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The 5:2 thread number 35 - A new year’s resolution you’ll want to keep? Try 5:2 - it's not a diet, it's a lifestyle. Whether you want to shift fat, get healthy or discover some missing self control -

(1000 Posts)
BetsyBell Wed 08-Jan-14 17:11:23

The continuing thread for those of us following the 5:2 fast or other forms of fasting such as 4:3, ADF, or daily 16:8.

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 normally - or approximately your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE - see explanation below). 4:3 is the same except you fast on 3 days in the week. Alternate-day fasting (ADF) is just how it sounds; you fast every other day. 16:8 is another form where you stick to only eating in an 8 hour window each day, therefore fasting for 16 hours each 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 or app 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 TDEE calculator to help you figure out how many calories you should be eating in a day.

NFD = Non fast day

NSV/LSV = Non scale victory/Lifestyle (change) victory

Michael Mosley has a website to accompany his book on the subject. Please go check it out, as he's the whole reason most of us are here!

Lurkers and new starters: please just jump in and post - you'll find a lot of support here and we’re a friendly bunch.

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:

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

Tips and Links : 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!

Inspirational: eatriskier’s thread has some lovely inspiring stories which are worth checking out if you want some motivation to get started or keep going through a plateau. Please add your own too.

Recipes: frenchfancy has a recipe thread over here, please post any low-calorie recipes there so they don't get lost in these bigger threads!

Exercise: bigchocfrenzy has an incredibly informative and helpful exercise and fitness thread for discussion and advice on combining 5:2 with an exercise regime.

Maintaining: 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.

Other links
This is a BBC article regarding Michael Mosley's findings, which was featured on Horizon - link to that programme here.

This Telegraph article comments on the diet and gives a brief overview by Dr Mosley himself, very informative if you're just starting.

This blog post 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.

This link nicely demonstrates that there are many body ‘right’ body shapes and types, because what we are actually aiming for is low body fat for fitness and health.

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 article 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. (Though anecdotal evidence from these long-running threads may suggest otherwise…)

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 way of life!

BetsyBell Wed 08-Jan-14 17:14:45

Oops - lost the end of the title!

" - it can all happen here!"

Thanks to Cuckoo for the title smile

Please fill up the old thread first folks...

BetsyBell Wed 08-Jan-14 17:15:32

Old thread

TalkinPeace Wed 08-Jan-14 17:49:21

I will bags first place on it grin

MazzleDazzle Wed 08-Jan-14 18:11:07

ANOTHER thread? We're a talkative lot!

TheLeastAccomplishedBennetGirl Wed 08-Jan-14 19:55:31

marking place

going for 4:3 this week to counteract lack of exercise, but managed to run today after all grin

CuckooAtchooUhOh Wed 08-Jan-14 20:00:36

Twerks onto new thread.......

Yeah baby!! Let's do this mofo!

Eatriskier Wed 08-Jan-14 20:02:14


Baloostika Wed 08-Jan-14 20:02:26

Marking my place.

BsshBossh Wed 08-Jan-14 20:04:35

What, another thread already!!?! grin

youaremychocolatecake Wed 08-Jan-14 20:14:11

Hello. Marking my place. Not actually started yet as EBF and can't seem to find out of it's ok or not. Still losing weight naturally but has slowed down to almost nothing now (10 weeks)

BigChocFrenzy Wed 08-Jan-14 20:54:58

What, a new thread, already ?
<Pops in, dripping chocolate>
Many thanks, Betty and to Cuckoo for suggesting the title.

TimeToPassGo Wed 08-Jan-14 21:16:58

Marking place for my continued WW / 5:2 hybrid grin

zedzedzed Wed 08-Jan-14 21:35:51

Marking mine.

ShyGirlie Wed 08-Jan-14 22:24:19

Help!!! First ever fast tomorrow and I'm terrified!!!!! Feel hungry already!

Plan for 2moro-

Breakfast = 40g porridge with water

Lunch = 145g blueberries. ( book said to have these on porridge, but don't think I'll cope without something in middle of day?!?)

Dinner = chicken stir fry as per book ( but with fry light, saving about 20 calories) plus tangerine.

Leaves approx 20 cal to play with.

Can I do this?!?

Actually terrified!

BigChocFrenzy Wed 08-Jan-14 23:01:33

Welcome, ShyGirlie. We tend to avoid carbs and fruit on FDs.
Porridge can make you hungry later.
Fruit for lunch would be worse and can upset an empty tum.
Most of us skip breakfast, to gain health benefits from fasting and to save cals for later. I suggest:

Breakfast- Double nearly-black coffee / espresso / tea (max 10 cals) for breakfast
Lunch - Chunky veg / bean soup (no bread)
Supper - protein and lots of veg, like your chicken stir-fry

I know the healthy eating brigade keep pushing fruit, but I only eat it on NFDs.

