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weight - intermittent fasting or healthy diet?

(22 Posts)
cath2233 Wed 12-Feb-14 15:21:23

wondering about tackling a weight problem? I know intermittent fasting is popular but I'd get hungry - in anycase the site says it's basically good for mice, not humans. I'm thinking of just clearing out the fridge and loading up on fruit and veg, any advice?

Lifeisadancefloor Wed 12-Feb-14 15:32:59

I think you have to do a bit of trial and error to find out what works for you - everyone is different and responds very differently to diets. I had a BMI of nearly 36 last year had been faffing around with Slimming world, 5:2 and other things for years - then I suddenly decided to go on a VLCD - and bingo the switch went in my brain, I have lost 7 stone and am keeping it off still using the VLCD when I need to.

Have a read of the various diets (minimins is a great forum for that) and think - what can you stick to and what fits into your life.

Then go for it and don't let anyone hold you back.

Remember being overweight is hard - loosing weight is hard - maintaining weight is hard…….all you have to do is choose your hard!

cath2233 Wed 12-Feb-14 15:45:23

good for you! I think the VLCD might be a bit extreme for me though.

Sunshinenow Wed 12-Feb-14 15:50:32

I have tried everything. The only thing that worked was a vlcd.

Followed by 5:2 and 6:1 for maintenance.

newbieman1978 Wed 12-Feb-14 15:54:17

If you eat healthily and keep within your "weight loss" calories you will lose weight. If once you've lost the weight you eat healthily and keep within your "maintenance" calories you'll maintain.

Many people try different types of "diets" because they want to lose weight faster or they think it will be easier. However there is no substitute for heathly eating.

Eating loads of fuit and veg isn't healthy eating by the way.


cath2233 Wed 12-Feb-14 15:58:22

didn't you get any of the other effects people mention from VLCD'S? - feeling cold, headaches, hair loss etc. I've been reading up on diets and it seems finding something that suits the individual is important? I don't do hungry!

Sunshinenow Wed 12-Feb-14 16:03:21 was a bit miserable not eating food, but no other side effects. I factored in the same time again to work up to eating again. So the overall time was the same as a 'normal' diet. But is was easier for me to do this when slimmer and healthier than to take over a year on sw.

cath2233 Wed 12-Feb-14 16:08:13

did you have to have a doctor to monitor your progress? I understand that in the States you can only buy the VLCDs from a doctor, but in the UK it's over the counter and you don't get the monitoring? Bit worrying really

Sunshinenow Wed 12-Feb-14 16:56:31

You are monitored by the counsellor. You cannot get over the counter (I think)

I signed to say my doctor was being informed.

MostWicked Wed 12-Feb-14 17:07:15

Diets don't work. They can help you lose weight, but then you start eating normally again (eating what you did before that made you fat) and you pile all the weight back on.

The quickest way to lose pounds, is to buy products that claim to help, but it's financial pounds you lose, not fat pounds.

5:2 works because it is very easy to do and as long as you don't go mad on the non fast days, then you will lose weight. You can maintain it with 6:1. I have found the fast days SO much easier than I expected, because I found foods that I can eat a lot of, that are very low calorie.

cath2233 Wed 12-Feb-14 18:41:40

I don't know about intermittent fasting - I've been reading The Weight Issue and it says that the medical evidence is not there for humans - although it works for mice. It says it can make you feel cold, irritable and constipated. Do you manage to work ok when you're on a fast day? Or do you find it difficult to find enough energy? I tend to get a bit grumpy when I'm hungry!

MostWicked Wed 12-Feb-14 22:19:22

It hasn't made me feel any of those things, and I love my food!
There really is very good evidence that even if you are a healthy weight, there are significant health benefits to fasting.
The first day was hard, but I wasn't well prepared, since then I've got a much better understanding of what foods give the sense of feeling fuller but are good quality and low calorie.
The main advantage is there is nothing that is banned. If a food is not allowed on a fast day, I can have it the next day, so I can still enjoy a glass of wine and a couple of choccies.
DH is doing it too - he has become so much more aware of portion sizes and calorific values that it really has changed the ways he eats the rest he time. He's not restricting himself on the other days, but he isn't eating for the sake of it.
We know that this is sustainable because its not hard!
I actually find working a very good distraction. I just drink water or tea if I get a hunger pang or eat a few almonds or stick of celery if I do need a snack.

cath2233 Thu 13-Feb-14 09:20:50

I don't know about the health benefits, I've got Michelle Harvie's 2 day diet book but the 2 days don't look particularly healthy - it says you can eat up to 12 eggs on the 2 day bit which seems a bit odd to me? The weight issue says that all the int. fasting research has been done on mice and the health benefits in them might be because intermittent fasting is more like a normal mouse diet in the wild, so fasting it increases its lifespan by giving it the optimum diet. I guess if it's working for you though? Is there a problem eating all the protein on the restricted days?

newbieman1978 Thu 13-Feb-14 13:08:06

Cath2233 why do you keep arguing against fasting? If it isn't for you then don't do it! I'm not into it either, I think eating a balanced healthy diet and keeping that within my set amount of daily calories is the best thing to do.

People are differet so you won't convince a 5/2er that it's not a good idea.

Do as I do and you won't go far wrong.

cath2233 Thu 13-Feb-14 13:35:44

I suppose I'm looking for the perfect answer! have tried the Frenchwoman don't get fat diet, now that was delicious, three course meals - only thing was I put on weight! You're probably right, healthy eating might be the way to go.

newbieman1978 Thu 13-Feb-14 14:40:14

There really isn't a pefect answer, what works for one doesn't for another.

It really isn't rocket science (easy to say) but millions of pounds a year are spent on the "science" of weight loss. It is massive business and in essence that is because we all want an easy or at least manageable option that works for us.

Everyone wants to be thin and everyone wants to eat lots of nice food though its pretty much impossible to combine the two so we have to compromise.

Like I said it mainly in the mind, feeling hungry never did anyone any harm. Mind over matter.

MostWicked Thu 13-Feb-14 16:45:01

12 eggs? Never heard of that! That would be over 500 calories anyway.

Is there a problem eating all the protein on the restricted days?

I don't understand that. You can eat anything up to the 500 calories. I tend to cut carbs and sugar. I have a soup for lunch and meat or fish and veg for my main meal on fast days. I have found that I am eating much more healthily than I ever did before. I enjoy salad so there's always things I can enjoy and are healthy.

It's not for everyone. A friend tried it, but she ate so much more on the non fast days, that she didn't lose anything. I would say that she has a really poor relationship with food though, and no diet will ever work while that is the case.

Healthy eating with a good relationship with food, is sustainable. Combine that with 5:2 and you will lose weight.

frenchfancy Thu 13-Feb-14 21:20:27

I think you are getting confused between the two day diet (where there are all sorts of restrictions) and 5:2 where you eat what you choose.

I wouldn't take much on board by one web site, try reading the 5:2 stuff on here or even on a special 5:2 dedicated forum.

It isn't for everyone, but I disagree strongly with the claims it is unhealthy. I have never eaten so healthily in my life. on restricted days the only protein I eat is from pulses so I have never had any constipation problems. I do get cold sometimes, but some of that is because I've got less blubber than I used to have.

Even if you don't want to do 5:2 in the long term it is worth trying for a week, just to understand the way hunger works. It doesn't build like you expect it to, it comes and goes in waves. So if you don't have breakfast you may get hungry at 8:30, but by 9am you have forgotten about it and got busy, same again at 11:30. What is sometimes more difficult to get used to is the times we eat when we are not hungry.

MostWicked Thu 13-Feb-14 22:02:21

One thing that really surprised me was the morning after a fast day, I was expecting to wake up early feeling ravenous, and I just haven't. I feel perfectly normal.
Hunger has been much easier than I was expecting it to be.

takingawhile Fri 14-Feb-14 08:03:42

Lifeisadancefloor I love your quote "pall you have to do is choose your hard". I find it really tough to do moderation, to just have "one" especially when down etc, anyway, I am hijacking someone else's thread, but thought I would jet say i find it tough to not turn to food. I love food, for me it's easier to just have days where by I don't allow myself free access to food all day.

Good luck!

Sirzy Fri 14-Feb-14 08:10:02

Personally I don't feel any diet works, not in my case anyway. For me the key to significant weight loss has been accepting that and making the effort to move to a healthy, balanced diet. I am now at a point where I can eat what I want because I have retrained myself and changed my relationship with food so I know I will quickly be back on track if I have a 'bad' meal.

For me it was about mindset and being able to control things as much as the diet itself.

PlateSpinningAtAllTimes Fri 14-Feb-14 13:34:24

I agree with everyone who has said that different diets/lifestyles work for different people. I'd also say that different things can work for an individual at different stages of their life. Also, most diets and fitness regimes are really hard at first but you just have to persist for a week or so and they get easier.

If you can't cope with dieting, why not try to eat a bit healthier and mainly focus on exercise? I lost a lot of fat in the run up to my wedding when I did exercise every day- mainly shred DVD and running. Dropped a couple of dress sizes. Don't weigh yourself if you do this though, because you gain muscle which is heavier than fat.

Any calorie restricted diet will reduce muscle as well as fat, so keep that in mind. The 5:2 has been shown to reduce a much higher fat percentage than other diets.

A friend of mine has had great success with slimming world, because you dont have to restrict quantities of certain foods so you nev go hungry. Maybe that would suit you? You do have to restrict fatty and sugary food, plus some carbs like bread, but she's found that it has fit really well into her life and the whole family is eating more healthily than ever.

Another thing to try is something like my fitness pal, which really motivated me to lose about 2 stone after having my 2nd baby. You have to weigh things, look at labels etc, but it re educates you about portion sizes, which can be helpful when you are no longer dieting. It also shows how much you burn when doing physical activities, so you can 'earn' treats etc and not feel guilty!

I'm currently trying the 5:2, which suits me at the moment. I'm generally feeling a lot healthier for it, and you can keep headaches at bay by drinking a lot of fluids. The mantra is 'mainly plants and protein' for fast days, so it promotes general healthy eating. The first few fasting days are pretty tough but it does get easier. I'd advise easing in gently - start with 1000 cals on fast days and then reduce down bit by bit.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

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