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!

fairisleknitter Sat 04-Jan-14 11:09:08

I found that not eating very much left me feeling in a rageblush. It wasn't compatible with being in the presence of other humans!

I used to feel quite ragy in the past (decades ago!) and I had linked it to waiting too long to eat. I only recalled this when trying a low calorie day.

I feel best if I have plenty of protein, for breakfast especially.

I don't think one way of eating suits every individual.

jellyandcake Sat 04-Jan-14 11:11:09

I get grumpy too and couldn't look after my toddler properly while trying to fast. I get REALLY cross when hungry!

jellyandcake Sat 04-Jan-14 11:13:35


BetsyBell Sat 04-Jan-14 11:13:40

I don't think I could have done it when mine were toddler aged (or younger) - hunger AND tiredness are not that compatible for me either.

How long did you try it for fairisle and jelly?

jellyandcake Sat 04-Jan-14 11:15:11

Also, fasting to me felt like a punishment and reinforcedthe vvoice in my head saying 'you are fat and disgusting and shouldn't eat'. It's just too severe for some people, I think.

BetsyBell Sat 04-Jan-14 11:15:24

Completely agree about aiming for more protein over carb-based meals (which most breakfasts are). Protein (and fats) keep us sated for longer whereas carbs seem to make me feel hungrier.

jellyandcake Sat 04-Jan-14 11:16:45

Not long! I realised on the first day that it was the wrong approach for me!

BanjoPlayingTiger Sat 04-Jan-14 11:17:56

I got extremely cold on fast days. My fingers and lips started to go blue so I decided it probably wasn't for me!

jellyandcake Sat 04-Jan-14 11:18:34

Low carbing was much more successful for me. It allowed me to enjoy food and didn't take me into a dangerous headspace of hunger/denial/bingeing. Slimming World was effective for the same reasons

fairisleknitter Sat 04-Jan-14 11:23:47

It was one day Betsy! I honestly could not function on so little and be kind to my children.

Reading about the theory I did take away from it that I ought to stop the suppers before bed and I have shifted some weekend dinners earlier in the day to leave a bigger gap between dinner and breakfast. It took me off my strict(ish) schedule of eating every few hours. And it does put me off giving children a constant supply of snacks.

BetsyBell Sat 04-Jan-14 11:26:32

Gosh banjo - that is extreme shock

Thank you for all your answers so far smile I agree that there's no one 'right' way for everybody and it is interesting to hear what other people do get on with and why.

I would love to do it but just get so hungry. I can't think of anything but food, my stomach growls very noisily, and I can't focus on my work or anything else. I think it's low blood sugar. Even if I eat an omelette for breakfast, so lots of protein, I'm ravenous by lunchtime. Same if I try porridge instead. If you have any advice I'd love to hear it but I think 5:2 is just not suitable for my metabolism.

MichaelFinnigan Sat 04-Jan-14 11:33:50

I ate twice as much on a non fast day as I normally would so overall my intake was no less

And I found it hard when feeding the kids to not have anything myself

MichaelFinnigan Sat 04-Jan-14 11:36:27

What is like, and I'm sure the info is in there somewhere,but I've not had time to find it is for someone to say 'ok on fast days just have x, y and z' that's all.

That'd suit me. I don't need variation or to counjour up interesting meals if I could have something dead easy that would distract me from my greed but keep me within the calorie count that would be perfet .

Onetwothreeoops Sat 04-Jan-14 11:38:19

I did it for 6 weeks and dreaded the fast days, all I could think about was food. I was teary and ragey in equal parts and for the last two of those weeks didn't actually lose any weight. That was when I decided I'd had enough.

That was the first and last diet I've ever done.

Piscivorus Sat 04-Jan-14 11:39:00

It reinforced disordered eating for me. I struggled on the fast days, was so hungry I felt agitated, ill, tired and irritable and then had huge urges to binge on other days.

I am safer low carbing too.

BetsyBell Sat 04-Jan-14 11:42:32

notjustacigar how long did you give it? The general consensus for lots of us (but by no means everyone) is that it's a lot easier if you skip breakfast.

If you are interested in giving it a go maybe you could start with just pushing breakfast back by an hour and see how you get on with that? Drinking an extra cup of tea or coffee can help the hunger pangs. Then the next day push it back again - and so on until you've made to lunch. Once you've done that you could try a half calorie day (rather than 500/600) and see if that helps ease your way into it?

Personally I've found that the fasting has helped my hunger - in that I rarely feel hungry just because it's a designated meal time, but because I am actually hungry (iyswim). I also no longer fear feeling hungry.

I think the over-eating on non fast days self regulates after a while. But maybe not for everyone I guess? How long did you try it for michaelfinnigan?

BetsyBell Sat 04-Jan-14 11:43:28

By the way, I didn't start this thread to try and convince people to do it but I will offer advice if asked!

BetsyBell Sat 04-Jan-14 11:47:24

michaelfinnigan I find those meal soups from the supermarket very satisfying - come in about 250 calories each.

Many evening meals but without the carb element satisfy the criteria if you want to cook for the family eg, a bit of salmon/chicken with piles of veg (not potatoes) and salad - comes in at 250 calories. You can eat LOADS of veg and spice everything up with ginger/lime juice/chili etc etc.

headoverheels Sat 04-Jan-14 11:49:21

It worked well for me for about 8 weeks. After that I stopped losing weight (was still a fairly long way from target) even though I was still fasting. I think because I was eating too much on non fast days.

I decided to try 4:3 to kick start the weight loss, but I found it too hard to fast for 3 days. Then I gave up.

So in the end, for me, it was similar to other diets I've tried (have done WW a couple of times and tried low carbing) in that it was effective and easy to stick to for a couple of months but not in the long term.

BetsyBell Sat 04-Jan-14 11:53:03

Yes, it has to agree with you as a long term thing, otherwise it is just another diet. I know that if I stopped I would put on weight. Luckily I like it and I'm convinced of the health benefits so see it as a way of eating for life.

Again, thanks for all the responses - I'm so used to hearing the positive messages on the threads I inhabit that it's helpful to hear about the other side of it too.

WhomessweetWhomes Sat 04-Jan-14 11:53:35

I just found it a struggle, to the point where I just couldn't imagine making myself do it long term. I can't see how it would reduce your appetite or how you would get used to it when you are eating normally on the other days.
Low-carbing, on the other hand, reduced my appetite massively, had a much quicker effect on my weight, didn't really feel it was depriving me, gave me more energy (after the initial low-carb slump was over). With lc the only downside is the sheer inconvenience of having to avoid carbs. I found it so much easier to stick to than IF from a will-power point of view.

Abra1d Sat 04-Jan-14 11:56:44

I am still doing 5:2 but have to be really careful not to over-eat on normal days. I am really doing it for other health benefits and the jury still seems to be out on how much it benefits female blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

I am still slimmer than I was before I started 5:2, 18 months ago, so that is all to the good.

BetsyBell Sat 04-Jan-14 12:04:46

whomes I think a lot of us who do get on with tend towards low carbing for several days a week as well - but with a view to knowing that we are allowed carbs if we want them (say, at the weekend).

Abra1d I try and eat less during the week (which includes 2 fast days) so that I can have a bit extra on the weekend, or on a meal out. That way I'm still eating less over all but without the feeling deprived-on-a-diet feeling. It seems to work for me!

Orangeanddemons Sat 04-Jan-14 12:05:51

I just dreaded the fast days. They seem to come round too often. Also I didn't lose any weight until I went to 3:4, and they came round even more often then!

Also I'm a teacher and am very active at work. Standing up, walking round all the time, and I seemed to not be able to do it on work days. Just got very tired, bad tempered and ratty with the kids. I suspect it may have been easier if I was sat down in an office all day

fairisleknitter Sat 04-Jan-14 12:14:20

It's counter productive to be evangelical about particular regimes. I think it's sensible for you to hear other views Betsy.

I thought Michael Moseley's earlier programme where he looked into more accessible ways to lose fat was really informative (eat soup, move about more. have protein for breakfast etc.)

With diet days did you get the rage Betsy?

BetsyBell Sat 04-Jan-14 12:14:45

oranges I work in a school, on my feet all day (fair few teachers on the main threads too!) - I do find I prefer to have lunch on fast days when I'm working, though can wait it out till later in school holidays.

Just mentioning that so others who want to try it don't think it automatically won't work for them if they have an active job.

If I hadn't have lost weight doing it then I would not have kept it up, even though I'm convinced of the health benefits, so totally understand your reasons for giving up. I could not sustain 4:3 either.

BetsyBell Sat 04-Jan-14 12:19:38

I am fasting today so that's a good question fairisle! Some fast days I'm bursting full of energy, others not so much. Some days I'm a bit more snappy, others not at all. But I think I could say that about non fast days as well...

Today I am not bursting with energy - but I didn't sleep brilliantly, am a little bit hungover and it's grim outside. But I'm not snappy either, and certainly not raging! Just happy to noodle about on mumsnet grin

BetsyBell Sat 04-Jan-14 12:23:11

Oh and I've been doing 5:2 for nearly a year so I'm pretty comfortable with the fast days now.

jellyandcake Sat 04-Jan-14 13:17:20

I think the thing is that eating can be such a complex and emotional subject for a lot of us. Those of us who haven't got on with IF talk about rage, we refer to other WOE as 'safer' and I don't think we are talking just about the physical effects of fasting but the consequences for our mental wellbeing. The idea of fasting leads into dangerous territory for some people who struggle with disordered eating patterns and I know that for me, it stirred up a lot of negative feelings.

