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5:2 ("Fast") Diet

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#1 Liz Lemon

Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:06 PM

Is anyone else doing this? It was the basis of a doco presented by Dr Michael Mosley last week (on SBS I think?)

The basic premise is that you eat normally 5 days a week but then cut your calories right down to 500 for two days a week.  (There's heaps of info on google if you don't know what I'm on about - and the book is $8.99 in the IBook store)

I've just started today and am really interested to hear if it's worked for anyone else.

Apparently it's been out for ages in the UK - and hugely popular.

#2 aluminium

Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:13 PM

I don't do it but it doesn't sound great to me. Didn't Mama Cass do it to lose loads of weight but then end up having a heart attack because of the strain it put on her? i could just be perpetuating internet rumours here... but it seems risky to me.

#3 millej13

Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:17 PM

I think people aren't naturally supposed to eat that way (ie starve for periods of time)- damaging to the metabolism

And it's probably hard to maintain long term- hence being called a diet- so why bother?

People should just think- eat clean foods, cook from scratch, read food labels- if it doesn't have ingredients that you can identify as food then don't eat it

And there's good calories and crap calories you know- case in point- you can eat 500 calories in a chocolate bar and a hot meat pie with hot chips. Or you can eat 1000 calories comprised of eggs for breakfast, salad and chicken / fish grilled for lunch and soup for dinner. Which do you think is better for you?

Sorry- this stuff p*sses me off. There's a reason why people who 'diet' statistically end up putting back the weight AND more - because they're looking for a quick fix s opposed to eating properly forever

#4 janie1105

Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:18 PM

I saw the documentary last week too. I find the idea really interesting.

I actually saw an article on a news site about it a few months ago and immediately dismissed it as a fad diet.  But after watching the documentary last week I am truly fascinated by the idea.  As a result, my husband and I are giving it a try.

We did out first fast day last Friday and our second one today.  Surprisingly not hard at all.  No harder then sticking to a regular diet.

I am a bit skeptical that I will lose weight though.  It feels too good to be true.  To that end, I am tracking my calories and sticking to 500 on fast days and 2000 on the other 5 days.

I'm interested to know if anyone else has had any success with it.

#5 Liz Lemon

Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:21 PM

Millej normallyI would agree with you - but the doco - and actual science - behind this way of eating - was compelling.  You need to watch it before you dismiss it.

I actually eat pretty well most of the time anyway but am struggling to lose baby weight.

Will see how it goes ...

#6 adl

Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:25 PM

I have the book... Am reading
Haven't started fast days as yet as been away, interestingly it says it appears good results for those over 35, it's not a true fast as you do eat.. And it's about re training more than a diet as such ... Re setting metabolism ,

#7 janie1105

Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:27 PM

Like you Liz Lemon, I found the "science" compelling too.

My husband is actually more interested in the possible reduction in cancer/diabetes/diseases.

Me, I just want to lose 10KG  original.gif

#8 VintageEyes

Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:27 PM

We saw that show as well, but DH is going to try the version that is day on day off. So one day you eat a much as you want and then the next only about 600 cals

I am currrently BF or I would try it too.

#9 Fr0g

Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:35 PM

I saw the doco & was impressed. Ill start by saying I'm 5'8", 67kg so not overweight but carrying a little more than id like. I'm starting my first 600 cal day on Wednesday with my friend. I'm looking at about 5kg loss, and I've started reducing my portion sizes already. I've changed jobs and am far less sedentary, which I'm hoping will help.

My friend is 3 weeks into it, and has lost 2kg - with no other changes in exercise.

I'm going to have 2 x scrambled eggs for breakfast, rice cakes & tuna fillets for lunch & maybe grilled fish for dinner...? I have to tool at calories, as I've never 'counted' before.

#10 janie1105

Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:43 PM

I can recommend using the My Fitness Pal website to track calories.

Vintage Eyes - I'd be very careful not to upset your milk supply.  But the basic premis is eat normally on 5 days a week (not gorging yourself and not dieting) and then eat 500 cals women / 600 cals men on 2 non-consecutive days per week.

My husband felt to light headed on his first fast day, so he is eating small amounts all day.  Grapes, egg on toast and pumpkin soup spaced out over the day.

So far, I think I prefer to stick it out to dinner, with just a banana at mid-day to tide me over.

#11 FleaFork

Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:44 PM

I think that lions, tigers, etc are given starve days in zoos to replicate their diet in the wild. Maybe humans always had starve days back in the day. You know before Lite n Easy and KFC.

#12 millej13

Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:47 PM


5:2 diet, also a version of intermittent fasting, is not recommended for women due to hormonal / stress factors
Ben Coomber, the nutritionist I refer to above is a gun, he has a podcast too called Ben Coomber podcast- listen to it if you want some differing opinions on it - just be aware of all the argue,nets / opinions before you take it on- that's all I'm saying

#13 janie1105

Posted 29 April 2013 - 09:00 PM

Thanks for the link millej13.  He has some really good points.

I definitely think it will only work if you eat well on your other days.  Lots of fruit, vegies, fish, etc on your eating days.

If you think you can eat Macca's for 5 days a week you're probably never going to lose weight or have a healthy heart.

#14 au*lit

Posted 29 April 2013 - 09:04 PM

I saw the doco too, and remember reading a few articles over the last year talking about research in this area. Particularly that intermittent fasting is linked to increased longevity and reduced risk of disease.

I've got a bit of weight to lose (7 kg over my 'healthy' weight range, but would like to lose at least 13) so have decided to give it a go. I've done a couple of fast days so far and have found it surprisingly easy. I think the fact that you know it's only for one day at a time makes it way easier than normal calorie-restricted diets.

