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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!

MelanieCheeks Fri 10-Jan-14 19:33:32

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

MelanieCheeks Fri 10-Jan-14 21:20:46

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!

BigChocFrenzy Sat 18-Jan-14 00:01:55

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.

BigChocFrenzy Sat 18-Jan-14 23:25:02

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.

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