Welcome to The Fast Diet › The official Fast forums › Body › Different approaches to intermittent fasting › 16:8 anyone?
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7 Oct 13
I’ve been doing 5:2 for a few months and have, honestly, found the fasting days a bit of a struggle – especially the afternoons have been tough :-).
I have now decided to try doing 16:8 instead, hoping that will be easier. My “eating window” will be from noon til 8 p.m., which means I will skip breakfast, have lunch with my colleagues at work, an afternoon snack and dinner with the family.
Has anybody else tried the 16:8 way of IF, and how is it working for you?
Did 5:2 for a few weeks then impatient to get more weight off then went to 4:3. I found it ok but am now experimenting with 20:4, 19:5 or 16:8
I’ve found that once I get 14+ hours I can go 20.
They all work , cos basically you’re getting into ‘fat burn’ after 12 hours ish. It just depends how quickly you want the weight off. However, I appreciate you situation and reckon 16:8 should work well for you.
My start weight was 95.2kg and in 12 weeks am at 83.2kg!! Target to BMI 24.9 for me is 73.9kg
BTW Have a read of ‘The 4 hour diet is better than the 8 hour diet’ by Edward J Walsh Pd D . Its on Amazon for less than 2 quid. (By 4 hour he means 20:4 and 8 hour is 16:8)
Best wishes RickM
I am Muslim and the fast of the month of Ramadan is like the 16/8.
Personally, i do not lose any weight during Ramadan, even if i fast every single day for one month. Most of the people around me are like that, some are losing a little bit, some other gain …
The important to lose weight is the caloric restriction. If you are able to limit yourself to 500 calories a day while doing 16/8, for sure, you will lose weight, but if you are eating as usual during the 8 hours, you will not. Don’t be deceive.
“The 4 hour diet is better than the 8 hour diet’ ”
I’m starting to realize that there are 50 shades of fasting out there.
We just have to pick the one that fits us best, and stick with it.
My feed window is 11am to 7pm and it works great! Never cared much for breakfast, and I used to fast from 6pm until 12pm the next day, every day. But was finding I was really hungry by noon and would eat way too much at once. And if I start the fast too close to 6pm, I tend to feel like snacking later in the night. The other schedule works much better.
Here is what I have found what works in my case (been doing 5:2 almost 4 months now):
Regular eating day:
1. Exercise on an empty stomach 1/2 hr. 5 days a week. Don’t on fast days.
2. Drink 16 oz. of water at 11am.
3. Eat a bunch of veggies (I don’t count the calories on any green veggies UNLESS it’s a fast day ). Feel pretty full by this time.
4. Drink 16 oz. of water, followed by a good lunch (tend to not want to eat as much, because I filled up on veggies and water). Also helps me to make better food choices. My TDEE is about 1500 calories, so I eat 500 for lunch.
5. Every hour on the hour, drink a 16 oz. glass of water. Really helps keep hunger at bay, while getting the hydration I need in a day.
6. Eat 500 calories at 3pm (after my glass of water ).
*If I feel like a snack anytime, I grab some veggies like raw carrots, cauliflower, green pepper….
7. Eat a 500 calorie dinner between 6-7pm.
8. Have some herbal tea at night.
1. Start drinking water at 11am.
2. Eat 200 calorie lunch. Lots of healthy stuff that’s filling.
3. Water every hour. Didn’t do this when I first started, and got hungry faster. Not so now, since I started the water every hour. Plus, it’s so much more manageable to get my water in this way (and don’t have to visit the throne as often now that my bladder is used to this). 🙂
4. At 3pm, eat 100 calories, like a banana or two small apples, or 3 giant carrots…
5. I actually do eat dinner at 6pm on fast day cause I’m hungry by then, and eat 200 calories. Usually ton of veggies in a sir fry, or a fried egg and dry toast with veggies.
6. Have herbal tea when I get the munchies the rest of the night.
This is what works for me Soooo well, and have pretty well lost the weight I want to. It just fell off, like nobody’s business!! Wouldn’t probably work for everyone, as some people hate to be rigid and counting calories. I am one that has to. I usually fast on Thursday and Sunday, but depending on what I have going on in any given week, I will switch the day.
Ate way too much yesterday at a family get together, so will do 4:3 this week.
The key really is to find what works for you. We are all different, and what works for me, may not work for you, and vice versa. You can tweak this way of eating anytime to fit how you eat and live. That is the beauty and brilliance of 5:2. Easy to fit into any schedule and lifestyle.
I am interested in finding out from others how you do 5:2????
8 Oct 13
Thank you all for your input!
Just had lunch on my second 16:8 day, and it seems to be working very well for me thus far.
Weight loss is not terribly important. I’m not overweight, but wouldn’t mind losing 5 kilos (which 52-year-old wouldn’t :-)), but it’s mainly the health benefits that are my goal.
I have (unsuccessfully) tried to eat a paleo/low carb diet for a year or two, but found it very hard in the long run. To never eat bread, pasta, rice or potatoes was just to difficult (and boring), and my hope is that intermittent fasting can give me the same health benefits as a paleo diet can – but with room for a little more carbs.
9 Oct 13
Yes, if you are looking for the health benefit of fasting only, 16/8 is very interesting. You can do it for few months until you reach your goal. I agree. Ramadan is very beneficial for the health even if we do not lose weight, this have been proved many time and Dr, Mosley talk about theses studies.
But, I do not think it is suitable on the long term. I think it is not a good idea to fast every single day, like it is not suitable to exercise every day. Fasting, like exercise, is a stress for the body, and the body needs some rest once in a while. For the long run, 5:2 is a lot better.
