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5:2 Thread No. 65: Zap holiday gain when replacement parts are calling from the fridge ? It even has a light to show you the cold pizza 😈 Let's fast & get lean together πŸ˜‡

(986 Posts)
BigChocFrenzy Tue 16-Aug-16 19:25:14

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 smile

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 mainitain 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
. Chokose 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 , Vegetarian
NHS 10 Recipes under 100 cals , Mirror 5:2 50 snacks under 50 cals
Any Day: Meal Planner
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 body variations ripped to normal , Bod Vis Measurements & 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, but on FDs count any milk / sugar calories.
- 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 less than you burn. 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
Instead, calculate NFD target with your activity level set one level below what you estimate.

- 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 fine.
Aim for TDEE, but you may under-eat by say 20% on 3 NFDs to save calories for weekend.

- 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

Exercise: BigChocFrenzy 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 over 3 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 !

BigChocFrenzy Tue 16-Aug-16 19:26:26

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Welcome to 5:2 thread number 65 !
grin grin

The OP has FAQs & lots of tips.

The "HOW TO START" section has
. FD recipes, meal plans
. Body Goal 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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Theonlyweighisdown Tue 16-Aug-16 19:28:51

So glad to see this today. Back on 5:2, food prep done etc. First fast day tomorrow. I have really struggled since my holidays to get back in the swing of things. On the upside not much weight has been gained.

BigChocFrenzy Tue 16-Aug-16 19:30:54

Welcome back, theonlyweigh Sounds a sensible holiday WOL.
You'll soon get back on the swing and on your way to goal

TaIkinPeace Tue 16-Aug-16 22:38:56

Childish I know, but I just tidied up the old thread grin

Greengager Tue 16-Aug-16 22:55:09

Popping to say hello! Back on to 5:2 after very stressful time at work and holiday. I'm hoping to loose two pounds this week because if I do I will have lost a stone since I started in March, be half way to my goal weight and have a bmi of 24 so officially no longer overweight! Fingers crossed.

BigChocFrenzy Wed 17-Aug-16 00:42:59

Should we mention "^No Snacking^", Tip wink
Well done, a nice tidy end

Welcome back & fingers crossed you nail that stone, Greengage smile
I hope you can find time now to chill after all that stress

If your BMI is within 24.9, then you are already officially in healthy weight range.
Even more important is to aim for waist to be less than half your height - waist is a good imdicator of visceral (organ) bodyfat

DeliveredByKiki Wed 17-Aug-16 04:33:05

FINALLY a new thread!

Climbed onto the wagon a few months ago then promptly fell off it again but now I'm back!

16:8 every day, 5:2 (only strictly counting calories on FD and aiming not to snack at all), easing into sober September by only having a drink once a week until then

10lbs to lose of wine weight

Clearskies99 Wed 17-Aug-16 07:33:10

Checking in for weds FD as fits better with my week this week. Thanks BCF holiday has done me so much good and am holding onto the post holiday good feeling as life is generally feeling a whole lot better than 6 months ago smile

Welcome back kiki stand firm on that wagon!

Hope things settle down green

theonly not much weight gained that's good especially if you have been struggling. Have a good FD today and KEEP DRINKING WATER!

Thank you so much for your reminder tip you are so right and it's such a good habit to hone and hold onto, for life!

Good to read your inspirational post After8

Have a good day everyone and DRINK LOTS!! (of water !) grin

jingscrivvens Wed 17-Aug-16 08:16:51

Hello to all the returners, I only jumped back on the wagon a couple of weeks ago so I know how hard it is to get yourself in that place!

3lbs down today, woo! Sticking everything in MFP and an extra mini FD really helped things along last week so sticking to that this week too. That's 11.5lb in total, so eyes firmly on the 1 stone off soon.

Good luck to all Wed fasters!

Was thinking of you BigChoc when I was watching the weightlifting last night, some impressive lifting going on there!

stripeyzebra32 Wed 17-Aug-16 08:51:00

Thanks BCF for the info on my last post. We have had simular thoughts as I was looking at local gym classes and found a BLT class but they only do 1 session a week.

