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The 5:2 thread number 25- One year on from Dr Mosley's Horizon ep!

(963 Posts)
GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 05-Aug-13 16:28:03

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.

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

Talkinpeace Mon 05-Aug-13 16:34:47


Southeastdweller Mon 05-Aug-13 16:37:36

Drat, you beat me to it Tip (yes I'm very childish).

flowers greeneggs

wildwater Mon 05-Aug-13 16:38:20


postmanpatscat Mon 05-Aug-13 16:41:09

marking my place

thanks for new thread flowers

EagleRiderDirk Mon 05-Aug-13 16:43:14


Talkinpeace Mon 05-Aug-13 16:44:27

I dashed across really quick - cos I'm mature like that - not
and being slim can run fast grin

Dotty342kids Mon 05-Aug-13 16:49:30

You lot are fast smile. Anyone else seen there's a doc on Wednesday night, I think, about the diet industry? Looks quite interesting. BBC2 at 9.00 I think...

Tommy Mon 05-Aug-13 17:23:44

feeling smug after my post this morning. Went to Harry Ramsdens with my mum, my DSs and nieces and had a black coffee!! That's all!! they all had fish and chips and I resisted grin grin

wrigglebum Mon 05-Aug-13 17:34:26

Thanks for the new thread. Just marking my place.

FD today, decided to have lunch and I'm finding a bit harder. I had half a fillet of smoked mackerel and tons of salad. It was delicious but has woken up the hunger beast! I think it's also the miserable weather and still bring mostly housebound with a toddler just getting over chicken pox. I'm eying up the boys' dinner but will resist and have a glass of water instead. I'll try a shred once the boys are in bed then it will be chicken pesto and roasted veg.

Not quite sure how but I weighed less this morning than before the weekend of lots of yummy food.

MissStrawberry Mon 05-Aug-13 17:57:44

This is all new for me, joining in at the start of a thread! Planning on having cous cous with cucumber and mixed beans for tea. Would rather have the chicken and chips DH is having but I know mine is better grin.

Pollysbubble Mon 05-Aug-13 18:03:54

Hello all you fellow 5:2ers!
I am having my usual Monday fast and have made it to en of working day on an apple and few cups of tea, and have my stir fry dinner all planned out, so far so good for a successful fast. (And on reading back over today's thread am now also planning a DIY manicure am pedicure for tonight to keep me occupied and away from any biscuit tin temptation - thanks for the tips!)

Ooh, almost forgot to introduce myself.... I have been lurking here for a little while so feel like I know all of you, but you don't know me yet!
Have been doing this about 6 weeks now after recommendation from a good friend, and am around 6 lbs down, so right on track for a lb a week. After many years of semi successful dieting and calorie counting I needed something different and new to get me keen and enthusiastic again and I think I have found it. Am loving the flexibility of being able to pick and choose fast days, throw in an extra one if I have over done it on non fast days, and you all have been invaluable in keeping me motivated - so thank you!
I think I have about a stone and a half to lose in total, which has crept on over the last couple of years since my little one was born, and I have not been able to get out and do as much exercise as I used to. But now a few pounds down I am also getting back into my running habit and even considering having a go at this shred I am hearing so much about!!

MrsFlorrick Mon 05-Aug-13 18:15:18

Hello everyone.

I am dipping my toe into IF.

I am doing 16/8. In order get a good handle on the whole thing I have signed up to my fitness pal so I can track what I eat.

Stopped eating just before 7 PM last night and had first meal today at 11 am. I have just had my last meal half an hour ago and planning to eat again after 10am tomorrow.

According to mfp I have consumed 1297 cals today. And I certainly don't feel like have held back iyswim.

I will keep this 16/8 for a couple of weeks to see how I get on and if I feel brave enough then I may try 5:2. Just not sure I could stick to 500 cals. If I feel brave I will try to aim around a 1000 cals first and work downwards.

Most people on here seem to be doing 5:2 or 4:3. I am hoping to hear from someone who has done 16/8 and what their successes were.

BsshBossh Mon 05-Aug-13 18:47:00

Welcome Polly and MrsF. MrsF when I do 16:8 I tend to maintain but then I don't log calories anymore so you should be fine. Starting with 16:8 sounds like a great idea as you'll get used to waiting a bit longer to eat - which is a good first step. Then you can ease your way into 5:2. Several posters here, including 5:2 veteran Breadandwine, started 5:2 on more than 500 cals and then adjusted downwards as they got used to it.

Talkinpeace Mon 05-Aug-13 18:47:57

Fast day today.
Huge Sunday lunch, no supper last night.
Breakfast was mug of tea. Then swam (1200m) and yoga.
Mug of tea for lunch.
Just had supper : spanish omelette with leftovers from the roast - around 400 calories and some currants from the garden and a satsuma
am utterly stuffed and will not eat again till tomorrow lunch

so mrsflorrick I'm combining 16:8 with 5:2 and have been for ten months.

