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The 5:2 Thread Number 24 - Summer's still here so skip the snack and share the meal!

(981 Posts)
BetsyBell Mon 22-Jul-13 19:30:53

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

NSV = Non scale victory

Michael Mosley has a website to accompany his 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:

All our previous threads can be found by browsing through our very own fasting section of the site.

Another thread which breadandwine has started is a good resource for some of the tips and links 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. 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.

A HUGE THANK YOU to Greeneggsandnicht for putting together all this info and resources into one concise OP text, much appreciated by so many 5:2ers!

Come join us, and tell us about your experiences with this diet!

frenchfancy Tue 06-Aug-13 06:50:22

*******THIS THREAD IS NOW CLOSED*********************


Rufus43 Mon 05-Aug-13 22:13:09

When I was doing slimming world I fasted as a consequence.

I would get weighed on a Thursday morning, go mad til Sunday, behave a bit on Sunday and then stop eating on a Monday in a blind panic! It worked but was not healthy.

The 5:2 will be better I think as although I will have the odd treat on my off days I will not eat everything in sight

My first official 5:2 fast tomorrow and hoping to do it again on Thursday, might weigh in on Friday, haven't decided

TrucksAndDinosaurs Mon 05-Aug-13 17:34:56

It's fasting that stopped me drinking in week:
No drink on Monday as fasting Tues...
No drink on Wednesday as fasting Thursday...
No drink on fast days...

Talkinpeace Mon 05-Aug-13 17:07:09

5:2 was basically only thought up a year ago
the studies - even if they are ongoing - will not be complete and peer reviewed yet
look up studies on intermittent fasting - they go back to the 1930's

Lizzabadger Mon 05-Aug-13 16:53:41

You can easily control for the general effects of calorie restriction/weight loss by giving people the same number of calories spread evenly over the week versus spread in a 5:2 pattern. This doesn't appear to have been done yet.

Lizzabadger Mon 05-Aug-13 16:50:27

Thanks ERD, TIP and GEAN. In my reading it may be fair to say that the health benefits in humans remain to be established but that there are reasons to think, tentatively, that it might be helpful.

I certainly agree it can be an effective method of calorie restriction and weight-loss Gilbertus - I've lost 10lb in 5 weeks!

Talkinpeace Mon 05-Aug-13 16:46:07

its almost impossible to do a "controlled study" of fasting as people know IF they have eaten or not
you can trick them on what they are eating but not whether

MissStrawberry Mon 05-Aug-13 16:44:06

Not having an coke. It tastes nice but leaves my teeth feeling like I have coated them in syrup. So bored with water though!

Southeastdweller Mon 05-Aug-13 16:41:38

There's eight tsp of sugar in that can Miss. Have some water instead as that can help with tiredness.

Talkinpeace Mon 05-Aug-13 16:36:21

its also the long history of studies into "intermittent fasting" (rather than 5;2 which is a modern western softie version of it)

EagleRiderDirk Mon 05-Aug-13 16:34:54

Here are some
There's not much human study out there, but those that are about seem to show a slight improvement in other health benefits over calorie restriction

MissStrawberry Mon 05-Aug-13 16:30:31

I am so tired. I need to resist the can of coke that DH has bought.

Just want DH home now. Kids driven me barmy and I want to just whizz through and get this week over.

GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 05-Aug-13 16:30:11

This thread is close to its limit so I've put the new one up here!

New thread, you say?!

See you all over on the new thread.

Southeastdweller Mon 05-Aug-13 16:28:50

PandaPops76 You could have a big glass of water next time you feel you're on the road to grazing, or have a small piece of the flapjack and put the rest in the freezer?

Gilbertus Mon 05-Aug-13 16:19:11

lizzabadger I was also rather sceptical but I have to say after 4 weeks I've lost 6lbs and deffo look a bit better. I do about 500 cals on fast days but I am not that strict as I don't count tea and coffee with ss milk. Just discovered Innocent noodle pots, the miso one has 194 cals

GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 05-Aug-13 16:06:04

Okay Lizza smile Hope you find what you're looking for.

Lizzabadger Mon 05-Aug-13 15:49:51

I don't see any controlled studies there, GreenEggsandNicht. Any benefits could be simply due to weight loss (regardless of method) not fasting per se.

Dotty342kids Mon 05-Aug-13 15:09:34

Hey, well done BsshBossh, nearly there now! As usual, Monday is completely manic and have barely left my desk all day which helps to stop me going near the kitchen.

Having one of my "don't have to think about it" fast day dinners tonight. 2 slices of wholemeal toast, handful of cherry toms, half a can of DH's lovely Indian baked beans and two low fat quorn sausages. Pretty much dead on 500 cals grin

EagleRiderDirk Mon 05-Aug-13 14:54:03

Ahhhhhh, FD non food treats. Thanks for the ideas everyone, even though you weren't giving them to me direct. Feet up with lovely lotion soaking in after a stern telling off with a file, finger nails done too. This is the life until DS wakes up or the doorbell goes

MissStrawberry Mon 05-Aug-13 14:45:50

Hi everyone

I will go back and reread in a bit but my laptop is playing up so might go off in a minute.

Not a FD but I will still try and eat lightly for the rest of the day. Had my first ever Krispy Kreme doughnut this morning as out with a friend and just had a chicken and salad sandwich with home made oat and linseed bread. Hoping that isn't too high in calories.

Might be able to fast tomorrow. Is it best to have the FD spread out a certain way and do you have to have the same 2 days each week?

GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 05-Aug-13 14:26:50

Lizza there are several studies linked in the OP of this thread. smile

GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 05-Aug-13 14:25:28

Indeed, it's not as if we plan on topping out at B&W's age. grin

Fasting today. I don't usually eat until dinner time but I decided to have a hard boiled egg earlier.

Shall do up a new thread soon. I can't believe it's been a year since MM did that Horizon special!

Lizzabadger Mon 05-Aug-13 14:22:27

If anyone could please link to any proper studies about the health benefits that would really help me. All I have seen so far (admittedly not looked hard) is animal studies, speculation and anecdote (sorry to be so sacrilegious).

Breadandwine Mon 05-Aug-13 14:19:11

its about finding a healthy lifestyle till you are as old as B&W

Older! Much older!


<200 calorie fast for me today - I can make a lovely curry for that. Then I'll declare the kitchen closed and I'll be fine until tomorrow.

BsshBossh Mon 05-Aug-13 14:17:23

Thanks for the miso tip blue2. A teaspoon of Marmite in hot water helps me too. But I think I'm over the hump now, thankfully... Keep going!

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