Will think about that as the classes are so much it works out if you do 1 a week you may aswell get a membership but I had my own circuit of BLT as I went out YouTube and memorized lots then put it into my own workout routine as I have a wondercore machine I use for abs and arms a running machine and I've just bought a big bouncy ball thingy so I may try and do it at home and aim for 3 times a week.

I've been very lax recently I will admit.

EagleRay Wed 17-Aug-16 10:33:29

Morning all!

Had first FD of the week yesterday, after a day of decadence on Sun. We went to the beach and I didn't eat anything at all until early afternoon then gorged myself on whatever I fancied. It's a beautiful beach, and part of the enjoyment for me is popping over to one of the traditional beach cafes nearby, getting a pile of food on a tray then sitting on the shingle and stuffing my face.

Anyway, no harm done, no guilt and back on track this week. Have reached a new low weight today - am now 8lb down in 4 weeks, which I'm very pleased with!

And... There's a pair of jeans in my wardrobe which I bought in the Anthropologie sale a few weeks ago. Couldn't get them around my waist but bought them as they're my usual non pregnancy size. And today I got them done up!!!

I've no idea what my waist measures at the moment but expect there's a good 6-8 inches still to come off.

Oh, and I think I've found a new routine for FD food - I make 2 fritattas laden with veg (peas, mushrooms, courgette, tomatoes etc) and a bit of feta, then have one for lunch with salad, then the other for dinner with steamed veg. I seem to get on better with repetitive food - even look forward to it.

Good luck to all the FDers for today. smile

CeciledeVolanges Wed 17-Aug-16 10:41:12

I loved the end of the last thread, TiP. May screen capture it and use it as my phone background, I am terrible with snacking...

CeciledeVolanges Wed 17-Aug-16 10:52:36

Also congratulations on the SV Eagle and your frittatas made my mouth water just reading about them! Are they just omelettes with those veg?

EagleRay Wed 17-Aug-16 11:02:14

Basically yes, that's all they are! Bake them in the oven for 35 mins

Overtiredbackagain Wed 17-Aug-16 12:09:54

Hi there, I am rejoining [hangs head in shame] after starting and failing over the last 12 months. After having DC3 last summer, I swore I wouldn't have another summer overweight - failed sad

My head is back in the game and I'm ready to succeed!

CeciledeVolanges Wed 17-Aug-16 12:31:51

Oh my goodness. They are beautiful. Mind if I pinch your idea?

glasshalfemp Wed 17-Aug-16 13:23:55

Hello. I am a long time lurker. A bit scared to join. Don't know why. But suspect if I join I have to FINALLY fess up to my yoyo dieting. So this is week one (I did it once before a holiday for 3 weeks and lost 8lb and then stopped). I am currently half way through second FD. I am going to use MFP as I previously probably ate over 3000 calories a day of mainly junk (comfort eating). That's a major confession. I have set it to sedentary.l I am allowed 1750 calories a day on NFDs (I am very tall although female) but i work out 3-4x a week (this has saved me over the years from becoming seriously obese). I think the NFDs will be hardest. I can't/don't cook very much and eat out A LOT. Any eating out tips appreciated. Oh yes no snacking is going to be my main goal for now. I think I'll leave it here.......for now. I feel, well ready, to change my

Strokethefurrywall Wed 17-Aug-16 17:17:16

Popping in to say hello and welcome to the newbies. I'm more of a lurker due to posting time constraints so I duck in every now and again to see how everyone is doing.

After my SV of getting down to 136lbs about a month ago (didn't have too much to lose at 5ft 8") I then came down with a nasty bout of pneumonia which saw my weight drop to 128lbs in less than a week, a number I don't think I've ever seen on the scale in my adult life. Obviously looked and felt like death and my clothes had to be held up with adjustable belts because everything was falling off me.

