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The 5:2 Thread number 47: School’s out for summer! Holidays creating havoc with your fasting? DCs driving you to drink and donuts? Help is at hand right here...

(1000 Posts)
BetsyBell Wed 30-Jul-14 08:33:15

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).

Bimblepops Wed 30-Jul-14 08:55:02

Cheekily marking my place!

Breadandwine Wed 30-Jul-14 10:42:03

Snagging! grin

BigChocFrenzy Wed 30-Jul-14 12:19:52

<< jumps into the 5:2 paddling pool with both feet, splashes everyone's hair >>
Thanks for the new thread, Betsy Nice topical title

LosBreakingBad Wed 30-Jul-14 12:20:23

None FD for me today. I do find it odd that I'm not starving hungry the morning after a FD. It's good though.
I haven't told anyone that I'm doing this and no one has even noticed. They absolutely would have noticed if I were on a WW or sw diet. I become a complete obsessive about points and calories. This is so much easier, even the FD. I do think I will be able to sustain this woe.

plecofjustice Wed 30-Jul-14 14:48:52

Think I'm going to give fasting a miss this week. I pulled muscles in my lower back on Sunday, then on Monday, just as I was feeling a lot better, some fool on the bus crashed into me and injured me some more. Spent most of yesterday unable to sit down for more than 10 minutes at a time, today's a lot better but still sore. I think it might be better for me to have a week off, eat extra protein and let the muscles heal...

BigChocFrenzy Wed 30-Jul-14 18:07:02

Sorry to hear that, Pleco but you are right: injured muscles need rest.
Hope you are soon fit again

Baloostika Wed 30-Jul-14 20:12:15

Marking my place heresmile.
It's been a roller coaster ride but I'll be fine knowing shit happens grin.
Hope everyone is doing great.

TalkinPeace Wed 30-Jul-14 21:02:03

Checking in before being away for a bit

I've been fasting for nearly two years, have been at my "happy weight" for 18 months
have worked out a method of 5:2 that suits me, my brick outhouse DH and my teenagers
what's not to like?

Bollard Wed 30-Jul-14 22:36:08

Thanks for the new thread Betsy

vvviola Thu 31-Jul-14 05:46:43

Place marking for when the lurgy is finally gone (DH was at the doc - he has bronchitis. Chances are I do too, if comparison of symptoms is anything to go by)

SquirrelledAway Thu 31-Jul-14 08:05:37

A shiny new thread for the summer, woohoo!

I'm back from our blow out three week trip eating and drinking our way around the South African Cape (more steak, seafood, wine and beer than you could ever imagine, we really didn't deprive ourselves at all) and I can happily report that I have gained precisely 2lbs. A couple of weeks back on 5:2 and I'll be back to where I should be.

Pre the 5:2 WOL it would have been at least a half stone gain and a real post-holiday downer.

Bimblepops Thu 31-Jul-14 08:33:32

Excellent work, Squirrelled, hope you had a great holiday. The Cape is beautiful...and the food and wine are amazing!

Last thread is now full.

Going to attempt an FD today, not sure how successful it's going to be.

Off to theatre with DS's this morning, then lunch out, which will probably be Pizza Express, so can have their superfood salad @ under 300cals. Then make something for dinner at home. All sounds very do-able, except that I missed dinner last night, so haven't actually eaten anything, bar a 23cal slice of ham, since 1.30pm yesterday!

We'll see what happens!

MollyBdenum Thu 31-Jul-14 08:55:08

Thank you for the lovely new thread.

KTP Thu 31-Jul-14 09:07:00

I'm on my second FD today. I ate a delicious tomato and garlic soup that was recommended on the recipe thread, Yummy. Dinner is another recipe from the same site. I can see that for me, success of FD days will be organisation, and although I've started with enthusiasm, organisation is a weak spot on my CV! Onward......

livelablove Thu 31-Jul-14 09:15:43

Yay a new thread. The title is A1 for me! It has not been a great week so far, I was over on my FD and didn't even bother to count cals on NFD. I didn't go crazy, but I was snacking on bits. May I have a good FD today as I am going to stay with Mum this weekend, which will be lovely, but I sense I wont keep to my TDEE.

livelablove Thu 31-Jul-14 09:36:39

Hi Bimble I think if you have really been fasting since 1.30 yesterday you could count it as a fast day till your evening meal then have a small healthy evening snack or supper. Esp if you are going to exercise evening, or first thing tomorrow.

MelanieCheeks Thu 31-Jul-14 09:41:44

Thanks for the new thread!

