Amount of calories or amount of time fasted?

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Amount of calories or amount of time fasted?

This topic contains 46 replies, has 24 voices, and was last updated by  Paula Jayne 10 years, 6 months ago.

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  • Hi I started today but I am a little confused. I have had about 400 calories so far just at lunch and dinner with no snacks. Fancy a hot drink now but don’t want to spoil the effect. Basically what I am asking is it the fact you only have 500 calories across the day or the fact you have large gaps in time where you are fasting? Thank you!

    Hi pugsandpolkadot, this can get very confusing, take it from me Ive been doing it wrong for 10 weeks..!
    You have done well on your first day, you have got 100cals left so go and enjoy that hot drink.
    The good thing with this way of eating is the flexability, its what suits you best I think. Some folk like to save all their cals for 1 meal, or spread throughout the day.xx

    I was also wondering this. I am also in my first week and my 2nd fast day. I have chosen Monday and Wednesday as my fast days. This week I have split 500 calories between 2 meals on my fast days. I eat as normal on a Sunday and then on a Monday I have the first sitting at 11.00am and then the remainder at 7.00pm. I will then not have anything until the following day which is Tuesday…I then repeat the process for Wednesday…can anyone tell me if im doing this correctly as it seems to easy…thanks

    Im on day 2 also and wasnt sure if i went wrong on day 1 as i had 2 meals am & pm, but when i got home from work at 10pm had home made veg soup. I was still within my 500 cals but am now thinking that perhaps I should only have 2 meals, giving me longer fasts?…can any tell me which is right..thanks x

    There are a couple of suggestions in the book one being fasting from 2pm to 2pm

    It’s about finding what works for you. Some ways of fastings suits some and others it does not.

    Im in my 6th week and have eaten two meals a day keeping lunch under 110 calories and the rest goes on dinner. I dont snack and I drink a couple of cups of black tea and alot of water. I have lost 2.6 kilos or 5.7lbs in 5 weeks as I haven’t weighed this week.

    Hi All 🙂

    I am about to start fasting as off tomo. I am unsure about what time scales i should fast. if i ate my last peice of food tonight at say 7pm and had my 500 cals between then and Sat morn at 8.30am. Would that be the correct way?


    Do what works for you. I am fasting from dinner say Sunday night, having a small breakfast and a small dinner on Monday and then back to normal eating Tuesday. However those 500/600 cals can be eaten whenever suits you on the fast day – al for dinner, small breakfast and dinner, or whatever. Hope it works for you! I am on the 8th fast day and usually have breakfast and dinner, but today am trying just dinner. I am drinking sparkling water which I find more filling, and black coffee and green tea. Good luck, look forward to seeing how you get on x

    Hi Alex,

    Thanks for your response. All your information has been helpful. I intend on fasting tomo and then weighing Sat and carrying through until the following Sat. Shall update with progress. Good luck

    Good luck tomorrow then! I find that missing the act of eating is harder than the hunger itself. Starting to feel hungry now, have had some milk in coffee and a Bovril drink – max 100cals in the whole lot. Lots saved for dinner!

    Yes i plan on having a small meal early morn, followed by low cal drinks and water and then a small meal early evening. I like to run – so was thinking of 1500 cals on non fast days and running. I know they say you shouldn’t call count, looking for max results.

    I go from evening meal around 8 30 to 9 pm to about 6 pm next day when I have about 200 cals then eat at 8 or 9 my 300 meal. I find if I eat breakfast it makes me more hungry but my husband has breakfast porridge and water ( yuck! As he says he can’t go all day no food

    I have been fasting from 6pm last night, Ive saved all my cals for my evening meal tonight, Ive drank loads of fluids tho, Fenel tea, black coffee, diluting juice all day. my supper took 381 cals so Ive got an option to have something later on if I want. This was my very first real fast day, and it worked well for me.

    Hi All! Hope everyone doing Thursday had a great day. Until today I have been having small breakfast and small dinner but today have just had dinner, with a couple of coffee with milk and a Bovril earlier. That was a lot better for me, feel fantastic and really enjoyed a bigger dinner. My boyfriend and I are buying a house together at the moment and I think this way is going to fit better when I am cooking for him too, as I really don’t want to sit and watch him eat loads more than me. Perhaps I can get him to do the diet too! Enjoyed the day, roll on tomorrow morning weigh in!

    Hi All, I kinda think it does matter how you eat and what you eat to get the full benefit of The Fast Diet. One really needs to read the book to understand what those benefits are and how to achieve them. Its a quick read.
    That said, I guess any 500 or 600 calorie days, twice a week, should result in weight loss and that is of benefit for sure. Enjoy the ride!

    Fully intend to read the book soon. Until then I am losing weight…feeling great…and have more energy that I have had in a long time.

    Not going to over think it.

    I think that is where all those “other diets” fail. Stressing over good fats and bad fats…or carbs..or grams of this or that…

    I am doing alternating days fasting…and enjoying it so much that until I reach my target (goal) weight…I am going to keep doing what I am doing…as it is working!

    I think the beauty of this plan is that there are no hard and fast rules, yes for maximum health benefits a pure fast is best, but it has to be doable. I skip breakfast, have a light lunch and dinner. Eating makes me hungry, so I leave it as late as I can bear. Micheal and Mimi have opposite approaches and it works both ways, as any weight loss improves health. I need to have full 2000 cals on food days so I don’t feel deprived, chocolate and a drink please. Don’t get hung up on the “best” way to do this, the way that works for you and the way that you keep on doing is the best way 😉

    It’s a good question, and I think in honesty the truth is that there hasn’t been studies done to establish whether it’s the length of the fast or the large reduction in calories that causes the effects. We’re triggering the “famine” response in the body to get these effects, but what exactly is triggering the famine response – a long fast, a huge reduction in total calories, or a combination of both? Michael says to split your calories over 1 or 2 meals, but the diet would certainly become a lot more flexible if a study found that it’s the huge reduction in calories that triggered the famine response, rather than just the extended fast(s).

    I don’t think it necessarily matters if you eat throughout the day or all in one go. Especially when you’re starting out, it will take you a while to get used to the massive reduction in intake 2 days of the week, so I think new people should just do whatever works for them (within the calorie limit).

    I’ve been doing it almost a year now and changed my way of fasting over 6 months ago to my current model but it took me a fair few months to be able to do it. I’ve kind of combined 5:2 with the Eat, Stop, Eat principal of waiting 16 hours or more between meals at various times in the week. I now ‘fast’ on Tuesdays & Thurdsays but only eat 1 meal at about 6pm. On the other days I wait as long as possible before starting to eat and try to eat within a 6-8 hour ‘window’. It doesn’t always work out quite perfectly but I do tend to have at least 16 hours and sometimes up to 24 between ‘eating windows’. This helped me keep my weight loss on an even keel when I almost plateaued over Xmas but it’s just MY way of managing the 5:2. Some people have been eating regular little meals throughout the day for months and months and have similar results to mine. It’s horses for courses. Find what works for you and flex it if & when you need to. This is a diet for life, so you need to be happy and comfortable with whatever way you choose to do it.

    Thanks, TracyJ, for your good sense and longer perspective. Well done for trying different timings and finding what works for you personally. I hope you continue to thrive on the regime.
    I don’t think everyone necessarily understands that it’s not just daytime hours of fasting that count but, rather, fasting also includes one’s sleeping hours overnight: so, fasting starts from the last food intake one evening until the first food intake on the next day.
    Thus, if one ate an evening meal at, say, 7pm and did not eat again until, say, 9am the next morning, that would already be a 14 hour fast. If one chose to skip that 9am intake and waited until lunchtime, say 1pm, that would be an 18 hour fast. And so on…. For people who choose to save all their fast day calorie allowance for just one evening meal then the fast period is even longer.

    The times when one is not eating because one is sleeping do count and the benefits of the 5:2 system start to accrue after roughly 12-14 hours of not eating. Best wishes to everyone still working out which schedule best suits their circumstances and needs (and, as TracyJ says, don’t forget that the plan can change).

    I’ve been doing this since the end of January and just getting back into it after a break. Lost about a stone. I think its important not to confuse things too much as we’re all so different and what works for one person doesn’t work for another. Michael and Mimi have introduced us to the Fast Diet and set out parameters within which to work. The idea being that its not stressfull but in fact a more relaxed way to try and lose weight and feel better. I re-jigged what I was doing at the beginning and now have a snack before bed the night before leaving it until late morning before having a yoghurt on fasting day. Then have soup, fruit, yoghurt between 8 and 9 in the evening. This works for me because I like the anticipation of waiting for my tea and then getting to bed before hunger stikes again. Its great to see everyone so involved and motivated and it must make Michael and Mimi proud at how the Fast Diet has taken off in such a big way.

