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5:2 Thread number 63: 7 days without chocolate makes one weak ! On 5:2 you only diet 2 days a week.

(1000 Posts)
BigChocFrenzy Fri 22-Apr-16 10:24:54

Welcome to the continuing thread for those following 5:2 or other forms of IF (Intermittent Fasting) such as 4:3, ADF, or daily 16:8
The 5:2 diet was introduced by Michael Mosely on BBC Horizon on August 2012:

Basically it is 2 very low cal days ("fasts") per week - which need not be consecutive - and eat "normally" the other 5 days.

For those who have dieted or maybe overeaten for years, eating "normally" means roughly the number of calories your body needs to maintain - NOT reduce - its weight (see TDEE calculator below).

If you have had Eating Disorders you should NOT do 5:2 or any other kind of fasting


16:8 is a different type of fasting, which can be combined with 5:2.
Daily zero-cal fast for 16 hours and eat within an 8 hour window. To lose weight, this needs a weekly calorie deficit as well

4:3 = fast on 3 non-consecutive days per week

ADF (Alternate-Day Fasting) = fast every other day

BMI (Body Mass Index) healthy range is 18.5 - 24.9 for Caucasians. Upper limit may be 22 for some of Asian origin.

FD = Fast Day: aim for 500 calories (600 for men or 25% TDEE if higher) or 1000 cals for BF
Even if you exercise strenuously, do NOT increase FD cals

MFP = My Fitness Pal, a useful App or website to track food & drink calories

NFD = Non-Fast Day, averages around TDEE

NSV / LSV = Non Scale Victory / LifeStyle (change) Victory, e.g. compliment, smaller waist, new skinny jeans

SV = Scale Victory

TDEE = Total Daily Energy Expenditure, the average number of calories you burn in a day, is calculated (see calculators below) from your current weight, height, age, activity level.
Aim to average about this for NFDs.

WOE / WOL = Way Of Eating / Way Of Life. We say this instead of "diet", to emphasise that we must make a permanent change in how we eat, to maintain our new healthy weight longterm.


. Take initial measurements: weight, waist, hips
. Use TDEE calculator below as a rough guide to how much to eat on NFDs
. Choose any 2 days for FDs, non-consecutive is easier.
. Before each FD: plan, shop & calorie count ALL food & drink for the day

Useful Resources & Calculators
Calorie Counter: mfp , mfp
Calories for NFD: TDEE Calc
FD Recipes: BBC Good Food 52 , Mosely LowCarb , Good2Know , NHS 10 Recipes under 100 cals , Mirror 5:2 50 snacks under 50 cals
FD Ready Meals, Takeaways, Restaurant: Mirror , Indie
Safe Alcohol: Calc Daily UnitsCalories , Calc Weekly Units
BMI: Calc
Body Frame Size: Calc
Calc Ideal Weight Range
Body Fat: Calc
Choose / Visualise Goal Weight: 3D BMI ripped / normal , Bod Vis 3D rotate

FAQs / Tips

- WATER: Start each day with a glass of water; and drink plenty during the day.
- HOT DRINKS: No limits on tea or coffee, just count any milk / sugar calories on FDs.
- FDs: If possible, choose days when you are busy, but not preparing meals for others.Concentrate on protein & veg; avoid / reduce starchy carbs & sugar, including juice.
Soups & stews are good; ready meals are fine.
Most prefer either to skip breakfast & save most cals for supper, or have 2 meals.
- 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.
- NFDs: No rules, but to improve health, try to cut down on added sugar & junk food, keep alcohol within safe limits. A few treats per week are good though!
Aim for TDEE, 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
- SLEEP: Try to get enough sleep, or it may slow weight loss.
- EXERCISE: is healthy & can help weight loss - BUT only if you do NOT eat back exercise calories. Fasted training can burn more fat.
HIIT and resistance training both work well with 5:2/IF.
If you exercise, do NOT increase FD cals
- To speed up weight loss and to train yourself how to eat on maintenance,
optionally calculate the lower TDEE for goal weight, but eat to current weight TDEE at least 1 day per week.
- Do NOT fast: if you've ever had EDs, or if pregnant, under 21, over-stressed, fever, stomach bug, 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, alcohol.
- CHECK with your Doctor: if you have diabetes, any other endocrine condition, any serious past or present medical condition, or if taking ANY prescribed medication (fasting may affect absorption rate)

