5:2 Diet Thread! 7 is our lucky number...

(992 Posts)
GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 19-Nov-12 12:57:16

The continuing thread for those of us following either the 5:2 diet or the alternate-day fasting diet. Both are two versions of Intermittent Fasting, which you can read more about here.

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. 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, on those days.

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

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 etc!

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.

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.

Here is where I would link to the aforementioned Horizon programme, but it appears as if the BBC have finally noticed it on YouTube and have taken it down. If you have another link for this episode, please PM me with it, or post it to the thread and we'll put it up for the next thread.

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%).")

Important link 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.

And for those already fasting, here is a link to 100 snacks under 100 calories. We tend to favour lots of hot drinks during the day (count your milk if you use it!)

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

We mentioned BMR and TDEE often. Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) 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.

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!

GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 19-Nov-12 13:20:25

Update-y note: BBC has finally noticed that YouTube had the Horizon programme on, and have asked them to take it down due to copyright issues. If anyone finds this elsewhere, or if it pops up again on iPlayer etc, let us know. Thanks smile

ManOnBoard Mon 19-Nov-12 13:30:38

Finally I have had the results of my annual medical and the only lifestyle change from last year has been this WOE so, rightly or wrongly, I am attributing the changes to it. My first fast day was 10/8/12 and I have so far completed 34 in toal, 5:2, 4:3 and some days consecutive and my weight has reduced by 29lbs. I have weighed and recorded the weights daily and it is very apparent that there are fluctuations that could distort the results were I to weigh weekly or monthly. The results from last year are in brackets:-

Resting heart rate: 48 bpm (52)
Blood pressure: 112/71 (118/79)
Cholesterol: 4.2 (4.6)
BMI 29.0 (33.1)

Once I reach a BMI of 27 I intend to switch to 6:1 but having nothing but water, which I have tried already except for tea with milk which doing without will be the true test. The thought of a BMI below 25 does not appeal to me but as a wise-ish woman once said "You can never be too rich or too thin" so I might chane my mind, which is not just a woman's prerogative.

Although I have more energy overall I do still struggle with anaerobic exercise when fasting but intend to stick to moderate fitness methods, such as walking or cycling on certain days. My main exercise is resistance training (weights) and the day/s off will be useful in muscle recovery.

Yesterday I made up a backpack weighing the same as my weight loss (13kgs) and walked with it on and it was an eye opener I think you should try.

Can I have another gripe, please do not use "starvation mode" as an excuse for not losing weight, this is something that has marginal effects when people are literally starving which is unlikely to be the case for anyone on here.

Fab41 Mon 19-Nov-12 13:33:36

Day one on fast, I have had fruit, low fat yoghurt, noodles with kale and bean sprouts and I am planning to have miso soup later. I am feeling hungry but it feels ok as tomorrow can be a normal day. I am planning to fast Mondays and Thursdays and to reduce the amount of home baking I eat.
I have read lots of good tips so far, thanks

Laska42 Mon 19-Nov-12 14:11:17

7 is indeed our lucky number! Happy shiny new thread!! Thanks to the lovely Greeneggs.

A bit of a shame the Beeb have noticed the programme is on you tube..but you cant blame them forwanting it down

Well im 21 hours into the 'not eating anything at all for 24hrs' .. only slightly hungry despite having to take DS to a cafe at lunch time..and watch him eat a cheese and salami panini, followed by a cake and cappuchino while I just had mint tea ( now that was a test indeed!)

Turkey chilli tonight..for my 500 today.. Already made but might even put some K-beans in it...(gee... get my idea of fasting day treats !)

Then will try for 16 hrs till I eat tomorrow if I can .. but wont worry too much if I dont ..

Mintyy Mon 19-Nov-12 14:17:32

I have been to my gp today as the result of my participation in this 5:2 woe. I will be having my blood tested next week principally to get my thyroid function looked at but also checking iron levels, blood sugar, liver and kidney fuction and - for the first time ever - cholesterol. So it will be interesting to know the results of that little lot!

I have been 500 calorie per day eating for 2 days a week since 1st September. Have done 23 or 24 "fasts" now and lost maybe 2 or 3lb. Hence the thyroid test.

Poppy1234 Mon 19-Nov-12 14:26:57

Hi everyone, today is my first day fasting after a very unsuccessful dalliance with low carb bootcamp.

I've decided to skip breakfast and lunch and eat a proper dinner and so far it's surprising doable. I didn't want to miss out eating dinner with the children so this seems like the best approach for the days I'm at home. When I'm at work I think I will do lunch and dinner (probably soup) as I'm home too late to eat with my toddlers anyway.