    Jeanius, I’m interested in what you said about benefits start to accrue after 12-14 hours, as this was something I was interested in but didn’t see any information about – how long do you need to fast before the health benefits kick in? Is there a study or something where you got this information?

    Hello, donald – Two sources I have used both discuss the fat-burning effects of exercising in a fasted state, quoting the time it takes for our normal energy stores of glycogen to be used up:
    1) See Michael Mosley: ‘I have looked extensively into the research on fasting and exercise. The evidence is strong that if you exercise in the fasted state (even if that simply means going for a run or walk before breakfast rather than after it) then you will burn more fat. The reason is that after 10 hours without food (if, for example, you have been sleeping) then your glycogen stores will be down and the body will turn to the fat stores.’
    (Posted 11:32 am on 28 Apr 13 – )

    2) See Linda Gruchy (Biology Research Scientist/Diet and Fitness Consultant) ‘5:2 Fasting and Fitness Easy Science in Layman’s Terms’ – Published e-book, 2013, available on Amazon – Linda G. states that it takes roughly 12 hours for our glycogen stores to be depleted.
    Best wishes.

    Ok, thanks Jeanius, however those are both relating to the weight-loss aspects of the diet. My focus is on the IGF1 results, which may or may not be a similar time-frame (may or may not be related to the fat-burning). Since I’m already at my target weight, I just want to know how long I need to fast for to get the IGF1 effect, because once I’ve got that I can go back to regular eating again.

    Hi, Donald – I don’t exactly know how the IG1F hormone levels are measured and evaluated but it sounds like you would need multiple tests over a carefully monitored period of time, relating to your non-fasting/fasting patterns. I wonder if this is both feasible and worthwhile, given the expense and effort involved?
    It seems to me that, whilst there is still not enough evidence yet about the ideal fasting times/schedules for humans – in order to regulate optimum IG1F hormone levels, for example – there is increasing evidence that so many health benefits are gained from intermittent fasting that including it in one’s lifestyle in some form has got to be a positive thing.
    You seem particularly averse to hunger and, as only you thoroughly know your own needs and wants, you have to set your own parameters, of course – but, surely, it would make sense to find a means of fasting that you find manageable – whether it be daily ‘food windows’, a 6:1week, or some other timing – and stick to that?
    Hopefully, more exact research results will follow in the near future but, in the meantime, you can be hedging your bets, so to speak, and can reasonably expect to experience health benefits as a result of regular fasting. With all best wishes.

    Jeanius,I’m already on 6:1 (since I don’t need to lose weight), and I already manage the day the best way that works for me (which is no breakfast/lunch). Hunger has always been an issue with me (the other day on Facebook, when they posted “do you look forward to that hungry feeling on fast days?”, I’m like “on fast days”?? I get hungry after a couple of hours, never mind fast days!). When I was younger I could literally eat as much as I wanted and never put on weight. Once I hit 28 that changed, and it was downhill from there. I have found that monounsaturated fat does help you to feel full. Thus the interest in how far does one have to go to get the IGF1 effect, since there’s no need for me to go beyond that point (since I don’t need to lose weight, and all my other numbers were good to begin with too).

    Hello everyone,

    After reading, I realized, thank goodness I’m not the only one a tad confused here, lol.

    Anyway, if I’ve understood correctly: no food for a 36 hour or 24 hour period, and, however you best want to divide that up, is up to you???

    For example, you can do it back to back days, or split it up. (twice a week)

    For back to back days it will look like this: 500 cal for female, 600 cal for male (not fair, hah). I’m female, so 250 for breakfast, 250 for dinner (or use up all the 500 cal in one shot). Today, (July 26) my breakfast was at 9:30 AM. Keeping the 36 hour in mind, I won’t eat until 3:30 PM next day,(July 27) with only coffee/water/tea, maybe a cup of light broth in between. That would be 18 hours. Another Eighteen hours from 3:30 PM takes me to 9:00 AM on July 28. So would 9:00 AM on July 28 be the time where the non fast meal comes in? Would July 28th be my free time, non fasting-time?

    This is a tough way to do it, but I think ok to do because then you are free until another 36 hour period.

