Advanced search

5:2 Thread No. 79: We’re avoiding POO CRUMBS on communal cake & biscuits and enjoying our meals instead

(973 Posts)
BigChocFrenzy Sat 30-Jun-18 11:09:09

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

b2b (optional) back-to-back / consecutive fast days, each with an increased allowance of 650 calories instead of 500

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

FD = single Fast Day: aim for 500 calories (600 for men or 25% TDEE whichever is higher) or 1000 cals for BF
No alcohol or junk on FDs.
Even if you exercise strenuously, do NOT increase FD cals to allow for exercise

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

miniFD = MiniFD, 850-1000 calories, no alcohol or junk

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
(optional) Guide Calories for NFD: TDEE Calc (exercisers: set activity level to one below what you think)
FD Recipes: BBC Good Food 52 , Mosely LowCarb , BBC Good Food 500 cal meals ,
Good2Know , Vegetarian ,
Foodie Under 200 Cals
Any Day: Meal Planner
FD Ready Meals, Takeaways, Restaurant: Mirror , Indie
Safe Alcohol Calc: Calc Daily UnitsCalories , Calc Weekly Units

BMI: Calc
Body Frame Size: Calc
Calc Ideal Weight Range
Body Fat: BF Calc
Choose / Visualise Goal Weight:
3D BMI body variations ripped to normal
Bod Vis Measurements & 3D rotate
Are You Addicted to Carbs Mosely’s Quiz

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.

5:2 FD Recipe Thread
Post your own too !

5:2 / IF 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.

Fasting boosts "autophagy" = recycling of old cells
Yoshinori Ohsumi won the 2016 Nobel prize for Medicine for research into autophagy
NOBEL Lecture “Autophagy – An Intracellular Recycling System”

Prof. R Taylor (Newcastle Uni) won the 2013 Diabetes UK Banting Prize for his Twin Cycle Hypothesis re the cause of type 2 diabetes: Twin Cycle Hypothesis T2
and showed a fasting diet could reverse T2

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

HORMESIS & 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 (Mosely referred to his research) 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.

Brain metabolism in health, aging, andneurodegeneration :
"lifestyles that include intermittent bioenergetic challenges, most notably exercise and dietary energy restriction, can increase the likelihood that the brain will function optimally and in the absence of disease throughout life"

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

Fasting can help maintain brain health during aging:
"lifestyles that include intermittent bioenergetic challenges, most notably exercise and dietary energy restriction, can increase the likelihood that the brain will function optimally and in the absence of disease throughout life"

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 Sat 30-Jun-18 11:16:21

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

grin Welcome to 5:2 thread # 79 ! grin

We’re a very friendly bunch, so pop in and join us
Post whenever you need advice or support, or just to tell us how you are doing

FAQs & tips in the OP

"HOW TO START" section has
+ Tips & FAQs
+ FD recipes, meal plans
+ Body Goal Visualisers
+ Calculators for TDEE, Body Fat, Frame Size, Ideal Weight Range, Daily Alcohol Units / Cals

"Scientific Evidence for Health & Fasting" is at the end of the OP and includes links to peer-reviewed science papers

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

Iamblossom Sat 30-Jun-18 13:03:22


badger82 Sat 30-Jun-18 13:29:23

Feeling much more positive today, ran 6k this morning and had 500 cals for lunch (no breakfast) going to try that approach
Have logged my dinner tonight too to bring me in at TDEE, now I've just got to stick to it and not let anything else pass my lips!!

Elsasalterego Sat 30-Jun-18 14:26:06

Thanks for the new Thread BCF!

So I went back to the hospital for physio yesterday and they are delighted with me- apparently someone else who had the same procedure on Monday (ACL reconstruction) came in hobbling as you are supposed to but I managed to go in holding my crutches in my hand! They want me to carry on using one for stability (or a walking stick) for the next week until I see them again but they praised me for being so fit and strong and said it was the reason I am doing so well.

So now the issue is to shift the weight I have managed to put on in the time I've been inactive!

