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5:2 starting today

(112 Posts)
linkainka Sat 23-Mar-13 16:04:05

I've just finished reading the book. What a revelation!
Fasting today. Looking forward to eating tomorrow.
Would love to hear about your experiences. Xxxx

knittingnewbie Thu 11-Apr-13 08:37:36

Hi this is my first week fasting, I did Monday and yesterday. Woke up with a blinding headache though! Didn't feel well yesterday so wonder if its a bug rather than anything to do with fasting. Wasn't too hard, although I was very hungry at some points!! Feel really happy igot throught it though. The threads have been a great help so thank you!

linkainka Wed 10-Apr-13 18:39:37

Hi all. I've been away for a week and haven't been fasting. Have eaten loads and feel like I've spoilt all. Help! Perhaps a little encouragement and motivation and a few tips? Xx

monster54 Tue 09-Apr-13 11:49:33

All good here thanks!

Fasted yesterday and it was a breeze. Although had an upset tummy for the last few days so really didn't feel like eating much anyway....

Trying to have a nice healthy day today to undo some of the rubbish I ate at the weekend!!!

How is everyone else doing?

linkainka Mon 08-Apr-13 21:20:52

Hi. I'm back and planning on fasting on Wednesday and Friday this week. Did only one day last week due to being away with kids and staying at my moms.
She doesn't understand fasting.
And she feeds me constantly. Need to put myself back on the track.

How's everyone doing? Xxxx

monster54 Mon 08-Apr-13 15:13:05

Starting week 7....

Fast day today and found it fine, and I'm not at work which I thought would be harder. I've recently cut out sweetners from tea/coffee after some research on asparteme and its effects on insulin spikes and weight loss stalls...

I don't know if this has had an impact but my hunger pangs are much more manageable today.

Looking forward to a nice dinner tonight...I'll eat all my calories in one meal today, apart from a couple of cups of tea.

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Mon 08-Apr-13 09:07:05

Week 3 starting for me, fast day nearly over. I found it reasonably easy today - had a couple of cups of tea through the day, but didn't have anything to eat until 4-ish.

I have a rotten cold though, so maybe that has killed my appetite.

Hope everyone's had a good weekend.

Wommer Fri 05-Apr-13 22:03:10

Nice new name Don smile

Monster - if you think you'd have gained over the same period of time, and you've actually lost that's a huge result! Well done!

Thanks for the reassurance guys smile am gonna take it easy for a couple of weeks.
As long as I don't back slide too much I'll be happy.

Have a good evening all!

monster54 Fri 05-Apr-13 10:11:50

I know its totally crazy....fact that I can still socialise and enjoy food with family but still on a downward trend....

This WOL is with me for GOOD!!!

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Fri 05-Apr-13 08:56:55

Yay, monster!

It's great to get through Easter, and not only not put on weight, but actually lose weight. smile

monster54 Fri 05-Apr-13 08:50:01

New low for me today! 5.5lbs in 6 weeks. I think I might have a bit of bounce in there as I've had a bit of a funny tummy!

Its not great but fact I've lost as opposed to the fact that had I not been on 5:2 all the bad weekends would have meant putting it on!!

So good to feel in control. Good luck any one fasting today!!

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Thu 04-Apr-13 19:55:54

Wommer - I'm so sorry to hear about your FIL (it's me, Masquerader, with a name-change smile ). If I were you, I'd take my foot of the pedal for a little while just to get through the next few days. This will all be here waiting for you when you're ready to start again, but having your head in the right place and sharing this time with your family is the main priority right now.

Nurse - thanks heaps for that info. smile

NurseEzzzaChapel Thu 04-Apr-13 19:18:15

This is another post I put on the main thread which might help to answer your question too:


Can I fast for a 24 hour period say from 1pm to 1pm and just stick to my 5/600 kcal allowance in that time?

I’ve been giving this one a lot of thought. I’ve always thought that if you choose to do a 24 hour fasting period then this is meant to be a zero calorie fast for 24 hours with normal eating either side. This is another form of intermittent fasting.

Personally I’d say that if you choose to do 5:2 then, as others have said, it is helpful to think of a ‘day’ as a calendar day, not as a 24 hour period. If you need to think of it as a 24 hour period to get your head around it then think of it as midnight to midnight. (You don’t get to choose what time e.g. Tuesday starts, by the same token, you don’t get to choose what time a fast day starts only which days you are going to fast on IYSWIM). Like I said though, this is if you want to do 5:2 and keep it simple. There are other forms of intermittent fasting which are perfectly valid and can work.