There is also the physical differences between people as mentioned as well. The suggestion of skipping breakfast would work perfectly for my MIL - she doesn't get hungry til late morning naturally and drinks gallons of tea. I'm an early rising tea-hater who finds coffee too harsh on an empty stomach and am most alert and productive in the mornings so it's when I like to get things done - but I can't concentrate or summon the energy for that without eating. I think that for people who don't get on with IF, all the practical tips in the world won't help. Similarly, I couldn't cope with MFP at all but others absolutely swear by it. When you find a WOE that really works for you it's great and I see why you want to help others with it, but some eating plans will never work for certain people and I think that is insurmountable.

Aquelven Sat 04-Jan-14 13:43:47

It just didn't work
I did it for eight weeks & only lost one pound. I kept track of my intake on MFP so know I was within the limit of 500 on fast days & never went over 1700 on non fast days. I have low thyroid but it's adequately controlled by pills so don't know if that contributed. I did exercise, not gym or anything but I have four dogs who I walk on lead every day for at least three miles.
I had such high hopes but just didn't work for me.

Abra1d Sat 04-Jan-14 15:11:48

Betsey, yes, I need to do something like that.

My other problem on non-fast days is that I eat well and sensibly until 3pm and then little demons start muttering about things downstairs in the kitchen (I work from home).

Lazysuzanne Sat 04-Jan-14 17:27:24

Low-carbing, on the other hand, reduced my appetite massively, had a much quicker effect on my weight, didn't really feel it was depriving me, gave me more energy

Whome, I think your example illustrates that different things work for different people.

My feeling based, on what I've read & heard, is that low carbing and IF may be different ways to activate similar mechanisms.
Perhaps to do with putting your metabolism under a little bit of stress but not too much stress?

I like the 16 hour fast/8 hour eating window approach, I've not tried approaches with fast days and non fast days but I've always been quite regular with eating times and amounts and so having a schedule which is the same every day suits me better.

ProphetOfDoom Sat 04-Jan-14 17:38:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BetsyBell Sat 04-Jan-14 17:50:50

When you're ready SchmaltzingMatilda come and join us again on the main threads smile

My fast day foods (apart from an occasional egg) are salads, soups (homemade or shop bought), veg, homemade curries. Protein part tends to be ham, half a pack of prawns, mussels in sauce, salmon fillet, veg, baked beans… (not all the same time of course). Sometimes I'm in the mood for carbs and have a jacket potato with beans. It doesn't matter what you eat but some foods go further so if, like me, you like to see a proper plate full then you have to bulk up on the veg.

BetsyBell Sat 04-Jan-14 17:52:04

Abra1d Working from home: I think I'd go for having a small late lunch (2pm?) then an early supper. It is a lot harder when the kitchen is close at hand. Willpower...

Mintyy Sat 04-Jan-14 17:53:38

I fasted for 6 months and lost at most 4lb. It just seemed too much like hard work for me.

Dh has lost nearly 3 stone in 15 months and a good friend of mine has lost 2 and a half stone in a year, so I know it works for some people.

mamalula Sat 04-Jan-14 18:01:28

I have fasted for 2days a week for the past 6months with a little break in the summer. I have lost NO weight! It is the most depressing thing. I have a lot of weight to lose! I think I must have been eating to much on my non fast days. I really struggled with it and hated my fast days. My amazing dh used to come early to cook dinner for the kids to help support me. But I never lost anything. I gave up just before Xmas and now feel so shit about myself! And have no idea what to do now. Seriously rubbish feeling!

headoverheels Sat 04-Jan-14 18:42:30

Mamalula, I recommend reading Eating Less by Gillian Riley. It's not really a diet but more of a look at the reasons why we overeat and some techniques to bring it under control.

BetsyBell Sat 04-Jan-14 19:09:00

mintyy, mamalula How frustrating to give it your all and get nothing out of it. The Gillian RIley book sounds like it might be worth looking at.

Before 5:2, I kept a food diary (spreadsheet on my computer) and logged absolutely everything I ate and what exercise I got, plus a column for notes about how I was feeling etc. It was a proper reality check and led to me being more mindful about what I was eating. It only works if you're completely honest with yourself of course. But it meant no calorie counting or expensive ww/sw/ll memberships. As a result I increased my healthy eating and recognised more about what I was eating, when and why.

fairisleknitter Sat 04-Jan-14 19:09:37

mamalula don't feel rubbish, it clearly doesn't suit everyone.

Mintyy Sat 04-Jan-14 19:49:18

So would you say it was your food diary or 5:2 that made you lose weight Betsy?

BetsyBell Sat 04-Jan-14 20:15:40

mintyy both - lost 2+ stone with the food diary/mindful eating. Got stuck for ages, put on a bit over last Christmas so started up 5:2 (having watched the Horizon doc in the summer with much interest) with the help of the MN threads a year ago. Lost another stone and a bit. Been maintaining since the summer. (Give or take a few lbs here and there with holidays and Christmas).

5:2 feels easier than being 'good' for a lengthy period, though the mindful eating set me up with good practices for doing 5:2. It would have felt a lot harder if I didn't already have a good idea of what a normal, healthy day's eating looked like.

BetsyBell Sat 04-Jan-14 20:20:12

5:2 is brilliant for maintaining a healthy weight. I only have to look at a biscuit to have half a pound stick straight to my hips so without the 2 fast days I'd have put that lost weight back on while I wasn't paying attention.

BetsyBell Sat 04-Jan-14 20:21:19

Disclaimer: brilliant for me - as we've established, it doesn't suit everyone.

EasterHoliday Sat 04-Jan-14 20:28:08

Mintyy - do you mind me asking how much you want / need to lose?
I'd like to get shot of 4 or maybe 5lbs (permanently, rather than "until I go out for dinner again") but I don't know whether this works just for small amounts or if it's simply too painful for that!

BetsyBell Sat 04-Jan-14 20:32:43

Easter If I'd come to this with very little to lose then I think I'd've abandoned it. I'd quite like to definitively shift another 5lbs but it's hugely difficult. I will happily settle for not putting weight back on though!

However, others report differently so the only way you can know is by trying it.

EasterHoliday Sat 04-Jan-14 20:35:12

My boss is doing it, an I have to get his secretary to warn me which are the fast days because he's intolerably (& unusually) grumpy those days! (at least he can joke about it on the full eating days)

BellaVita Sat 04-Jan-14 20:47:36

I love 5:2.

Never ever thought I could go without breakfast until I started 5:2. On my fast days I go to the gym too.

I didn't really have a huge amount to lose, was about 9.2 and wanted to get back to under 8.7. I am about 8.5 now, but I could look at a cream cake and put 2lb on very easily.

When I first started back in the spring of 2013 I used MFP which I found very helpful but for the last couple of months I haven't.

Mintyy Sat 04-Jan-14 21:20:18

What I find frustrating about 5:2 is that it is sold as foolproof and you just need to really restrict your calories on two days of the week and weight loss will automatically follow, when for many of us the maths just doesn't add up!
If dh eats 600 calories on 2 days per week then his calorie "allowance" for the other 5 days is higher than the average tdee (or whatever it is, I've forgotten the abbreviation) for a man because he has accumulated such a deficit by fasting.

But for me, my normal tdee is only 1500 per day so a deficit of 2,000 per week amounts to less than 1lb weight loss per week and I would still need to restrict myself quite severely on non-fasting days.

It worked well for the original presenter of the Panorama programme because he was a man and quite an active one at that (lots of footage of him running and swimming iirc).

For those of us with really tiny calorie requirements, the pain of fasting so severely really doesn't bring results that make it seem worthwhile.

spookyskeleton Sat 04-Jan-14 21:42:51

Betsy I was on the 5:2 thread for quute a while last year (have namechanged though). I did the diet on and off since April and probably lost half a stone maximum but I would then take my eye of the ball and the weight would go back on again. I am heavier now than when I started!! blush

My reasons for failing were that I would eat too much on my NFD's because I thought I could plus I really do not enjoy the fast days so I would skip them occasionally or fast till midafternoon and then consume lots and lots of calories!

Having said that, I still believe in this WOE and do think that it is more likely to work for me than other diets - I just need to be mindful of the pitfalls above. Still don't think I will ever enjoy the fast days as I hate the feeling of being hungry.

On the plus side, this WOE has definitely taught me not to be scared of hunger and I am actually feel less hungry now. I used to be unable to leave the house without numerous snacks/having a plan of where my meals would be coming from but now, I go to work with no food and don't panic if there is no food available. For example today, I had a bowl of shreddies for breakfast at 8, did an hours high-energy class at the gym and then had to take DS2 to a party for 12. I vaguely thought about getting lunch at the play area but I got chatting to one of the other mums so didn't bother as I didn't feel that hungry. Got home at 2.15 and made my lunch then...12 months ago, that would have been impossible for me to do so for that, I am
very thankful to this WOE.

Am back on it now -done 1 FD so far and managed to stay beneath my TDEE on the other 2 days...long way to go though wink

BetsyBell Sat 04-Jan-14 22:33:46

Good to hear you still like this WOE spooky <wonders if I can identify you> wink. I'll bet you'll get on with it even better now you've had a shift in the way you think about hunger.

I think mintyy, for those who can, boosting up tdee via exercise is a very effective option. I know that's what I need to be doing <she says as she slobs around on the sofa>

I think the whole 'sold as foolproof' thing is a bit of a red herring - all diets are sold that way by people who want to sell books/newspapers/fitness videos. It doesn't take very much investigation or thought to realise it won't be like that surely? I investigated it because I liked the science and research behind it. I've never followed any kind of 'diet' plan before this.

My big pitfall is that I have still never got my head round how to do it when eating with the family (which we usually do for most meals except when I'm at work).

For a while I was quite good at sticking to it on the one day a week when I am in the office all day and then don't eat with the DCs in the evening, as I could plan stuff for just me to eat. I can sometimes manage a "half fast day" on other days too when I'm working (no breakfast, tiny fasting lunch but then normal evening meal).

But I never worked out how to do a second whole fast day, cos most evenings we cook for all 4 of us together, often in a hurry after getting back from work etc., so I didn't want to complicate things making two separate meals, and also suspect the DCs would end up wanting to scrounge some of my tiny meal, me being jealous of theirs etc etc. I'm also still not keen on obviously doing "weird"/different eating (or skipping meals) when they're around, they are still quite small so I feel like I need to be careful what messages I give them about food.

I also sometimes lose willpower by the evening, and find I only stick to it if I have carefully planned (and shopped) ahead for what I will eat on fast days, which is also not always easy as we seem to have hectic lives at the moment.

I would like to be able to make it work though, as it did work for me when I managed (briefly) to stick to it, and it felt more sustainable (apart from the practical issues) than trying to restrict/count calories etc every single day which I knew I would not manage long-term. Ideally, I would like to manage 5:2 until I got to a weight I was happy with, and then drop to 6:1 to maintain that.

Mintyy Sat 04-Jan-14 23:22:47

Well, yes, Betsy, I have looked into it more closely and concluded that it is just another variation on a theme. Are you saying that should have been bloody obvious? And, if it is, then what?

BetsyBell Sun 05-Jan-14 08:20:13

Inigomontoya sounds like you should come and join us on the main threads smile.

As for meal times - if you think the kids will want what you're having then do the same for everyone but serve them larger portions and bread with it. You could bulk up your portion with extra salad or veg if you need to see a 'proper' plateful of food.

It does take a bit of planning. Maybe you could stock up on meal soup pots? That way, if you really have nothing suitable around then you could have that.

BetsyBell Sun 05-Jan-14 08:22:39

I don't have an answer to that Mintyy. It is what it is and it's apparently not for everyone.

risingsunshine Sun 05-Jan-14 08:35:11

Because on the 5 days of eating normally, you can't eat truly normally. Well, not normal for me, anyway. I was eating too much on the five days that negated the benefits of the two fast days.

BellaVita Sun 05-Jan-14 09:04:31

MyNameIs, we all sit down together and eat the same meals too so I make sure that we all have something that is suitable for me. I always do salmon fillets with salad although they will have sauté/new pots with theirs. For a second fast day I will find something out of my Good Food Mags that is very low in cals and again we will all have the same.

I am squeezing in an extra fast today, I am doing roast beef but with salad instead of yorkie puds and lashings of onion gravy.

It can work when you all eat together, just takes a bit of planning.

jollydiane Sun 05-Jan-14 09:21:57

I liked to go for a run, zumba etc but I felt too weak to do this on fast days so in the end I went back to a healthy balanced diet. I also found it too hard to cook meals for the rest of the family not to eat myself.

I wasn't getting the results I was expecting. Overall a rather depressing experience.

jollydiane Sun 05-Jan-14 09:23:24

Bellavita - I would also highly recommend the BBC Good Food site, they have some fantastic healthy meals.

Abra1d Sun 05-Jan-14 12:01:24

I now usually have what everyone else is having on a fast day, but a really tiny portion with lots of steamed vegetables or salad. I agree, though, that the smaller you are the harder it is to accrue a calorie deficit and the more you have to exercise.

BetsyBell Sun 05-Jan-14 17:22:44

Abra1d Agreed - achieving that calorie deficit gets more of a challenge as the weight comes off, exercise is definitely the key.

plecofjustice Sun 05-Jan-14 21:13:13

I became far too extreme in the runup to my wedding back in September, 4:3/1400 cals on NFD's (my bmr is 1596), and between the wedding, the fasting, exams, work stress, etc, my body made it absolutely clear it needed a break and that I needed to take the pressure off.

I've had 3 months off with a few weeks of 6:1 mixed in, and I'm going back to proper 5:2 tomorrow! smile

I am a happy 5:2er and I posted my experiences on the main thread earlier today.

I had low-carbed for several years, but it stopped working around the menopause, even after returning to 25g carb induction and then doing the Atkins Fat Fast.
I stopped LC, also because it was making me feel ill, then boomeranged into binging on sugary starchy junk.
I reached BMI 24.9, shocking after a lifetime of being slim and also still training 5-6 days per week.

Most people need a significant, prolonged calorie deficit to lose weight. We are just different in what method works to achieve it, because of our unique combination of metabolism, medications, hormones, preferences, activity level, social commitments etc.

I just can't diet every damn day; However, I can fast one day at a time, because I know I can eat "properly" the next day.
Well, you can eat what you want 5 days a week on 5:2, but don't exceed the total of 5x TDEE.
I ate as usual on my NFDs, which meant well above TDEE. Hence my weight loss was slow.

Also, for the first 3 months, I couldn't manage to do 500-cal fast days; it was usually 800 cals. I lost 10lb, then maintained with 16:8 for 6 months before resuming 5:2. Strangely, 500-cal fasts were then easy.
Maybe those of you who couldn't fast before might also find it much easier the 2nd time round ??

I still exercise intensely 60-90 mins, 5-6 days per week: HIIT spin, boxing, Tabata, weightlifting. I have plenty of energy with fasted training.

It is very slow & difficult to lose bodyfat post-meno, but I am down to 23% and 27" waist. I intend to reach about 20% and 26" this year with 5:2, by watching my NFDs.

I have been on this WoE for about 3 months, have lost 5 KG (ish)
initially I was angry and so hungry on fast days
Now, not hungry or that irritable BUT
I'm now having strange dizzy, shaky, weak, swooning headache effects. First time was day after fasting. At first wondered if low blood sugar, then if hypoglycemic?
Today was fast day, I went swimming with kids this am, but have felt terrible with the same symptoms all day - not alleviated when I have had my food.
I wonder if now I'm at a sensible weight (67kg) my body not happy with fasting, or if back to low carb is best now.
Is it related to Blood Type I wonder?
I'm Type B, and think I'll just try 6:1 or move on to my Blood type plan - Eat right for your type.. http://www.dadamo.com/


BetsyBell Mon 06-Jan-14 08:10:11

Littlemisskiwi - that doesn't sound good does it? Have you tried doing 16:8 instead? Ie eating within an 8 hour window (therefore fasting for 16). Maybe have a break and see if your body is happier with it after that. It might be worth posting your concerns on the main thread too in case any fasters have got some better ideas.

I did have an odd period when I could drink alcohol at all for about a month and that might have been about 3 months in. Not the same I know but just bringing that up to show that even three months in your body's still getting used to it.

BetsyBell Mon 06-Jan-14 08:11:19

couldn't drink that should say...

Aliama Mon 06-Jan-14 09:26:01

Just wanted to say thank you for starting this thread, Betsy. I have been thinking about starting the 5:2 diet later this year (cannot do it now as pg), and this thread has made interesting reading.

I'm in the middle of reading the 5:2 book (may read the Fast diet book as well, since it's so cheap on Kindle), and I was thinking how overwhelmingly positive everything I've read has been -- not just the books, but various magazines have been running articles on it. It's been helpful getting the other perspective.

It's also interesting to see everyone here talking about weight though; while I do need to lose weight, what draws me to the diet is what it promises to do for blood sugar levels etc. I have a strong family history of type 2 diabetes, and I would like to stave that off if I can.

fairisleknitter Mon 06-Jan-14 09:40:42

Aliama I was the same , I was drawn to this as a way of improving health not for losing weight as such. But it wasn't for me.

Regarding Type 2 diabetes there are reports on-line about a study where blood sugar profile was improved for older people heading for type 2 by walking after their main meal.

It's made me stop the automatic rest after a meal, even if I can't get out I do a bit of dashing about the house for 30 / 40 minutes putting stuff away!

dontcallmehon Mon 06-Jan-14 09:43:47

I used to post on the threads about a year ago. I am still doing 5:2 but don't need support anymore.

Dollydishus Mon 06-Jan-14 09:58:22

I have depression and anxiety and fast days made me feel much worse. I craved carbs so much and ended up binging. I think fasting is not great for people who need a very regular lifestyle in order to manage MH issues.

I do better on a standard calorie controlled diet (not too low), I do 1700 a day and go running 3x per week. I've lost 2stone over 8 months this way. Another stone to go..

rookiemater Mon 06-Jan-14 13:08:49

I have been doing it since July - sadly I haven't lost a pound. However I haven't gained any weight, despite eating quite a lot on the non fast days.

I'm not sure if I should keep going or not. I have family history of diabetes on my DFs side, so from that point of view I think I should keep on it for the health benefits. Plus I find it relatively easy - it's a nice break after years of WW and other diets to only have to think about intake 2 days a week.

However downsides are I think I overcompensate on the other days and eat a bit too much rubbish, I do quite a lot of exercise and find I can't do strenuous sessions on my 500 cal days so I have to plan around that and finally I am like a bear with a sore head on fast days.

I don't want to do anything which involves cutting out food groups - I tend not to eat too many carbs anyway, nor do I want to have to write down everything I eat. I'm not massively overweight - BMI hovers around 25, but I would like to reduce body fat and drop half a stone at least.

BetsyBell Mon 06-Jan-14 13:16:51

Thanks for all the posts smile

rookie - you've cracked maintenance which is a great achievement. If you do want to keep going and you do want to lose weight then a possibility would be to crack down on your non fast day eating just for a couple of months (or whatever) and see if that makes a difference?

Family history of diabetes here too, and high cholesterol on the other side - definitely one of my motivations too.

rookiemater Mon 06-Jan-14 13:29:43

Betsy - the appeal of 5:2 was that I didn't have to count calories on the non fast days. I am beginning to think I should eat less sugar though, so might try to crack it that way in conjunction with the 5:2.

Abra1d Mon 06-Jan-14 13:39:49

Did we get to the bottom of whether 5:2 does actually help with cholesterol? I know you shouldn't fast the day before a test as it can make the reading temporarily higher, as more fat is released into the bloodstream in the absence of calories coming in (which I assume is obviously good as you want to release that stuff you've stored and use it for energy). But what about medium- long-term? Does 5:2, in women, help with cholesterol readings?

Thanks for the reminder - I had blood tests done (incl cholesterol) when I started 5:2 last January, so now would be a good time to redo them and see what has changed.

BetsyBell Mon 06-Jan-14 14:03:48

re. Cholesterol reduction: Varady's studies showed reduced cholesterol in her ADF work. Mosley did too and lots of anecdotal evidence for it on these threads.

Abra1d Mon 06-Jan-14 14:26:28

That's good, thank you.

I had a cholesterol test that showed a bit of a reduction, too, but as I had been taking plant stenol thingies I couldn't be sure whether 5:2 was helping. You'd think it would do, as the overall level of fatty food should surely be reduced in a week.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Mon 06-Jan-14 16:59:57

I am doing this and find the 5:2 works where no other plan has worked as it tackles the emotional reason I have an issue with food.

Bakingnovice Mon 06-Jan-14 17:16:07

Like mintyy i did for about 8 months and lost about 4lb. I stopped because I seemed to always be suffering with a cold, headache or dizziness. My iron levels dropped and periods were terrible. I wish I could have kept going despite not losing weight because I felt it took all the worrying about food away and even now I skip brekkie and start eating later in the day. The real reason I stopped though was that found it impacted massively on my mood and my depression started resurfacing. Also on fast days I struggled to sleep despite not really being hungry. Overall my health felt shakey.

I am thinking of restarting 5:2 as although I didn't lose much I found I did t gain and I actually enjoyed the fast days of feeling lighter.

popsnsqeeze Mon 06-Jan-14 17:21:33

I was doing 4:3 and the weight was hardly shifting. I did it for a while, about a month and a half and I only lost a kilo.
I think it didn't work because I don't have a lot to lose. I'm about 5 feet, and weigh 56 kilos which on my frame is overweight. I wanted to lose about 6 kilos.
I'm starting the low carb boot camp on the 13th on the Biwi thread, hoping that will work for me.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Mon 06-Jan-14 17:30:45

I have also had my appetite much reduced and I just can't eat to excess any more. That is really good, obviously but I do sometimes miss my Saturday night crisps. I just don't want them when I have had my dinner.

minniebar Mon 06-Jan-14 17:32:14

I've only been doing it for three weeks so really it's too early to say whether or not it's definitely going to work for me.

What I like:
- Knowing that I can eat chocolate/crisps/whatever tomorrow, as long as I count them
- Feeling in control of food, rather than the other way around
- It [cautious emoticon] seems to be working, and at a rate I'm comfortable with (3-4lbs so far).

What I don't like:
- I only managed to fast one day between Xmas and new year as we had days out etc and (for me) it doesn't fit v well with social activities, eg eating lunch out
- It is hard.

And I haven't been regularly posting on the fred because it moves so fast I can't keep up! Then it would seem like I'm only posting to go 'me me me' which seems rude…

TalkinPeace Mon 06-Jan-14 18:26:16

One of the really important differences between Michael Mosely and the vast majority of people of MN weight loss threads is
he was never overweight.
He was looking at the whole thing analytically and from the medical aspect of reducing his risk of heart disease
( a known side effect of intermittent fasting going back to the initial research in the 1930's )
Also he has a GP wife and grown up children.

Not at all the same as Mums of toddlers who have eaten in a disordered way most of their adult lives.

Therefore the simple version of 5:2 works fine for people who are already active and have a BMI under 25

Unfortunately for those who are larger, do not exercise and may never have eaten healthily since they were children and do not have families who eat healthily
there are many more hoops to jump through.

For those of us now maintaining at a lower weight than we had ever managed before, 5:2 is a very simple way to do it that allows good meals on the other days.

Sheila Hancock was quoted recently as saying that if she has a big meal booked she skips one before and an unexpected big meal results in a skipped one after.
I suspect many, many other slim people do exactly the same, they just never shouted about it.

Bakingnovice Mon 06-Jan-14 19:52:30

I think talkin makes an important point. Wasn't there also some talk of it being less effective for younger women with monthly cycles? I'm not sure if the research was credible, but there's certainly some truth to the idea that it does not work uniformly for everyone.

fairisleknitter Mon 06-Jan-14 19:58:23

Talkin just to be clear I've never tried restrictive diets before and am a low BMI. The "thin on the outside fat on inside" part of Moseley's programme chimed and I am beginning to carry a little bit of fat around the middle. I walk plenty however and eat fairly healthily.

Quite why I felt so angry when doing a low calorie day I don't know! I naturally eat light after a "feast" but not down to so few calories.

TalkinPeace Mon 06-Jan-14 20:03:37

I wonder if it comes down to dehydration.
Various studies have shown that many people are permanently dehydrated and on a fasting day, if you are not in the habit of drinking plenty of water, it would be easy to become severely dehydrated.
I aim for four huge mugs of tea and four pint glasses of water during a fast.
Its good for my skin too!

fairisleknitter Mon 06-Jan-14 20:11:41

Talkin I was virtually mainlining herbal tea!

No it was a feeling I remembered from when I was a disorganised young adult , not having eaten for quite a while, no handy food outlets (those were the days!) then feeling quite raging..

TalkinPeace Mon 06-Jan-14 20:17:01

Interesting. And proves Betsy's point that not all diets and ways of eating suit all people.

I've just had supper (550 calories) having not eaten since yesterday lunch and I now won't eat till tomorrow lunch. I find it easy. DH still doesn't. We've been fasting the same number of months.

CooCooCachoo Mon 06-Jan-14 20:22:26

Lasted 12 weeks, lost 5lbs, didn't seem to be sufficient weight loss to justify the pain of it.

CooCooCachoo Mon 06-Jan-14 20:25:11

Should also say I have lost more weight in the same period of time by simply eating more healthily. Given that my goal was weight loss rather than focusing on the other apparent benefits of fasting it just didn't seem to suit me.

How you cope with fasting may be dependent on how insulin-sensitive you are, i.e. how well your body regulates its sugar levels.
Also, some nutritionists, e.g. Dr Schwarzbein, stress the importance of adrenal sensitivity.
Naturally, social commitments are also a big factor.

You don't have to be just mildly overweight to do well on 5:2. Some quite desperate folk have lost many stone on 5:2 or ADF; it just suited their metabolism, lifestyle etc.

Mintyy Mon 06-Jan-14 20:33:22

Talky, but why haven't you eaten since "yesterday lunch"?

Presumably today is your fast day?

So why did you not eat anything after lunchtime yesterday?

TalkinPeace Mon 06-Jan-14 20:36:47

That comes down to the size of the lunch!
My normal routine is a big Sunday breakfast and a massive Sunday lunch (totalling well over my TDEE including the wine)
and then no food till 500 calorie supper on a Monday and then through till Tuesday lunch.
My TDEE is low enough that one small and one decent sized meal a day is all I need.

BetsyBell Mon 06-Jan-14 20:38:09

Sunday lunch is often a main meal minty. Monday fast day is brilliant because if you eat a Sunday big roast early then you can clock up the fasting hours with no effort!

mscnile Mon 06-Jan-14 20:42:46

5:2 works for me because it's flexible enough to allow me to eat more or less what I want when I want, without gaining weight (have maintained loss over Christmas, with just 2 FDs) and to lose weight by sticking to TDEE on NFDs and <500 on fast days. I find days when I'm busy are best for me, as I think about food less. I've also found that on NFDs I eat more mindfully, to get the most for my TDEE allowance. Some FDs start earlier than others eg yesterday had late big lunch so no supper, today's have had my 500 cals through soup for lunch and omelette this evening. Will probably skip breakfast tomorrow too. That's not going to be right for everyone though.

I found it really hard to fast on my days off from work and would get really grumpy. Before Christmas I started fasting on work days and because I'm normally really busy at work I was much less conscious of being hungry. In fact, I would say I actually feel less hungry if I don't eat at all at work than if I do!

Mintyy Mon 06-Jan-14 20:44:13

Clock up the fasting hours??

I had a big Sunday lunch yesterday at about 3pm and nothing else, not even wine smile after that (quite normal for me on a Sunday or any large lunch day).

Not sure I could have waited until this evening before eating again though.

MrsCharlesBrandon Mon 06-Jan-14 20:49:35

The 16:8, is that every day?

Me and DH did 5:2, started last March. By August he had lost 60lb, I'd lost 6. So unbelievably disheartening. He's back on it to shift the weight he gained over Christmas while i'm trying to find something more suitable for me.

jellyandcake Mon 06-Jan-14 20:56:20

A mum of a toddler who has always had disordered eating is an accurate description of me and so a diet like this couldn't work for my lifestyle and wellbeing. Like fairisle fasting gives me terrible rage and I drink three litres of water a day (except when pregnant - my bladder could not withstand that right now!). I used to get incredibly irritable as a child if hungry, my parents still talk about the grump I would get into before going out to restaurants etc when dinner would be later than usual. I think low blood sugar has that effect on some people.

BetsyBell Mon 06-Jan-14 21:14:36

MrsCB 16:8 is a daily form of IF I believe.

rookiemater Mon 06-Jan-14 21:32:16

I think you are correct talkinpeace - 5:2 is probably easier for those who have reasonable eating habits to begin with.

I find myself getting a bit stabby with Mimi Spencer when she describes how easy it is and how good it was to go from her (already acceptable) previous BMI to one that is borderline underweight ( I felt particularly stabby on fast days ).

I eat a bit more than I should on my non fast days - it's easily done, that's how I got a bit overweight in the first place, but at least with 5:2 I can maintain my weight which as I am in my 40s and technically not that tubby at a BMI of 25, is not too shabby.

spookyskeleton Mon 06-Jan-14 21:40:37

rookie I agree with you about Mimi Spencer. She was not overweight to begin with so reasonable to assume that her 'normal' eating habits were ok which would probably explain why it worked so well for her!

For those of us who are overweight, there is a reason for that which is we eat/drink too much. This diet doesn't really mean eat normally on NFD'S, ime, you still need to be conscious of what you are eating, albeit slightly more than other diets.

I could easily eat 2500-3000 calories per day if I truly ate and drank what I wanted to. My TDEE is 2200 so clearly I still need to calorie count on a daily basis.

A cruel fact that is often overlooked is that TDEE is an estimate across populations and may be a lot lower for some individuals than others of the same weight, height and age.

So, these unfortunates may indeed keep to their official TDEE on NFDs, but it is still too many cals for them.

Anyone who has lost more than about 10 kg will have a quite different metabolism to someone who is naturally that weight. It can take 10 years for the body to reset.

People who have dieted a lot often have much lower metabolism than others of the same weight, due to muscle loss, longterm nutrient deficiency and generally buggered body chemistry.
The years before and around the menopause can also drastically lower the TDEE.

Mintyy Mon 06-Jan-14 22:21:44

My tdee is just over 1500. All diets are difficult for me. Maintaining my weight is difficult for me. I find it hurtful when people suggest I am eating more than I think or I must have spent years overeating, or dieting and bingeing to get to the weight I am now.

No, actually, I have spent years being mindful and careful.

Just not quite mindful and careful enough, evidently!

Sorry, Minty
I was looking at populations & statistics too: official figures for the UK are that 37% of women are dieting most of their time; in fact the average woman spends 31 years dieting.

wildwater Mon 06-Jan-14 23:19:56

Interesting to read all this. I have realised there is a BIG difference between being empty and being hungry. I never understood that before. If I felt any messages of any kind from my digestive system, I would just shove something in my mouth.

Things are different now. I observe how I am feeling, and mostly I am not 'hungry' at all on FDs. It's when I eat something for breakfast that it becomes difficult.

I have friends who say they couldn't possibly do 5:2 because they'd simply die if they couldn't eat when they want to. Maybe some people really do need to eat frequently for medical reasons (like diabetes) but mostly I think just the idea of 'fasting' is scary and uncomfortable.

Anything new takes a while to kick in, then it becomes second nature. I have been doing 5:2 for over a year now and have no plans of stopping. I feel so good, and my body has never looked or felt slimmer or healthier.

BetsyBell thank you for asking this question thanks

spookyskeleton Tue 07-Jan-14 20:02:01

Some of the recent posts on here are why I stopped going on the main thread...a lot of people seemed to be going to quite extreme lengths and it always appeared to be competitive about who can fast the longest or who could skip meals etc on NFD's which, to me, is not the point of this diet.

It is put me off tbh but I had forgotten about that aspect of the thread until I read the posts on here. I think it sends the wrong message to any newbies who venture on the thread .

BetsyBell Tue 07-Jan-14 21:27:45

I take your point spooky. We do try and reassure new starters that they don't need to pay much attention to that stuff but yes, it could be daunting for people wondering if they should get involved.

Where else would we talk about that stuff though? The newbies become old hands very quickly and want to discuss the variations they're trying out. It's more excitedness rather than competitiveness.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Tue 07-Jan-14 21:45:00

spooky - I think it is a little unfair to say the main thread is competitive. I have been on a few of the threads now and all I have seen is people posting what they have managed to achieve and pride from the other posters. We are all really proud when some one achieves something. I have never seen any showing off, any I did 125 hours without food, why did you only manage 124 minutes?


TalkinPeace Tue 07-Jan-14 21:48:15

I also get spookys point.
Its very easy to joke about the first fast of the new year - for those of us who have been doing it a long time.
The border line between inspiration and intimidation
between encouragement and competition
you've made me think a bit more about my posts.
No bad thing

Bakingnovice Tue 07-Jan-14 22:04:14

I was on the original threads from 2012 (have nchanged since) and I agree with spooky. It did get so that a lot of the more successful people were going longer and longer without food. However, it wasn't really done in a competitive way but more in a 'wow I can control my body' kind of way. At that te before the programme aired it was all v experimental and people were trying to see what worked for them.

From experience I have a friend who doesn't eat until after 4 on nfd and has lost loads of weight but she isn't doing 5:2 anymore. It's more a weird form of starvation diet.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Tue 07-Jan-14 22:04:30

Well FWIW I have never seen an intimidation.

Just some gentle telling off, TiP, not that you did grin.

Lazysuzanne Tue 07-Jan-14 22:52:29

From experience I have a friend who doesn't eat until after 4 on nfd and has lost loads of weight but she isn't doing 5:2 anymore. It's more a weird form of starvation diet

do you think she has taken it too far Baking?
I can see that anything which involves fasting would be attractive and a little risky to those with anorexic tendancies

People with EDs are advised not to do 5:2 or any form of IF. They are one of the few groups for whom it can be intrinsically dangerous.

However, losing weight for ED sufferers can be risky whatever method - best to consult their GP surgery for referral and get specialist support.

spookyskeleton Wed 08-Jan-14 07:18:04

Don't get me wrong, the main thread is very supportive and welcoming to newbies. However, I found it uncomfortable with people seeing how far they could push themselves in terms if fasting and this made me feel like I was failing because I was still struggling with the fast days 6 months in sad

This was just my experience and I know there are loads of people who have thrived and benefitted from the thread smile I did pick up lots of tips and tricks from there so I apologise if I was so critical of thread - I just don't think it was the right environment for me.

Not critical at all, spooky, a very valid observation. And it is hard to get the tone just right for everyone.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 08-Jan-14 08:35:13

I just couldn't do it. I was so, so hungry and couldn't cope with the fast days.

mscnile Wed 08-Jan-14 08:36:05

I see the main thread as a way to share what I've done - for my benefit, no one else's really, other than a shared experience. Its like keeping a public food diary.

I'm always impressed by those who push further, but its not for me, so I don't even think about it. I just stick to the 16 hour fast before eating anything on a FD and sometimes do 16:8 on NFD.

I'm in awe of some of BCF's frenzies though!

Mumraathenoisylion Wed 08-Jan-14 10:49:47

I am on my second day of fasting today, dh and I decided to do a few days of fasting to get ourselves into it. He has quite a lot more to lose than me, I have probably a stone or one and a half to make me very happy, my bmi is currently 21.

I have always been of the opinion that eating less and exercising more is the best way to lose weight but dh will try every diet out there and he loses weight then gains in a really vicious cycle. I am now trying to do this diet with him to help him stick to it but I am seriously struggling and even on day 2!?!?

My mind feels dull and I have literally no energy to get off the sofa. My 1yo dd will wake from her morning nap soon and I am dreading it which makes me very sad, I have a headache, feel cold, tired and miserable.

I am also the kind of person who gets really irritable without food. I'm thinking I can't carry on. I'd rather just eat more fish, quorn, whole foods, fruit, veg and exercise. What to do???

BetsyBell Wed 08-Jan-14 11:13:25

Mumra I think you should eat something. 5:2 is not about fasting for several days at a time at all. Maybe have a look at the Horizon episode that spawned the whole 2 days a week fasting thing - Mosley developed it as a way to achieve the same health benefits of longer fasts but without the trauma of longer fasts:

Horizon video:

There are presumably people who get on fine with 4 days fasts but I imagine they would have to build up to it? And not have a 1 year old and a family to look after...

TalkinPeace Wed 08-Jan-14 11:40:47

I've never fully fasted two days in a row. Much too much like hard work.
I love food, I love cooking.
5:2 lets me do both without stressing about my weight damaging my knees even more.
I fast Monday and Thursday.

Southeastdweller Wed 08-Jan-14 16:24:21

spooky I’m amazed it appears to you that there’s competition on the main threads. I do think there’s some competition between some posters on other threads, but not on these ones. I agree with Betsy in part that it’s excitement, also some pride as toffee says which I think explains the "Wow I can control my body" comment by Baking (no bad thing and perhaps understandable when many of us pre-5:2 have struggled with our weights for years, decades in my case). Personally I did a few zero cal fasts and 36 hour ones in the summer because I’d read reports of added health benefits and I like to mix things up sometimes as well as to challenge myself.

I just read what I say above and realise I probably sound very defensive and of course these things are subjective but when I read your posts earlier I was really shocked and wanted to put across my experiences, especially as newcomers will be reading this thread. I honestly don’t recall any competitiveness at all; it’s all been 100% supportive in my view.

Sorry to not reply sooner and thanks for the thoughts Betsy, Bella and the others.

I think you are right and I should be a bit more determined about the 2nd fast day, I will need to get a bit more organised and plan ahead more though. I am wondering whether the key might be to get DH to join me, he has talked about it vaguely and I think if we are both trying to do it together, it would make it a lot easier - he actually does probably more of the cooking/meal planning than me, so that avoids the scenario where I'm hoping to do a FD and he's gone and bought sausages or something for us all grin

I will think about it some more, meanwhile tomorrow is my not-eating-with-kids day (due to work/childcare schedule), so am definitely going to try for a FD tomorrow anyhow!

And yes, I know I should be channeling Yoda there - "Do, or do not do. There is no try"

(grin but no cake)

Depends. Do you eat every single meal together? I can pick fast days that dh and I are eating at different times. Or do what my mother dies- make sure whatever she's cooked on a Sunday gas enough leftovers for dad on the Monday, while she fasts.

Mumfa Try say 800 cals on FDs to start. I did this for 3 months, as I absolutely couldn't manage lower - maybe because I exercise so intensively.
Anyway, it eventually clicked and now 500 cals are easy.
Some of us just need to ease our way in, others can jump into an icy pool and start swimming right away.
Definitely don't try a double FD until you are quite experienced.

Spooky Like the other 5:2ers here, I didn't see any competition on the 5:2 thread, just support.
I know, for example, several others report they are losing weight like mad and I lose v v slowly, but noone makes me feel like a failure at all.
We just accept our differences and enjoy hearing about them.

Mumraathenoisylion Thu 09-Jan-14 08:44:06

I did eat, thank you very much. I can't believe how quickly the head fuzz lifted after I ate...it was quite a relief.

I think you're right BigChoc I am tall and so I think my calorie allowance is higher than average for a woman anyway. For the first day I tried to start myself strictly and tried for 400 instead of 500 thinking I would then be happy when I could have that extra snack. I will try for 800 or less calories. I'm not a morning eater so I spread the meals out as three small meals in the afternoon - I need that energy boost for the school run and dinner times.

I'm still not sure it's going to work for me as I don't like associating guilt with eating and think it can lead somewhere bad but I think they are my own issues and not the actual 5/2 fast. Hopefully if I continue in the way that it actually states to I won't have feelings of guilt.

Lilacroses Thu 09-Jan-14 15:23:10

I am on 5:2 but some fast days I just feel the need to eat more than 500 cals and I let myself. I figure that as long as you are significantly reducing your calorie intake you will lose weight. That has been the case for myself and my dp. I've lost a stone in 3 months, she's lost 21 lbs. Another thing I was doing at first which I'm getting back into this week was eating vegan during the day on my non fast days. I felt so well doing that. I have found that I can play around with 5:2 quite a bit and still lose weight. I don't know how people have continued with it for months on end when they're not losing at all....that would drive me crazy!

TalkinPeace Thu 09-Jan-14 15:55:26

I don't know how people have continued with it for months on end when they're not losing at all....that would drive me crazy!
I have no more weight to lose - OK maybe a few pounds - but I keep doing intermittent fasting for the long term health reasons

JayeAshe Thu 09-Jan-14 16:12:09

I did 5:2 to keep (overweight) DH company, between August 2012 (v. early adopters) until early summer 2013 with a month off in December. He lost IIRC 1 1/2 stones. My BMI is around 20 so I saw no reason to lose weight but wanted the health benefits. My body fat decreased but the weight stayed about the same. Fasting gives me headaches so DH kindly suggested (eventually) I should stop - so I did. My TDEE is very low (due I expect to slender build and advanced age) and I suspect I was eating too much on NFDs.

In April - July last year I did couch to 5K and I currently run 3x a week, lift weights 2x a week, and go to an aerobics/general fitness class once a week. This maintains my weight as long as I stay off carbs as much as possible (hard for me as I don't eat meat fish or poultry and ideally would not eat dairy either if not for the practical difficulties of living wiht a carnivore)

Over that time my body fat has gone from over 26% to under 20%.
one more thing, I never eat breakfast.
Hope this helps.

Now, can someone cure the cellulite I am developing every damn where ?

TriWithMe Thu 09-Jan-14 16:20:25

My partner has been on the 5:2 diet for 15 months after seeing it on the BBC. Amazing results from 22% body fat to 10%. I know he is happy and has posted his results here www.triwithme.org/blog/5-2-diet

I am now going to join in, although as he has hit his target it is less of a priority for him.

Oh yes re starting a bit higher, I have always told myself under 600 is OK (rather than being totally strict about 500) and that does make it easier as if I can't get it "just right" and go slightly over 500 I don't see it as failing (which would just make me crash off the wagon and eat everything otherwise). Plus men get to have 600 and I'm just as tall as DH so I reckon it's fair to allow myself the bloke amount grin

Anyway I have just done a full FD and am feeling very smug because I was in John Lewis coffee shop earlier with a free coffee-and-cake voucher and did not use it shock shock Am saving it for a non-FD! Also did 30 Day Shred, so my halo is positively blinding...

Lilacroses Thu 09-Jan-14 23:14:13

Hi Talkin, yes, I see what you mean there. A friend of mine is continuing on a 6:1 basis but she has already lost the weight she wanted to lose and is just maintaining it. What I meant was the people who report being on the diet for 3 months who want to lose weight but haven't lost even a pound! That's dispiriting!

spookyskeleton Fri 10-Jan-14 07:14:31

Having read the posts on here, I wonder if aiming for 800 calories on FD would work for me? I just cannot stick to 500 and always end up at 700-800 and then think I have failed so maybe allowing myself 800 will stop the guilt/feelings of failure!

fedupandfifty Fri 10-Jan-14 08:59:12

It didn't work for me because I found it impossible to live on 500 cals. I would rather eat nothing at all for a day. I'd much prefer to count calories.

I think any sort of diet which requires fasting needs to be done in conjunction with meditation/ yoga. It's not really for people with busy lives.

What I don't get is this: why does fasting work better than other forms of calorie conrtol?

I'm also sceptical of any diet that is endorsed/ promoted by a celebrity with a book to sell.

rubytuby Fri 10-Jan-14 10:49:09

got so tired on the days that i was fasting that i fell asleep and missed the school run! am currently trying to amend the diet slightly by bringing in a little more calories to the day so i can get through it.

Lazysuzanne Fri 10-Jan-14 11:07:21

Fedup, suspect that periods with very little food may improve insulin sensitivity and thereby allow fat to be mobilized / prevent fat storage.

Yes, Fedup, the science behind it is that calorie restriction forces your body to repair existing (and damaged) cells, whereas a constant supply of food means new cells are created all the time. Which is good if you're growing or pregnant, and so it's not suitable for those groups.

I've found it much easier to fast when I AM busy, but everyone is different.

I wouldn't class it as a sleb-touting-a-book, though. It's not necessary to buy the book at all (fiver or whatever it costs), there are no special shakes or bars, or monthly class fees.

NightFallsFast Fri 10-Jan-14 11:56:26

I tried 5:2 for 3 months before realising it wasn't for me. My BMI is 24.5 and I wanted to loose about half a stone.

Like others, I was short tempered and shaky. Hunger wasn't so bothersome. The shaking was more of a problem because people having skin surgery don't appreciate a surgeon with shaky hands and a short temper!!

I do often fast until a late lunch, but mainly to reduce overall calories, and that works well for me.

TalkinPeace Fri 10-Jan-14 12:02:37

within a few weeks of 5:2 I realised that the easiest way to do the fast days was to go 24 hours only on liquids and then have a huge bowl of something vegetabley at the end of the day

Interesting that you got the shakes - DH has been doing lots of soldering lately and he finds his hands extra steady 16 hours into a fast - but he and I are very practiced at the water drinking now

rookiemater Fri 10-Jan-14 12:23:49

I'm one of those who has been doing 5:2 for months with little/no weight loss so I am happy to answer some of those questions smile.

Firstly I'm not vastly overweight, I have a BMI of 25 so I would look better if I lost more weight, but fit my existing wardrobe and do a reasonable amount of exercise so I am fairly toned apart from the flabby bits.

