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TOPIC: Has anyone tried intermittent fasting / 5:2 Diet?

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January 3, 2013 1:16 PM
Hi all,

New to this site and I really want to make a go at losing 3 stone in 2013. I have read a lot about the potential benefits of intermittent fasting, sometimes known as the 5:2 diet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5:2_diet). I have been doing this diet since Tuesday 1st Jan and I limit myself to 600 calories on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The remaining 5 days I eat a balanced, healthy diet.

There are no firm rules because so far there have been few proper human trials. I have had 2 fast days already and I found that I can get through my fast days best if I had a light breakfast (scrambled eggs, thin slice of ham, black coffee, adding up to about 300 calories), lots of water and herbal tea during the day, then a light dinner (grilled fish with lots of vegetables) at night.

Apparently there are numerous health advantages to this diet, including improved glucose and cholesterol levels, as well as improved mental agility. Not surprisingly, you shed the weight pretty quickly. The downside, unfortunately, is the lack of clinical trials and research into the long-term effects on the body of alternate fasting. I am willing to try out this diet for a while longer. If it becomes impractical, I will just stop.

I was wondering if anyone here is on this 5:2 diet, or anyone who has tried it and can share a success (or failure!) story!

Looking forward to hearing from you!
January 3, 2013 1:23 PM
There are a bunch of Groups about IF.

Go to "Groups" (above in blue bar)

Type Intermittant Fasting in the Search box.

or Intermittent....whatever.....wink

Edited by cmriverside On January 3, 2013 1:24 PM
  5978
January 3, 2013 1:26 PM
I do the Alternate Day Diet (JUDDD) which is exactly like 5:2 except my fast days are every other day. I've done it now for over a year and love, love, love the results. I've lost nearly 110 pounds. I never feel deprived because I can eat whatever I want, within reason, on my Up Days. I have thyroid disease and have had bloodwork done several times in the past year because of it. My labs look phenomenal. I'm nearing goal, and will most likely stick to the plan I'm doing, just with higher calories on my Down Days, but I'm also playing around with the idea of doing 5:2 for maintenance.
  13096635
January 4, 2013 4:54 AM
I've also recently started the 5:2 intermittent fasting diet from end of November 2012 after watching the brilliant BBC documentary (link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19112549) and I was mostly persuaded by the scientific health results but the weight loss is a bonus too. I love cooking food from scratch and baking breads and cakes so most diets have not worked for me because I can't resist a delicious home cooked meal now and then. When I first started fasting twice a week, I was maintaining around a 2 pound weight loss each week - and then christmas arrived and I gave the fasting a break (mostly because I went back home to my family and my mother was very worried about me fasting!). After overindulging this christmas I have decided to start the new year with the 5:2 diet again. I found my first fasting day really hard - had a piece of toast and a green tea for breakfast, had a banana and satsuma for lunch. I was at work during the day time which kept me busy and distracted from feeling hungry but I find it hardest in the evenings and having a dinner of steamed fish and vegetables doesn't satisfy me at all - especially after watching my bf eating a huge plate of mash potato and sausages! But generally I find the first day of fasting the hardest - then I get more used to it afterwards.

I have always wondered though - as you are meant to fast for 24 hours twice a week - can you break your fast 24 hours after you last ate? (which for me would be just before I go to bed) or do you carry on fasting through the night until you wake up the next morning? (so really, having a fast of around 34 hours twice per week).
  34092821
January 4, 2013 4:58 AM
Been doing it since August and it's worked really well for me and my wife.
The fast days do get easier over time by the way.
  27827333
January 4, 2013 5:01 AM
I lost around 2 stone last year from something similar e.g. introducing spike and fast days to my calorie counting. But I've recently come across the 5:2 diet and on my first fast day today!
January 4, 2013 5:01 AM
I did it for a few weeks before the Christmas gluttony. I loved it. I did lose about 6/7lbs in a month. I also gave up alcohol which may have helped.. :)

I have started again for this year. Yesterday was my fast day. I didn't eat until about 4pm, which was a miso soup and a clementine. Then I ate a light dinner of oven roasted cod fillet, some veggies and a teeny, tiny amount of brown rice (try9ng to limit the carbs also).

