update on 800 calories

This topic contains 36 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  spirituallouise 5 years, 11 months ago.

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  • can anyone advise where you can find detailed info on the new 800 cal per day ? including new meal plans, recipes etc


    I think it is geared to people with blood sugar problems.

    This is huge news…why hasn’t it been mentioned on the main website?!

    @fastdieter2 your link is a story about my link …

    Step forward Dr Moseley please! I do wonder if the confusion over the ‘new’ rules are to do with inaccurate press coverage. Dr Moseley has a new diet plan which tackles blood sugar issues and on this diet there’s a longer initial fasting time with a calorie restriction of 800 calories, but that’s not the same as saying the Fast Diet rules have been changed which is how the press have reported it. It would be good to see some official clarification of this on this site before we start changing our 5:2 habits.

    No, this is entirely separate from his blood sugar diet. The telegraph article is an actual interview with Dr. Mosley. He never mentions his blood sugar diet, but he does mention adding a 13 hour overnight Fast to 5:2.

    Also, and I hope this helps, Jacqueline Whitehart has a new book out for 2017, The New 5:2 Diet Cookbook. She goes into a lot of detail explaining the revised plan, and it’s not the blood sugar diet.

    I have come back to 5:2 because I feel I can now stick to it.

    I agree. I wish Dr. Mosley would break his silence, because there’s now a lot of confusion. Let’s face it, many of us just don’t eat Mediterranean (for example I’m vegan). Many think you have to eat this way now to do 5:2, but that’s not what the doc said.

    Dear doctor, please address this! I have several family members on this forum who are 5:2 fans, and they’re all confused!

    It sounds as if upping the FD calories from 500 to 800 is mainly for people who have trouble limiting themselves to 500 or who have a lot of weight to lose. 800 would be over half of my TDEE. Lots of people have plateaus of a week or more when following the 5:2 plan. It seems like increasing FD by 60% would make those plateaus longer and make it that much more difficult to lose weight, wouldn’t it?

    My understanding is the same as CaliD’s, that the 800 cal limit for FDs was for those who found 500/600 too difficult. For people with a high TDEE it may work quite well, but mine is 1400cal, so not a good option for losing weight. However now that I’m maintaining and not trying to lose I have had the occasional FD where my calorie level has ended up in the 500-800 range. I also think that for those trying to do 4:3 or AD it might be easier to stick to long term if you had more leeway with the calorie level.

    The thing that this change to calorie options has done for me, is to stop me abandoning a FD just because I know I’m going to end up a little over the 500 cal limit. Now I feel it’s OK to stick with it and still call it a FD even if I’ve gone slightly over 500 cals.


    Jacqueline Whitehart addresses the issue of upping calories in her book. An integral part of the new 5:2 is the overnight fast of 13 or more hours. This lowers your insulin and helps burn fat and adjusts for the 800 calories (she explains it a lot better than I’m doing!). Anyway, what I’m doing is I overnight fast for 14 hours every day (not just fasting days), I eat my 800 calories on fasting days, and I’m losing. I agree that many people just could not stick to 500 calories, the author Jacqueline was one of them, and she is very honest and goes into detail about this.

    Anyway, it seems that the overnight fast is essential to 5:2 now.

    I am very grateful for the revision, because I can now finally stick to this plan. This is a great thread and I hope the good doctor reads it.

    I must be honest that I lost my first 15 pounds doing on and off 500 calories 5:2, but it took forever…because I was mostly off. The revision came just in the nick of time. I did 800 calories for 2 days this week, and I’m down 2 lbs. I know this could be mostly water loss, but I’ll take it! I didn’t gain, and I feel confident I can stick to this and finally reach a healthy BMI.

    Veganish, my overnight fast on 500 is at least 12 hours but more often 15 or 16 hours because I’ve never been much for breakfast. I’m afraid with a TDEE of about 1400 losing weight on 800 calorie FD’s would just take too long. The less I eat on FD, the less hungry I am. And it seems to carry over to NFD to an extent because I eat much less than I used to, as long as I avoid refined sugar. I still eat bread and pasta in moderation.

    I would do it as a last resort, if I just couldn’t do 500. Or if my TDEE was at least 2400.

    Most of my fasts have been in the 800 range and I have been very successful. It works as long as you do a Mediterranean type diet the rest of the time as well and skip breakfast. And you don’t have to eat fish. I am a strict vegetarian, vegan apart from organic cheese and yogurt.
    But if you want to eat rubbish (ie meat and or carbs) you need to go lower to compensate.

    Califdreamer, I think it’s so great you found a routine that works so well for you. In the book I mentioned above, Jacqueline Whitehart does say that those who are successful with the original plan should just stick with it. The revised plan is for those of us who just couldn’t find the 500 calories sustainable. You brought up a very good point, about the less you eat on FD the less you need. So many people on Facebook fasting groups tell me that.

    Fatrabbit, I really can’t call my eating Mediterranean, but I don’t eat a lot of rubbish. What I keep hearing is that those who do eat a lot of junk have a hard time, even doing the 500 calories.

    I think what bothers me about the Mediterranean Diet is that there’s no clear definition of it. For example, Dr. Mosley recommends coconut oil along with olive oil, but other experts say focusing on coconut oil is not part of the Med diet and should be avoided. Go figure. All I know is, I’m so grateful to Dr. Mosley for giving us 5:2.

    Personally I think that eating anything on fast days just makes it harder. However my weight has been higher for the past couple of months although my fat isn’t any more. (Possible I put on some visceral fat, but my pants still fit.)

    When you even eat a small amount it can knock your hormones out of the fat burning mode, depending on what you eat.

    I also disagree that meat and carbs are rubbish. If it weren’t for carbs there wouldn’t be enough food in the world to feed everyone. Also coming out of a ranching background, I know the animals we raised ate food that humans simply can’t eat and it wasn’t really possible to grow food people could eat on that land, at least organic. I know that isn’t always the case in the modern world. Still it is a point that is often not thought about. Personally I enjoy some grass feed beef, at least if my Grandmother didn’t cook it. (She was really good at baking though.)

    I’m actually grateful there is so much carb/meat consumption in the world. That means there is more fruits and vegetables to go around. If everyone in the world eat the same way, we would simply starve, human population would greatly reduce and maybe humans couldn’t even exist. So when I walk past something like a crowded McDonalds I just think those people are doing me a favor. (However one of them was eating their stinky fries on a train to an airport once and that made me feel sick, that wasn’t a favor at all!)

    Getting back to the point though, if you are going to eat, you are forcing 5:2 to be more about calorie restriction. Eating more is going to slow you down. When I look at the 800 BSD they were doing that everyday for like two months. To me that is torture. While I’m very sure it will work well for two months, long term it would probably fail. The body will adapt at some point.

    That is the biggest problem I have with eating on fast days. I believe it is setting up the body for long-term failure. Clearly many if not most avoid that, maybe because of the actual fasting hours that happen, but it seems the more food the greater the long-term risk is.

    From a weight loss perspective meat is rubbish, it is high calorie with low nutritional value, as are carbs, and it is not what we need other people to be eating from a selfish perspective either as it takes more resources to feed an animal to become meat contributing to deforestation, habitat loss and climate change than to eat their feed directly. The places where animals can be raised exclusively on grass are few and far between, and are not the ones being used by fast food chains. You might have a point about the carbs in that respect though. There may be too many people on the planet already for everyone to get enough vegetables, but if land was used for vegetable production instead of meat production that might not be the case. Especially if research was done into veg to grow in more difficult climates, we currently rely on far too few plants.

    When I have settled into maintenance I may well try some full day fasts for health reasons but for me eating once has been sustainable and has certainly burned fat well. Losing 80 lbs in 8 months with 800 calorie fast days wouldn’t have happened if the fat didn’t get burned. And doing it for so long maintaining nutritional intake is important, I feel it is healthier to still get my minimum of five veg a day and other nutrients from legumes/nuts/seeds/dairy on fast days. I have learned a lot about how to eat well and am not simply going to put it all back on. I think our individual metabolisms vary a lot, it is not accurate to say only no food fasts work any more than it would be to say 800 calories is the magic number and if you eat less you would be doomed to fail.