As I'm keen for quick results and want to undo the weight I managed to put on while low carbing (I must be the only person but I think it was all due to my lack of portion control) I'm planning on 4:3. The extra day will hopefully also mean i dont have to give too much thought to what i eat on non fast days. It will mean at least 2 days in a row as I'm not keen on fasting at the weekend and the weekend includes Friday in my book but I'm hoping I'll get into a zone and it won't be too horrific.

Dinner tonight is from the bbcgoodfood website, are the calorie counts on there relatively accurate or should I be double checking with the exact ingredients I have? I think I would like to automate my eating as much as possible on fast days and rotate the same few meals.

I really am excited about this diet, I struggled low carbing as I love cooking and food in general and it feels so liberating to be able to cut back for a few days to really enjoy food at the weekend and not have to restrict what I eat or constantly adapt recipes.

GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 19-Nov-12 14:39:54

Welcome to the thread, Poppy. I've not checked the calorie counts on the BBC website, myself, but it can't hurt to double-check.

You also want to be right on top of weighing and portions on fast days. Hot drinks are a good way to get through the day (count your milk used in these!)

Check your TDEE with the calculator in the first post, that will give you an idea of what you can/should be eating on your non-fast days. With 4:3 (which I'm doing, myself) you can stretch that more if you're going out or whatever. I mention this mostly because if you're having problems with portion control, you might need a mental reset for what you should be eating in a day. Especially if, like a lot of us, you've done diets and have lost perspective of what we should actually be eating in a day. This works both ways; some people think if they want to lose more weight, they should cut down on calories on non-fast days. Don't do that! smile You'll already be at a calorie deficit from the fast days.

Anyway, you'll get loads of support here. Good luck! thanks

Breadandwine Mon 19-Nov-12 15:11:31

The Horizon programme is now here:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9_vGtbjHPQ

There are more adverts to negotiate than before, but it's all there! smile

Aftereightsaremine Mon 19-Nov-12 15:12:16

Welcome everyone & thanks greeneggs. I weighed myself this morning & I'm 2 stone down & 4 to go. ( though I'll be thrilled if I lose another 2 which will be a weight I've not seen since pregnant with dd2 (10 years ago).

So I hope the above gives people an incentive to come & join us.

frenchfancy Mon 19-Nov-12 16:01:43

Thanks for the new thread greeneggs.

I'm 22 hours in to my 24 hours on just black coffee and water (I've only had 2 coffees). It is easier than last week, and I think I may carry on this way.

DH talked to the teachers at school on Friday after they asked about his weight loss. He explained the 5:2 WOE, which they had not heard of as it hasn't hit France yet. He has just got back from picking up DD3, and it turns out that both the teachers are fasting for the first time today!

I feel like an evangelist spreading the word of a new religion smile

TalkinPeace2 Mon 19-Nov-12 16:12:07

thank you greeneggs for the new thread.
fasting today - incredibly easy for both DH and I as we had PIzza on Friday night, curry out on SAturday night, cafe fry up breakfast on Sunday morning and Chinese takeaway last night about 7 : therefore probably have enough spare calories to last us both the week !
seriously though, both doing a 24 for a change - ie no food at all today till supper. Easy peasy so far.

Frenchfemme Mon 19-Nov-12 16:19:32

Hi All, may I join you please? I feel a bit of a fraud as I am not a mum, and not even in UK, but you seem a fun and supportive group of people.

I have been following this WOL for a week now - did 4:3 (lean days Mon, Thurs and Sun) and have lost 1.8 kg. I am aiming for 4:3 each week, but will do 5:2 if life gets in the way one week. My planned lean days this week are Tues, Thurs and Sun.

I found what suits me best is to have one meal a day, in the evening, with tea (splash of milk), proper coffee and fruit/herb tea throughout the day. I am tracking on MFP. Exercise so far has been limited to walking the puppy, but I am meeting someone on Friday to talk about starting Yoga. I also have several CV machines in the sous-sol, inherited from the people I bought my house from, so as soon as I can get to them over the (un)packing boxes I will have no excuse for being lazy in the winter.

I am 168 cm, 90.6kg with a BMI of nearly 32, so a long way to go, but I am determined to get there, and become fitter, stronger and more supple along the way.

pookey Mon 19-Nov-12 16:20:39

Wow lots of 24 hour fasts today, 1 hr 45 mins left of my 24 hour fast. One tea with milk cheat (someone made it for me) but otherwise been fine here too!

