BG2: Why I’m doing the 5:2 diet

Have a listen to this first

And a bit more:


The reason I chose this is because I can keep this up.  When I started I thought the fasting days would be hard, and the first few fasting days I was constantly obsessing about when my next food would be.

Yesterday, I got to about 4pm without having eaten since the evening before, and I didn’t really realise it because I had been otherwise occupied.    I had a small dinner at 6.

I realise you have probably already chosen a method of dieting, and some of you have no problems with changing your food intake for 7 days a week.   In my case, knowing I will have a few normal days makes the fasting days just so easy.

And yes, the weight comes off.

Some people push a little harder using ADF (Alternate Day Fasting), and that causes accelerated weight loss.

If you find yourself wavering on the diet you have chosen, because it never allows you to take a break, then give the 5:2 Fast Diet a look-over.   It has health benefits beyond the weight loss, and in fact, even if you aren’t in need of losing weight, you should have a look at this way of eating if you want to extend your life by years, push dementia and/or Alzheimer’s away, and have a lot more energy growing older.

– Pete


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  • Orange

    Ended up doing this near the end of last year. Dropped 4kg pretty quick. I really like it.

  • Builder

    It sounds good. I often have a meal or two per week without meat. Last night just had buttered corn on the cob with fresh bread. Pobably more calories in the butter or margarine though.

    • Wendy

      If you are going for weight loss you’d be better off with the meat than the corn and bread.

    • Losing weight and having a significant carb intake will make it a lot harder (your body may be different ;)

      • Builder

        Yeah, I wasn’t doing it as part of a diet, just because I like it. The point is it is easy enough to forgo the usual meals and have something smaller two days per week. Next time I’ll try something without the carbs and butter.

  • Wendy

    I have a confession…Im one of those competitive, goal driven, over achieving perfectionists, which, Ive come to the conclusion yet again, isn’t a good thing when it comes to dieting.

    I had half a scone this morning because I went for coffee with a friend before Id had breakfast, and have spent the rest of the day just a little too annoyed with myself over the flour and sugar in that half a scone. Yes, I have been suitably growled at.

    I think the 5:2 might be better for me because then no food is the enemy and I wont beat myself up over half a freaking scone.

    • I live with one of your tribe. She makes for a good partner, but I do have to protect her from herself every so often. I found that even on your normal days, you’ll eat less and watch what you eat. But today I had a cup-a-soup I found in the back of the cupboard, and a Le Snack. No breakfast, and 3 slices of bread and tomato for lunch. Dinner I’m planning a BBQ’s chicken breast, some BBQ veges and salad. That’s my OFF day. Tomorrow I’ll chuck another fasting day in, because I managed to re-kickstart myself and dropped 1.4kg in 24 hours after being on a plateau for 10 days.

      One thing I have found is obsessing about having THAT thing, and then finally having THAT thing (on a normal day) it’s a disappointment.

      Although I did invent something today that was rather nice

      Toast + philly cream cheese + tomato + rock salt.

      NB: On fasting days, I try to have as few carbos as possible. It really kicks off the ketosis and you can taste it and smell it on your breath.

      • Wendy

        My only carbs have been one piece of vogels toast with my egg in the morning, then hummus and vegetables, nuts in the afternoon and meat and salad for dinner. It might sound terrible for some people but I really like it.

        But I have been wondering about to what degree your body adapts to the new lower energy intake and therefor at what point the restriction becomes less effective.

        I liked Michael Mosely’s explanation of stress and repair. It makes a lot of sense.

        • David Moore

          “But I have been wondering about to what degree your body adapts to the new lower energy intake and therefor at what point the becomes less effective.”

          Don’t forget body, or more specifically the brain is fighting you tooth and nail in your goal. The body very simply doesn’t like calorie deficits. If you run too low in calories you will hit a metabolic slowdown and fat lost will grind to a complete halt. The leaner you are the less time you can run with a deficit before this becomes a problem.

