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The 5:2 Thread number 21! Soaking up the Sunshine

(978 Posts)
BetsyBell Tue 04-Jun-13 09:04:46

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.

NFD = Non fast day

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!

EagleRiderDirk Tue 04-Jun-13 09:23:19

[Flowers] for Betsy

BsshBossh Tue 04-Jun-13 09:24:30

thanks Betsy.

Bramblesinforrin Tue 04-Jun-13 09:30:25


monster54 Tue 04-Jun-13 09:34:44

thanks betsy

monster54 Tue 04-Jun-13 09:36:00

So out of interest who does not weigh on the TOTM week?

Also who tries to go 16 hours on a NFD before breaking their fast?

I'm trying to break a stall so trying something different this week....

BetsyBell Tue 04-Jun-13 09:40:57

Thanks all smile

I had a good fast day yesterday with a friendly scale result this morning! A weekend of serious cheese and wine abuse with friends was clearly exactly what I needed to kickstart a bit of downward shift after a long plateau. wink I'm still not back down to my lowest ever but closer than I have for a while. I'm not yet in the mood for proper exercise but once my millionth cold of the year has cleared up I might get inspired again.

BsshBossh Tue 04-Jun-13 09:42:02

Is anyone on this thread still not snacking between meals?

It's been working really well for me - for the last 2.5 weeks I seem to have slipped into a nice, maintainable rhythm of eating quite a good portion of breakfast (occasionally, not everyday, certainly not on a fast day), lunch and dinner (with small dessert) and then not being hungry for in-between snacks.

I seem to be maintaining my weight loss doing this, and considering snacking/grazing was the reason I ballooned in weight in the first place, this is very good news indeed. Last week I even went down another belt notch and yet I don't need to lose any more weight.

As per No S Diet I am much more flexible on weekends and special days but have found my snacking on those days have naturally reduced (by quite a lot).

BetsyBell Tue 04-Jun-13 09:42:30

monster I enjoyed my method of breaking the stall... (see above) grin

BsshBossh Tue 04-Jun-13 09:43:55

monster54 I do 16:8 on some non-fast days. I like knowing that I am gaining extra health benefits by fasting 16 hours on extra days. I used it successfully combined with 5:2 when I was losing weight.

MelanieCheeks Tue 04-Jun-13 09:45:37

Thanks for the new thread!

I haven't tried the "no snacking!" route - feels a bit too much like unnecessary deprivation for me. I'm fasting today - and wearing a dress that I'd set as a "target outfit!" Yes, it is with the aid of holdy-in knickers, but it feels good to be wearing it. Just a few more pounds to go, and then I'll reassess my ultimate target.

BetsyBell Tue 04-Jun-13 09:49:42

Bshh I found not snacking counter-productive, I felt like I was on a diet, was hungry and grumpy despite eating slightly bigger meals and all for the sake of not eating a bit of fruit or small dish of nuts! I'd rather stick to my smaller meals and supplement when necessary - it works well for me. But it was an interesting experiment and has stopped me feeling bad about my nibbling here and there so a positive result.

Brilliant that it's working so well for you though smile

monster I don't think about my hours of not eating on nfds, I just go with whether I'm hungry or not and eat accordingly rather than think about any kind of schedule.

CrystalDeCanter Tue 04-Jun-13 09:51:05

Well done on the new thread Betsy.

I do 16hrs - if not 17 or more Monster54 when fasting. I've just done my 2nd fast day in a row, I know not ideal but really need to shift some lbs. I'd like to stick to the no snacking rule but find that I have good intentions early in the week then slide a bit over the weekend - hello crisps/sweets/ice cream etc blush.

monster54 Tue 04-Jun-13 09:55:34

betsy blinking love your way of beating that stall!!! I did indulge at the weekend in order to try and boost my metabolism!! Here's hoping!

