The 5:2 diet/lifestyle

Hi All,

Before PMR I was on a journey of lifestyle change that included the 5:2 diet. I actually made it more of a life change as it seemed to have so many positive aspects for me - I felt sharper and more alive on the '2' days (the fasting days of 600 cals) being a big one. In Ms Gilberts excellent book there is a line to cut this away. Would this be hard and fast?

I make a simple call at the moment that the reason for this comment is based on the real need to be a lot kinder to yourself and take it easy on the whole system - maybe the 5:2 is seen as quite harsh and would therefor put the body under a stress that will not help with PMR management overall.

I would welcome any opinions on this. At the moment I am 'off' and will stick with that unless there is a real chance of restarting 5:2 with no increase in risk to PMR outcomes - I am taking a lot of advice from this site and the members, it all seems right to me an just wanted some more opinion on something that was really working for me.

Many thanks and all the best.

Piers C


11 Replies

  • Hi PiersC

    I lost 28lbs on the 5:2 lifestyle.I felt great and that way of eating suited me.I was fit,felt healthy and took no medication.I lapsed a bit due to holidays and christmas and then was struck by PMR which I think was due to overwhelming stress at work and I had a fall..I still try to stick to the 5:2,not so easy these days though and I count my calories.I'm 8lbs over my goal weight at the moment.

  • Thanks for the comments Sandradsn, I am a fan of the 5:2 but I do note the massive number of comments about stress on this site - it really seems to be a factor and I want to make a very informed decision about 5:2 (and everything else) in getting through to the end of this PMR in the best shape possible.

  • I have been on the 5:2 for 3 years ...lost 2 stone, and felt that in a lifetime of weight watching this was the best 'diet' for me. I read Kate Gilbert's book and took note of her comments about 5:2. I however have been lucky with my PMR (so far! ) in that apart from the first few weeks in January, I have not really felt tired part from the odd day, and have managed to work nearly full time. My PMR was I think triggered by a year or so of extremely hard work while working full time and writing a book in my spare time. I have continued to use 5:2 with no detrimental effect. I have gained 1/2 stone since January and being on steroids. I hope this helps.

  • Thanks Mary63, it does help - all information is useful in getting a right outcome and managing this as well as I can. I am putting on some weight at the moment - not much (about 3kg - or 7lbs in 'Brit' speak!!) but I have always be a 'fluctuator"!! I have a dietitian appointment planned and that might get a plan in place - maybe something like the Mediterranean diet?

  • I have followed the 5:2 diet for the last 2 years and have gradually lost 22lbs. I gained weight during my early days on prednisolone but as I decreased the 5:2 lifestyle has helped me to lose the weight I put on and a little more. I have no problem with the fasting days but I do try to ensure that my fasting days are not over busy with either work or sport. I think I will stick to the 5:2 diet for life now, without rigorous calorie counting, as it now keeps my weight steady and gives me two veggie/low carb days every week. Meanwhile I have managed to get down to 3.5 mg and am still hoping (after seven years) to get down to zero.

    Good luck with your PMR journey.


  • Thanks 54jen, that is really encouraging. I will stay off the 5:2 for a time - it is such early days for me I need to know what this will all hold for me. I have the feeling that while I am on the higher level of pred (20 mg) at the moment I do not know exactly what the real situation will be when I hit the long haul part - which I think will be the 10 and below mg regime. I will be running all this past my doctor/rheumy/dietitian and come up with a cunning plan!

  • I used the 5:2 diet together with cutting carbs to lose 36lbs of pred-induced weight gain. It certainly didn't make the PMR any worse. Any diet pattern that leaves you feeling better is hardly a problem I'd have thought!

  • Thanks PMRpro and a very good comment. I lost a heap of weight I gained following a beast of a job (that I am out of now thankfully). The stress was massive and the relief from gaining heath using 5:2 as the centre piece was great. I am looking at 5:2 more to maintain what I have rather than going lower. Maybe the combination of un-wanted weight gain from pred use balanced against the 'loss' effect from 5:2 (or maybe even 6:1) will be the way to go. Umm. More to follow I suspect.

  • Can someone tell me what the 5:2 diet is?

  • I guess if you Google 5:2 DIET you could find out ...

  • Hi,

    A really good place to look is the 'official' website - there will be millions of hits for the 5:2 diet - the main one, produced by the Brit doctor who made it popular (Michael Mosley) is (not sure how to paste the actual link, you might have to copy and paste that one. Basically it is five days a week of normal eating and two days (not together) of 500 cals for a female and 600 cals for a male. It is certainly popular and very successful for a lot of people.

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