ErrolTheDragon Wed 08-Jan-14 23:09:04

Hello - I've not been on these threads before, I started doing 5:2 last year, had a break over xmas and started again this week.

ErrolTheDragon Wed 08-Jan-14 23:43:56

Um, bigchoc, I think Shygirlies plan is exactly the first meal plan in the Michael Moseley and Mimi Spencer 5:2 book! The latter is keen on tangerines and an apple (core, pips and all!) for lunch. (I sometimes do that and its OK)

Shygirl, yes, you can do this. If that's what you're planning, I'd say try having the porridge and fruit together for lunch and just have coffee or tea (with some of that 20 cal in milk if you want) in the morning. Remember, there's nothing wrong with feeling hungry for a while - you can eat the next day. smile Do remember to drink lots as well as the food you've planned - water or green/herbal teas - because normally a lot of our liquid comes in our food so we need more drinks when fasting.

BigChocFrenzy Wed 08-Jan-14 23:58:27

ChocCake Best to wait until 3 months after birth.
Also, then do 1000 cal FDs, not 500 cals - official recommendation from a leading IF scientist, Dr Varady.
Congrats on your baby flowers

BigChocFrenzy Thu 09-Jan-14 00:00:29

Errol, ShyGirlie I know they are always pushing that fruity plan.
however, many of us have found in practice that porridge and fruit leave us very hungry by afternoon.

ErrolTheDragon Thu 09-Jan-14 00:07:45

Yes - I wouldn't have it in the morning. Was thinking if she didn't have apt soup in better have it for lunch than get put off starting.

BigChocFrenzy Thu 09-Jan-14 00:09:37

It took me 3 months before i could manage 500 cal FDs.
The most important lessons for me at least were: no sugar, no fruit, no starches, no breakfast.
Still, YMMV as ever.

ElenorRigby Thu 09-Jan-14 06:38:12

Hullo all, I came across the Horizon documentary this week, it made sense, so I'm giving it a go.

It's my second fast day today.

My first was on Tuesday. I had breakfast of scrambled eggs at 6:30ish. From about 11am to 2pm I was ravenous then around 3pm I was fine. I had a light dinner after which I felt quite sleepy around 8pm.
I went to bed and had the best nights sleep Ive had in months! Very strange.

Today I think I will wait until this evening before having my 500.

My starting stats are
BMI:31 Weight: 172lbs blush

ShirtySocks Thu 09-Jan-14 07:01:50

I'm back on it after binging over Christmas blush

First day Monday I had no breakfast, parsnip and ginger soup for lunch, two ryvita thins about 4pm and a chicken stir fry thingy (meal from Waitrose - cheat!)

Today I'll be doing the same and having a ready meal in the evening again - because they were on offer grin
I do struggle with the evening meal as I HATE the trying to substitute things to make a low fat meal <cauliflower rice I'm looking at you> so I tend to either have a ready meal - the waitrose ones are lovely or something very simple like a chicken breast with veg (but soooooooo boring)
In my defence, I cook from scratch the rest of the week for the family.

First day of fasting (after Christmas) was fine except for last 15 mins before tea when I just lost the plot and was stomping around like a bear with a sore head!

Hope everyone else who has just started is getting on ok. I must admit my heart sinks when I realise it is a fast day but I can do it, and it's only a day <repeat sixty billion times>

somewherebecomingrain Thu 09-Jan-14 07:07:01

Hello - omg this thread is packed with newbies!

I am achieving the holy grail - yesterday I had to stop eating my fast day supper half way through because I felt too stuffed!! Wtf.

It was a 750-800 mini fast but even so!

I had 2 milky coffees, and 3 poached eggs at 1.30pm. That totally shut my hunger off.

Then a soup/roast chicken/broad bean concoction that would not recruit ANYONE to 5:2 on culinary presentation merit but was tasty.

Hey breast feeders I was EBF till recently and successfully stuck to 500 much of the time, even did a 250 liquid fast. I found it ok at first but as my weight dropped it was just insane - I'd eat 4000 cals in one day and plateaued totally.

That's why I mini fasted yesterday - I'm still bf a bit and want to avoid eating like a bodybuilder.

This morning had a carby breakfast frenzy - 1200-1500 cals but feel definitely full and most uncomfortable, rather than that strange aching sub hunger that i,d have all the time on nfds before.

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