Thanks bssbosh I'm thinking it will be good for the health benefits and to keep the cal count down on a NFD mon-fri to allow for a little indulgence at the weekend. The weekends might be ruining my fasting work!!

ceebeegeebies Tue 04-Jun-13 10:07:05

Morning smile

Betsy - thanks for the new thread smile

Right after my dip on Saturday, I am feeling motivated again. I am going to be more conscious of what I eat on NFDs as I know I am bingeing, So I am going to be better on weekdays and then binge on weekends wink

11.5 weeks to holiday and if I can lose a stone by then I will be a very happy bunny grin

FD today and just been to Asda for some strawberries and raspberries plus some greek yoghurt...I am already drooling about my lunch in 2 hours wink

katedan Tue 04-Jun-13 10:14:10

Hi Newbie here - can I join you?

I am on day 2 of fasting. Yesterday went well and managed to stick to about 350 cals. Will do the same today and then try to eat healthy for 2 days and then be able to eat nice food at the weekend!!!!!

Couple of questions for you all:

How much do you lose each week by following 5:2?
Do you calorie count on your NFD?
Can you eat over 1500 cals on NFD's and still lose weight?

I want to lose 8lbs in 8 weeks and normally do weight watchers but am trying this as I really like my food and wine and need a diet that will allow this some days.

monster54 Tue 04-Jun-13 10:20:14

Hi katedan and welcome.

8lb in 8 weeks is totally do able. The average weight loss on 5:2 is 1lb per week.

You need to eat around your TDEE on NFD's so that you keep your body guessing. There is a link to a calculator in the introductory post.

You don't need to count on NFD's a lot of people do too. But you must be mindful of what you are eating and your TDEE and aim to stay within that.

Otherwise you are not cutting enough calories to get a loss!

somewherebecomingrain Tue 04-Jun-13 10:30:08

Oh no I just ate a whole bar of chocolate.

EagleRiderDirk Tue 04-Jun-13 10:30:42

monster and bosh I do 24hr on fast days but haven't managed to do anything like 16 on an NFd. I haven't fully gone onto no snacking on nfd, but don't really do it unless I'm really hungry.

I really struggle to eat up to Tdee on nfd, or 500 on fast days. I don't go hungry (except fast days obviously) and don't want to eat for the sake of it. I'm not denying myself treats or drinks either. Hoping that eating below both will still give enough difference to keep the body guessing.

monster54 Tue 04-Jun-13 10:36:01

Ohhhh eaglerider I wish I was you!!!!!!

There is no way I could do 24 hour fasts. Maybe there is? How do you get through the hunger? How do you sleep?

I need to build up a mindset to tackle that challenge!!

LeBoob Tue 04-Jun-13 10:36:09

Hi everyone, does anyone know if your able to do this while breastfeeding? (& will it affect supply?)

I feel like I need something to kick start post baby weight loss but low carbing just doesn't seem a good option to me!

monster54 Tue 04-Jun-13 10:38:40

leboob it isn't recommended for BF'ing mums but there are a couple of ladies on here that are fasting and with success.

Hopefully they will post later with some tips and advice!

alwaysanauntie Tue 04-Jun-13 10:44:38

bssh I'm desperately trying to stick to no snacking as that's mainly how i've put on weight (a snickers here, a couple of pain au chocolat there...) so i need to reign it in. Like others though i do relax at the weekend as the whole point of this wol for me is to carry on long term, plus i like treats too much to ever stop totally!

hello katedan I'm a newbie too, 2nd week of fasting for me. Sounds like you've made a cracking start smile

thanks betsy for the shiny new thread!

EagleRiderDirk Tue 04-Jun-13 11:09:55

monster I worked my way to it slowly. I found 3 small meals made me so more hungry and grotty so started skipping brekkie then started skipping lunch. If in get really hungry I have tea/Bovril/diet cola. Otherwise I wash down with water. And I still start the day with my 2 large coffees, or I can't survive.

I'm on and off with sleeping. I struggle to nod off nowadays. I never used to be a good sleeper until i got pregnant with DD though so I'm guessing less weight = worse sleep for me.

LeBoob Tue 04-Jun-13 11:11:16

Ok I'll keep my eye out for them, thank you!

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