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5:2 Thread number 87: It's my body and I can if I want to

(982 Posts)
BigChocFrenzy Sat 14-Sep-19 17:38:51

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 in August 2012:

Basically it is 2 very low cal days ("fasts") per week - which need not be consecutive - and eat "normally" to maintain on 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 past diagnosed Eating Disorders or serious MH problems 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, clothes size

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 if you need 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
Rough Calories for NFD: Mosely TDEE Calc (exercisers: set activity level to one below what you think)
BMI: Calc
Ideal Weight & Body Frame Size: Calc Wt Frame
Body Fat: BFat Calc
Choose / Visualise Goal Weight:
3D BMI body types ripped to normal
Bod Vis Measurements & 3D rotate]]

Safe Alcohol Calc: Calc Units Cals

FD Recipes:
Mosely LowCarb , low carb Diet Doc
BBC Good Food 52 , BBC Good Food 500 cal meals ,
Good2Know , Foodie Under 200 Cals
Vegetarian ,

FD Ready Meals, Fast Food

Any Day:
Meal Planner

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

OP’s posts: |
BigChocFrenzy Sat 14-Sep-19 17:39:26

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grin Everyone welcome to 5:2 thread # 87 ! grin
We’re a very friendly bunch, so pop in and join us

FAQs & tips in the OP

"HOW TO START" section has
+ Tips & FAQs
+ FD & NFD recipes
+ Meal planner
+ 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

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OP’s posts: |
OohMrDarcy Sat 14-Sep-19 19:56:44

🤣 well remembered on the title bigchoc!

onko Sun 15-Sep-19 08:48:12

Yay a new thread, thanks BCF grin

SV for me to start things off. Weighed myself this morning after a swim. I am now into the tens (10st13)!
That’s 18lb off in 11 weeks. In those 11 were 2 weeks of BSD to kick things off and 2 weeks off plan.
Next goal is another 8lb off to get out of overweight BMI. Oh and I finish shred tomorrow, 30 whole days grin. I’m just about managing it all at Natalie level except side planks which I can’t do.

OohMrDarcy Sun 15-Sep-19 08:54:10

Congrats onko, great SV!

bwydda Sun 15-Sep-19 09:05:07

Well done onko that's brilliant.

I had a nsv yesterday, with a friend noticing and commenting that I've lost weight. So glad that it's starting to show.

Thanks for the thread bcf

aberjenagain Sun 15-Sep-19 09:06:00

Thanks for the new thread bcf

Yay, well done on your SV onko!

I was at a wedding yesterday and actually came in under my tdee shock Mainly because I was driving, and the hog roast didn’t turn up before I had to take the girls off to bed (and I’d passed on the fish and chips earlier because I was waiting for the hog...). So dinner was toast and a banana before an early night as I was sharing a sofa bed with my youngest 😴

Ravenous this morning!

aberjenagain Sun 15-Sep-19 09:06:37

Well done on your nsv too bwydda

OohMrDarcy Sun 15-Sep-19 09:09:46

Ok so I weighed again this morning (I was still irritated so wanted to see if it was a blip)

The 0.2lb has turned into a pound overnight! 🎉 current weight 14st 5.6lb

Which makes me 0.2 lbs shy of hitting the 3.5stone milestone- my body is really making me work for that one!!

Skyejuly Sun 15-Sep-19 10:29:32

Hi all.

Ok so my start weight was 10st 6.8 on 5th sept and today I am 10st 4.4. It dropped slightly in week but it has mostly hovered around 10st 4.4! My goal weight is about 8st 5 I think....I'd be happy with 9st!

I am 5ft 2.

I just have been so good. No treat, no booze, no oils, limited carbs. Just not lost as much as I hoped but then I am new to this.

Hope all are ok.

Skyejuly Sun 15-Sep-19 10:30:30

Well done mrD!

EssentialHummus Sun 15-Sep-19 11:00:31

Well done mrD, bwydda onko! Thank you for the new thread bcf.

NFD here, aiming for a b2b tomorrow and Tues. Lovely bright sunshine here so I am off to work in the garden. We have hundreds of tomatoes still on the plants, so lots of salads and tomato soups in my future grin.

TheOnlyTruePirate Sun 15-Sep-19 14:10:16

I would love to join this thread if possible! Have had great success with a combination of 5:2 and calorie counting at different times previously (going from almost 12st to 9st 8 in a pretty decent space of time) but have lost the plot a bit lately with holidays etc. and am back at around 10st again. In fairness I probably deserve it to be even higher so am lucky really! I'm 5'7 so technically within a healthy weight range but just far too wobbly - I'm most comfortable at around 9st 3 and don't feel good or healthy at the moment.

Anyway, I'm back to 5:2 and am now viewing it as a "forever " lifestyle thing rather than a short-term goal. I'm hoping even once I get to where I want to be (somewhere around 9st 3) it will help me maintain long-term, maybe doing 6:1 eventually. I do exercise and am naturally pretty active... but also naturally greedy! I also like wine too much (not a daily drinker but maybe a few glasses a few nights a week... still too much!)