MOB that's great that all those indicators have gone down.

Welcome all the new 5:2ers!

TalkinPeace2 Mon 19-Nov-12 16:23:47

Frenchfemme
Welcome. We are a very cosmopolitan crowd, age range 18 to nearly 80, men and women, all over the place. Yoga and 5:2 - that's what I do :-)

Breadandwine Mon 19-Nov-12 17:28:27

I'm over 22 hours into my fast now - and I've just finished my daily exercise. Because we've been away for the past few days I've let it slip, so today I did twice as much, really full on - 30 minutes at full pelt. And now I feel absolutely on top of the world! I certainly don't feel hungry, and I'm pretty sure I could go through until tomorrow morn with no problems.

I do have a constant supply of good coffee (black) on tap, and I shall gradually replace this with water over the next few fasts - the coffee started off as a 'treat' to myself during a fast, but I'm pretty sure I don't need it nowadays.

Must admit I tend to keep an eye on the time through the day and calculate both how many hours I've fasted, and how long to go before I eat. This motivates me to keep going, not that I need much motivation, but it's just something to occupy myself with.

Looking forward to my evening meal, veg curry and curried wedges - or stir fry with the same, not made my mind up yet.

Thanks GE for the new thread!

And well done, MOB, for those great stats - thanks for posting them!

Demolicious Mon 19-Nov-12 17:35:09

Just started today. I had the Horizon programme on Sky+ but only just got round to watch it at the weekend - wish I had seen it back in August. I have had my calories today, which included ryvita with scrambled eggs (or should that be the other way round). I am going to have an early night tonight - I might be having a few of those - which is not a bad side effect as I need more sleep !

pookey Mon 19-Nov-12 17:38:16

BAW I feel really good on my fast too, possibly better mood than on a day where I have had milky drinks and a small lunch dinner etc. I am about to have my first coffee (got my times wrong earlier fast finished half an hour ago) and more or less replacing tea and coffee with herbal tea today has not been a problem either.

Anyone else find their mood was good on a 24 hour fast?

pookey Mon 19-Nov-12 17:42:01

welcome demolicious well done on your first fast smile

phlebas Mon 19-Nov-12 17:42:35

pah ... just maintained last week (83kg from 101kg) I did two fast days but the rest of the week was highly calorific (& alcoholic). Am planning on doing ADF for the next two weeks - fasting first tomorrow. I am desperate to get 3kg off before Christmas. Waves at everyone! smile

Madhouse2012 Mon 19-Nov-12 17:51:29

Hello I did my second fast day yesterday, had homemade soup for lunch 70cals then figured out the roast dinner, so if anyone's interested roast chicken breast 100g 171cals, roast potato 50g 84cals, stuffing 50g 70cals, carrots 100g 22cals, broccoli 100g 24cals, 100ml gravy 28cals. It seemed like a massive dinner to me and only 399 cals!! I enjoyed every bit and was truly stuffed after.
Today I feel brilliant, refreshed even and haven't had a huge appetite, but have really enjoyed what I've eaten, fab diet and easy to follow :0)

Laska42 Mon 19-Nov-12 18:25:03

YAY ! just eaten my turkey chilli after my 24hr fast .. ( much more veg than turkey of course ) .. My 2nd 24hr fast now and It was was fine and much easier today than last week ..Despite having to endure my (grown up) son stuffing his face in front of me.. I just didn't allow myself to 'think hungry' .

I had black (real) coffee too - about 3 cups and then water . More than one drink of tea on empty stomach makes me feel sick I discovered a while ago , but coffee is fine .. .

I reckon this will be my regular Sunday /Monday thing now..

I'm definately on for another 16 hrs now though I think before I start tomorrows eating day .. despite my dinner being just turkey and veg ( no other carbs) i'm feeling right stuffed

Hang on in you other 24-ers .. youre on the homeward straight now! grin

TalkinPeace2 Mon 19-Nov-12 18:27:51

23 hours 45 minutes and supper is cooking .....

Laska42 Mon 19-Nov-12 18:35:13

grin TIP!

catsrus Mon 19-Nov-12 18:35:36

I'm afraid I put on weight over the weekend due to my very lax and overindulgent ways blush - instead of getting under 10 st I've shot back up to 10.4 <sigh>. I blame the wine it totally removes my willpower. Today i got back on track with a fast day, will try to be sensible tomorrow as I'm staying with a friend overnight so there will be wine once I get there - fast day on Weds (working in head office and the corporate lunch sandwiches are NOT even slightly tempting - phew!)

Welcome to all the newcomers!

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