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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!

mttum Sun 19-May-13 11:22:20

meandmy, it's true that less going in will mean less coming out. TMI ALERT! After a fast day, for me there is virtually no point in going to the loo, IYSWIM. I am trying to make sure I drink plenty (water) and get plenty of fresh fruit & veg, whole grains etc. Seems to do the trick on the days after NFDs. I don't want to get into the world of laxatives, that would be a bad sign as far as I'm concerned .

ChesterDrawers Sun 19-May-13 12:29:53

Oh my god, I am never fasting on a weekend again, it is too hard. Food is everywhere - at least at work I can avoid food if needs be. I have just made pizza for DS and DH has just had a cheese and ham toastie.

Am still hanging in the but, oh, it's so difficult sad

Breadandwine Sun 19-May-13 13:20:26

Keep the faith, Chester!

Remember that the slightest nibble will unleash the hunger monster! shock

But if you keep going, you'll be OK - and it will get easier, promise! smile

Every time you fast, the next one becomes more doable!

Emilythornesbff Sun 19-May-13 13:41:55

Great minds mehefin

I do love a NFD.

DeckSwabber Sun 19-May-13 13:48:58

Chester, at work the girl who sits next to me eats her breakfast at her desk, her hot lunch at her desk, and snacks on fruit, crisps and chocolate at her desk. If its not her its the one who sits behind me who manages to keep a bowl of aromatic soup going for several hours. Neither are overweight.

I haven't asked them to stop because it is my choice to fast, but it is very distracting!

At home I try to cook those meals in advance and leave the house while the boys are eating as it seems less rude than going into another room.

INeedThatForkOff Sun 19-May-13 13:53:29

After three NFDs I'm ready to start my next fast. Does anybody else have a relatively early evening meal and start the fast at 6pm? I like to eat with DD. An advantage is that it puts a cap on my calorie intake the day before the fast (I still have my full TDEE but there's no evening snacking). Also I feel that a 36 hr fast broken up with a 500 cal meal around 6pm is more achievable for me than trying to go all day until, say 8. That said, I will feel peckish at bedtime two nights on the run.

Emilythornesbff Sun 19-May-13 13:59:18

chester hang on in there. It's really tough at he w/e IMO but tomorrow you'll feel great.

forkoff I eat early (with DS) usually 5 or 6. And usually don't snack in the evening (too effing busy grin ) I like to think it all helps. It also means that on a fasting day I have my soup at a reasonable time. I suppose it doesn't really extend my fast though because I eat at the same time each day IYSWIM.

ChesterDrawers Sun 19-May-13 15:50:07

Thanks for all the support, it's like having my own group of cheerleaders!

I am still fasting so think I've pretty much got today nailed now. Just had a cup of Bovril and feel like the end is in sight. Got 450 cals of quorn chilli and brown rice for tea, so that should fill me up nicely.

Roll on 7.30...

wonderingagain Sun 19-May-13 16:00:50

I've had 3 NFDs too, but weight has stayed down. So far lost 12lb in 3 weeks, hoping to lose another 2 in a couple of days time to make up the full stone.

swallowedAfly Sun 19-May-13 17:02:47

just realised i have chicken in the fridge that would go out of date so i've prepared a huge casserole and stuck it in the oven. will have a bowl for supper and know what i'll be having to break my fast tomorrow night.

swallowedAfly Sun 19-May-13 17:03:51

i have only put in chicken, carrots, peas and butter beans and garlic and spices - no potatoes so i doubt it will have many cals per bowl will it? i'm not a calorie counter but am guessing even if i have two bowls of this tomorrow night i wouldn't be over 500?

postmanpatscat Sun 19-May-13 17:08:01

chester I've decided to fast today too so you have company grin So far I've had 65 cals of melon and burned 840 cals in the gym! DD is downstairs making rice krispie squares and I'm avoiding the marshmallows.

postmanpatscat Sun 19-May-13 17:10:35

saf maybe butter beans are quite high cal? About 300 a tin according to MFP.

FrozenFlowers Sun 19-May-13 17:24:28

I'm just making some lentil, lemon and thyme soup for fast day lunches - it makes four portions so I will freeze some and get two weeks out of it. I don't think it will be thrillingly exciting, but it should be filling! I have planned to have it with some carrot and celery sticks for textural interest. Have conscientiously entered the details into MFP and it comes out as 125 cals per portion (before veg sticks) so that's good.

I haven't had time to take my duff scales back and get new ones, so at the moment I have no accurate idea of what I weigh and no way of measuring progress!

