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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!

myjoy Wed 08-May-13 18:50:58

Forgot to mention, I am a little haphazard about calories on fast days but I aim for 700 - 750 to allow a little extra for milk production.

Yesterday, I really enjoyed the freedom of planning and cooking a delish pasta dish,with dessert, and not feeling naughty because it was an eating day and today is a fast.

myjoy Wed 08-May-13 18:51:26

Forgot to mention, I am a little haphazard about calories on fast days but I aim for 700 - 750 to allow a little extra for milk production.

Yesterday, I really enjoyed the freedom of planning and cooking a delish pasta dish,with dessert, and not feeling naughty because it was an eating day and today is a fast.

tiredemma Wed 08-May-13 19:25:33

hi all- had an urge to weigh myself this afternoon at work (spurred on by my lovely nursing staff who have hidden all food away from me). On monday i weighed a disgraceful 64.3 kg (I'm only 5ft)- today I weighed 63.4kg which is the lowest I have weighed in weeks- so maybe something is working- I may have lost that weight anyway- who knows- but its certainly given me motivation!

can I just ask on average how many calories you are consuming on your non-diet days? Today I've had 1300 (according to MFP which I LOVE!!)- is this a reasonable amount?

catsrus Wed 08-May-13 19:33:18

I just had an interesting experience. Working in London, just missed a train, not a fast day but only had sensible Pret lunch of around 500 cals. Decided to eat out at Yo Sushi while waiting for train.

Large glass of wine, Miso soup and whatever I fancied from the dishes on the belt. I had edamame beans, the seaweed salad the tofu and the salmon. I STOPPED EATING BECAUSE I WAS FULL. That is such a NSV for me grin - even with the large glass of wine I recognised "full".

There was a woman next to me who had 9 dishes - I watched her just picking them off one by one. I am not that kind of person anymore - I recognise "full". For me that is the triumph of this WOE - its taught me what hunger really is and to listen to my stomach. I didn't eat through boredom or because of the wine - I ate what I wanted and then stopped. I gave myself full permission for more - even pudding if I wanted it - but I did not want it. Result grin

Emilythornesbff Wed 08-May-13 20:12:04

Yay catsrus

postmanpatscat Wed 08-May-13 20:26:21

emma ideally you should set MFP to maintenance, then you'll end up with the right number of calories per day. the deficit is gained through fasting not daily calorie restriction so you can safely eat more i think. Mine is 1600 at 55.3kg with a lightly active activity level.

ceebeegeebies Wed 08-May-13 20:28:49

Just bookmarking. Will try and catch up now

ceebeegeebies Wed 08-May-13 20:50:46

just posted this on the other thread by accident blush

Am I the only one who is still a greedy pig on my NFDs?? you all keep posting about how you don't fancy stuff/not hungry etc and I haven't noticed a difference at all. I will still reach for chocolate/sweets etc

Doilooklikeatourist Wed 08-May-13 20:53:32

Fast day yesterday , and on a day off for the first time .

The house has never been so clean and the ironing basket is empty for the first time in its life !

Drank loads of tap water , herb tea and black coffee , had tomato salad for lunch and homemade courgette soup for dinner , followed by a low fat yoghurt and some grapes .

Very tired and headachy last night , and absolutely shattered today , but I am having a food day today , and fasting again tomorrow .

Southeastdweller Wed 08-May-13 21:03:51

Thanks as always to greeneggs. Looking forward to hearing more from you.

Welcome to all newbies. This WOL is seriously life-changing!

catsrus I know exactly what you mean. I gave up all hope of having my appetite reset before starting 5:2. The weight loss is secondary to this.

NoForkNKnife Wed 08-May-13 21:15:25

Thanks, myjoy.
Good tip regarding fasting calories. I'm going to aim to fast tomorrow. Quite excited to be finally doing something!

CountryMama Wed 08-May-13 21:22:55

Hi everyone, may I join?

