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5:2 Thread No. 66: If you shaved legs & pits, but the scales still screamed "Ow ! Get off !" then join our friendly group for a new approach.

(977 Posts)
BigChocFrenzy Mon 31-Oct-16 11:31:03

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
. 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 , 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 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 !

BigChocFrenzy Mon 31-Oct-16 11:31:45

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Welcome to 5:2 thread # 66 !

FAQs & tips in the OP

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

"Scientific Evidence for Fasting" is at the end of the OP

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CrepeDeChineWag Mon 31-Oct-16 12:51:04

Not doing too well on my FD abstinence from Halloween treats. Decorating cakes and have had a few finger licks. See how it goes, nothing else so far other than a cup of tea and some black coffee so maybe it will all work out ok. If not I'll have this as a mini FD and do a proper FD tomorrow.

Well done to all of you weekend FD-ers.

Non SV today, back in a skirt that I couldn't do up properly a coupke of months ago 🏆grin

FrickOnAStick Mon 31-Oct-16 13:06:56

Hello. Thanks for the new thread bigchoc (your name isn't helpful for a FD!!).

So far, I'm doing ok. I made a really simple pea soup which worked out about 90cals for a mug on MFP but then let myself down by snarfing a bloody frozen cocktail sausage roll whilst cooking angry, so that was an extra 70cals pissed away. Grrr. I was planning to have a banana after my soup but my mindless sausage roll scoff means the banana stays in the bowl.

Anyway, so far - 160/500 cals consumed.

I haven't drunk any water yet so I need to have a good few glasses.

FrickOnAStick Mon 31-Oct-16 13:09:49

How do you count 'finger licks', crepe?! Do you allocate them a few cals each? Cake decorating on a FD is a difficult thing to navigate, you're a strong woman!

m0therofdragons Mon 31-Oct-16 14:33:28

So far so good for first fd. Bit of a headache so drinking lots. Just finished work so now the tough bit begins.

FrickOnAStick Mon 31-Oct-16 15:06:43

Well done mother.

I'm hungry, headachy and bored. Arghhhhh. Another glass of water. hmm

m0therofdragons Mon 31-Oct-16 16:27:38

Migraine coming and left eye not working. On the plus side I'm not hungry. I can have 10 grapes though

BigChocFrenzy Mon 31-Oct-16 16:45:43

Tip for headaches:
1 teasp Marmite or 1 tbsp unsweetened soy sauce (each 10 cals) each replenish salt & other minerals - with the much lower food amount on FDs, you are taking in less of these, which can cause headaches until your body gets completely adapted to fasting.
Even if you hate Marmite, just glug it badk like a teasp medicine.

CrepeDeChineWag Mon 31-Oct-16 16:48:17

Maybe those finger licks were only worth 50 cals (she says hopefully). Still no proper cake eating but could technically have one, they're 400 calories with the chocolate ganache, 220 without. Maybe Have half??

Sorry I'm sure I'm not doing anyone any favours going on about cake

m0therofdragons Mon 31-Oct-16 17:41:38

I think it's a time of the month migraine as pills have kicked in. About to have dinner - totally cheating with a 368 calorie ready meal.

FrickOnAStick Mon 31-Oct-16 18:12:51

I'm on the ready meal wagon too, m0ther. Waitrose LoveLife spinach & ricotta cannelloni. 270 cals. I find it easier to not have to think or torture myself with meal planning/cooking on FD.

LadyCatherinesshades Mon 31-Oct-16 18:36:51

FD here too. Closed kitchen at 508.

m0therofdragons Mon 31-Oct-16 18:41:44

Dc had rice, peas and fish fingers (I can't stand them but they love them). Sadly no local Waitrose but the Asda one was fine. Will have to go and get some nice ones, I think it might be easiest. I love cooking from scratch but it's harder to count and my portions are too big.

onwego Mon 31-Oct-16 18:51:44

Fast day here, 323/500 so far. I'm thinking of skipping dinner and looking forward to breakfast instead. I'll decide when I get home. I put on a pound last week due to dinner out and a couple of glasses of wine. Sigh. I know it's in my control and I can lose it again. I found getting back on it quite challenging and it makes me question whether the dinner out was worth it - my poor dh!

m0therofdragons Mon 31-Oct-16 22:21:52

Have ended up going over to 548 as I've had some mango but I've stayed clear from all the sweets so I'm happy with that.

