5:2 fast diet- what am I doing wrong?

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  • 5:2 fast diet- what am I doing wrong?
  • smell_it
    Member

    mmm…. no.

    For the record, you posted a question on a forum, where other people also post questions and comments. Some people have posted questions and comments underneath yours. Don’t like em? Shame.

    Well, somebody has a belly full of bitterness just waiting to be dumped on random strangers. Good job they built the internet 😀

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    glupton1976 – Member
    I lost 2 1/2 stone in a couple of months by eating less and moving more. I’ve kept it off too. No fad diets.

    How can seemingly otherwise intelligent people fall for this guff?

    This is really all you need to know

    soobalias
    Member

    i love the diet threads on here.

    one day you will be forced to post your swimsuit photo under your advice.

    Female colleague has recently started this fast diet thing, on Thursday she fasted, on Friday on top of the regular Friday bacon and sausage sandwich, she caught up on the cakes and cookies she had missed the day before.

    i can see how it can/could work, i can also see that like any other eating plan its open to interpretation/abuse and as a result will fail to produce results in some people.

    OP – hungry. Pint of water, down in one.
    if you have the shakes however, might be the sugar crash from whatever you have previously eaten. You are not supposed to be starving yourself.

    Premier Icon granny_ring
    Subscriber

    what books mate?

    THIS ONE to help me understand the theory etc
    and
    THIS ONEto help with ideas as I’m a bit lazy 🙂

    emma82
    Member

    I’ve not done 5:2 because if I’m honest I’m to much of a piglet, I think I’d die if I cut right back but the other half does it twice a week. Only thing I can suggest without having personal experience is make sure you are drinking lots and lots of water through the day (3L or so), fruit/green tea etc. Drop the bran and swap for protein source? 500 is hardly anything so don’t get too stressed if you go over. Finally, make sure the food you have on the non ‘fasting’ days is all healthy and nutritious and gives your body what it needs, it would, I should imagine, fuel you up a bit more for the fasting days?

    Premier Icon Onzadog
    Subscriber

    I think two of the most useful things 5:2 gives people are:-

    1, not eating diesnt result in instant death, breakfast is not the most important meal of the day. That’s just a Kellogg’s tag line.

    2, when you do eat, you get a greater volume of food if you choose “quality” calories over sweets and cake.

    Of course, some people follow 5:2 and fail to see this sort of thing.

    vickypea
    Member

    @Jambalaya and glupton – But I’m not trying to lose stones, just a few pounds.

    emma82
    Member

    If you only need to lose a few lbs there’s probably lots you can do to your diet generally without 5:2. Is it working or is it just that you are feeling hungry? Guessing your a girl from your user name but at some points in the month I could quite happily eat a whole cow and other days I can go for 16 hrs or so on just water….

    Premier Icon alibongo001
    Subscriber

    This is an interesting thread, as much for the content and debate on topic as much as it is for a bit of people watching!

    I am doing this to reduce the 25% free body I have at the moment and would chip in with the following:

    1, Eating less on 2 days of the week may be helpful for some people, based on the fact that for some 2 days of high effort is easier than 7 days of consistent “dieting”

    2, The fast days seem to make you think about food in a different way, basically a better understanding of the calorie content of food to keep to the 600 calories means you are less likely to blow loads of calories on the other days

    3, I think there is also an emotional investment in that on fast days you put effort in, then you are less likely to make poor food choices on non fast days (weight watchers is successful partly because of a financial and group investment like this)

    4, I am not sure about the claims of this diet replicating a more historically appropriate diet (early man struggled to get enough food). But there does seem to be some positive markers e.g. Leptin etc in studies suggesting that this way of eating has physiological benefits.

    Hope this adds to the debate!

    OP One of the things this diet may do is help you “listen” to your body, if you are shaking / bonking then clearly food would be a good idea! Protein is digested slowly and may help?

    _tom_
    Member

    vickypea, you may want to give Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald a read through. Seems to be suited to what you want to achieve as it’s aimed towards endurance athletes who want to get as lean as possible without sacrificing performance, which as cyclists I think is what we want regardless of whether we’re competing in triathlons etc. The DQS vs calorie counting seems like a good approach to me.

    I tried a keto diet for about 5 months and it did help me get over a plateau (went down another 2 inches off my waist and lost about 2kg) but after a few months I was beginning to feel drained all the time and couldn’t perform well on the bike or on the weights. Just not sustainable unless you sit on your arse all day every day, imo. Much like most of these so called “fad” diets.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    And that’s the key, isn’t it. Any diet you can’t sustain is ultimately pointless; you fall off the wagon, go back to old habits, and the only thing you’ve got to show for it is a bigger habit.

    A successful diet has to be a change in your relationship with food; eat better, healthier, balanced. You can’t just starve yourself for a fortnight then go back to the cake and pies thinking it’s a magic bullet.

    Premier Icon Woody
    Subscriber

    I agree to an extent with the statement ‘most diets are guff’ but it really doesn’t help people who are making an effort to lose weight and become more healthy. A bit of positive encouragement goes a long way 😉

    In response to the OP – over the past couple of years I’ve ‘adjusted’ my eating habits to suit my circumstances ie. I can’t eat meals at regular intervals and the temptation to eat the ‘wrong’ things is high. I’ve also had that shaky feeling from not eating enough and have found that coffee or water and a handful of peanuts or a banana does the trick. I found restricting carbs (or eating low GI foods) at max 4 hours between food, works for me, although the nuts wouldn’t be good if you calorie count!

    I’m reasonably happy at my current 15 stone after pushing 18 stone at my heaviest. I’m also a firm believer that if you are genuinely hungry – eat something asap, as it will stop your body going into storage mode with whatever you eat next.

    The science behind intermittent fasting is explained in the horizon program ‘ eat, fast and live longer’.

    Basically it showed how it can help reduce cholesterol, reduced levels of insulin like growth factor (linked to some cancers), help control blood sugar levels and bit also showed that it could stimulate neuron growth in the brain possibly helping to prevent the onset dementia.

    They were looking into it as it has been regular practice in many cultures and those that do it swear by the health benefits. The guy basically sets out to see if it can reverse the age risk associated with aging and his test results show he achieves this.

    I found the program very interesting, especially as I have always had random days where I eat very little. So it hasn’t made me change my diet – I can just ignore comments that I should eat more ‘regularly’ more easily now.

    The program is worth a watch – but not if you just want to moan at people about fad diets and reiterate ‘eat less exercise more’ constantly. The program is only for those who are keen to see what its actually about 🙂

    Hope you manage to sort your hunger issues vickypea and stick with it – I have always eaten a little later in the day and had some kind of protein – eggs are good.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    There have been several 5:2 threads in the past where I’ve explained how I came to be on it and why it works for me, and I’m not planning to rehash all that again. But alibongo made one very good point, any diet/eating plan has to work long term otherwise you can’t stick with it. This one works for me, I can still take a client out to dinner without studying the menu with mfp in hand and tailor fasting days around a normal life.

    I don’t know whether the ‘science’ behind 5:2 works, or whether the health benefits are true, I don’t honestly care that much. If they are, and i live longer / have less risk of diabetes and heart disease or whatever as a result – bonus!

    If looked at in its simplest form it fits broadly the eat less style of diet, cutting intake by 4000 cals per week approx, which if you run a calc on that deficit like I did for glupton, would be a lb or so a week which is pretty close to what I’ve managed. But OF COURSE it relies on not overexercising the pieroid gland on the other days – that’s common sense. Hence why I don’t think it fits the category of ‘fad’ diets, as the basis is one of sustained healthy eating permanently. Anyone that thinks fasting for 2 days gives license to pig out for 5 is treating it like a fad, and like a fad, it will fail them.

    Premier Icon wallop
    Subscriber

    I’m also a firm believer that if you are genuinely hungry – eat something asap, as it will stop your body going into storage mode with whatever you eat next.

    The research surrounding intermittent fasting shows that this isn’t actually true – it’s more like 2-3 days of fasting before your body goes into “storage” mode.

    Premier Icon wallop
    Subscriber

    Onzadog +1

    vickypea
    Member

    I did this diet for a few months and it worked, but I temporarily stopped it as I thought the “fast days” might be worsening my migraines (triggered by low blood sugar). As a scientist myself, I am really interested to understand why most people that I know of who eat in this way don’t feel hungry, yet I do.
    So, I’m going to try the following:
    – more protein on the “fast” day
    – saving more of the calories for teatime on the “fast” day
    – drinking lots of water
    – possibly try the version where you time your “fast” differently

    I’ve never counted calories before and it’s a bit of an eye opener. Although I have a fairly healthy diet, and I don’t binge on pies, I could pay more attention to what I eat on normal days.

    Premier Icon wallop
    Subscriber

    I find a low sugar approach in a more general sense helps level the peaks and troughs.

    Premier Icon Woody
    Subscriber

    The research surrounding intermittent fasting shows that this isn’t actually true – it’s more like 2-3 days of fasting before your body goes into “storage” mode.

    Ok but over a protracted period I’ve found that it works for me, as a large part of the problem is psychological and the desire /need to eat can easily lead to a binge. My missus lost 5 stones in a 5 month period 18 months ago (she’s 5’1″ and has steadily lost 1/2 lb a month since then to reach her current 8 stone) on a very low fat diet and virtual reversal of the 5:2. My concern was that as soon as she started to eat ‘normally’ again her weight would balloon. This hasn’t happened and the only thing she is careful with is food with very high fat content .

    Not a method to be recommended but as she said herself (as a long term yoyo dieter) it was the only way she could do it, as she needed to see and feel quick results to keep her going. As far a hunger goes and how she coped with it she freely admits she was constantly ravenous but when it all became too much she would give in and have ……. wait for it ….. A Freddo! 😀

    hoodie
    Member

    Amusing to see some using this thread to vent on diets, probably makes them feel better. Anyway I’ve been doing the 5/2 thing. The key for me is that on a fast day your only 24 hrs or less from eating. So you don’t get the….I can never eat certain foods again feeling. Also if your serious about improving your diet, the impulse to eat crap on normal days fades quite quickly…gd luck to anyone else doing it anyway, it works for me.

    hitman
    Member

    I follow my own 2:5 diet – watch what I eat for 5 days a week and then on the weekend eat what I want. Seems to work – gone from 90kg to 83kg since March.
    Also have given up drinking and only drink water, which has helped.

    unovolo
    Member

    I might try this 5/2 day my fasting days shall be yesterdayand the day before
    So it looks like I’m good for the next 5 days 😀

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    when it all became too much she would give in and have ……. wait for it ….. A Freddo!

    Nothing wrong with that. Everything in moderation; if she’d had 12 Freddos, that’s where we start to have issues.

    glupton1976
    Member

    @Jambalaya and glupton – But I’m not trying to lose stones, just a few pounds.

    In that case eat a wee bit less and exercise a wee bit more. 😀

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    In that case eat a wee bit less and exercise a wee bit more.

    And that’s guaranteed to work in 100% of cases is it?

    ojom
    Member

    Fast diets strike me as the epitome of a 1st world problem.

    Just eat normally and not to excess and live an active lifestyle. It’s really not hard. Just eat less every day instead of going stupidly low 2 days a week.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Most of the people on this thread do that, ojom, we’re not stupid. We just want to lose a bit more than we currently have.

    Premier Icon Onzadog
    Subscriber

    Ojom, I find 5:2 easier. Is it okay if I keep doing it?

    vickypea
    Member

    What molgrips said: I do live an active lifestyle, as I imagine most on here do- why would I be on this forum if I didn’t? and I don’t eat to excess). I am, however, the wrong side of 40 and have a back problem that stops me from doing much more exercise that I already do. The 5:2 does work for me, and as already mentioned I was scientifically interested in an answer to my question as much as anything.

    b r
    Member

    But I’m not trying to lose stones, just a few pounds.

    Surely if it’s just a few pounds you don’t need to diet, just eat slightly less and exercise slightly more – and after a month you must lose weight, or at least not gain any more.

    I can’t imagine what it’d be like only taking in 500 calories in a day, you must be lethargic to the point of stationary.

    Also this metabolism stuff, surely that was invented by folk who eat too much to have a pop at us that manage to balance intake/outtake?

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Also this metabolism stuff, surely that was invented by folk who eat too much to have a pop at us that manage to balance intake/outtake?

    Haha.

    I find it very difficult to lose weight; if I eat less I just get more tired. However, I also don’t gain weight very easily either if I eat more and move less.

    Hmm, that’s interesting, maybe someone should do some research…

    I don’t know much about this diet, but it does sound like nonsense. Eating 500kcals per day is not a fast is it! It’s just eating not very much. I think if you;re gonna do it, don’t eat on your fast days. It will probably take a week or so for your body to adjust to the fact its got to use its own reserves for fuel.

    But if you just want to stay at a healthy weight then the best way is to eat clean and ride your bike fairly hard for an hour or two every day of the week, or as much as you can. The added bonus is you get really fit!

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    I can’t imagine what it’d be like only taking in 500 calories in a day, you must be lethargic to the point of stationary.