It makes me feel so much better. I rarely feel hungry - and when I do it's kind of nice, rather than feeling stuffed to bursting - and picking at cakes/chocolates just because they are there.

I am going to check out the group now.

good luck
  15729527
January 4, 2013 5:04 AM
It's a fast for 24 hours after you last ate, so break once you reach that. I fast from when i finish my dinner, until that time the following day
January 4, 2013 5:04 AM
QUOTE:

I've also recently started the 5:2 intermittent fasting diet from end of November 2012 after watching the brilliant BBC documentary (link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19112549) and I was mostly persuaded by the scientific health results but the weight loss is a bonus too. I love cooking food from scratch and baking breads and cakes so most diets have not worked for me because I can't resist a delicious home cooked meal now and then. When I first started fasting twice a week, I was maintaining around a 2 pound weight loss each week - and then christmas arrived and I gave the fasting a break (mostly because I went back home to my family and my mother was very worried about me fasting!). After overindulging this christmas I have decided to start the new year with the 5:2 diet again. I found my first fasting day really hard - had a piece of toast and a green tea for breakfast, had a banana and satsuma for lunch. I was at work during the day time which kept me busy and distracted from feeling hungry but I find it hardest in the evenings and having a dinner of steamed fish and vegetables doesn't satisfy me at all - especially after watching my bf eating a huge plate of mash potato and sausages! But generally I find the first day of fasting the hardest - then I get more used to it afterwards.

I have always wondered though - as you are meant to fast for 24 hours twice a week - can you break your fast 24 hours after you last ate? (which for me would be just before I go to bed) or do you carry on fasting through the night until you wake up the next morning? (so really, having a fast of around 34 hours twice per week).


It's a fast for 24 hours after you last ate, so break once you reach that. I fast from when i finish my dinner, until that time the following day
January 4, 2013 5:05 AM
thanks, i was wondering about that too!x
January 4, 2013 5:09 AM
hmmm interesting- think I might try it next week just to see if there is any noticeable difference- thank you :)
January 4, 2013 5:09 AM
QUOTE:

It's a fast for 24 hours after you last ate, so break once you reach that. I fast from when i finish my dinner, until that time the following day


You can do it that way or just do it sleep to sleep, the rules aren't that firm.
  27827333
January 4, 2013 5:12 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

It's a fast for 24 hours after you last ate, so break once you reach that. I fast from when i finish my dinner, until that time the following day


You can do it that way or just do it sleep to sleep, the rules aren't that firm.


No and that is the biggest problem for this style of eating, so much mixed information. I personally do fasts for around 24 hours so would have evening meal and then nothing until evening meal the next day. To me eating throughout the day is just calorie cycling rather than intermittent fasting as you are continuing to eat throughout the day...
  11562016
January 4, 2013 5:18 AM
thanks for the tips! Hmm.....I guess the main thing is having a prolonged fast. I was a bit reluctant to break my fast just before going to bed because I thought that eating late at night would make me put on weight. But on the other hand, I was worried that breaking the fast the next morning would put my body into "starvation mode" by having such a long period of fasting. When I first tried the intermittent fasting diet I mistakingly had two days of consecutive fasting as I did not do my proper research! I found I lost quite a few pounds after the period of fasting but pretty much put it straight on after eating again. So I'm very cautious about putting my body into starvation mode again!
  34092821
January 4, 2013 5:43 AM
There are many who say that eating before bed will make you fat is a complete myth. In fact, I read a very interesting study lately (and am kicking myself for not keeping a reference to it) that said that eating only once a day, at night, and eating as much healthy food as you wanted (but not 12 bars of chocolate, sorry!) was a perfectly acceptable way to eat and still lose weight.

Your body needs what it needs. I'm not convinced that it matters when you eat it.

As to the OP, I've done the 5:2 diet and really liked it, but it was only a short term experiment. I went from dinner to dinner, rather than sleep to sleep. If you go sleep to sleep, you fast for more like 36 hours which is too long for me. I try to do the fast on a rest day. I did it once on an active day and it was a bit more of a struggle.

