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5:2 diet and cycling

mcowan77mcowan77 Posts: 560
I'm thinking of starting this and combining it with my training

I currently commute 3-4 times per week (10 miles each way)

I also attend a club a couple of nites a week and do some training.

I'm hoping the 5:2 diet along with the training/commuting will help me lose at least a stone.

Thoughts?

Thanks
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Posts

  • HerbsmanHerbsman Posts: 2,029
    mcowan77 wrote:
    I'm thinking of starting this and combining it with my training

    I currently commute 3-4 times per week (10 miles each way)

    I also attend a club a couple of nites a week and do some training.

    I'm hoping the 5:2 diet along with the training/commuting will help me lose at least a stone.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks
    Would help if you actually said what it is, instead of expecting everyone to look it up or know already
    CAPTAIN BUCKFAST'S CYCLING TIPS - GUARANTEED TO WORK! 1 OUT OF 10 RACING CYCLISTS AGREE!
  • Rodders30Rodders30 Posts: 314
    5 days eating 2 days no eating at a guess
    Trek 1.5 Road
    Haro MTB
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    Not really compatible with a serious training schedule, I would have thought.
  • mcowan77mcowan77 Posts: 560
    Its a calorie restricted diet... 600 calories 2 days per week
  • If you are that desperate to lose weight, chop off an arm?
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • onumnosonumnos Posts: 22
    Too many variables...

    How old are you?
    What sex?
    How healthy? - i.e. any pre-existing metabolic disorders, Met syndrome, IR, diabetes,
    Current fitness level?
    Current weight/BMI or other BF measure?
    What's your current diet? total calories, typical macro ratios's?

    I don't want to sound obtuse but the realities of weight loss for a slightly o/weight healthy young male compared (say) to a post menopausal woman are completely different.

    In my early 40's (Male) I was 3st o/weight (14st+) I used a calorie restricted mixed diet and walking (then running) and cycling to lose 2st (relatively easily).

    Losing visceral fat (think beer belly) is quite easy, it responds well to exercise - losing subcutaneous fat (under the skin) esp for anything approaching a "six-pack" is very hard - for most people.

    I now weigh 11st and look not too offensive naked (IMHO and that of my dearest!) I was close to 10st @ 5'9" at my lowest and was a skeleton (with a slight paunch) - and couldn't exceed 14mph on a bike(!) too much calorie restriction and too much exercise.

    I now eat a VLC high sat fat diet and look better than I was 25 (now nearly 50).

    Sorry to harp on. Back to your question. If you're a relatively healthy young(ish) male then what you propose looks reasonable (if you are o/weight) let's assume its a 20% caloric restriction overal (assuming 2000/d baseline), big enough but not too drastic.

    Get enough protein - approx 1.5g/kg b/w. That's the #1 - high fat/carb is up to you...I love low carb but that's another ball game. I would strongly recommend PSMF (Protein Sparing Modified Fast) for fat loss on your low cal days (and putting them back to back) basically eat low fat/low carb and out what works for you get your protein from lean meat like turkey or Tuna - super for fat loss. The PSMF is quite extreme but 2 days/week with 5 days of adequate cal mixed diet should be fine.

    Ultimately you have to work out what works for you and what works for you can change over time.

    Also remember what works initially usually stops working after a while you have to mix things up.
  • twotyredtwotyred Posts: 822
    I've just started the 5:2 but I'm taking a break from training just now so I'm probably not much help. I have noticed that I have more energy on my 600 cal days than I thought I would to the extent that I'm thinking about trying out a bit of running or biking on those days as an experiment. I reckon if you arrange for your 600 cal days to be relaxed commuting days you'll be OK. You could also try 6:1 which might be all you need as you are pretty active. You also get the lowered cholesterol and low IGF-1 benefits with 6:1
  • blackhandsblackhands Posts: 950
    I've done it - I found that I could only manage rides of 4 hours plus on non-diet days but was ok doing 2 hour rides on 600 calories as long as I kept the power down. In the end I did my 4 hour ride on the second day after a low cal day and had rest days on low cal days when I did a bit if weight training for fun. I lost a 6kG in about 2 months with no effort. The biggest problem I found (being an old git) was the associated loss of water (ie need to pee in the night) due to reduction in plasma CH levels.
  • Zoomer37Zoomer37 Posts: 725
    If you don't race, then it could work out ok for you.

