700 calories by accident

This topic contains 6 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Mr Data 10 years, 8 months ago.

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  • Hi all,
    I’ve been really interested to read your experiences of how you find the 5/2 diet.
    I’ve been on it for a month now as I’m trying to lose a couple of pounds, but wanted to do so without having to give up everything I like to eat for an interdeminate period of time. Same as most people on the 5/2, I would imagine.

    Today is one of my fast days and I’ve found it more difficult than previously, and a couple of things I’ve eaten have pushed me over the 600 calorie limit for a man. I couldn’t face not having milk in my coffee this morning, same with my mid-morning tea, and add to that the apple I had this afternoon, I’m already at the 600 calorie mark, without having had the soup I normally reserve for dinner on fast days (120 calories). I might skip dinner to keep myself in the 600 calorie limit, but I have a couple of questions anyway:

    1) Why 600 calories? Because this is a quarter of the calories a man normally takes in? Do you only get the health benefits which various studies have floated if you go no higher than 600?
    2) And if I eat 700 calories in a day instead of 600 should I see that as a a “failed” non-fast day? Should I compensate by eating 500 on the next fast day or just not worry about it and make sure I stick to 600 from now on?


    I was just wondering the same myself… Having seen the programme, read the book etc…. I can’t remember the ‘science’ behind the 600 call mark….

    Lets hope someone in the know let’s us into the secret of the 600!

    If you hover over the how? in the upper right of the page, the 2nd option is bmr and tdee calculator. Click on that and you can read the reasoning behind the 600 calories.

    I already posted about this a while ago. The consensus here (given no reply from Michael to these particular threads) seems to be that the figure simply comes from being 25% of a man’s average daily intake, and the 25% simply comes from the study which Michael mentioned in the doco (and I thknk in the book too) where subjects were only allowed to eat 25% of normal one day, then they would see how much extra the following day (which was only 110%). There doesn’t seem to be any actual study that which has determined 25% as being the limit and still achieving the health benefits, it was just the figure they use din that particular study.

    Seeing as how the figure comes from being 25% of the average, I routinely eat over 700 cals on my fast day anyway (my mormal daily amount is over 12000kJ, without gaining any weight, so on a fast day I use a figure of 3000kJ, which is slightly over 700 cal. I’m above average height). Unfortunately I’ve still not been able to get an IGF1 test to see if I’m getting the desired IGF1 benefit (see other thread started by me), so hopefully soon will be able to.

    Wow. On seeing what christine67 wrote, I just tried the TDEE calculator. It said (the equivalent of) 8100kJ a day for me, and as I just said, I routinely eat 12000kJ a day and don’t put on weight! Note that, as I have mentioned previously in another thread, I actually use a Weight Watchers formula normally (one based on kJ and saturated fat), rather than just calories, so just looking at calories may be over-simplistic. My diet is low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated fat (see Dr. Oz for benefits of monunsaturated fat). Either that or I just have a much faster metabolism for some reason (having said that, I do use some tips I got from Dr. Oz for speeding up metabolism). Once I find someone who’ll give me an IGF1 test I’ll be able to confirm if I’m still getting the benefits.

    The science behind this is actually very thin, by which I mean that there aren’t a lot of studies of this. There’s nothing magic about the number 600–at least there’s no science behind the idea that 600 is better than 700. That has not been tested.
    Since 100 calories is roughly equivalent to one ounce of fat, it’s logical to assume you will lose 1 ounce less that day.

    The reason to do this diet as opposed to some other diet is that it works for some. If you think it will work for you, do it. If you do 700 Cal on your fast days and you lose weight, good. If not, try to do better the next fast day. If you decide a fast day is a failure and do another fast day the next day, pretty soon you are doing a severe calorie restriction diet, not an intermittent fasting diet.

    Sam – I’d say don’t worry about the odd 700C blip. The book makes it very clear to play around to find what works for you and if one day it’s just too much effort to stick to the fasting then don’t. More essential is to stick to the main ethos and to keep at it. So don’t let 700 become the norm and don’t let it creep up to 800, then 900 then 1,000. You definitely don’t have to “compensate” by only doing 500 the next fast day – that will just make it even harder to stick to and one of the key points of this diet is that unlike every other one I know of it is inherently easy to stick to from a psychological viewpoint.

    After 6 months I’ve never seen a direct correlation between the amount lost on a fast day and the fact of it having been a fast day. The weight does always go down – but sometimes its 1kg and other times only 500g, despite eating the same thing on the fast day. To try to avoid being overly explicit, whatever you’ve eaten and drunk has to make it’s way through your body until the remains are excreted – the timings and quantities of those excretions can make a big difference to your regular weigh ins.

    I had a few plateaux for a couple of weeks – never let it bother me, just kept doing it.

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