are there many guys on this diet ?

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are there many guys on this diet ?

This topic contains 842 replies, has 80 voices, and was last updated by  penguin 4 years, 8 months ago.

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  • As mentioned previously I find January challenging but I have managed to reestablish a light weight training program plus restart 5:2. How I envy those of you in more moderate climate areas where basic survival is not an issue at this time of year. Weekends are my current healthy eating hurdle as it seems all resolve and good intentions dissolve between 5:00 pm Friday to 7:00 am Monday! A “guys” weekend coming up, and Super Bowl Sunday festivities, may be further deter-mental to my nutritional resolve.
    Realistically boredom is the main culprit so I am forcing myself to be as active as possible with a short March sojourn to the sun as motivation.

    Thanks August, that makes sense, so hopefully once my body learns that the fast days are not the start of the next ice age, and food will be forthcoming in the not to distant future, things may improve. Here’s hoping!

    Make sure you get some salt when water fasting. I also take magnesium and melatonin 1 hour before bed. I sleep very well

    August2024, I don’t envy your weather at all! I moved to get away from the cold and long, long nights of the north. One super bowl blowout won’t ruin you, just keep it to one day.

    Today is a NFD and I will eat more than TDEE to support my lower body weight workout.

    Weight is hanging around 160 lbs and BF% is trending down. Exactly what I’m looking to accomplish. One of these days I may even catch a glimpse of my long, long, long lost abs! LOL

    My body is finally adjusting to more intense exercise. Legs are not too sore today. Heading to the gym for an easy 30 min bike ride to get the blood flowing. Ballroom dancing tonight with the OH

    Got Valter Longo’s new book on life extension. Very interesting read.

    Finally my legs are recovering well from my weight workout. I have just minor soreness and a nice spring in my step! Added some planks to my workout. Pushup and side position on forearms. Started at 30 sec and will work up to one minute, then increase difficulty by going to one arm for prone and one leg for side.

    158.6 lbs @ 5’9″ this morning with BF trending down.

    Finished Longo’s “The Longevity Diet”. Lot’s of well thought out and documented findings. Highly recommended. Buy it, his profits are donated to a good foundation.

    Down seven pounds during January, for which I claim no credit at all – three weeks of the flu which totally destroyed my interest in food did that. I am now recovering and regaining some of the weight I lost, which is why I am only down seven – at one stage it was ten.

    Penguin, I hope that February will be a healthy month for you. I’m up .8 lb and down 1.7% body fat. I’m very happy as I’m trying to build muscle.

    @penquin: Yikes, three weeks of the flu; I am only into Flu day 5 and thought I was through the other side. No benefit of a great weight reduction so far.

    Made it through 2nd week of 5:2, not bad considering I have newborn baby to look after.

    1st week I seemed to have more fear of hunger than actual hunger. When you’re used to the diet you don’t seem to feel weak and I quite like some strength exercise on fast day.

    Next week I want to improve my non-fast day diet.

    Hi Jacq and welcome:

    I remember those times. I can’t believe you are on a diet.

    Your family way trumps your diet. But, in the future, if you want some information on 5:2, here it is:

    Good Luck!

    Monday check in. Flu pretty much gone – some residual chest congestion but generally feeling well. Of the ten pounds weight I lost whilst I had it I have only put back a few, so I come out seven pounds down. FD today, the first organised fast day for three weeks, although the appetite suppressing flu did a pretty good job. Usually this would also be a gym day but I have to get two apple trees pruned and today looks like the best weather this week.

