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The 5:2 Thread number 44: Too big for your britches - or your skinny jeans, bikini, special dress ? Slim those fatted calves and waste that waist with 5:2 / IF

(1000 Posts)
BigChocFrenzy Sat 10-May-14 14:18:19

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

The 5:2 diet was featured on BBC 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 similar, except you fast on 3 days in the week.
ADF (Alternate-day fasting) 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 fast 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.

FD = Fast 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 ExerciseThread2 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 l^ow 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 BMI already had healthier blood sugar than the men in the study. Hence nothing really needed improving.

- Women exercisers who reported 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 count 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.
- 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.
- Do NOT fast: if pregnant, under 21, over-stressed, have EDs, severe anxiety, 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)

BigChocFrenzy Sat 10-May-14 14:19:31


Hi there, this is our sparkly new thread

Please fill up the OLDThread first


MazzleDazzle Sat 10-May-14 14:29:52

Ohhh shiny new thread!

I love a new thread title!

Thank you BC.

<Goes off to fill up the old thread...>

Gumblossom Sat 10-May-14 15:01:06

Marking my place so I can find you when old thread is full. Great title - thank you BigChoc

TalkinPeace Sat 10-May-14 16:57:42

Marking place for when I get back into gear in a few weeks. Feeling like a blob at the moment.

BetsyBell Sat 10-May-14 18:08:00

flowers Thank you bigchoc smile

almostthereagain Sat 10-May-14 20:20:07

Thanks BCthanks

BigChocFrenzy Sat 10-May-14 20:21:50

Calling all newbies: lots of exercise information and support on 52ExerciseThread2

Labracadabra Sat 10-May-14 20:58:53

I'm here. I need help though! I've passed my target weight of 9st (was 8st 13 yesterday) but feel out of control on NFD and have to do 4:3 to counteract the extras! I'm EBFing a 6 month old who wakes to feed several times a night so I'm shattered and hungry but that's no excuse. I need to take control of NFDs so that I can 5:2 to maintain as can't cope with 4:3 forever! I am exercising (shred or HIIT workout each morning plus riding the horse 2 or 3 times per week) but I don't feel 100% and I feel I need to eat more nutritious food and less junk. FDs are fine and I can even manage consecutive FDs. See, I know what I need to do, now I just need to actually do it!

nims1981 Sat 10-May-14 21:30:35

Hi, Can I join please? I started fasting this week and did Tuesday and Thursday. Did pretty well, felt a bit irritable at times but been sooo greedy today!

Hello, I'd like to join aswell please.

I lost 3 stone after my pregnancy and I'm now the lowest weight I've been for a few years but I'm still not happy and want to lose another stone.

Start weight: 13.5 stone (size 16)
Lowest weight: 10.5 stone
Current weight: 11 stone (size 14)

I'm still breastfeeding so will be aiming for 700 calories on FD's. I've also started a weekly zumba class but realistically want to aim for 20 mins exercise p/night (PS3 Zumba game), minimum 3 nights p/week but ideally 5.

BetsyBell Sat 10-May-14 21:51:32

labra Honestly, I think you're overdoing it. You're 4:3ing, have a tiny, exhausting baby who you're nourishing exclusively, and exercising at least once everyday - you need to cut back a bit. Each of those things are a recipe for being hungrier on NFD, let alone all three - ease off on the fast days, give your body a break from the exercise at least 1 or 2 days a week too and you'll give yourself more of a chance to find a sustainable pattern. Go and check out bigchocs' exercise thread - even she doesn't exercise everyday! There's lots of useful stuff there that will help you find some balance.

BetsyBell Sat 10-May-14 21:56:31

Hello nims and didyoumean! Welcome to the threads smile

nims a 2 day gap between fast days might help with not feeling quite so ravenous.

didyou Sounds like a good plan. Do check out the exercise thread linked to above as well. It's an amazing mine of information and bigchoc will happily provide personalised fitness plans and motivation.

womblesofwestminster Sat 10-May-14 22:03:07

I'll get through this fast day if it kills me.

BigChocFrenzy Sat 10-May-14 22:04:38

Welcome Didyou That sounds a good plan.
If you feel very hungry on FDs, do allow yourself 1000 cals to start.

Labracadabra How many cals are you having on FDs ?
With EBFing, you might find it easier to avoid NFD bingeing if you do 1000-cal FDs.
Also, I recommend you right NOW take a few days rest from exercise.
I do this every couple of months and I return refreshed.

BigChocFrenzy Sat 10-May-14 22:07:35

Welcome Nims . Sounds like you've had a good start.
You'll probably get used to fasting in a couple of weeks.

BigChocFrenzy Sat 10-May-14 22:10:07

Everybody, no snacking on this nice clean thread.
Snacking is nasty !

runlikeagirl Sat 10-May-14 22:27:26

Good new thread diverted from my gluttony.

Labracadabra Sat 10-May-14 22:47:05

Thanks Betsy and BCF I appreciate your advice. I'm sure you're right, it's all a bit much. I will ease off a bit. DH refuses to let me throw the junk (choc ) away but suggested putting it all in the horse lorry so I'd have to go outside and walk across the yard to get it! Extreme measures needed hmm I know how to eat healthily and feel better when I do, so I need to knuckle down now. This is about health and fitness now I'm at target.

Labracadabra Sat 10-May-14 22:48:30

BCF I'm having 500 cals on FDs.

BigChocFrenzy Sat 10-May-14 23:05:08

Labra I recommend you increase to 750 FDs on 5:2.
Avoid having more than 3 NFDs together and when you do have 3 NFDs, aim to go 300-400 below TDEE on the middle day.

And NO snacking !

SpottyTeacakes Sun 11-May-14 06:51:07

Marking place

BetsyBell Sun 11-May-14 07:11:31

labra have a read of the intro to bigchoc's exercise thread - a balanced approach to 5:2 and exercise will mean creating just enough stress to make your body stronger and healthier. Taking it too far (which I believe you are) means creating too much stress on your poor body and you are in danger of depleting your resources and lowering your immune system.

So yes to eating healthier and cutting junk but you need to eat more, fast less and exercise less.

I haven't researched this but I think that your body will be stripping your own body of vital resources in order to amply feed your baby. So please, go down to 5:2, eat 750 to 1000 cals on those days or majorly risk getting osteoporosis, or other deficiency illnesses.
<worried face>

almostthereagain Sun 11-May-14 08:51:14

labra I agree. You need to nurture yourself. As you say you have lost the weight you need to focus on health & strength, all we can all do is reinforce & remind, you know what you need to dosmile
Glad to find a fellow rider, do you compete?

LiDLrichardsPistachioSack Sun 11-May-14 08:57:36

Wow labra I'm surprised you have any energy left to type! Hope easing up works for you.

I'm breastfeeding too, a big 7.5mo about 6-7 times a day and was coming on here to ask why I felt soooo tired and cranky the day after a FD. I too have been doing 500 cals. I've lost 4.5 kilos in 6 weeks and I'm wondering if my body is trying to tell me to go easy. I feel great on FDs but the day (or two) after I just feel drained and horrible! Am eating very healthily too, hmm. Maybe 750-1000 cals is the way to go after all...

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