11 Jan 14
You got it backwards. The reality is that eating regularly puts a lot of stress on the body because you never give it a chance to heal itself. Fasting on the other hand gives the body a chance to detox itself and produce growth hormones etc. These things won’t happen as long as the body receives a constant supply of food that needs to be digested. The release of growth hormones are being kept at bay as well, as longs as the food you eat contains any amount of carbs, which in turn elevates insulin secretion…
Ask yourself why it’s necessary to break-the-fast in the morning (have breakfast)? The body has just switched to burning your fat deposits during your sleep, and your secretion of growth hormones has just kicked in as well. All you really need in the morning is H2O to help extend this process even though I think some coffee with MCT oil (coconut oil) is even better…
13 Jan 14
I just finished reading the book and love the concept. I have done the Master Cleanse every quarter for 5 years. I am always interested in new approachs, etc in the way of health. I recently retired and now have time to focus on more ways to get healthier. In the past few months I have kept busy in the mornings and didn’t eat until around noon. I had no problem just drinking water and herbal tea in the morning. Then I read the book and thought 16:8 might work for me since I was already practically doing it anyway. I have been doing it for a couple of weeks and was wondering if doing it everyday would be good for my body or just 2 days a week. Like I said I was basically doing it anyway and everyday doesn’t bother me at all. I have about 30 pounds to lose as well…..
6 Feb 14
Hi all! So this 16:8, I understand it follows this pattern:
16 hours no food – 8 hours fast day – 16 hours no food – 8 hours eating day – 16 hours no food… and so on?
It doesnt quite add up for a week since 16+8+16=40 hours.. so have I misunderstood?
I am interessted in the health benefits of new brain cells, etc. How many hours of no food does it take to gain the benefits?
@lizamor I think you are confusing 16:8 and 5:2 – 16:8 is HOURS; 5:2 is DAYS
if you do 16:8 – in every 24 hours you do not eat for 16 hours then eat in an 8 hour window.
For example you have dinner one day (say at 7pm) then nothing until around 11am next day you then eat your NORMAL food (in your case up to 1800 calories) until 7pm again then stop eating till 11 am the next day.
You do these timings EVERY day. On TWO of the days you eat only 500 calories in the 8 hour window.
It’s 16 + 8 = 24 NOT 16 + 8 + 16
The two are compatible but not necessary as I explained in my other reply to you.
27 Feb 14
I’m interested in a hybrid of 21:6 and the 5:2 diet. I have been finishing my meals between 5-7, starting anywhere from 11:30-1:30, and I adjust my end time accordingly to make it a 5 or 6 hour window. I’m trying to slowly adjust to a 4 to 5 hour eating window.
I want to continue this trend, but take one to two days a week to 24 hr fast/only a small 250-500 calorie meal around 5-7pm. Wondering if anyone else has tried a hybrid of this type. I’m not a calorie counter, though I eat fairly well, so I want an ability to not be so strict on my 4 to 6 hour eating window days.
Thoughts? I’d love some feedback!
((*Also I’m a 30 year old female, just had my 3rd baby boy who breastfeeds in addition to starting solids (8 months old now) and I feel great so far. I do High Intensity Training through the Livestrong.com “Stronger” program and feel amazing like never before!))
When you read the 16:8 book you will find that it proposes a reduced calorie diet with exercise. It uses timeframes of when to eat to make itself different from all of the other reduced calorie/exercise books out there.
People following 16:8 find they have to count calories if it is to be effective for weight loss or weigh maintenance because the program itself contains no calorie restriction. By that I mean a standard low calorie diet will have recipes with meals at a reduced calorie level (often 1500 per day), or 5:2 requires two days a week where you only eat 500 calories or less. With 16:8, you can eat as much as you want in your eating window – but it is suggested you skip breakfast or only eat certain (low calorie) foods, for instance, and not make up for that calorie loss by eating more later in the eating window. The point is, it is up to the person to control their caloric intake because the ‘diet’ itself does not do that.
Once you realize that, you realize it is no different than any other reduced calorie diet. As it makes no difference from a weight loss standpoint when you eat, 16:8 then can become bothersome as you try to eat calories you can otherwise eat at any time within an eating window that may be inconvenient.
If 16:8 helps you control the number of calories you eat on non-diet days by making you think about what and how much you are eating, great. Some people that don’t like to count calories shorten their eating windows from 8 hours to something less hoping that will reduce the number of calories they are eating (I’ve seen people try windows of only two or three hours). But my observation is followers soon grow tired of their eating windows and abandon the process. As they say (whoever ‘they’ are), whatever works for you.
3 Apr 14
Hi, I have just found the info on the 16:8 way of eating and it suits me very well. I feel unwell on 5:2 but not on this. I can easily go without breakfast, the time passes very quickly. I am losing more weight this way. I will probably try and do 5:2 intermittently to keep the weight loss up. On a couple of days I have lost 400-500 grams.
We are all different, so glad there are different methods.
30 Sep 14
It may not be what the authors were thinking but the reason i think 16:8 is worth bothering with is not for weight loss but for fasting health benefits if it is the way they tell us it is – I mean if there is a health benefit to fasting.
I agree that severely reduced eating windows are unlikely to be sustainable for long.
I agree with suzanne that 16:8 without calorie restriction will not cause weightloss.
If people are struggling with 5:2, I think its probably because of their food choices, the times they choose to eat, psychological factors like boredom, low mood, maybe trying to do too much on the day. Its a question of finding the right balance. To make 5:2 work you have to manage your appetite. And you have to find the formula that enables you to keep your appetite under control.
I think that for most of us this would be along the lines of:
food choices: eating protein and vegetables mostly and avoiding all white carb foods including sugar, bread, pasta, rice. Fish vegies and olive oil are good foods. I find milk in my coffee is good for me. Fruit and yoghurt is not a good combo as much as i love it and its good for me on no-fast day. Salad is good. Drinks like miso soup, tea or coffee with milk are also good.
Eating times: skip breakfast, eat when you get hungry – probably at around lunch time give or take an hour or so. And again once in the evening.
*people seem to find it best to have an engaging activity to keep their mind off food.
*If you are depressed or feeling moody, then may need to address this directly with counselling, going to sleep, seeing a doctor, doing something about what is bothering you. If you are stressed from being too busy,drop some of the less important factors and find a way to chill out either with some meditation or relaxation techniques or finding some counselling to get it all off your chest and find solutions.
Activity: do as much exercise as makes you feel good. Don’t make it too much. Go for a moderate amount of exercise.
