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The 5:2 Thread number 42: Trying to lose weight, but it keeps finding you again ? 5:2/IF is based on the latest scientific research into nutrition, health and exercise. Come and join us !

(1000 Posts)
BigChocFrenzy Tue 01-Apr-14 23:39:36

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 16:8, ^combined with heavy lifting (often multiples of body weight)
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 don't force yourself to eat, but if hungry then eat nutritious food 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.
- EXERCISE: is healthy & can help weight loss if you do NOT eat back exercise calories. Fasted training can burn more fat. HIIT works well with 5:2/IF.

BigChocFrenzy Tue 01-Apr-14 23:40:19


Welcome to our new thread

Please fill up the OLDThread first


Eatriskier Tue 01-Apr-14 23:50:47

Shameless place marking flowers

Breadandwine Wed 02-Apr-14 02:13:26

Interesting thread on the Fast Day Forum about the Fast 5 method, which is only eating during a five hour window.

I'll stick this on the Tips and Links thread as well.

That forum is well worth a browse now and again.

BetsyBell Wed 02-Apr-14 08:31:17

Thank you bcf flowers

TalkinPeace Wed 02-Apr-14 15:35:55

41999 posts later and we are still enjoying fasting - cool huh

Overtiredmum Wed 02-Apr-14 15:36:01

Marking my place smile

ErrolTheDragon Wed 02-Apr-14 15:40:04

runningLou hang in there. Good that you've planned your brekkie for tomorrow - I'm sure you can avoid that biscuit binge with that muesli in you.

BigChocFrenzy Wed 02-Apr-14 15:42:09

B&W I justed started doing Fast5 on most days. It fits well to my lifestyle, i.e. greedy
Enables me to have my preferred 1500-2000 cal lunch, then a small training top-up. I sometimes find I'm 23:1 <even greedier lunch>

BigChocFrenzy Wed 02-Apr-14 15:42:49

I still like to have weekly 1-2 FDs

Degustibusnonestdisputandem Wed 02-Apr-14 16:32:48

FD for me tomorrow smile

BigChocFrenzy Wed 02-Apr-14 17:05:05

Lou My calorie balance on an FD is far below zero, if it is a training day.
HIIT tends to significantly reduce appetite afterwards - if it doesn't, then it wasn't sufficiently intense !
Do try to avoid eating above 25% TDEE on FDs.

Tonight I have 90 mins boxing and Tabata sessions, with lads up to 35 years younger. Even on 600 cals (TDEE 2400) I still regularly beat them at Tabata, except for one manic spiderman.

I would not do moderate intensity exercise fasted, because that really makes you feel starving.
If my FD is a training rest day, then I have a walk and also do chores like weekly shopping and laundry

runningLou Wed 02-Apr-14 17:27:44

Yep, it sounds like I'm one starving moderate exerciser!! I struggle with things like HIIT (metafit at my gym) as I have a left shoulder that's very vulnerable to dislocation, making exercises like push-ups / crap walks etc difficult. I have tried metafit but gave it up and tend to focus on spinning, running, swimming etc.
There is a metafit class at 6:30am on a Friday morning that I could go to - followed by 7:00am spin that's my regular class - I might try it this week and hope it'll quash my appetite for brekkie as am hoping to make Friday a mini-fast saving all cals for dinner - out with DH.

runningLou Wed 02-Apr-14 17:28:23

Ha ha ha!!! Crap walks is what I do but obviously it's crab walks smile

BigChocFrenzy Wed 02-Apr-14 17:39:28

Errol You said you think 80g is a large portion for peas ?
I checked one of my main staples: a jar of organic baby peas and carrots, no additives. The label quotes drained weight 220g. I eat the full jar - my plate is always piled and then I have seconds.
But I may be a little greedy
hmm blush
What did bother me was claims that frozen & tinned veg is not as healthy.
I heard they didn't distinguish between frozen and tinned, so could be that their guinea pigs ate mostly tinned.
Probably they are really comparing income levels : richer people are more likely to buy fresh, but there are a huge number of other factors that give low income folk much worse health.
- Veg is normally frozen within a day of picking and all other studies I have read say this should preserve more vitamins then veg sitting in the fridge or larder for a few days.
- Tinned probably are less healthy, as the tinning process is at high temperatures which destroy some vitamins. Still, much better than nothing, very cheap & convenient.

ErrolTheDragon Wed 02-Apr-14 17:39:45

won't they let (or indeed make) you substitute a different similarly-intense exercise for the ones you can't do?

DorisAllTheDay Wed 02-Apr-14 17:43:02

Thanks for the new thread, BigChoc, and another great title. It reminds me of the Dr Who episode on the Adipose. Anyone remember that? 'Fat just walks away'...

I've lost track of who's fasting, but I hope it's going well for everyone. I'm on course for an on-track NFD. I'm aiming at 1450 calories which is 250 under TDEE to begin to make up for my Sunday and Monday indulgences. There's been no sign of the monster today so I think I should get through the rest of the day intact.

ErrolTheDragon Wed 02-Apr-14 17:48:55

BC -You really need to read the paper yourself re the frozen/canned thing. Their study evidently lumped them together and the results they got may well be due to confounding.

The portion sizes used in the study were actually the NHS ones, which is 3tbsps for peas. I don't think that's anything like 80g. Obviously nothing wrong with eating more of them!

Southeastdweller Wed 02-Apr-14 18:05:30

Thanks for the new thread.

Betsy Your cauli recipes on thread 41 look fab. You reminded me of a FD staple dinner last summer - broccoli and cauli with hummus and chilli seeds. Think I'll start that up again next week.

TwittyMcTwitterson Wed 02-Apr-14 18:15:38

Days, do you know how I name change? blush

TwittyMcTwitterson Wed 02-Apr-14 18:15:49

Guys not days...

Southeastdweller Wed 02-Apr-14 18:21:46

Meant to add that the combo above I used to have had raw broccoli and cauliflower in it. We're so behind other countries in how we think that most veg has to be cooked.

Eve You have to go your account and delete your present username and put in a new one then save the changes.

TwittyMcTwitterson Wed 02-Apr-14 18:25:34

Thank you. Will have a gander now. Hope can do it on the mobile app.

Been talking about my work and company director now knows my life story and what I think of certain people there. Has asked me to NC and delete stuff but I'm shaken by it all. There's a lot of private stuff on here. Particularly at the minute. Also, I want to keep working there. blushhmmconfusedwine

TwittyMcTwitterson Wed 02-Apr-14 18:33:16


BigChocFrenzy Wed 02-Apr-14 18:42:27

Errol I'm off to the gym now, many thanks for link, which I'll study tomorrow. This leapt off the page:

"Those who consumed more fruit and vegetables were generally older, less likely to smoke and more likely to be women, in a non-manual household, with degree level education"

I must see if they were able to untangle the effects of income and education to establish low / high veg outcomes for an otherwise similar group.

I'm suspicious, because so many previous studies into veg consumption found the difference was almost insignificant.
That is why they are trumpeting this study so loudly !

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