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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!

swallowedAfly Tue 04-Jun-13 17:03:32

afternoon smile

bit of a post and run as it's been hectic and stressful this week so far. everything sorted with dogs, child etc finally so am feeling a big sense of relief which is magnified by my period just turning up a few days early (thank god) so that i'll be over the worst of it by the time i have surgery on friday. all good stuff.

also will explain why this morning i'd popped up to 10.8 - if that's the worst from pmt this month i'll take it. am in agony but too grateful to complain grin

haven't eaten yet today but soon to tuck into my lovely pork casserole and won't be calorie counting but doubt i'll hit 1000 even.

hope everyone is good. thanks for thread betsy

ELR Tue 04-Jun-13 17:07:16

Hi everyone I'm back from a fantastic holiday and I'm too scared to get weighed!
Lets just say I've eaten very well!! Had a full week off from fasting with large breakfasts, smallish lunchs and huge dinners but with no real snacking in between. My new jeans I bought are a little snug! I am going to fast tomorrow and Friday and then get weighed or maybe I should just get weighed in the morning to see what the damage is.
saf amazing weight loss you are doing really well and good luck with your op on Friday.
betsy thanks for the new thread.

myjoy Tue 04-Jun-13 18:50:33

leboob I'm breastfeeding too and find that IF does no harm to me or baby. I think it's important to get as many nutrients as possible on all days, so I try to eat lots of veg, whole grains, and quality protein. On eating days I take a multivitamin ( it upsets my tummy on FDs) for insurance. And I drink lots of water.

One of my favorite things about IF is how much I enjoy evening meals with the whole family. Food tastes divine when you are properly hungry. And slowly my tastes are changing so that healthier food is my preference. Birthday cake was really disappointing last weekend.

katedan Tue 04-Jun-13 18:53:49

Thanks for all the advise ladies. Nearly at the end of my second fasting day and feeling OK. I went to the gym this afternoon and noticed I did not have as much energy as normal so will def take the advice about exercising when there is something in the tank!

I am not going to weigh myself till Friday as I am planning to eat healthy the next couple of days and then do a weigh in before relaxing a bit at the weekend.

Cupcakexprincessx Tue 04-Jun-13 19:06:36

Betsy Thanks for new thread smile

Monster It is my week for Totm, usually weigh tomorrow but don't know if I should as I feel bloated?

On Feast or up days, I still feel hungry in between meals, which makes me want to snack and then end up going over Tdee as mine is 1690. Any tips?

Also have sugar in tea so that brings it up!

This Wol seems so do able for me. Only thing is I cant help thinking 'how will I lose weight' since if I go over my Tdee slightly then my calorie deficit wont be large enough to lose a pound per week.

Has anyone found that even if they go over their tdee for the week they still lose weight?

Thanks smile

peplum41 Tue 04-Jun-13 19:14:47

Hi all

ELR cant believe you're back already. I did laugh when you put that you had large breakfasts, small ish lunches, huge dinners but, no "real" snackinggrin. Whether you weigh or not, those snug jeans are probably the best yard arm, you know how notoriously unreliable scales are, I don't know why we still bother with them says she who checks daily

saf Glad you're all set and that Mother Nature's monthly gift will have done its worst by the weekend. Good downward trend you've been getting lately.

miffy I seem to remember you're an appleshape, me too. Trying to get into a form of exercise I will stick with and Zumba does look appealing, do you think it helps the ab zone?

virginposter Tue 04-Jun-13 19:17:58

BetsyBell thanks

BsshBossh I am not snacking during the week but am at weekends and am maintaining nicely smile

monster54 Tue 04-Jun-13 19:23:13

cupcake I weighed and it depressed me! I wish I hadn't.

I think in future I won't bother. As for tdee you could throw in a weekly mini fast if you want to cut cals, going over tdee will affect you losing sadly!

peplum41 Tue 04-Jun-13 19:25:25

cupcake warning obvious tip alert!!

Try and cut out that sugar in your tea.

Been re-reading the 5:2 book this pm, and was reminded how insulin forces fat into fat cells, and the fasting helps reduce this effect, called insulin resistance. Its not just about calorie deficit.

Yes, tea will taste foul for a week or two, but its worth it in the long run.

frenchfancy Tue 04-Jun-13 19:31:20

I agree with peplum I used to drink lots of coffee with sugar. I decided to cut out the sugar so I could have coffee on a fast day without counting the cals, the first 2 weeks were pretty foul but now I don't like sugar in coffee anymore.

BsshBossh Tue 04-Jun-13 19:36:55

Yey virginposter, me too smile

Cupcakexprincessx Tue 04-Jun-13 20:18:15

I can't help but think this diet is too good to be true! smile

Am doing 5:2 and sometimes eat over my tdee on feast days.

Has anyone continued to lose weight even when non calorie counting, or going over Tdee on feast days?

I just can't seem to fathom how I can lose a pound a week if my weekly calorie consumption does not equal enough for a pound loss a week?

Also what other tips boost weight loss? Heard of skipping breakfast on feed days? Any other tips?

Thanks all


Itsaboatjack Tue 04-Jun-13 20:20:36

Welcome back ELR glad you had a good time.

saf, glad you got all your childcare sorted, good luck for Friday.

BB thanks for the new thread.

aka hope you feel better soon.

and welcome all newbies, and well done all losers.

Well it seems I am definitely a creature of habit, I do so much better when my routine is normal. Bank holiday and half term and days out threw me last week. I managed 2 fasts but the nfd's weren't too good.

Back to normal this week though, fasted yesterday. I'm still trying to stick to no snacking on nfd's, at least during the week anyway.

Cupcakexprincessx Tue 04-Jun-13 20:25:06

Thanks all for replies!!