Here’s an illustration (not intended to tell anyone what they should be doing, just an illustration) of why it might not be helpful to think of a ‘fast day’ as a 24 hour period which spreads over two calendar days:

Lady with a TDEE of 1750 kcal per day does 5:2 the simple calendar day way:
Monday fast day eats 500 kcal
Tuesday normal day eats 1750 kcal
Wednesday normal day eats 1750 kcal
Thursday fast day eats 500 kcal
Friday normal day eats 1750 kcal
Saturday normal day eats 1750 kcal
Sunday normal day eats 1750 kcal
Total calories consumed: 9750 kcal
Total calorie deficit for the week: 2500 kcal

Lady achieves this by having on normal days: 400 kcal breakfast, 500 kcal lunch, 600 kcal dinner and 250 kcal for drinks and treats; and on fast days by either having a 16 hour fast until lunch and then having 200 kcal for lunch and 300 kcal for dinner or by having a 24 hour fast and having a 500 kcal dinner.

Lady’s friend, who also has a 1750 kcal TDEE decides to give it a go, but decides to do a 24 hour fast from 1pm to 1pm:
Monday until 1pm 400 kcal breakfast plus 500 kcal lunch plus 100 kcal drinks total: 1000 kcal
Monday 1pm to Tuesday 1pm 24 hour modified fast 300 kcal dinner plus 200 kcal breakfast total: 500 kcal
Tuesday after 1pm lunch 500 kcal plus dinner 600kcal plus drinks and treats 150 kcal total: 1250 kcal
Wednesday normal day eats 1750 kcal
Thursday until 1pm 400 kcal breakfast plus 500 kcal lunch plus 100 kcal drinks total: 1000 kcal
Thursday 1pm to Friday 1pm 24 hour modified fast 300 kcal dinner plus 200 kcal breakfast total: 500 kcal
Friday after 1pm lunch 500 kcal plus dinner 600kcal plus drinks and treats 150 kcal total: 1250 kcal
Saturday normal day eats 1750 kcal
Sunday normal day eats 1750 kcal
Total calories consumed: 10750 kcal
Total calorie deficit for the week: 1500 kcal
(This also assumes that Lady’s friend is not tempted to eat a bigger lunch on the two days either side of her fast and is also not tempted to have more calories in treats either side of the fast)

Each week Lady gets in two 16+ hour periods of zero calorie fasting and reaps the health benefits and has a calorie deficit of 2500 kcal per week which sees her slowly but surely losing some weight.

Lady’s friend doesn’t get in any periods of zero calorie fasting except what every human being gets overnight while asleep and her calorie deficit is only 1500 kcal per week so she may not be getting the health benefits and she begins to get frustrated because it seems like she’s not losing weight very quickly.

I’ve been thinking about how the 24 hour modified fast could still work. If Lady’s friend did, say, 3pm to 3pm instead and so skipped lunch on Tuesday and Friday she could increase her calorie deficit to 2500 kcal, which is the same as Lady’s. If she also had her 200 kcal meal on Tuesday and Friday closer to lunch time instead of at breakfast then she could also get in two 16+ hour zero calorie fasts per week for the health benefits that come along with that.

So I think it is possible to do it.

The downsides though are: a) it’s more complicated that going from sleep to sleep and b) the fasting affects 4 calendar days per week to get in just two fasts whereas a sleep to sleep approach only affects 2 calendar days per week. It also may be true that for anyone who doesn’t want to calorie count at all outside of their modified fasts this approach may not work as these people (me included) may be inclined to eat too much on the morning and afternoon either side of the fasting period for it to work.

But I’m not by any means an expert and I’m just typing out my musings on this so if it works for you, please let us know!

…and if everything I’ve typed above seems way to complicated then ignore it completely and stick to this simple principle:

On a fast day eat no more than 500 kcal (600 for men) from waking up until going to sleep. On a non-fast day eat normally.

That’s it, it really is that simple.

NurseEzzzaChapel Thu 04-Apr-13 19:14:20

Valentine it's something in between. I posted this on the main 5:2 thread and some found it useful so I'll repost it here:


Reading through some of the posts from the new starters, I think many people are finding it hard to believe how staggeringly simple the ‘rules’ for this WoE are. Simply put, the ‘rules’ are:

On fast days eat no more than 500 kcal (600 for men). On non-fast days eat normally.

That really is it as far as rules go, and if your main objective for doing this is weight loss then whatever you eat, whenever you eat, if you’re following those two simple rules then you’re doing it correctly. Everything else that we discuss on these threads are tips which help us and research which has been done for the health benefits that also come with this WoE. If you find it too difficult to go down to 500 kcal on fast days straight away, there is no harm in starting out with a slightly higher allowance on fast days and easing your way down to the 500 kcal.

