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Is anyone trying a half-hearted version of 5:2 and is it at all effective

(19 Posts)
ellesabe Fri 21-Feb-14 21:03:36

I like the idea of 5:2 but I'm not a big calorie-counter and I'm not sure I'd cope very well with only 500 calories on fast days.

Would it work if I didn't count calories on fast days but just generally made a conscious effort to only eat when actually hungry, have minimal portion sizes etc?

Or is it a case of 'no pain no gain'?

NoArmaniNoPunani Fri 21-Feb-14 21:05:12

What is it about 5/2 that appeals? Have you tried low carb instead?

ellesabe Fri 21-Feb-14 21:25:34

I suppose I like the fact that with 5:2 you don't have to even think about it for 5 days a week.

I really don't want to 'do' a diet that is going to take over my life having watched my mum recently become a slave to slimming world

BigChocFrenzy Fri 21-Feb-14 23:19:42

To lose weight, you need a calorie deficit. Different people prefer different ways of achieving this. However, hardly any women manage this from exercise alone, so you need to permanently change your eating habits.

5:2 gives about a 3000-cal weekly deficit from the 2 FDs, whereas low carb achieves a daily deficit by cutting out calorie-dense sweet junk, bread, pasta, grains, rice etc.
You choose which method you prefer.

Personally, I low-carbed and maintained for years, but found I had to cut down the carbs every year and I couldn't eat fruit without piling on weight.
I rarely ate with friends and I hated the restrictions every day.
Eventually, the food made me perpetually nauseated and I stopped.

I love 5:2, because 5 days of the week are normal and I can choose which ones. I have a normal social life again !

frenchfancy Sat 22-Feb-14 08:06:41

Firstly you really don't know how you'll cope on 500 cals until you've tried. I was amazed when I first started 5:2 I didn't think y body could survive on so little. We forget we carry around a full fuel tank in our fat all the time.

Secondly there is no need to count all the time. If you are not bothered about variety then find your self 2 days of meals that fit for a fast day and just repeat them. I nearly always eat the same food on a FD so I don't count.

For example - Monday lunch - tomato soup, dinner veg curry (no rice)
Thursday lunch Butternut soup, Thursday dinner baked sweet potatoes with tuna.

As long as you are careful with your portions and don't add any extras like butter or rice then you will be fine, no need to count.

I have a friend that does 5:2 but she calls it the soup diet. 2 days a week she only eats soup. She never counts calories.

BiscuitsAreMyDownfall Sat 01-Mar-14 15:17:06

me and no not really that effective. Though I haven't put on any weight and have lost a bit. I easily do a FD on a Monday and try to have another mini FD later on in the week.

Having said that I've only really been doing it for a few weeks and don't have a lot to lose (its always harder to lose just one stone than it is to lose the first of many) anyway. Plus I've had 2 bad weeks then a third not so good week (it wasn't as bad as the 2 previously) but I've stayed below 11 stone these last few weeks whereas a couple of months ago the scales would have tipped over grin

So maybe it can work, but on a much slower level.

I don't count calories on NFD as I just simply CBA, I just try not to have too many bad things.

BiscuitsAreMyDownfall Sat 01-Mar-14 15:18:01

I have no intention of low carbing ever as you can't cheat and have to completely cut out my favourite foods such as Pasta.

Breadandwine Sat 01-Mar-14 19:59:38

I like the idea of 5:2 but I'm not a big calorie-counter and I'm not sure I'd cope very well with only 500 calories on fast days.

These were my thoughts exactly, when I started this two years ago. For 6 months prior to the Horizon programme I divided my meals in two and had half on one fast day and the other on the second FD.

And I lost about 10lbs in that 6 months. Once I started 5:2ing, I found it was perfectly doable.

Why not give it a go, but have something around if you need it?

Come and join us on the big thread! smile

bibliomania Tue 04-Mar-14 16:56:39

I'm not great with calorie counting either, but as french says, you only need to work out a couple of meals that will see you through fast days and stick to those. My personal view is you can't go far wrong with scrambled eggs.

I started off very loosely and even now I can't say I do it religiously, but I have lost weight - obviously not as fast as others have. I've found that the fasting gets easier. The first few times I was really conscious that I was fasting, but now I often forget while I'm absorbed in work or watching the telly or whatever.

What I like is that there isn't a big sense of falling off the wagon if one day doesn't work out, it's just a matter of giving it another shot the next day.

Have you thought about 16:8? No calorie-counting involved, just clock-watching! I haven't tried it myself, but some people are very enthusiastic.

evergreentreehugger Wed 05-Mar-14 13:52:18

I have been trying to do the 5:2 diet, although more often than not it becomes the 6:1. It's the thought of it that's worse - the day before a fast day. When I'm actually doing a fast day it's not so bad because I can think of all the nice things I can eat tomorrow!! Must be psychological.

Breadandwine Wed 05-Mar-14 20:05:44

Stick with it evergreen! It does get easier, honest! smile

BiscuitsAreMyDownfall Thu 06-Mar-14 21:54:43

Im finding it really difficult. I was doing so well until a month ago then I lost it for a couple of weeks and can't get back into it. I can do 1 FD easily, but Im finding the rest of the week really hard not to eat. I do try to stick to 16:8, but during those 8 hours I do eat some crap.

BigChocFrenzy Thu 06-Mar-14 22:46:40

For 16:8 to work for weight loss, you still need a substantial weekly calorie deficit.
So, 3000 cals to lose 1 lb, but spread over 7 days, instead of via 2 FDs.

16:8 means cutting out either breakfast or supper, which works very well for those folk with sensible appetite, who don't eat it back within the 8 hours.

Some people don't lose on 16:8, or even on Fast 5 (19:5)

plecofjustice Thu 06-Mar-14 23:17:30

I am, having been doing 5:2 for almost 18months. I've found in the last 6 that my body wont cope on 500 cals, but works fine on 6-650. So I do that instead (my tdee is 2000). I think its because I'm being much healthier at weekends, there's more of a deficit.

BiscuitsAreMyDownfall Sat 08-Mar-14 22:49:43

For anything to work with weight loss whether you're doing 5:2, 16:8, low carbing, SW, WW, or anything else is you have to have it in your heart to do it and right now I don't. Not deep down. I would like to be a stone lighter and I do easily manage a FD on Mondays and 16:8 most days added to that I go to the gym 2-3 times a week plus running another once or twice a week. I just don't want to leave the crap and bad eating choices out. In another month or two I might do, but right now my heart isn't in it as much as it should be for it to work. Having said that I am staying to under 11 stone, which was unheard of before Christmas so more like maintaining that losing for now. I know my mojo will come back - it always does.

spatchcock Wed 02-Apr-14 15:42:17

I'm glad I saw this as I was just coming onto the board to ask the same question - I've been doing the 5:2 for three weeks pretty half heartedly. I find the fast days are ok until lunchtime and then I get really hungry. By dinnertime I'm starving and tend to overeat. I've also been snacking on stuff like nuts and the odd bit of fruit which does add up.

Yesterday I decided to give up altogether as it seemed pointless. However, I weighed myself at friend's house and I have lost 8lb over those three weeks. This is astonishing!

It might be because on my NF days I don't tend to overeat so much and am craving healthier foods. But I'm definitely not depriving myself.

ErrolTheDragon Wed 02-Apr-14 15:58:48

spatchcock, sounds like you've answered the OP's question! 8lb in 3 weeks 'half-hearted' is amazing - well done!

I did it pretty half-heartedly for quite a while (hate calorie counting) and turned around a slow creep up of the scales into a gradual descent, which I was quite happy with. I'm doing it a bit more seriously now with the help of the main support thread.

If you don't want to count even on fast days, then a ready meal can be the solution.

In general, eating only when actually hungry and stopping when you're not is a darned good idea! I realised that more often than not I really don't want breakfast. And on fast days, not eating as soon as you feel hungry - have a drink and wait a bit to see whether you really need food or not.

A lot of people find that it gets easier as you go along, so its fine to start out eating up to say 800 and then gradually decreasing - often finding that before long you can easily do without brekkie and then have minimal lunch (I just have some miso soup, and dont' always want that till mid-afternoon), saving up for a respectable dinner.

EirikurNoromaour Wed 02-Apr-14 21:20:19

Half hearted doesn't work for me because my 'fast days' creep up until I'm probably having nearer 1000 cals and my normal days I probably go over TDEE by 200+ so I don't really get a deficit.
The only way it works for me is to plan in advance what I'm eating for dinner and stick to it. I don't religiously calorie count but I know what a >500 calorie meal looks like.

ErrolTheDragon Thu 03-Apr-14 11:00:09

Erikur - yes, I do that on FDs - it makes it easier because then you don't have to think about it during the day.

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