I started this last week as I found all the information about this diet compelling. I am 34 and have just had 3 babies in quick succession... So have maybe 2 st to loose (11st 9).... But more than that I really want to be fit, healthy and happy for my munchkins.

I have fasted twice and found it easy. I even ran 5 miles on my first fast day. I am eating a lot on nfd's which I need to change I guess.

I am excited to get going and really do this well.

This thread had already been really encouraging. I can't believe how well this diet has worked for so many people. Thank you all for contributing.

mttum Wed 08-May-13 21:51:05

Oops, had a fast day by mistake today! I've been away from home for a couple of nights and the travelodge I was staying at didn't do breakfast. Then too busy at work to go and get lunch, and by the time I finished I thought, "well, may as well carry on for the rest of the evening now." It helped that I had a 4 hour drive home, and DD had already eaten with her grandad so no cooking needed to be done. Made sure I had an early night though, to avoid temptation.

Now the dilemma is whether to have a fast day tomorrow, as planned originally, or to take an unscheduled NFD. Decision, decisions! Will sleep on it and decide in the morning.

mttum Wed 08-May-13 22:00:19

cbgbs, I do pig out on NFDs at times, like having a lovely Indian meal last night with no restrictions, but I also find myself thinking more about what I do eat on NFDs and trying to eat more healthily without being obsessive. For me the key is to be aware of what I'm eating and make a conscious decision to eat it or not - whether it's "healthy" or "rubbish". Before this WOE I would just open the fridge/cupboard and eat whatever I saw!

I was thinking on the drive home today how much this WOE must annoy the food and diet industries. It brought a big smile to my lips!

akarucker Wed 08-May-13 22:40:39

ceebee I'm also a greedy pig on NFDs, and today was no exception!

BsshBossh Wed 08-May-13 22:54:13

ceebee though my appetite has reduced I still can pig out on NFDs. I need to keep an eye on my eating and if I can't be bothered to (eg weekends) then I moderate on other days. I regularly go well over my TDEE Friday through Sunday but have lost 20 lbs on 5:2.

Talkinpeace Wed 08-May-13 23:07:52

Blimey, thread 19. I feel old!

Welcome new people. Excellent to have you on board.

This way of eating is different from any other diet you will ever have tried because the weight loss is a side effect not the aim.

Those of us who started last summer after watching the programme are still here, not because we are still losing weight but because we are so used to fasting we see no need to stop.

As a long term thing, several of us in the backwater that is the maintainers thread have discovered that fasting two or three times during the week and being good on the other weekdays allows us to be rather decadent at the weekend.

Now you know how those people on the right hand side of the Daily Mail website get away with eating burgers - because they eat our fasting recipes on the other days!

fluffypillow Wed 08-May-13 23:46:46

Hi all smile Had a great fast day yesterday, followed by a totally gorgeous 'eating' day
today grin

Lunch out with DH and DD. Had a cheese and onion toastie and shared a muffin with DD, then had lovley pizza for dinner (on wrap base) followed by beautiful English strawberries, meringue , and thick cream!! All within my TDEE.

I LOVE this WOE. I am never going on a diet again.......yay!!!

6th fast day tomorrow........bring it on grin

Welcome to all new starters, you will love this WOL smile

Good luck to all for tomorrow, eaters and fasters alike.

Tortoiseontheeggshell Thu 09-May-13 00:40:41

Hello new thread! I'm fasting today (it's Thursday morning here) and I'm already hungry. But I'm learning that if I push through the morning, the appetite dwindles down again. Usually Thursday doesn't work for me as a FD, but last week I tried Friday, and it's one of my days at home with the DDs, and by 6pm I would happily have traded one of them in for a G&T. So I'm sticking to work days for now!

ceebeebies, I'm still eating whatever I want on NFDs, but I am starting to find that I am more careful about it. Not so much in terms of calories, but more...making sure that I really want to eat what I want to eat. Last Friday, for example, I really, really craved bread and butter. And noodle soup. And carby things. So on Saturday, when I decided to make lunch, I really thought about exactly what my preferred lunch would be. Having craved bread the whole day before, I wanted a sandwich, but then it had to be a spectacular sandwich. So I made a brie and olive sandwich with loads of salad greens in it, and I was so happy and satisfied that I didn't need to snack in the afternoon at all. I guess beforehand, I would have just made any old thing, but I appreciate food more now because it's sometimes scarce!