I have tried most diets going and most recently before 5:2 WW. I found myself getting progressively more annoyed with WW - paying over a fiver a week to go to a church hall where they kept your details using a roladex system, used an on line app that was identical to my fitness pal except it used points rather than calories, and leaders who got annoyed if you went to a different meeting seemed a bit of a rip off. Also I felt it was very unhealthy that they kept promoting their expensive, highly processed WW bars. I basically spent something like £300 to lose about 4 pounds.

The reason most people go on diets is because their weight goes up - I am grateful that over a 6 month period my weight has remained stable and I have still been able to enjoy all my favourite food and drink on my non fast days.

Also my father has type 2 diabetes, he isn't overweight, quite the opposite, and both my grandparents on his side had it, therefore anything that can stop me getting that is good.

I find the fast days a bit of a pain tbh, I don't enjoy it, I am cranky and not able to do much exercise, but keep myself going with the thought that it will soon be over.

BsshBossh Fri 10-Jan-14 14:14:03

spooky Mumsnet 5:2 veteran Breadandwine started his 5:2 journey on 1000 cals a day I think and successfully lost weight. I'd try higher cals for you; good idea.

fedup I'm no scientist but my understanding is that the body starts burning body fat after 12-18 hours of no food which may be why body fat tends to go down quicker on 5:2 than standard calorie restriction diets. Some posters on the main thread report more dramatic inch loss on 5:2 than weight loss (as per scales). I'm another one who finds fasting easier the busier I am.

Southeastdweller Fri 10-Jan-14 16:00:22

fedup It's not really for people with busy lives. That's the first time I've heard that about 5:2. Many of us have found that it's easier to fast - much easier, in fact - when busy, but as Melanie says, we're all different.

JayeAshe Fri 10-Jan-14 16:58:57

Just to add - I never got any euphoric/lighter feeling from fasting but didn't find it an impossible chore, even the headaches were just about bearable. Having said that, I don't get euphoria from running either sad as so many runners report envy .

What I have taken from this thread is a new ambition to try 16:8 which would be a lot easier if we didn't eat so late in the evening. FT working, exercising and eating right isn't easy ...

fedupandfifty Fri 10-Jan-14 18:50:34

Maybe I'm not approaching it right, then! I work from home, so around food a lot. I'm avtually quite strict and rarely eat between 7 and 12 the following day. I find this quite easy, but when I tried to get down to below 1000 calories I found it more difficult. Especially on a cold day. I seem to find not eating for longish periods easier than eating small amounts. I don't know why this is.

I stick to 1200 a day, with exercise factored in. That's 7200 a week.

On 5:2 I could eat far more on non-fast days, but I wouldn't want to as I would feel like I was spoiling the diet.

I agree that 5:2 is more practical than most regimes, but I'd like to know how many people stick to it in the longer term, ie 6months or longer.

TalkinPeace Fri 10-Jan-14 19:00:39

the headaches are not the fasting - they are dehydration
drink a pint of water when you get up, a pint of water at lunchtime, a pint of water before supper and a pint of water before bed

it is well documented that lots of westerners are clinically dehydrated much of the time

I've been doing 5:2 since September 2012, BreadandWine started a year before me, have a look at thread 1 and you'll see familiar names

BsshBossh Fri 10-Jan-14 19:22:41

fedup I've been doing 5:2 for nearly a year. Quite a few longtermers on the main and maintaining threads, also on the 5:2 forum.

I'm celebrating my anniversary! With a proper glass of Taittinger too, as its a non-fast day.

I fully understand that it's not for everyone. I absolutely cannot fast when I'm at home - far too many food temptations around.

BetsyBell Fri 10-Jan-14 20:33:57

Another 5:2er here about to celebrate 1 year on it. No plans to stop.

fedupandfifty Fri 10-Jan-14 21:15:59

I'm impressed! How much weight have you lost?

BetsyBell Fri 10-Jan-14 21:19:20

fedup I'm going to refer you to our Inspiration thread as we've all posted those stats there smile

I was 147 pounds before starting 5:2. Got down to 132 when I was in training for a half marathon last year, currently ie post Christmas at 135.

Not a lot, but I'm happy with my shape, the sustainability of this approach, and the improved cholesterol readings.

Southeastdweller Fri 10-Jan-14 21:23:54

fedup In two weeks I'll be in Betty's in Yorkshire celebrating my 5:2 anniversary. This is for life for me.

BsshBossh Fri 10-Jan-14 21:28:05

fedup 3 stones in 11 months for me (6 stones in total as I did MyFitnessPal standard daily calorie restriction before 5:2 but got bored with that). My story's on the Inspiration thread and my photos are in my profile.

BsshBossh Fri 10-Jan-14 21:28:51

I plan on continuing 5:2 for the health benefits after I hit goal weight (2 lbs to go).

fedupandfifty Fri 10-Jan-14 21:36:18

Blimey! Will look at that thread.

fennelteaisgoodforme Fri 10-Jan-14 21:48:38

Hello BB,

Virgin poster here (sorry it's a bit longwinded)

I first heard about the 2 day no carb diet so tried that as I had got so sick of yoyoing half a stone and lost about 10 lbs, liked it but found it really hard to sustain; I then tried the 5:2 and liked it despite the headaches but after about 8 or 9 weeks I never lost (or gained) any weight at all. I didn't want to lose much , probably about another half a stone. I don't know if I was eating too much on the other days or if I needed to change to just one fast day but it was disappointing.

The only other diet I've ever tried was calorie counting which was a little too successful, I actually felt I needed to put on about four or six pounds in the end so I don't want to be superslim just healthy.

As soon as I gave up the 5:2 diet and also it being over the festive period and being down about work stuff I found it incredibly easy to put all the weight back on and have only just dared weigh myself today after two fast days this week so am going to give it another go.
I can get irritable on fast days but I don't find them too difficult, herb teas and soups and fish generally get me by.

Before I started the 5:2 I looked on here and found it very encouraging and helpful so I have decided to have another go at the diet and join the forum.

TalkinPeace Fri 10-Jan-14 21:50:37

long time no see - how are you my dear ....
give us an update on the maintainers thread grin

fennelteaisgoodforme Fri 10-Jan-14 21:58:08

think you are mistaking me for another, as I said , I have never been on this forum before.

I do think the diet is good for reminding you of what hunger feels like and being more mindful of food and it is easier if I skip breakfast.

TalkinPeace Fri 10-Jan-14 22:23:41

long time poster called virgin poster

welcome most definitely!

fennelteaisgoodforme Sat 11-Jan-14 17:44:22


thanks for the welcome

CantStopEatingCheese Sun 12-Jan-14 20:05:52

I haven't read the whole thread but the reason I stopped was because I put weight on every week. I gave it 3 weeks. I mainly tried it as I can't be bothered to count calories so thought that I could manage to only count 500 calories twice a week and eat the same as before the other 5. But instead I was ravenous the day after the fast day and ended up eating loads more. So I accept that I did it wrong because I know that in theory you have to eat your TDEE (or whatever it's called) on the 5 days. Oh also on most of my fast days I ended up eating closer to 600 cals but thought that's fine to start with. The other reason I stopped was because I eventually found that it was hard to find 2 non-consecutive days without any social events or other temptations. Maybe I should try it again and do it properly!

JayeAshe Mon 13-Jan-14 12:50:35

Talkin about dehydration. Should mention that I hardly ever get headaches normally. On fasting days I would always drink lots more than on NFDs to 'fill up' for no/few calories and would often get afternoon headaches. Realise that some foods provide fluids too but don't get that drinking more than usual would have produced headaches from dehydration. confused

TalkinPeace Mon 13-Jan-14 14:16:27

how much more is lots more?
Just that from the reading I've done in the past, you get around 2 pints of water a day from your food, so if you do not eat you need to replace that, AND the fluids you would normally drink with your meals

I aim for around 3 pints of water and 3 pints of tea on a fast day and have never had problems - even when I have the morning at the gym

If one is not overweight, and knows what a healthy portion is, there is no need to change habits on NFS
on the other hand, if one is overweight, learning portion control has to come first

MariaRossa Mon 13-Jan-14 14:55:46

I'm another who is not usually headachey, but from the start I got headaches if I didn't really up my water intake. It can still be a problem, especially on cold days, when I feel less like drinking. Cold is the other long-term issue for me, as have lost some of the fat that used to keep me warm!

I'm a long-term 5-2 faster, since August 2012, and am convinced I could not have stuck to another diet for anything like as long. Genuinely don't have rage issues, and generally don't really feel hungry on fasting days. I've felt far more "stabby" (wonderful expression!) on low cal diets where I felt deprived all the time.

I have some sympathy with those who find the main threads off-puttingly competitive at times - I'm a bog-standard 5-2 follower, I eat 2 small meals a day and never do liquid-only, or 24-hr fasts etc. but do 18 hrs usually without difficulty. I just regard the more extreme experiments (and I do think that's what they are) as interesting, but not for me, and there are usually other posters who chip in to remind new people that you don't have to do it that way.

Thanks for this thread, Betsy - really interesting to hear how other people have got on (or not) with it (it's easy for those of us who have got on well with 5-2 to be evangelical, which must be very annoying for those like poor Mintyy who have not!)

JayeAshe Mon 13-Jan-14 15:05:25

Thanks guys, actually drinking pints of water really nauseates me, on the other hand the nausea would tend to take away your appetite. Hmm, nausea or headaches, take your pick.