Welcome pollysbubble the flexibility is indeed the key

Jinty64 Mon 05-Aug-13 19:16:29

Well, things are going well so far! I had WW tomato soup and a natural yogurt at 1pm, I was not hungry before that and felt satisfied afterwards. Left work at 4pm and swam 40 lengths. I was a bit worried that l wouldn't manage but it was fine. I felt quite wobbly after swimming but managed to pick up ds3, get him home and make pizza for the boys (without eating any). I've just had my stir fry. Still feeling a bit wobbly. I'm popping out to deliver a gift and will have an early night. Just over 500 cals as I had an extra cup of tea!

Nacster Mon 05-Aug-13 19:23:16

Hi, just started 5:2 today.

Had a slim a soup with a bread stick at 2, and a chicken salad for dinner. Still have about 100 cals left. grin

I think I'll maybe try alternate days for a while to get used to it.

I'm about 1 stone overweight following steroid treatment 6 months ago. Hoping to get healthier and fitter too.

BsshBossh Mon 05-Aug-13 19:51:52

Welcome Nacster.

Successful FD in the end after a wobbly start. Water mainly all day and a couple of mugs of black coffee. Intensive HIIT running & weights session at the gym after dropping my 5yo off at her gymnastics workshop. This definitely contributed to the wobbly start - it wiped me out. But back to my desk and worked through to 4pm when I picked DD up. Felt much more energised as the afternoon wore on.

Have just broken fast with black grapes. DH is on his way home now and will make chicken noodle soup (he's been fasting too - he does 6:1; he's a science PhD, has read as much science literature on fasting as he can and is convinced enough by the health benefits to fast despite not needing to lose weight).

Might do 16:8 on all non-weekend NFDs this week now I'm back in weightloss mode.

monster54 Mon 05-Aug-13 19:52:57

Wow!!! Thanks for new thread.

FD done, and I've shredded tonight. Was not a good session though.

I've seemed to have gained a little since starting shred, which seems common. I'm a bit worried in not eating enough to keep the loss going.

I'm doing 4:3 and shredding 5 times a week. Sedentary job 5'7 and 153lbs ish....

Should I up my tdee? I read not to eat back cals though?!? Any advice/direction?

MissStrawberry Mon 05-Aug-13 19:56:32

Am I excused for one night?

I am unbelievable stressed and might succumb to chocolate or crisps later.

Doitnow Mon 05-Aug-13 19:57:32

Hi. Marking my place on the new thread.
Was going to fast today but lasted till about 11am before all the plans changed for the day so I'll do one tomorrow instead.

Jumped on scales this morning and, despite doing 4:3 last week, I hadn't lost any weight. Was pretty disheartened having lost 2.5lbs in my first week. I'm 11.8.5 and 5'6 tall. I didn't count calories on my NFDs but wasn't particularly bad. Will need to try again this week and see how I get on.

Id love to lose a stone, would then be the lightest of my adult life but wonder if I might still not be quite happy at that weight. Will have to cross that bridge when I come to it. Was just interested to note that on the last thread (sorry, can't remember who posted) you said that many of you had settled on a weight lower than your original target. Do you just 'know' when you get to your ideal weight?

BsshBossh Mon 05-Aug-13 20:00:10

monster when I increased the intensity of my exercise routine I put on 5 lbs that week; it came off after a few weeks (I didn't change my eating habits) as my body adjusted so I put it down to water retention as muscles were being exerted more than usual (I was very sore!). Same thing happened recently - no exercise for a few weeks then bam back into it full-on style and weight went up despite no increase in food intake. But I'm not worried, I know it's water.

PandaPops76 Mon 05-Aug-13 20:00:57

Hello and welcome*Pollysbubble, MrsF and Nacster*! Sounds like you're all doing well already!

A good FD so far for me: just black coffee until 3pm when I had a 51cal WW soup with one Ryvita, and then a cauliflower and celeriac curry for supper with a small amount of brown rice, and some stewed rhubarb (without sugar) for pudding. Now to settle down to an evening of Inspector Morse - perfect for a cold, rainy evening - and distract myself from any cupboard raiding!

BsshBossh Mon 05-Aug-13 20:04:32

Doitnow when I was BMI 36 my ultimate goal was to reach a healthy BMI 24. I maintained at BMI 24 quite happily for a month or so then realised I liked being slim and would still look good being slimmer (there was another reason, linked to my ethnicity - how Indians and some other Asians need to be a lower BMI to be in healthy range). My aim is now BMI 21.

monster54 Mon 05-Aug-13 20:08:43

bssshhbosh reassuring to hear. I gathered it was prob done to retention.

I'm just wondering did you up your tdee cals on NFD's!?

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