Useful MN Threads

Browse previous 5:2 threads in the fasting section

Exercise: BigChocFrenzy's thread gives advice & support on combining 5:2 with exercise. The OP explains the science behind fasting, exercise & health and has many calculators.

Tips and Links : BreadandWine collects practical tips & info gained over all the 5:2 threads.

Inspirational EatRiskier has reports from Mumsnet 5:2ers who have lost weight.

Recipes: FrenchFancy has many FD recipes. Post your own here too.

Maintaining: talkinpeace's thread is for those who have successfully lost weight on 5:2/IF and are now maintaining (some for 2 years +)

Scientific Evidence for Fasting & Health

BBC article on the Horizon program

Telegraph comments on 5:2 and gives a brief overview by Dr Mosley, useful for newbies.

This InterviewPart1 and InterviewPart2 with leading ADF researcher Dr Varady explains why fasting helps you to lose weight AND improves some health markers.

A science Study specifically addressed the effect of this diet on obese men & women, wrt 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."
i.e. almost all the weight lost was FAT, not muscle or water, - in most diets, 25% of lost weight is muscle, up to 50% for sleb crash diets.

It also describes improved blood values:
"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%)."

Dr Michelle Harvie (funded by cancer charities) showed possible benefits of intermittent fasting compared to standard daily calorie reduction in her trials (consecutive FDs) with women at high risk of breast cancer: ComparingDiets , EarlierResearch52

Dr Johnson showed intermittent fasting helped Asthma

Why Intermittent Fasting Works: Mattson , BlackSwan and Hormesis

Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Applications: J CellMetabolism
Recent research into the health benefits of fasting: e.g. by world-respected neuroscientist Dr MarkMattson showed:
. Improved glucose regulation
. Loss of abdominal fat with maintenance of muscle mass
. Reduced blood pressure and heart rate
. Improved learning and memory and motor function
. Protection of neurons in the brain against dysfunction and degeneration in animal models of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke and Huntington’s disease.

Some of his research is in HealthyAging , Health , AvoidParkinsonsDisease

His recent article in J Aging Mech Disease 2015 explains the health benefits of intermittent fasting in great scientific detail.

Also this interview with a leading researcher into fasting in combination with standard cancer treatment: ScientificDiscussion MoselyMattsonLongo and a LongoInterview

Research by other US and European scientists in this DailyTelegraph Article about the medicinal uses of fasting, for many serious conditions & diseases.

Recent trials with Type 2 diabetics and those at risk of having it used a form of daily fasting - skipping supper.
Their conclusions: eating 1-2 meals per day is better than several small meals for losing weight and controlling insulin levels, see Type2Paper


A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has contributed their experience and tips over all these threads.
This has created a wealth of very valuable practical knowledge to help us all.
Any lurkers and newbies, come join us and share your experiences too. These are lovely supportive threads and everyone is welcome !

OP’s posts: |
BigChocFrenzy Fri 22-Apr-16 10:25:34

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Welcome to 5:2 thread number 63 !
smile smile

The OP has FAQs & lots of tips.

The "HOW TO START" section has
. FD recipes
. Body Visualisers
. Calculators for ^TDEE, Body Fat, Frame Size, Ideal Weight Range, Daily alcohol units & cals

To learn about the science & possible health benefits,
read the OP section on Scientific Evidence for Fasting

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OP’s posts: |
bugsyburge Fri 22-Apr-16 10:58:02

Ah a new thread....I'm hoping my the end of this thread to be maintaining at under 9.7...that's the motivation!!!