One of the things some people struggle with is what it means to eat ‘normally’ on non-fast days. Simply put, this is roughly the amount of food your body needs to stay the same weight, so not a diet portion and not a binge either.

When I started this WoE I wasn’t actually planning on using it to lose weight (I was highly sceptical and didn’t think it’d work but I’m always willing to give things a fair shot). I was just intending to use it to keep my weight under control while I was away studying in China for six months because I knew I loved the food out here and I wanted to be able to fit into the seat on the aeroplane when I flew home. grin So I didn’t restrict my eating on non-fast days at all because for me the whole point was to be able to eat all the yummy Chinese food I wanted and stay the same weight. But after 4 weeks I noticed my clothes were much looser so I went out and bought a cheap set of scales. I did start out on ADF though (because I hadn’t heard about 5:2 then) so it would have been pretty hard for me to eat so much on normal days that it would undo the fast days. After a week or so I also noticed my appetite got reset and I simply didn’t want to stuff myself silly anymore.

Others have a different experience to me. Some come from years of calorie restriction diets, so the eating normally on non-fast days seems a lot of food to be eating while trying to lose weight. Others have spent years overeating by quite a lot and find it a challenge to only eat a normal amount for their bodies. For both these groups of people it can be really helpful to work out your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE – there’s a link to a calculator in the OP) and then use MyFitnessPal (MFP) or some other method to track your calorie intake on normal eating days. You don’t have to do this for the rest of your life, just a few weeks of doing this can help you get a good idea how much food is the right amount and then you can stop calorie counting on your normal eating days and just relax into it. It’s also perfectly ok to average out your calories over your normal eating days, so if you’ve got an event coming up one day and you know you’ll be eating loads there’s nothing wrong with having a little less on your other normal eating days – just so long as your normal eating days average out at roughly your TDEE. I’m told MFP’s weekly tab is great for this. Another option for those doing 5:2 if you have a calorie laden few days coming up is to throw in an extra fast day if you can and if you’re feeling up to it.

Another thing people are curious about is the 16 hour and 24 hour fasting periods that get mentioned a lot on these threads. These are done for two reasons: 1) because many of us find that the later we start eating on a fast day the easier it is to get through the day successfully and 2) because one of the principles behind the health benefits that go along with this WoE is that giving your digestive system a complete break from digesting food helps the body go from grow mode to repair mode. Repair mode is where the health benefits come in. How long is optimum to fast? The short answer is we don’t quite know but studies seem to suggest a 16 hour fasting window will bring health benefits and that possibly more benefits come from longer periods of fasting such as 24 hours. Some on this thread achieve this by not eating from after dinner the day before a fast until either lunch time (for 16 hours) or dinner time (for 24 hours) on a fast day. This is not compulsory though. I had breakfast lunch and dinner for the first 4 months on this WoE, and I now usually have lunch and dinner, just occasionally doing the 24 hour proper fasting period.

A wise man once wrote: “He who walks with the wise grows wise”. This is certainly true with these threads. There is a wealth of information and research as well as personal experiences on these threads. If you don’t have time to read through all 13 of these main threads (who does?) I really recommend the links and tips thread (linked to in the OP). You’ll also see some other tips about what kind of foods to avoid on fast days etc. such as avoiding processed foods and really carby stuff like pasta or avoiding diet fizzy drinks. These tips are here to help us stick to the fast days and to benefit our health but they are not rules, so if you really like your fizzy pop then you can still have it. There are no banned foods on this WoE. When I started this WoE I had a two litre per day diet coke habit. Reading these threads and the links to health risks associated with aspartame (particularly the association with depression, which is a risk factor for me) I’ve now cut back to around a litre or two per week. All of us on here are experimenting with this and finding what works best for us and then sharing our experiences.

ValentineWiggins Thu 04-Apr-13 18:06:09

Am I right in thinking its not just about doing 24 hours with only 500 cals - hubby thinks you can have early lunch one day, 500 cals for supper and breakfast then late lunch 25 hours after your early lunch? Surely you need to "miss " breakfast, lunch and dinner for it to count? Otherwise that seems far too easy! I was presuming lunch on Monday, then 500 cals until dinner Tuesday?

monster54 Thu 04-Apr-13 09:31:32

wommer hugs. Sorry to hear about FIL I would be kind to yourself the next few days....tough times ahead and DH will need you.

Ok well from what I've read there is benefits to having a 8 hour window of eating.

So for example today is my fast day. I finished eating at 10pm last night, I won't have any calories now until 2pm. This has given me a 16 hour fast. Which there are proven benefits of.

I follow this on non fast days during the week and then I let my hair down at the weekend and I don't count at all.

I'm exactly the same midnight if I eat breakfast it sparks a devil in me and I have no chance of sticking to 500cals for the day....