Have been recovered for a couple of weeks now and back on ADF. Scales have recovered back to a decent 132lbs I think so I'm pretty much maintaining. Have no time to exercise at the moment so am recovering fitness and strength with push ups, bicycle crunches, plie squats and I climb the stairs at work as many times as I can each day (I work on 6th floor).

Flying up to Orlando on Saturday with friends for a wedding so need to be in at least some kind of decent shape for running around Disney and getting into my dress!

annielostit Wed 17-Aug-16 19:09:16

Hi all, nice new Fred,
Nice frittata going on there. I make mine in the 4 Yorkshire pudding tins, courgette & mushroom for breakfast with baked beans, yummy..
Still chugging on- FD #2 here. I'm starving now. A banana & 1 toast with tomatoes & mushrooms. One day I'll be slimgrin

stripeyzebra32 Wed 17-Aug-16 19:17:53

Sorry everyone hope you don't mind but I'm going to have a winge on the new shinny thread as wonder if any of you have experienced similar.

What is with these narrow minded know it all people?

Saw family earlier not seen for a year. I try and avoid diet talk at all costs as I'm sick of hearing all the negatives my auntie asked how I'd lost weight and I said a mixture of low carb and 5:2 but using the 5:2 as a lifestyle choice. She ranted away how all these fad diets are unhealthy and what's the point as it will all go back on like it always does and she doesn't believe in SW WW and all those either. She really laid into me tbh but not said a word to my mum who's on sw. My mum knows a lot about the 5:2 she struggled to follow it but knows her stuff so she explained all the benefits and my auntie says well it's a load of old rubbish.

I come home tell my H, and he says I've got to agree I think it's bloody stupid this diet your on. I said it's a lifestyle change and I'm doing it permantly. (Don't think he knew as he knows nothing about it) he then tells me it's utter ridiculous.

I'm so angry, as I say he knows nothing about it as he's never asked or showed any interest he couldn't tell you what it's even called.

Sorry for my rant, I've felt in the past these things can bring out the nasty side in women especially but I'm hopping mad at him.

Off to google the Health benefits again and make him read it whilst being smug.

CeciledeVolanges Wed 17-Aug-16 19:28:25

Oh stripey, I'm sorry. I wish people would keep their narrow mindedness to themselves sometimes.

TaIkinPeace Wed 17-Aug-16 20:24:35

5:2 is not a weight loss method.
Its a method for increasing your healthy life span that just happens to bring weight into the correct range.
If your family want to be in wheelchairs at 70 while you are going head first down the slide, leave them to it. grin

TaIkinPeace Wed 17-Aug-16 20:28:25

Eating out while not overeating ......
I learned the secret from lots of my ultra fit and lean gym friends - its called starters. smile

For your starter have something salad / fish based.
For your main course have two starters or a double portion of the scrummiest looking starter.
As a rule of thumb, starters are less carb, less fat than mains
but because they are often high protein, they leave you feeling full.

only by booze by the glass

and if you are a pudding fiend, try the "tasting" pudding as it will be small portions of something strong flavoured.
The stronger the flavours, the easier to eat less.

BigChocFrenzy Wed 17-Aug-16 20:30:45

Do take care of yourself, furrywall flowers Nutritious food and building up exercise sounds good.
It takes a long time to recover fully from pneumonia and the scars in the lungs can remain for 3 years ir more

Welcome, GlassHalf smile
For eating out on FDs, the OP "How to Start" section has a link to restaurant meals.

For NFDs out, I recommend:
+ Keep to nhs alcohol limits
+'Do NOT eat bar nibbles - have a proper meal, no snacks or grazing.
+ Have a glass of water even if you have a glass of wine
+ Order a meal that has basic components of protein, veg / salad, optionally starchy carbs - and avoid deep fried / breaded food / pies / chips
+ Order a side of extra veg or a green salad with balsamico dressing
+ Careful of creamy, oily sauces & dressings, croutons, added cheese & bacon; these accompaniments can add up to hundreds if cals. Some fancy salads out are actually around 2,000 cals !
+ Espresso is a good substitute for dessert - keep dessert for say a couple of times per week.

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