I do sometimes still make an evening snack even if I'm not really hungry, just because I want something to nibble with a glass of wine. Have to work on that.

Tortoiseontheeggshell Thu 09-May-13 00:41:55

Emily, what is your spicy chicken broth recipe please? It sounds like the perfect thing to make this evening.

peplum41 Thu 09-May-13 02:47:04

Hello, thanks greeneggs, remembering to sort a new thread out when you've just moved house etc. When you find your scales I'm sure you will get a lovely result.

Well its great to see lots of new names, not going to say hi personally, because when I do they seem to disappear forever!

Also glad to see the return of talkinpeace, I know you're all about the maintenance now, but like to know you're still at it. nurseezza miss your posts too. You remind me of my lurking days.

mtmum your point about the diet/food industry is spot on. I think that's why there's the occasional spurious piece of twaddle in the media about fasting, especially that its not good for women, there hasn't been enough trials, etc. They can do one, I've never felt better. So glad I'm not saddled to weight watchers- have you seen their cheesy adverts where patsy meets other slebs for coffee!

chocupid been there with first not so d h, who left me for the skinny woman over the road less than a year after my dad had died. I could see them sitting on the couch together in her house whenever I went into the kitchen. Oh the memories! Have moved on since, but yes its hard at the time. Wish I'd known about 5:2 then. Could've saved myself from about 3 stone of emotional eating. mumsnet hugs

Emilythornesbff Thu 09-May-13 05:05:12

Hi * tortoise* chicken broth is stock (made from Sunday's carcass and - few bay leaves, onion, clove or whatever I find at the bottom of the fridge grin - skim the stock when it's cold to reduce the fat) or use a stock cube of corse. Then I had a few scraps of chicken, chopped celery, onion, carrot and sometimes a handful of lentils with a couple of goog teaspoons of Harissa spices. It's a bit watery but the veggies give a nice texture, I am addicted to the harrisa spice and it uses up tiny bits of leftover chicken. I haven't checked the calorie content but surely.......

Tortoiseontheeggshell Thu 09-May-13 05:54:53

I have a batch of chicken broth at home, I wonder if it'd be nice with a can of brown lentils, some Indian spices (or, yes, Harissa, YUM), low cal veg and bits of chicken. Thank you, that sounds like a plan! I'll eventually get to the stage where I have a repetoire of a few low cal dinners, but at the moment I'm having to think about them from scratch each time. Which is making me properly hungry. Today is feeling very tough actually, but it's 2.30pm and I think I can white knuckle it through till dinner.

Emilythornesbff Thu 09-May-13 07:03:06

tortoise I can't bear to cook from scratch each time on a FDC, although I can doit for ds and dh, just not for my fasting meal.
I cook a batch of broth (chicken or lentil, usually spicy) every few days when I can be arsed and freeze it in portion sizes.
Last night I rummaged for salad scraps and ate a tiny amount of leftover chicken with some chicory and vinegar for my dinner.
I definitely need an alternative to soup though now the warmer weather's here.
Maybe I'll plan that today as it's aNFD.

Emilythornesbff Thu 09-May-13 07:17:59

NFD today grin. Up at 5:30 (thanks DS) so just had breakfast of sugar free muesli and a cup of tea. Both with skim milk.
No idea what to eat later but I'm ok with that. I no longer fear hunger so if there's nothing I like I can wait until later.
Good luck to all the fasters today.

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