FD here, and I have 2 recipes to concoct and blog about. Lunch will be a light soup made with cockles, stock and radishes, while dinner is a scallop and anchovy souffle. I just need to find some mindless spreadsheet task to keep me busy in between times. There's a meeting at someone's house tonight - hopefully I can decline the cake (or just have a small piece)

I'm away all next week - it's a Scottish Dancing course so I'll be keeeping very active, and I dont plan to fast at all.

skippy84 Thu 31-Jul-14 09:44:35

Well after two successful fasts this week and being pretty good the rest I'm down a whopping 5 lbs this week! Feeling great, only a few pounds from being under the 13 stone mark which is a big milestone for me. Good luck to everyone fasting today!

meadowquark Thu 31-Jul-14 09:55:33

Morning all! Skippy wow! Was it you that lost 4lbs last week, too?

2nd FD for me. On the menu is frappe latte, lettuce, chocolate, slim noodles, chorizo, cucumber (not totally healthy but I am happier that way). I totally forgot that I bought Quorn ham otherwise would have included in my calorie limit.

Good luck to fellow fasters!

BetsyBell Thu 31-Jul-14 09:56:05

Bimble! Thanks for closing the last thread with the link smile

Squirrelled That sounds like my kind of holiday!

I am meant to be packing for hols but instead am sat here drinking coffee and eating yogurt and nuts. Tallking of which, I've just realised that I've totally ditched milk in my coffee in favour of half a tsp of coconut oil. <Note to self - pack the coconut oil>

Ooh, and talking of which again - new recipe delights!

tsp coconut oil
Handful of chopped fresh green beans
1 clove garlic, finely sliced
Left over brown basmati rice
splash of tamari soy sauce

Add ingredients to a hot pan in the order above and heat through. Result = ridiculously tasty yumness. A great, keeps-you-feeling-full, nutritious and satisfying NFD light meal or accompaniment to a larger meal.

SquirrelledAway Thu 31-Jul-14 10:45:37

Have to say it was very easy to keep to lean protein and salad in South Africa - the veggies were lovely, but cooking veg seems to involve a lot of cream and butter, incredibly tasty but very rich and no doubt extremely calorific!

Just go to explain to everyone now that we will not be having fillet steak every night, although to be honest I am craving baked beans on toast.

gwhizz75 Thu 31-Jul-14 11:03:55

I hope you don't mind me joining, I have been lurking on this topic for a while now and thought it would be a good idea start posting - might help keep me motivated!

I've been doing the 5:2 for 2 weeks so I'm a relative newbie and I have lost just over 3.5 pounds. I'm really pleased with this as I don't have a huge amount to lose (another 7-8 pounds probably) so I wasn't expecting the weight to come off very quickly.

Yesterday was my 4th fast day and I'm definitely finding that they are getting easier. The first two consisted of me snacking on little low calorie things all day (desperately trying to stave off the hunger!) whereas this week I have either had nothing all day until a 500 cal dinner, or yesterday I had soup for lunch then a 400 cal dinner. I haven't really felt hungry during the day on my last two fasts which makes it so much easier.

It's been really helpful to read all the tips throughout these 5:2 threads, and to see the amazing progress people have made - well done to everyone who is following this WOE! It sounds like it can be really tough at times but those who have persevered have seen results with both their health and weight. I think I will head over to the recipes thread now to find a couple of meals ready for next week's fast days! smile

ErrolTheDragon Thu 31-Jul-14 11:30:17

Welcome, gwhizz - the more the merrier. I've been doing this for quite a while now - it does get easier, becomes a natural part of my WOL. You're doing well - both weight-wise and quickly getting to the eating mainly once a day, which seems to work better than trying to space out the allowance on FDs for most people.

I'm having my 2nd FD today. I did enjoy going out for a nice meal last night and choosing exactly what I really wanted ... and DH not volunteering to 'help' me with mine. He knows that I'm in good shape and health with this WOL and don't need him to rebalance our portions relative to our sizes any more!

Anyway - must get down to some more work, got to finish up some stuff before going on holiday on Monday. Also - while DH is out at a meeting - want to try on some holiday clothes - I think there will be a couple of dresses I've not worn for several years which will be coming out. grin

meadowquark Thu 31-Jul-14 11:34:06

gwhizz75 welcome and hope you will reach your goal weight soon.

Betsy nice to see that you love coconut oil too, and I will keep a note for your yummy and simple recipe.

Melanie what a fancy FD menu!

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