          • “If you run too low in calories you will hit a metabolic slowdown and fat lost will grind to a complete halt.”

            This fallacy was dealt with some days ago. “Starvation” mode really doesn’t kick in unless you are really starving yourself. Intake lower than your daily base metabolic rate will not trigger this phenomenon.

          • David Moore

            It’s not a fallacy at all, push the calories too low and you will hit the wall, it’s got nothing to do with starvation mode at all. The brain is very simply not on board with the whole weight loss idea, it’s all about homeostasis.

            Correct that just going below the BMR will not tigger it, it’s simply a question of how far you can go before it does. If this was not the case you could very simply drop the cals by 1750 a day, drop half a pound a day like a clock and it simply does not happen that way. The leaner you are the bigger the problem this will be too.

            Some reading on this if your interested;


    • David Moore

      80/20 rule applies. 80% compliance means you will make progress, the occasional lapses are no big deal as long as you don’t go haywire on them and throw the whole diet out the door just because you had half a scone.

      • Wendy

        My problem is that I am 99.9% compliant and am too hard on myself over the 0.1%. It is a head problem not a food problem.

        • David Moore

          You can add 2 free meals a week to any diet and not get any reduction in losses, good evidence that it actually helps. Enjoy the whole scone and your still 100% compliant.

          Fat loss for the majority of people is hard because of that ‘head’ problem. Without it, it would be really rather simple.

    • Cadwallader

      If you are lamenting eating half a scone stop and ponder for a moment: Did you walk to the coffee shop rather than driving? The additional exercise from walking would surely chew up the extra calories?

  • David Moore

    “It has health benefits beyond the weight loss”

    I think this is highly unlikely in the real world. The health benefits are all in the actual weight loss. Compliance is a big thing though, so if this is a diet you can stick to, more power to you.

  • Cadwallader

    To effectively make this diet work you’d need to be well educated in calorie counting. Where on the net is a reliable ready-reckoner of calories? i.e. I like toast for breakfast so I need to know the number of calories in each slice etc…otherwise fasting at a 500 calorie level will be difficult to monitor.

    • David Moore

    • Wendy

      Have a look on the back of the packet and work it out based on number of slices. It’ll probably give you kilojoules but you’ll be able to find a calculator online to convert it to calories.

      • Cadwallader

        Someone here is in line for the Nobel Prize in Dieting.

        • Wendy

          Nope. I see this mindset I have as a problem to be overcome not a strength.

          • Cadwallader

            Have you factored in additional exercise? The burning of calories must be as important as counting them?

          • Wendy

            Doing that too.

          • David Moore

            Calories burned from exercise really are minor. It takes a ton of exercise to make a real difference, as the saying goes, you can’t out-train a bad diet.

    • Wendy

      Here is a NZ specific table

    • R&BAvenger

      I make the diet work without counting calories. Just cut back on sugary stuff, eat more fruit and vegetables, more fish and chicken. Try one vegetarian meal a week, do the 2 fasting days, drink more water and you’ll be sweet.

  • Hakaru

    I did the 5.2 diet last year for 13 weeks and lost 13 kilos. Easy to do by using the book by Michael Mosely. Meals laid out for you. They also have a full cookbook based on very good meals with only 300 or so calories giving you two meals on fasting days. I will be starting on it again as I have gained a few kilos over holidays but based on past experience it will be easy to get rid of them. Stick to it Pete and you will be well rewarded.

  • I have a no-food day once a week and a no alcohol day regularly as I usually drink in the evenings. Joking apart the fasting day was hard but I drink loads of water and occasionally squeeze citrus into the water. This robs me of appetite and I feel heaps better. Have lost 2 Ks in 3 weeks which is comfortable and only leaves me 5 more to go to my target of 90 Ks. I am 6 foot tall with large frame so that’s a good balance.

  • R&BAvenger

    Good choice Pete. This is a proven strategy that works. Stick at it. You won’t regret it.