I need to get this sorted out as I'm convinced the diet won't work and I think I need concrete evidence otherwise. I haven't been making much of an effort to change the way I eat on NFDs yet - I figure it's baby steps and once I am used to fasting I will tackle that. However, I am concerned that to have become so overweight I must have been overdoing it by a huge amount, and maybe I will be so over TDEE on the NFDs that I won't lose any weight anyway however careful I am on fast days!

I am hoping that I will naturally become a bit more mindful, which will be a start anyway.

swallowedAfly Sun 19-May-13 17:44:09

i'm not overly keen on butter beans anyway so i'll be sure not to include too many in my portions. ds likes them and they sneak a bit of iron in surprisingly along with protein which is handy as he's a bit of a natural vegetarian.

baby steps sounds a good plan to me frozenflowers. you can always weigh yourself in boots if you feel need. some swear by taking measurements as a good way of tracking progress.

peachypips Sun 19-May-13 18:06:02

Afternoon all. Was supposed to have my first fast tomorrow but have started an enforced one today- have terrible sickness bug and so have eaten nothing for 24 hrs!
So a nice easy start in some ways as no willpower required- wouldn't eat if you paid me right now.
Hopefully ill be better by Tues so I can do a proper fast.

ChesterDrawers Sun 19-May-13 18:58:36

11 minutes 'til chilli o'clock not that I am counting or anything

Dotty342kids Sun 19-May-13 19:56:14

I feel really bloated today for some reason though it may have been a bit carb heavy day.... cereal / banana for breakfast. Falafel, hummus, veg sticks, small slice of cake and a small sandwich for lunch. Ice cream at end of our 5.5 mile walk and then burgers and salad for tea - followed by rhubarb crumble!
Have to say, was having a massive carb slump within about ten minutes of finishing tea - not a nice feeling.
Can't wait for fast day tomorrow. Am going to do a slow cooked chicken, chickpea and spinach curry for tea tomorrow. Will be delicious but it's going to be torture smelling it cooking all day long grin
Good luck to all Monday fasters, I'll be checking in in the morning as usual.

INeedThatForkOff Sun 19-May-13 20:03:58

I ate earlier, so I'm fasting fully until 6pm tomorrow when I'm having a weird old favourite of my mum's: poached egg on melted cheese! I'll also be having some fruit. Looking forward to it already grin

postmanpatscat Sun 19-May-13 20:20:22

Just ate my fast day dinner of Quorn sausages, mash, gravy and peas, yum! Feel stuffed now.

Thought I might eat one of DD's marshmallow squares tomorrow, when I'm not fasting, but they have already scoffed the lot - must be quicker next time!

peachy get well soon. Don't worry about fasting Tuesday if you've barely eaten for two days!

ceebeegeebies Sun 19-May-13 20:39:48

Evening smile

NFD for me today and I celebrated by going to Chiquitos for a 3 course meal plus wine blush feel SO stuffed and uncomfortable right now but god it tasted delicious wink

Feel like I want to tomorrow but I have plans with DS2 with food involved. However don't think I will have breakfast till at least half 10 so it will be a mini fast of 17 hours.

How strange that I actually look forward to that hungry feeling now...a few weeks ago I would have never seen that coming as I used to be scared of that feeling shock

EagleRiderDirk Sun 19-May-13 20:40:10

peachy I've been there with you the last few days. I hope you get better soon.

My meals today have been 2 plain white toasts, a chocolate twirl, a McDonalds nugget meal, a pack of crisps and am about to hit a bowl of broth. Nothing particularly healthy but under Tdee and stodgy enough to block my tummy. Isn't it great to be on a diet and eat that grin

Lazytoad Sun 19-May-13 21:51:15

Well I'm almost through the first fasting day, having consumed a total of 486 calories! Now I just have to last through to going to bed without snacking. I've noticed some of the messages on this thread say that people aren't eating anything untill the evening, is this what I should be doing?

BreakOutTheKaraoke Sun 19-May-13 22:22:44

Dotty, can I have that recipe please?

postmanpatscat Sun 19-May-13 22:58:31

toad, it is up to you...many find it helps to last from dinner one evening to dinner the next day when fasting, as once they start to eat it is hard to stop! I usually have lunch and dinner when fasting, when you get more fast days under your rapidly shrinking belt, you will have a better idea what works for you.

I fasted today and didn't eat until about 2.30pm (only melon), then nothing until dinner about 7.30pm. Might have eaten earlier but I text DD and asked her to put the grill on, she did just that - but ignored the other knob that actually makes it hot rather than just turning on the light inside!

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