Advanced search

5:2 Thread No. 67: You were born to be awesome, not perfect. There's no giant leap to get the shape YOU choose, just many little steps. It's ok if you step slowly, you lap everyone who didn't start

(977 Posts)
BigChocFrenzy Fri 10-Feb-17 06:50:46

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 ,
Foodie Under 200 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.

- Plateau / Losing & regaining same few lb: Many folk have a plateau after losing 15 lb +, while their body rebalances.
It may also be a longterm "set point" weight, so homeostasis is causing your body to resist losing more fat.
Just be patient & you'll break through.
However, if this persists for 4 weeks+ then typically you are overeating on NFDs, so aim to average within TDEE - mfp for a week, to reality check.

- Lots to lose - how to speed up weight loss
Optionally calculate the lower TDEE for goal weight, but eat to current weight TDEE at least 1 day per week.
This helps your body adjust to needing less food as you lose weight.
Also trains you how to eat to maintain goal weight.

- 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

5:2/IF Exercise Thread #3 gives advice & support on combining 5:2 with exercise.
The OP explains science behind fasting, exercise & health & has many calculators.

Recipe Thread has many FD recipes. Post your own too.

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

Scientific Evidence for Fasting & Health

BBC article on the original 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.

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.

He compared 5:2 to ordinary daily diets on overweight women with family history of breast cancer.
Fasting group lost more belly fat, retained more muscle & had slightly better blood sugar regulation.

More of his research is in HealthyAging , Health , AvoidParkinsonsDisease

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

Why intermittent fasting and stopping snacking can lower your risk of serious diseases:
Meal frequency and timing in health and disease

This interview with leading researchers into fasting in combination with standard cancer treatment: ScientificDiscussion MoselyMattsonLongo and a LongoInterview

NY Times Fasting Overview

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.
Any lurkers and newbies, come join us and share your experiences too. These are lovely supportive threads and everyone is welcome !

BigChocFrenzy Fri 10-Feb-17 06:53:16

🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴

Welcome to 5:2 thread # 67 !

Check out 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

🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴 🚴

Clearskies99 Fri 10-Feb-17 08:02:20

That's a lovely title BCF. Will report back later as off to work now. Had a very difficult few weeks (whole family ill on and off for weeks plus other life stresses that come and go) but am getting back into the zone now
FD today here
Have a good day everyone!

Overtiredbackagain Fri 10-Feb-17 08:27:30

Thanks for new thread Choc!

Had NFD yesterday that included lunch with a client and winehmm but I've stayed the same weight today phew! TOTM appeared today too, undecided whether to fast or not today, so I may just see how I feel through the day.

Thank goodness it Friday! Exhausted! Happy Friday everyone x

OohMrDarcy Fri 10-Feb-17 09:07:35

Morning all

Fabulous new thread title BigChoc - really fits my new life philosophy!

Weighing in with a 1.5lb loss this morning. I think there is more but being hidden by a bunged up digestive system! Will be working on sorting that over the coming days and keep on keeping on!

Waves hi to Clear! Long time, no see! (I've only been back a couple of weeks myself)

STS for a TOTM week sounds like a good all around win to me overtired!

Notreallyhappy Fri 10-Feb-17 15:51:34

Hi all. Nice headline BCF...
Fd 2 went OK yesterday under 600 .
Friday fd CLEAR that's good, might rethink that next week.
Thinking I need to step it up and have 2 fd plus 3 x 16:8 days. Nfd today and I feel like I'm picking not eating meals. A later morning / brunch perhaps. Rambling a bit hereconfused
Have a good weekend. X

MalmseyWhine Fri 10-Feb-17 16:25:56

2nd FD completed yesterday, to my relief. I was worried that I wouldn't manage it as I had to eat on the go but made good choices smile.

NFD today. Porridge for breakfast but very hungry when I got in from work just before 4 and have eaten 2 rounds of sandwich plus crisps. I think a light dinner beckons.

Notreally My ideal eating pattern would be a substantial brunch around 10.30/11 and then a small dinner at around 5-6. I find that I don't tend to pick if I do this so it's a shame work routines don't always make it possible.

Notreallyhappy Fri 10-Feb-17 16:50:54

Malsmey,, I thinks that's what pattern I need to follow at least in the week when I'm home alone. ..
today was 1 toast & p'nut butter @ 8.30, 1/2 slice @ 10.30 waiting for ds18 to get a wiggle on,then fresh sour dough with guacamole & egg at 3 because I'd not had real food. Preparing to be slapped by BCF for pickinggrin

MazDazzle Fri 10-Feb-17 17:31:05

I've lost 3 lbs! shock

Total weight loss since baby is now 1st 3lb. It took my 9 months to lose the first stone! Glad things are speeding up now. Tracking calories on NFD and moving more in my everyday life have made such a difference!

