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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!

TheCatInTheHairnet Tue 29-Jan-13 15:38:42

Am just answering Artemis from the end of the last thread. I've run on all of my fast days as I run every weekday anyway. The only difference I have found is that I am flagging a bit by the time I'm taking the children out for their evening activities. Today, however, they are all finished by 7.30 so I am already looking forward to vegging on the sofa tonight!!

LaurieFairyCake Tue 29-Jan-13 15:56:32

Well, I was worried yesterday that I wasn't hungry (day after fasting)and i only managed 1200 calories butI woke today nicely hungry and have eaten a good 1500 calories. Or I will have once dinner is ready smile

I notice already that my stomach is less bloated. Fasting day for me tomorrow I think - I've got loads of miso soup in and some of those Zero noodles for dinner.

What I love about this so far is it costs fuck all and there's no stupid foods associated with it.

I've even stuck a note on the cake/biscuit cupboard saying: "You can eat me tomorrow if you still want me". grin

maniacbug Tue 29-Jan-13 16:03:41

Right, remembered my question!
I've been using MFP every fast day and found it really useful, but today I was flummoxed. Was making a veg soup and weighed all the ingredients, then when I came to calculate calories I wasn't sure whether to use raw weight or cooked. Didn't think it would make a difference but when I checked 100g leek, for example, the calories were about twice as much for 100g raw (61) as for 100g cooked (31). (At the risk of exposing my ignorance: why is that?)
Obviously I'm not eating it raw, but nor can I fish it out of the soup to weigh it cooked! So just wondering what everyone else does when calculating calories for soups, casseroles, etc.: do you calorie count the ingredients raw or cooked, or just use a value somewhere between the two?
I know it's only the difference between a few calories here and there, but just want to make sure I'm using the best approach.
(+ sorry if this has already been covered on a previous thread!)

virginposter Tue 29-Jan-13 16:09:23

wheresmybook welcome to this wol, you'll find that there is nothing like it for weight loss and feeling good. I will be 59 next month and an average exerciser, some weeks doing a fair bit and other weeks not much at all but I've managed to lose 22lbs. That's the great thing about 5:2 etc, it works for everyone from the highly active to the sedentary and all ages.
Stick with it and it will get easier smile

TalkinPeace2 Tue 29-Jan-13 16:13:47

work with the raw figure - then if anything you are overestimating your food ...

LiveItUp Tue 29-Jan-13 16:15:35

Like that tip Laurie of the sticker on the biscuit cupboard. Did my first day yesterday and kept saying to myself "you can eat that tomorrow" and it did help me get through.

Couldn't manage without my huge mugs of tea though, but I measured out the milk each time and 50mls comes in at 25 calories, so I did allow for that. I must investigate this Miso soup.

frenchfancy Tue 29-Jan-13 16:18:06

Maniac i calculate calories based on the weight of the raw ingredients. The reason for the difference is simply because cooked foods weigh more (normally) because they have taken in some water along the way. But the calories in 1 leek won't have changed IYSWIM.

Went out for lunch today which was nice, but I still feel full. DH has cooked for this evening but I don't feel like eating. Trouble is I don't want to hurt his feelings, and DCs are going through a fussy eating phase so we are trying to encourage them to eat too. So I'll have to eat even though I don't want to. Quite a new experience for me.

Alaska77 Tue 29-Jan-13 16:42:06

Thanks for the shiny new thread greeneggs. These threads move so fast I have to spend half of the day reading them to catch up! And then I can't remember everyone's names and questions to respond!

Ah well, just checking in to say hi and that my week is going fine. Fasted yesterday which involved a fruit salad for a late lunch and a mushroom omelette for dinner. Feed day today but I've been busy at work so haven't had much time to eat or think about eating. Got a mushroom stroganoff planned for later.

Laurie I'm liking the sticker on the biscuit tin. It's great to know that you can 'park' your cravings and pick them up another day. Really liberating.

Happy fasting and feasting all grin

BetsyVanBell Tue 29-Jan-13 16:42:53

Marking place but also thought it might be worth mentioning to all those even newer to this than me (did 5th fast of 5:2 yesterday) that today is one of my first feed days that I haven't actually thought about snacking at all even though right now is my mega danger zone! I've had a very modest day of eating so far (porridge & stewed fruits for brekkie, soup and half a ham salad sandwich for lunch) but can feel that I'll be happy to wait until supper (6pm for us) until I eat again. HURRAY grin.

Ezzza I very much enjoyed reading your China tales - do you have a blog about your travels at all?

GreenEggsAndNichts Tue 29-Jan-13 16:45:30

Thanks for the thankses, everyone thanks Was afraid I was too late this morning, actually! These threads move fast, and I was hoping to get in with the acronym explanations before we ran out of space in the old one.

Non-fast day here. I'm finding myself drinking more hot drinks lately every day, not just fast days. smile

BetsyVanBell Tue 29-Jan-13 16:45:34

"You can eat it tomorrow" could be the unofficial mantra of this WOE! Laurie

maniacbug Tue 29-Jan-13 18:24:06

Thanks for speedy responses TiP2 + frenchfancy!

literarygeek Tue 29-Jan-13 18:25:34

Thanks greeneggs - that OP is great x

Fillybuster Tue 29-Jan-13 18:30:57

Thanks for the new thread GreenEggs ....just marking my place, now off to catch up.

