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how strict do you have to be with calories

(12 Posts)
hippoinamudhole Mon 07-Jul-14 08:18:14

I did this last year for 8 months and felt fantastic, but to be honest at the calorie counting and weighing food got on my nerves.

So if I just made a bowl of vegetable stew without all the weighing and referring to calorie content etc and ate only that on a fast day would I still get the health benefits?


MelanieCheeks Mon 07-Jul-14 13:17:52

As long as you're sure that it doesn't go over 500 calories.

Whats in the stew?

hippoinamudhole Mon 07-Jul-14 13:44:32

That's the thing, I really don't want to weigh and count. It's so time consuming.

Veg like carrots, swede, squash, onion, leeks maybe a potato or some lentils

hippoinamudhole Mon 07-Jul-14 13:45:44

I'm also not worried about loosing weight. I'd just like the health benefits

MelanieCheeks Mon 07-Jul-14 14:10:42

I'm not sure if anyone can answer that. The health benefits are quite difficult to measure - was there something in particular that you are hoping to improve?

But if you feel good doing that version, I cant see any harm.

hippoinamudhole Mon 07-Jul-14 14:18:57

I have IBS which improved greatly while I was strict with myself last year and i'd like to not suffer quite so much.
Think I'll give it a go and see what happens.
Thanks for your replies

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 07-Jul-14 14:23:26

I think that mentally, if you like the idea of restraining yourself, feeling properly 'hungry' on a fast day, relishing eating on a NFD etc, then that's a reasonable way to live/eat.

I think if you wanted to lose weight, you would need to count, probably.

BigChocFrenzy Mon 07-Jul-14 15:30:57

Scientific studies suggest intermittent fasting, like 5:2 / ADF / 16:8 etc may bring health benefits because of hormesis: the fasting puts the body more into repair mode.
Some leading anti-aging researchers fast regularly because of their findings.
However, some of these benefits may be due to weight loss.

Anecdotally, many of us on the 5:2 threads feel healthier on a fasting regime and some have had considerable improvements in conditions like IBS or asthma.

A bowl of veg stew like you described would be fine to put you into a fasted state, if that is all you eat.
To obtain health benefits of fasting, it is best just to eat once that day
. Eat normally the day before, but stop eating after supper.
. Just a big bowl of veg soup on your FD (split it into 2-3 smaller meals)
. The next day eat normally

It doesn't matter if you are 500 or 600 cals. Exact calorie counting is for faster weight loss.
Some folk manage to lose all the weight they wanted without calorie counting on the other 5 days (I did)
Such folk are able to judge roughly the correct amount to eat and / or are exercisers with a high TDEE.

BigChocFrenzy Mon 07-Jul-14 15:32:04

Oops: split into 2-3 small meals if you must, but one meal is better

hippoinamudhole Mon 07-Jul-14 18:54:43

Thanks bigchoc, one meal in the evening is easiest I think. I used to do this last year so I have a rough idea of what 500cals looks like it's just that trying to be so precise took an extra 30 mins of weighing, adding etc and to be honest I don't know if I can be bothered.

What I'd really like to do is cook enough for 4 meals at a time and freeze the extras for the next two weeks as I found I was spending so much time cooking my meal everyone else was suffering.

Like I say i'd really just like to reduce the IBS symptoms because it worked last year.

Thanks for answering I feel a bit better about it now

ICanHearYou Wed 09-Jul-14 22:29:52

I usually go over by 40/60 calories on a fast day.

BigChocFrenzy Tue 15-Jul-14 23:13:07

No problem, ICan
Someone with say a 2,000 TDEE should be having 11,000 cals weekly. 120 extra cals over the week isn't noticeable.

In contrast, folk who average an extra 2-300 cals on each NFD are going 1000-1500 cals over, which is half the total deficit from the FDs.
So, they lose very slowly.

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