As an aside, I held back from starting a thread about this because I knew EB would be full of 'I don't know anything about this but it sounds dangerous!' posters.  wink.gif

#15 janie1105

Posted 29 April 2013 - 09:08 PM

au*lit   What are you eating on your fast days and when are you eating them?

I had thought that EB may not be a fan of it too.  It really does sound like a fad at first.  For my hubby it's all about the risk of disease without moving to a full Low-Calorie diet.

#16 Liz Lemon

Posted 29 April 2013 - 09:10 PM

QUOTE (au*lit @ 29/04/2013, 09:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As an aside, I held back from starting a thread about this because I knew EB would be full of 'I don't know anything about this but it sounds dangerous!' posters.  wink.gif

Heh heh! Noted.

I think people see the word "fast" and freak out a bit - when really - it's just two days of eating far less than you usually would.

#17 Alacritous~Andy

Posted 29 April 2013 - 09:16 PM

I saw the doco, and decided to have a bit more of a look at the literature for myself.  The biggest thing that has struck me is how he completely overlooked gender differences. Fasting for pre-menopausal women is lacking a lot of evidence base.


#18 mollybot

Posted 29 April 2013 - 09:50 PM

I like the 16/8 approach to IF, rather than the 5:2. I found I was just too hungry on the 5:2 protocol.

I've never been a breakfast person, so a 16/8 feeding window works really well for me. I break my fast at 11am and don't eat after 7pm.

I've heard people say that a 5 hour feeding window is even more efficient in terms of health benefits and weight control, but I found it deeply impractical, and again, I found myself getting hungry.

There's a stack of information about the 16/8 protocol here: http://www.leangains.com/2010/04/leangains-guide.html although the guy is a bodybuilder, like a lot of them he's into bodyhacking and his info is very interesting.

I can also recommend Bulletproof Coffee as well original.gif Info here and Australian Supplier here.

Just to clarify: I drink black coffee / herbal tea / water and then break my fast with Bulletproof coffee. Dave Asprey (The Bulletproof guy) reckons you can drink Bulletproof first thing, but as its loaded with calories, I would say that's the very definition of breaking your fast !

I've been interested in diet and health for years (being fat and having an autoimmune endocrine disorder biggrin.gif) and I find this bodyhacking stuff fascinating. Check out r/Keto and The Diet Doctor for the latest info and idea about the LCHF approach as well. Hopeless for the 5:2 as its loaded with calories, but very interesting nevertheless biggrin.gif

#19 LilacSunset

Posted 30 April 2013 - 05:14 PM

I just watched it too... I figure I may as well give it a go.  Can't hurt (at least in the short term) and might do some good!

#20 Libertine

Posted 01 May 2013 - 07:10 AM

The thing I found interesting about this 'diet' was the health benefits not necessarily the weight loss aspect. The impact he made on his risk of heart disease etc made it quite compelling.

I'm going to have more of a look at it once I finish breastfeeding.

#21 giggleandhoot

Posted 01 May 2013 - 09:02 AM

My parents have been doing it for 2 weeks and look and feel fantastic. I've been working my butt off for the last 4 years the traditional way with not one stupid result. I'm starting this week  original.gif

#22 ~RunningWoman~

Posted 08 May 2013 - 10:04 PM

QUOTE (giggleandhoot @ 01/05/2013, 09:02 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My parents have been doing it for 2 weeks and look and feel fantastic. I've been working my butt off for the last 4 years the traditional way with not one stupid result. I'm starting this week  original.gif

Have you started Giggleandhoot? How is it?

What about everyone else?

#23 ~RunningWoman~

Posted 09 May 2013 - 10:15 AM

Well. Today is my first day. Its going ok, so far but I was wondering, when I do eat (so far I've had a coffee and some almonds and am up to 230 cals) what are some low cal meals? Any tips? What do you guys eat on fast days?

#24 findingada

Posted 09 May 2013 - 02:32 PM

I have been following another form of intermittent fasting for over 1.5 years now. I was a bit concerned about how high my post-meal blood glucose levels were getting and so I used this approach to get a better area-under-the-curve blood glucose profile. My family's history of cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart attacks is terrible. The final wake up call for me was holding my mother's hand at the moment of her death from complications of cancer and type 2 diabetes. The way she died was horrifying and it motivated me to try my hardest not to die the same way she did. I dropped around 20kgs 8 months after starting an intermittent fasting protocol as a side effect and my health parameters are all good now.

I would like to make others aware of the importance of eating highly nutritious meals on the "fast" days. Big serves of protein with huge serves of colourful vegetables and herbs I think should be what you aim for. Protein, vitamin, and mineral deficiencies can sometimes take months to impact your health so optimal nutrition should be your top priority. I highly recommend using the Cron-O-Meter for tracking what you eat on your fast days specifically because it has excellent graphing functions for tracking your consumption of proteins, vitamins, and minerals etc. It is an American tool with no Australian processed foods in there so it has the added benefit of keeping you eating real food! You may not be able to reach your RDIs (recommended dietary intake) on fast days but at least it will make your aware of what you need to look at eating on "feed" days to make up what you couldn't get on fast days.

#25 Candyley

Posted 09 May 2013 - 02:51 PM

Wow sounds interesting, I'm in a bit of a rut with my weight loss at the moment.  Could someone tell me if the two fast days should be done in a row or separated through out the week?  Should any foods be excluded on any of the days?

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