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The 5:2 thread number 36 - Fighting (& losing) the Battle of the Bulge? Eating too much junk? 5:2 is a healthy, sustainable way to achieve & maintain your goal weight. Join our friendly support group!

(1000 Posts)
BigChocFrenzy Tue 14-Jan-14 15:27:54

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!

DinoSnores Wed 22-Jan-14 22:03:33

Just managing to make it into the end of the thread to share that I am wearing size 10 jeans again today! First time they've fitted since before I pregnant with DD2 so I am pretty pleased!

dontbe, well done!

zedzedzed, sounds like you are doing great!

zedzedzed Wed 22-Jan-14 22:06:17

Wow dino how great! What size were you when you started?

curveballs Wed 22-Jan-14 22:08:56

Congrats dino, that's ace, well done smile

PavlovsCats Wed 22-Jan-14 22:15:17

Went 250 calories over today on a fast day....feel quite fed up now

Jobyloo Wed 22-Jan-14 22:24:08

pavlov don't be down! 750 is better than not trying and it's still a reduction in your TDEE.

Dino what a fab result, bet you feel great x x

DinoSnores Wed 22-Jan-14 22:52:45

zed, it is not that impressive. I was wearing size 12 jeans before but I have definitely dealt with over half of the persistent post baby weight. Part of is due to breast feeding less frequently but the fasting has been great.

pavlov, that IS a good result. Take the positive from it!

clarinetV2 Wed 22-Jan-14 23:19:54

Excellent, Dino, dropping a dress size is great news. Pavlov, 750 calories in a day is still pretty good going I reckon.

It's weird how fasting feels different on different days. Monday I thought about food and eating and being hungry almost all day and it was a major act of will to get through the day. Plus an effort to concentrate on anything at all except food. Today was so much easier. Occasionally I noticed that I was hungry but just noticed it and moved on, didn't once have an urge to eat, and left my evening meal until 7.30 with no problem whatsoever. Why does it vary so much? And those of you who've been doing it for a while, do the hard days get easier?

Oh, and I wanted to thank whoever it was (Talkinpeace I think, but apologies if it was someone different) who gave me the tip about drinking a glass of water and waiting 20 minutes when you feel hungry. It's helped me several times.

BigChocFrenzy Wed 22-Jan-14 23:52:06

Excellent NSV, Dino

hopefulgum Thu 23-Jan-14 00:46:02

Such a fast moving thread. Will try to remember all the bits that I read...

ELR, so sorry to hear you aren't feeling good. It does sound like you have a lot going on. I second everyone who suggested the blood tests. If there's something amiss, it may be easily remedied once you know what it is. I hope you can get to the bottom of it and feel better soon.

I have suffered from carpel tunnel for years, it started with my fourth baby, was still around eight years after she was born, then I got pregnant again and it was terrible whilst pregnant with DS. It was better after his birth, but still rears its ugly head from time to time. It does seem to be a lot better since doing 5:2, that maybe due to weightloss - I don't know.

Whilst pregnant I went to a hand specialist who made me a splint (to fit my hand exactly) which helped the wrist stay straight - it really helped, especially while sleeping.

MrsF, your story had me horrified, I just cannot believe how the medical profession fobbed you off. You are clearly a strong,amazing woman, sorting all that out. We really do have to be our own advocates, and of course having friends cheering you on (like on this thread) makes all the difference.

Congratulations to everyone with NSV and SV. There's so much inspiration here.

I am pleased to report that I did my fast day yesterday(hurray) despite going to a party at the beach. Making an early lunch really paid off, I was quite happy to sit away from the table filled with chips (crisps), beautiful fresh pineapple,watermelon,strawberries and grapes, cakes, sweets, beer, wine, punch etc... I just sipped on water all day and sent DH home to bring back a cup of tea. We were there from 11 am til 7:30 and I honestly felt fine. I made this soup for lunch:
zucchini (I think you call them courgettes?), spring onions, tomatoes, chicken stock, cook it all up, blend, then add zero noodles.

It tasted delicious(I quite like the zero noodles), and when I got home from the beach I was so tired I couldn't be bothered cooking anything else, so just had the soup and a peach. It all came in at 140 calories! I had no idea it was so low, but I wasn't hungry,so its fine.

I've gotten up and had some greek yoghurt for breakfast, but can't think of anything else I want to eat. DD made vanilla cupcakes yesterday, and I thought I'd have one of those, but have found myself thinking,"maybe not...they are yummy, but I don't want to overstimulate my appetite with sugar, and I am sure I could choose something more nutrient dense"...I consider this to be a NSV. I also ordered new jeans online this morning - a size smaller than usual ( YIPPEE! ) I just hope they fit hmm I am pretty sure they will soon enough, everything else is getting too loosegrin

See you all over at the new thread....