    If not this way, then 24 hour period split in two days. Say, 8 Am breakfast, 8 Pm dinner = 12 hours. Next day is free. Have a few free days. Then count 12 hours of 500 cal meal from your last non-fast meal???

    Question 1: the time frame and day I picked isn’t great though because keeping to the 5 day off, if Sunday is my free day, 5 days from Sunday takes me to another Friday. Ideally you want the fast days to happen far away from the weekend. Boo boo here.
    How can I fix this?? Can I do the 24 hour period instead, split into two, then see if I can manage a 36 hour period starting on Mon or Tues of next week?


    Me again.

    Or a 24 hour period in one shot. So if breakfast is at 8:00 AM , (500 cal) in one go, then nothing until 8:00 AM next day, which breaks the fast, then 5 free days until another fast of 24 hour period either in one go, or split.


    Hi Bumblebee
    You seem a bit confused about days on/off. the 2 fast days should not be consecutive, so there will never be 5 consecutive “normal” days.
    eg Fast Monday, eat Tues & Wed, Fast Thurs, eat Fri & Sat & Sun. Or any other combination within the 7 days.
    Hope this clarifies.

    vicki, fast days CAN be consecutive. Michael has simply said that many people find it easier to break them up.

    bumblebee, refer to the FAQ here. When Michael talks about 36 hours, he is talking about from your last meal on your non-fast day (usually in the evening), to your first meal on your next non-fast day (usually breakfast). He simply notes that including night-time gives you longer fast periods. Some people do a 24-hour fast lunch-time to lunch-time or similar. As I said, have a look through the FAQ. In regards to you eating breakfast and dinner on your fast day, you may find it easier to skip breakfast (I do). Some people (like myself) can find themselves feeling hungrier late morning than if they hadn’t eaten at all (I find this especially to be the case with high-GI breakfasts). I don’t start my fast-day eating until dinner-time, by which time I have fasted for 21 hours straight.

    Hi Bumblebee, I think part of your confusion is that you are thinking the 36 hour fast involves eating no food at all ( this would be really difficult!). What 5:2 diet refers to as a fast day is not really a true “fast” because you are allowed to eat 500 or 600 cals in any way you like i.e all in one go or spread over 2 /3 meals during that 36 hour period. The usual way which the majority of people are doing is starting the 36 hours after dinner on the non fast day i.e eating 500/600 cals the next day then resuming normal eating the following morning ( 8pm – 8am – 36hrs). Apparently you can spread your 500 cals over any 24 – 36 period which is what I am trying although so far not sure if it is actually working as not losing much weight! I start my 500 cals “fast” after eating a good non-fast breakfast and choose to eat my 500cals all for dinner (means I don’t go to bed hungry) then don’t eat again 1 pm next day when I have a normal lunch.So I’m doing a 29 hour fast but spreading it over over 2 days. I personally find this much easier than the standard 1 day fast but as yet I haven’t found anyone else who is doing it this way. Thing is I just can’t do the usual way as my blood sugar drops too much ( it’s not the same as hunger which I can cope with) So basically if I don’t lose weight doing my version I’m going to have to give up altogether which would be disappointing. I’m being careful to eat the same number of calories ( 2 x 500 and 5 x 2000 = 11,000) over the whole week as if I were doing the standard 2 days fast. Am going to give it another couple of weeks and see what happens. Still hoping to find someone else doing this sort of variation – is there anybody out there?!?!

    allybally, a 500 kcal dinner is like any regular meal really. I can’t help thinking that it DOES break your fast, AND it’s only 12 hours-ish from your normal breakfast. Then you’re doing 18 hours until lunch the next day. I think you’re doing an 18 hr fast really, sorry :-/ I’m totally new to this, but I’ve been tracking my eating for some time (mostly because the kcal in food are so enlightening!) but I do know that 500 kcal is a decent healthy meal. I mean, I ate a roasted chicken thigh last night (gave the crispy skin to my eager daughter!) with a small roasted potato, slice of roasted sweet potato, small piece of roasted pumpkin, boiled cauliflower floret and a few green beans, plus a pan-juice gravy with seeded mustard, and that all came to significantly less than 500 kcal, but you can’t deny it’s a filling meal. I know that for me, anything with protein in the evening would be enough to shut my belly up for long enough that I can get to sleep (that’s my biggest hurdle currently).