As I am now able to move round I am able to cook again, and I'm pretty happy that one week of no fasting post operation is fine. So I am going to be back on it next week- I may try a b2b on Monday and Tuesday to make up for weight I would have gained this week being ultra inactive and then again on Friday having recovered from b2b. How will be fasting on those days? Anyone fancy joining me in a b2b challenge?

Another question if I may. I know we mustn't eat back any exercise calories on FDs. What about non FDs?

plus3 Sat 30-Jun-18 14:35:48

Well done badger ! I can’t run at all ...that is my next target - try to get running because I am fantastically unfit blush

HLBug Sat 30-Jun-18 15:23:00

Elsa that's fantastic that your recovery is going so well - good for you. I'm afraid it's a 'no' to eating back any exercise calories though, whatever the day.

Thanks for the new thread BCF - I'm liking my new official position as 'end of thread' monitor - I will try not let the power go too much to my head grin

Fortythreeandfatasfuck Sat 30-Jun-18 15:40:29

Thanks for the new thread bcf and for the advice... I just have to be stubborn and persevere as it's usually this stall in weight that can be my downfall and I end up putting on but not this time

DaisyandTim Sat 30-Jun-18 16:14:01

Thanks BCF on the info re bread - makes sense.

Sounds like you’ve got it sorted re no carbon grin and water fortythree so I will cross my fingers that this passes quickly!
Thanks quacking this holiday can’t come soon enough!

Clearskies99 Sat 30-Jun-18 18:46:59

Checking in for new thread.... have a good weekend everyone, no snacking, loads of water! smile

openupmyeagereyes Sat 30-Jun-18 20:13:01

Checking in for the new thread. Thanks BCF

Elsasalterego Sat 30-Jun-18 20:30:03

HLBug thanks for the info. And then in maintenance I'm guessing you are allowed to start? I'm not sure I'll be able to survive on 1700cals once I'm burning over 2500 a day!

Borris Sat 30-Jun-18 20:36:41

Place marking. Next FD is b2b mon and tues. today has been an ok NFD. No snacking. Had an ice cream on the beach as pudding at lunchtime. 1 glass of wine with dinner. Really want a gnt but know I don’t need one.

I think tomorrow should make a reasonable NFD too.

FriendlyGhost Sat 30-Jun-18 20:39:40

Thanks for the new thread. Today has been mixed. I skipped breakfast and went for a 6k run. Then I walked to the supermarket and back so 18k steps. Unfortunately then I was handed a glass of Pimms. That turned into 3 glasses and an ice cream. I had salad for dinner though and i’m planning another run tomorrow.

openupmyeagereyes Sat 30-Jun-18 20:40:29

I haven’t fasted this week but have maintained at 9.10 post period. Planning a FD for Monday.

Badger well done on your 6k run. I hope you managed to keep within TDEE today.

Elsa well done on your physio NSV.

Clear I have failed on the ‘no snacking’ today blush

Elsasalterego Sat 30-Jun-18 21:56:02

Fab Borris that means I have a b2b buddy for Monday and Tuesday!

BigChocFrenzy Sat 30-Jun-18 22:13:43

Excellent run today, badger
Stay focused and you'll feel so proud in the morning

Good to hear you are recovering so well after the OP, Elsa

If you count cals, then exercise calories are best handled on NFDs via Mosely‘s TDEE Calc
he recommends: set activity level to one below what you think - 2500 sounds too high.
I recommend using this TDEE calc rather than eating back what gadgets or calculators say, because they tend to flatter.

To speed up loss, you can eat to sedentary 1 or more days per week, but eat your full TDEE on at least one NFD,
for sustainability and to keep metabolic metabolic rate boosted.

