Alternate day fasting

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  • On my fifth day of alternate day fasting.
    Woke up looking forward to my fast. Always have more energy, especially towards the end of the day.
    No headaches, dizziness or major hunger pangs. I drink lots of water!
    Also I don’t count calories at all on my off days or think about food in a critical way. I just enjoy my day!

    I am hoping to do the same thing… started today! 1st fasting day will be on Monday though!

    @splashabs surprisingly refreshing. Going lower carb on feed days. (Not carb free!).
    Do let me know how you get on!
    If you started today how is the next fast day Monday though? Bit confused lol

    I’m a 41 year old female who started 5:2 on September 4. I’ve been doing it faithfully for about 2-1/2 months now. I never cheat on my fast days, although I do find them difficult, but I stick to it. I often get headaches, so I’m trying to up my water intake and drink a zero calorie “energy drink,” hoping the electrolytes will help. I watch what I eat on feed days — not counting calories, but being conscious of portions and eating whole foods, nothing processed. I exercise every day: cardio, walking, yoga, light weight training. In 2-1/2 months, I’ve lost 8.8 lbs, which is a bit demoralizing because I feel like it should be coming off much faster. It’s never been a consistent loss. Some weeks are 1 lb., some .5 lbs., some weeks I gain. Last week, I fasted 4 days in a row. I do not recommend this, and it’s obviously not sustainable, but I was desperate for a “big loss” (2 lbs?) and wanted to see what would happen. I lost .6 lbs. Very tough to take. I’m considering alternate day fasting, or at least doing Monday-Wed-Friday. Any thoughts?

    Hi Jenny:

    The average weight loss for a woman on 5:2 is a little under a pound a week. Your 8.8 pound loss in 10 weeks is right on average. As your weight on any given day can be up or down up to two or more pounds depending on your water retention/dehydration and food in transit weight, your weight on any given weighing day will be variable and fasting for four days will not automatically mean a large weight loss when you get on the scale, though it will show up sometime. As an aside, to figure out how much fat you might lose with four days of fasting, take your TDEE, multiply by four, subtract the number of calories you ate each day and divide by 3500. You might find it will be less than 2 pounds. This will help you understand how much additional weight loss you might expect if you do 4:3:

    Just think of the bright side – if you do normal 5:2 for 52 weeks, you should be down around 45 pounds. Would that be unacceptable?

    Good Luck!

    That’d be awesome! Slow, but I keep trying to keep a long-term view. A few years ago, I lost 30+ in 5 months. I put it all back on, plus some, pretty quickly, too. I’m hoping that the slower pace means more sustainability.

    Thank you for your comment! I have renewed resolve to keep going.

    I do an alternative to alternate day fasting that works very well for me. I fast on Mon, Wed, and Fri and feed on the other 4 days. I have evolved this into complete fasting on fast days and complete eating on feed days. By complete I mean absolutely no restrictions on what I eat or how much I eat on feed days.

    I started this to address a problem with night sweats and frequent urination (20 to 25 times a day and 3 to 8 times a night) The 3 day fast completely eliminated the night sweats and frequent urination challenges.

    Hello All
    Kbooks when you say complete fasting, does that mean no food or drinks at all or water only fast or you are strict with 500/600 cals on fast days? I am just curious to try out another method

    I only have water and green tea (basically warm water) on fast days. I have no stress or other problem like headaches that apparently some others have from fasting. I have found it is just as easy for me to do 0 calorie days as 600 calorie days. That may be that I have got used to fasting as I have been doing at least 2 days a week since August 2013

    Thanks for the info Kbooks. I guess its too early for me to try it out as I get constipated after fast days, I try and include fiber rich foods but still get this issue. So will stick to my 500 cals until this is resolved and then will try this way too.

    Just out of curiosity kbooks, how much weight have you lost since August 2013? I like enjoying the success of others. : )

    Both my wife and I lost weight fast when we started the fasting routine. I am 6ft tall and my weight went from 182 pounds to 162 pounds in a couple of months but since then we have both stabilized and just maintain that weight loss. We are both 71 years old and my wife 5’8″ now weights the same as she did the year we were married, 50 years ago. She looks great. She now weights 129 pounds down from 150 when we started fasting.

    It is a great program and has become our way of life now.

    Hi I’ve just joined this site. I have the book and follow the recipes. The ones I have tried are fab. Delicious, quick and easy to do. I’m 5 ft 9 female weighing 176 lbs. I’m doing the alternate day fast. Eating 500 cals fast days. Been ok, drink lots of water. Been doing for 2 weeks now and lost 8lbs. Expect to slow down weight loss. Had a bad cold so haven’t done much exercise mainly walking. Be interesting to see if I can break through the168 lb as haven’t managed to do so on other diets for years.