    Otherwise, I actually like the pattern that you’ve described and think I may try it. I think I’ve been doing this for 6 weeks, and I’ve only managed 1 day exactly as I intended, so I am looking for alternatives. I think breakfast (porridge) and some protein at dinner time, then something similar for breakfast the next day, could be enough to keep my going until lunchtime ~ 30 yrs. Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

    I checked my log, and my roast chicken and veg last night was 260 kcal! It is relatively high in carbohydrates though, so probably isn’t that suitable as a fast meal. But if the roasted potato/kumara/pumpkin was adjusted to have less starch and more above-ground veges, then it would probably be lower in calories and much lower in carbs. You can’t NOT feel satisfied after a meal like that either!

    So if you get all of this for 260 kcal, and it’s not a good fast meal, what does a 500 kcal meal do to your ‘fast’?

    I’m new to this (just started third week) so am still trying to wrap my head around the calculations, and am trying a few ways of fasting to see what works best for me in terms of how I feel/cope with the fasting. The first week I had two meals on non-consecutive days, finishing eating around 8 PM pre-fast day, then on the fast day I breakfasted at about 8 AM then dinner at 7 PM. Breakfast the next non-fast day was around 8 AM. That, I think, gave a fast including sleep time of 36 hours.

    Last week I tried two consecutive days. I split my 500 calories into two meals (breakfast and dinner). I last ate pre-fast on Sunday at about 8 PM then had two fasting days, breaking the fast on Wednesday at about 8 AM. That, I think, gave a fast of 60 hours, i.e. between normal eating and including sleep. That seemed to go reasonably well, though I felt a bit light-headed and sluggish on the second day.

    This week I am trying consecutive days again, but with just one meal (dinner) at about 7 PM. On Saturday I last ate something at 10 PM (I was eating out, so not a normal eating time for me). I fasted Sunday, not eating anything until 7 PM. Today, another fasting day, I will eat at 7 PM, then will breakfast normally tomorrow at about 8 AM. That gives a fasting period of 58 hours, if I am understanding this correctly. I haven’t felt particularly hungry over the two days, and in fact feel full of beans today and have lots of energy. It may be that the one meal option works for me (or the consecutive days). I’m next going to try one meal on non-consecutive days to see how that works.

    My personal preference is going to be to fast on non-consecutive days, but domestic circumstances this week and last meant that it was more convenient to try out the consecutive days option. Does anyone else have a perspective on or experience of consecutive day fasting?

    Please let me know if I am way off the mark here!

    Hi again!

    Thanks for all your advice, Donald, vicki and allybally.

    I much prefer the one meal of 500 cal in one go. And I prefer fasting all at once too. I believe this is how are beloved ancestors ‘ate’. (prehistoric times) They probably went without food for days at a time, yet when they did eat, it was a good, satisfying meal.

    Ok, I think I’m getting it now:

    I like Monday’s as fast (particularly after a weekend of eating).

    So let’s say the last time I put food in my mouth is Sunday night at 10 PM. The time I get up, (6 AM for me) is already 8 hours without food = 10 PM to 6 AM is 8 hours. I have 28 hours to ‘go’ at this point, and within those 28 hours I can eat a meal of 500 cals?

    I will choose breakfast as my meal (I work out in the mornings, I prefer my meal at this time when I can) So I have my breakfast at 8 AM in the morning. Keeping to these calculations, I will have already not eaten for 10 hours. This time it’s 10 PM bedtime (the last time I had food in my mouth), to 8 AM meal time of 500 cals is now 10 hours. With 10 hours down, I have 26 to go which takes me to Tues morning at 10 AM when my fast is over. Yet, no gorging, but at the same time, not counting my calories.

    Have I got it right? Sorry to sound dense. I have a hard time wrapping my head around concepts sometimes.

    And I do this twice a week, right? (more times than that is probably better,ha). Anyway, this is the way I like to do it; that is, if I’m not missing the mark.

    I’ve got 10-15 pounds (is that a stone?) to lose. I break out in a sweat by working out 5 days a week (sometimes 6 or 7) with cardio and weights combinations. I’ve been working out this way since 10 months now. The thing with me is, these last 10-15 pounds were not budging because I was overeating (not necessarily bad stuff, but overeating nonetheless). I managed to lose some more weight(brilliantly inches and fat not muscle) on a smoothie plan. It took me 15 days. It was good, but the dairy started bothering me, and the snacks bothered me as well. I don’t prefer snacking. I like to eat, and then not eat for while longer, with no snacking in between, or hardly ever. I thought, hey this might be the plan for me, this fast diet.