I would think that if you have a huge amount of weight to lose and are finding it hard, that it may be better not to restrict to 500 calories (for women) but to increase it go to the 1/4 of TDEE.
Its seems to me that many people who choose the 1/4 of their TDEE option go under 500 but i think it was probably meant to be “go over” and choose 500 as the minimum. That makes more sense to me. That said, i know that some people eating under 500 have been successful. But if we’re talking about minimising struggles and difficulties, take the easier option.
1 Oct 14
Hi all, I do the 16/8 and like it. Here is how it works for me. I eat first at 7:30 in the a.m. and stop eating by 3:30 pm. I am different than other people in that I am hungry in the a.m. and eat less if I eat breakfast. If I eat at night, I eat more and also don’t sleep as well. Weird, but the hungrier I am, the better I sleep!
I can see how people would not lose weight if they just eat normal calories. For some reason, unknown to me, I have it in my head that I only have 8 hours to eat and so I make better choices. So I will not have a drink early or eat chips as I do not want to waste my 8 hour window. I tend to think, oh, I had better stock up on fruit and veggies before 3:30. I am more likely to have a drink or eat chips in the afternoon so loading in the earlier part of the day makes me eat better. If I have all day to eat, I delude myself by eating chips at 4:00 pm and then tell myself I will eat a healthy dinner, which I never do. Not sure if this makes sense but for some reason, it works! As I get used to this, I will then add in the 5:2, but thought I would do one thing at a time. 🙂
I agree will all your points. I’ve done many different diets over the years and when I had to eat low calories I would chose a filling combination of boiled egg whites (boil the eggs and discard the yolks) and vegetables, One egg white has 15 or 16 calories. If you are eating 500 calories or less 10 hard boiled egg whites (that’s 150-160 calories) is a huge amount to eat. I normally do five mixed in with a large bowl of veggies. I usually do carrots, broccoli and snow peas. I use cyan pepper on the egg whites to give them some oomph. It really fills me up too. If I’m still hungry later on I have watermelon or some other fruit careful to keep under my 500 calories. I started on Monday (my fast day) and will fast again tomorrow (Thursday). When this meal becomes boring I’ll move onto something else that fills me up and drink water or black tea. Half a two minute noodle cake with vegetables and a bit of seasoning does the trick for me too. As with many comments here, I have tried many things and found what works for me.
I’m overweight but my priority is to get my blood work down. It was quite a shock to see that I’m borderline diabetic and my cholesterol is also too high. Seeing as these two things may be linked to dementia and/or heart disease I needed to do something quickly and effectively.
I was so amazed at Dr Mosley’s results after he did 5:2 and that’s why I’m on this program. I’ll share my progress, good or bad. 🙂
Beejay, there’s another factor that you may find useful to learn about. Its satiety. You can learn to eat to satiety or satisfaction rather than fullness. Fullness i’ve realised is a problem habit.
I learnt about this when i read Dr Amanda Sainsbury’s Don’t Go Hungry Diet book. I highly recommend her books because she has a lot of well explained scientific insights and strategies. Though as the book is getting older she still trots out some of the old formula like must have breakfast and low fat dairy. But her discussion on set point and starvation mode (a term she doesn’t even use) is excellent as is her hunger and satiety ratings strategy and her discussion about foods and the importance of variety. The second book goes into the diary in great depth while the first books discusses set point and the famine reaction at length. I found both these books secondhand in a library or a book shop.
I find the idea of throwing away half a perfectly wonderful egg a worry. To me its the same as eating low fat milk, cheese and yoghurt. There is nothing wrong with the cholesterol in eggs or the fat in milk. The low carb scientists argue that low fat diets cause high cholesterol as well as just eating far too much food. (see The ARt and Science of Low carb) if you are diabetic you will find this book even more interesting and comprehensible. It is rather technical.
I also think food should taste good thus making it inherently more satisfying. But over flavour it with lots of sugar salt and other commercial stuff and you turn it junk food which you then cant’ stop eating. (interesting book on this is The End of Overeating by Kessler)
But for diet related health problems, i think we all need to get clued up on the value of fibre. See you tube documentary Catalyst-Gut Reaction and for more detail on it, read Gut Flora on Wikipedia. Best read after the show rather than prior to it.
2 Oct 14
Pattience, Thank you for listing book names. It is frustrating when people say they read a good book on something and then don’t list the name. I love to read so appreciate your book list. 🙂
No worries Margeaux,
i also loved French women don’t get fat but “Japanese women don’t get fat either” which i’m reading now isn’t anywhere near as good though it does give some lovely insight into the japanese diet which i’m currently a little interested in since i’m going to japan next year (as soon as i buy my ticket). I’m just a foodie at heart.
Two favourite things about the french women book:
1. the secret of courses which helps a lot to manage satiety, food variety and aesthetic enjoyment.
2. kick start a diet with fasting. She does the leek soup fast which i still haven’t tried because leeks are expensive here. So if you ever fall off this 5:2 wagon, get back into it with some sort of fast. Its actually how i started my diet at the beginning of the year though that was a one day water fast which i barely survived.
I don’t buy into the stuff about dark chocolate though. Go for it if you love it. Its nothing too special for me. I can live without chocolate but i do have some nostalgia for strawberry milkshakes. Its the only food i really have nostalgia for since i quit sugar.
If you are not australian the Dr Amanda book might be harder to find but she has a website so you can contact her if needs be.
I would also add that the art and science of low carb was a bit easier for me to understand because i read it after learning more about low carb via atkins and other sources. I think it would be quite difficult to engage with if you know nothing about low carb. They seem to be writing specifically for GPs but i felt myself still drawn along through the book so that means it must have something going for it. I found the atkins book good to read, though there are different ones. I read an earlier one. I am not a believer in the necessity of induction.
Another book worth the read though pretty weighty and i didn’t get too far into it (although i would like to) is Good Calorie Low Calorie by Gary Taubes. Its about history and fallacy of low fat diets and if you don’t read it all at least i think its worthwhile for all dieters to be aware of this stuff these days. Especially diabetics and insulin resistant people. Its a well written and apparently thoroughly researched book. I think it won an award. He’s a journalist.