    I started 14th Jan – it was not a decision I thought about at all before – it was a decision made in an instant – I’m always following Michael Moseley’s TV programs and find the science interesting as I’m a physicist, atheist and natural born skeptic. I’ve been fit and healthy and exercised for my entire life – at 178cm (5’10”) my BMI has always been high but I’m a muscly build – heavy legs from years of playing football (8-22), 30 years of running and about 3 years of swimming (up to 9hrs a week) which built up my top half a bit. I had to quit running after 3 lots of knee surgery and started swimming (front crawl – as breast stroke is murder on your knees)but, as a consequence of too much swimming I incurred a shoulder injury that is taking a long time to both diagnose and rectify – it’s hard to get anything done on the NHS – especially self inflicted sports injuries (nonetheless, the NHS is a great institution) – anyway – I have hardly been able to swim since April last year and my weight went up to 90-92kg. When running my lowest weight over the last 4 years of running was 84kg – when I started swimming my shape changed – legs thinned down a little and top half bulked out a little (shoulder/arms/back) in a good way but I was around 88-89kg and felt great – since I stopped swimming (3 times a week – – each swim was 2-3hrs long – 200-300 25m lengths) I started to put a little weight (flab around the sides) on and lose muscle and definition and my weight went up to 90-92kg. I started taking more care of what and how much I was eating – I am always good over Christmas and rarely put on weight because I’m aware of how easily it’s done. So – when I say the idea to try 5:2 came in an instant, there is a background to that decision – I sat in bed one Sunday morning decided to read a sample of the 5:2 book on kindle, bought it and decided to try it – all in the space of less than half an hour. I started at 90.1kg – because of my interest in my health and fitness I have always weighed myself and taken my blood pressure so I know what is normal for me and how it varies with time of day and when I’ve eaten or exercised. My resting heart rate has always been quite low – 52-62 and BP is fine ~120/80. So after only 7 5:2 days my weight is now 86.2kg and everything I have read about how people respond to 5:2 thinking and behaviour seems to be true – the 5:2 days are really quite easy – you don’t have to think too much about what you are eating because it’s not going to be much – I don’t eat breakfast – I wait until I am actually feeling hungry – then eat a single boiled egg (mash it up and eat it slowly) then have an apple of a couple of sticks of celery or carrot if I get peckish – that’s it – I will eat around 7:30-8:30pm – so far I am sticking to white fish baked in the over with courgette, red/orange pepper, onion and cherry tomatoes – sometimes I’ve had homemade soup – I do all the cooking and make soups regularly so red lentil & tomato is already a regular thing I cook. I look forward to the fasting days – even managed it when I felt ill one day – I am very happy with the way things are going. I only set a target weight of 84kg – it seemed achievable and realistic based on that was as light I have been over the last 4 years of my running life. At the current rate I might get there in 2 weeks but honestly – I’m not that fussed when it happens – I’m confident I’ll get there without to much of a problem and maybe I’ll feel like aiming a little lower to see what it feels like but so long as I’m basically happy with how I feel the numbers aren’t that important. I wonder how hard the 6:1 maintenance phase will be to do long term – atm I think it will be fairly straightforward but I could be wrong – I definitely see this as a lifestyle and a life long commitment and there seems to be a lot of other health benefits – I feel sharper and slightly more positive and more even tempered. I sometimes feel a little lethargic on the 5:2 days but always feel fine the next day, and, as has been stated – not even that hungry – my sense of taste is changing – I appreciate the taste of fruit even more on the non-5:2 days and pick at fresh veg and fruit more than I used to – I’ve never really had a sweet tooth – I’d rather eat more of my main meal than eat a pudding. I am struggling to find suitable exercises I can do as I have 2 bad knees and a bad shoulder – so many things rub up those joints and leave me with pain or tenderness – I wanted to do some High Intensity Training – I may invest in a skipping rope but I’m not sure if my knees or shoulder will be affected _- I’ll just have to try.

