Tag Archives: THE 5:2 DIET

The 5:2 Diet: Mickey’s Journey (Week 5, Part II)


Saturday 8th September
On my way to Exeter this morning.  I set off at 08:40 without breakfast or coffee – big mistake.  I am soon munching on the cold pizza I have packed for lunch, shortly followed by a bag of Galaxy Caramels (a big bag) and just to make sure a Wispa bar (which I managed to drop all down the front of my shirt – an attractive look!!!)

I am really busy so manage to avoid lunch and I work through to 6pm getting back to the hotel about 6:30.  I even go for a 20 minute run before I have dinner.  Dinner consists of a nice healthy prawn and crayfish starter with very little mayonnaise and cucumber, Steak with salad and chunky chips and a pudding that has melted by the time I eat it and should be chocolate mousse with popcorn ice cream but is more like chocolate mousse with milkshake!!  The steak is too much so I leave half and the mousse to rich so again I leave half and very virtuously put it all outside the door to remove temptation.  So I manage to be reasonably within my daily and weekly points system so far.

Sunday 9th September
I get up with a spring and I am down in the swimming pool by 08:20 and manage 25 minutes of lengths, getting in about 20 lengths.  It is a 25 meter pool.  I then go back upstairs for a leisurely shower and down to breakfast, where I eat virtuously once again – poached egg on toast, yogurt, fruit salad and some fruit juice.  I take an apple for later.

I am again really busy all day, so just the apple for lunch and coffee during the day.  I finish work at 6:30 and trot off back to the hotel. No run tonight as I am too tired.  I order from room service again, this time not so good.  The starter is something called Seared Charcuterie, which turns out to be some sort of home made spice sausage one of which is palatable and one of which I could place on the sole of my shoe and walk on for a week and not notice any wear!  I opt for steak again as I don’t fancy anything else on the menu and the cheese plate for dessert.  Again I leave half the steak, but do eat all of the cheese plate. 

Monday 10th September
This is going to be truly difficult.  I have a fruit juice, coffee and poached egg on toast for breakfast with an apple for later again.  During the day it is fine again as I am very busy, but a bust up with a awkward member of staff makes me stressed so sends me back to the hotel in a bad frame of mind.  I have not eaten too badly so far and feel I have about 350 calories left.  I order Leek and potato soup, French fries, a crayfish wrap and the cheese plate.  I leave half the French fries and half the soup but do eat all the wrap and most of the cheese plate.  I must have eaten about 750 calories today.  Not good.

Tuesday 11Th September
I am driving home today at lunch time, so I have to have something reasonable at breakfast so opt for beans on toast with some mushrooms with coffee and water and 2 mini Danish pastries.  The fact that I am working all morning and driving for the rest of the day means I will have no problems with food till I get home.  Once home I am like a caged tiger, prowling backwards and forwards to the fridge and looking to see what I can eat.  I managed to avoid food till about 7:30 and have a frozen chilli beef dish – a weight watchers recipe that I made some months ago with 60 grams of pasta.  I then spoil it all by eating half a pack of minstrel in bed that night.  I must have had nearly 1000 calories today. 

This is the end of the five weeks and I should have gone to Weight watchers tonight.  I did not because when I weighed myself I was 13 stone 8lbs, the same as last week.  I was upset about that, but really I should have been less hard on myself.  I had just had a difficult weekend in a situation where it is really difficult to control what I eat and I had not put any weight on, so that has to be a plus point.  I am going to continue with the 5:2 diet as I like the fact that if I stick to the 500 on both days I have more leeway on the other 5.  It will be a challenge for the next 3 weeks as I am on leave, but this is for life, so I have to deal with it. 

I am also considering trying alternate day fasting later on in the next few months, but I really need to have a good strategy for attempting that, primarily a good food plan for those fasting days. 

Good luck to all those out there who try it and as over the 5 weeks I managed to boost my weight loss again and did take off nearly half a stone despite many eating mishaps both on and off the fast days I would highly recommend this eating lifestyle – because that is what it is, not a diet but an eating lifestyle.

Mickey – Guest Blogger

The 5:2 Diet: Juliet’s Journey – Onwards and Upwards


Here I am again reflecting on my progress on the 5:2 diet and I realise the last week has certainly been eventful. 

I had a last minute offer of a ticket to visit the Paralympics on Monday so I rested my poorly back for a few days over the weekend so I would be match fit. My inactivity and some serious comfort eating over the weekend meant my weight started to creep up. Although weight loss is not the be all and end all for Hubby and I it is quite hard to feel motivated to fast when you are not seeing any benefits.

Had a wonderful day on Monday and fasted on Tuesday again. Didn’t do the gardening as my back was still sore, so overall I found it slightly easier. Lunch was soup which fills me up quite well, although Hubby still swears by his skimpy sandwich. For dinner we both had fish and salad. After dinner I started to get quite a bad headache but I am sure I am lasting longer in the day before they start.

I was chatting to a friend this week who is knowledgeable about diet and nutrition and she suggested  it would be good to try not to worry too much about three meals a day on fast days but instead swap to a  “little and often approach”. Combining this with some slow release carbs, such as oats, for breakfast and some high energy foods such as pulses nuts etc.  might help to combat the blood sugar fluctuations which could cause the headaches.

The following day was fast day so I tried to put these ideas into practice. I started with a small bowl of porridge, then a banana for early lunch, a bowl of salad in the afternoon then dinner of asparagus, boiled egg and salad. I definitely felt better during the day and my usual headache didn’t materialise until bedtime. Strangely though, I found it difficult to sleep because I suddenly became starving hungry with really bad indigestion.