    Just joined the site as well! I’m 5’3″ and weigh 177, down from 208 when I went gluten free and primal last year. Shooting to get down to 135, all muscle.

    I just started ADF this week, on 11/24. Going to do Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with the occasional 1000-calorie Saturday or Sunday thrown in.

    Hoping to see good results!

    Hi all,
    I have been doing Varady’s “every other diet” since December 20 (only coincidental with the holidays, 2014 has been a year of diet experimentation, this is another). I chose even-numbered days so that I could tell whether I’d be fasting or not for any time in the future. 25% of normal daily calories for me is about 600, so that’s my limit on fast day. I wait until 6pm to eat them all, so it’s “six hundred at six” for me. I’ve dropped from 207 to 203 lbs (maybe even more at tomorrow morning’s weighing, *crossfingers*) so far. Fast days are still tough, despite Varady’s assurances that it gets much easier after 10 days.

    I’m hoping to push this until I hit about 185 lbs, then go to every third day (I’ll fast on days evenly divisible by 3, : )

    My blood sugar is really low at the end of a fast day, but shoots up a fair bit by morning, which, based on a little reading, is not a good thing. I hope that improves.

    Anyway, hi!

    Is anyone doing paleo on the feed days just curious if this speeds weight loss with 5:2.

    @52lookingtolose, my low-carb/high-fat diet probably qualifies as “paleo”, but I’d have to fight you if you accused me of being paleo. 😉

    Any other devotees of ADF here?

    I’ve been successfully doing it for 7 weeks now to banish an expanding torso.I haven’t weighed myself at all but I’ve lost bulk from my chest and belly which appears to be mostly visceral fat and I’ve moved up a notch on my belt. I’m very slim everywhere else but the torso really needs attention now (hence my moniker). I imagine that the fat would be coming off by the bucket load if I was obese and doing this diet.

    The original plan was 4 weeks of ADF followed by 5:2 to maintain for life, then I decided I could manage 8 weeks of ADF and now I’m thinking 12 weeks should get me to an acceptable slimness before I commence 5:2 for maintenance.

    I eat between zero and 100 calories on fast days with lots of water. I eat as much as I like on feed days but consume far fewer snacks and orange juice than I did before I started. I don’t ban snacks, I just don’t go mad on them any more. Alcohol consumption has been halved though I probably still drink over the recommended amount. Sugar has been halved due to my not having tea (with 3 sugars) on fast days.

    My fast days last around 40 hours: last meal of feed day at, say, 9pm; no calories the next day; first meal of the day after that at around 1pm.

    So far, so good and I would recommend it to anyone after quick results with minimal effort. Fast days aren’t the greatest but we all have to cope with more trying tribulations in life than a few stomach rumbles. I told as many people as would listen that I’m on ADF so that failure was not an option. My pride would see to that.

    Apologies if you’ve read my story before but I thought I’d post it again on this thread so as to be more easily found by future ADFers.

    I got my dates wrong. It’s actually 7 weeks today.

    I’m now having tofu in a bit of soy sauce as my self-imposed 100 calorie limit on fast days just to take the edge off.

    Hi adf-ers, I’ve just done my first 6 days of adf and really enjoyed it, probably as it’s still a novelty. I ate my 500 cals at dinner. I’ve lost 5lbs which I know will be partly water and is unlikely to be repeated as first week always the best result. If I can lose a pound or two a week I will be very happy. I may swap to 4:3 or 5:2, my willpower is bound to decrease over time. Amazingly, though I’d planned on a big breakfast after first weigh in, what I really fancied was fruit salad, not like me at all!

    Hi fellow ADFers. First time posting. Started Nov 6. Been doing it since. Today is my 12th fast day. Fast days are, in the main, manageable. Have lost 5lbs. My problem with ADF is that I gorge on the feed days, despite promising myself that I will stick to 1800 cals. It’s as if my mind is preparing for a famine and I go stockpiling. From what I have read, this is not too unusual and should sort itself out after a few weeks. Anyone else find themselves gorging?

    Hi Sally and welcome:

    Most people that binge find themselves eating a lot of processed carbs. A general rule is to try to not eat processed carbs and eat more fat and protein. You might read through this thread on binging:

    Good Luck!

    Simcoeluv, thanks a million for your reply and link. Am reading my way through the thread.

    Do come join us, Sally and other bingers! Big congrats on your success so far with 5:2. As Simcoe said, on the “binger” thread we’re currently focused on whole foods, especially avoiding sugar and processed carbs. I have a sweet tooth the size of Mt. Everest, but sharing ideas has helped me loads. We’ve explored many other potential overeating triggers, too (we’re quite a creative bunch when it comes to triggers). x jade

    Hey Sally. I do ADF and just enjoy my feed days. I eat and drink what I like but I certainly don’t binge (though I could undoubtedly eat a little less).
    The fat is vanishing at a reassuringly steady rate.