The only foods that always seem to come with their halos in tact are fruit and vegetables. We still don’t eat enough of them.
There’s some other books about sugar that seem to be hot. Lustwig is the guy to look out for. I haven’t read it. But one excellent article that i can’t find anymore was about how people should limit their sugar intake to 6tsp a day maximum. Keep any eye out for that notion. It may have originated in lustwig but i am not sure. I can not even trust myself with 6tsp of sugar per day. So quit.
In Defense of Food was a good book about nutritionist! There you go a new concept and perspective that was overdue.
And you tube tv shows called The Men Who Made us Fat and The Men Who Make us Thin is also excellent. This is about how the food industry has made us fat. Yes of course we all must take some responsibility but i think its very very worthwhile to recognise where our responsibility stops and industries’ starts and this will be a huge topic in the future as it has already started. IT could well turn out that there are class actions against industry just as there have been against cigarette companies because the issues are almost exactly the same. Food legislation against stoking up foods with sugar salt and fat to make it “addictive” has to be brought in. If you understand the issues here, you may get angry at those companies and decide to stop helping them make so much money as they are killing people with their junk.
Two of the books mentioned above address these issues as well. I think we should all be aware of it if we want to have a chance of beating the battle of the bulge.
Thanks again, Pattience. I am in Perth, where are you?
East coast . I don’t really want to be more specific.
9 Oct 14
Hi Pattience, Thanks for your info. Regarding the spare egg yolks, I use them for cakes etc. Otherwise I really hate eating them. I do however use 1 whole egg mixed with 3 egg whites when I make omelettes for myself so I get the value of the yolk without the taste. I think because I ate way to many eggs when I was younger. Same goes with apricot, I can’t stomach the fresh kind anymore because we had a big tree in our backyard and I would eat my fill after school during their season.
I get what you’re saying with the difference between satiate and feeling full and I take that into account. If I happen to do an unexpected 2-3 hour garden workout (because it’s a great day for it) and I’m feeling sick from hunger, it’s nice to know that I still have some calories available and get that from boiled egg whites. I eat them because they are my protein food for the day. To be honest, I’m treating the fast days as non events at the moment and have a set menu and eat it and don’t think about it further because I know the day after I can eat a normal meal. I find that taking one day at a time works for me. Once I am in my healthy range with healthy blood, I’ll re-access and hope that I’ve developed some healthier eating habits along the way. Have you been doing the 5:2 long or any other plan? I would love to hear your results 🙂
I went off eggs for a period of time too but I have no idea why . I have noticed that our taste buds seem to change for periods of time – i have gone for periods of not liking mushrooms, corn, sugarcane, pumpkin and so on but i get over it eventually. I had to start eating eggs again when i was doing my experiment with low carb (because i prefer not to eat meat) and now i’m fine with them but i don’t love them as i used to.
Sorry to bore you all if you try to read the following. It was good for me to write it out and i haven’t left many stones unturned for Beejay though i know she’s got more than she bargained for.
I tried to write a history of my dieting year in my profile. It probably is still a bit vague on some points. The thing is i am not aware of any particular diet related health problems so i haven’t even got my blood tests done after all, even though i meant to do it. …I was fat when i started out. Over 80kg for my 165frame and my goal is 60kg. My doctor has told me several times since losing weight that it doesn’t suit me being fat. She’s right! I look hideous when fat but i’m quite presentable now and although i’ve got a bit of loose skin, i look a lot younger in general. My weight’s been up and down a lot over the years (mostly up) but if i was 85kg that was the fattest i’ve ever been. The last time that i was thin was in 2011 when i got down to about 55kg but it wasn’t for long. I didn’t get into maintenance mode at all because i got depressed and promptly regained it all.
Basically whenever i go on a diet, i try to eat as healthily as i know how, as well as less (but don’t give up the odd glass of wine if i want it) but i never cut calories severely because i know i will just get hungry and then quit the project. I used to always do my diets with lots of exercise but this year, recognising that this always led me back to regain, i decided not to bother with it. Its very clear to me that the better quality the food you eat, the easier it is to lose weight and it wasn’t long after i started that i saw the line “weightloss is 80% diet and 20% exercise” and its been one of my mottos ever since. The more processed food you eat, the more likely you will fail. I have learnt many things about nutrition and diet this year that i did not know or accept before but i’ve also read many things which support most of the choices i arrived at through my own experience. My diet food choices have always been more mainstream than faddish thus you won’t get me gulping coconut oil, wheat grass, goji berries and the like, although i have bought a packet of chia seeds because of something interesting someone shared with me about pectin.
I guess most people will find this report uninteresting but I thought it was about time to collate things a little and you sort of seemed to open the door to that with your request Beejay. (I bet you’ll never ask me any thing again!). I wish i could be more systematic with recording things but I always end up changing my ideas and creating a bit of a mess.
Started around 80.2kg although my doctor has me down as being 85.kg. Maybe her scales are more than mine but i tend to prefer to live with mine.
Nevertheless on 6 January i noted this from my regular first thing in the morning weigh-in:
6 January 77.6kg to 19 April 68.2kg
Calories during most of this period were 1600 and the only exercise i did was a bit of gardening some times and the odd walk on the beach with the dog. By the end of this period i had the idea that my calories were supposed to be about 1400 but i don’t think i stuck to that – it felt too low to be correct. I didn’t count calories regularly through this period. Just food logging in an online diary.
April Intentional stabilisation, rather than trying to lose. I was reading Dr Amanda around this time and felt if i kept on losing at the pace I’d been losing at, i might trigger a rebound. The plan was to stabilise for a month.
25 April 68.4 kg
30 April 68.8kg
I wanted to restart losing but it was half hearted attempt to lose although i was still eating well and avoiding sugar. I didn’t want to force myself to do anything. It might have been this month i started using her hunger and satiety rating system.