Sorry just posted another similiar message as I didnt think my previous message had gone through and could see no replies. Hence the second similiar one haha, sorry.

Yeah I will try and cut sugar in tea, ahh sounds hard.

Monster How much were you up during Totm? How many days after totm do you think we should weigh in future? Also what are the rules for a mini fast?

Peplum You mentioned insulin when fasting as an extra way of losing in regards to not just simply calorie deficit, so does this mean actually fasting all day with no food?

Ta smile

EagleRiderDirk Tue 04-Jun-13 20:29:17

Someone on the last thread mentioned shiritake noodles. I'd seen them but decided not to try before I started this woe but tried some after it was mentioned. Wasn't great in my chicken broth. Just had the second half of the pack in a stir fry (fast day today). Omg, fantastic. Not as tasty as normal noodles but ive had a large stir fry and a bounty bar and am stuffed. And still under 500 cals. and my mouth is burning coz I put enough chilli in for 2 portions

doublecakeplease Tue 04-Jun-13 20:31:11

Hello - can i join you??
I'm very new - decided to go down the 5:2 route last night and have done my first fast today. I did:

Dinner at 7 last night
coffee with sweetner and a tiny dash of skimmed milk this morning
A few bits of cucumber at lunch time
Hot water with lemon slices throughout today
Dinner at 7 tonight was grilled pork steak and salad with 3 jersey royal potatoes.

Does that sound ok?? Not read the book yet but i will

I actually haven't felt hungry today - i think the water made a difference as usually i can go all day without noticing I've not had a drink which i think adds to my sluggishness

Miffytastic Tue 04-Jun-13 21:09:42

Peplum I think it depends what kind of moves the particular zumba teacher does. I went to one I don't normally go to and the routine we did to 'loosen up my buttons' pussycat dolls really made my abs ache the next day. There are much more hip/salsa type wiggles than standard aerobics.
Yes I am an apple... just googling for some new trousers as my size 14 asda crops are too big, and apparently I have a size 16 waist measurement {sigh}

ceebeegeebies Tue 04-Jun-13 21:27:22

I am now in bed...have a really bad headache and not sure if it is related to it being a FD or not hmm am into week 8 of this and never had a headache before so who knows??

akarucker Tue 04-Jun-13 21:34:36

OMG - I vaguely remember a discussion a while back about antibiotics causing weight gain. Please, someone confirm that this is the case, otherwise I've just gained a bucket load of weight in two days that I won't be able to blame on the penicillin). Can it happen that quickly? We're talking several pounds!

Itsaboatjack Tue 04-Jun-13 21:49:47

aka I think I remember that too, can't remember any details though.

postmanpatscat Tue 04-Jun-13 22:05:13

Hello all

Welcome double

katedan I'm a regular fast day exerciser, I might not push it as hard but I don't let it stop me (and have been known to run 10k!) There's a lot to be said for exercising on empty - have to burn fat if it's the only fuel available!

aka hope it drops off as quickly as it's appeared

welcome back ELR

cupcake when I was about 10 my parents decided no-one was having sugar in tea any more, they cut us down from 2tsp to 1 and then nil and that was all there was to it - we got used to it. I can't drink the stuff at all now, however, I stick to peppermint tea instead which I find much more refreshing.

alm71 Tue 04-Jun-13 22:30:28

Oh thanks everybody for you compliments about my 9 and half stone loss. I feel so much better since losing the weight. I just need to lose this half a stone now and I'll be so happy!!!

Peplum - I did have a few plateaus. My longest one was a 12 week plateau at the 12 stone stage. I nearly gave up!! I cut out bread and the weightloss started again. I agree with everybody's advice NEVER GIVE UP- you can all do it.

aka - It took me 18 months. I remember starting off at 1800 calories a day and then reduced it bit by bit until I got to my goal weight. I never went under 1200 calories a day. It was quite restrictive though when I had to calorie count everything!!

Bssh - I work both as a nurse and a midwife. I feel that I often rush around and quite busy during my working day. Some days are busier than others. I don't do specific exercise. That's why I'm finding it very difficult to calculate my TDEE. I'm 5ft 3 and weigh 9 stone. I would like to be 8st 7. I was 8st 2 last year but it was too low for me. I went overboard and put on a lot over Xmas but I can't get back to my ideal of 8st 7. Any suggestions about my TDEE?

postmanpatscat Tue 04-Jun-13 22:39:31

alm I'm 5ft 4 and 8st 7 - 9lbs now I'm maintaining. My TDEE is 1590 when based on lightly active. I walk to work most days (about 10 mins each way) and I allow for my exercise (running, cross trainer) separately. I don't feel like I want the 'allowance' until I've earned it.

peplum41 Tue 04-Jun-13 22:45:55

Uh oh... cupcake I'm the cackiest person to ask about the science bit! Even that bit about insulin resistance was badly worded. But yes, studies, usually involving mice and men, show that fasting, eg going without eating for several hours rather than nibbling the same amount of cals across the day, does affect the amount of insulin your body produces and insulin is described as the fat making hormone. I'm especially interested in insulin because I'm apple shaped, insulin resistance being a factor in that fat midriff. The other 5:2 web sites have some excellent items on this.

But the point I was trying to make was that the sugar in your teas will keep your body continually seeping insulin into your fat cells. Oh the horror!

miffy thanks, will try a class soon! I know all about the slim hips but when's your baby due belly!

Talkinpeace Tue 04-Jun-13 22:51:09

Thank you to Betsy for the new thread.
Welcome stalwarts and greetings to newcomers : come on in the sun is shining.

I really would say to people that if you can you really, really need to give your digestive track breaks during the day.

You CAN go four hours without food : you do twice as long as that every day (well night actually).
Your body may take a week or so to adjust,
if you want to get the health benefits, you need to have significant time gaps in your food intake.

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