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5:2 Diet Thread! Going up to 11!

(1000 Posts)
GreenEggsAndNichts Tue 29-Jan-13 13:17:37

The continuing thread for those of us following either the 5:2 diet or the alternate-day fasting diet.

The 5:2 diet was featured on Horizon in August 2012, and essentially requires you to fast for 2 non-consecutive days per week. The other 5 days, you can eat what you like, or approximately your TDEE (see explanation below). Alternate-day fasting is just how it sounds; you fast every other day. By "fasting", we mean that we keep our calorie consumption very low, around 500 calories on average for a woman, 600 for a man, on those days.

You'll find on these threads we use a number of acronyms. If you're new to the threads, or Mumsnet in general, they might not make much sense.

WOE/WOL = Way Of Eating/Way Of Life. We use this term instead of "diet" as many of us see this as something to do in the long term.

MFP = My Fitness Pal, a website many use for keeping track of the number of calories they're eating.

TDEE = Total Daily Energy Expenditure, quantifies the number of calories you burn in a day. This measure is best estimated by scaling your Basal Metabolic Rate to your level of activity. TDEE is critical in tailoring your nutrition plan to desired fitness goals. Here is a link to a calculator to help you figure out how many calories you should be eating in a day.

ADF = Alternate-day Fasting, as it says on the tin, fasting every other day rather than 5:2.

Michael Mosley has recently unveiled a new website to accompany his new book on the subject. Please go check them out, as he's the whole reason most of us are here!

I know a number of people lurk on this thread, as this is currently quite popular. Please just jump in and post if you're new- we won't bite. Well, maybe on a fast day. wink You'll find a lot of support here.

Here is a list of links to get you started with this way of eating. Please let us know if you find a new article or some other information online:

First things first, here are links to some of our previous threads: most recent one before that another one!

Another thread which breadandwine has started is a good resource for some of the links and tips that get lost in these big threads. In addition to sharing links, we try to condense some of our top tips for fasting there. Keep in mind, we all do this differently, so these are just tips, not rules. This might be a good place to catch up with us if you're feeling a bit lost!

frenchfancy has a recipe thread over here, please post any low-calorie recipes there so they don't get lost in these bigger threads!

Here is the link to the BBC article regarding Michael Mosley's findings, which was featured on Horizon.

B&W has found a new link to the aforementioned Horizon programme here. If you're keen to see it, watch it soon, because BBC has been quick to find these copies and shut them down online. We're hoping they'll re-play it again soon. I know these threads are popular, maybe they'll read my request. wink

A blog post here gives some of the scientific explanation for why this way of eating helps you to not only lose weight, but improve your all-around health.

A Telegraph article which comments on the diet and gives a brief overview.

A study discussed here gives commentary specifically addressing the effect of this diet on obese people (both men and women), with regard to both health and weight loss. ("After 8 weeks of treatment, participants had an average 12.5 lbs reduction in body weight and a 4 cm decrease in waist circumference. Total fat mass declined by about 12 lbs while lean body mass remained relatively constant.) it also mentions "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%).")

Something to consider if you are currently your ideal BMI: this appears to suggest the benefits for women at a lower BMI might not be seeing the same health benefits that are found on men at their ideal BMI.

Another food link, here is a link to the BBC Good Food site, with a list of low-calorie soups.

A BIG THANK YOU to all who have been contributing, btw. Most of us are learning this way of eating as we go along. All of the links above have been posted by others in our previous threads, and they've been very helpful. Sorry if I haven't given credit where it's due, but it was just enough of a job getting all the links re-copied and back into one post.

Come join us, and tell us about your experiences with this diet!

TalkinPeace2 Tue 29-Jan-13 13:23:35

Did I do it

TalkinPeace2 Tue 29-Jan-13 13:25:53

Whoop, whoop, dance round the room. Got to be the first post on a thread :-)
Not bad as I've posted on all of them I think grin

Am holding steady now at just under 9 stone (BMI 20.5) while still enjoying food and drink at the weekend. This is how I plan to stay.

