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The 5:2 thread number 40 - The mirror cracked from side to side ."The curse is come upon me". The Lady of Shallot went crackers when she saw her porridge arse, but 5:2/IF can help YOURS

(1000 Posts)
BigChocFrenzy Sun 02-Mar-14 13:46:07

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 : breadandwine’s 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 4cm 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%).")
If you’ve been researching IF you may have come across this article which is highly negative about women with BMI in the normal range. Here’s our response to that:
- With a healthy BMI, those who want to be leaner will usually find weight and waist loss to be much slower than for overweight folk, since, less fat and inches are available to lose.
- The women with healthy BMIs already had healthier blood sugar than the men in the study. Hence nothing really needed improving.
- Women who have had health problems on IF were NOT doing 5:2, but the
much tougher ADF or LeanGains-type 16:8, combined with heavy lifting (often multiples of body weight) AND
were often starting from already ultra-low BF 12-16% range.
-Many were already missing periods or had EDs before IF, due to the low BF %, over-training and over-stressing.
5:2 is a gentler form of IF than ADF or Leangains and there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence from longterm 5:2ers, now with healthy BMI, who are continuing to have very positive results and experiences on this WOE.
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!
And lastly, a few FAQs/Healthy tips :
- WATER: Start each day with a pint of water; and drink plenty during the day.
- Hot drinks: No limits on tea or coffee any day, just note any milk / sugar calories on FDs.
- FDs: Concentrate on protein & veg; avoid / reduce starchy carbs & sugar, including juice. Soups & stews are good; ready meals are fine. Old hands skip breakfast & save most cals for supper.
- NFDs: No rules, but to improve health, try to cut down on added sugar, artificial sweeteners, fizzy drinks, junk food. A few treats per week are good though! Aim to average TDEE over NFDs each week, but you may under-eat by say 20% on 3 NFDs to save calories for weekend.
- CLENCH for health: Men & women should exercise pelvic floor daily.
- Do NOT fast: if pregnant, under 21, have EDs, any illness, even a bad cold. When ill, your body usually needs more nutrients and less stress. So eat to TDEE & cut out junk, added sugar, fizzy drinks.
- Check with your Doctor : if you have diabetes, any other endocrine condition, or if taking ANY prescribed medication (fasting may affect absorption rate)
- BFers: start with 1000-cal FDs; optionally, reduce to 700 cals gradually. You can return to 1000 if growth spurts or sleep-deprivation require more fuel.
- SLEEP: Everybody needs enough sleep, or it may slow weight loss. Add a siesta if DCs disrupt nights.
- EXERCISE: is healthy & can help weight loss if you you do NOT eat back exercise calories. Fasted training can burn more fat. HIIT works well with 5:2/IF.

BigChocFrenzy Sun 02-Mar-14 13:46:54


Please use up the Oldthread *first

I'll remind everyone when it's time to use this new one


Breadandwine Sun 02-Mar-14 14:57:09

Sneaky! grin

Well done, BC!

MrsFlorrick Sun 02-Mar-14 17:02:10

Thanks Bigchoc. grin

BetsyBell Sun 02-Mar-14 18:54:42

Cheers BC daffodil

Eatriskier Sun 02-Mar-14 19:06:31

thanks bigchoc

BsshBossh Sun 02-Mar-14 20:05:47

daffodil BigChoc. Hey, the old timers got here first smile

BigChocFrenzy Sun 02-Mar-14 22:04:37

Yup, old'uns are still good'uns

BigChocFrenzy Sun 02-Mar-14 22:05:52

Welcome to our new thread, everybody

beanandspud Sun 02-Mar-14 22:42:54

How did that happen? I'd only just got used to the old thread... grin

hopefulgum Sun 02-Mar-14 23:25:35

Marking my place in the new thread. Sipping hot water and lemon juice as it is a fast day for me. I desperately need it as although I think I was within TDEE Saturday and Sunday, I ate a lot of the wrong things and actually felt crappy for it. I didn't eat dinner last night as I wasn't feeling great, but managed to polish off some ice cream. Wish I hadn't. I almost feel like I am self-sabotaging my success, and I don't know why.