In general, I quite like the idea of it because I don't often like eating breakfast, so not having lunch either is not too much of a problem for me.
Edited by jetlag On January 4, 2013 5:44 AM
  2652893
January 5, 2013 2:09 AM
That's reassuring to hear jetlag! I think I'll try fasting from sleep to sleep then having a light dinner in the evening following the 24 hour fast. During the fast did you just snack on veg and fruit? Also, how long did you try the fasting diet for and how much weight in that time did you lose?
  34092821
January 5, 2013 2:17 AM
I tried it for a while, but I stopped after reading here that the health benefits aren't so pronounced for women. I'd been doing it for the health benefits rather than weight loss, although it was working for weight loss too.
  22334493
January 5, 2013 2:51 AM
QUOTE:

It's a fast for 24 hours after you last ate, so break once you reach that. I fast from when i finish my dinner, until that time the following day


no, the 5:2 method isn't like that.

It's not really fasting in the way you are thinking of, it's just 5 normal days, with 2 non-consecutive days at 25% calories, so roughly 600 cals for men, and 500 for women.
  14463414
January 5, 2013 3:03 AM
Wouldn't try it to be honest you are not doing your body any favours. High protein low carb everything in moderation with exercise is and always has been the best way to lose weight. We get ourselves so worked up on the newest fad that is out there and it is a fad !!! This type of diet may have suited us in the cavemen days but that's because they didn't live the 24/7 lives that we do now. You need to keep your body fuelled for what you are putting it through. I have seen people doing this and they look and feel terrible after a while. There are much (easier) and more pleasant ways to lose weight. I not saying calories in calories out as eating 600 cala of ice cream is not the same as 600 cals of chicken and veg but you hopefully catch my drift.

Spikes in insulin every couple of days when you come off fasting isn't great. You would be better with a continuous diet with a re-feed day every week or so where you maybe have a pizza etc, this tricks your body into thinking its no longer dieting but it's not enough to throw you off track. You get a increased metabolism and kicks starts the loss again.

3 stone in 5 months along with exercise shows that you don't have to fad diet to lose weight !
January 5, 2013 3:13 AM
QUOTE:

Wouldn't try it to be honest you are not doing your body any favours. High protein low carb everything in moderation with exercise is and always has been the best way to lose weight. We get ourselves so worked up on the newest fad that is out there and it is a fad !!! This type of diet may have suited us in the cavemen days but that's because they didn't live the 24/7 lives that we do now. You need to keep your body fuelled for what you are putting it through. I have seen people doing this and they look and feel terrible after a while. There are much (easier) and more pleasant ways to lose weight. I not saying calories in calories out as eating 600 cala of ice cream is not the same as 600 cals of chicken and veg but you hopefully catch my drift.

Spikes in insulin every couple of days when you come off fasting isn't great. You would be better with a continuous diet with a re-feed day every week or so where you maybe have a pizza etc, this tricks your body into thinking its no longer dieting but it's not enough to throw you off track. You get a increased metabolism and kicks starts the loss again.

3 stone in 5 months along with exercise shows that you don't have to fad diet to lose weight !


I would advise you to look into this a bit more. Dr Michael Mosley did this for a Horizon show and has continued doing it, has lost some weight but more importantly does it for health reasons. Constantly feeding does not give your body chance to repair itself which is what you are doing. He had numerous tests done whilst dong it and they have done lots of research on mice and their life expectancy increased by about 20% when kept on this style of diet, brain functions also improved. Typing on my ipad so in short go and look up the horizon programme, it is very interesting, he also has a book just being published called the fast diet.
  3717257
January 5, 2013 10:00 AM
Not constantly feeding at all I have 3 balanced meals with a small snack when I need / want it. Of course you will lose weight fasting you are barely eating anythinng but the same can be said for all 'diets' essentially what they are packaged up in different ways is consuming less food than you are at the moment. What I am trying to say overall is that you don't need to do anything fancy to lose weight ( fasting,gi,Atkins) etc you just need to eat good balanced food and exercise. It couldn't be any simpler than that. On my healthy eating plan I have also lowered my colesterol, my blood pressure, bmi lowered everything but I haven't done anything fancy.