GiraffesEatPineapples Tue 29-Jan-13 13:32:51

Oh man I was sure I would be first {throws tantrum stomps off]

GiraffesEatPineapples Tue 29-Jan-13 13:44:59

Well done TIP smile

Ezza I loved your china posts

ArtemisatBrauron Tue 29-Jan-13 13:55:22

Argh posted in last thread seconds after it was closed!

I would love to try this but am worried about 2 main things:

Firstly - does a fast day stop you being able to work out vigorously?

Secondly, I have a hectic job as a teacher in a partially-boarding school with very long hours and am worried this will impact on my job if I am tired from fasting.

Any thoughts much appreciated!

TalkinPeace2 Tue 29-Jan-13 13:57:50

its still got a few posts - I've replied to you there ...

GiraffesEatPineapples Tue 29-Jan-13 14:10:42

Hi Artemisat - i have been fasting for about 4 months and have found that if I skip breakfast I don't feel any different during the morning than on a day when I have eaten. There have only been one or two occasions where I have felt tired on the fast day but I would say being busy at work is a good distraction from food.

Ffuntimewincies Tue 29-Jan-13 14:12:44

<waves to fellow new starters and more shyly to old hands>

Whoever suggested (on the old thread) holding off for as long as possible, thank you smile. After my shameful fall off the wagon yesterday (when I'd had breafast), I tried hanging on to my calories for as long as possible today and it feels MUCH better.

My 2 convenient days are Mon and Tues, so looking forward to tomorrow.

Thanks again for all the info GreenEggs smile.

GiraffesEatPineapples Tue 29-Jan-13 14:18:05

TIP's advice on the other thread is good Artemisat and you could start by fasting one weekend day to see how it affects you. Another option is to keep the majority of your calories on a fast day for lunchtime, I personally find that works well for me but it means I can't eat dinner with my children and other people find it hard to sleep if they are hungry so they save the majority of calories for dinner. It can be trial and error to find a method that fits in best with your routine.

NatashaMousse Tue 29-Jan-13 14:18:11

Cheers for the new thread, GreenEggs!

"By the same token we may have evolved to survive fasting but it doesn't necessarily follow that its the same thing as being optimum for our health.
It's good to challenge our approach to eating, keeps everyone thinking."

Thanks for saying that Snowkey. I always find it a bit unsettling when I see paleo proponents making the assumption that what was good for our remote ancestors must be best for us. It may well be that over the very long term humans will evolve (perhaps even now are evolving) to live and thrive on "food" manufactured from materials that have yet to be produced.

That said, many cultures and traditions of far more recent vintage than cavemen have provided evidence of the virtues - physical, mental, emotional, spiritual - of fasting. People have been fasting voluntarily throughout recorded history and largely for reasons other than weight loss. IF in its many variations doesn't seem to come close to the extremes of fasting forced on a hunter-gatherer society or even the rigors of some religious regimens. 5:2 is actually quite gentle - reduced caloric intake two days a week. Not a big deal. And yet it's working miracles for many people.

We'll never have all the answers. As you suggest, we have to keep researching and experimenting and staying open to and alert for new clues.

GiraffesEatPineapples Tue 29-Jan-13 14:20:35

Greeneggs yes thankyou and I have read the the starter post again as it has grown since I first read it and it seems really clear and informative.
Hi Ffuntime smile

virginposter Tue 29-Jan-13 14:23:15

Thanks greeneggs thanks

kiwigirl42 Tue 29-Jan-13 14:38:34

afternoon everyone! ate the chocolate steam puddings I'd bought for Xmas (but didn't eat) yesterday. God, it was all too much and I'm so much more aware of what I could have eaten instead for those 700! calories. Fasting today and just starting to feel a bit empty. time for another cup of tea me thinks.
ps I was out yesterday and found I was having to stop my jeans falling down, which was nice grin

milkshake3 Tue 29-Jan-13 14:42:06

Newbie here on first fast day! So far since 9pm last night have had lots of mint tea, an americano and a cup of miso soup. Lots of walking at reading threads. DH trying it too. Aiming for some sort of 400cal type tea when the kids eat and then distraction until bed. Thanks for all the advice here grin

BsshBossh Tue 29-Jan-13 14:49:32

Hello. I'm not (yet) doing the 5:2 diet but am interested. Can anyone answer this question for me: my TDEE for current weight is 2273 cals. Am I right in thinking that on my non-fast days I should eat upto but no more than my TDEE and then 500 cals the other two days? Currently I've lost 32 lbs eating 1800 cals a day which suits me but I can see how there are days when I can deliberately eat less (ie a work day) and days when I can go oer 1800 cals (eg weekends!).