Kids are off school today for mid-term, so my baby is going to the childminder's and I'm taking the other two to the cinema.

Happy Friday everyone! Enjoy your weekend.

BigChocFrenzy Fri 10-Feb-17 20:22:51

Welcome back, clear After all that family stress, it's Cleartime now, when you prioritise your own wellbeing.

Well done on your SV, Maz Being mindful on NFDs is probably the main factor boosting progress.
Well done too, MrD especially after a big SV last time.

sts is a good sign during totm, overtired because most women retain water at that time. Don't worry if you get a temporary blip over the next few days - the water should be released the FD after totm ends.
Just don't give in to totm munchies and you should continue losing bodyfat, despite any water blip.

< SLAP ! grin > Yes, you'd do better to cut out the snacks & nibbles, happy and have decent meals instead.
You would feel more satisfied and also probably make more nutritious food choices
You could try 16:8, with just an 8-hr eating window, it gives 2-3 good meals, helps keep NFDs on track and boosts fasting.
If that feels tough, then start with 14:10, i.e. a 10-hr eating window and 14 hours on zero calories.

Next time you feel tempted to snack, chant:

pickers have bigger knickers ! wink

OohMrDarcy Sat 11-Feb-17 09:33:02

Loving the phrase that pickers have bigger nickers grin

Well it's a very happy Saturday here, the bunged-up-ness sorted itself out over the course of yesterday and today the scales are showing another 2lb down shockgrin so that is now 8lb total
W1 4.5
W2 3.5

And I'm bloody over the moon with that, though of course given all the cards I've been hooked on I suppose eating normally suddenly should have had an obvious immediate impact!

Well done on successful FD notreally and Malmesyou

And fabulous SV Maz! Enjoy that Feeling!

Today I'm going for a reasonably long walk with a friend and I'm off out tonight to a comedy night which should be a giggle, there will be wine involved but hopefully not too much and will be my only this week. Drinking plenty of water in preparation!

OohMrDarcy Sat 11-Feb-17 09:34:37

Oh God, please ignore all the typos, I'm on my phone!

BigChocFrenzy Sat 11-Feb-17 12:38:12

Congrats on your SV, MrD Great start back smile
It'll probably slow down after a while, but you know to expect that and to stay focused.

InspiredinUS Sat 11-Feb-17 14:02:58

I posted on the other thread. Didn't know there was a new one. I want up
3 lbs!!!!😩 The day before the scale was down a lb for the week but wasn't my official weigh in day. Had 2 fasting days at around 560 and a couple days at 1200 and the.l rest around my goal weight tdee. Also had 4 good HIIT work outs for the week. I know, the scale is lying. But it is frustrating! πŸ™„

BigChocFrenzy Sat 11-Feb-17 18:55:30

Stay cool, inspired You obviously had a good calorie deficit for the week.
It sounds just a temporary blip of water retention, maybe your body repairing itself after 4 x HIT days
Also, make sure your scales are ok, batteries full and that you weigh under consistent conditions - that can affect results by a few lb

^Weigh consistently:^
+ First thing in the morning after 2nd FD of the week, naked, after loo, but before eating or drinking anything.
+ Same scales, always in the same position on a level, hard floor - not carpet.
+ (for digital) Switch on scales and count to 3 before stepping on, so they have time to zero properly
+ Step on, no jumping; keep still & don't shift your balance or lean to one side
If weight seems inconsistent, replace batteries

SequinsOfEvents Sat 11-Feb-17 21:15:23

I've started 5:2! With a determination I've not seen in me for a long while.....I'm one week (that's x2 fasts) in and I came on here to have a little look about and spur me on. The stories over on the success stories thread have worked their magic and I am ready to go for it again next week!

Will keep checking in here - my new go-to thread grin

Good luck this week everyone!

TheDowagerCuntess Sat 11-Feb-17 21:21:29

πŸ’š the thread title!

Checking in. FD tomorrow.

Overtiredbackagain Sun 12-Feb-17 07:23:28

Successful NFD yesterday but my weight is 3lb up, guessing thanks to TOTM angry

Out for lunch today so will try and be good then back to FD tomorrow

BigChocFrenzy Sun 12-Feb-17 09:37:34

Welcome sequins smile and well done on your 1st week

Overtired The retained water should be released on the FD following totm.
So, if you avoid the totm munchies, the scales should show the water loss plus the weekly fat loss

Good luck Dowager and any other Sunday fasters
I'm fasting too. I'm just preparing my usual FD salads and drinks to take for a pampering day out at the gym

Clearskies99 Sun 12-Feb-17 21:12:24

Winter lurgies all round here for weeks plus so much stress but that's calming down now thankfully. In midst of this 4 1/2 weeks of low carb ended as that old thing of stress leading to carb cravings kicked in plus I just felt hungry whilst also full. Back on low carb now and facing down the other issue i repeatedly try to get beyond, which is getting beyond the plateau I keep reaching (again and again).