1 May 68.2
About this time i decided to have a go at low carb to see what it was all about. There was a guy banging on about it on another forum. And lots of people were giving up bread and pasta and stuff like that which i depended on. I rather liked it at this level of 100 carbs a day. I started reading up on Atkins and Volek and Phinney and also the website of phlaunt.com which i found very useful. She had a good macro calculator which forced me to start counting calories. I mean i had to count my macros and could only do that on a calorie counting thing like MFP. And i’m still here because now i’m addicted even though its somewhat unnecessary really. I guess i’ve grown to like the security of knowing.
6 June 68.2
28 June – 67.2
Then I decided to try very low carb in order to experience ketosis, but only lasted two weeks before one day just throwing in the towel suddenly. I had enjoyed rediscovering all the different sorts of foods i could eat, but the restrictions on fruit and vegies were starting to annoy me and then i started to feel like eating some bread. At 100 carbs, i could sneak in the occasional bit of bread but not on 40 carbs. And i’d also had to forego my favourite foods of milk and yoghurt and was drinking soy milk which was ok but i am really attached to my dairy.
Low Carb including 2 weeks doing 40 carbs per day
3 July 66.8
30 July 64.8
The positive upshot of low carb for me was reduced appetite so that’s why i continue to not eat much in the way of white carbs (though i was never someone who ate sliced bread anyway), learning to enjoy fat and not worry about it, although i had refound cheese already by the time i got to low carb, low carbing really helped enjoying it a lot more without guilt and various other high fat foods oh and especially nuts and seeds. And i also found some really good seafood products which i had not known about before in our supermarkets. When you go low carb, you have to find new things to keep it interesting. So i’ve found some great frozen fish, prawns, scallops and mussels which are remaining in my regular diet, though on low carb i was eating a lot more than i felt good about. I think low carb is worth get acquainted with if you are insulin resistant to diabetic but i wonder about the need for super low carbs.
Coming off low carb was difficult to adjust back from. Most of the regain was not fat but water, because you naturally lose a lot of water with low carb and regain it when you increase carbs. A lot of people freak out coming off low carb. I think people are misled about some aspects of this. They think are putting on lots of weight but mostly i think its just water. I started 5:2 at that time to try to get my food choices back in balance. It helped a lot to do a fast but my water fast failed so i began 5:2 on 6 August. My fast days are fairly low carb because it helps with appetite control.
1 August 66kg
31 August 63.4kg
1 September 63.4kg
29 September 60.8
Calories these days are 1450-1500 most days except fast days.
4 October 62.4
9 October 61.8
I try to eat 5 serves of vegetables a day, dairy equivalent of about 1 cup milk and 1 cup yoghurt and a bit more. I try to keep my food as diverse as possible. I avoid processed foods and don’t habitually eat junk food. I quit sugar at the beginning of this diet but that doesn’t mean i never eat it. It just means i don’t buy it and don’t consume it at home and the majority of the time don’t eat it at all except in a few situations which i’ve determined as low risk. When i do have it, i strictly allow myself only one serve. Sugar is the biggest risk to me regaining weight because i tend to be an all or nothing person. Forums are a big help to me.
So now i’ve started some exercise. Not much i might add. I’ve got my pedometer and am still eating it though i am often not doing 10000 steps. I have recently started my HIIT skipping exercise about 3 times a week. I did it today. It takes about 10 minutes including warm up. I like things to be easy otherwise i won’t do them for long. I’m supposed to be going to tennis on Saturday and some time ago i paid my entry fee for a 10 km race to be held next month. I might be able to walk the distance but there’s not much chance i could run the whole way but if i can get my act together, i will go along and do whatever it is i can. I like running but i can’t keep it up. I’m going on a cycling holiday next year in Japan. That whole thing will knock me around a lot so when i get home, i need to get straight back into calorie counting i think.
10 Oct 14
Hi Pattience, that’s a pretty amazing food diary! I’ve done many diets over the years and low carb was ok (once I got over the 5 day cold turkey). I lost a lot of weight and felt great. But I did wonder about the amount of fat I was eating over that time. I didn’t get a blood test then but it would have been interesting to know if my cholesterol was high or not. I’ve done high protein and low carb but I wouldn’t go low carb again for a few reasons. I love bread. High protein diets aren’t that good for you either, I think Dr Mosely may have mentioned in his doco. I did grow up eating salami and ham and all the other woggy deli meats. I wonder if they were made differently to the deli meats today, meaning that they didn’t contain all the nitrates and other rubbish. We’re talking 40 years ago too.
My main problem (that I developed over the years) is stuffing my face throughout the day. And I was drinking a can of coke (sometimes 2) a day. My relationship with food was always very amorous and sexy. We were a made for each other. But now, I see it for what it is and I want a divorce! We’ll still see each other as friends but it won’t be the same. I have a 3 year old and I want to be there when he’s 50. If I continued without addressing my bad food habits I’m not sure I’d be around for his 21st. My husband would be really angry at me at my funeral too. So jokes aside, I’d like to do everything I can diet and exercise wise (my genes hold some power) to prolong my life with mind and body intact.
My number one motivation for doing 5:2 (this week 4:3) is to get my blood results normal. Any loss of weight is a bonus. I’m super curious about whether my blood will have lowered to the same extent as Dr Mosely’s. I’ve never had an issue with cholesterol, blood sugar, liver function or any of the other squillian tests they do so it’s come as a shock to see I’ve neglected my body to this extent. I’m currently fasting Monday, Wednesday and Friday and next week will see if I continue or with back to 5:2. I’ll share anything significant a long the way 🙂
Most of the fat i ate on low carb and now is olive oil or dairy. Volek and Phinney have persuaded me for the most part that fat is not the problem! They say low fat diets are a problem for cholesterol. They say they cause cholesterol to rise, that is, bad cholesterol. They are scientists and their book is called the ARt and Science of Low Carb.
Other people in the know say the same thin and mainstream thinking is catching on albeit cautiously.
To be on the safe side, choose healthy fats that is mostly plant fats, fish fats and cold pressed oils rather than industrially produced ones.
It seems butter is better after all. Even my father after many years of eating margarine (because it is softer) has finally reverted to Butter. I only ate marg in my teenage years thank god and my mother put us on to olive oil back then too. I”ve never eaten much meat fat but i have eaten tons and tons of dairy fat.
