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The 5:2 thread number 36 - Fighting (& losing) the Battle of the Bulge? Eating too much junk? 5:2 is a healthy, sustainable way to achieve & maintain your goal weight. Join our friendly support group!

(1000 Posts)
BigChocFrenzy Tue 14-Jan-14 15:27:54

The continuing thread for those of us following the 5:2 fast or other forms of fasting such as 4:3, ADF, or daily 16:8.
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 normally - or approximately your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE - see explanation below). 4:3 is the same except you fast on 3 days in the week. Alternate-day fasting (ADF) is just how it sounds; you fast every other day. 16:8 is another form where you stick to only eating in an 8 hour window each day, therefore fasting for 16 hours each 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 or app 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 TDEE calculator to help you figure out how many calories you should be eating in a day.
NFD = Non fast day
NSV/LSV = Non scale victory/Lifestyle (change) victory
Michael Mosley has a website to accompany his book on the subject. Please go check it out, as he's the whole reason most of us are here!
Lurkers and new starters: please just jump in and post - you'll find a lot of support here and we’re a friendly bunch.
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:
_Other Threads_
All our previous threads can be found by browsing through the fasting section of the site.
_Tips and Links_ : Another thread which breadandwine has started is a good resource for some of the tips and links 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!
_Inspirational_: eatriskier’s thread has some lovely inspiring stories which are worth checking out if you want some motivation to get started or keep going through a plateau. Please add your own too.
_Recipes_: frenchfancy has a recipe thread over here, please post any low-calorie recipes there so they don't get lost in these bigger threads!
_Exercise_: bigchocfrenzy has an incredibly informative and helpful exercise and fitness thread for discussion and advice on combining 5:2 with an exercise regime.
_Maintaining_: If you've been at this a while and are moving on to maintaining your goal weight, there is a thread here to discuss that.
_Other links_
This is a BBC article regarding Michael Mosley's findings, which was featured on Horizon - link to that programme here.
This Telegraph article comments on the diet and gives a brief overview by Dr Mosley himself, very informative if you're just starting.
This blog post 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.
This link nicely demonstrates that there are many body ‘right’ body shapes and types, because what we are actually aiming for is low body fat for fitness and health.
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 article 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. (Though anecdotal evidence from these long-running threads may suggest otherwise…)
A BIG THANK YOU to all who have been contributing. 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.
A HUGE THANK YOU to Greeneggsandnicht for putting together all this info and resources into one concise OP text, much appreciated by so many 5:2ers!
Come join us, and tell us about your experiences with this way of life!

BigChocFrenzy Tue 14-Jan-14 15:29:06




wildwater Tue 14-Jan-14 15:30:13

How do we know if a thread is full? Is this all explained somewhere?

BigChocFrenzy Tue 14-Jan-14 15:31:33

Threads can have up to 1000 messages. I will post on thread 35 when people should start to move here, to Thread 36

NotAsTired Tue 14-Jan-14 16:12:10

BigChoc that links brings me right back here.

Eatriskier Tue 14-Jan-14 16:12:38


NotAsTired Tue 14-Jan-14 16:12:59

Ooop, don't mind me. Muddle head on today.

TimeToPassGo Tue 14-Jan-14 16:38:31

Marking place smile

Dotty342kids Tue 14-Jan-14 16:39:29

ooh, you're all so quick grin Thanks for new thread though...

zedzedzed Tue 14-Jan-14 16:52:16


RavenousRunner Tue 14-Jan-14 18:09:29

Marking place with some buttered bread crumbs

TalkinPeace Tue 14-Jan-14 20:06:04

TiP luffs baguette and butter on a NFD grin

BsshBossh Tue 14-Jan-14 20:22:09

Thanks BigChoc smile

For those of you spiritually inclined here's a short piece in the BBC magazine about fasting priests and monks:

... disciplining the mind
... shifting the focus from food to prayer
... don't feed the lions on Fridays grin

curveballs Tue 14-Jan-14 20:23:35

Marking place grin

Tiredemma Tue 14-Jan-14 20:24:13

<locks chocolates in boot of car>

CinammonGirl Tue 14-Jan-14 20:30:55

Hey all, FD dinner was lush, roasted red peppers stuffed with tomato cous cous and feta cheese. Feeling peckish again now and quite tired so I have enough cals left for an options hot choc, going to have that then go to bed and read. All in all I feel it's gone really well for my first fast day!

Could someone please clarify something for me? I used the link at the top to calculate mu TDEE and its saying 2383 cals - can this be right? It seems awfully high. I'm 5ft2and weigh 87.9kg BMI 35.4. Does the TDEE seem right?

Tiredemma Tue 14-Jan-14 20:31:38

cinnamon- whats your age and do you do any exercise?

curveballs Tue 14-Jan-14 20:31:49

Now you just need to hide your car keys tiredemma wink

Southeastdweller Tue 14-Jan-14 20:32:08

Thanks BigChoc.

BigChocFrenzy Tue 14-Jan-14 20:35:14

Hi, Cinammon, Seems about right. Your TDEE depends on your weight and activity level, as well as height and age. Your TDEE will fall as you lose weight (unless you increase muscle and exercise a lot)
I'm 5ft 3 ins, with 2400 TDEE at age 57, because i'm a gym bunny.

TalkinPeace Tue 14-Jan-14 20:35:50

Cinnamon, with your BMI, yup, that is probably about right. Have you set it for sedentary?
Therefore you'll be able to do 500, 2000, 2000, 500, 2000, 2383, 2000
and get the benefits

BigChocFrenzy Tue 14-Jan-14 20:37:11

Tip Thanks for all the great 5:2 advice at the end of thread 35 (I was showering after Crossfit training)

Dotty342kids Tue 14-Jan-14 20:37:48

spilsons I'm very similar. My "danger zone" is 1-3pm. Once I get past then, do the school run and start prepping dinner for the kids / us then I'm usually safe and just look forward to a FD dinner. In fact, I should schedule in all phone calls and meetings for those times, just to make sure I can't go near the kitchen! grin

CinammonGirl Tue 14-Jan-14 20:38:31

Thanks for the replies tiredemma and bigchoc - I'm 33 and I do 30 minutes spinning 3 times a week, walking with the dog and yoga when I can. It just seemed a lot - will I stick with losing weight if I don't try to eat that amount on NF days?

TalkinPeace Tue 14-Jan-14 20:40:05

I'd just had a damp cat land on my lap and was having a funny 30 seconds grin

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