Said it before but 'i'm not giving up!'. Low carb seems to help in many ways. Am trying to up fats a bit more and as the weeks progress will try again to get beyond my plateau rather than losing and gaining the same few pounds again. Once I'm fully well will try some HIIT too.

I hope BCF that there are benefits to a period of low carb even though I didn't make it to 8 or even 12 weeks? Maybe I will this time, I don't know.

Sorry for rambling post and that I've not yet caught up on everyone's news. Did spot MrD though - hello !!

Serialprocrastinator2 Sun 12-Feb-17 21:42:42

Hi all, I'm starting back on 5:2 tomorrow, I originally did it about 3 and a half years ago and lost around 1.5 easily, I have dipped in and out of it since but over the past year or so I have eaten as though food is about to disappear, drunk too much and hardly exercised! I have had a lot of stuff/stress going on but it's no excuse! I'm the heaviest I've been for about 7 years! I've been cutting down since January but determined to do 5:2 now. I'm glad I found this thread, I'm hoping it will keep me on the right track!? I don't weight myself, mainly go on how my clothes fit ( and they aren't fitting well atm!) I'm a 14/16 at the moment I'm happy to be a small 14 and would be ecstatic to be a 12. Any tips regarding food and drinks for fast day would be greatly appreciated smile

Fizzyfluff Mon 13-Feb-17 04:37:38

I'm starting today! Did juddd (form of adf) a couple of years ago and lost a couple of stone. Been dicking about with sw for the past two years, lost a couple of stone but all back on now.

I remember the nsv the best from adf, so going back where it seemed to work and make me the happiest.

Used to lurk minimins, but I see they've done away with the app now, and the mobile site format is woeful. Anyway, found myself here...... fingers crossed!

Bellenddingdong Mon 13-Feb-17 06:07:29

Morning, thank you for the new thread Bigchoc, I need the title mantra engraining on my brain. I have a food and alcohol heavy weekend, which I did expect and shouldn't be surprised that the scales are up 2lbs. I am disappointed since I have had two successful fast days and really seem to be getting my binging/foraging under control.

Anyway it's a new day and a new week, I am in the zone.

I have been reading about willpower over the weekend and have learned that it's like a muscle, you need to use and exercise it for it to get stronger. After reading an article on wikihow , I have set my self a goal for my summer holiday, I am keeping a journal and writing in it everyday. I am also trying meditating/mindfulness for a couple of minutes throughout the day. This can prove difficult due the craziness in our house but I find locking myself in the toilet for a few minutes is adequate time and a good place to hide for a few minutes! Shouting 'mumming is going for a poo again' seems to keep the kids away!

Bigchoc, thank you for your advice (on the previous thread) about having a is a fast day then a TDEE the following day, I am going to give a go this week. I am much better if I set myself rules and have something to stick to.

Hope we all have a good week, hello and welcome to the newbies. The advice and help on this thread is so encouraging if you struggle.

MalmseyWhine Mon 13-Feb-17 07:41:20

Good morning. First weigh on today and 2lbs off smile. This was following a fairly relaxed Sunday that included a roast dinner and wine. Not sure if it's more effective weighing after the second FD on a Friday so I might change it.

FD today. Have a good week everyone.

BigChocFrenzy Mon 13-Feb-17 07:57:13

Welcome, Serial, fizzy smile
Post whenever you need advice or support. Usually someone is around.

SerialThere are links to FD recipes & meal ideas under "How to Start" in the OP

FD tips
+ The only real FD rules are no booze, no junk especially sugary carbs like cake, biscuits etc
+ Concentrate on protein and masses of non-starchy veg, with optionally a small portion carbs
+ No nibbling, eating DC leftovers, or spoon licking - you'll go off track !
+ I have salads, because I love raw veg and you get so much for your cals. Also good are curries, stir fries, soups
+ Easier to have black coffee / espresso for breakfast and split the 500 calories between lunch & supper, or even save most for supper
+ A teasp Marmite straight from the jar (10 cals) mid-morning & mid-afternoon helps avoid headaches while your body us adapting to fasting
+ In advance, plan all your FD meal(s) and stick to the plan. Also measure out your total FD cals you choose for milk & sugar, then out in separate pots
+ Start the day with a glass of water and keep drinking - more water than usual, because you are getting less from food

+ If a fast day is getting tough, chant

I can have it tomorrow

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now Β»

Already registered? Log in with: