No More Elephants in the Room – 5:2 Fast Dieters lose over 10 tonnes!

Over 5,000 members of the forum have been tracking their weight-loss progress on the 5:2 diet using the site’s unique progress tracker, and the combined total is now in excess of an impressive 13,800kg. That’s the equivalent of two elephants! The average rate of loss per dieter is 0.5 kg per week, and although all shapes and sizes are ‘losers’, the data reveals a great deal more information about how well different types of dieters (men vs women, younger vs older etc) are doing.

The progress tracker was designed by web developer Mariska (Moogie) Taylor.

“Anyone who wants to try the 5:2 diet can register at the free forum and enter their own weight data over time to see their progress graphically. Then they can compare with other members who have chosen to make their progress charts public,”  Moogie explains. “But on top of that we have anonymised and combined the data to give overall statistics. Because the 5:2 diet has only become popular recently, the evidence base for its success has been lacking. We now have a substantial and consistent set of data – albeit self-reported – which demonstrates that this way of eating really works! As we are all getting smaller, the data is getting bigger, and it no longer seemed right to keep it to ourselves, so we’ve made it public.”
While some may remain sceptical, Moogie is hoping that this new evidence will encourage more people to give the 5:2 diet a try.


“Some find it easier than others, but that is where the forum comes into its own: we have hundreds of posts every day – there are people who have been following 5:2 for many months and there are complete beginners, and it’s a very supportive place. So you can get advice, compare notes, celebrate your personal weight-loss achievement or pour out your woes!”

“To be quite honest I never expected my forum to take off. I just created it in January 2013 because it was what I was looking for and couldn’t find elsewhere.”

Mariska (Moogie) Taylor (forum admin)
About the 5:2 diet
The 5:2 Diet/’The Fast Diet’ is a revolutionary new way to lose weight and get healthier, pioneered by Dr Michael Mosley in BBC Horizon’s “Eat, Fast and Live Longer” documentary in August of 2012. Since then it has become an internationally best-selling book (‘The Fast Diet’, co-authored by Dr Michael Mosley & Mimi Spencer) and has spread rapidly from the UK to Europe, America, Canada, Australia and many other countries. The diet involves dramatically cutting calorie intake on two days of the week (to 500 calories for women, 600 calories for men) but eating normally on the other five days.

“I’ve spent just about my whole life hating my body and trying to lose weight. I have almost always been on one diet or another, but I’ve never kept the weight off in the long term. Since
starting 5:2 a year ago I have now lost 0ver 3 stone (20 kg) and have gone from being clinically obese to having a normal weight. More importantly, this way of eating feels quite sustainable, and once I have reached my target (not long now!) I am sure I can follow a milder form of this diet indefinitely to maintain my weight – as many of our forum members are already doing!”

Mariska (Moogie) Taylor
About the forum

mm tweet
The 52fastdiet forum was started after Moogie tweeted Dr Mosley shortly after the launch of his book in January 2013 and asked if he was planning to set up a forum – and if not, could she do it? He replied with two words “DO PLEASE”. (This tweet can be found on his twitter timeline on January 10th to the twitter account @MoogieTaylor). Moogie promptly purchased the domain and went about setting up a forum. She soon developed a Progress Tracker system to allow users to track their weight loss progress with 5:2. The forum has really taken off, gaining over 10,000 members since it launched in January, over half of whom are using the Progress Tracker system. At any given time there are at least as many unregistered guest users browsing the forum as registered users, and even up to five times as many. It’s become a really lovely community full of helpful advice, tips, support and encouragement. The progress tracker collates the data from all the users to create the forum-wide stats that are now available for public view.



Big thanks to Caroline & Dominic at the forum for helping me put together this ‘Press Release’ 🙂

How The 5:2 Fast Diet Forum began with just a tweet…

Having been quite an early adopter of the 5:2 Diet (later to be known as The Fast Diet thanks to the book of the same name by Dr Mosley & Mimi Spencer) in August of 2012 I eventually started looking online for other likeminded souls. I guess my friends in real life were getting tired of hearing my evangelical babbling about the wonders of the 5:2 fasting method and I just wanted someone else who understood that I could talk with!

Towards the end of the year I discovered a number of Facebook groups about this amazing way of eating, some of which were more active than others. It was through these groups that I found out about Dr Mosley’s then forthcoming book and placed my pre-order right away. I couldn’t wait for it to arrive and to be able to share it around once I’d read it. Actually to this day it’s still out on loan. Not that it matters, you really don’t need any books to do 5:2, all the info you need is out there free of charge (much of which can be found on the forum!).

With the launch of The Fast Diet book came an official website, minimal but something at least. Many of us on the Facebook groups had hoped for a forum as the now quite busy groups were getting harder and harder to follow due to the volume of posts – and important information was getting lost down the page all too quickly due to the nature of Facebook groups in general. A forum was needed in order to better organise the information and allow it to be found more easily.

Several of us tweeted the good Doctor about this need and his responses indicated that he didn’t intend or have the time to set up a forum. As a web developer myself with forum admin experience and some spare server space kicking around I offered my services. The two-word tweet I received in response would prove to be yet another life changer (the diet itself being the first of course!) for me from Dr Michael Mosley.

mm tweet

I tweeted him a simple message thanking him for the 5:2 diet and asking if I could set up a forum for my fellow 5:2 dieters. His response as you see above was simply a quoted reply with the words ‘DO PLEASE’ added. This can still be found on his Twitter timeline.

I immediately set about purchasing a suitable domain name and installing the forum software – and thus The 5:2 Fast Diet Forum was born, so named to ensure both important keywords were covered and help us (hopefully!) be found by Google.

Members trickled in from the Facebook group and slowly but surely the forum grew. As I found myself with a bit of unexpected free time in the first couple of weeks of the forum’s existence, I decided to develop a ‘Weight Loss Progress Tracker’ to allow members to graph their 5:2 diet success and with the hope of learning a little more about the effectiveness of the diet. The system has seen much development since its launch, including forum-wide stats compiled on a regular basis which display graphically how different types of people are doing on The Fast Diet. The data can be filtered by things such as age group, starting BMI, gender, length of time on the diet and really does offer some interesting figures. New features such as graph trendlines and a TDEE calculator are now much valued and well used features of the 5:2 Diet Progress Tracker.

In the first 6 months the 5:2 diet forum gained over 8,000 registered users with up to 200 browsing at any one time. The forum became so busy that before long it needed a more professional look, extra pages of information and additional staffers. The server started to fall over, it was just too busy – at which point a VPS was set up and the site moved to its new, better equipped home.

We are now getting close to the 10,000 members mark, with around half of the members logging their 5:2 diet results on the Progress Tracker! When interest in the 5:2 diet/The Fast Diet peaked we were gaining around 70-100 new members a day. Even now we still have over 30 newbies join us every day and around 400-500 new posts too. That’s more than ten times as many posts per day as the next most popular Fast Diet forum 😉

No doubt there will be more to add to this story as the forum continues to grow, but for now if you want to know more why not head over there yourself and take a look around? 🙂