    Hi there jppiov I’m a 50 year old man and started fast diet three weeks ago at 105.6 KG ( I’m 172 CM target weight is 80 KG ) I do 600 calories twice a week and have been mixing things up as to which days to fit with work and family. I’m also doing exercise ( on week 7 of couch25K) I also try to swim on one of my fast days. I’m finding it really OK and have lost 2.5 KG and 4 cm on my waist so far. I have been strict with myself to only get on the scales once per week. Good advice from the book is to bulk out with veg at dinner time so I don’t get post dinner hunger pangs and get tempted to snack. Good luck with it – I’m really finding it a good solution having never tried a diet before

    Lemonstar welcome. I have been at the 5;2 twice now. When it originally started, then a lay off and a second go which has continued. I have lost about 50 pounds. Most of that I originally put on when I had to stop running. I now hill walk, ride a bike, paddle canoe/kayak and hit the gym and a Pilates class. Biking is good for dodgy knees. Shoulder injuries can take for ever – I did my rotator cuff in a splendid wipe out whilst white water kayaking and it took about 15 months to fully recover. Like many on the 5:2 I have my weight pretty much where I want it and now regard this as a healthy and easy to sustain lifestyle. This body is now 73 years old and needs more care so I am sticking with it.

    I shouldn’t worry too much about BMI, it doesn’t work for people with muscles. My own formal science training stopped about 57 years ago, but was fortunately biology so I find the Related Science articles thread interesting. For some time I have been trying to apply the theories of Prof Tim Spector to my own gut biome, and I am waiting with interest for the UK release next week of Dr Valter Longo’s book.

    adebris, Our posts crossed. I am quite a lot older and at various times have tried many diets and some extreme exercise. — They all work but you can’t live like that. This one works and is a life style we can stay with. Personally I get on the scales every day. The problem with doing it once a week is that occasionally you get some rogue results, across the week they average out. Welcome to our community.

    penguin – hi – I’m at ease with the BMI – I’ve understood for a long time that it doesn’t fairly represent my body type but I know if you don’t look after your eating habits besides the obvious flab there is the hidden fat around your organs that is not healthy and to some extend having exercised regularly although I have never had a bad diet I know I always felt I could not give what I ate much attention because I could always exercise it away – I was always acutely aware of my body gaining a little weight, going a bit flabby and I’d always up the exercise to compensate – getting injured showed up how my exercise was making up for generally eating too big a portion size. adebris – I’m happy to weigh myself everyday – the scales are out in an area where they can be left out permanently without ever getting in anyone’s way so I weigh myself first thing getting out of bed – it goes up and own – maybe up as much as 1.5kg from one day to the next but the downward trend is obvious from the graph on the tracker on this site – so although it might seem I’m overly concerned with it I don’t think I am – actually knowing means I “know” my weight is on a downward trend so I don;t have to worry about it. I used to wonder and even worry about my blood pressure (stress from work) until I bought a blood pressure monitor and measured it as many times as I liked at different times – it did so much to help me stop worrying or thinking about it because I found it was fine – it also taught me to link the feeling I get with the times when my blood pressure is actually high – due to being angry or upset or stressed – it made me moderate my behaviour as I could see that by allowing myself to get worked up over things I was risking damaging my health – my blood pressure was high for 3 days and I felt unwell for those 3 days because I was wound up about trying to sort out some problems with a builder I had engaged who was not doing work to the right standard – it was a horrible stressful situation but I realised I had to look after my health first and foremost and that meant calming down and not allowing myself to get so angry. My wife was impressed with the way I handled things so numbers – if you know how to understand them in the wider context – can be useful.

    Finally out of the Flu zone after 10 days. No great weight loss; down 2.5 kilos from plain tea and water consumption along with minimal refined carbs or snacks. No desire for large quantities of anything.

    August. Welcome back to the world. We would normally regard 2.5 kg as a very acceptable loss for 10 days. Have a care -when I first came out of the flu I seemed to crave all kinds of unsuitable sugary things I would not normally eat.

    @penquin: For me the desire is toasted sandwiches…BLT this am. This could be driven by a cold snowy morning with hibernation still a viable alternative!

    Monday check in. A great weekend socially – our son’s birthday and a major family assembly but too much eating and drinking. We still have grandchildren with us until Wednesday. On Thursday we are both going to start a five day fast as recommended by he longevity diet. I have done three and a half day water fasts before so the extra day and a half should not be too difficult.