With everything that is going around in the fitness industry just now I and with our obesity epidemic at an all time high I just think people need to realise that they don't need to do anything fancy to do it and frustrates me when hings like this pop up.

Not saying its wrong as such ( I believe it is but respect peoples opinions) just question why you want to fast to lose weight when there is much better much more enjoyable ways to do it is all.
January 7, 2013 11:22 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Wouldn't try it to be honest you are not doing your body any favours. High protein low carb everything in moderation with exercise is and always has been the best way to lose weight. We get ourselves so worked up on the newest fad that is out there and it is a fad !!! This type of diet may have suited us in the cavemen days but that's because they didn't live the 24/7 lives that we do now. You need to keep your body fuelled for what you are putting it through. I have seen people doing this and they look and feel terrible after a while. There are much (easier) and more pleasant ways to lose weight. I not saying calories in calories out as eating 600 cala of ice cream is not the same as 600 cals of chicken and veg but you hopefully catch my drift.

Spikes in insulin every couple of days when you come off fasting isn't great. You would be better with a continuous diet with a re-feed day every week or so where you maybe have a pizza etc, this tricks your body into thinking its no longer dieting but it's not enough to throw you off track. You get a increased metabolism and kicks starts the loss again.

3 stone in 5 months along with exercise shows that you don't have to fad diet to lose weight !


I would advise you to look into this a bit more. Dr Michael Mosley did this for a Horizon show and has continued doing it, has lost some weight but more importantly does it for health reasons. Constantly feeding does not give your body chance to repair itself which is what you are doing. He had numerous tests done whilst dong it and they have done lots of research on mice and their life expectancy increased by about 20% when kept on this style of diet, brain functions also improved. Typing on my ipad so in short go and look up the horizon programme, it is very interesting, he also has a book just being published called the fast diet.


Exactly what I would have responded with.
  13096635
January 7, 2013 1:33 PM
hi all,

newbie here so excuse any faux pas!

Having seen dr. mosely on bbc breakfast and seen his horizon programme last year, i think the lifestyle change may suit me and my partner. Exercise will add to the increase in metabollism hopefully.
I am disabled so general mobility is a problem, my partner works in a sedentary job and time is our biggest enemy.
Before I start, I am checking my daily exercise and food intake using this great site and will continue to monitor it and have ordered dr. mosely's book.
I'm also checking with my GP.

I'll keep people updated.

As I understand it, it is 'eat what you like' (but don't binge lol and pref only to your daily calorie allowance) on 5/7 days and eat 500 calories for women and 600 calories for men on the other 2 non consecutive days..

Thanks all and good luck with your weight loss and lifestyle changes.

SheepieSuzi
January 12, 2013 5:23 AM
Also regarding the fast day, have your evening meal and then go to bed, treat your 24 hour period from midnight to midnight, in that period you can have 500/600 cals, it is up to you when you have them. Personally I like to save mine and have a decent evening meal. What it does not mean is that last eve meal at 6pm, next at 6pm following night (after 24 hours) and then you are free to gorge.
  3717257
January 12, 2013 6:43 AM
QUOTE:

As I understand it, it is 'eat what you like' (but don't binge lol and pref only to your daily calorie allowance) on 5/7 days and eat 500 calories for women and 600 calories for men on the other 2 non consecutive days..


Hi SheepieSuzi. I have the MIchael Mosley book and it says not to count calories on eating days, but to "trust your body". It claims that people don't tend to eat too much on the eating days, and in fact will eat slightly under their energy needs (so are effectively having a slight calorie restriction even on the non-fasting days).

When I tried it, I did continue to count calories on the non-fasting days, so I'm thinking of giving it another go and this time keeping calorie counting strictly to the two days a week.

The book also suggests that you can try fasting over a 24 hour period (rather than from night to night) if you find it easier (e.g. lunchtime one day till lunchtime the next. I'm thinking of trying that too.
  22334493

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