On maintenance, if you continue the 2 FDs (with 800 cals) then you can now eat back the deficit, either a bit extra each NFD, or save it all for say the weekend.
Very useful for those who are short, sedentary & older (low TDEE)
However, with a high TDEE, most folk easily maintain on 6:1 or even 13:1

NoUnderpantsinSpace Sat 30-Jun-18 22:24:18

Thanks for the new thread BCF!
Just checking in before I get totally lost and the thread has several hundred posts on it!smile

Plus I go walking, around 5km 3x a week and I've been doing it since the start of the year. I really enjoy it and I've challenged myself to speed up. So I can now do that 5km in under 50 minutes which I'm really pleased with. I'm building it up to get back to running, but just wanted to share what I do now in case it helps smile

Have a great weekend everyone! We have guests coming tomorrow for brunch and I'm really looking forward to it especially since the kids are getting bigger and better at entertaining themselves grin

BigChocFrenzy Sat 30-Jun-18 22:25:18

< waves to clear > Still progressing well ?

That's good exercise, ghost
but work on keeping the wine to 1 glass, then you can enjoy this a few times per week

plus If you are unfit, I suggest starting with the simplest HIIT - "walking intervals":

Say 6 intervals, each of 2 minutes normal pace walk alternating with 2 minutes power walk, i.e. total 24 mins
Then build up the power walk pace to a jog and increase total time to 40 mins
Next step is to reduce the walking time gradually to 20 secs, while keeping the jogging 2 mins
and build up speed so you are alternating jogging / running for 30-40 mins

Also, to cross-train and tone up flabby bits, add some resistance / strength work
e.g. a pump or pilates class, or when you are fitter, go for Shred

BigChocFrenzy Sat 30-Jun-18 22:30:16

Excellent walking, underpants

Well done on the no snacking NSV, Borris and keeping to 1 glass wine

openup Habits can take a while to change,
but if you are snacking less than before, then you are making progress.

Sounds like you deserve a relaxing hols, Daisy
Not long to go

Clearskies99 Sun 01-Jul-18 07:15:55

< waves to BCF and all the gang> All going well here, next significant milestone coming up soon.

Have a good day everyone, don't forget lots of water and NO SNACKING! grin

badger82 Sun 01-Jul-18 08:29:58

Yesterday was a win, trying for no snacking and within TDEE again today then will have been a good weekend. You're right BCf re snacking less = progress.
No pants how old are your kids? Mine are 1 and 3, life is tough at the moment as we are renovating our house too. It's a wonderful time but so hard too!

quackingduck222 Sun 01-Jul-18 11:58:08

Thanks for the new thread BCF.

Well done Badger. Gosh 6k in this heat I’m impressed. And well done on a smashing NFD.

Elsa - no eating back of calories I’m afraid. I think that even applies to being in a deficit for the day. I think that’s only happened to me once but with no issues.
Even being inactive I think if you do your 2 FD per week and stick to TDEE you should still get good results although it may be worth recalculating TDEE for the time being.
Also when you get to maintenance you recalculate your TDEE if your activity increases go up a level on the calculator.

No underpants that’s fantastic, your doing so well.

Clearskies - cant wait t for your next milestone, will keep my eyes peeled.

FD success for me yesterday after 2 failed attempts. Very nearly blew it when DH suggested we stopped for takeaway at 10:30pm but stayed strong and resisted.
After what I would say was 3 awful days for me as I’ve eaten a load of rubbish followed by a good FD = a slightly lower weight that what I was on Monday. Plan for this week is to not buy crap then I can’t eat it. grin

Fortythreeandfatasfuck Sun 01-Jul-18 12:46:01

Morning everyone, the cheese and wine and french stick last night was amazing, but I can't think of the calories I consumed, eek!! But I'm writing off this weekend shock

I think Tues and Fri fd for me this week, good luck to anyone fasting today smile

HonkyWonkWoman Sun 01-Jul-18 14:09:05

I can honestly say that I haven't had anything with added sugar for at least a week.
I am Nfd today and have a terrible craving for Salted Caramel Ice Cream! I haven't got any and I'm not getting in my scorching car to go and get some but it's niggling at me! Grrrrr!
Fd's will be Monday and Wednesday as I'm packing for Turkey on Thursday so will probably be a bit stressy! 😂

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 »

Already registered? Log in with: