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Failed at fasting, anyone else given up and want to offload?

(48 Posts)
rubyblue Mon 17-Jun-13 22:05:56

3rd attempt at 5:2 today, by 3.30pm was miserable, anxious, distracted, could not hate a piece of bread and ta da...felt better.

It's is my 3rd attempt. I lasted 6 weeks last time and lost/gained a grand total of 3lbs. But, my mood was terrible during the two fast days which affected my work and my family.

I have read the books, watched the Horizon programme, joined the forums etc but the simple fact is that you cannot eat and drink what you like the rest of the time and expect to lose weight and the authors admit this. So it's not a 2 day a week diet at all.

I asked for advice on the official site about my low mood (no high for me!) and was advised to follow a more low carb, high protein diet for most of the week, as well as on fast days. This all sounded to me like a 7 day diet, where I would be thinking about food anyway.

Suffice to say, since stopping, my weight is more or less the same, less the 3lb loss (which took 6 weeks!), so I wonder if it was totally unrelated to the diet at all.

Anyone else want to share stories of failure?!!!

Ps DH and dc are mighty relieved I have given it all up...

DuchessFanny Mon 17-Jun-13 22:12:36

Watching this with interest ... On my period and fasting today ( managed it ) but feel utterly miserable ... Also keep falling off the wagon -- lost 4lbs in the first week, 3 in the second ... Stopped doing it for about two weeks started again, only managed one day, etc etc .. I have found myfitnesspal pretty good though ! I would just do that but am swayed by the health benefit links with 5:2 ( diabetes and cancer in my family ...)

DuchessFanny Mon 17-Jun-13 22:13:22

Oh and DH doing this with me, but he finds it quite easy ... Git !!

rubyblue Mon 17-Jun-13 22:17:04

Hey DF, I hear you. I am interested in the health benefits too (history of all of the above in my family and I have PCOS), however, the impact on my mood and my life is too much for me. I know folks say its only 2 days but that's 20% of my week when I am a stroppy, self obsessed cow to be around and just miserable. If I had weight loss like you, I would be pleased...but I don't and I am not kidding myself as to why, I simply overeat the rest of the week. I should say that I only want to lose half a stone as I am at the top of the BMI and know it would do me good.

QueenOfCats Mon 17-Jun-13 22:18:10

Was gong to start this tomorrow hmm

Talkinpeace Mon 17-Jun-13 22:20:29

Start easier.

step one : try to restrict food to just three meal times so that you get used to having a slightly rumbly tummy and sating that with drinks.

step two : go for a 16 hour fast. Have an early supper one night and then just have tea or coffee the next morning and have a vegetable soup or stew for lunch the next day

step three : when those get easy, see if you can make that lunch be 200 calories and then go for a 400 calorie supper and through to the next dat

step four : when you are used to that, gor for the full fasts, but be willing to go up and down through the steps till you find a method that works for you.

rubyblue Mon 17-Jun-13 22:28:01

But what about the lack of weight loss? Even if you manage to fast and get used to the hunger, it made me hungrier on other days, hence the overeating, contrary to the research by the lovely US lady. She said folks over ate by 10% the following day, which still resulted in weight loss.

And what about low mood? There is no advice on how to deal with it and I am sick of folks saying how good they feel on it.

Is it just me then?! Do I have a weird metabolism?

Talkinpeace Mon 17-Jun-13 22:33:22

on non fast days, of course you cannot eat "anything you want"
you should eat normally for your size

there are lots and lots of people on the main threads who have had to learn what normal eating is for their body size.

Another tack.
Work out your TDEE and use MFP to eat no more than that each day : set it to NOT lose weight : just get use to eating properly

My TDEE is 1500 calories.
So I do 2 days of 500, 3 days of 1000 and 2 days of 2000 (wine)
and my weight is stable

rubyblue Mon 17-Jun-13 22:42:32

Sorry to be thick but what is TDEE? Total daily energy expenditure? It's the calories I need each day right? But what you are saying, and the forums too is that in order to lose weight, you have to calorie count 7 days a week, not just 2 days. Which defeats the selling point of it being 'easier' and means you are in diet mode all week.

I am happy to eat less and more sensibly to lose weight, but I think there are easier ways of doing it for me personally (South Beach diet is easier for me but I worried about all the meat). And as you can see, I have not gained weight in the last 2 months since I stopped fasting.

But I will try MFP to see if that helps me. Ta!

Sorry for being negative but I think the claims are exaggerated (even a bit dishonest) and plenty of others have not had the weight loss they expected and are miserable and feeling a failure. I still think it is terrible for my mood.

plecofjustice Mon 17-Jun-13 22:52:46

Ruby - you don't need to calorie count the other days, but you do need to eat mindfully. Yes, you lose weight on the 5:2 because you are achieving a calorie deficit of 2000-3000 (depending on your build) a week. But if you allow yourself to eat back all those calories the rest of the week, the weight won't go. So just eat normally on the other days - don't overeat to compensate for the fast and don't undereat, just eat what you usually eat.

I immediately got alarm bells from you mentioning eating bread on a fast day. Normal processed bread is extremely high in sugar, and will cause you to have quite a sharp energy spike/slump. Processed carbs in general are not good choices for fast days - they are very calorie dense and not filling. Maybe try some celery or lettuce instead - the act of eating will be satisfying, but the foods are calorie-sparse.

It is normal to experience mood swings at first - your body takes time to adapt to a different way of fuelling itself. I'd encourage anyone to give it 6 weeks, then decide. This gives your body time to find stability and adjust.

rubyblue Mon 17-Jun-13 23:04:32

I caved in and ate the bread as I was off to do the school run and just did not want to be grumpy with my kids as they are super tired at the end of the day and need a calm mum to cope with them! So at that point, I gave up completely. I fel a failure because all those other people are losing so much weight effortlessly and I am not ( self pitying). I don't massively overeat the other days, I cook from scratch, don't snack etc but I do drink a glass of wine most nights, except fast of course.

I just don't think it's for me. Sorry. Was kind of hoping for others who felt the same way and could empathise but I feel like I am being told off for being a greedy girl.

timidviper Mon 17-Jun-13 23:10:35

ruby Don't feel bad, I don't think I could fast either. I note you were advised to eat more protein and less carbs on your other days. I joined BIWIs bootcamp threads to do just that and am losing weight without fasting at the moment but we have all noticed being able to go longer between eating which may help bring in fasting later if needed, I know some have tried it. Why not look at the bootcamp threads instead, they're very supportive.

porolli Mon 17-Jun-13 23:12:12

I'm completely with you OP. I could have written your post. I was encouraged by listening to a radio 4 Inside Health programme recently which disputed the health benefits that are claimed for it, saying that it is calorie restriction pure and simple which makes it work for some people.

RubyOnRails Mon 17-Jun-13 23:12:32

I started the day intending to fast and ate bagels, chocolate tart, hobnobs, name it, I ate it.

I put myself under far too much pressure.

You could juice on the fast days though? I did a juice fast before and it was v effective. Main thing was, my blood sugar was stable and I was we'll hydrated so never felt hungry. I went for five weeks no problem.

Sh1ney Mon 17-Jun-13 23:18:20

It's just the current fad isn't it? That's all. I remain skeptical.

I am currently 9 st ish and like to maintain by eating three satisfying meals a day. This works. If I want to cut back a bit i just eating lower carb but not excessively so.

I think there is more than a hint of the emperor's new clothes re these fasting diets. The proof I guess, will be in the longer term

chocolatespiders Mon 17-Jun-13 23:20:15

My problem is as soon as I know I cant have something I eat and eat till I fall asleep sad

I do much better when I have days where I say to myself eat whatever you want>>> the desire and desperation goes from me and I eat much better.

PearlyGrey Tue 18-Jun-13 09:29:55

Don't worry if you can't do just one meal a day. I've been doing this for about 5/6 weeks now and I've lost just over 10lbs. I split my calories into 2 smallish meals and snacks - I only normally start feeling hungry in the evening so I just have a slightly earlier night! I know lots of people on here recommend only eating dinner but the way I've been doing is working for me. I normally have something with a lot of protein about 11am (salmon on toast a lot of the time - again, I know bread isn't recommended on here but I don't really notice any issues with it!), then a small veg stir fry for tea at around 7pm. That leaves me about 100/150 kcal left over for snacks between meals (fruit, veg, peanut butter, even icecreams - soleros are only about 95kcal and one will keep me going till dinner). So basically I don't eat one meal, I have bread and I snack all on a fast day but so far it's still working for me!

With regards to your non-fast days yes you have to calorie count to an extent, but you're counting to the calories your body needs to get through the day essentially. It's not really depriving yourself as you're eating what your body needs if that makes sense?

Also remember it's not for everyone! I'm lucky that my timetable at the minute lets me fast without any disruption, that's going to change after the summer so I'll have to have a rethink, though I'm hoping to be just maintaining by then. If it's making you miserable, or doesn't fit with your lifestyle then try one of the other diets you've suggested that you know works for you. For what it's worth I'm skeptical about the health benefits, I know it's working for me because it's (quite clever) calorie control, but it has changed the way I think about calories and food so hopefully I'll find maintaining a lot easier than after other diets where it's all deprive and no feast!

mejon Tue 18-Jun-13 14:26:36

rubyblue - you have my sympathies and grin at the thought of lettuce or celery filling a hole. I've been doing it for 3 or 4 weeks or so now and I'm not entirely certain I've lost anything at all or if I'm losing and gaining the same few pounds. I've been low-carbing for the last 18-24 months and had lost nearly 3 stone but had reached a plateau (obviously not helped by the odd baguette) so thought this may kick-start my weight loss. I thought the whole idea was that you didn't have to think about what you ate on non FD so I've been sticking to low-carb on those days but I've no idea if I'm eating too much/not enough. I tend not to eat until lunchtime anyway so go at least 16 hours between eating and don't tend to eat after 6 or 7pm. I'm stumped. I may give it a few more weeks then see how it goes and maybe try low-carbing again but being stricter.

Cat98 Tue 18-Jun-13 17:46:34

It's not for everyone, don't worry about it!
It's working well for me at the moment but if it doesn't, I'll change it, of course. Just because every man and his dog seems to be doing it doesn't mean it's the only way to lose weight. I can understand feeling disheartened though.

Re coping - I agree with whoever said 3 smaller meals works well. I am not ready yet for a long period with no cals. But again, it's different for different people.

rubyblue Tue 18-Jun-13 21:13:17

Thanks for the messages, cheered me up after the first responses. Felt I was under fire there so it's good to remind myself that it just does not suit me, despite the endless tide of folks saying they find it easy and have lost stones on it! DH reminded me that I have terrible mood swings if I don't eat every 4 hours which made me laugh, so fasting is not for to the bootcamp page...thanks all.

Hugsandkisses Wed 19-Jun-13 12:35:20

porolli wish I had listened to that radio 4 programme. Can you tell me what is was about please in a quick summary if you can?
Thank you.

snoworneahva Wed 19-Jun-13 13:21:53

Did it for 9months - lost no weight but I kept going for the health benefits. Eventually the negatives wore me down, I was ratty in the evening before eating, and sleep was very disturbed on a fast night. No hunger high, no desire to fast 2 days a week and calorie restrict for the other 5 long term - that's just a calorie controlled diet. The idea was attractive to me because it was 2 days I don't want to have to think about restrictions on the other 5 days. This is my first week off fasting - god it feels good! grin

GreenEggsAndNichts Wed 19-Jun-13 17:37:39

Okay, the reason it might not work for some of us is because our mental version of what a normal caloric intake is for a day (homecooked, fresh, etc or not) is possibly higher than it should be. Many of us gained weight because we eat larger portions than we should, or snack.

That is where TDEE comes in. Figure out the calories you SHOULD be eating on a NORMAL day. The amount of calories your body needs to stay at its current weight. It's not low calorie. Yes, it's calorie counting, but not for long.

Because eventually, you will have a mental idea of what calories you should be consuming on 'normal' days. No, every non-fast day should not be full roast dinner with wine day. That's fine once a week, but not every day.

You will often see people claim they aren't counting calories on non-fast days. That's entirely possible! We all have different eating habits. We're all starting from different weights, we all have different levels of physical activity. That's why we suggest going back to TDEE just to check yourself and see what you should be eating. Your version of 'normal' might just not be correct.

This isn't me trying to tell you to keep it up, btw, OP. smile Obviously you need to do what's best for you, and anytime someone's come in and said they just can't fast, I've always been the first to say that they should try something else. I, personally, could not do low-carb all the time, for example. We all need to do what works for us.

Good luck, whatever you end up with! smile

orangeandemons Wed 19-Jun-13 17:45:58

It didn't work for me either. I did it for 5 weeks and lost 3lbs. I found the fast days harder and harder, and found them impossible on a work day. I'm a teacher and teach a physically demanding subject, which involves being on my feet all day, and just couldn't manage on 500 cals.

The other option was to do it on my days offwhich were Thursday and Friday, which meant one day was always at a weekend which I wanted to avoid. I still had to count calories which really pissed me off, so I fell off the wagonsmile. Was sick of how often the 500 cal days came round, it seemed to be all the time

Anthracite Wed 19-Jun-13 18:07:01

I stumbled upon 5:2 having been low-carbing for a few weeks.

I think losing reliance on carbs (which takes a couple of days) is key to having easy fast days.

I have been 5:2 for three weeks now and find it fairly easy - if I am fasting on my designated Mondays and Thursdays. I had a mums night out last Thursday, so decided to switch to Wednesday, but succumbed to the wine in the evening, promising myself Friday and that didn't happen either.

The best thing is to choose your fast day foods wisely, so that you feel full for the fewest calories, and then be sensible on the other days.

My colleague is also 5:2 ing, but he has a massive lunch with pudding on the other days which seems counter productive.

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