Anyway i’ve reached an age where i am happy to go any time but so long as i’m here, i prefer to be healthy.
Pattience, thanks for your reply. I’m sorry that you’ve reached an age where you are ‘happy to go any time’. I hope you mean satisfied and hot happy. I don’t think anyone should be happy ‘to go’ unless they have a debilitating and fatal illness or similar and are just done with it all. That’s my opinion anyway and I thought I’d put it out there. You know what they say about opinions, they’re like a***holes, every ones got one! Hope you have a great weekend 🙂
11 Oct 14
Hi Beejay, i don’t mind opinions. I have a lot more than one!
Today my birthday, incidentally, i’m not at my best. Low energy! Yes i know i’m supposed to be having lots of energy because i’m following this miracle way of life called the fast diet! But actually low energy has less to do with what you eat and more to do with other factors. So i’m feeling flat and didn’t get out to my first tennis session today. That means i’ve missed out on my free racquet as well. Suffice to say i haven’t bothered to organise anything for my birthday this year. I’ve just run out of steam in the last week or two. I haven’t been to pottery class either.
And because i’ve stayed home, i’ve been hungry and although i still haven’t topped 1000 calories, its supposed to be a fast day.
The only thing that i’m excited about is my choir – but the word should be over-excited since i’m never going to be an opera singer regardless of how well i can learn this lovely song here sung by Kiri Tikanawa – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDpcbUNC2f4. And my trip to Japan next year. I booked my ticket last night and am working my way around google earth trying to plot my route.
Despite my gloomy attitude, i just want to share a nice salad i made just now. It started off as filling for vietnamese spring rolls (I ate two and ended it as just salad). The wrappers papers are 34 calories each.
1 tomato sliced then half the slices
1 large grated carrot
1 grated apple
about 15 grams of fresh coriander and mint – more if you want
27g of best quality feta cheese crumbled. (you can leave this out or replace it with some chopped fresh prawn but the best part of the salad is the salad itself really)
40ml of poonsin vietnamese dipping sauce – used as a salad dressing.
You Can add bean sprouts if to hand.
If you leave out the wrappers its a little over 200 calories.
I really like the combination of carrot and apple. It almost doesn’t need a dressing at all.
Happy Birthday Pattience! I see you’re only a few years older than me. I had to laugh when you said despite feeling gloomy, here’s a great salad recipe! When ever I feel down because things sometimes appear quite bleak…I almost always have a sense of humour about it for some reason. I’m not sure why that is but I like to flatter myself and think it’s a sign of intelligence haha.
Thanks for the salad recipe too. I LOVE coriander and feta. Unlike my husband, he calls it fetid cheese 😉 but he’s not a big cheese eater anyway. I’ll try your recipe this week. You’ve just reminded me of another salad that’s fantastic, If you like raw beetroot that is. Grate beetroot and carrot and a little sliced salad onion and add a small amount of dressing. You can even add a few sultanas. It’s such a lovely dish and I forgot all about it!
Anyway, I’m going to go now and relax and watch my ‘stories’ (I’m a little addicted to GGBO)
I hope you had a lovely day today 🙂
Thanks Beejay. I like grated beetroot and carrot together too. I am not so good with raw onion to be honest. Sometimes i put a little in things but i end up regretting it most of the time. I do like them cooked though.
The mint is key to that salad recipe i gave you. For a long long time, i liked mint in theory but didn’t really know how to eat it and didn’t seem to like it in much but now i’m discovering all sorts of things i like it with. Cucumber soup for one. But mint is a very vietnamese flavour.
I dare not bring the sultanas out of the cupboard too often. I might end up snacking on them.
I’m 51 now. Thank god for hair dye.
Funny about the fetid cheese. Has he been to Greece? As far my father always said when one of us didn’t like something, “Good, all the more for me.”
14 Nov 14
Hi all, I started on the 5-2 because I was pre diabetic and although I’d lost about 10kgs using the my fitness pal app and working hard, I still needed to lose another 10-12kgs to be in a healthy bmi range. About a month ago I got down to 67kgs and started to think about long term maintenance and health. I stumbled on the 16/8 diet and tried it while traveling overseas. I was for the first time ever, able to continue to lose weight while traveling and without depriving myself. I’m now experimenting with how many days I need to do the 16/8 to maintain my 64kgs, but also want to continue some form of fasting for the rest of my life for the many health benefits associated with it!
I found this article and thought it was very interesting and worth sharing.
Oh, and this article is very interesting too!! Enjoy!! 🙂
Oh, and this article is very interesting too!! Enjoy!!
16 Nov 14
Been reading lots and concluding the 16:8 might be right for me. Think for me it will be 16:8 with 3 days or so at 20:4 (really 23:1) Steps so far. 1. Eliminate added sugar from everything. This has many benefits but for this discussion its value is it reduces or eliminates compulsive eating for me – giving most (though not all ) control back to me on when I eat. 2. 16 hours start at last food of previous day. That includes the night cap G&T , which has been the hardest to give up. 3. If I have any trouble getting to 16 hours it’s a coffee and a spoon or so of virgin coconut oil. Pangs gone and fully energised. Amazing. 4. Now experimenting with breakfast for lunch. By this I mean eggs and some protein (no carbs) at 16 hours to break the fast. (Salsa not tomato sauce as the latter is carb loaded) . If I’m right this mean my body will be fed well and still in ketosis till dinner. My ketone meter turns up in a week , so I will monitor that statement for veracity. Cant eat this same lunch every day so just dont make it 20 hours some days – but 16 always (except maybe Sat :-)). 5. Dinner becomes the feast of the day – and its wonderful. Eat what I want (even a little dded sugar), not of this paleo stuff – there are too many good carb meals out there : why give them up. Have not weighed myself.. maybe will in in 3 or 6 months , but already comfortablly tightened the belt a notch in 3 weeks.
I think it is Robert Lustig that was meant further up the thread.
His book Fat Chance is a very good one, well worth reading.
And the Gary Taube title is “Good Calories, Bad Calories” in the UK it is titled “The Diet Delusion”.
