead reach for the nuts & dried fruits. Even now, I have left my pint of squash on the draining board and sat down with the laptop and a dish of nuts! Must retrain myself.

NFD (non fast day noobs!) today and am trying not to go nuts (geddit?!) with the eating as I failed to lose anything after yesterday's failed fast but maintained at least so no complaints.

I will stop snacking now, have a decent dinner and aim for a fab fast day tomorrow.

Will go and drink that drink now!

Sunshine78 Wed 08-May-13 17:40:53

Hello newbies, this is my second week and I really have going it easy. Really helps knowing the next day you can eat what you want.

I have surprised myself today as not eaten loads like I thought I would although I think I did push myself to the limit by combining fd with circuit training!

Looking forward to my fd tomorrow then a weekend of eating as I please!

INeedThatForkOff Wed 08-May-13 17:53:48

I've just booked myself a check up at the doctor's next week - cholesterol, blood sugar etc. I think I really need a kick up the bum to make this work. Anyone have any idea how long it might take for results to come back?

NoForkNKnife Wed 08-May-13 18:10:48

Hi Ladies,
Been wanting to start for a while-but I'm breastfeeding. What's the advice with following this and bf? I need to lose 3.5 stone <wails> and I NEED to start now. I've lost all but 10lbs (8 weeks old DD) from this pregnancy, but the rest is left over from the first baby blush.

myjoy Wed 08-May-13 18:37:42

Thanks Greeneggs!

NoFork I would suggest just giving it a try. I started IF in November when DD was 3 months, felt great and saw no effect on milk or her growth. I lost 10 lbs in 6 weeks then got derailed when I moved country. I've just started again, on 2nd fast day, and feel like I have reset my system again. So feeling positive.

I would suggest while you are breastfeeding to focus on nutrients whenever you eat, take a multivitamin for insurance, and drink plenty of fluids. Good luck.

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