5:2 Diet Thread! Number 15! Our quinceañera!

(1000 Posts)
GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 11-Mar-13 15:33:12

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- 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!

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.

Here is the link to the BBC article regarding Michael Mosley's findings, which was featured on Horizon.

There's a link to the aforementioned Horizon programme here.

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 by Dr Mosley himself, very informative if you're just starting.

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.

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!

woahthere Mon 11-Mar-13 22:11:39

Am i doing the 5:2 right. I havent read any books or anything or figured out my daily allowance etc. Im just fasting on a Tuesday and Thursday. Have no breakfast or lunch and just have 400 calories for my dinner as I drink tea with skimmed milk in the day and figure thats 100. On the other days I have what I want, dont even think about it. I have lost 1st 2 lbs since end of January. Weigh ins are confusing as they jump up and down so much. Should i be doing anything different , be more careful?

BsshBossh Mon 11-Mar-13 22:36:32

Iwearblack I count from the last wine as it's still calories.

BumBiscuits Mon 11-Mar-13 22:41:50

Sounds like you're doing it right woahthere. Well done on your loss.

BsshBossh Mon 11-Mar-13 22:43:38

woah you sound like you're doing great smile

Well, I made it to 23 hours fasting smile Will resume 16:8 (so eating to TDEE but within an 8 hour window) for the rest of the week but may throw in another 500 cal/24 hr fast on Thursday.

GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 11-Mar-13 23:01:22

Welcome to the thread, brookie smile

Snacking, well, if you can snack and still lose weight I'd say it's fine, personally. The idea of snacking is one which is often criticised here because it's something which has been sold to us by the snack food industry, essentially that as soon as we feel any slight pang of hunger, we should grab some snack to fill that void. However, it's actually not a bad thing to give our bodies a break from continually digesting food, as this way of eating has shown.

It's up to you, really. I snack some days, some days I don't. But the calories often add up faster on the days when I've had snacks, so it's not a bad idea to keep an eye on it.

And grats on your success so far!

GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 11-Mar-13 23:04:44

woah your weigh-ins will naturally jump up and down if you aren't consistent about the time of day/ time of the week etc. If you weigh in after a fast day you'll get a lower weight than if you weigh in after an eating day. If you weigh in the morning it'll be different from the evening. A lot of it, with this particular eating plan, is due to the simply fact that sometimes we have very little food in our systems, and sometimes we don't. Sometimes there's constipation to deal with. etc. All of it adds some numbers to the scale.

You're losing weight, though, so just keep doing what you're doing! Well done!

parrotsandcarsnips Mon 11-Mar-13 23:20:27

mehefin I too work nights intermittently. Before 5:2 I would have grazed all night, cups of tea, bagels, toast as I would get nauseated around 4-5am. Fasting difficult but not impossible now on 5:2 but I do feel more alert like you say & no nausea thankfully. I used to drop a couple of pounds though when I do 2 weeks of nights together as despite the carbs I was not doing the emotional mindless eating when the dc's went to bed. I would love to know your routine for 5:2 on night shift? I try and fast 12 hours just 10-10am and then eat again at 6pm. It's not as long a fast but calorie intake still at 500

Aftereightsarenolongermine Tue 12-Mar-13 06:22:16

Morning all. Just wondering if anyone else feeling nauseous after a fast day? Only just started happening the last couple of weeks. Not enough to stop me fasting but nauseous enough for me to not be able to fast two days in a row. Was planning on fasting again today as no other day this week due to other commitments.

snoworneahva Tue 12-Mar-13 07:11:19

[Thanks] Greeneggs Pulling up a chair....new thread and all that.

Aftereights dh often feels waves of nausea on fast days - I have had it a couple of times - it passes after a few seconds.

Day after fast, awake very early again. Got up and make some wheat free raspberry & almond muffins for the dcs breakfast - had one myself which should set me up nicely for a freezing cold exercise session in the park.
Just ordered a mincer, with the intention of making my own sausages - quite excited about my new foodie project. smile

Itsaboatjack Tue 12-Mar-13 08:14:48

Morning all. Was far too hungover yesterday to fast so am going for it today, hoping to go for 24hrs.

morning all smile

well yesterdays fast turned into a mini fast as i ended up eating digestive biscuits taking me well over my 500. what threw me was the having to go to an evening event freezing so not managing to say no to the sweet indian tea and picking at a few bits of pakora. so when evening events are on i'm going to schedule a mini fast like i ended up doing of not eating all day but then not calorie counting too much come evening.

anyway the scales have gone in the right direction and i'll just attempt to make today the fast day. that way i could do today and thursday as proper fasts and still get two in this week.

my scales are jumping all over the place at the minute - today i weighed twice as i wasn't sure about what they said - first time said 11.4.6 second time 11.3.8. suspect i may need a new battery sometime soon. my 'official' weigh in day is wednesday. will be 6wks on this woe tomorrow so i'll take what i weigh tomorrow as my true progress.

my goal really is to have at least glimpsed under the 11st mark by next wednesday.