Weigh in for me tomorrow but I'm expecting to sts as I although I will have had 3fds this week I don't feel like my heart has been in it so my nfds have only been average. I also haven't had th elation of any runs so have only been able to do yoga!!

FD here so nothing but water until veggie curry & kale for tea. Dh should be home at a decent time tonight so I'm hoping I'll get to go for a run.

Happy Friday all

bugsyburge Fri 22-Apr-16 10:59:01

Chance not elation*.... I like my runs but would class them as elation inducing confused

doineedhelp Fri 22-Apr-16 11:19:43

Don't you just love autocorrect hmm good luck for tomorrow bugsy, i'm weighing in too although that depends on how today's FD goes!

bugsyburge Fri 22-Apr-16 11:25:23

My auto correct and typos are dreadful already on this thread blush

Good luck with weigh in tomorrow!!

DeliveredByKiki Fri 22-Apr-16 15:26:16

Morning all - happy fasting bugsy and need

There was discussion at the tail end of the last thread about children - I can't remember who but the poster who simply said "I'm not hungry right now" hit the nail on the head I think. I talk with my DC about healthy choices all the time, they aren't forbidden any food stuffs (except fizzy drinks and bubble gum) but they know too much sugar is bad for you and they can choose a treat on Saturdays when they play video games - but to be honest we bake a lot and they prob have those biscuits or cakes in the week sometimes, although again we chat about the amount of sugar that goes in when baking and they're now used to my reduced sugar, vegan offerings!

I think keeping their instincts on hunger is a good one - if after post school snacks (they have to finish their lunch if they haven't already, then it's normally crackers/fruit/cheese/yoghurt) they say they're still hungry I point out its not long until dinner time, and when they say they're full I believe them and never force them to eat more.

They're still little though (7&4) and can both put away extraordinary amounts of food, so again we talk about choices that will
Keep them fuller for longer (particularly breakfast to get them through the morning at school). Their dad has a high metabolism and I'm fairly small framed so they probably won't have too much of an issue putting on weight for their first 30years if they stay healthy and active so I keep the focus on healthy choices and listening to your body - I'm a big over eater so it's important to
Me to help them not become like me!

TaIkinPeace Fri 22-Apr-16 15:58:46

Here I am, still popping into these threads 62,000 posts and three and nearly 4 years after I started 5:2.

7 days a week without chocolate is a doddle for me grin

Hang on in there folks.
I did one of those body scan thingy machines today.
It said my metabolic age is 35

I'm 51 tomorrow wink

TaIkinPeace Fri 22-Apr-16 16:01:40

I popped a post onto the old thread about kids and fasting.
I'm not hungry right now is absolutely the right response
and the other classic
A snack now will spoil your appetite
We NEED to be hungry when we sit down for a meal.
And then we need to wait till we are hungry again before scoffing more.

Give your digestive tract the chance to hoover into the corners

doineedhelp Fri 22-Apr-16 17:09:26

Well done talkinpeace

Should be finishing FD on 503 (got chicken and courgette stir fry thing) I'm very hangry though and a bit shouty blush early night for me I reckon!

Keep going fellow Friday fasters 😁

BigChocFrenzy Fri 22-Apr-16 17:48:23

Happy 51st tomorrow tip thanksthanksthanks

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BigChocFrenzy Fri 22-Apr-16 17:51:16

Now, I can hear in my head my mother saying (40+ years ago) "Don't eat between meals; it spoils your appetite"

OP’s posts: |
bugsyburge Fri 22-Apr-16 18:13:40

I had my veggie curry at 3.30 so I could go for a run when DH gets home from work. I tend not to be hungry once in exercised so I should be good to power through until tomorrow. I'd love a loss in the scales but think sts is more likely

zeezeek Fri 22-Apr-16 18:43:38

Sorry, another stupid question. I've just worked out my TDEE as about 1800 cals, but the BMR is 1500. Which one do I need to be eating on my nfds? Have been keeping to less than 1500 so far this week. Is it better to keep eating less, or do I need the difference between the FD and nfds to be significant?

