Did 5:2 work for you? If not post here and tell me why...

(212 Posts)
BetsyBell Sat 04-Jan-14 10:24:55

I'm a huge advocate for 5:2 but I often wonder about the people who drift away from the main threads and if it's because in the long run they didn't get on with it.

I understand all the positives about intermittent fasting but in the interest of balance I'd like to know why it doesn't work out for some people.

If you didn't get on with 5:2 for whatever reason I'd love to hear from you, mainly so I can dish out better advice to people on the main threads!

morningtoncrescent62 Sat 30-Aug-14 16:26:44

I tried 5:2 hoping it would sort out my food/eating issues for once and for all by helping me adjust my appetite. I've been yo-yo dieting since childhood (my first diet as a child was more than 40 years ago) and the brutal truth is that, left to eat what I want, my daily calorie intake is about 4000 calories which at 5' 3" is a problem! I spent about four months on 5:2 and got completely fixated on food and eating - the amount of energy I had to put into controlling my eating was exhausting, I thought about food all the time, and it triggered binges the like of which even I haven't known before, eating until I was physically sick. So my body never adjusted, which was what brought me to IF in the first place.

However, as I've just posted on the main thread, I still learned some helpful things from 5:2, like drinking lots of water (and other drinks) and not snacking. I'm back on the only thing that ever works for me, which is keeping calorie intake down and consistent, and reminding myself to drink lots and not snack is helping.

notadoctor Mon 11-Aug-14 22:02:51

5:2 didn't suit me at all because it made me completely obsessed with food which usually I'm not at all!

OneSkinnyChip Mon 11-Aug-14 21:58:10

It didn't suit me because fast days were hard and then I binged on non fast days. Slimming World seems to be working for me at the minute because I am cooking lovely meals and not feeling like I am on a diet at all.

AthenaVHowerton Fri 01-Aug-14 17:36:45

It really did help – especially because after a while your body starts to become adjusted to it. The only issue that I did run into was that during fasting periods, my energy levels would be relatively low. I might have planned to go to the gym for example only to find that I was just not interested at all.

Varady experimented with FD cals and the 25% TDEE was for the quickest weight loss that still retained muscle.
So, higher cal FDs still work, just more slowly. Try that ?

I'm a strenuous exerciser with 2400 TDEE. My FDs were around the 900 cal mark for the first few months. I wasn't officially overweight, just wanted to trim down, so I ate enough to fuel my training.
After several months, I could manage 500-600 FDs quite easily, but I was already near my target shape.

Now I'm on maintenance and I do 600-900 FDs, plus daily 16:8, because that suits me.

My health and energy on IF / 5:2 are much better than any time during my 10 miserable low carb years.
My cardio fitness and muscles have improved a lot too, at age 58 !
I feel great.
<I'm sure different diets suit different people>

FoundMyWay Sat 26-Jul-14 11:23:40

I'm trying to do it and not always suceeding to be honest! My main problem is I do a lot of exercise (a lot of spin classes and walking around pushing two toddlers in a pram) and I find days that I fast and exercise I'm desperate for more food in the evenings.

The post fast days are hard too because I feel like pants the morning after and my energy levels for exercise (and patience with the kids!) drop a lot.

I don't know what the balance is, drop the exercise for 4 days (2 fast days and the 2 days afterwards) OR drop the fast days and go mental at the gym? Neither appeal.

Rainydayblues Sat 05-Jul-14 21:16:33

I did 5:2 for 9 months, in that time I had more colds and fevers than at any other time in my life. I often felt angry through hunger and I lost a total of 1-2lbs despite being very active.
I now do the 16:8 for health reasons combined with low carb and if I'm really hungry I just eat something...No big deal!

Dh still does 5:2 and he seems fine with it.

Some people lose no weight on 16:8 or even gain.
Some find they automatically eat less in the shorter time period, or have cut down junk. Hence they lose weight.

A few people find that fasting itself will correct their metabolism / endocrine system, so that they don't have to eat below TDEE to lose weight.
Similarly, a few low carbers find they have cut out trigger foods, or just cutting junk enables them to lose on the same calories as before.

However, the vast majority of people, especially women, will only lose weight if they eat & drink fewer calories, with a 1lb weekly loss requiring about a 3,000 calorie weekly deficit.

