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5:2 Thread number 81: Warning - "Big Choc will come smacking if you start snacking! "

(972 Posts)
BigChocFrenzy Thu 04-Oct-18 23:45:06

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

Mosely's TDEE Calc - Exercisers:Use 1 activity level below what you think
Calorie Counter: mfp
Rough Calories for NFD: TDEE Calc (exercisers: set activity level to one below what you think)
BMI: Calc
Body Frame Size: Calc
Calc Ideal Weight Range
Body Fat: BF Calc
Choose / Visualise Goal Weight:
3D BMI body ripped to normal
Bod Vis Measurements & 3D rotate]]

Safe Alcohol Calc: Calc Daily UnitsCalories , Calc Weekly Units
Are You Addicted to Carbs Mosely’s Quiz

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

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.
- 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.

- FDs: If possible, choose days when you are busy, but not preparing meals for others.
Concentrate on protein & veg; avoid sugar or fruit juice.
e.g. Stir-fries, soups & stews. Ready meals are OK.

- 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.

- Do NOT fast: if you've ever had EDs, or if pregnant, under 21, over-stressed, fever, stomach bug, even a bad cold.

- 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)

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

Flickstar Sat 06-Oct-18 03:54:37

Thank you for the welcomes! I know in theory what I need to do but just can’t seem to get in the zone so bigchoc you are right, I’m hoping posting here will be the boost I need to stick to it.

Am just off to an early gym class (am not in the UK so it is early but not the actual middle of the night smile) but it’s the snacking and feeling I ‘deserve a treat’ that I need to get back on track with...

Sorry to hear of poorly people and hope everyone is feeling much better soon.

quackingduck222 Sat 06-Oct-18 08:01:44

43 - I hope your B2B went well, did you find it easier because you were so busy?

Boys - Well done on your B2B. Sometimes things like that can be a blessing as it does give us a boost to continue. But you’ve got this, you lot are hardcore with all the B2Bs going on.

BCF - Did you have a good FD? Not jealous of your weather at all? She says sat in a blanket.

StirCrazy - Massive Congratulations on your SV that’s absolutely fantastic. I’d be really fascinated to see your monthly total at the end of the month.
Thanks for that recipe I will definitely have to try it. All my pans have plastic handles so it may result in a melted mess. grin

Snail that sounds amazing, do you have a bread maker?

Borris - Good for you, I hope it went well.

Good to see you TiP, fab news on the 3lbs.

Summer- Sorry to hear that I hope you DD makes a speedy recovery.

Welcome to the thread Flick. When are you planning your FD for?

Blossom- Hope you make a fast recovery, hope you have a lovely day today at the spa.

MrJolly- Hope you also make a speedy recovery. Congratulations on your SV, you’ve done fantastic that’s a lot you’ve lost there.

Flick - Posting really does help, I think of you plan a FD and announce it it really does keep you accountable. It’s a very supportive thread I know I couldn’t of done this journey without it. I was very much like that, if I had a good day I should deserve a treat but now use it as a weekly insentive to stay on track. Non food treat rewards are great to stay motivated. I had a list of rewards per 7lbs, hair cut, clothes anything non food that will give you a boost.

1lbs up today after a 3 course carb loaded Italian last night, actually quite shocked it wasn’t a lot more. I have lots of FD food in today so may aim for a mini.

Are there any Saturday fasters about today? Good luck if you are, and have a great weekend.

BigChocFrenzy Sat 06-Oct-18 08:52:14

Oh, poor blossom thanks
I do hope the tests help the doc to diagnose your tum and to zap the problem asap
Try to sleep and drink loads of water, but no booze, just TLC

Good to hear your tum has recovered, MrJolly
I recommend you give yourself next week on healthy TLC: no fasting, no booze, no junk, no snacks
Then have 2 miniFDs the following week, if you feel ready
You have achieved a lot on 5:2, including healthier habits, so give yourself this extra time

Flick Try to think of the definition of a "treat": something special that you have occasionally
So, not an everyday event, not your "normal" food

It really helps progress to keep 5:2 healthy habits on NFDs, even at weekends and later on maintenance:

.NHS alcohol limits
.no snacking / grazing between meals
*.sensible about sugary treats & crisps - no more than 1 sensible portion on 3 NFDs
.lots of water & veg
.cut down on flavoured fizzy drinks, even diet ones*

Well done on your b2b, 43

My FD went well, thanks, Duck
I'm sitting at the table, looking out onto the sunny Rhein again - crikey, 25-26C predicted today
< Digs out shorts and tee for the morning jog. Exits whistling >

BigChocFrenzy Sat 06-Oct-18 08:56:25

I spotted something on the table and poked it with my finger, hoping it was Lindt choc:
its a creepy-crawlie confused and a big bugger
I've hit it 3 times with my shoe and it's still moving 🦂

Boysmomma Sat 06-Oct-18 09:45:08

Morning all! I'm after having a terrible day yesterday. I'm not even going to add up the total and just write it off.