    It isn’t actually a Mediterranean diet, but a Mediterranean type diet, which does lead to confusion as it isn’t very clear. But the idea is simple. No processed food, no special low fat food, no sugary food including sugary fruit but berries, apples, pears etc that aren’t so high in sugar are fine, no bread pasta etc except small quantities made from whole grains, lots of veg but leaning away from the root ones towards the highly coloured and dark green leafy ones. Legumes and nuts and seeds are a staple. Good oils only. MM does say coconut oil is good, but recent analysis of the research that said it was good, along with butter etc have turned out to be comparing it to low fat sugar added replacements rather than to genuinely good fats like olive oil and so were flawed and inaccurate and so saturated fats still ought to be avoided. Full fat dairy is not as good for you as some people are making out but it is still better than the low fat alternatives. My sister went on a coconut oil spree for months as she read it was good for you. She spread it on toast, put it in everything she cooked and sent her cholesterol level through the roof. It is not good. The old if it is solid at room temperature test it isn’t good for you test still applies to fats. Fish, dark chocolate and red wine in moderation also fit into the Med type diet but are not compulsory, although thought should be given to replacing the fish oil with ones from flax and chia seeds which have the essential fatty acids your body needs.

    I disagree that meat is rubbish. But I do agree that it should be a relatively smaller part of a balanced diet. Saturated animal fats were demonised during the 80s and 90s but there is scant real evidence that they are actually harmful.

    Same with carbs. After 52 years of the damage that a diet high in high-carb junk foods has done to my system, I find that I am healthier and happier and lighter by eating less carbs. But for someone like my wife, who weights less than 50 kilos, a diet high in whole foods and carbs seems to be fine.

    I’ve just been browsing through the active topics and came across this one about upping the 2 FAST DAY calories to 800.

    I’ve tried the 500 5:2 and failed miserably. I upped my calories to 800 5 weeks ago, and am pleased to tell you all that I have lost TWO pounds, just shy of ONE kg, EVERY WEEK.

    It’s so much more realistic and I have had no problem sticking to 800 calories. To compensate for the extra calories I have reduced my TDEE, which was 1800, to 1500 on NFDS.

    My weekly calorie consumption works out as follows:

    FDs 1600
    NFDs 7500
    Total 9100

    An average of 1300 CALORIES/DAY

    I do not do a huge amount of exercise, but enjoy a good brisk walk, and I do a 15 minute yoga routine each morning, oh and my two granddaughters keep me active! I am 65 and have hypothyroidism which has played havoc with my metabolism, but even so doing the 800 DEFINITELY WORKS.

    Give it a try.

    p.s. regarding the nutritional value of meat here are a few brief facts:

    100g almonds contain 612 calories, and 21 g of protein;
    100g beef contains 136 calories, and 22.5 g of protein;
    100g of mackerel contains 220 calories, and 18.7 g of protein;
    100g of chicken contains 106 calories, and 24 g of protein;
    100g of cheddar cheese contains 412 calories, and 25.5 g of protein;
    100g of raw garlic contains 98 calories, and 7.9 g of protein;
    100g of carrots contains 35 calories, and 0.6 g of protein;

    Most vegetables are very low in proteins per 100g.

    The above illustrates an interesting comparison; the figures are prior to any cooking and in their raw/natural state.

    @fat rabbit. Cholesterol is not a problem as such if your inflammatory markers are low. For example your CRP levels are a good guide for inflammation. In fact many people may experience increased levels of total cholesterol during weight loss. If youre shedding fat its got to go into your bloodstream to get to your liver. Total cholesterol is LDL + HDL + 20% triglycerides (ie fat). Dark chocolate as part of a Mediterranean type diet? Really? What’s the sugar content of the dark chocolate? Had a similar conversation with someone else trying to espouse the benefits of dark chocolate. If you really believe it has benefits then just eat the cacao seeds without all the added sugar.

    Hmmmm … if you eat low carb which works well for fasting your diet will likely be heavy on meat or at least eggs. There are lots of ways to eat healthy and lose weight. Personally I don’t eat that much meat, but I live in Japan where meat is expensive. However I far from being a vegan. There isn’t anything wrong with being a vegan. I think it is harder to get all the nutrition needed without supplements, but I’m sure people do it.