Some folk can become evangelical about a system that worked for them, but we all have different metabolisms / exercise routines / lifestyles / preferences / age / body frame / health issues etc.

The identical diet & exercise can have completely different effects on 2 people of similar size and age.

Even with the same calorie deficit, different diets work better for different people 5:2 / ADF / low carb / low fat / Mediteranean .....

WashingFanatic Sat 28-Jun-14 12:02:27

I really couldn't get on with 5:2. I gave it a good go last year - did it for about a month. I did lose weight but I was utterly miserable. I found I was dreading fast days, trying to put them off. No matter what I ate on fast days I had a constant feeling of depriving myself, and found myself gorging on nfd's.
I don't think any extra advice could have helped me, it just really didn't suit me.

I've been doing 16:8 since January and tbh I wonder why more people don't do it, especially those who like the idea of fasting but couldn't get on with 5:2.

I do 16:8 every day. I eat between 1pm and 9pm and fast between 9pm and 1pm. I've not changed what I eat particularly (maybe subconsciously make healthier choices...who knows) but I've lost 1st 8lbs since January. Slow and steady, i'm in no rush and have about the same to go again before i'm at my target weight. I don't exercise...i'm starting to now, more for health reasons than weight though as the weight is coming down anyway.

On 16:8 you don't need to calorie count, there are no 'deprived' days, no banned foods, you can eat what you want pretty much as long as you only eat for 8 hours out of 24 and stick to just water and black coffee/tea during fast hours. I'm a huge 16:8 fan.

zombiesheep Fri 02-May-14 08:38:24

I ate far too much on non fast days.

Had a huge temper on fast days, thought of nothing but food and ended up lying in bed because I had no energy to study or work.

I started to dread days where I fasted and when the day came I'd want to go to bed early to get the nightmare over with grin

I tried it for 2/3 weeks.

Cat2014 Fri 02-May-14 08:31:02

I've been doing 5:2 for a year and a half. I love it.
I had 3 quarters of a stone to lose. It went up and down for a while but eventually I lost it. However since Xmas I thought I'd do 6:1 to maintain and found I've put on half the weight! So I'm starting 5:2 again now. Next time I have to maintain I'll be trying alternate weeks (of 6:1 then 5:2) or 5:2 but with slightly more cals.
I feel healthier on this woe though and find it very sustainable.

I have been doing this since last year and I have lost nothing, apart from my sense of humour. The other half has lost over a stone.

I don't cheat, I drink loads, I don't over eat on the other days.

jdd Tue 08-Apr-14 18:34:10

Thanks for your reply bigchoc, that must be what is happening although its hard to believe that I could be eating an extra 3000 calories on my NFDs. I really am trying to eat lesson NFDs so hopefully I'll see some downward movement soon.

jdd Sounds like you are eating back your FD deficit on NFDs. Many folk automatically do this if they don't count cals.
You can maintain like this, but not lose.

I suggest you count on NFDs until you achieve your goal weight.
Once there, since it is only 7 lb loss, ypur TDEE won't have significantly changed, so you could probably maintain without counting.

jdd Fri 04-Apr-14 14:35:24

I have been doing 5:2 for 11 weeks and lost a grand total of 2.5 pounds!

I'm not giving up yet because I don't find the fds too hard and I think it's a good habit to be in for the health benefits but I am disappointed. I joined a circuit training class the other night and found that my body fat percentage is 33.5% so I've obviously got plenty of fat to lose.

In the first week I lost 2 pounds. I lost another 2 over the 5 weeks after that and then in the subsequent 5 weeks I've gained and lost the same pound and a half. I have a healthy BMI of 22 and I only wanted to lose half a stone or so. I am not counting calories because I want to find a long term WOE and I don't want to count calories for the rest of my life. I know I am not eating more than before 5:2 though as I'm sticking to exactly the same meal plans, ingredients, snacks etc. In fact, in the last month I've given up chocolate for lent and stopped snacking after 7pm which was my worst food habit.