Well, today I start from scratch, will fast and let my body recover,and get back on the healthy eating wagon tomorrow.

Interesting talk about bikinis on the old thread. I live very close to a spectular beach and spend a lot of time there. I have seen all shapes and sizes in bikinis, so I wouldn't be too bothered ladies, especially as you are all so slim. I wear one, but I wear it under a rash vest, mainly for sun protection, but I take off the rash vest to get dry and get a bit of sun on the skin.

I have spent a lot of time on the beach this past weekend as it was so warm here. So despite the poor food choices, I have had plenty of exercise, walking on the beach, chasing DS and body surfing.

MrsF, I am very envy of your holiday to a private island on the Maldives. How far is it from the UK (hours)? I would like to do a stop over there on the way to Europe. It may not happen for a very long time, but it's definitely in the plan. Do you do a lot of diving there? My husband likes scuba, but I prefer snorkling - I am guessing the snorkling there is pretty good too?

Thanks for the new thread Bigchoc. smile

Boleh Mon 03-Mar-14 03:12:35

Hi Hopeful just out of curiosity, whereabouts are you? We have a lovely beach near us too but no one ever sits on it, you'd get eaten alive by sand flies and rapidly roasted by the sun! Still seems a bit of a waste sad most commonly seen here are all over Lycra body suits for the windsurfers and sailors.

So, I'm on my Monday fast today and doing OK so far, I thought it might be awful since I had a fairly big day yesterday including pizza for dinner - the first since I started 5:2. A small NSV in that I are 3/4 of it and left the last 2 slices to go in the fridge - normally I eat a whole pizza whether I'm full or not towards the end. Can't exactly calculate exactly how many calories but I suspect 800-1000 and another 200 for the bruschetta! I am trying very hard not to feel guilty as I had done a rather epic hike (see the exercise thread) and was still around current TDEE (I usually eat to goal weight TDEE on NFDs, it just feels wrong to be able to eat Pizza and loose weight! I do usually try to avoid lots of carbs on the evening before a FD or I wake up starving but fingers crosses I seem to be OK so far.

Good luck to everyone else doing Monday fasting smile

Octopus37 Mon 03-Mar-14 07:09:48

Fast day for me today, cannot lie and say I am not daunted by a hungry Monday, but will be ok. Just black tea for breakfast, usually drink it black anyway. Good luck to those of you who are also fasting on a Monday.

MrsFlorrick Mon 03-Mar-14 07:13:54

Hopeful. envy At you living by a beach. I'm guessing you're down under.

Yes diving and snorkelling in Maldives is beyond spectacular. Words actually fail on it.

Been many other places but Maldives is by far the best.

It's a 10 hour direct flight from London.

If you're down under you can stop in the way to the UK. It would involve stopping in either Dubai or Singapore and flying to Maldives.
Dubai is circa. 4 hours flight from Male and Singapore is about 6 hours.

I'd love another holiday to Australia with a few days in Singapore. Really brings back memories for me if happy times with DH. But the DC are too small yet.

Eatriskier Mon 03-Mar-14 07:56:19

Managed to get up and have my usual run, cycle and shower before dcs woke. Dd is poorly bless her, so no nursery today. My tummy is not a happy place either. I have some pills that I'm not meant to take on an empty tum, but really don't feel like eating. Can I take them with a spoon of peanut butter?

Southeastdweller Mon 03-Mar-14 08:16:51

Thanks for the new thread.

Good luck today Octopus and everyone else smile.

zedzedzed Mon 03-Mar-14 08:29:09


Thanks for the nice new thread* BCF*

Bikinis? Private islands? 8.5 stone? Body surfing? I've woken up on a thread, far, far, away where nothing is as it was.

Here I am, back from the wind-swept building site, back from the binge-brink.

I brought last week in at 5k under TDEE for maintaining so a theoretical 1.5lb loss, worse than my usual 7k, but better than it could've been, especially considering most of Saturday's cals were Pub Cals (no lunch, no snacks just vodka and crisps).

