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The 5:2 thread number 41: Springing into March or marching into spring? Either way, more sunshine means easier fast days! Come and join us in getting healthier, the fast way.

(1000 Posts)
BetsyBell Sat 15-Mar-14 11:04:17

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 ‘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 12.5lbs 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 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).
- BREASTFEEDERS: 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 weight loss may be slowed.
- 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.

BetsyBell Sat 15-Mar-14 11:06:57

Thread 40 still has plenty of space so please finish that one up first! Thank you smile.

BigChocFrenzy Sat 15-Mar-14 13:07:18

Lovely cheerful title. Thanks Betsy

BigChocFrenzy Sat 15-Mar-14 13:08:56

Ooh, I'm first, I'm first !
<10-year-old exits, skipping>

womblesofwestminster Sat 15-Mar-14 15:08:31

Marking my place like a badass smile

womblesofwestminster Sat 15-Mar-14 15:09:35

Guys, let's discuss Set Point Theory!

Eatriskier Sat 15-Mar-14 15:11:34


MrsFlorrick Sat 15-Mar-14 17:33:21

thanksAnd winewinewine. It's been a loooooong day culminating in a childrens party at a soft play. My ears are ringing and I think I may have damaged my hearing. hmm

DC are fuelled by choc sweets cake chicken nuggets and chips and squash which they hand out at these places. I do hope it wears off before bedtime!

beanandspud Sat 15-Mar-14 22:56:33

I'm here, lurking on both threads whilst drinking wine and eating mini chocolate fingers grin

Mummytom1403 Sun 16-Mar-14 03:23:12

Loving 5:2 life never had success like it grin

Labracadabra Sun 16-Mar-14 08:55:21

I know I'm sneaking onto the new thread before the old one's quite finished, but as a long time lurker I thought this was a better place to introduce myself. I'm a mother of two (DD1 is 3 and a half, and DD2 is 17 weeks old). I am 5'4" with a small frame (teeny,tiny sparrow wrists!) and had great success losing 2 stone on the 5:2 WOL in late 2012, getting down to 9 stone and feeling good. Then fell pregnant with DD2 and stopped fasting, was just over 10 stone after giving birth in mid November but then went up to about 10st12 over Christmas and New Year shock Started 5:2 in Jan and am now around 9 st 10 but would like to get down to 9st again. I am EBF the baby though, so my boobs are significantly bigger and heavier than before! I always wonder how they affect my weigh ins!! I am finding FDs ok (I do 500 cal even though breastfeeding) but struggle on NFDs. I'm trying to eat more healthily on NFDs (limiting sat fat to 15g per day and eating plenty of good fats and whole grains) but find a busy life and tiredness (baby still feeds about 4 times during the night!) and my breastfeeding appetite lead me to overeat. I don't tend to binge though, it just all adds up across the day! I'm 7 days into the 30 day shred (I get up early to do it before the girls wake up) and think my stamina is increasing. I try to walk with DD2 (she weighs 14lb) in the sling a couple of times a week too. I'm at a plateau now and trying not to get disheartened. Been stuck around this weight for 3 weeks or so now. I need encouragement and I find this thread brilliant for that. Thanks to you all smile

BigChocFrenzy Sun 16-Mar-14 14:17:02

Welcome back to 5:2, Labracadabra
Remember you can do 1000-cal FDs while BFing. This might help tiredness a bit. You need more energy than before.

With big BFing boobs grin do monitor your waist measurement.
How does this compare with pre-DC ? Maybe that previous waist is a good goal.

BigChocFrenzy Sun 16-Mar-14 14:22:08

btw: You're yet another one who was visited by the 5:2 stork !

BetsyBell Sun 16-Mar-14 14:24:01

Hello to Mummytom1403 and Labracadabra, brilliant to hear you've had great success with 5:2 smile

Labracadabra - I think you should up your calories to at least 750 on fast days - it's possible the NFDs are harder because your body trying to catch up. Tiredness is a killer of course... I'm very admiring of you being able to do this at all with such a young baby, let alone Shredding too! Be proud of what you are achieving and focus less on the disappointment of the scales. I think it's fair to let your body take at least as long as it did to make the baby to repair itself. Milky boobs weigh loads too! That's got to be an extra 5lbs you're carrying there!

So seriously, re-read your post and realise how damn impressive it sounds. You will get down to your previous weight but allow as much time as your body needs to do it.

PrimalLass Sun 16-Mar-14 14:33:04

Hello all. Happy Sunday.

Had a long walk this morning, and will have a lovey big dinner of meatballs tonight in prep for a FD tomorrow. Mondays are easyish as I am busy all day and feeling motivated.

NSV - my Merrell coat has been tight round the middle. I've had a bad back and was actually wearing it on purpose as it supported my lower back. Now it won't do that any more.

PrimalLass Sun 16-Mar-14 14:34:19

Labracadabra, kudos to you managing this while bf-ing. I mainlined cake.

BigChocFrenzy Sun 16-Mar-14 17:03:21

Everyone: come join us on the new Thread41
Lots of support and advice there.

BigChocFrenzy Sun 16-Mar-14 17:04:48

iPad strikes again - posted on wrong thread blush

SageYourResoluteOracle Sun 16-Mar-14 17:40:42

Hello everyone! <waves weakly> Can I join the 'fun'?

Well, I've not fainted yet and the worst of FD número uno is over. I took to my bed this afternoon so that I could hide from food. I ended up eating some homemade lentil and veg soup at around 1pm, nothing before then, nothing since. I'm off for another herbal tea in a mo. Courgette, chorizo and cherry tomatoes for supper with 2 rice cakes later on. And I've still got enough milk budgeted for for 2 more cups of tea. I'm NOT starting drinking tea without milk. No way! I luffs tea brew Clipper tea (soaked up by a wodge of cake- carrot, Victoria sponge, cream scone... Oh god! STOP!)

Curiously enough, I did actually feel quite full after the soup. My tummy is growling now but it's rather life affirming to feel hungry. I never let myself get to the point of hunger (and that, dear reader, is why I'm here).

How's everyone doing? Anyone else fasting today?

ValiumQueen Sun 16-Mar-14 18:00:11

Hi there smile <<sits quietly in the corner as I haven't got the foggiest what I need to be doing>>

ShellyF Sun 16-Mar-14 18:46:53

Gearin up sstart totomorrow

ShellyF Sun 16-Mar-14 18:47:58

Sorry...fat fingers!
Starting tomorro.

ShellyF Sun 16-Mar-14 18:48:33

Tomorrow even!!!

BigChocFrenzy Sun 16-Mar-14 18:59:30

Welcome, Sage. Sounds like you've made a great start with your FD today.
Just hold on until supper, then close the kitchen immediately.

Our motto on FDs: you can have it tomorrow

Break your fast with a nourishing light meal tomorrow.
Loads of possibilities, e.g. scrambled eggs and wholegrain toast

ValliumQueen I recommend you read the OP, which contains all you need to know.

Why not start your 1st FD tomorrow ? If so, plan and calorie count all your meals tonight, to make life much easier tomorrow.
Most women have 500-cal FDs, or if BFing start at 1000 cals.

Avoid snacks on FDs or NFDs, to give a good gap between meals.
Most of us skip breakfast, have soup for lunch, then save most calories for supper.

Concentrate on protein & veg, not much starch or fruit. Soups and stews are great.

BigChocFrenzy Sun 16-Mar-14 19:01:54

On NFDs, eat what you want, up to your TDEE

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