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Fasting / 5:2 diet

Confused by what to eat on NFD

4 replies

justwondering72 · 28/11/2013 13:00


I am brand new to this WOE. The fast days seem quite straightforward but I am confused by what I can eat on non-fast days.

The big selling point of this WOE in the book seems to be 'Eat what you like on NFDs as long as you fast properly on the FDs - only two days a week!'. Then I read on here about needing to stick within calorie limits (TEDEs? TEEDs?) on the NFDs. I really really don't like calorie counting and the general obsessivenes that comes with it, and on first reading I thought that this WOE did not involve lots of tedious calorie counting.

Am I reading this all wrong? Please educate me about what I can eat on NFDs! I have read the book, maybe I need to go back and read some more.

For background, I've been low carbing for years, but due to budgetary constraints I have to start eating more cheaply i.e. less meat and eggs. One thing I always liked about ieating this way was that I didn't have to count or measure or weigh anything - as long as I ate the right foods and ate to my appetite, and avoided junky carbs, it would 'work' in terms of weight loss. I don't intend to go mad on the NFDs, just would like to be able to eat a little more cheaply that low carb / high protein currently allows me to.


OP posts:
Sophiste · 28/11/2013 17:43


"Eat what you like on NFDs" means different things to different people, because many people have years of disordered eating behind them and have lost touch with their natural appetite and energy needs. So, some 5:2ers when given permission to "eat what they like" find it hard not to overdo it on NFDs, overcompensating for the calorie deficit on FDs and therefore struggling to lose weight if that is their aim.

In those circumstances it can be helpful to calculate TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) and count for a few NFDs to see whether the appetite and the body's energy requirements are aligned.

I've only been doing this 3 months so am not an old hand, but I have been losing weight without ever formally counting on NFDs. The informal counting I've done actually suggests I'm usually significantly under TDEE as I have found my appetite has naturally diminished since starting 5:2.

For what it's worth I'd suggest you start as simply as possible, fasting on your FDs and not counting otherwise, and see how you get on with it. If it works for you, great. If not you can tweak FDs (e.g. the timing of your calorie intake) and/or monitor NFDs for a little bit. There's always tons of support available on the main thread.

MrsFlorrick · 29/11/2013 10:19

If you use My Fitness Pal to count your intake, you will be amazed how easy it is. That app is amazing. It contains so much food info. And you can scan in bar codes of products which hold the calorie info. It really couldn't be simpler.

You could create recipes of the frequent meals you do. It's so easy you can just scan the bar codes of the ingredients in and tell MFP app how many people the dish serves and voila you have the cal count.

And I am the person who wouldn't do weight watchers because the counting system was too much like hard work!!

I am 5:2 and I use My Fitness Pal app on my iPhone. There is one for android phones too.

Have a look at it and you will soon see its dead simple.

The other thing is I find it helpful to review what I ate so I can see where I failed or what worked well.

I easily over eat on a non fast day. I'm terrible for that. So I do need tight control over what I'm doing or I don't lose weight.

Talkinpeace · 29/11/2013 17:14

"eat what you like on fast days"
IF like Michael Mosely you were not overweight in the first place

if you are overweight, you need to learn to eat the right amount for the size you want to be.
TDEE is part of that.

frenchfancy · 01/12/2013 20:28

My advice to anyone who starts fasting is to not worry about NFDs. Just have your 2 fast days, then the rest of the time forget you are on a diet; That does not mean feast, just eat what you would normally.

If after a few weeks you find you are not losing weight, then that is the time to look at your NFDs to see if there is a problem there.

Fasting tends to help anyway as your appetite reduces over time, but at first you can be hungry the day after a fast. That is fine, eat what you would normally eat. The hunger will diminish and over time you learn which hunger to listen to and which to ignore.

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