DottiestDoris Thu 23-Jan-14 06:47:01

Well done Hopeful- surviving that many hours of temptation is quite an achievement!

Gah...why did I hit the red wine last night? I've woken up with a banging head, acidic stomach and the need for far more hours sleep than I've had. And now I have a 2.4yo and a 3mo to look after AND IT'S A FAST DAY. When will I learn? Seemed a good idea at the time.

Eatriskier Thu 23-Jan-14 06:48:33

Lying in bed at mo. Should be running and cycling but had a terrible nights sleep (of my own doing too, dcs are still sleeping) and am already angry angry angry at the thought of no coffee.

I'm off for my tests as soon as ds naps today. Dh took pity and says he will cover ds lunch and any time between then and mil picking ds up as his 'lunch' break (wfh today).

Well done dino

Can't remember who but 750 is fine for an fd. Don't worry.

Fitbits rock. Dh and I both have basic zips. The force is out soon and I'm tempted but arm band ones are known to have issues - eg under reporting steps whilst pushing a buggy. But it's all a preference thing.

ShyGirlie Thu 23-Jan-14 06:54:13

yeehaa!! just weighed!! 4lb off!!!! now i can face my FD with high motivation!! smile grin smile grin

mscnile Thu 23-Jan-14 07:26:39

Yay well done shygirlie!
Doris that's the sort of stupid thing I do, esp Sunday evenings, knowing I'll be fasting, craving carbs. Lots of coffee needed!

I'm taking no weight loss as a SV this week given that totm has taken me by surprise (a week early, not unusual these days though) and I generally gain upwards of 4lbs. Hopefully I'll see a good loss next week.

NFD for me, good luck to Thursday fasters!

mscnile Thu 23-Jan-14 07:27:39

And wow hopeful, that's amazing discipline!

ErrolTheDragon Thu 23-Jan-14 07:41:22

Morning all - my FD, and also my turn for a boiler-less day (it had its annual service yesterday and the engineer found a problem but its a design fault so the manufacturers are fixing it pronto). Its not turned off yet, will exercise now and hope to get showered before they arrive. And we've got fan heaters so won't freeze - its just annoying.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Thu 23-Jan-14 07:57:50

Pavlov don't be downhearted. 250 is nothing. Think about what you might have eaten before and you will see the huge progress.

Jobyloo - try water next time. You might just be thirsty. I know that if I just have a little something (especially if something like toast) it sets off the munchies and I am done for. I don't go quite as mad as I used too but even so I know it isn't good to let the munchies monster out.

hopefulgum - BRILLIANT NSV with not having the cupcake. I saw a picture of a lovely one yesterday and I just imagined how I would feel after and I knew my whole thought process has changed and I don't want to be less good stuff in my body.

<can't resist any longer>

OMG I feel a bit blush posting this but I am down again!! 3.8lbs off in 3 weeks. 2 weigh ins this week have both brought a loss and I am now 11 stone 2lbs!! An all time low since having baby in 2005 and when he was 9 weeks old I weighed 11 stone 2lbs! It isn't quite the win I think on that basis but I am no longer over weight iirc and I am so proud and pleased. I baked some haddock last night, had a massive3 plate of salad with it and 5 small new potatoes and it tasted so good. Piece of feta later and came in about 300 calories <faints>.

Today I am cooking from scratch again and making spicy parsnips soup and maybe hot cheese triangles but they are looking more like cheesy scone things and I want bread but we will see.

Sorry for the me me me me post.

Good luck to all fasters, enjoy eating if you are and keep up the water, clenches and don't' forget meds (that last one is for me!)

frenchfancy Thu 23-Jan-14 07:59:31

Well done toffee that's a great result. No one should feel bad about sharing good news, it encourages others to keep going.

BetsyBell Thu 23-Jan-14 08:21:17






CinammonGirl Thu 23-Jan-14 08:23:16

Well done shygirlie and toffee and everyone else on their losses! FD here and DD has had me awake since 5am due to a bad dream - I've been feeling so hungry but now up and had a coffee and the hunger has subsided a bit. Will keep drinking water and fruit teas and look forward to my butternut squash soup at lunch time smile Good luck to all fasting today!

BetsyBell Thu 23-Jan-14 08:23:52

WOOHOO to all with the wonderful SVs and NSVs and all the new(ish) starters who've embraced this WOE!

I love these threads [mushy smile]


BetsyBell Thu 23-Jan-14 08:24:28

CLENCH (exercise those pelvic floors ladies and gents)

BetsyBell Thu 23-Jan-14 08:24:42


BetsyBell Thu 23-Jan-14 08:24:58


BetsyBell Thu 23-Jan-14 08:25:26

We're over here

BetsyBell Thu 23-Jan-14 08:25:35


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