Dotty342kids Tue 12-Mar-13 08:20:49

I seem to be stuck at 11st3 after glimpsing 11st2 early last week. Very irritating!
Hope to see 11st2 again this week and then stabilise there for a week or so before continuing downwards...

ah we're in similar boats dotty. i glimpsed 11.2.4 last week and haven't seen it since.

greenfig Tue 12-Mar-13 08:33:48

Yes me too itsaboat Didn't even manage planned safs yoga, lay slumped in a blanket on safa eating carbs trying to feel bettergrin
Today is another day, am not surprisingly up 2lbs!!

oh do do the yoga. i can feel a sort of inner girdle within my seat area building up. it does work. didn't do it yesterday so must, must, must get back to it today.

Hi all,

Just signing on for my third fast days, I did the other two before I found these threads so hoping the support will make it easier, I didn't know about the 24 hour thing so unfortunately I ate something at
10pm last night, I will eat at around 5.30 today so still a decent run. I will do the 24 hour thing on my next fast though.

I plan on keeping busy, drinking lots of water and having a huge salad with chicken for tea. DS is at nursery today so after giving him some toast I don't actually have to touch food until this evening as he eats at nursery.

I actually enjoy the empty feeling I get on fast days, I don't feel sluggish at all.

I must admit though I'm cold.

greenfig Tue 12-Mar-13 09:01:30

Anyone else noticed rubbish nails since fasting? Mine are never great but REALLY flaky since fasting. I eat quite a lot of good fats too, nuts avocados, oily fish etc.
Will do the yoga saf I have only watched the opening mins but am always keen for new suggestions from you tube. Anybody else do any good ones? Yoga & pilates inparticular.
itsaboat I feel like i need porridge already. I think it's a hangover from the hangoversad Good luck with todays fast storm A lot easier when nobody around. I have yet to achieve a 24hrs fast, maybe one day!

mehefin Tue 12-Mar-13 09:14:14

Hi parrotsandcarsnips,
What I am finding works for me at the moment is before my 1st night of the week I fast for about 20 hours then have a couple of weetabix about 4pm and sleep for 4 hours and a bowl of soup before work.
I eat about 1am - can't go through the night without food! But my night meals have transformed into brown rice and cottage cheese or salad and protein no more dipping into the biscuit tin all night !
Later in the week I do a conventional fast day and sometimes a half fast as well to make up for having that meal in the night.

I lost 9 pounds in the first five weeks am trying not to weigh myself now til April in the hope my weight will begin with a 12 then.

I saw in the book that Mimi is the same height as me and now weighs 5 stone less a way to go yet then !

ELR Tue 12-Mar-13 09:42:52

Hi all yesterday's fast was quite easy but i was freezing. Woke in the night with a headache which has now more or less a migraine but not a full on sick one!

Greenfig..... My nails are more flakey than usual but thought it was my iron levels so didn't think much of it but could be the fasting, who knows?!

Weigh in tomorrow but feel like I ave gained not lost this week but we will see.

I am going to give SAFS yoga a go too but maybe tomorrow as too cold and head killing me.

Good luck whoever is fasting today.

Hello new thread! 4th fast day today. Weighed myself this morning and I am still a couple of pounds down from my starting weight so that must be 'real' weight loss - despite eating rubbish all weekend - hurray! Plan for today is 1/2 carton of Covent Garden soup, maybe a sachet of porridge, then salad in the evening. And licorice tea - thanks to whoever mentioned that somewhere as it's been a lifesaver! Still feeling more energetic than before I started this.

Next fast day is normally Friday but I'm giving blood that afternoon so am assuming I should move it to Thursday ...

parrotsandcarsnips Tue 12-Mar-13 10:04:44

mehefin I might try the longer fast then on my first night on.This WOE definitely results in healthier choices. BTW thats great weight loss I too have lost about 5lbs but the main goal is to reduce cholesterol. I look forward to having cholesterol bloods repeated in 3 months!

Too cold today for salad, may have to rethink my choices
systemsaddict yes totally agreed bout liquorice tea I love it even on non-fast days

Mrsap Tue 12-Mar-13 10:31:05

Well done on all the loses and thx for the new thread. It has been said before but I can barely keep up. So many posts!

Not fasting today but yesterday was a good one as usual.

Just as an aside, has anyone noticed their tastes changing (or awareness of their tastes)?

It had dawned on me in the last few weeks that there are certain things that I used to eat that I don't even like! Chocolate being one of them (handy). But other stuff too like cheap /fake crisps (think quavers, Pringles), sweet drinks, juice etc?

All good things to not like which is lucky.

SerotoninCanEatTomorrow Tue 12-Mar-13 10:36:30

I find I don't enjoy some things like I used to - like milk, which makes me feel very bloated! And some things taste too processed as well. Like they are plasticky or something. Mostly crap things!

I am craving a lot of salty things though!

greenfig Tue 12-Mar-13 10:38:48

ELR poor you with a migrainesad hope you start to feel better soon.

mistlethrush Tue 12-Mar-13 10:44:19

Is anyone else finding fasts easier as you go on? I started out having a low soup for lunch - then swapped to broth - then dropped that and simply went without - and yesterday I skipped the normal small porridge I have on fast days and went all the way through until 6pm without struggling.... I think weightloss is improving with less or no lunch too.

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