Feel so ignorant about all of this.

BigChocFrenzy Fri 22-Apr-16 18:59:16

Zeek We don't consider BMR. Aim for TDEE, as explained in the OP.
If you are hungry on NFDs, eat your full TDEE, i.e. 1800
However, if you aren't hungry, then stop eating. Sometimes fasting temporarily reduces appetite, because you are burning bodyfat for energy.
That's fine, even if you are quite a bit below for a week or two. Don't worry about it - people on Modely's BSD do 8 weeks on daily 800 low carb calories and they do very well on it.

OP’s posts: |
doineedhelp Fri 22-Apr-16 19:00:17

Oh yeah... completely missed that! Happy birthday talkinpeace

BigChocFrenzy Fri 22-Apr-16 19:00:45

The OP has lots of information about how to start, also FAQs, which might reassure you

OP’s posts: |
TaIkinPeace Fri 22-Apr-16 19:14:09

BMR is the amount of calories my 15 year old son uses while slumped on his bed watching videos of other people playing minecraft on his phone grin.

In the real world, TDEE is the one that gets you through the day smile

Many moons ago I worked out a plan that runs like this .....

Monday = 500 calories
Tuesday = TDEE - 10%
Wednesday = same as Tuesday
Thursday = same as Monday
Friday = TDEE incle a glass of wine
Saturday = yes, well, lets not go there shall we wink
Sunday = as Friday

and then

24 Weeks a year = strict 5:2
24 weeks a year = slightly half arsed 5:2
4 weeks a year = sod that, I'm on holiday

three years down the line .... IT WORKS

zeezeek Fri 22-Apr-16 19:40:12

That looks a bloody brilliant plan talkin! Bcf you are so good at stopping me from being anxious and defeatist lol.

Have never really dieted before to be honest. Spent most of my life an OK weight, then, suddenly, after about 45 I'm struggling.

Think I need to chill, well under TDEE today but not going to have anymore cals as I just don't want it. Then get ready for FD on Monday.

Might be wishful thinking, but the skirt I wore today did feel slightly looser....guess the next scary step is to buy scales and use them...

BigChocFrenzy Fri 22-Apr-16 19:53:37

tip is very wise and she is living proof that 5:2 works longterm.
She, bread&wine and I, plus several other maintainers, intend to 5:2 for ever !

OP’s posts: |
DeliveredByKiki Fri 22-Apr-16 20:07:35

Waves to TiP << AmericasTorturedBrow in disguise>>

zeezeek Fri 22-Apr-16 20:18:07

I like to think that I'll still be here in a coup,e years time, but more useful and less annoying. grin

Clearskies99 Fri 22-Apr-16 20:58:10

Happy birthday tip all the best people were born in 1965! I fully intend this to be my WOL forever. Great to hear from maintainers like you, BCF and others

Yes BCF DS is enjoying having a much more energeitc, fitter mum

peri - menopause years changed alot for me too zee and weight piled on (great not having PMT though and OK iron levels)

Well done all friday fasters. had a good one here and looking forward to an active outdoor weekend smile

doineedhelp Fri 22-Apr-16 21:00:52

Taken myself off to bed, today was tough but kitchen closed at 548cals I'd forgotten about the milk so I'm pleased with that. Yet to have a FD at 500cal, I'm always a wee bit over but I'm not too worried yet.

I too hope I'll be here in a couple of years also, it definitely feels like a WOL and not a short term fix smile

BigChocFrenzy Fri 22-Apr-16 21:23:14

Well done on your FD, need, clear
That's sensible, Zeek Just relax and make yourself at home here smile < soothing >
This WOE is the only one I know that can zap pre / post meno waist & weight.
I'll be 60 this summer and I feel great, stronger than ever: I can do 800 pressups, 310 lb calf raises; I cycle / walk everywhere.

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