    If you do race each week and train hard, forget it. You'll ride like a big bag of sh*t
  • HerbsmanHerbsman Posts: 2,029
    why not make a sustainable change to your lifestyle / eating habits instead?
    CAPTAIN BUCKFAST'S CYCLING TIPS - GUARANTEED TO WORK! 1 OUT OF 10 RACING CYCLISTS AGREE!
  • edtenedten Posts: 228
    It sounds ridiculous to me. You need food to recover from training. If you hardly train that might work for you but otherwise I would assume it will restrict recovery and therefore gains in fitness.
  • SproolSprool Posts: 1,022
    The 5:2 diet is interesting - its about skipping lunch two days a week and having a lean meal that evening. As much for weight loss as longevity, the theory is that your body switches over to cell repair mode in the 2 fasting days - its not really fasting but enought to let the body know for 2 days a week that food intake is restricted. It is supposed to promote longevity and overall health as well as helping shed the lb's. I've tried it for a bit, along with regular exercise and it certainly does no harm, as opposed to a lot of fad diets that fill your body with processed overpriced baby food and shakes.
  • danowatdanowat Posts: 2,877
    I assume you do realize that, unless you are prepared you maintain this 5:2 for the rest of your life, any weight loss you manage while doing it, is very luckily to return once you stop the 5:2.

    Its just a shortcut for people who want to have their cake, and eat it, it's not really maintainable for the rest of your life
  • PhippsyPhippsy Posts: 26
    danowat wrote:
    I assume you do realize that, unless you are prepared you maintain this 5:2 for the rest of your life, any weight loss you manage while doing it, is very luckily to return once you stop the 5:2.

    Its just a shortcut for people who want to have their cake, and eat it, it's not really maintainable for the rest of your life

    Really? And how can that statement be disproved? I tell you what, I'll check back here in 40 years. Lazy, very lazy.

    I 5:2 and train most days. Its easy, and yes I can eat cake too. A lot of people report extra energy on fast days, and that's my experience too. Why does something new have to always be wrong? I could argue that it's far more natural than eating every day.
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,026
    Phippsy wrote:
    danowat wrote:
    I assume you do realize that, unless you are prepared you maintain this 5:2 for the rest of your life, any weight loss you manage while doing it, is very luckily to return once you stop the 5:2.

    Its just a shortcut for people who want to have their cake, and eat it, it's not really maintainable for the rest of your life

    Really? And how can that statement be disproved? I tell you what, I'll check back here in 40 years. Lazy, very lazy.

    I 5:2 and train most days. Its easy, and yes I can eat cake too. A lot of people report extra energy on fast days, and that's my experience too. Why does something new have to always be wrong? I could argue that it's far more natural than eating every day.
    but what is your typical training week like?
  • drudru Posts: 1,341
    Hi guys.

    I'm doing the 5;2 diet at the moment and have lost over stone which is great, except my cycling is the weakest its been.

    The diet has stripped too much muscle on the time I've done it - so be careful.

    I'm ok on the flats but slow up hills (slower than ever it feels by comparision)

    Luckily this summer I'm not racing and not heavily training.

    On fast days I can go out and ride 30-50 miles no problem as long as I stay aerobic. Anythnig above that - forget as your glycogen stores are not full enough.

    I fast on Monday/Tuesday or Monday and Wednesday so means that for longer weekend rides I'm as fully charges as I am going to be.

    It's been a good way to lose weight, but not convinced it is suitable for 7 days a week cycling and training.
  • mcjimbobmcjimbob Posts: 24
    I'm currently into my 4th week of 5:2. I've also recently upped my training as I have a couple of big and hilly rides planned for September. I'm not training to participate in races or anything like that (at least for now) so can't really speak for anyone who wants to do 5:2 and follow an intense training routine.

    I'm having great success with it. The back story... Since taking up cycling 2 years ago, and in particular getting a bit more serious last year, I've lost about a stone (from 15+). I've struggled to lose anything more than that though, unable to get under 14 stone. I don't have the discipline to limit my food intake, I enjoy food too much - at the weekends particularly. I also don't have the time to do enough cycling to lose the weight without also changing my diet. I'd heard tales of success from friends and colleagues doing 5:2, not just in weight loss but also general well-being and energy levels. Since the turn of the year, I've read up and mulled over starting it and took the plunge a few weeks ago.