    A big thanks to Dr Mosley for sharing this secret in the first place!!

    The thing with this plan is the more your body goes without food, the more you learn from your body, when you are in fact properly hungry. This naturally produces a weight loss, as opposed to ‘well, it’s lunchtime, I must eat.’ Not only do our eating patterns change, but the mindset changes, we become more mindful. OK, there will be occassions that it’s not as cut and dry, but that’s OK.
    I think that’s why the snacking bit was bothering me, it actually made me hungrier for the most part. I felt myself drifting in my old ways of ‘constantly having to eat’, when that is not the case half the time.

    Hi – replying first to bumblebee, second to smu6 and third to PaulaJane
    BBee – I think you’ve definitely got it now – wishing you the very best of luck with your plan. Glad you are able to manage full 36 hour method which was beyond me and yes you can eat all of your 500 cals in one go ( Dr M says so in the book) if that’s what suits you best and I really think what you’re doing will work.
    That last point is really what I wanted to say to smu6 – you don’t have to spread your 500 cals over 2 or 3 meals it’s perfectly allowable to eat the 500/600 all in one go but that does mean a VERY long time without any food the rest of the time. Glad you feel satisfied after a 260 cal meal – afraid for me that just makes me feel hungrier. This plan is very much about finding what works best for you although of course sticking within Dr M’s very clear guidelines.
    PaulaJane. I understand there are increased weight loss benefits if you can do 2 consecutive days but not everyone can manage that for whatever reason, not least because it is probably very tough. I’m sorry to say that after exactly 4 weeks of trying different ways of trying to make this plan work I weighed myself this morning and have not lost a single pound! So I wish you all the very best – I have clearly been eating too much on my non fast days ( I did find I craved sweet foods and found I was eating more than before I started this plan) So I am going to love you and leave you and try a less extreme version of this diet which does involve 2 consecutive days of fasting but less restricted i.e you can have up to 1000 cals then the 5 other days you have to eat healthily i.e not whatever you want which I think/hope will suit me better But I really wish all you guys huge success – it seems to work for loads of people extremely well but sadly not me.

    Hi allybally,
    Thank you again.

    Sorry for your trouble, but I reckon you should do well.

    More tommorrow.


    Hi allybally – sorry to hear you’re not going to continue on this plan – have you tried calorie counting on your non-fasting days, as clearly if you have the mental strength/discipline to fast on your fast days, you can probably stick to a calorie limit on your non-fast days. Also, weight isn’t always the best indicator of benefit – do your clothes feel better fitting, and how do you physically feel? Many of the benefits as I understand it are likely to be invisible but tangible if medically tested. If you haven’t tried monitoring your food on non-fast days, why not give it a go for a fortnight, and see what happens…. Whatever you do, all the best with it. Paula

    Wow! AllyBally 4 weeks is not much of a try for this lifestyle to be honest but at least you’re not giving up completely and maybe your ‘tweak’ will suit you better. I am curious to know why you think it will work when the 5:2 at 500 cals on fast days hasn’t though? Were you not monitoring your calories (even roughly) on non-fast days too? If that’s the case then there’s the problem.

    I am fasting on consecutive days and wondered if this is alright or am I spoiling it? I also eat at 0930 and 1pm. Thats the best times for me. As I go from 1pm until 0930 is this long enough for this to work ? I don’t want to be doing it wrong but I couldn’t find it in the book?

    see page 74-76 Debbie – that should help 🙂

    smu6, as has been pointed out, having a 500cal meal on your fast day does NOT break the fast. “fast” in this plan is a day with only 500-600 calories in that period, not a complete fast.

    allybally, the eating as much as you want only applies to people who naturally feel full when they’ve eaten enough. This is not true of everyone. Some people, like myself, could keep on eating, thus you still have to count calories on non-fast days in order not to put on weight. I was also attracted by the “eat as much as you want” aspect, but found it not to be true (so now I’m just hoping to get the IGF1 effect).

    bunblebee, yes, 500 cals in the 36 hour period.

    Oh dear 🙁 I weighed today after a difficult 3 day fast and I put ON half a pound. I am doing something wrong and it is very disheartening.

