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The 5:2 thread number 27 - Season of fasts and mellow rumblingness (with apologies to Keats)

(981 Posts)
BetsyBell Thu 19-Sep-13 16:58:47

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!

Talkinpeace Wed 09-Oct-13 11:07:50

are you logging all your food on MFP - and keeping a mood diary - to see what goods you are eating too much of and why.
THere are many, many 'emotional eaters' on this thread : you are not alone.

Go for NSV Non Scales victories. Measure your waist, hips, bust and neck. Do it again after two weeks of fasting. Put the scales away in the garage and let your waistband tell you what you need to know.

Talkinpeace Wed 09-Oct-13 11:10:35

following on from my real life chat with Laska and an ongoing discussion on these threads about body shapes, I remembered this article

All of these people have incredibly low body fat
but they are radically different frames and proportions.
Low body fat is the true goal, but a bugger to measure, so we approximate with BMI.
But please look at these people and see what their heights and weights are before you compare yourself with a scrawny coathanger model or anorexic sleb.

Will dig out more info and do a specific thread later ....

whimsicalname Wed 09-Oct-13 13:26:55

Morning all. Fasting again here today. I haven't tried doing mon/weds fasts before, so slightly apprehensive. I also had a terrible night's sleep and am cold tired and hungry already. I have been managing without breakfast, but have treated myself to an egg, spinach and spoonful of salsa. Came in around 100 cal and was very satisfying. I might have exactly the same for lunch, and then I'll eat supper at 5pm before the second trial by tae kwon do of the week.

whimsicalname Wed 09-Oct-13 13:29:06

Morning all. Fasting again here today. I haven't tried doing mon/weds fasts before, so slightly apprehensive. I also had a terrible night's sleep and am cold tired and hungry already. I have been managing without breakfast, but have treated myself to an egg, spinach and spoonful of salsa. Came in around 100 cal and was very satisfying. I might have exactly the same for lunch, and then I'll eat supper at 5pm before the second trial by tae kwon do of the week.

whimsicalname Wed 09-Oct-13 13:46:10

sorry. Fat fingers strike again.

BetsyBell Wed 09-Oct-13 15:58:07

No problem Whimsicalname - it's probably worth filling up the thread so I can post a new one up! Good luck with your day - it's definitely harder after a bad night but the egg/spinach power should keep you going!

rubbishfamily333 Wed 09-Oct-13 16:21:11

Hi 5:2 thread, I am thinking about trying it.

I am 10.8 stone the biggest I have ever been. I want to be 9 stone but would be happy with 9 1/2 stone.

I am really unhappy about my weight at the moment, I am an emotional eater and can't seem to stop. If I try to diet etc and loose weight quickly it puts me off and I give up. Sometimes even when I am loosing weight and it is going well I self sabotage and give up.

So I've looked up my tdee which is 2033 shock

So does that mean on a normal day I should have 2033 cals? That seems very different to trying to eat 1300 cals like I'm used to!

How quickly have others lost weight by eating this way? I know everyone is different but I would just like an idea. smile

rubbishfamily333 Wed 09-Oct-13 16:42:02

Also on non fast days are you allowed to eat anything you want? As if I was eating 2000 cals per day I could eat 3 decent meals and chocolate and crisps if I wanted.

zombiesheep Wed 09-Oct-13 17:00:04

Hi everyone thanks for the advice a few pages back! Fast day here today! Am so hungry but I'm getting through it! grin Im making sure I do a 24 hour fast so no eating throughout the day and definitely no breakfast. How come when I have breakfast on NFDs my stomach is rumbling by 10.30am but in FDs my stomach hardly rumbles, which is good! grin well done all today's fasters!

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 09-Oct-13 17:07:37

Hi rubbish smile

You are right that you can eat to your TDEE, because your whole calorie deficit comes from your fast days.

Yes you can eat anything you like.