I'm going to continue to try to get in more good habits to try to reduce my body fat percentage. My plan is to:

Carry on fasting 2 days a week
Do 3 high intensity weights/cardio workouts each week
No eating after 7pm
Reduce chocolate and other high sugar treats
Reduce carb portions
Increase veg portions
Drink more water and green tea

Surely this has to work!!!

nouvellevag Fri 04-Apr-14 10:27:21

Well, I have officially quit. sad I was being optimistic that I could handle it despite history of disordered eating. Think I was glossing over what I used to be like. This is weird to admit, but by the time I'd done 5:2 for a few weeks, every FD seemed like an endless punishment for being fat and disgusting. I'm not prepared to sacrifice the mental health I've gained in order to be smaller, so I stopped.

I wish more people were aware that it's not always as simple as a lack of willpower. sad

ishouldcocoa Mon 03-Mar-14 14:36:34

I used to post on the 5:2 boards, Betsy, but they move too fast!

I do lurk there a lot, though grin

I just hate hate hate calorie counting. It makes me want to curl up and die. I have spent YEARS calorie counting in one way or another, and its the fastest track I know to a packet of biscuits. At least with 5:2 I don't have that worry somehow.

BetsyBell Mon 03-Mar-14 09:44:41

nelly We keep up motivation by posting on the main threads (currently at number 40!) - it's a fantastically supportive place.

From what you say cocoa it's helped you enormously - IBS problems relieved, maintaining weight despite losing hours of exercise each week.

Come and join us on the main threads if you feel like you need a bit of extra support/chat/motivation... thread 40

ishouldcocoa Mon 03-Mar-14 09:32:05

I'm similar to rookie - I've just reached my first anniversary of 5:2, and have lost very little weight. However, I still continue...

I have IBS, which is helped HUGELY by not eating 2 days a week. My father has dementia and I've read that fasting can help with that, and lastly and importantly, I have not put ON any weight over the last 12 months.

I've had a few joint problems recently, which has meant that my 3 x week dance class has gone to the wall... and I have not put any weight on with the lack of exercise - and its thanks to 5:2.

I just need to get my head around cutting down more on NFDs.

Nellymay Mon 03-Mar-14 09:01:11

I've been doing 5:2 since July 2013. I enjoy not worrying about food.and don't really find fasting too difficult. My DH does it with me too. Also I'm doing to for health reasons as my mum has macular degeneration and Alzheimer's so I'm hoping the claims of 5:2 helping to keep you healthy are good

Previously I've done weight watchers, paul McKenna, intuitive eating calories - loads! I self sabotage, and rebel - who am I. Rebelling against??

BUT I'm not losing ! I tend to eat whatever I like on nfd and at times I see myself rebelling against fasting although I never yet broken a fast. I'm feeling a bit half hearted about fasting, basically.
I've had some big things happening in my life recently ,like house move and being up to our eyes in workmen for the past 3/4 months.

How do people keep their motivation up, when they're flagging in enthusiasm?

BetsyBell Mon 17-Feb-14 07:38:49

16:8 is where you eat within an 8 hour window each day, eg 12-8pm.

Breadandwine Mon 17-Feb-14 01:36:27

Morris I can show you a day's recipes - finishing up with a dinner which will leave you absolutely stuffed - total 450 calories!

Breakfast:
porridge - <200 if you use water instead of soya milk.

Lunch:
A bowl of carrot and coriander soup will set you back a further 110cals.

Dinner:
veg curry, <140 cals.

I don't know if you've tried pushing back breakfast each week, so that eventually you can cut it out altogether? Then do the same with lunch - so that you finish up saving all your calories for the evening meal. That's what most people end up doing.

Or, if you must have breakfast, as some people (including Dr Mosley) do, then try leaving out lunch, leaving more calories for later. grin

MorrisZapp Sun 16-Feb-14 23:44:07

I've packed it in. I couldn't do it. Just got too hungry. I'd love to lose a stone but the truth is I can't face the drastic cut in calories that one way or another I'd have to make to get there.

On the plus side, my experience has made me much more aware of calories etc and is still helping me now. I'm a much more committed gym attendee too. If people can get by on 500 cals a day then I admire them and indeed envy them. I don't think it'll ever be me though.

ellengeorgia Sun 16-Feb-14 23:39:28

So what is 16:8? I have been doing 5:2 for 2 weeks but have not heard of the other one? thanks

BetsyBell Sun 16-Feb-14 18:32:04

Lots of people say their IBS improves on 5:2 - maybe those bowels are irritable just because they're in use too much - need the occasional day off to cheer up!

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