Good news though, the weight loss kicked in again and Hubby has lost 8lbs and I have lost 6lbs. Hey ho, onwards and upwards.

Juliet – Guest Blogger

The 5:2 Diet: Pete’s Journey (Week One Results)


6 Aug 2012, day 1:  Okay, I cheated a little today.  Not a good start, but at least I don’t have to worry about falling later on!  I had a small breakfast, with no lunch, no snack and then a light meal to finish to day off.  Probably more like 800 caloriesrather than 600.  Today seemed remarkably easy, no real hunger pangs, which surprised me, and I feel pretty good in myself.  I’ve weighed myself in and I’ve hit 13 stone 5 pounds, a new and depressing record.  Quite some way off the 10 and a half stone I’d like to be.  Well there’s a motivator for me!  I’ve decided to keep this diet a secret from my family for now.  Perhaps that shows a lack of confidence in me or the diet?  There‘s been too many embarrassments in the past when I’ve grandly announced a new diet.

7 Aug 2012 day 2: I woke up feeling great.  Not good, but great.  I don’t doubt it really helped to go to bed on an empty stomach, something I rarely do.  You see, I have quite severe reflux up my oesophagus and night times tend to be the worst as I lie flat in bed.  My aim has always been not to eat for 3-4 hours before bedtime, but I rarely manage it normally.  Anyway, no doubt not have my insides burnt with acid has helped me sleep, hence why I feel so much better.

However, today I’ve really noticed the hunger pangs kicking in.  I’ve decided to have all my 600 calories in one go in the evening meal.  Mostly to make my diet compatible with family life, but also because I feel that going the full 24 hours without anything but fluids gives my body the best chance of going into fell-on repair mode and burning some of that nasty fat I keep lugging around with me.

I managed to resist temptation and had another small portion meal of what everyone else had.  I’ve got a few strange looks and questions asking me if everything is okay.  Clearly I normally eat a lot more.  I can’t help but feel smug as I stop eating before I’ve cleared my plate of every last molecule of grub.

8-12 Aug 2012: Feeling good to be able to eat normally again now.  Two consecutive days of fasting is about as far as I go!  Weighed myself at the end of the week, I’ve lost 5 pounds already.  I can’t take that at face value.  Surely it’s an error?  But no, Wii Fit and the household scales confirm it.  Wow.

By the last day of eating normally, I’m beginning to feel like a pig.  I’m eating cakes, chocolate and crisps as before, and I’m not enjoying it as much as normal.  In fact, by the 5th day, I feel desperate to fast again.  That’s not something I expected at the start!

Without prompting, my partner suggests that my tummy is looking flatter.  This is incredible.

For the first time ever, I have developed Conjunctivitis in my eyes.  I probably caught it whilst swimming at the gym, but infection is a known risk on low calories diets.  I hope this is a co-incidence

Pete – Guest Blogger

What is ADF?

Clinical trials 06

(Photo credit: Sanofi Pasteur)

I’ve written briefly about the 5:2 diet recently, and thought that this study summary of the ADF diet might prove useful to those of you considering either 5:2 or ADF.

Here you can find the original journal article from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, detailing results of ADF (alternate day fasting). ADF means eating whatever you like on ‘feed days’ followed by fasting (600 calories for men, 500 calories for women) on alternate days.

This was the fourth ADF trial ever conducted. The first two were in normal-weight men and women and showed that a 2-3 week ADF programme reduced body weight by 2.5% on average. The third trial was for overweight adults over an 8 week period and concluded in weight loss of 8% on average.

This study looked at ‘the degree of weight loss that could be achieved by ADF during a period of controlled food intake compared with a period of self-selected food intake combined with dietary counsel[l]ing’. 16 obese adults took part in the 10-week trial (12 women and 4 men). After the study, systolic blood pressure decreased, total cholesterol decreased, body fat decreased and HDL cholesterol remained the same. Inclusion criteria for the study were: age 35-65, BMI between 30 and 39.9, stable weight for three months before the start of the study, lightly active lifestyle (less than three hours per week of light intensity exercise), no history of cardiovascular disease or diabetes and not taking any weight-loss lipid.

The trial was split into three phases:

Phase 1 (2 weeks) – those on the trial kept their weight stable by eating and exercising as normal, under their own control.

Phase 2 (4 weeks) – this consisted of a controlled ADF period where subjects were given a calorie-restricted meal on each fast day and ate a normal diet chosen by the study coordinators on the other days. All meals were prepared at the Human Nutrition Center in Chicago. All fast day meals were eaten between noon and 2pm to make sure all participants had the same fasting time. Participants were also allowed to consume energy-free drinks, tea, coffee and sugar-free chewing gum. They were all encouraged to drink lots of water.

Phase 3 (4 weeks) – This was the same as Phase 2, but participants could choose what food they ate on ‘feed’ days. This phase also included dietary counselling which helped participants work out personalised fast day meal plans subjects were ‘instructed how to make healthy food choices on the feed days by choosing low-fat meat and dairy options’.

Body weight and percentage body fat measurements were taken at the start of each week. This study was the first study to show that ADF is an effective dietary regime for obese individuals to lose weight. There was a mean weight loss of 5.8% over an 8 week period (an average of 0.68kg per week, per participant over the 8 weeks). Decreases in cholesterol, blood pressure and heart rate were also observed.

The paper notes, ‘An important next step in the ADF field will be to incorporate an exercise program into this lifestyle regimen. Perhaps with the addition of physical activity, HDL-cholesterol concentrations will increase, thus beneficially modulating the entire lipid profile.’