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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!

frenchfancy Tue 04-Jun-13 11:16:48

Thanks for stepping into greeneggs shoes Betsy.

katedan Tue 04-Jun-13 11:18:34

Is it better to do your two fasting days together or apart during the week?

Can I change my fasting days week by week to fit in when it will fit round my social life?

Rolf Tue 04-Jun-13 11:30:12

I did 3 weeks of 5:2 very happily, then had a week off last week as we were away. I ate the most horrible amount of sugar yesterday, and I'm fasting today. Hope I can get back on track! I still haven't weighed myself so no idea what, if anything, I've lost. I reckon I have about 2 stone to lose. I get really disheartened on seeing scary figures on the scales so I'm better, for now, just sticking to the WOE. Everyone busily weighing themselves and posting their weight is much braver than me smile.

EagleRiderDirk Tue 04-Jun-13 11:38:36

Kate I think its better to fast non consecutively. No scientific reason but that's my opinion. I don't think it matters if you chop and change days, I think we all mainly gave set days as everyone likes a bit of routine! I'm sure MM didn't do it the same days all the time in the horizon doc.

MelanieCheeks Tue 04-Jun-13 11:43:23

kate you can change your days to suit you. Most people find it's easier if they are separated, and my preferred option is Mon-Thurs because that has the most eating days in between! But that's just a matter of preference, and I often switch days anyway to suit other commitments.

Breadandwine Tue 04-Jun-13 11:49:06

Thanks, BB! smile

IMO, Dr M doesn't recommend fasting for bf mums just to protect his own back. However, I can think of at least a dozen mums on these threads who've successfully combined the two.

About 24-hour fasts: I just said one day that I wouldn't eat until I was hungry - and I never was, not even when the evening meal was served up. I've gone 48 hours (when my wife was away) and still felt no hunger. But we're all different, you just have to suck it and see! grin

About no snacking: I've got my own variant, NES - No Evening Snacking - which has been a life-time habit of mine. Now, after every evening meal, I declare myself to be in the zone - and I find I'm not tempted in the slightest! Weird.

During the day on NFDs I'm well aware that that snack - that first nibble - far from satisfying your hunger, will only flick the hunger switch. So I try and remind myself after every meal that the hunger switch needs time to switch off - and the longer you go (with me) the less the urge to snack.

Best wishes to all! And, to the newcomers on here, welcome - you've come to the right place! smile

Cheers, B&W

monster54 Tue 04-Jun-13 11:53:27

Yes kate suit it to yourself.

Mr Mosely doesn't recommend fasting two days consecutively as it is just harder. and it is about sticking with it for the long term.

That said I have done a number of consecutive fasts to suit my schedule and found them tough but doable.

fastyspeedyfast Tue 04-Jun-13 11:56:36

Thanks for the shiny new thread, BB!

Easy fast day yesterday and the scale has me down juuuuust under my half-way target. So very pleased. Big run today to make sure it stays off!

Hi Katedan! Welcome. I aslo do Mon-Thurs for the most part, but swap if necessary. I do find the fast days more of a chore if I've swapped - I guess routine works for me. But whichever way, they're never overwhelming.

babyfatbutt Tue 04-Jun-13 12:21:16

marking my place...back later

BsshBossh Tue 04-Jun-13 12:50:08

monster54 this is how I lost weight:
Monday - FD
Tuesday - Eat under TDEE (usually in 8 hour window)
Wednesday - Ditto Tuesday
Thursday - FD
Friday - Ditto TDEE
Weekend - INDULGE! (Over TDEE without guilt and no 8 hour window)

peplum41 Tue 04-Jun-13 12:52:12

Much as I would like to spend the morning reading this brand new thread, thanks Betsy too busy! Suddenly got a garden demanding attention on top of everything else. Just wanted to nip on to wish akarucker a get well soon, yes have nice crushed ice milkshakes for that rasping throat, cant think of a better tonic.

Hi to all newbies, will catch up with you soon, lets make the most of this salad and fruit weather.

I get the whole no snacking approach, I agree with the successfully slimmed down Bssh that its the perfect companion to 5:2, but its not always easy. Sometimes I think you need to utilise some of your fasting day techniques, such as having a drink of water or tea first, distraction etc. I would like to keep fasting forever, if not no snacking when finally at maintenance- whenever that will be.

melaniecheeks I stalked you a bit on the 5:2 forum, you look ace, like a real picture of health.

Right MUST go, got dyson filters to wash. yuk

TonytheFish Tue 04-Jun-13 13:03:57

Hey all.

My first day went quite well.

I have decided to eat once in the day, so an evening meal only on a fasting day!

I was doing some calculations yesterday and measuring some stuff to get a general idea of how many calories in different foods, just to meal plan a bit better, and the amount of rice I can have is tiny! Which makes me realise how much rice we have and I always cook too much! Our portion sizes are huge! So, I dont plan on calorie counting on NFD but if nothing else, calorie counting on fast days is making me realise that I do need to cut down our portion sizes in general! If that makes sense?