As punishment I'm feeling awful, part of me wants to be sick and hope that's the end of it. It's odd, I used to be able to eat 10 times what I ate last night and not feel the repercussions the cramps areunbelievable. I think labour was easier.

I am feeling more than a little sorry for myself right now sad

Boysmomma Sat 06-Oct-18 09:45:45

Big you need to burn the house down. No other choice.

Summer15coming Sat 06-Oct-18 11:35:36

Wow, Jolly! More than a stone!

Blossom - hope you get better soon and that the doctor is able to find out what it is.

BCF - is the trade off for having wonderful, unseasonable weather, being faced with ridiculously large bugs? I think I'd take the weather!

Ta1kinpeace Sat 06-Oct-18 12:05:59

Its a type of stink bug - harmless but should not be in the house. Chuck it out the window and a street birdie will get a treat snack

And thinking of Treats
I loathe the treat culture.
Treats are for special occasions or when you have done something really special
not just because you made it through the day without swearing ....
Especially sodding cake / sugar based "treats"
rant over grin

snailhunter Sat 06-Oct-18 12:25:59

quacking I have a bread maker but only use that for everyday bread. Sourdough is very different and really needs to be made my hand. But it’s not difficult at all once you get into the rhythm of it and get your starter going nicely. From beginning to end the process of making a loaf once you have your starter takes around 24 hours but pretty much all of that is just waiting for it to rise and then prove. I love slow food: its so satisfying. I used Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s method which explains it all very well

BigChocFrenzy Sat 06-Oct-18 17:24:12

Sorry to hear you are suffering, boys after an over-indulgent day yesterday

Some folk find after a while on 5:2 that their bodies can no longer tolerate bingeing on food or booze
- they probably developed a tolerance for it before, but fasting can stop that
This can be a sign that "before" was maybe not a healthy lifestyle

I deal with nature in 4 different ways,
but since the bug wasn't pretty enough to admire, didn't look tasty and didn't want to play with a ball ... I picked it up in a tissue and squashed it, then binned it grin
It had a surprisingly hard shell.

TiP I'm impressed by your knowledge of creepy-crawlies !

summer it has been a phenomenal run of hot weather, since early June
I had a few mosquito bites, which were far more annoying than this big ugly beast

Crikey, snail < impressed >
24 hrs is a labour of love and not an impulse choice for lunch

Summer15coming Sat 06-Oct-18 17:46:04

Thanks for the messages about my daughter. She was hit on the head with a football at school (she was eating her lunch, but too close to the pitch!). Because she has a complex cardiac condition and is on warfarin, the medics in her life take everything more seriously with her and so wanted her in, CT'd and observed etc as a precaution. She seems fine now.

I've decided to do an extra FD tomorrow to make up for the hospital food.

AnnieLewis Sat 06-Oct-18 21:04:44

Hi everyone! First FD for me in literally about a year. Am back on the wagon as am sick of being fat and tired all the time. Am bloody starving but am at 502 cals.

May have to go to bed in a minute to avoid losing my willpower!!

Nice to be back in here, last time I was on a thread o think it was about number 67!! BCF and TiP it's reassuring to see you still here! smile

Flickstar Sun 07-Oct-18 06:23:34

Good morning! Just a quick check in to log my fast day 😬 we work Sunday- Thursday here so this is my first day of the working week. I plan to do today and Wednesday.

Thanks so much for all the thoughts on ‘treats’ really helpful smile

BigChocFrenzy Sun 07-Oct-18 08:44:04

Well done on your FD, Annie and great to see you again
You are back in the fasting swing
Once you are back in Happy Weight Range, I recommend a maintenance plan, e.g. 6:1 + our healthy 5:2 habits

Good luck on your 1st FD back, Flick

Good luck on your FD as well, summer
That was an unlucky accident for your DD, poor child, but now you can both relax and get back into routine

Borris Sun 07-Oct-18 20:42:30

Planning a b2b tomorrow. Had visitors this weekend. Went well food wise until Chinese takeaway tonight before they left. Hoping it won’t have done too much damage. Will be back on it tomorrow smile

WhiteWinterWitch Sun 07-Oct-18 23:02:58

Hi all, have been following the last thread for a while. Started back 5:2 around the start of September (holidays were officially over then) and have lost 1stone since starting back. Just checking in, fd again tomorrow (Monday & Thursday usually) definitely find this WOE let's me live more easily with food and still keep within the weight i like. Anyway good luck tomorrow Monday fasters .

snailhunter Mon 08-Oct-18 07:26:40

Hi witch! FD for me today. I am taking the car for a service. Do I win most boring FD activity?