    @penguin – you have my total admiration for A 5 day water fast.
    I have to get back on the 5:2 seriously. My craving for sweet things and whisky has come back. Maybe just the cold weather but I’ve lost the will to diet at the moment.

    David V. The only way I can control a craving for whisky is to have none in the house. I have just walked the dog through the snow. I could use one about now.

    Morning all. Monday morning check-in. I am 4.5 days into a 5 day water fast. I am doing this for health reasons, having read Longo’s Longevity Diet book, but the weight loss is impressive – down 7 pounds so far. I have never felt really hungry – perhaps a little peckish for 20 minutes on days one and two, but not since. I break my fast in 9 hours time and am not sure that I want to. What I do feel is very fit, healthy and energetic. I am sleeping well, but perhaps an hour less. I was up and about briskly this morning and am running about two hours ahead of my usual schedule. I like this so much that, whilst I will continue the 5:2 routine, I will throw in one of these 5 day efforts every couple of months.

    penguin – I’ve been toying with the idea of trying something like that – an N-day fast. I’m not doing 5:2 half-hearted – what would be the point!? I can say there is a certain satisfaction to be had from applying yourself to the 5:2 fasting days and a sense of achievement BUT I am very aware of issues surrounding eating disorders as my daughter was sucked into the vortex of anorexia – it’s been a really awful experience for everyone affected and involved but she is doing well however she is a changed person and will, most likely, be haunted by these irrational and unhelpful thoughts about eating and body image for the rest of her life – anxiety, self-confidence and control lie somewhere at the root of what is a very strange, complex and terrifying mental illness when you get to see it close up – anyway – I mention this because through 5:2 (something I would not mention or discuss with to my daughter – now 25 and living and working away from home) I have come to understand a little about the forces at play in her so I’m very conscious of my thinking and actions surrounding 5:2 – what has surprised me I think, is how easy it has been to control my eating habits to effect a reasonable weight loss in a relatively short period of time – I learned a little about the satisfaction from that – she often talked of that when trying to explain what it felt like to her. Anyway…

    I’m on day 37 and my graph seems to have flattened out. Over the last 4 days it has been the same +/- 0.1kg and for the 7 days before that it was 0.5kg higher but also only varied +/-0.1kg. Prior to that the loss was fairly constant 90.1kg down to 86.4kg in 26 days, i.e. very close to 1kg/week, but there were swings up and back down by up to and over 1kg – not the 0.1kg variations I am now seeing. I’m happy with the progress so far and I’m not finding it difficult to do – I feel a little fatigued sometimes at the end of the fasting days. sometimes a little distracted but it’s fine. I wondered if anyone else had noticed a similar pattern. Does the leveling off now mean that it is likely to be harder to lose any more weight or is this probably a temporary thing? I’ve been quite fit and have a high BMI due to the muscle I carry from swimming (I now have an injury which means I can’t exercise and that’s why I’m doing 5:2 for a short while, to get rid of flab I’m neither used to nor happy with – mainly at the sides above the hips). My target is only 84kg anyway, it’s hardly ambitious but I’m not sure it needs to be significantly lower – I’d have to be down to 77kg to get my BMI in at the top of the “so called” healthy limit – I know I weighed 80.5kg when I was 25 and I don’t know any weight measurements before that so I think it’s unlikely I’ll ever be down to 77kg – for most of my active sporting life I’ve been between 84kg and 86kg and I have weighed myself regularly (on and off) going back many years while I was running so I think I have a good idea of what I’d call “normal” or “about right” for me when I’m looking after myself. Maybe I could try getting down between 80kg and 84kg to see what that feels like – I don’t know, I’ll think about that as and when I get near 84kg – I’ve no idea when that will be but I’m pretty sure it’ll happen if I just carry on doing what I’m doing and then see if 6:1 is enough to maintain my weight. So – has your weight loss graph flattened off? Does it stay that way or does it start heading downhill again if you stick at it?

    Lemonstar, leveling off is normal as your body adjusts to a new setpoint. If you are not doing weight bearing exercise you will lose some muscle with the fat and your metabolism will actually slow down a bit. You may have to reduce your calorie intake on NFD’s or add another FD to the mix to kick start fat loss again.

    Lemonstar. Hi. I also have one of my family with an eating disorder, so I never do a fast when visiting. Fortunately my habit of not eating breakfast is known to all of the family and I get away with that.

    I think two things from your post:

    One kg a week is usually the target across the 5:2 community. At some time we all plateau and stop losing weight. I have done it several times. It is as if the body decides “Right, 88kg feels good to me, I’ll stay here”. A four day plateau is nothing to worry about. Stick with it and quite soon the body will get the message.

    I suspect it does get more difficult to lose weight as you get nearer the target. I have lost about 25 kg so far and apart from last week it is not falling off me like it used to. Last week’s enormous drop required a five day water fast. Normally my losses are much less.

    The main thing, as you will know very well from your daughter’s experience, is not to get stressed by any of this. As we keep saying to each other – this isn’t a diet, it is a life style choice.

    Did I mention I hate antibiotics? I’ve been on a 10 day course of strong ones and it has been very unpleasant. I’ve had so much gas and my feces stink to high heaven! My appetite is out of control as well. I’m up 4.5 lbs. My gut is very unhappy and so am I. Today is the last day and tomorrow I’ll be taking probiotics, eating sheep yogurt and sauerkraut every meal!

    The OH says the honeymoon is definitely over the way I’ve been farting under the covers! LOL

    @diverdog: My appetite went crazy too as I rode the antibiotic roller coaster, and aftermath, over the last 3 weeks of my Flu adventure; up 2 kilos and still on a steroid spray for the follow-up sinus infection! Exercise and calorie counting has gone out the window along with any fasting. YIKES, this has been a rough Winter.

    August2024, I feel for ya my friend. My gut has finally sorted itself out and I feel much better today. I’m going to eat a normal healthy diet for the rest of the week as we have guests coming over the weekend. Sunday night I’m going to start a water fast and try to make it 5 days. If I can’t hang in there for the full 5 I’ll finish it as a FMD.

    Day 4 of my water fast. I still feel good with minor symptoms like less sleep, a little cramping and feeling colder (taking some salt for the cramping). My energy is OK and I’ve been doing normal activities like walking the dog and 30 easy minutes on the bike. I have a dance lesson today and we’ll see how that goes. I’m not physically hungry but the idea of eating something tasty is very attractive!

    My scale weight is down 8 lbs. Blood ketones are up to 6.2 mmol which indicates strong fat burning. Technically I’m going to break my fast today by eating 3 oz of broccoli sprouts (35 calories) and 2 fish oil caps (25 cal). Why? because according to Longo cancer cells are weakened by fasting and broccoli sprouts are the #1 source of sulforaphane, a very strong anti- cancer compound. Also body fat stores a lot of toxins. Rapid fat loss releases them. Sulforaphane is also a top notch detox agent.

    Today is the 5th and final day of my water fast. No ill effects so far. I feel very good today, no hunger or headache and last night was my best sleep so far. I had a dance lesson and did 30 minutes on the bike last night and it was easy. Blood ketones & glucose are about the same as yesterday so no ill effects from my broccoli sprout “meal” ( about 65 calories) yesterday. I’ve had my anti-cancer sprouts again this morning so technically I’m not water fasting. I’ve lost 10 lbs so far and am at my lowest ever adult scale weight of 155 lbs at 5’9″

    I had to force down the small bowl of sprouts, so I think I’m not going to be able to eat much as I refeed.

    I’ll break my fast about 9:00 AM tomorrow


    I am on the 5:2. I have been on it since Nov. I started just over 100kgs. And I have had steady weight loss. I am currently approx 91kgs. So ver pleased with the progress.

    I normally do a complete 2 day water fast on these fast. But on odd weeks have separated the days to fit in with life.

    By doing the water fast it makes the rules easy to do. No food. As if I did the 600cal if you buy a wrap from a high street store they are approx 500cal. Then very quickly I go over it with a small snack.

    I have been felling much better in myself and my wife has complemented me.

    If you have events I do separate the days so I am not missing functions.

    This is my experience and I have been very pleased.

    In summary I am a 41 year old male who was very athletic who over the years had been getting bigger and bigger. I have done this for the health reasons. And the weight loss has been great to.

    Welcome fun_h0use. It sounds like you are doing great with 5:2. Many of us here are in it for the health benefits and take the fat loss as a nice side benefit.

    Check in and let us know how you are doing from time to time.

    I broke my 5 day water fast at 8:00 AM with pannekoek (crepes, the OH is Indonesian and speaks Dutch) filled with avocado, bacon, goat cheese, sun dried tomato, arugula and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic. I ate them very slowly and savored the wonderful flavors and textures! Followed by a small slice of Bika Ambon, my favorite Indonesian tapioca cake!

    I want to thank simcoluv and penguin for their support and encouragement.

    For the scale watchers I lost 10.6 lbs, 1 1/4″ off my waist, 1/2′ off each thigh. 1/2″ off my butt.

    Was it a true water fast? No, I allowed myself several cups of black coffee daily and on day 4-5 I ate broccoli sprouts with a little olive oil ~65 calories.

    I also took a holiday for taking any vitamins or other supplements.

    How was the experience? Not very hard actually. I felt ok the entire time with a minor headache on day two. I slept well but got up earlier than usual. Tended to a bit of cramping but salt water helped with that. Energy and focus where good. I had no issues with normal activities like walking the dog, dancing and riding the bike for 30 minutes.

    Lessons learned? For me fasting is more of a mental than physical challenge. Desiring the taste and routine of eating food of is a powerful siren call but physically my body is fine. From a fat burning view (measured by blood ketones) days 1-2 are marginal day 3 is strong and 4-5 is smoking!

    Although the purpose of this fast was 99% health improvement the fat loss was great too. I will be repeating it in 12 weeks.

    DD. Well done. I’m glad it worked for you. For anyone else reading this Diverdog is right -it is more of a mental than a physical challenge.

    What kind of dog? We have had a series over the years, mostly rescue mutts, but a couple of Labradors. The last old boy died and now I walk the kids dogs. The ownership of a dog guarantees that you take some exercise and the research suggests that dog owners live longer!

    This week I am living the opposite. Away from home, meeting old friends and consequently eating too much. I feel sluggish but I now know that to be curable – another long fast when I get home!

    No problems with security certificate but I switched of updates for my FF browser – the Quantum update (57) is a disaster – loads of add-ons were incompatible because of a radical change to the way they architecture/add-on interface worked and memory usage is through the roof – you leave the browser running and soon a FF process using 300-500K is using 1.6Mb. Anway…

    I lost 4kg in the first 4 weeks, 0.5kg in the next 2 and nothing (not even 0.1kg) in the last 2. I weigh myself as soon as I get out of bed naked 6.30am every morning – the scales are in a one fixed position – I’m stuck at 85.4kg – my target was 84kg (the lightest I was in the last 4 years of my long term life as a regular runner – this ended 4 years ago due to an accumulation of knee injuries). Any thoughts or ideas about this situation? I’m happy with my weight and I’m looking OK – there’s definitely some flab at the sides around the waist that I’d happily lose so it can’t be that there is no fat/weight left to lose. I don’t want to keep doing 5:2 to maintain my weight but that’s the way it looks atm – 6:1 I’d be fine with.

    Also – does anyone know if the state the 5:2 leaves your body in makes you more or less likely to put on weight – lets say I am back at 90kg and have a 2 week holiday where we eat more than we do at home – I have a feeling if I did that now at 85.4kg I’d put a lot more weight on – can anyone point to any information on this?

