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Live webchat with Mimi Spencer, author of bestselling The Fast Diet Recipe Book, Thursday 2 May 9-10pm

(85 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 30-Apr-13 17:39:44

Mimi Spencer is joining us on Thursday at 9pm to chat about her latest book The Fast Diet Recipe book. The book, which has shot straight to number one on Amazon, has 150 calorie controlled meals for all 5:2ers to enjoy on their fasting days.

Mimi has been writing about food and diet for over 20 years as a columnist for Observer Food Monthly and on Waitrose Food Illustrated. She co-wrote The Fast Diet with Michael Mosley who joined us in Jan for a webchat. Whilst Michael explains the science behind the diet, Mimi explains the practicalities of how to go about it. As she says: 'I am a mother and a wife and a cook like you, wheeling my trolley around the supermarket, desperate for inspiration about what to cook tonight. This book's as much a function of personal experience as professional know-how'.

Join Mimi on Thursday at 9pm. If you can't make the live chat, post a question to Mimi in advance here.

Short Books have offered mumsnetters the chance to buy The Fast Diet Recipe book for just £10 incl P&P: Call 01206 255777, and quote the code: FASTMAY13. This will be available to the end of May.

Whatalotofpiffle Wed 01-May-13 16:57:52

Love the book and the diet! Excited!

HamletsSister Wed 01-May-13 20:35:57

I have been doing the diet for about 3 months with a break for 2 weeks of holiday only. I do 2 non consecutive days a week, breakfast (porridge) and supper (mostly vegetables) all at under or around 500 calories. No snacks or lunch. For the other days I eat normally. Today, a non fast day, I had porridge, a baked potato beans and sweet corn for lunch, a small bowl of chicken casserole and rice, salad and 2 pieces of toast for supper. (About 2000 calories)

However, I have maintained my weight but lost nothing. I don't really drink and live on fizzy water and herbal tea. So it is not my drinking.

Why aren't I losing anything? I also run 2-3 times a week (about 5k) and am 44, 5ft 10 and 13 stone. I just want to lose a stone.


Salbertina Thu 02-May-13 07:29:21

I did 5:2 religiously for months last year and it came fairly easily to me. Since then due to lots of domestic upheaval, I've fallen spectacularly off the wagon and find myself regularly tucking into crisps, choc etc when a few months ago i wasn't even wanting bread!

How do i overcome these carb-cravings and get back on the 5:2 in a sustainable way? Going cold turkey? My dh is rather partial to all things sweet so often mousse/cake etc in fridge, doesn't help either. Any advice, please? Thanks!

BumPotato Thu 02-May-13 10:32:11

I have lost a little under 10 lbs since starting 5:2 in February. I'm pleased about this but my weight has more or less maintained for the last 2 months.

I usually do my fast days on a Monday and Wednesday. I find that I'm down a couple of pounds on Thursday having done 2 fasts but back up to where I started again on Monday after the weekend.

I don't overeat on my eating days, but do indulge in red wine, which I count. I'll usually have 1500 - 2000 calories. I record everything each week on an online application and my deficit from TDEE is always between 3000-4000 calories a week.

This is the most sustainable regime I've ever done (and I've done all of them except anything involving special shakes or snack bars) is there anything else I should be doing to kickstart my loss? I have at least 3 stone to lose to get me into a the healthy BMI range.

EmpressOfThe7OceansLovesMN Thu 02-May-13 10:57:29

I hadn't heard of the 5:2 diet before coming across it on MN. Do people find they have less energy on the fasting days? And isn't it hard if you're cooking a normal evening meal for everyone else (if you cook) and you're really hungry but have to stick to something low-calorie?

ShowMeTheYoni Thu 02-May-13 13:20:02

I am the same as bumpotato (never thought I would type that grin). I have done this for a few months and feel great BUT still have maybe half a stone to lose. I have upped exercise a lot and keep calls to 1500-2000 max a day, walk everywhere. Seems like I am doing all the right things but have hit a huge plateux. How do I kick start it? Stop for week or two? I am eating healthy too and track it all on MFP. Thanks!

PleaseDontEatMyShoe Thu 02-May-13 14:05:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Dotty342kids Thu 02-May-13 14:23:19

I've been doing this since Feb too. Need to lose a good 1-1.5 stone and lost first 4-5lbs easily and quickly. Then hit a stall for the next few weeks and have only just seen some movement on the scales again this week. It can be quite disheartening but keep with it, I don't know about the rest of you but I feel great on this WOE! Full of energy and just really positive.
Yes, I've had some spectacular lapses and falls off the wagon but the blessing with this is that you just think "oh well, I'll do a fast tomorrow / the next day instead". There's much less of that sense of having "failed" that you get with other diets.
Mimi I really enjoy planning new things to eat on my fast days, it's definitely make me try some new stuff and it's good fun to try to find tasty recipes under 500 cals each week. I now have a store of good basics to fall back on when I'm feeling lazy.
Do you find that there are certain foods you rely on / avoid like the plague? I now eat far more lentils / chickpeas and far less carbs!

postmanpatscat Thu 02-May-13 15:59:36

Mimi what's your view on zero-calorie fast days? There are a few of us on here doing them, I do one a week and on the other fast day I eat up to 500 cals. For me, I was losing/regaining the same few hundred grams until I started fasting like this about four weeks ago, despite loads of exercise and a weekly deficit usually in excess of 5000. I've now lost 17lbs in ten weeks smile