    My results are that my weight has dropped to below 14 stone (and counting - currently 87kg) for the first time since before I left school 12 years ago. Also, I seem to have higher concentration levels on fast days, and can confirm that I feel strangely energetic on a fast day.

    With regards to "training". My current routine is thus...

    Monday: Fast Day
    Tuesday: Commute Day (30 miles each way, with an optional couple of steep climbs)
    Wednesday: 5/7-a-side football
    Thursday: Fast Day
    Friday: Commute Day (as Tuesday)
    Saturday: Possible longer ride with pals (doesn't happen often as I'd like these days with an 8mo son!)
    Sunday: Hill Repeats

    My fast days consist of a single egg for breakfast then nothing through to teatime when I have a 550 calorie, protein-heavy meal (which can be surprisingly delicious and filling). I tackle any pangs of hunger during the day with some black coffee.

    I've been out on the bike on a fast day a couple of times. I seem to have more energy and am more eager to get out but I have stuck to an hours ride maximum on the flat. I've not pushed myself any further than that, not sure I would like to.

    The plan is to continue on the 5:2 until I hit 80kg, then switch to a 6:1 to maintain the weight and the other health benefits. IMO, a nice healthy weight for a 6' 1" guy like me. I've found it surprisingly easy to do and believe I can make it part of my life now.

    It would be interesting to hear of anyone following 5:2, along with a more intensive training program.
  • danowatdanowat Posts: 2,877
    dru wrote:
    The diet has stripped too much muscle on the time I've done it - so be careful.

    So you've lost how much in fat?, sounds ridiculous to me.........
  • drudru Posts: 1,341
    danowat wrote:
    dru wrote:
    The diet has stripped too much muscle on the time I've done it - so be careful.

    So you've lost how much in fat?, sounds ridiculous to me.........

    Can not say either way Dan.

    Basically I came back from Mallorca in April at close to 14 st.

    I'm now 12.5st

    I've lost inches from chest and waist, but I know that muscle mass has gone as well. Also, my previously well defined arms have definately got a bit of bingo wings about them, not sure thou if thats just becuase the muscle is not used as much and is converting back to fat?

    Eitherway, just getting myself ready for September 1st, when next seasons TT training starts in anger! :)
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    people at work try this (non cyclists) I just cant see how you can be productive on the fast days, especially when starting out and you arent used to it, when your sugar level drops you must become very unproductive?

    i think it is much better to plan a relatively healthy and ustainable diet and then mix in a bit of exercise and you'll lose the weight. It might take a bit longer than basically starving yourself 2 days a week but its got to be better for you in the long run?
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • twotyredtwotyred Posts: 822
    people at work try this (non cyclists) I just cant see how you can be productive on the fast days, especially when starting out and you aren't used to it, when your sugar level drops you must become very unproductive?

    I'm office based but on my fast days (600 cals isn't really fasting) I'm just as productive and don't notice any drop in energy compared to normal days- even when I started 5:2. In fact I find I'm more alert in the afternoons than normal. I agree if I was doing a manual job it might be different.

    One of the myths we've been fed by the food industry is that going hungry is bad and we'll grind to a halt without regular eating. Its just not true.
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    i still stand by my point that a healthy, realistic and sustainable diet mixed with exercise is much better than this though!
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • mcjimbobmcjimbob Posts: 24
    Chris Bass wrote:
    i still stand by my point that a healthy, realistic and sustainable diet mixed with exercise is much better than this though!

    Can you give me any explanation as to why this is unhealthy, unrealistic or unsustainable?
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    I don't think I said it was any of those things, my point was if you sort a good varied and healthy diet for the whole week, throw in a bit of exercise I think that is a better way to lose weight and it would be easier to keep it going. Or are people going to do the 5:2 diet forever?
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • twotyredtwotyred Posts: 822
    I don't think I said it was any of those things,

    Not explicitly but the implication is there

    Anything you do to lose weight is by definition unsustainable as sooner or later you will either starve to death or your activity levels will reduce to match the reduced calories.