This isn't a quick fix, it is a change of lifestyle. I've been doing it for 4 weeks now and I've lost 6 pounds. Last week I didn't lose any. You will see a lot of talk about 'NSVs - non-scale victories'. This is because many of us are finding that we are losing inches and fitting into smaller clothes despite seeing very small movement on the scales.

I would also like to add another, unexpected but utterly fabulous NSV - fewer wrinkles! grin My skin is looking amazing and I definitely look younger, my skin is much smoother and the lines around my eyes are almost gone. Yay!

BetsyBell Wed 09-Oct-13 17:10:03

rubbishfamily welcome smile This way of eating can be great for emotional eaters as it seems to break the cycle and puts people back in control of their eating habits. So yes, 5 days a week you can eat up to 2033 calories (or stop when you are full if less than that) and 2 days you only have up to 500. A good tip is to eat at the TDEE level of the weight you want to be most days.

Rate of weight loss varies but seems to average out at 1lb a week. It's also a brilliant way of maintaining your weight when you get down to where you want to be.

If you have a day when you sabotage than that's fine - make it a normal eating day and fast the next instead.

DownstairsMixUp Wed 09-Oct-13 17:27:11

Well done alibaba on maintaining the same weight smile

Hope your fasting day is going well whimsical

rubbishfamily it is worth a go, talkinpeace has lots of good advice i've noticed about this diet!

Last fast day of the week completed today! I had black coffee for breakkie and a packet of velvet crunch crisps with strawberry tea for lunch and marks and spencer smokey bbq chicken jambayla (sp!) which was great! Def reccommend it to all on here, i feel very full, couldn't even finish my 10cal treat of jelly after!

Hows everyone else managed today?

AngieM2 Wed 09-Oct-13 18:50:42

Just checking in for a moan/offload. Started July, lost 12lb, down to 10.6. Gained 6lb on holiday and promised myself when kids went back to school I'd get back to it. ...but I haven't! Was 10.9 yesterday. The fast days are fine and I'm hammering it at the gym but I seem to be losing it at weekends. Yesterday I did 2 hours of pump and spin and eat a bloody piece of carrot cake (900 cals) WTF! My TDEE is 1660 which isn't a lot. I'm off to Venice tomorrow for a weekend break and this is the first time I haven't fasted so I'm feeling a right fat failure! Do I start back Monday with some proper effort on NFD or give up for a bit. Grrrrr!

BetsyBell Wed 09-Oct-13 19:07:34

I know the feeling Angie! I was fine after my first holiday but still haven't got rid of all I put on during my second trip at the end of August sad. However, I know that if I give up for a bit I'll put on even more weight! However, I'm not feeling like a failure and I know if will come off in time if I just keep at it and when I stop over eating on nfds.

What do you think you need to do?

SchrodingersFanny Wed 09-Oct-13 19:36:13

Having a bad day. Fast day, but awful day at school. I have no calories left, but can't stop thinking about chocolate, cakes, biscuits. Well anything! Argh

JB30 Wed 09-Oct-13 20:27:29

Rubbish just about the tdee and about eating whatever you want - I agree you can but personally I am trying to reduce the choc/crisps particularly as evening snacks just cause that's what got me to my over weight/obese state. I'm working to be more mindful on the "treats" as I always saw them - keep saying to myself, you're not a dog, no treats grin
People who say they eat whatever they want and are slim rarely eat 200gr bars of choc and a family bag of Doritos! They'll have a couple of squares of choc OR a single bag of crisps. That's what I'm working on.
16:8 went well coupled with a mini fast, under 1000 cals, FD tomorrow, big style nfd Friday. Not excited about tomorrow but I'll aim to be major productive in work

Coveredinweetabix Wed 09-Oct-13 21:33:11

Thanks to all of you who posted about your post FD breakfasts. I think I'm going to have yogurt & berries again tomorrow.
Betsy your post about your non-chafing thighs really cheered me up but then I read whimsical's and am now trying to remember what weight I was when I had non-chafing thighs.
Second FD of the week completed here and am planning another for Fri. I need to shift weight & inches. I had a thoroughly depressing shopping trip earlier. My current clothes are too loose yet I couldn't find anything that fitted.