    Hi Debbie1573 – it’s very tempting to weigh after fast days , I fell into that trap too and it does make one very disheartened. One’s weight can fluctuate from day to day quite massively ( by several lbs anyway , some say up to 10!) Best to try to weigh once/week same day, same time to gauge properly what’s going on. Update on my variation for anyone interested – early days yet of course – I stopped after 4 weeks of no weight loss which may seem like giving up too soon, but I didn’t like how it was making me crave sweet things and carb rich foods as basically prior to starting I had been eating a healthy, low carb diet which regulated my blood sugar/hunger really well but just couldn’t drop the extra 7-10lbs I needed. I found the 500 cals just way too difficult as my blood sugar dipped and couldn’t concentrate/function properly and felt irritable and miserable. It was such a relief to be able to eat the next day I found I craved food like never before and I didn’t feel after 2 days of being miserable like depriving myself further. This is why I stopped and am trying the 2 day diet which involves 2 “fast” days back to back of very low carb which I know suits me well, there are much stricter rules about what you can eat which may not suit everyone but I find those particular rules I like as the foods are good and healthy. It works out at a max of 1000 cals/day if you eat everything you are allowed but could be less and you do NOT count calories. I have done my 2 days and they were a breeze – mild hunger but no blood sugar dips or going to bed hungry. Am on my 3rd day of “normal” eating which is not unrestricted – you still have to stick within acceptable limits but can have some treats ( e.g up to couple glasses wine and say 100g chocolate or couple of desserts over the 5 days) Because I didn’t feel remotely deprived on my fast days I have been happy to eat healthily since then – no cravings at all – and am currently planning what treats to have at the weekend. I know I shouldn’t have weighed myself already but after 4 days have lost 3lbs. Will see if this continues but so far this method feels much more suitable for my needs. The 2 days fasting have to be consecutive as apparently may have more beneficial effects that way and it’s kind of nice to have them out of the way for rest of the week.

    Can anyone please give me a simple answer- is it more effective (weight loss and health benefits) to last as long as possible without food rather than spreading your calories throughout the day? I’ve gone 20 hours so far and am trying to hold off as long as possible before I eat my 500, and then I will go to sleep and my total time period will be 36 hours until I eat normally, this appears to be what others are doing? It seems to me to defeat the purpose of a fast if I spread my 500 calories throughout the day as I will still be eating, my digestive system won’t be resting and I won’t really be that hungry, thanks.

    “is it more effective (weight loss and health benefits) to last as long as possible without food rather than spreading your calories throughout the day?”

    I usually go over 36 hours without any food, and I’m fine with that. Test for yourself what is comfortable and the results that you want.

    I posted back late July, not long after I started. I settled on the model of eating once a day (evening), generally just on two days a week (but sometimes three, such as during my birthday week when I’d had a few meals out). I use up to my 500 calories, but sometimes Iam too full to eat them all. This model seems to have worked for me, as I found at the beginning I felt more hungry during the day if I had breakfast. I have lost 15 lbs (from 9 stone 9 to 8 stone 8) and my husband 14 lbs in the 10 completed weeks to date. Although I found I craved some foods on my fast day, once I knew I could eat them on non-fast days, the craving went away! Just the lure of forbidden fruit, I guess! However, my lowest weight loss weeks have been when I haven’t monitored the calories I took in on non-fast days. My conclusion is for weight loss, calories on fast and non-fast days are important. For the health benefits, from the book and the studies, I believe both the length of time and the calorie intake are important. 🙂

    I posted back late July, not long after I started. I settled on the model of eating once a day (evening), generally just on two days a week (but sometimes three, such as during my birthday week when I’d had a few meals out). I use up to my 500 calories, but sometimes I am too full to eat them all. This model seems to have worked for me, as I found at the beginning I felt more hungry during the day if I had breakfast. I have lost 15 lbs (from 9 stone 9 to 8 stone 8) and my husband 14 lbs in the 10 completed weeks to date. Although I found I craved some foods on my fast day, once I knew I could eat them on non-fast days, the craving went away! Just the lure of forbidden fruit, I guess! However, my lowest weight loss weeks have been when I haven’t monitored the calories I took in on non-fast days. My conclusion is for weight loss, calories on fast and non-fast days are important. For the health benefits, from the book and the studies, I believe both the length of time and the calorie intake are important. 🙂

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