BsshBossh Tue 29-Jan-13 14:50:16


TalkinPeace2 Tue 29-Jan-13 14:52:15

TDEE per day - averaged across the five days (allows wine at weekends and being a bit better in the week) and 500 two days.
Go for it. Start tomorrow.

maniacbug Tue 29-Jan-13 14:55:33

Hello all and thank you GreenEggs for new thread and to everyone new and old for more inspiring stories (virginposter sorry you outshrunk the white trousers, but well done!). Ezzza curious to know where exactly you are (random guess: Chengdu?) as the food sounds wonderful! Must have been a great experience, and nice to be coming back to UK as the daffs and snowdrops are poking their heads above ground... I love that feeling when winter starts to turn a corner into spring.
Aftereights sorry meant to add my good wishes yesterday - hope you are resting up at home and wishing you good luck for the results.
cardiffmummy if you're there, how was your big do - was that last weekend? I hope you felt fabulous!
Fillybuster me too (normal BMI, child-bearing age), but it was v. encouraging to hear Mimi Spencer comment. I have noticed over the last 5 years that I've started dressing differently, wearing baggier tops to cover my middle and bum, very uncomfortable in swimwear and even self-conscious to be naked in front of DH, to which he is oblivious, bless him (the self-consciousness, not the nakedness!). Felt sad about it but accepted it. It's very exciting and liberating to be doing something about it, and though I'm having a rough fast day today (after 5am 'MUM! I NEED A WEE!' wake-up call) all the stories on these threads are reinforcing my commitment.
(TiP2 my goal is 8.13! Well done, I bet it feels great. Hope to find out myself before the summer!)

I am excited right now as I have just rediscovered rice cakes. Takes me ages to eat one, and they seem to fill me up. Please don't tell me I'm going to have a carb crash in about half an hour just when I pick the kids up from school....

I did have a question but have forgotten it! Back shortly if I remember...

BsshBossh Tue 29-Jan-13 14:56:28

Thanks Talkin - that was what I was hoping. It means I can eat more on more social or weekend days without feeling guilty but at the same time not binge (binge = eating more than TDEE).

BsshBossh Tue 29-Jan-13 14:57:02

It means my weekly average will still be at a deficit.

BsshBossh Tue 29-Jan-13 14:57:51

If anyone on here wants to add me on MFP (if you use it) then my username is Bssh. I may not start until Monday though...

catsrus Tue 29-Jan-13 15:17:10

Marking my place smile

wheresmybook Tue 29-Jan-13 15:23:02

Started 5:2 yesterday! Much older than most of you - geriatric mum of teenager. I'm almost 61 and 5ft 2in but have gone up to 10.12st since menopause after always being a size 10. For health and weight would really like to lose 20 lbs. I thought I'd join this thread for moral support as I think I'll need it!
Fasted yesterday for the first time - not difficult, but got pretty hungry in the evening. But slept better than I have for ages, and like others here didn't feel hungry overnight or this morning. And I'm not feeling particularly hungry today. I did notice how frequently I wanted to go to have something to nibble yesterday. Hoping that habit will slowly die off and I'll get more attuned to what my body wants rather than what my head wants.
I'm assuming that I'll lose weight pretty slowly - does metabolism slow down with age, or doesn't just seem to as we're perhaps not so active? I walk a lot and do some yoga but gave up running as I have a bit of arthritis. Fasting again tomorrow. Wish me luck!

TalkinPeace2 Tue 29-Jan-13 15:26:23

several of my friends who are doing 5:2 are in their 50's and 60's - you'll be surprised :-)

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