When I have done 5:2 in the past I think I was in too much of a rush and focused on constant weighing which led to getting a bit impatient and obsessed. This time I am viewing it as a long-term thing for various benefits and I don't mind how long it takes to get to my goal.

I think being part of a thread would help with motivation and accountability... fingers crossed! Planned a FD tomorrow but have an absolutely stinking cold and feeling rotten so may do a mini one instead. How do others cope with fasting and (mild) illness?

BigChocFrenzy Sun 15-Sep-19 16:23:11

Congratulations on your SV, onko
and on reaching the milestone of the 10 stone somethings

Wow, getting near to a really major milestone, of dropping into a lower BMI class

Well done on your SV as well, MrD and staying chilled
Sometimes the loss shows up after the following NFD, if it's sensible, rather than the FD

Well done on your compliments NSV, Bwydda
Yep, people are noticing your achievement

Well done on your progress, Skye
Your habits sound fine, but usually no need to go low fat as well as moderating carbs
Healthy fats - i.e. not food with heavily processed palm oil etc - can help you stay fuller longer and also add flavour.
More enjoyment for you smile

If your loss isn't as quick as you hoped, then I recommend just one week on mfp or similar, to check the amount of food
Check if you exceed your TDEE (use Mosely's Calc TDEE)

On FDs, there is no calorie allowance for exercise, no matter how much you do
On NFDs, don't use gadgets to calculate exercise calories, as these can be overly flattering; instead allow for exercise via TDEE above

Your garden sounds wonderful, Hummus
Hard work you can eat smile

OP’s posts: |
BigChocFrenzy Sun 15-Sep-19 16:34:22

Welcome, Pirate smile
I have 5:2 as a lifetime healthy WOL
- I maintain on 800 FDs, 1-2 per week (so I can indulge a bit on a couple of NFDs)

To tone up any flabby bits, I recommend adding exercise,
especially HIIT and lifting weights
That really helps burn viscous fat, i.e. the kind you don't want much around internal organs

If you are pushed for time, Shred - from the Evil One - is popular here

If you are unwell:

+ Serious ailments, fever and / or stomach upset, do NOT fast
Wait at least a few days after symptoms have gone, as your body / gut may still be recovering

+ Colds without fever - fast if you feel up to it
Otherwise have a healthy TLC NFD or miniFD to support your immune system
i.e. no alcohol, junky food or fizzy drinks (even diet ones) except sparkling water
Do have lots of veg - including as soup - also some fruit and keep drinking water all day

+ Physical injuries e.g. muscles, bones, ligaments
Fast as normal, but on both FDs and NFDs make sure you have plenty of protein & veg, with little alcohol or junk
- your body needs extra nutrients to repair itself and also you are probably moving / burning less

OP’s posts: |
Skyejuly Sun 15-Sep-19 17:47:21

Thank you! I am using MFP and checking calories but it has just been a slow loss
Still a loss is a loss but its disheartening.

I'm in rome in 3 weeks .... that will be hard!

BigChocFrenzy Sun 15-Sep-19 19:08:42

Some folk lose more slowly than others, some speed up late,
but all can get to goal in the end, with patience & persistence

OP’s posts: |
BigChocFrenzy Sun 15-Sep-19 19:09:08

Good luck smile

OP’s posts: |
VanGoghsDog Sun 15-Sep-19 19:11:01

Thank you for the new thread. Did the ten mile walk today. I was also at a wedding yesterday and I did eat everything (three buffets, free everything and bank today for hog roast)!

Re swimming. I don't know what stroke is what, I can only do doggy paddle!

BigChocFrenzy Sun 15-Sep-19 20:21:47

Your walking is brilliant, vangoph

I was never formally taught to swim, so my crawl is little better than a very splashy - and slow - dog-paddle blush
Maybe a project for my retirement next year
I haven't swum for 10 years, which is just as well - I used to get cat's bum faces from the styled hair brigade that lane swim

OP’s posts: |
EssentialHummus Mon 16-Sep-19 07:13:10

Morning all, FD today. Who’s with me?

Skyejuly Mon 16-Sep-19 07:50:55

My scales are down again today. I dont think I have lost any inches though
I am going to weigh myself on a monday only!

Fast day for me too

onko Mon 16-Sep-19 08:04:23

I’m FDing Hummus
Great SVs and exercise over the weekend. This thread is buzzing with motivation! Good to hear you are back on track Mr D after working so hard.
I got up in the dark this morning to shred - ugh.

OohMrDarcy Mon 16-Sep-19 08:11:53

Morning all

NFD here , think I said previously I was fasting today - no idea why, its tomorrow!

Good luck to all the Monday fasters!

bwydda Mon 16-Sep-19 08:20:05

Fd here as well, trying for b2b as always. I can finally lift my arms over my head again after the exercise class last week, so am going to go to the gym tonight and have a light stretch based work out to loosen them up further.

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