Anything Taubes has written is worth reading I believe.
I am finding broth made with bones is helping me comfortably stay within limits on the 500 cal days, it is no longer any issue at all.
24 Nov 14
So I got my blood meter.. but before I could get to ketones I discovered that my fasting glucose was 7.5 mmol. Not a good result and near diabetic. So all bets are off whilst I tackle that first. Seems early stage as I can still regulate glucose after meals but whilst on the fast are above normal (5.5).
Dont despair. Was in a similar position myself. Borrowed my wife’s meter (she’s Insulin Dependent Diabetic).
I did 5:2 but get feeling ravenous. Discovered it was high blood sugars followed deep troughs which was creating a false hunger. I then discovered LOW CARB LIFESTYLE. This is not a diet, this a way of life!
As a pre diabetic I strongly advise you to read BLOOD SUGAR 101 by Jenny Ruhl. She was a Type 2 diabetic and huge amounts of knowledge about diabetes.
Also PLEASE read TRICK AND TREAT by Barry Groves. It’s all about how ‘healthy’ eating is making us ill! It’s well backed with in depth research.
By the way my weight over 12 months dropped from 92.3 kg to 74.8 kg a BMI of 32 (obese) to 24.5 (normal)
Low carb plus 5:2 or even 6:1 will easily get you home and hosed and resolve you diabetes with the added advantage of dealing with ‘false’ hunger (usually misinterpreted thirst).
Best of luck
25 Nov 14
RickM , thanks really appreciate the advice. Yes, have to say i’m a bit shattered. But it may well be a blessing in disguise : to find out early is always better.
This might help – 2 are case studies, one is an outline and the final one a presentation to doctors: http://intensivedietarymanagement.com/category/lectures/type-2-diabetes-lecture-series/
3 Dec 14
Thanks simcoeluv, I researched that material.. interestingly I’d also read Fat Chance by Lustiq reference elsewhere on this forum.. my body feeling has been deteriorating for a while and I’d been subconscously looking answer.. I’m also working my way through BLOOD SUGAR 101. Really good stuff.
When I wake in the morning at start I was 135-145 (US scale) (first 3 mornings). Post meal up to 165 (1hr) , down to 120 at 2 hours but back up to 130 at 3 and plus. Where I am I am able to get an A1C which was 6.1 (pre diabetic). My conclusion: not a serious diabetic yet , but well on the way.
Decided to double down on 16:8 even 23:1 for a short period of a month before I see a doctor. See what I can achieve if anything. Been at it this last week. So one meal a deal. Been measuring all the time.
Had to move the meal from dinner to lunch. If dinner, even early , my level would still be 130 or so by 10pm . I tried exercise , which might bring it down 10 or 20, but by morning it always rises to 130+. If my main meal is lunch and I then do very light exercise at , say 9pm .. I start exercise at 120-130 and can bring it down to anywhere from 100 to 115 with exercise. It then stays there till morning (measured a couple of times throughout the night). I assume this is good as it gives me more hours (sleep time) with less glucose floating around.
I’m still experimenting with the coconut oil. What I found was on waking with this cycle (lunch only) I have ketones at about 0.4 and by lunch 0.9. If I take about 2 teaspoons of coconut oil at breakfast (with a coffee) my ketones are 1.4-1.6 by lunchtime.. This is nutritional ketosis in less than a day. Read in multiple places this nutritional ketosis can help improve my insulin sensitivity. I figure its my circuits working now forwards and backwards , rather than just forwards (glucose) as it has most of my adult life.
I speculate now that weight is truly a big part of this – certainly plenty of supporting literature. Unlike a few others in the post my BMI is not too bad 27-28, but I know its very concentrated in my waist, probably a function of too many of my excess calories having been chocolate.. my guess is my waist is obese. Even in a week I’ve lost 2 kg (probably water though I’m drinking a lot) and will keep this going for the till Mid Dec when hopefully I’ve lost 5-7 kg – if it holds its about 1 kg every 3 days.
AT that date I will see what my waking blood sugar is whilst maintaining the fast (but dropping the night time glucose burn off exercise ) to see if I may have established a lower set point on my waking sugar. That would arguably success in a very short period. If that’s ok (115 or better) I will back off the 24:1 to 16:8 (this forum!!) for a period to catch my breath and see if things stay stable, improve or go backward.
My take on 16:8? It may just be saving my life.
Dr. Fung has over 8 hours of lectures on all aspects of nutrition and diabetes, including an hour or so devoted exclusively to intermittent fasting. If you are interested, all six of his lectures are linked in my post on this thread: https://thefastdiet.co.uk/forums/topic/diabetes-type-2-and-insulin/. I can’t link you directly to the post, but the thread is short and you will find it easily.
From a timing standpoint, you might check the research referenced in my recent post on the when you eat matters thread: https://thefastdiet.co.uk/forums/topic/eat-matters/
It would seem, the earlier the better.
The when you eat paper also has some information on single meal eating patterns which show that blood sugar levels spike, blood pressure rises and some other things happen when meals are eaten in a short time period. I’ll be posting about that in the future.
17 Apr 15
TOTALLY TOTALLY 100% support the reply starting with “Beejay, there’s another factor that you may find useful to learn about. Its satiety.”
Professor Amanda Salis is a giant in global weight loss research and I believe her work is essential knowledge for anyone trying to solve their weight issues by any approach whatsoever.
See http://www.dramandaonline.com and explore it thoroughly.
I think everyone needs to read her first book in particular, as does Professor Brand-Miller who leads the Sydney Uni GI research unit, whose online GI tool is recommended by Michael and Mimi.
The book was written about 8 years ago so there are bound to be some differing ideas emerging in that time eg about breakfast.
I was very alarmed at pages 132 -134 in the new revised edition of “The Fast diet” which appears to ignore this body of respected, [solidly-backed-by-quality-scientific research] body of work. Only the final line very briefly acknowledged it at all.
I really hope this advice revised in the next edition because for any 5:2 dieter experiencing famine reaction it will not help at all and in fact is likely to nail the coffin of failure.