    The reason a lot of land can’t be used for vegetable/fruit production is water. There are vast tracks of land where food for grazing can be grown and in fact grow naturally but it simply isn’t possible to grow water intensive crops to any degree. It has nothing to do with deforestation as there are no forests in the first place. Deforestation happens as much for food crops as does for animals and in those places it takes a lot less land per animal, but that is a different issue. Most grazing lifestock are raised on food and resources that humans can’t easily use.

    As human population are growing water is becoming more of an issue not less.

    Actually it is really cool how well fasting works with almost any type of diet! Back on topic I guess for the people that need it 800 calories is better if it gives them a few more hours of fasting they wouldn’t have been able to get.

    Hopefully those 800 calories avoid processed foods which are probably the real diet killers. (Good point @big_bill)

    Dykask, I totally agree that no matter what style of eating, and whether you choose 500 or 800 calories, 5:2 works! Yes, the real killers are an abundance of junk food, no matter what style you eat.

    I really hope Dr. Mosley reads these posts and writes a new book on 5:2, incorporating all styles of eating, unlike his 8 Week Blood Sugar Diet book (which I did read).

    Everyone is so different. I actually feel best on a lot of plant proteins and carbs. But the carbs I mostly choose are brown rice, quinoa, gluten free oats, flax meal, gluten free pasta, etc. Everyone has to find their own way, and it’s so great that 5:2 allows for that.

    Can someone please tell me about the 800cal per day diet, please. I’m new here.

    moumallick6, as the above discussion will tell you, 5:2 can be done the original way with a calorie limit on fast days of 500 (or 600 for men). The new option, for those who’ve tried 500cal and find it too hard it to allow up to 800cal on fast days. Nothing else changes, you still have to make your own choices about what and when to eat on fast days.

    There is also a blood sugar diet, designed for people with diabetes risk which involved doing 800cal every day for 8 weeks. If you are interested in that look at:

    @moumallick6. There is nothing magical about 500, 600 and now 800 cal per day. It is not based on any science but rather a number that Michael Mosley thought most people could at least do. It is loosely based on the work of Valter Longo and Krista Vardy. Lots of people do zero cals (Im one but there are lots of others as well). Find a version of 5:2 as long as its doable for you. All diets work…..for a while. You need to find something that you can do for the rest of your life. Otherwise its just another fad diet.

    Bigbooty, actually this is not just a number Dr. Mosley made up in his head. This was probably based on the original two day diet study by Dr. Michelle Harvie and fasting researcher Dr. Mark Mattson. In that study participants ate an average (give or take) 800 calories on their fasting days. And they lost weight.

    I hope the good doctor gives us another book to clear up any misinformation.

    @veganish – just because people lost weight while eating 800 calories on “fasting” days doesn’t mean it is ideal. Any eating while fasting is a compromise at least to some degree. I remember reading Dr. Fung’s blog where he was talking about if diet soda while fasting was okay. He said he is against consuming artificial sweeteners but if it allowed one to fast then go ahead and drink it. I raise that point because that is my weakness, however over time my consumption of diet soda is declining. I can’t say it hurt but I’m sure it doesn’t help. I think the same can be said with eating calories while fasting. Maybe it doesn’t really interfere with the desired weight loss, on the other hand it doesn’t help. The only justification is it enables someone to maintain the diet. That is a very important thing though.

    I never said it was “ideal”, just mentioning where that 800 calorie number probably came from. I’ve been reading in so many groups that Dr. M sort of invented that 800 calorie figure, but I guess until he finally goes into greater detail, we’ll keep making our own assumptions.

    I think we all have to find our own way. I guess I’m a little too enthusiastic because 5:2 is now working for me at 800 cals. But some use 500, some 300, some don’t like to eat at all on fasting days because it stimulates hunger so much.

    Whatever works for us is the perfect number be it 0 or 800 calories. I’m just grateful for 5:2. Sorry if I sounded a bit rude in my post above.