Pollysbubble Wed 09-Oct-13 22:07:41

2nd fast day of the week completed for me today. Not quite as successful as Mondays due to the fully stocked cupboards at home today compared to bare and empty on Monday - that certainly did wonders for my fast day!
Today I was not able to resist a little treat after my stir fry dinner so have taken myself off to bed to avoid any more snacking!
But about 4 months into this woe and both today and Monday I had nothing at all but water and tea until dinner at about 7.30pm. And I didn't even struggle too much with this - mega busy days at work certainly helped, but today I even turned down a doughnut that was offered to me - what a NSV!! I would not have believed it possible a few months ago, but think I am now just so into the routine of fasting on mon and weds that I don't spend all day thinking about it.
And NFD tomorrow - so if I fancy a doughnut then, I will go ahead and have it.
Good luck to all Thursday fasters tomorrow!

BetsyBell Wed 09-Oct-13 22:19:22

MN is being all uncooperative tonight and I'm finding it hard to post on here. If this works it's just to let you know I'll start a new thread in the morning!

2muchmess Wed 09-Oct-13 22:31:11

Aaaagh fasted today and STARVING since 11am and nothing has hit the spot! Going to bed early and I can't wait till breakfast time!
Weighing on fri... Crossed fingers.
What I like about this is there are no foods you can't eat. I'd rather suffer a bit in order to eat what I really want on the other days, rather than cutting something out every day or feeing naughty or guilty for eating it. But today, I've suffered!

Talkinpeace Wed 09-Oct-13 22:32:45

put the scales away - where you cannot get to them for three weeks
now admit that you need to monitor what you are eating to get portion sizes right ....
Monday = 500 calories
Tuesday = TDEE - 10 % = 1800 calories
Wednesday = TDEE - 10% = 1800 calories
Thursday = 500 calories
Friday = TDEE = 2000 calories
Saturday = whatever you like
Sunday = TDEE = 2000 calories

and then measure your bust, waist, hips and neck
ready to check again in three weeks

southeastdweller Thu 10-Oct-13 07:03:19

Welcome rubbish and lovin. Betsy is right, doing 5:2 has helped many of us address our emotional eating issues so with the support on here and the flexibility of this WOL, I think you should both give it a go.

lucyintheskywithdinos Thu 10-Oct-13 07:19:16

Bleugh...tiredness yesterday led to me eating too much (NFD). Back on track with a sensible NFD today though. Tiredness is my only over eating trigger left now, which isn't too dreadful considering I have three children at home all day.

I'm going to try a couple of no-grain NFDs to see if that boosts weight loss. I want to see a 10 on the scales by Christmas, which would be another 7lb off.

DD1 wants to come for a run on Saturday morning, which will make 5 runs this week!

BiscuitsAreMyDownfall Thu 10-Oct-13 07:30:41

Morning. Another FD today.

Still managing to leave the food at night, was so tempted last night as DH got the chocolates out, but I abstained grin So much for him not eating on a night though hmm

lucy 5 runs, well done. I'm lucky if I get 1 run in ATM. Due to working full time and having 3 DCs under 10 I just don't have the time. Looking forward to my 40s when I can do more for myself.

Welcome rubbish and lovin

Just listening to a doctor talking about 800 cals a day shock don't think I could do it every day. Then again as I've discovered not eating does in fact lead to less hunger so it could be possible, but I like sticking well trying to to 500 twice a week.

BetsyBell Thu 10-Oct-13 08:08:17

Yay MN is running normally again smile

Good for you biscuits, closing the kitchen in the evening saves an awful lot of unnecessary calories. Hopefully your DH will come round to that way of thinking.

Quite a few of our DHs on here are 5:2ers as well - once they see the results they seem quite keen to join in! Be quite good to have a straw poll on the rest of this thread - anyone else got a DH joining in? Mine was a hesitant Monday faster but now seems to be doing 24 hour fasts twice a week. Saves on grocery bills and his pricey lunches grin

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