I follow Dr. Amanda’s advice on the “5” days and, now famine reaction has – on usual cue-struck, I am following her specific advice on that so that I DON’T LOSE EVERYTHING I’VE ACHIEVED ON 5:2 !!!!!
Like I did EVERY SINGLE OTHER TIME I’ve lost weight !!!
Gary Taubes is brilliant reading and watching.
He’s in the new “That Sugar film” too.
23 Jul 15
Thought I might just update. Havestuck to a 16:8 modified diet and seem to be making progress.
Lost about 12 kg , which then stablised at that loss giving me a BMI of 24. That in itself could be somewhat successful but in my earlier posts it was the discovery of my pre-diabetic blood sugars that alarmed me.
Throughout this last 8 months I’ve been monitoring my sugar constantly. I pretty much have lost my first phase insulin response, but I’ve found by going low to very low carb I’m keeping the post meal sugars under 120 , and then combined with 16:8 my post fasting sugars are ever so slowly drifting down.
I say slowly but in fact now a waking sugar of 95 is quite common for me (non diabetic, non prediabetic) and I get the odd day in the mid 80s which is simply stellar.
Some other things on the way.
I took in virtually no saturated fats before. Now I do , high quality dairy. I’ve pretty much dumped the coconut oil and replaced with cream – after concluding that fatty acid makeup in both is almost identical (especially butyric acid). You need something here to solve for satiety. I did a lipid profile in January and my total cholesterol was high, but the ratios were very good with good levels of HDL and low triglycerides. I expected this would peak and profile this way with the switch from carbs and will get another measurement in a few months to see if overall level has declined.
Its tough to do 16 hours every day i.e. no breakfast. I’ve found that a coffee (black or with cream) and an 8 oz glass with 1/2 scoop of good whey protein seems to work well. I’ve concluded that this is as good as continuing my fast for the full 16 hours. Why?. Its does not spike my glucose at all i.e. immediacy post prandial. Over the next few hours my glucose levels are a little higher than if I’m doing a pure fast due to the liver converting the protein but its never more than 5 points. Importantly for me doing this ensures I feel energetic and not hungry to lunch – or beyond.
Have become a big fan of Chia. Softened with water . Problem with low carb diet is you tend to lose fibre. Chia solve this with relatively low carb load. Don’t crinkle your nose but I’ve found that I can now enjoy a wonderful dessert of 1 tablespoon softened chia, some full cream and blueberries and is likely my fasting glucose will benefit i.e. be lower! This is great if I just have, say a light salmon salad for dinner, and then take this dessert to feel completely full for the next 12 – 18 hours.
You also have to watch on low carb you dont overdo protein. I focus on having high quality protein in every meal.. but too much and bang – big headache.
Will take an A1C also in the next few months. Based on my own measurements and progress made I’m hoping for low 5s.. which would be completely normal.
Having a blood meter has been invaluable.. It is great motivation by the positive feedback. This makes it all about metabolic health rather than just trying to lose weight. (assuming you agree that blood sugar is a good proxy for metabolic health)
Oh , BTW, I now have energy levels at 52 I dont remember since I was a teenager. My assumption is that as your body fully readjusts to burning mainly fat for locomotion (just leaving glucose for the brain etc) everything just gets back into balance , just like the A1C.
So for me , with a slight tweak, the 16:8 (actually 22: 6 or 20: 4 many days) is proven to be diet that seems to be improving my metabolism and one I’m enjoying sticking too.
8 Aug 15
18:6 Just posted to an almost identical forum topic, so I am posting here as well. If I eat breakfast, even when all protein, it triggers an appetite. I decided not to eat until noon. Then because most guidance on eating recommends a cut off time, I chose 6 p.m. I also instituted some other rules. The major ones being no sugar and no watching TV or reading when I eat. I’ve lost three pounds a week painlessly for a month. My focus shifted to what I am going to eat rather than what I wish I could eat but can’t. I am not counting calories but using good sense about carbohydrates. I do eat bread (no more than 2 slices per day) and potatoes (not more than twice a week.) When I crave a sweet, I have walnuts and raisins or fresh fruit and non-fat Greek yoghurt and use a small dish. Without planning, I have been eating much closer to the ground. I eat at noon, usually have a small serving of something around 2 or 3 and then my last meal at 5:30 or so to be done by 6.
I could not sustain an eating plan that would require a fasting period longer than 18 hours but I think restricting eating time to the six-hour window has benefited me as it doesn’t feel like a diet. Only downside is I want to talk with others and no one I know is doing time-restricted eating. Delighted to find this forum.
13 Apr 16
Update: since July, my weight loss gradually slowed to about a pound a week, sometimes less. I reached my goal last Sunday having painlessly lost 45 pounds on 18/6 routine, no sugar and mindful eating.
14 Jun 16
Last year I lost ten kilos combining 5:2 with 4:3
Until going in States for 10 days and come back
for winter holidays which in Romania means a lot of
Therefore in last six months I gain 13 kilos
Now started in 10th of June wit 108 with 16:8
initally breakfast at 2 pm qnd ending on 10 pm
In 2 weeks I lost 3 kilos
15 Jun 16
I’m back on ADF, Monday; Wednesday; Friday and have decided to skip the morning meal on feed days – kind of a 16:8, as I probably won’t eat after 8pm.
It’s too easy at work to grab a full English breakfast – I’m trying to go back to having a full English as a weekend treat.
I don’t know why, but having struggled for a year and a half to get back on ADF, I’m suddenly finding it really easy and on a feed day I really don’t feel much like eating first thing – last Saturday I got to 44 hours since I’d last eaten and I made myself eat, even though I wasn’t really hungry.
Hi everyone. For me the missing piece has been the tools to handle eating when bored, lonely, anxious, tired etc. I just discovered EFT which seems to be really helping getting my mind back in right order regarding food just being food. Lots of good stuff on youtube.
Julie Schiffman has a good overview and good videos for weightloss.
Watch “Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) Demonstration” on YouTube
Have you read Bert Herrings Appetite Control? It is 19:5 really with a 5 hour eating window. I try to run it with 5:2 but have to find a way not to eat too much too quickly when the window opens.
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