    If you’ve lost 5 pounds in 23 days you’re doing fine and I doubt you’re really ‘gorging’.

    There are one or two threads on the forum where chatting about fasting is seen as a replacement for actual fasting so they’re best avoided if you really want to lose weight ?.

    I am new to this forum, but not new to fasting and LCHF way of eating. Am always curious to learn new methods and ideas, so look forward to chatting.
    In the past year I have managed to loose 45 pounds, and feel stuck on weight loss presently. I am kick starting breaking the plateau for a week now, and plan to continue alternate day fasting (500 calories in the evening) with up day being LCHF.
    Am a big fan of Dr Jason Fung, and also have read the 8 week blood sugar solution for fast weight loss (now viewed favorably). Initially I intended to loose at least 50 pounds, but was serious about dropping blood sugar levels without taking prescription. They are lowered but want to drop below 5.9. Fasting will be best thing.
    One day at a time…

    hi there – i have just finished my 8th day of ADF. i have 600 cals on down days and clsoe to 3000 on up days. yes i know that is a lot, but averaged out it’s 1800 for 2 days which is 6-800 less than i burn according to fitday. i weigh 100 kgs. and exercise a good amount.

    i figure the extreme hunger of up days will mellow out but for now that’s what i’m doing. i have low carb high fat highish protein both days, down day being lots of broth with gelatin added (filling!), lots of psyllium husk in loads of water (also filling!) usually 2 eggs, and a piece of chicken or some tuna (some kind of meat, anyway, is my plan) with veggies, spread throughout the day. i have the first egg fairly eary, the meal late afternoon, and the 2nd egg in the evening. net carbs on these days is below 10. up days are high fat, good protein, but the carbs have been around 60-70 (net), making my 2 day average for net carbs at 30-40, which is losing level according to the protein power plan. this makes it easier for me, as i have a treat on up days, which would usually make me feel riddled with guilt (like, say, my beautiful lemon cake), but now i figure (hope) it all averages out.

    this too, i hope will mellow out a bit (the treat). i track every day, as i’d like to stick with this plan for a couple weeks to see if it works. if it does, sweet! if not, i’ll stop having the treat on up days for a bit and see how that goes. i think i’ve lost a pound this week, but my scale is a dial, so it’s hard to tell 🙂 – maybe next week it will be clearly on 99…we shall see:)

    i have a lot of hope for this ADF WOE. ive been sabotaging my LCHF plan for years now, although i know it works, so i hope this works, as it means i can have that bit of treat if i want, but if overall i’m within the right range for protein/fat/carbs, then that would be, well, amazing.

    good luck to all 🙂 🙂

    Hi Everyone,

    I would like to jump in here. I’m planning to start my ADF tomorrow. I’m super excited as I have done this in the past with great success. I need to lose about 15 pounds. I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone.

    Hi Tracyred, welcome to the site. You’re mixing the same things as I am, I find Dr Michael Eades’ Protein Power diet and blog very useful. You may need to rethink that 3000 cals though, as averaging to 1800 using a fast day may not work long term, especially if you sabotage your Protein Power diet too with sugars and carb. You’ll probably find you plateau quite soon.
    Why not try having your sweet treat only one day a week, perhaps on a Sunday, and increasing your protein, veg and fat on the other days? Dr Eades discusses in his blog a client at his clinic who used his diet but lost nothing and when he looked at her food diary it was way over in terms of quantity even though she was eating the right things. And sugar plus starch plus fat (cake!) exacerbates this as it spikes insulin and blood sugar as well. Since he wrote his plan, more evidence has come out about sweeteners/sugar substitutes causing insulin release because of the sweet taste, but even so that’s probably preferable to real sugars. I sometimes make a sweet soufflé omelette if I’m craving something like that. If you use stevia or sucralose and grate lemon zest and a bit of sweetened lemon juice into it it’s nice. Or grate some very dark chocolate onto it. Postpone the cake!

    Hi there,

    So nice to read all your stories and your support to one another.
    I’m new to the forum and to fast dieting all together. I bought the book a couple of days ago and am still reading it now. I want to lose weight fast thats why I choose to start with ADF right away. I started yesterday and had my first fast day. I had a really budy day which was fortunate and I only ended up eating one can of tuna at 9 pm. I weighed myself today and am 70,3 kg (155 lb) with a height of 1,68 cm (5,5 feet). I hope to get some weight off quickly.

    I’ll keep you updated on my progress.

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