    Your "healthy diet" is no more sustainable than 5:2 if weight loss is involved and its also perfectly possible to eat a "healthy diet" and put on weight if the quantity is too much.
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    that is true but i think it is easier once you have reached your target weight to level things off and not gain weight again if you have a reasonable diet throughout the week rather than start eating on two days you didnt previously which would hugely increase the amount of calories you take in overall.

    I know first hand how easy it is for a restrictive diet to turn into an eating disorder and I am definitely not saying that it will for everyone but i think these diets can be quite dangerous for some people.
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • wytco0wytco0 Posts: 79
    Well I don't train, I am a novice cyclist only doing about 5 miles a day but ...

    Since January this year I have been doing 5:2 fasting and on fast days I don't eat anything. So far I have lost more than 10Kg (I still need to lose another 30, Yes I was and am very fat).

    I would not recommend 5:2 to anyone because I don't want to get drawn into all this stuff about fad diets but if your interested for me its been a revelation. I feel better than I have for many years on fasting days I feel really good and only rarely do I feel hungry, I tend to drink a lot of tea and water during my fast which last for about 36 hours with no food, I normally fast on Mondays and Thursdays. I now look forward to my fasting days.

    I am not losing weight quickly but its dropping steadily, my aim is 65kg and when I reach that I will reduce to fasting once a week, I intend to do that until the lights go out for the last time.
  • bahzobbahzob Posts: 2,195
    Chris Bass wrote:
    i still stand by my point that a healthy, realistic and sustainable diet mixed with exercise is much better than this though!

    You and many others above seem to just assume that eating the same amount every day is "healthy".

    There is in fact no evidence this is the case. To the contrary there is ample evidence that this assumption, taken just a little bit too far by only 100-200kcal per day excess or getting habituated to eating too much of some foods every day (e.g. salt, refined sugar) is bad for you.

    You and others also seem to forget that we are products of evolution. Until our very recent past the "normal" way of eating was feast/famine. So in fact 3 square meals a day is more "unnatural" than the 5:2 diet which pretty well mimics how our ancestors had to cope.

    You and all others here also have not mentioned the most interesting/challenging fact about the 5:2 diet. It originated not as a way to lose weight but rather as a result from a strong body of research that shows that intermittent fasting increases health and longevity. e.g.http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-intermittent-fasting-might-help-you-live-longer-healthier-life http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn3668-dayon-dayoff-diet-boosts-health.html#.UeJjw6wQMoM As the latter article notes on/off daily fasting is not much fun so the 5:2 is an attempt to make the it a bit more palatable.

    The jury is still out as to whether this gives any benefits. But it could well be that in future the "diet" in the phrase " a healthy, realistic and sustainable diet mixed with exercise is much better" will be the 5:2 or similar
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    bahzob wrote:
    Chris Bass wrote:
    i still stand by my point that a healthy, realistic and sustainable diet mixed with exercise is much better than this though!

    You and many others above seem to just assume that eating the same amount every day is "healthy".

    There is in fact no evidence this is the case. To the contrary there is ample evidence that this assumption, taken just a little bit too far by only 100-200kcal per day excess or getting habituated to eating too much of some foods every day (e.g. salt, refined sugar) is bad for you.

    That's not at all what I said! Obviously if you eat more calories than you burn off you'll put on weight, and eating too much salt etc isn't good for you, where did I say it was?

    Anyway, some people seem to like it, but it's not for me, each to their own. I wasn't trying to stop people doing it just giving my opinion.
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • symosymo Posts: 1,743
    Literally just started this (today) as I have been on hols and before that reading up on the whole thing. Now decided to give it a go. Monday & Thursdays (tbh not really noticing any hunger, had lots of water though) are my days.

    When in the office it is 7.5 mile commute each way. I tend to do turbo sessions Tuesday and Thursday at 0600hrs before work (won't happen this week as I am on site but will be packing my bike for a long ride one night), so not really a serious athlete like a lot of the amateurs on here.

    Just looking to see how much weight I can lose. I lost significant weight last year but ended up putting it back on owing to living in hotels a lot of this year due to work, this looks to be a sustainable dieting system including the 6:1 maintenance.

    This won't be the first time I have fasted, years ago the combat survival training I did was a lot less than 600 cals a day for a week and I was v.active during that course.
    +++++++++++++++++++++
    we are the proud, the few, Descendents.

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