Back tomorrow (fast day)....first have to finish clear up the remains from dd1s birthday tea once the dcs are in bed (and ignore the remains of the utterly delish chocolate cake with sour cream/dark chocolate ganache.....aaarghhh)

tracedw Tue 29-Jan-13 18:41:27

Hello everyone, i'm another newbie, i've been lurking for a few weeks now on the previous threads and on my second proper week of 5:2 after a few false starts.
I would love to lose 20 lbs (in my dreams) but since the menopause kicked in im finding my waist is just slowly expanding .
I had a bit of a shock recently when a mum from the school asked if i was pregnant,yep pregnant at 50 .........
To be fair to her i had my youngest at 46 , but after 3cs and a bit of hormonal middle aged spread things need to be sorted.blush
The TDEE calculator has been an eye opener, i dont know why i thought the mantra' 2000 cals for a woman' applied to me, its not, its 1600cals (strokes chin and realises thats why im fat)
So at 10 st and 5ft 2 (always was a petite size 8-10, 7 1/2 to 8 1/2 stone) i need to sort this out.
Anyways, i was thinking of combining this WOE with maybe the 30 day shred, any thoughts would be appreciated.
Thanks all.

TalkinPeace2 Tue 29-Jan-13 19:14:04

Go for it. If you are used to exercising, combining the shred with eating the right amount should have pretty rapid results.

literarygeek Tue 29-Jan-13 19:31:50

trace, welcome. I expect it would give you more rapid results if you are not used to exercising! wink

Most of us have found it pretty straightforward to exercise even on fast days, but try it out and see what's best for you. In time, you'll probably find you have more energy on those days. I know there's lots of shredders on here, too.

Good luck.

I've told DH I plan on continuing this WOE while we are on holiday. He pulled this face hmm but I dont see why it would be a problem. We'll be all inc, and I always manage to eat well while I'm away anyway, because the crisps and chocolates arent there like they are at home. Plus the hotel we're staying in has a smoothie bar as part of the restaurant...

My first fast day yesterday was so much easier than I thought it would be. Putting stuff off until "tomorrow" really makes it so much easier (I really fancied a chocolate muffin, so put it off, but then didnt want it today!) and today I've eaten normally for me, which is relatively healthy (unfortunately featuring pizza as Dh brought four of them home drunk...?) I slept fine, apart from DS2 feeding about a million times (I'm still BF, dont know if I mentioned that)

TalkinPeace2 Tue 29-Jan-13 19:37:49

I didn't. I allowed myself to put on weight on holiday and enjoyed my meals.
I put on 7 pounds and lost it in three weeks.
Agree about less snacks and healthy options but enjoy the break - unless there is a menu you both fancy skipping one day grin

ArtemisatBrauron Tue 29-Jan-13 19:59:44

Just wanted to say thanks for all the responses - am definitely going to give this a go, I run 5 days a week and it's great to hear that I should still be able to do it if I fast.

Snowkey Tue 29-Jan-13 20:03:58

beyond just do what you feel comfortable with, if you feel ok fasting then go for it. Although I'd avoid the smoothie bar if you are wanting to be careful, many contain more sugar and calories than coke. Hope you have a great holiday whatever you decide. smile

tracedw Tue 29-Jan-13 20:25:36

Thanks Talkingpeace and literarygeek im not as fit as i used to be ,the days of cycling to work and running 20 miles/wk are long gone blush .
My main concern wold be not seeing much weight loss if i started the shred at the same time, all that fat turning to muscle [big grin]

literarygeek Tue 29-Jan-13 20:26:40

beyond, snowkey took the words right out of my mouth.

I started this WOE on a day was travelling to an AI holiday. It stopped me eating the crap aeroplane food and the constant snacking that often happens on journeys. Also, as it was hot, I didn't feel like eating loads and fitting in a couple of fast days was effortless and actually went unnoticed. Given this was a family h

literarygeek Tue 29-Jan-13 20:29:54

Oops. That should say: given this was a family holiday with in laws and all sorts, that should show how easy it was. I just ate a little salad at lunch and dinner and used the gym while everyone else was at breakfast. One benefit of those places is there's often lots of healthy cut up veg with no dressing or anything on so you can be pretty relaxed about it.

Given that, if you don't feel like it, as TiP says, just enjoy yourself and don't worry.

cardiffmummy Tue 29-Jan-13 20:33:28

Hi on a normal day here but have been keeping a close eye on my calorie intake after last weeks weight gain!

I don't work at the moment but was previously in a very busy job. And now I've thought about it I realise there were often days when I would have missed breakfast (usually because running late!) and then would be too busy to eat until I got home, often not until 9-10pm. I thought I was overweight then, but now realise I was a healthy weight. And although I still had takeaways, cakes, chocolate etc, I guess I was almost doing IF and could maintain my weight. Oh to be that weight again...sad

maniacbug - my do was last weekend and it was lovely thanks. Although went a bit overboard with the meal, cheese and biscuits (which I don't normally bother with but for some reason coudn't resist...) and wine, all of which contributed to my 2lb weight gain this week!! Hence the calorie counting on feed days this week!

PS your comments about feeling more self conscious and dressing differently sound just like me! Hopefully not for much longer on this WOE smile.

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