Needmorewine Mon 08-Oct-18 07:40:20

Hi everyone want to attempt my first FD today in a verrrrryy long while - sitting here looking at 8 week old DD and the resulting 1.5 stone of pregnancy weight I need to lose ! She’s doing some longer stretches at night now and I’m no longer BFeeding so I do want to try and shift some extra weight before Xmas. Is it best to just jump in with a 500 calorie day ?

quackingduck222 Mon 08-Oct-18 07:56:50

Boys - Sorry to hear about that, these things do happen. I hope your feeling better now. You may find your tolerance to some food changes. I usually feel awful hungover like after a carb overload.

TiP - what you’ve said previously about treats has sunk in for me. I no longer use the word treat for food. Only clothes now grin

Snail - that’s interesting never knew sourdough needed to be made by hand. Oh I like that Hugh after Britain’s fat fight program that was really interesting. Yeah Car service is up there with waiting in the post office line. Are you actually having to sit and wait?

Summer- Glad to hear your DD is fine. Have a good week.

Annie - Welcome back to the thread.

Flick - Hope your FD went well yesterday.

Borris- Good luck for your B2B.

Whitewinter - Congratulations on loosing a stone that’s fantastic. Good luck for your FD.

Good luck to everyone fasting today.

Fortythreeandfatasfuck Mon 08-Oct-18 09:37:01

Morning everyone and welcome newbies smile

B2b was fine quacking and being super busy made it fly by....

However, I was shocked to see 1lb gain at the scales on saturday morning sad I'm not sure what more I can do (i really don't want to go to 4:3) but I historically find it very hard to get past this weight.... I am 44, 5 ft 7 ins and now weigh 12 st 1lb - loads of people have commented recently about how much weight I've lost and that old chestnut about not needing to loose anymore etc etc, but I want to get down to about 11 st 4lb if I can (which will only just get me into the healthy BMI range at 24.7) - will I ever be able to.....

Anyway, suffice to say this weekend I ended up eating a bit more than usual on sat as i thought f**k it, but drawn a line under that now, NFD today and FD tomorrow and friday

Sorry for the moan smile

Boysmomma Mon 08-Oct-18 10:08:23

Morning all! Hope the weekend was great for everyone!

FD will be this weekend (why am I doing this to myself grin), I've breakfast lunch and dinner all done. No snacking, I've enough on the plate that will do me.

I'm waiting a week to step on the scales, I think the damage done on Friday night was bad enough to see a gain! We got takeaway pizza, the pain was ridiculous. It was DS1's choice he was officially discharged from a specialist he's been seeing since birth, it was the big one (still with plenty of others), wasn't expecting it and sure he obvs got to choose dinner then!

lesson learned, he can have his treat, I eat the dinner I had made for myself, onward and downward

Good luck Monday fasters!

snailhunter Mon 08-Oct-18 10:57:22

quacking I think it can be made by machine but by hand is a lot nicer! Here's the link if you ever fancy a bread project:

Yep, I am sitting and waiting for my car. But it's actually quite nice. Free wi-fi, green tea on tap, comfy chairs and I can just sit here and get on with work!

BigChocFrenzy Mon 08-Oct-18 11:48:04

Congrats on your SV and milestone, witch
That's good you feel comfortable on 5:2; makes it sustainable

Good luck on your 1st FD back, need
After only 8 weeks since the birth, even without BF, your body will still be recovering.
So I recommend you aim for 800 cals for the first couple of weeks and allow yourself up to 1000 if you feel you need it.

Good luck too to Borris, witch and all the other Monday fasters

Enjoy your car's day out, snail Sounds luxurious grin

43 It really sounds like you are eating back the FD deficit on NFDs - classic symptoms
I recommend you mfp for at least 1 week, preferably 2, to highlight calorie bombs, treats, sugar, booze, portion size etc
I know you don't want to, but it's just long enough to find out where the problem lies so you can zap it
No need to mfp permanently

BigChocFrenzy Mon 08-Oct-18 11:49:35

Ouch, boys Your tum would probably appreciate an FD during the week as well, to give it a rest

Needmorewine Mon 08-Oct-18 12:26:46

Thanks BigChoc been browsing the inspiration thread for ermmm..inspiration ! Am also going to try really reducing sugar intake for DH and I on NFDs while I lose the bulk of my weight as we have got used to eating far too much

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