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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!

bugsyburge Fri 10-May-13 21:03:50

ah ok, I've just calculated my bmi & it comes out at 21.5 so that's good smile

DorisShutt Fri 10-May-13 21:13:20

Trouble is BMI takes no account of body shape and muscle mass.

I am 5ft 1" (2" on a good day) and I have large boobs and would (after a slightly drunken night with a med student friend) estimate that they weight about three-quarters of a stone, yet my BMI should be the same as a man the same height.

My healthy BMI range is between 7 and 9.5 stone. I have (even when I was 17, eating properly, exercising 4 days a week) never been lower than the upper limit of 9.5 stone.

I agree that a low BMI is a good thing, but it is not the be-all and end-all of weight loss.

BetsyBell Fri 10-May-13 21:14:58

Hmm, I think it's perfectly acceptable to celebrate a 10lb loss on here regardless of BMI... No one on here is interested in accepting being overweight that's why we're here (and I have been here for 4 months so y'know, not exactly a flash in the pan).

I haven't binged and I've never been a 'dieter' as such, I ate various bits and pieces early at my usual hungry time so didn't have an evening meal - overall calories the same. Apart from the wine grin. It is Friday...

DorisShutt Fri 10-May-13 21:19:08

With you on the wine Betsy... (And yep, I have budgeted for it grin)

Talkinpeace Fri 10-May-13 21:20:52

utter fair point - a friend recently had surgery to save her back that happened to remove 2kg from her boobs

I agree that the BMI is a gross measure .... BUT it is essentially accurate.
Men should aim for between 22 and 27
women between 19 and 23
I know that current acceptance is of BMI much higher than that but, sorry, lots and lots of us are hitting the lower levels while feeling good and having fun.

PS : I eat carefully all week to allow weekend wine ...

bugsyburge Fri 10-May-13 21:28:41

well anyhoos I suppose all that matters is that we are all trying to move the scales in a downwards direction so we feel happier with ourselves.....

hoping to not have an attack of the Friday night munchies....envy

BetsyBell Fri 10-May-13 21:35:56

...And there was I celebrating someone's loss that took them into an acceptable BMI category. Personally, I'm all for positive encouragement.

Some of us are a bit heavier than we look - I'm now size 8 to 10 everywhere except my thighs (12)! And frankly edging towards being too bony on the ribs and clavicle, and yet am BMI 23.4.

bugsyburge Fri 10-May-13 22:00:14

bmi for me is nothing more than a rough tool healthy range is between 8.2 & 9.11..... if I got to 8.2 I think I would be giving Victoria Beckham a run for her money!!! I would look gaunt!!!

nope, for me it's about feeling comfortable in my clothes.... I didn't think I would get to under 10st because as per pp I have always been able to change shape/ dress size but never the scales....however after todays weigh in & a stare at myself in the mirror, i think I'd like to get to 9.7 but nothing less than that I don't think.

where are you hoping to get to Betsy?

BetsyBell Fri 10-May-13 22:09:07

bugsy I'm vaguely aiming for mid-'normal' bmi so 9st7ish I think, but since I started this journey in the 'obese' category I'm pretty delighted to be where I am - anything else feels like a bonus! Like you, gaunt is where I'll end up if I go lower than that - and I know that because I've been there with illness and it isn't pretty and will be even less so now 17 years later. Right now I feel fitter and healthier than ever before - that is the focus, for me, not the numbers. smile

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Fri 10-May-13 22:15:22

Hello everyone and thank you all so much for posting on these threads because they are so helpful and inspiring

I started the 5:2 last week and I love it already, I have lots of health problems/meds so to find a woe I can manage is just amazing

I was just wondering though if its possible to lose really large amounts of weight doing this? Over time of course- not expecting any quick fixes! But I wasn't sure if it was possible to really drop lots of weight or of its more suited to losing smaller amounts and maintaining?

bugsyburge Fri 10-May-13 22:27:40

hi may, how much are you thinking? personally I've lost 19lbs so far.... I know other have lost much more but I think slow and steady is the motto long as you are patient and see out the plateaus and bounces then I see no reason why large amount couldnt be lost

good luck thanks

NoForkNKnife Fri 10-May-13 22:44:17

Hey ladies,
Haven't caught up with the thread today, but before I do, is anyone having a problem with MFP? Trying to log my meal out tonight and it won't 'find' anything. Was working fine earlier. Sorry if you've already been discussing this.

Had a good FD yesterday. Stuck to 550 cal for first FD and it felt relatively easy. The worst part was late afternoon. I've really overdone it today though. Not intentionally, but I've definitely eaten more than normal blush.