    Hi lemon:

    The average weight loss on 5:2 is about a pound a week. You have lost about 10 pounds in eight weeks, so you are ahead of the game.

    Just keep going and you will do just fine.

    If you start eating more, then you will either stop losing or gain. Real, basic math. Nothing having to do with 5:2. Just how much you eat.

    Good Luck!

    Lemon I am currently five days into a two week holiday. We have met old friends, eaten well and consumed alcohol. In the first four days I gained 1. 2 kg. Yesterday I was careful – not seriously fasting but skipped breakfast, had a two light meals and a smaller amount of booze and lost 0.5kg. I know from past experience that I am likely to put on some weight whilst on holiday. I don’t think I gain any faster since I started 5:2, I always had a very efficient digestive system, but I now know how I can lose it quickly when I get home.

    Much to my surprise I had no issues eating after I broke my 5 day WF. I wanted to eat a bunch of carbs to recharge my glycogen and ate a whole leftover pizza for lunch! This is not a good thing because cow cheese and wheat are inflammatory for me. In an hour or so I couldn’t keep my eyes open and took a 3 hour nap. I woke up and still groggy I watched TV for a couple of hours and then went to bed. I slept a solid 9 hours and feel great this AM.

    I gained ~3 lbs in one day due to food transit and glycogen restock.

    Today starts a new 12 week cycle for me. My goal is to grow muscle without any fat gain. It will be alternate day “fasting”. NFD’s will be about 500 cal over my RMR (resting metabolic rate) and FD’s will be around 700 calories.

    My schedule looks like this:

    Day 1) NFD- Upper body weight workout
    Day 2) FD
    Day 3) NFD- Lower body weight workout
    Day 4) FD
    Day 5) NFD- HIIT
    Day 6) FD

    Repeat the cycle

    There seems to be widespread recognition that your sense of taste is affected – I certainly feel that the taste of everything is more vibrant – especially vegetables and I’m sure it’s not just having been without food or being hungry. I have started to eat more pickled foods – various types of pickled onions, red chillies, gherkins – is anyone liking these foods more or something else? It’s 3.30pm and I’ve just been working on constructing something in the garden/occupying myself all morning outside on a 5:2 fasting day and I’ve come in for a drink of tea and eaten a couple of pickled onion and a couple of slices of chilli as a snack instead of the usual stick of celery or carrot. I tried the “not-eating-anything-all-day” approach and just having one meal in the evening and I’ve no problems doing that but as my weight has been static for 2-3 weeks I thought I’d go back to what I was doing in the beginning to see if that is anything to do with this plateau. I’m still eating exactly the same meal on 5:2 days 250g of white fish baked in the oven with some veg (1/2 courgette, 1/2 red pepper, 1/2 red onion and some cherry tomatoes) – I had red lentil and tomato soup a couple of times as an alternative. Better get back out and tidy my mess up.

    I agree penguin – 5:2 is a very valuable tool that I now know how to use when I need or want to.

    Lemonstar. Have a look at the older pages on the science thread. There is information about the value of pickles and fermented foods. Also borrow or buy a copy of “The Diet Myth” by Prof Phil Spectre (or watch one of his lectures on Youtube). To summarise: in your guts you have a lot of friendly bacteria. When they are happy you will be happy and they love pickled and fermented foods, and green or fibrous veg. I give them a daily glass of kefir (fermented milk) which you can buy or make yourself.

    Fermented foods do indeed make for a happy gut. For me is sauerkraut, naturally fermented and refrigerated pickles and sheep yogurt as I can’t eat cow dairy.

    Are you NFD meals fat free as well?