    When my husband and I began Fasting 4+ years ago, he had lots to lose and I had only a few pounds [so I thought], so we opted for 600 calories/Fasting day for each of us. I know that women are supposed to eat 500 calories, but as I said, I didn’t need to lose a lot of weight. And it worked! For both of us.
    My husband lost 45 pounds and has kept it off. He kept losing until he got skinnier than he wanted, so he raised his Target Weight by 8 pounds. Still on the Fasting Lifestyle, he pretty much stays at his Target Weight.
    I thought that 5-6 pounds would be a good number to lose, and I reached that. As I continued the Fasting Lifestyle, my weight went lower and I revised the number downward by 2 pounds. Then by a pound more. And there I stay, pretty much. Still planning meals for Fast Days with a total of 600 calories, but then I have 8 oz milk and 1 ounce Cheddar for ‘lunch’ to keep up my Calcium intake. So probably I ingest 800 calories on a Fast Day. This works for me, as my weight is where I want it to be. By the way, in addition to watching my Calcium, I think that it is important to keep the protein intake high: 15+ g. at breakfast and 20+ at dinner. This can be from meat or beans or eggs. Very important for my 68 yr old muscles.

    So many variations in the 5:2, and each one works for someone!

    I’m new–just started yesterday and am super-confused about the 500 vs the 800. My first FD, I did 500. Should I stick with that count?

    Hi ebninja and welcome:

    The original 5:2 called for 500 calories on diet days (600 for men). It has recently been changed to 800 just because the author felt more people would stick with the diet if they could eat more food.

    Bottom line, the less you eat, the more (and faster) you lose. It is up to you.

    Here are some tips: https://thefastdiet.co.uk/forums/topic/the-basics-for-newbies-your-questions-answered/

    Good Luck!

    Ebninja, welcome to the 5:2 way of life. I’ve just reached my weight goal after following the 5:2 at 500 calories per day for about 8 months. I read about the 800 calorie thing about halfway through, but stuck with 500. 800 would have been more than half of my TDEE. It would have taken forever to lose the 12.4 kg or 27 pounds I wanted to lose. As it was I lost an average of a little less than a pound per week. (About 2 pounds per week in the first month or two.) The closer you get to your ideal weight, the less calories you need to sustain it. 500 calorie fast days weren’t really difficult. I always knew I could eat more the next day. And I always feel great the morning after a FD.

    Good luck on your journey!

    A reminder: 800 calories works as long as you combine it with a Mediterranean type diet the whole time. It is not just about compliance. 500 calories was a level arrived at randomly, there is more to intermittent fasting than just calorie restriction.

    Hi rabbit:

    I know many people that have successfully lost weight on 5:2 that did not follow a Mediterranean diet. They followed low fat diets, high fat diets and diets that don’t have a name. It works for any foods you eat as long as you comply with the calorie restrictions – 500 (or 800 if you want to lose slower) on diet days and TDEE or less on non-diet days.

    In my opinion, it is hard enough for a newbie to make the drastic changes 5:2 requires, much less overlaying an entirely new requirement of the types of foods that can be eaten at the same time. My experience has been that people that start doing 5:2 correctly eating the diet they are used to eating often will gradually change their food choices as they go along. But starting 5:2 and combining it with a radical change in food choices, too, is often a recipe for quitting both entirely.


    Am delighted that there is now flexibility to eat 800 calories on a Fast day. I did 5:2 in 2014 and found 500 calories difficult on some days. This is a lifestyle change for me to gain health benefits, not just about weight loss, so I am more likely to stick to it long term. I eat really well generally anyway; I have more issues around wine and socialising than I do food!

    This forum is super – thank you for those of you who have been commenting. It really does help.

    I am starting today, I looked at a photograph of me last night on facebook taken at the weekend and I was shocked, have been kidding myself, gave up smoking at the beginning of the year which hasn’t helped weight control but I have gradually put on 3 stones in 10 years, I am a holistic therapist so I need and desperately want to walk the talk, with 4 teenagers in the house its really tricky and unusual working pattern as well. Health is key not just weight loss, really worried about feeling hungry as I am so used to eating chocolate whenever I need to or crisps…any helpful starter tips would be so welcome, your posts are really helpful and interesting to read, I am 50 this year, thanks Lou.

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