I'm apparently not properly constituted for the 5:2 grin

CalamityKate Mon 13-Jan-14 20:19:27

I got fed up being hungry. I did lose a few lbs but not enough to make the misery of being hungry worthwhile.

I'm low carbing ATM and loving it. I've never had such delicious, filling meals while on a diet!

Dr Varady has said that some who don't lose weight after months on 5:2 have success on ADF. I would have thought simply because 5:2 is a milder version of ADF, not the full-blast diet that tough cases might need.
Her reasons:

1) Fewer NFDs reduce the number of days to binge, if that was the issue.
2) People's appetites seemed to reduce on ADF, but sometimes not on 5:2. She thought ADF might shrink the stomach, but that 2 FDs per week might not do that for some people.

She estimates that, on ADF, obese people lose about 3 lb per week, whereas those within normal BMI range lose about 1lb. So, no surprise, a bit faster than 5:2.

People on ADF would need to average 175% TDEE on NFDs to not have a calorie deficit, providing they manage FDs ok. However, I read elsewhere that she said 90% of people don't need to calorie count on FDs, implying that 10% of people do.

BetsyBell Sat 18-Jan-14 08:38:45

Interesting bigchoc - I know that 5:2 is enough to reset my appetite each time. I suspect that only 1 fast day a week wouldn't work for me and following that though then there must be some where 2 fast days aren't enough days to control appetite and over-eating. So maybe some people who don't lose weight on 5:2 could try ADF?

(I know I've just repeated what you've written BCF - just thinking through it in terms of personal experience.)

Does Varady talk about whether the appetite reduction continues once normal BMI is achieved? In fact, does Varady discuss follow up of her cases? Do her guinea pigs stop fasting altogether? If so what happens then?

If I stopped fasting I'd have to be highly vigilant of my eating to not put the weight back on again. The fasting means I don't have to think about it at all - because of the appetite resetting and because of the weekly calorie deficit.

Disappointingly, Varady's book really is just weight loss for dummies ADF-style, with hardly any science detail, so I can't answer that. It seemed totally commercial - both Mosely's books are much more informative . I learnt more from her scientific papers plus a few useful answers on FB or interviews.

She says maintenance on ADF is 3 x 1000-cal FDs per week, which I would consider very disruptive as a life-long WOL. That is approx the 3000-cal deficit that 5:2 weight-loss phase aims for.
People who managed to lose on 5:2 seem to maintain ok on 6:1 or 16:8.
Maybe her chosen subjects on ADF trials tended to be the real hard core ones, who failed on other diets. She might also assume they will always over-eat, because I don't see in her book how they should learn better habits.

In contrast, our 5:2 thread mostly views weight loss as part of a healthy WOL, in which we want to stop / reduce bad habits (weekly treats are good !) and learn better ones, both food and exercise.

Maybe it is a UK-US difference. I have read that 5:2 works much better for UK subjects than US, so maybe they prefer "do it this way, dummy" .

Breadandwine Sun 19-Jan-14 01:03:56

I suspect that Dr Varady - who's obviously miffed at the success of Dr M's book (and others) - has decided she wants a share of the market for books about fasting.

So she's decided the only gap is the ADF version - and then she has to make the facts fit the scenario she outlines.

I think she's doing some useful research - but she could have included more in her book.

I'm still of the opinion that these threads are the best repository of info and research on IF around! smile

Moral: If you're browsing these threads - you don't need any other resource!

So - save your money! grin

AphraBehn Tue 21-Jan-14 12:31:58

I lost a stone in 3 months doing 5:2, then I started two college courses and things got a bit hectic so I wasn't planning my FDs properly. I've not followed the eating plan for about 2/3 months now and regained half a stone.

Am back doing 5:2 again this week as I know it works and suits me.

bibliomania Tue 21-Jan-14 16:19:37

I have read that 5:2 works much better for UK subjects than US, so maybe they prefer "do it this way, dummy" .

Sounds interesting, BigChoc. I don't suppose you have any links? I've had a quick google but couldn't find much on this.

BetsyBell Wed 22-Jan-14 09:18:49

Yay Aphrabehn - glad you're happy to come back to it smile

bibliomania I can visualise the article and this was at the borrom on the left side of the page. I just can't find it again - I read voraciously and too widely. It may have been a US news magazine.

I remember it was saying Americans didn't do as well on 5:2 as Brits, but had good results on ADF (Johnson et al published long before Varady).
The author wondered if it was because Americans were used to larger portion sizes and hence ate too much when allowed 5 NFDs.
I speculated it might also be because ADF has simpler rules, because the UK is the only country that almost equals the US in huge portions of junk - so we should also do better on ADF.

Varady has written on her FB site that 5:2 may not produce the stomach shrinkage that she think ADF produces and also she hopes to test her stomach shrinkage on ADFers if she can find suitable victims and a not too painful methodology.

UhOh, I read on Varady's FB that she expects people may also have plateaux on ADF/EOD. One of her suggestions to break through is to add another FD, to make 3 in a row.
Ouch. I'm not sure how often the poor sod is supposed to do that. I don't think we've ever recommended it on 5:2, but actually it might be more doable as an option on 5:2, say every couple of weeks, if all else fails.

LifeIsForTheLiving Sun 02-Feb-14 18:01:05

I really didn't like 5:2. In theory it sounded fab but I found that I was dreading my fast days and would put them off with excuses. I also have an all or nothing mentality. If I went over my 500 even by 10 calories, I'd be thinking 'well that's it, I've got to 6pm and now I've fucked it. May as well have a Chinese'.
I also found that I was more likely to overeat on my free days and be thinking 'never mind I'll sort it out on my next fast day'.

I did lose some weight (about half a stone over a month) but for me, it seemed to make my relationship with food worse to the point it felt really negative and almost like disordered eating.

I'm now doing 16:8 and I LOVE this way of eating. I eat between 1.30pm and 9.30pm and have lost 11lbs in 4 weeks.

I enjoy it, there's no counting calories, and I can imagine maintaining this way of eating forever. I was a terrible breakfast skipper and late-meal eater anyway, so it feels natural to me.

BetsyBell Mon 03-Feb-14 15:55:59

Great you've found a WOE which suits you so well lifeisfortheliving smile

positively9something Mon 03-Feb-14 22:22:17

Lifeis - I am also thinking about eating during the times you do, so you don't ever calorie count? Can I ask how much weight you have to loose?

I lost around 10 lbs doing 5:2 then put 3 lbs back on hmm and since Christmas I havnt lost any weight! I have mostly been doing my fast days everyweek but over eating on non fast days

LifeIsForTheLiving Thu 06-Feb-14 00:51:38

I am being 'careful' with what I eat. I 'm watching my portion size, trying to reduce the amount of carbs I eat as I'm a huge pasta/rice fiend. I don't count calories though...I'd guess that I'm eating around 1200-1400 a day.
I find with 16:8 though that I just don't have time to snack.

At 1.30 I have lunch...salad with boiled eggs/plain chicken/tinned sardines/soup. Then around 5.30 I have 'breakfast'...porridge and banana, natural yoghurt and fruit. Then DH and I have dinner around 9pm...a 'normal' meal, could be spag Bol, stir fry, chicken dinner.

I started out at 13st 4lbs...am now 12st 7lbs. I'm aiming to get down to 10stone eventually which at 5foot 5 puts me around a size 10.

giraffeseatpineapples Wed 12-Feb-14 23:03:25

I started 5:2 in 2012 for about 8 months (33 yo).

Positives of 5:2 were getting more done on fast days; realising I don't always need breakfast; social side of being able to fit it in without needing to tell people 'I'm on a diet'.

negatives for me: slowest and least successful weight loss I have ever experienced; irritability; cravings and blood sugar going weird once I started eating after a fast; i don't know about hairloss but my hair seems thicker now; I suspected it was harming rather than benefiting me as time went on.

I could see myself looking at fasting again in the future but prob not 5:2.

giraffeseatpineapples Wed 12-Feb-14 23:09:24

Oh by the way i experimented with fasts too, 22 hours a couple of times and 3 x 500 cal days in a row once. I had to introduce an element of low carb to get weight moving towards the end and then decided low carb without the fasts was easier.

RosegoldRuby Wed 12-Feb-14 23:18:47

I had a hugely stressful year, worst year of my life. Two of my children had serious illnesses (different ones) and we were worried they might not survive. A grandchild was born who also was very ill and spent a week being chilled in a neo- natal unit. And other stuff, equally serious.

I found if I fasted my anxiety rocketed and my mood plummeted. It was almost unbearable. I was used to fasting, having previously belonged to a religion, for thirty years, where we fasted completely for 24 hours every month. It wasn't the hunger, but the effect on my state of mind.

I think 2013 left me traumatised.

ilikebigbutts Sun 16-Feb-14 16:02:31

I lost nearly a stone last year with it and then basically I just stopped trying and have put all of it back on. I've started again from today though as I weighed myself this morning and was shocked to see the scales hitting 11st, I'm happy around 9 1/2 st.

I've had IBS for years and found that fasting really helped with this. It was as though the fast days helped my sluggish bowel to play catch up with what I had eaten the day before !

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!

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

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.

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!

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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.

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 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.

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

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!!!

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 .....

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.

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.

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>

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.

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.

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!

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.

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