    Hi folks. Just posting an update on my progress to stay accountable and all that. Since coming back off holiday 3 weeks ago I have been keeping track of my weight on a daily basis on the tracker here and on the Fitbit app. The good thing about the Fitbit app is that it gives you a weekly average for your weigh ins. I’ve been following the plan as prescribed ie 2 fasts per week and appear to be progressing quite well. On restarting after the holiday I was 13 stone (182 lbs), and this morning I was 12st 7lbs (175lbs). My waist measurement is coming down as well but not as fast as I would like. To have a waist to height ratio of .5 I need to get to a 34 inch waist ( or grow taller by a couple of inches!) and this morning I measured 36.4 inches so in the same 3 week period I’m down about 1.5 inches. Slow but steady progress I suppose. My ultimate goal is to get down to 11 st (154lbs) and a sub 34 inch waist.

    Notascoobie, sounds like you are doing well. Thanks for checking in.

    Monday check in. Day 7 of a 14 day trip. Up 0.7kg so far, which will be easy to lose when I get back. Even so, fasting today (600 cal, not water fast.

    Notascoobie. Seven pounds in three weeks is very satisfactory, keep it going!

    Hi again chaps. Just over 2 weeks since my last check in so time for an update. I am now into my 6th proper week of 5:2 and things seem to be slowing down a little. Since my last check in on 11th March I am down 2lbs to 173lbs (12st 5lbs) and my waist measurement at the belly button is 35.5 inches down almost an inch
    For the last 2 weeks I have introduced some upper body weight training into my exercise schedule and wondered if that might be the reason for the slow down in the weight loss. If that is the case then I wouldn’t mind as I might be putting on a little muscle mass, but after only 2 weeks I’m not sure if that is possible. Also I seem to recall reading somewhere that it’s not possible to build muscle if you are in a calorie deficit – you need to be in a surplus.

    Notascoobie. Weight training will put on muscle and muscle is denser than fat. You may well be losing two pounds of fat a week and putting on a pound of muscle, which is a very healthy approach. Even without the extra muscle a steady loss of a pound a week is fine. I don’t think your calorie deficit you will stop you gaining muscle -you are fasting, not starving. The body will burn a little extra fat to get the necessary energy. I have lost a lot of weight over the last few years of 5:2 and my upper body strength, even at my advanced age, is the best it has ever been.

    Notascoobie I agree with penguin, maybe not the actual numbers but you are likely starting to build some muscle. Fasting is very different than prolonged calorie restriction. When I was sticking to calorie restriction I reached a point where I couldn’t really even maintain muscles and I was injuring myself when pushing too hard. Now that I’m fasting and my muscles have visibly grown and I’m physically much stronger. Fasting twice a week hasn’t hurt my muscle development and even seems to helped it a lot. The body seems fine not getting any protein, at least over a 36 hour fast.

    The harder thing is at some point you’ll probably see weight loss slowing down or reversing. It is a good thing to use the tape to measure on yourself. While this year I’ve been a little heavier I’m also a little trimer. However I’m finding re-composition to be a very slow process. Over a period of months the results are great, but day to day it doesn’t show. For the record over my belly button I’ve been running just under 33″ but weight would be 12 stone 10 pounds so you are lighter than me. (I’m 5’9″) I doubt if my weight will get below 12 stone while I’m healthy.

    Penguin and Dykask. Thanks for your comments guys. Like I said, if I am gaining a little more lean tissue then I am not too bothered about the weight not dropping. That’s why I do my waist measurement as well as my weight and hopefully one or the other will be decreasing. I think I still have a ways to go though as my waist measurement needs to be 34 inches max to be healthy – if I’m honest I’m more interested in reaching that goal without sacrificing lean tissue than the number on the scale. I have a notional target of 11 stone (154lbs) but if I can get to sub 34 inch waist I will take whatever weight that equates to. I don’t have a big frame, but I’m not sure my notional goal of 11 stone is achievable. I think I came up with it by back working the bmi figures for a man of my height. I also saw some images on line of what 5lbs of fat looks like volume wise and decided I needed to lose about 28lbs – not very scientific I know. Anyway I will continue to monitor my progress and thanks again for your comments and support.

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