    Don’t imagine it – try it for a fortnight. you might be surprised? It’s not 500 cals per day, it’s 500 cals for a day, two days a week. You won’t die, my bet is that you’ll feel hungry, probably about 2 in the afternoon, then it’ll pass and you’ll be OK once you’ve had your dinner.

    I don’t know much about this diet, but it does sound like nonsense. Eating 500kcals per day is not a fast is it! It’s just eating not very much. I think if you;re gonna do it, don’t eat on your fast days. It will probably take a week or so for your body to adjust to the fact its got to use its own reserves for fuel.

    Excellent work David. “I don’t know anything about it, but that qualifies me to say why it isn’t correct and how I can make it better”

    Again – maybe do a bit of reading up on it BEFORE rubbishing it.

    In fact – Has anyone that has rubbished the 5:2 on this thread actually read any of the books / articles on it, much less actually tried it?

    fr0sty125
    Member

    Sounds like a rubbish diet if I was only allowed 400 calories in a day I would probably end up killing someone and eating them. Can I suggest healthy eating and lots of exercise?

    Premier Icon Woody
    Subscriber

    Can I suggest healthy eating and lots of exercise?

    No. It’s repetitive and boring.

    Maybe some if the smartarses rubbishing the various diets, 5:2 in particular, could give their qualifications and some justifications, so those of us who have actually read a bit about it and are interested in the physiological aspect of weight loss could assess the merits of their criticism.

    Thanks in advance and apologies for repeating much of what theotherjonv said ^^^^ but I get a bit tired of people giving simplistic glib answers without anything relevant to back up their comments. 🙄

    _tom_
    Member

    ok well I lost about 11 stone (yes I was huge, this was before I was properly into biking) without any kind of fad or special diet – just cutting down portions, not eating crap and riding my bike every day. It’s just the last bits that are harder to shift and require you to be more strict I think. But I don’t fast or anything because I know it won’t last and I’ll be miserable on the fast days, just eating even cleaner and working out harder! Slow progress but progress nonetheless. Like I said I tried the low carb stuff and whilst it helped me get over a plateau it stalled again recently and it wasn’t sustainable for the amount of biking I want to do.

    So yes, the “eat less move more” lifestyle does work, quite well apparently.

    fr0sty125
    Member

    Woody – Member

    No. It’s repetitive and boring.
    Maybe some if the smartarses rubbishing the various diets, 5:2 in particular, could give their qualifications and some justifications, so those of us who have actually read a bit about it and are interested in the physiological aspect of weight loss could assess the merits of their criticism.

    Thanks in advance.

    OK I will go into more detail limit alcohol consumption to bare minimum or even better go teetotal. A lot of eating habits are psychological so looking at what drives your bad eating habbits could be worth a crack or improving your overall mental wellbeing. Perhaps going pescetarian,vegi or even vegan could help limit the number of unhealthy foods consumed. Half way through writing this just looked at what the NHS says on the 5:2 diet. http://www.nhs.uk/news/2013/01January/Pages/Does-the-5-2-intermittent-fasting-diet-work.aspx

    Says there is limited evidence that it works and suggests the following.

    eating a healthy balanced diet with at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day

    taking regular exercise

    drinking alcohol in moderation

    [EDIT]Some of my colleagues find those calorie counter apps really good, I have a steps app that encourages me to walk more.

    Premier Icon Woody
    Subscriber

    That link made me chuckle. This paragraph in particular
    “It should be stressed that our assessment of the evidence was confined to entering a number of keywords into Google Scholar and then looking at a small number of studies which we felt would be useful to explore further.

    Just remember, always check with your GP first 😉

    nicko74
    Member

    the horizon program “eat, fast and live longer”

    That’s a really important apostrophe in that title… 😉

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    The thing that people seem to always miss on these threads is who you are and from where you are starting.

    If you’re an obese pie stuffing slob, then eat less move more is indeed far better than some magic pill diet that you think is going to do all the hard work for you.

    If you’re a casual sportsperson with a few lbs and a few indulgences, then, eating less and moving more could still work – become a bit less casual and indulge less.

    However if you’re training for a specific goal and already train and eat well, then there may be certain ways to maniuplate your metabolism to lose more weight and/or get a training benefit.

    In all of those cases though, understanding how your body actually works beyond the oversimplistic ELMM (and it is oversimplistic, that’s clear if you read a bit more) may well achieve quicker and more permanent results. Depending on your personality and brain of course.

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