EstoyAqui Tue 04-Jun-13 13:05:58

Afternoon all. I'm fasting today after not managing any last week. I was too busy out with the kids in London so I'm hoping that all the extra running around, pushing a buggy, carrying DS etc will have a neutralizing effect.... I doubt it though!

I'm weighing in tomorrow and I am desperate to not have gained. I don't mind being the same but I really don't want to see a gain.

Good luck all those fasting today.

Oobis Tue 04-Jun-13 13:16:39

Hi, I'm new to the thread but today is my 31st FD. Does anyone here exercise on their FDs?

monster54 Tue 04-Jun-13 13:19:57

Thanks bsshbosh...

That is the exact mojo that I am following this week. Hoping for a shift.

Well done tony just the realisation is enough to just scale things down. If you watch the horizon programme it says that the impact of the FD on average reduces a calorie intake of 175% down to 110% just from the awareness of calorie content, portion control etc!

You are well on your way!!

monster54 Tue 04-Jun-13 13:20:52

Intake on a NFD I should clarify!

Miffytastic Tue 04-Jun-13 13:52:32

Hello all, gosh are we on 21 already?! Thanks Betsy
I'm doing a consecutive fast day, due to various factors for this week, including a realisation a couple of weeks ago that whilst I can do my full on zumba class on a fast day, it's more fun on a normal eating day.

Feeling quite 'over there' today IYSWIM. Got the concentration of a flea sad

MelanieCheeks Tue 04-Jun-13 14:16:10

Ooooh, I has a stalker! Very cool smile

I do light exercise on a fast day no problem- jogging for about 30 minutes (I'll be doing that this evening in the sunshine), or scottish dancing, or yoga. I would be a bit worried about a run of more than an hour without proper fuelling, and I know that if I try to lift heavy weights on an empty stomach I can get dizzy.

Miffytastic Tue 04-Jun-13 14:29:31

Yes I went for a run this morning, took it very gently, and did 30 mins. My legs felt really heavy, and like I had nothing in the tank. Told myself it would be good for me...but may have contributed to my weirdy feeling today. Hmmm

Moominlandmidwinter Tue 04-Jun-13 14:33:27

Thanks for the new thread, Betsy.

Hi to the newbies, Leboob, I'm breastfeeding, although I waited until DD was over 6 months and on a decent amount of solids before I started this WOE. To start with, I added an extra couple of hundred calories on my NFDs to make up for breastfeeding (but kept to 500 on fast days). I then felt a bit frustrated that the weigh loss was a bit slow, so just stick to my TDEE now. My supply hasn't been affected at all, but I do make sure that I drink plenty. I've been doing this since 29th April, and have lost 10lb so far. We are all different though, you may find that you lose on a few more calories per day, and if your baby is young and ebf, I would start gently. There are a few of us breastfeeding mums, someone else might have better advice than me!

I had a good FD yesterday, was so busy that I didn't break my fast until 9pm. Had my museli, yogurt, pear and honey concoction, then went to bed. It was the first time that I've felt energetic on a FD, so kept myself busy. I didn't WI today though, as I feel really bloated. TMI, but things have not been regular since starting this WOE!

Bsshbosh- I'm still trying to stick to no-snacking. This went out of the window at the weekend, and I felt horrible- had totally reverted to my old grazing habit. I haven't snacked at all today, and feel much better for it.

LeBoob Tue 04-Jun-13 14:39:52

moomin my dd is 10mo now so well into solids, I think I'll give it a go! I'm just at a loss at where to start on my fast days, is a fast day classed as a full 24 hr period?

Moominlandmidwinter Tue 04-Jun-13 14:59:42

I should think you'll be fine, Leboob. By fast day, it refers to a calendar day, rather than 24 hr period, if you see what I mean. So you would have your normal eating day as usual, go to bed, then your FD starts when you get up. You have your 500 kcal in whichever form you want until bedtime, then when you get up the next day, your non fast day starts. Many people, myself included, find that in someways, it's easier to have the 500 in one sitting during the evening meal, as the hunger-switch is triggered if food is eaten earlier on. Also, it means going to bed feeling quite full. Others find it's simply too long to go without food, and split the calories into two or three small meals. I find that drinking herbal tea and bovril helps to keep me going, and I have the odd coffee or tea too, but deduct any milk from my 500kcal.

Good luck!

LeBoob Tue 04-Jun-13 15:13:21

Ok well Im at work for the next two days so I'm going to do my first FD on Friday after I've done loads of research into what I can/can't eat

LeBoob Tue 04-Jun-13 15:29:41

Any first day tips?

EagleRiderDirk Tue 04-Jun-13 15:36:42

leboob oddly enough the first day I did, I didn't eat until the evening. This was mainly because I had no clue how many calories were in anything, so copped out a little. But I found that really helped me get into the mindset of this WOE, and by my 2nd fast I had more of a clue and went easy on myself having 3 small meals. Until I realised that was actually making fasting harder for me! What I mainly did was remind myself that if I had a dodgy tummy, I'd be fasting so I'd done this before and tomorrow I could eat what I liked (well, ish). Try washing down hunger with water, and if that doesn't work try tea or bovril.

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