But it's my FD today, so a shiny new start to a shiny new week on a shiny new thread. We saw some people I've not seen for a month and I got an actual 'woah!' re my weight-loss, so THAT was pretty nice.

Looking forward to some good, fresh, proper grub this week, the building site weekends are, by necessity, full of pre-packed grub or lunches out as we have no kitchen, lovely as they are, they seem to trip some kind of over-eat button...maybe it's an additive hidden in ready meals that my body is not used to or happy about.

Right. Let's kick this FD's arse.







BetsyBell Mon 03-Mar-14 08:30:55

When are you doing your first weigh in zed? <impatient face> grin

MrsFlorrick Mon 03-Mar-14 08:48:37

Zed. Weigh in pls. We all want to know (nosy).

Boleh Mon 03-Mar-14 08:53:09

zed there may well be more sugar or salt in those ready meals than you are used to when you are cooking healthily at home - either of those can be a binge trigger for me. Also I find that ready made sandwiches etc are not as substantial as if I'd made them myself and have less texture - therefore 'demand' that they have crisps etc with them. May not be feasible but could you take a kind of 'picnic' at least for the 1st day of the weekend with less 'triggery' things but still plenty of energy and nutrients for the DIY?

Good luck with the fast day smile

TwittyMcTwitterson Mon 03-Mar-14 08:59:56

FD today and I had a bad feeling from the start. I had a choc chip flapjack for breakfast even tho I had only chicken and salad planned for the day. hmm

That will now be my tea. Had great results last two weeks. Thinking of doing a week at 16:8 to get back into it.

The new car I bought appears to be fucked so I'm either going to comfort eat or be too nervous to eat. confused

DottiestDoris Mon 03-Mar-14 09:00:51

Good morning all and Monday fasters in particular. I'm generally a lurker with just the odd post now and again-and this is one of those rare posts to say Zed, I agree with the others. I think you owe yourself (and us) a weigh in after all your hard work. Please.

DelGirl Mon 03-Mar-14 09:03:05

Just wanted to say thank you for these threads and the inspiration. I started 5:2 6 weeks ago and have lost a stone and 1/2 lb smile It has been surprisingly easy, though I do have a lot to lose. I vaguely count and have my tdee or usually less on nfd.

Funnily enough though I have eaten out every week, sometimes twice which I never did before. But, whilst I have what I like, I am much more conscious and make sure I make up for any piggishness in the following days.

One thing I started last week was having courgette ribbons instead of pasta .Lovely and comforting. I was eating pasta most days as I live I
in italy so it's kind of a staple. I'm going to try cauli rice this week. Anyway, just wanted to add my little bit of good news.

MazzleDazzle Mon 03-Mar-14 09:46:17

Hello! Haven't read this thread yet, just finished off the old one. Welcome Hellie!

Mrs F I do sympathise. Last year our friends got married abroad and we were lucky enough to be invited! I worried myself sick about everyone else's bikini bods and in the end bought this. I've never looked hotter in a swimsuit!

Looking forward to the results of zed's long awaited weigh in!

And BigChoc's a nudist shock! Tell us more! Must say, I'd prob feel more comfy naked than in a bikini!

zedzedzed Mon 03-Mar-14 09:52:29

Ha-ha-ha! Oh ok then...but what if it's really disappointing???

Place your bets...what will I have lost when I weigh in on Wednesday?

Here's some info:

It's been 56 days, 8wks, today since I started this woe.

During that time I've only had one day over TDEE and no failed fasts (though a couple of 550-600s).

I have a busy but non-execise-y lifestyle with two under 2s (exercise is my next mountain to climb).

I weighed 17st10 (248lbs) on Jan 6th and was a size 18-20.
(after two back-to-back pregnancies and a lifetime of yo-yo-ing between a size 10 and a size 16 and 18-20 when preggo).

So I have 100lbs to lose to get to my 10st5lb goal.

I could squeeze into a size 16 last week.

Press your

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