Whats everyone up to today? Fast day for me, couple of black coffees down and filling up my water bottle for the morning! I have chicken arribatta soup for lunch, Sainsburys whole pot 230cals....

Hmmmmmm then I'll have soup again for tea!!

Wommer Thu 04-Apr-13 09:04:20

Yup - same here.
The first time I did one I had a largish lunch and a small dinner... Got literally no sleep as it seemed to spark off a flight or fight thing (which I guess makes sense) and my brain would not calm down.
Felt like I'd drunk 20 coffees!

Now I have a small lunch - oxo cube soup with spinach, spring onion and garlic and then a decent dinner which is very protein heavy.

Am supposed to be fasting today but everything's all up in the air atm.
My FIL died on Tuesday and my DH is the only one around at the moment to help mil - the rest of the family are flying in over the next couple of days.
Am quite tempted to be as good as I can for the next week or so but leave the fasting.
It's going to be really hard to do any as there will be lots of family meals and visiting people. And food is a HUGEly social thing too.
Also cannot afford to be low in energy atm as amount others I need to be a support to DH.

Are there any benefits to doing sort of half fasts? Like having only 200 cals and then a normal dinner?
I could do that I think.

MidnightMasquerader Thu 04-Apr-13 01:23:56

I have also worked out that having a (very) late, small lunch works for me, and then a small dinner on fasting days.

The sooner I eat, the sooner the hunger pangs kick in, whereas if I don't eat, they stay away for longer. Luckily I've never been a big one for breakfast, so this works for me.

For others, they're ravenous when they wake up and need to eat straight away!

I think it's a matter of starting, and then trial and error on the fast days, working out what is best for you. smile

emmief77 Wed 03-Apr-13 22:02:20

flowers monster

Fasting seeming a lot clearer now smile

monster54 Wed 03-Apr-13 21:40:58

emmie its your 500cals to do what you want with in 24 hours. I don't eat until late lunch, and then I have a substantial dinner. Just suits me. A lot of people don't have carbs on their fast day because carbs can trigger hunger.

I've got a weekend of a lot of social eating so hoping to minimise impact of this and my terrible binge at easter urrrgggghhhhhh!!!!

Fast day tomorrow!!

emmief77 Wed 03-Apr-13 19:49:16


My first fast was today as follows:
Breakfast: Special K
Snack: Apple
Lunch: Nothing
Dinner: Pasta twirls mixed with baked beans and tuna. Muller light yoghurt.

Think I've got a bit confused though.. I posted this on main 5:2 thread, seems Special K is high in calories and I should keep away from pasta. Oops blush

Maybe I'll count today as a normal day, and have my fast day tomorrow. Got my carrot soup for tomorrow smile

dazzlingdeborahrose Wed 03-Apr-13 18:47:36

I started this yesterday too. Started my fast at 3pm yesterday finished at 3pm today. I found it easier not to eat anything at all actually. Since 3 today, I've had some salted caramel easter egg (naughty), 2 satsuma's and a baked potato with chilli. I'll fast again tomorrow I think or Friday. It's was okay not as horrendous as I thought it would be. I didn't get headaches and I didn't feel faint. Still trying to decide whether morning to morning is best or whether I go from lunch to lunch - if that makes sense.

MidnightMasquerader Wed 03-Apr-13 18:32:51

monster - good luck with your three day fast. smile

I am fasting today and then that's it until next week.

monster54 Wed 03-Apr-13 13:41:40

I know how you feel emmie I worked so hard to get that 5lbs off and I know the scales will upset me.....

Good luck with the soup, you will soon become so aware of the foods you can get for 500cals...and get the most out of them.

When are you doing your first day?

emmief77 Wed 03-Apr-13 13:35:58

Have bought the Kindle version of the book smile

Am making carrot and coriander soup from BBC Good Food website right now smile

I have loads to lose, too scared to jump on scales and see how much blush

monster54 Wed 03-Apr-13 13:16:58

Yes I do need to bite the bullet and get on with it really. I will go for it Friday, my usual weigh in day. I feel super bloated at the moment from the binging so I'm not in a good place for a bad weigh in. Hopefully after another fast the bloat will be down a bit!!

I've lost around 5lbs so far, although think it might look like more as I've had a couple of people notice and comment which has been nice.

I am pre-pregnant weight now which is great. As DC is 15 months urrgghhh! Although I wasn't happy with my weight when I fell pregnant. Ideally I would like to lose another 7lbs in 6 weeks....and hopefully another 7lbs on top of that before the end of August....

I find it comes off very slowly at the moment. Although at a 1lb a week I do have treats at the weekend and I think that keeps me going and means I can enjoy doing things with my family rather than being the one saying no all the time!!!!

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