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Fri 10-May-13 22:44:42

Thanks bugsy and bloody well done on how well you've done already

I need to lose a massive amount of weight but I'm in no rush and a lb a week would be more than enough for me, but I was just worried that this way of eating might not be enough to really lose lots of weight over time

Having said that even though I am a bit worried it won't work I'm enjoying it so much that I'm not going to stop! It honestly is the only thing I can see myself sticking to long term

postmanpatscat Fri 10-May-13 22:59:19

MFP is up the creek...put my dinner in using my ipod as usual and when I'm on my laptop I can't see it in my diary. Hopefully it will be resolved soon.

Breadandwine Fri 10-May-13 23:27:09

I was just wondering though if its possible to lose really large amounts of weight doing this? Over time of course- not expecting any quick fixes! But I wasn't sure if it was possible to really drop lots of weight or of its more suited to losing smaller amounts and maintaining?

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Personally, I think this WOL is for everyone! smile

Check out this thread on the subject on the 52fastdiet forum:

Hopefully it will give you some encouragement. The forum itself is well worth joining or bookmarking - there is some great research going on there - and the support from everyone is very similar to that on these threads.

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Fri 10-May-13 23:40:38

Thanks so much breadandwine, that link is fantastic

frenchfancy Sat 11-May-13 06:42:52

I managed to eat about 4000 cals yesterday without even trying blush Didn't really overeat, at no point felt full. Just had a day where the meals were high fat and had a bottle of wine and some peanuts in the evening (peanuts are the devils work, 1 small bowl = 600 cals ) I guess this is why my weight crept up over the years. I know it isn't a problem, I'm still below target and I'm doing 5:2 next week but I'm still a bit shocked. I never used to count calories (which is why I could never do traditional diets) and I know I used to have days that were much worse than yesterday.

INeedThatForkOff Sat 11-May-13 07:22:29

I'm so enthusiastic to start that I'm going to count the weekend as NFDs using MFP to track cals. Great to see that I can eat what everyone else does and stay within TDEE. Also blush to think what my usual snacking adds onto that.

swallowedAfly Sat 11-May-13 07:26:05

10.11.4 again this morning. yesterday i didn't eat till evening but then didn't stick to 500 by a long shot but weight is down.

i think i know why it dropped over the last week and again today. yesterday i went for my second whole body massage (first was last friday) and the penny dropped when i was getting the aftercare talk that maybe that was why the weight had come off/stayed off a bit easier. maybe stimulating the lymphatic system has helped? anyway. on an anecdotal study of one i'd say go get a whole body massage for weight stalls. it might also explain why i've been feeling a bit strange this week if maybe toxins and stuff were being released. need to do some reading.

no true fasts this week at all though lots of days of not eating for 20hrs and a couple of fairly low cal days yet i'm back to the lowest weight i've seen since starting this. will leave it for the weekend and fast on monday i think.

BsshBossh Sat 11-May-13 07:32:29

saf excellent!

Wishihadabs Sat 11-May-13 07:37:52

Hello all,
weigh in yesterday 9'2" was 9' 12 when I started in February.So BMI down from nearly 23 to 20.5. I know these figures aren't huge, but I really didn't have much to loose. FWIW I have tiny bones so should realy live in the lower half of BMI range. I know I look and feel better around 9st. (Think my target is 8'12).

I am a little bit sad that I spent 5 years carrying an extra stone around trying to tell myself (and being encouraged by the food and diet industry) to think it was ok and that I needed 3 meals a day or the world would end. No I am a wan with a small frame and I don't need that much food. That is the reality. It is very liberating and saves loads of money smile

DeckSwabber Sat 11-May-13 07:38:00

That's good news, SAF.

Despite strict fasting on the fast days and mostly not overeating on other days I have lost very little - a couple of pounds - but my shape has changed. Less 'muffin'. And my favourite boots zip up easily whereas one was a little tight at the calf. I've been swimming 50 lengths twice a week for three weeks so I'm hoping I have put on muscle!

akarucker Sat 11-May-13 07:48:29

saf I'm so happy for you. You've struggled through a plateau and it was worth it. I think you've well and truly left the 11s behind. Well done!

swallowedAfly Sat 11-May-13 09:03:33

thank you. i hope so aka

Emilythornesbff Sat 11-May-13 09:21:44


Well done saf and wish. So nice to see the numbers dropping.

Bugsy 10lb is great. I bet you're looking fab. I'm 5'4" and super keen to get back to around 8st 4Lb.

frenchfancy shock scary, isn't it? It really is very easy to over eat. If I exercised no control I could manage that lot no problem (apart from the morbid obesity that would follow).

So, not an official weigh -in day but I couldn't resist after my first week of upping to 4:3. 9st 4Lb 2oz. So just over 11lb down since 9 April and a stone or so to go.
I love this thread. So supportive. Thank you.

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