Spindlewood Thu 02-May-13 16:40:31

Is it okay to do 3 fast days a week if you want to get a better start as I know my motivation to diet or my resolve is better when I get some significant results? Thank you.

roselover Thu 02-May-13 16:55:35

I dieted before I became pregnant - and it was really easy as I had a mission - to get fit for IVF - but now (gloriously) I have 3 year old twins - and to be honest I barely had the chance to go to the loo or brush my teeth for their first 18 I lived on toast and cold tea ....I am a thin person desperate to get out..I was once the queen of Ibiza....but now I just hope that people think I am pregnant and thats why I am fat!!!! I am too happy to that it? would love that body back....I am 50 years old......please help - where do I start

mammamic Thu 02-May-13 17:17:49

hmm I may be missing something here but surely the reason everyone is losing weight on this diet is because you're eating 30% less per week...

Is that too simple confused

Dotty342kids Thu 02-May-13 17:47:56

mamma, yes, broadly, like any healthy way of eating, its basic concept is less cals taken in v expended. However, what is making this more of a lifestyle than just a diet is that all the early research (indeed, what led to the whole 5:2 phenomenon in the first place) is that regular fasting seems to lead to a whole load of health benefits and a reduction in the nasty health conditions associated with getting older. So, hopefully resulting in a longer, healthier life. The Horizon programme which introduced so many of us to this explains it far better than I do but hopefully Mimi can also explain more smile

catsrus Thu 02-May-13 17:54:19

no mammamic it is simple grin ultimately that's how all diets work! but the key to it IMO is that it is more sustainable for many people than the classic "calorie restricted every day" diet. You only need to be very self controlled a couple of times a week, you can go out for meals and even overindulge at times so long as you build in an appropriate number of fast days. Additionally there appear to be some very nice health benefits from allowing your body this recovery time. It goes into repair mode rather than build mode. That was the original motivation for Dr Mosely - in many ways the weight loss was a side effect.

I've lost 32lbs on it and am now just using fasting to maintain my new weight of 9st 2lb and to get the other health benefits, not to lose any more. I've been in maintenance mode for a couple of months now.

Unable to make the web chat I'm afraid, but definitely a big fan of this way of eating.

Willemdefoeismine Thu 02-May-13 18:28:30

Hi Mimi

I am shame-faced to say that I have been contemplating this diet for a while now, recommended it to a friend, but as yet haven't taken up the challenge myself. I find, and I know it's an excuse, that with a family around I am not at all disciplined with eating and think I'd find the 'fast' days nigh on impossible - and they are all very, very slim with no excess fat so I don't need to be giving them low-calorie meals! Help!

Also, sorry this is greedy, but this second question is really for my friend (the one who signed up to the cause on my recommendation). She has found (and she's peri-menopausal and really having quite a hard time with it) that the very low calorie 'fasting' days make her feel: "very thirsty, (obvious one), head felt quite numb, cold from deep within! The other obvious things were slight light headedness". Is that likely to be related to the diet?

Many thanks, Mimi!

TiredFeet Thu 02-May-13 19:05:09

2 friends I know have independently expressed concerns about this diet, as doing something very similar was exactly how their anorexia was triggered. Admittedly there were other factors involved in both instances, but they are very concerned about the risk that diets like this can contribute towards the development of eating disorders.

TwoKidsAndNoTime Thu 02-May-13 19:10:18

I've been doing the diet for 3 months but am finding I want to eat loads more biscuits and sweets on the non-fast days than before I was on the diet and as a result I've gained weight! So I'm thinking of giving up. Any tips?

Salbertina Thu 02-May-13 19:24:09

To follow on from last 2 posters, i also have my concerns. Never before binged but i feel i do on this on nonfast days sometimes. Feels out of control tho realise up to me to exercise restraint but i feel my body goes haywire!

charliepop Thu 02-May-13 19:50:28

Apart from a couple of lapses for Christmas and holidays, I've been doing 5:2 for about 6 months now - and have found a lot of positive benefits alongside the weight loss. However (TMI alert) my menstrual cycle went from a very regular 30 days to 26 days very quickly after starting this WOE and has continued with these shorter cycles - I think something different is going on hormonally, with extended PMT etc - is this something other women have experienced? And does this have any implications we should be considering?

Miffytastic Thu 02-May-13 20:15:48

Charliepop -will DM

Mimi I second the Q about the feeling weird/light headed.
My Q: What are your views on 12hrs vs 16 vs 24? I am reluctant to forgo my morning cuppa with milk but I wonder if that's contributing to my stalled weight loss.

Merguez Thu 02-May-13 20:16:43

How can I persuade DH to do this diet? He is 52 and about a stone overweight (5' 8, 13 stone). Problem is he travels abroad a lot for business and has to socialise in restaurants a lot. Also isn't really a fan of self-denial - said he didn't want to try the diet when it was cold. Basically just makes excuses.

BsshBossh Thu 02-May-13 20:25:01

Mimi what's your current fasting maintenance regime (am interested because I've just reached goal weight and am now experimenting with continuing to fast - for health - whilst not being bothered about losing more weight)?

diamante73 Thu 02-May-13 20:36:30

Mimi,what do you find are.the best foods to eat on your restricted days. Do we avoid all carbs and have more fruit and veg at mealtimes or do we just eat a normal meal that doesnt exceed the five hundred calories?

Abitstressed Thu 02-May-13 20:49:03

How do you stay motivated, during the day, to do this fast?

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