BigChocFrenzy Mon 31-Oct-16 22:49:50

Nothing wrong with ready meals if it makes life easier

BigChocFrenzy Mon 31-Oct-16 22:59:21

I had a lovely time at the gym:
a 90 minute Halloween Spin special with very creepy dynamic lighting effects and both our trainers in horrific masks

I took Dead & Dirty Harriet with me - she's the one grinning in the photo.

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Halloween and didn't get too scared wink

EagleRay Mon 31-Oct-16 23:06:14

Hello new thread!

First FD of the week tomorrow, and now that DD2 is starting solids, and because I've felt fairly well fed at 1,000 cals, I'm going to reduce to 750 tomorrow. And I will count carefully! I've already measured out my 100ml milk allowance and checked the calories in the lunchtime soup.

I had a whole half day this morning without children so took a walk after nursery drop off then visited a local spa (I used to be a member and have some guest passes so can visit occasionally). I could have spent the time swimming lengths but I didn't blush Instead I spent most of my time in the hot outdoor pool reading a magazine without interruption, screams or grabbing hands - mind and body restored!

Hope all the FD-ers tucked up in bed now. Heading there myself as planning a c25k session in the morning with my super-duper high speed pushchair

Night night

BigChocFrenzy Tue 01-Nov-16 07:04:30

Good luck on your FD, Eagle
If you find it tough in the evening, you could allow yourself a bit extra and ease down gradually, say aim for 900 for this week's FDs, then 800 next week.

Good luck to all the Tuesday fasters

Daisiespurple Tue 01-Nov-16 13:15:56

FD today. Hope everyones day is going well.

Love your pic BigChoc!

Woodifer Tue 01-Nov-16 13:20:54

Hi everyone. been AWOL over half term and eating and boozing - back on it now I'm back - fast day yesterday - seemed to go ok, prob a bit over with evening meal but hey!

EagleRay Tue 01-Nov-16 13:31:17

I didn't see the pic before!! shock

Busy morning here - c25kn run with the buggy then home for my first BBG workout (I succumbed and bought the app as need motivation for exercise at home!)

150 cal soup for lunch and half my 100ml milk allowance gone. Can see now I totally underestimated how much milk I was putting into tea and coffee blush

This is hard but I lost zilch in October due to the holiday and now I mean business!!

Anyone else trying to motivate themselves specifically for the month ahead? If I can lose 4kg this month then that puts all my Anthropologie jeans back into use!!

BigChocFrenzy Tue 01-Nov-16 14:45:25

Easy to under-estimate milk & sugar on FDs and it can make a difference over the weeks if you have a lot of hot drinks, porridge etc.

I always recommend choosing in advance the calorie allowance for these, then measuring out the total portions into 2 little containers.

I recommend almond or cashew milk - only 18 cals for 100 ml ! - instead of cows' milk. Nut milk is delic, especially in coffee or cocoa or porridge.
Mosely suggsts stevia if you want a sweetener, because it is a herb that doesn't affect gut flora.
I enjoy herbal tea - ginger / aniseed & fenchel / mint - with stevia, because the liquorice taste fits well.

HalloweenQueen1 Tue 01-Nov-16 15:22:20

Ohh shiny new thread, just marking my spot for tomorrow's FD (it's needed too!) hope you got through yesterday okay crepe it's a difficult one when you have that temptation in front of you. I had a wonderful Halloween, lots of out and about walking at activities with the kids (which kept me away from the treatswink) but still managed to have more sweet things than I need hopefully tomorrow will put that right. Looks like I'll be having a fast day on Saturday this week (my first weekend one confused) its dh and myself 10th wedding anniversary this week so we're heading out on the town for a nice meal and my beautiful god daughter is heading away to university so I'm meeting up with her at the end of the week for yet more grub out so Saturday will be a good day to get back on track. Good luck Tuesday fasters wink

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