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The 5:2 Thread number 45: Getting keen on quinoa, learning to love the lettuce and varying the veg - help and advice on improving our health and eating habits with 5:2 fasting.

(1000 Posts)
BetsyBell Fri 30-May-14 08:57:22

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 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 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.

THANK YOU to Greeneggsandnicht for putting together the original 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.
- 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 it may slow weight loss.
- 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.
- 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).

BetsyBell Fri 30-May-14 09:00:23

Hello! We still have a bit of space on our previous thread so do fill that up first smile.

New starters or people interested in getting going, feel free to jump in! Do read through the opening post for lots of useful info and tips too.

BigChocFrenzy Fri 30-May-14 10:27:35

Oh, I love to see our fav quinoa in the title !
Thanks for the super new thread, Betsy

BetsyBell Fri 30-May-14 10:32:41

Since I discovered stir frying cooked quinoa with shredded cabbage and cauliflower rice I'm an absolute convert bigchoc, it goes with anything too I am completely hooked on it - without wanting to over-eat it. It's brilliant stuff and stops munchies, unlike it's carby friends.

DealForTheKids Fri 30-May-14 10:33:05

Can I jump in at this point? Long-term lurker. I've been doing 5:2 for two weeks now and haven't weighed myself at all... jumped on the scales today and I am 6lb down in my first two weeks, so pretty happy about that.

This has put me in a very good mood but there are cakes everywhere at work today, so I'm having to remind myself that this isn't an opportunity to eat that 6lb back!

Very inspired by all the losses on previous threads so hoping the moral support on here is part of the secret!

<ducks back out until old thread is filled up>

BetsyBell Fri 30-May-14 10:37:21

Yes, come on in Deal smile What a brilliant start, well done you flowers. And yes to moral support - I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have lasted more than a few weeks on my own and I still feel the need to check in here 18 months later. Knowing you're not alone definitely helps!

almostthereagain Fri 30-May-14 10:58:15

Thanks betsy
Great start deal!!

BigChocFrenzy Fri 30-May-14 12:17:27

Great start, Deal and good for you not being a scale junky. 2 weeks is sufficient time to show trends.

Talkinpeace has good advice about thinking of the hands that have touched baked goods at work: have they washed aftet the loo / nose-blowing .....
I've become very particular on 5:2 about making sure my food and treats are delic and high quality, worth the calories. Then I don't kick myself afterwards.

DealForTheKids Fri 30-May-14 13:12:21

Thanks all smile - BigChoc it's more that I was afraid that if a week showed no progress I'd grumpily give up and order a takeaway!

I have so far avoided all the cake because today is an NFD and I am going to the pub later. I will reward myself there with a nice glass of wine

BetsyBell Fri 30-May-14 13:20:52

Just go and check out one of the tips at the very end of Thread 44 if you get tempted by office cakes wink

vvviola Fri 30-May-14 13:27:25

Marking my place by complaining that I looked at quinoa in our (budget - think Aldi on steroids) supermarket the other day. NZ$16 for a 200g bag (I think that's about £8!!). I'll be leaving that on the shelf til the lottery win comes in!

NFD today. Didn't over eat, but had takeaway for dinner, so definitely not a light day! Bank holiday weekend this weekend, so shall have to keep an eye on the coffees and muffins that get consumed while we're out (DH loves "going for a coffee" at the weekend, and a lot of the places have a small playground attached so we get to actually enjoy our coffee while the DC play... quite a few empty calories that way)

jacketpotatowithtuna Fri 30-May-14 13:27:53

Why oh why did I think that a mini FD will be easier than a normal FD? I just had my salad and my stomach is rumbling loud and makes demands for something to eat. I shall not give in as tomorrow is my weigh in day.

BigChocFrenzy Fri 30-May-14 13:29:59

Gastronomy Festival report

Yes ! That combination of raw side with cooked vegan curry was unbelievably tasty, made with coconut cream and sprouted seeds. I really felt my bod soaking up all the nutrients and thanking me. Sadly, no quinoa available !
Lovely folk there, proudly describing their locally sourced fresh food. Very interesting ethical raw vegan philosophy, which includes a certain amount of cooked too, at least in their case.
B&W would have been able to make more knowledgeable comments than I did.

btw: why is there so often this loud-voiced few that have to criticise vegan "faddiness" ?
Noone was forced to eat that, or prevented for going to the other side of the arena and adding fish, as I did.
How can "too healthy" be a criticism ?
Anyway, I'm now letting my frozen yog warm up nearer to tooth temperature. I chose lots of pomegranate, blueberries and strawberries on top.

BetsyBell Fri 30-May-14 13:40:20

Blimey vvv shock - it's £1.80 for 300g in my local supermarket!

I haven't come across complaints about veganism - maybe I would if I became so? People like to moan about what they don't know - same with 5:2 I guess.

Off to go and follow one of my hints from the previous thread - going out to enjoy the fresh non-raining air now! smile

Itsfab Fri 30-May-14 13:44:01

I hope you are okay postmanpatscat.

I have had something to eat. Probably not a good choice but I enjoyed it and I think I am going to take a break for a while as it is becoming an issue for me constantly having to think about and justify when I eat. That isn't what I wanted at all.

And if anyone was interested I had 4 crackers with beetroot and red onion chutney on with one slice of Bavarian cheese cut into four to have on each cracker. Lovely.

BigChocFrenzy Fri 30-May-14 13:44:12

Wow, vvv that's NZ robbery !
WaitroseUK has 500g for £3. I'm sure there is cheaper UK quinoa too.

Quinoa has the complete set of amino acids, so takes care of some protein needs, as well as complex carbs and many antioxidants.

jacketpotatowithtuna Fri 30-May-14 13:45:37

Mmm lovely fab . I am sure you are making the right decision to take a break if it is getting too stressful.

TobyLerone Fri 30-May-14 14:15:00

Just marking my place. I'm still mostly lurking and have had a disastrous week food-wise after such a good start last week.
Monday is my next FD and I shall be back on it with a vengeance then.

postmanpatscat Fri 30-May-14 14:24:18

Welcome deal you're off to a great start.

itsfab after a while the nightmare becomes normal!

Chopsypie Fri 30-May-14 14:30:32

Hi all, just wanted to mark my place. I'm starting next week (after I've been shopping). I've got 3 stone to lose but I've set a target of 3 years. So looking for a lifestyle change that will help me get the weight off and keep it off. (I'm saving for a tummy tuck and want to be slimmer and maintaining it by the time I can afford it!)
So hi everyone!

Itsfab Fri 30-May-14 14:42:44

I understand that, postmanpatscat but be careful to look after yourself.

BigChocFrenzy Fri 30-May-14 15:07:36

Welcome, Chopsypie Great to see you are thinking longterm.
Start with a Monday FD ? Lots of us choose that.

Several people here have lost lots of weight over the last couple of years, see EatRiskier's lovely InspirationsThread

Bollard Fri 30-May-14 15:08:40

I have had a choc frenzyhmm. Bother bother (don't know if the 5:2 peeps are sweary and don't want to be a choccy pig AND an outcast!!). I am so cross with myself.

postmanpatscat Fri 30-May-14 15:09:33

bollard swear away if it makes you feel better! Go for a walk or something to burn a bit off?

Eatriskier Fri 30-May-14 15:27:51

Yay - quinoa thread! flowers to betsy

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