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  • Welcome to this DECEMBER 2019 CHALLENGE – LAST ONE FOR 2019!

    I’m delighted to be your host as this month is my 3rd anniversary of reaching maintenance 😇 I wish everyone good luck and a successful month in every way.

    It’s hard to believe that @coda started this series of monthly challenges way back in May 2016 and so many of us have had amazing support to start and continue on our 5:2 journey.

    So, here’s how this works (same as it has always been):

    1. Start your daily post with the day of the month, where you are from, and if you’re on a fast day (FD); a non-fast day (NFD) or a controlled day (CD) (e.g. for 1st of December it would go something like “Day 1 – UK – FD”).

    2. Give a quick intro about yourself in the very first post – mostly for the benefit of the newbies. A brief blurb about your journey so far and what you aim get from this way of life (WOL). Also if you wish, your starting weight and any other measurements (waist, hip, bust etc) you aim to keep track of throughout the month. You can record this on the spread sheet or if you are unable to I’m happy to fill it in for you!

    3. You can add any comments/questions/moans/whinges/triumphs… or anything you feel like you want to share with the rest of the forum. We all have good days and bad days, days we fall off the wagon and days when we hang in there for dear life………so if you want to share it – post it.

    Recipes, tips, tricks and questions can also be shared – most of us are logged on at one time or another and can clarify things, offer advise, support etc when needed – this is the great thing about this international forum, there’s always someone online!!!!

    Over the course of these monthly challenges, there have been small groups doing their own mini-challenges – called ‘pocket fasters’ or ‘pocketeers’ – they set a target and support each other through it. Anyone can join one of these groups or start a mini pocket fast – it’s entirely optional and flexible.

    5:2 basics – answers to many FAQs plus top tips:

    I will post the link to the spreadsheet as soon as I have it sorted out

    My personal motto for this WOL is:-
    “If I quit now, I will soon be back to where I started. And when I started, I was desperately wishing to be where I am now”


    Count me in!

    Yes please – count me in!

    Thank you @at for hosting the epic December challenge 🙂

    Count me I please

    Thanks for hosting @at and count me in please.

    Oh I am in for sure, thanks for hosting @at

    I am doing this 5:2 since July 2017, pretty successfully, although 2019 has been difficult with about 10lbs gain and a 9 month plateau, but I am still healthy weight.

    About me, I am 52, female, shortie at 5’2″, was slim all my life until I stopped smoking in 2002 (best health decision of my life) and slowly weight started to creep on. The heaviest I got was nearly 13 stone which is huge for someone my size. WeightWatchers many many times. No good long term. When I felt a bit of a heart scare I started on the Dukan Diet in 2013. I lost 50lbs, but that too was hard to maintain and 30lbs crept back.

    I found this forum in July 2017 and by the following spring I had dispatched that 30lbs. . I am a daily poster as it keeps me on the track.

    Looking forward to keeping on in December. 💃

    Count me in please, @at.Thank you for hosting!

    The list of acronyms & abbreviations from previous Challenges.

    IF Intermittent Fasting
    WOL Way of Life
    FD Fast Day (500 cals)
    MFD Modified Fast Day (800 cals) on the new Fast800, it’s a FD
    WFD Water Fast Day (Water only)
    CFD Controlled Fast Day (1200 cals)
    NFD Non Fast Day
    EFS Epic Face Stuffing (we’ve all had one of those days!)
    5:2 5 days NFD:2 days IF
    ADF Alternate Day Fast, FD, NFD
    16:8 16 hours fast 8 hours non fast
    B2B Back 2 Back (days of FD or WFD)
    Hunger Dragon – that dreadful psychological beast that sometimes cannot be satisfied
    DD, DS Darling Daughter, Son
    OH, Other Half
    LOL Laughing Out Loud
    Keto, way of eating that generates Ketones
    LC, Low Carb way of eating
    LCHF, Low Carb High Fat way of eating
    TDEE: Total Daily Energy Expenditure (see the ‘how it works’ link on the home page to work out yours)
    TRE: Time Restricted Eating
    OMAD: One Meal a Day

    Good morning from another damp Cumbrian day ☂️

    Here is the link for the spreadsheet 🤞it’s working properly and you can all access and input!!

    Welcome to @ccco @michelinme @suki2 @rafiki44 @daffodil2010 @funshipfreddie (thank you for posting the list of acronyms & abbreviations)

    “There’s something super special about December.”
    ― Charmaine J. Forde

    Please count me in for December. It’d be nice to see the sun sometime. It’s bloomin’ dark these days. I don’t mind the cold but I hate the dark…

    Thanks for hosting December’s challenge @at, If there was ever a month we need the accountability & support of a monthly challenge ……………. It’s the one with Xmas in it!!!

    I’m in!!

    Greetings, @at and all of our world-wide friends. Gotta join this one to keep up my continuous “membership”

    Hello @at; thanks for carrying on the good work.
    I’m in…..well present, anyway!

    Wt2go IrenaK Hello from Spain with a raucous cough in my throat. Completed Day 21 on 5:2 diet. I weighed in 88kgs and thankfully now 81.5kg. Have had to stop FD with being ill. Thanks for the inspirations and the falling off the FD and resolutions failing. December is a tough month. I’m in for the long haul. Just briefly, I have gained weight after having a child, then the menopause. I changed from patches (no weight gain) then took pills + my weight ballooned from 68kg to 88kg. I am going to a wedding in August and the final straw was I could not fit in clothes in shops no matter how much I sucked my stomach in!

    NO MORE EXCUSES like after Christmas, or after the birthday.
    Look at and this website
    1 It advised me FD2x +1484 cal for 5 days. I try to have less so I can hsve a couple of wines.
    2 Gym 2-3x 15 minswork off 115 calories and then 3 reps of 8 weight exercizes.
    Mon – cycling + wt machines and abdoms
    Wed – rowing – lunges, free weights, ropes
    Fri – hill walking on machine + weights and stretching.
    I like Matt Roberts on exercise and getting fit.
    So good luck to newbies and thanks for all of your comments and laughter too

    Add me too please! I think we’ll all need as much support as we can get over the holidays……

    Hello, dear @at – thank you for handling another hosting month! Please include me in the spreadsheet. I am still in maintenance, doing well.

    Welcome to @emma-taylor @flourbaby @songbirdme @ciren2 @renaK @yogi51 and @metatauta to the DECEMBER 2019 CHALLENGE – LAST ONE FOR 2019!

    Great to have you all on board for this most challenging month – all added to the spreadsheet in case you want to use it.

    @ciren2 – so glad you are staying with us – and you must remember that in your own way you are maintaining.
    @metatauta – great to hear that you too remain in maintenance and doing well 🤗

    “Remember This December, That love weighs more than gold!” – Josephine Dodge Daskam Bacon

    Thanks for hosting December AT – I’ll be back here on Monday, visiting family this weekend.

    @at: It’s true…in my own way…I’m maintaining!

    Count me in please See you all soon xx

    Only one more day after today to the start of our DECEMBER 2019 CHALLENGE – LAST ONE FOR 2019!

    Welcome to @i-hate-lettuce and @brightonbelle and @irenak (sorry I missed the I in front of your name in my previous post!)


    Thanks for hosting for us @at I am definitely in for the month.

    I have a few kilos to lose and can’t wait to be in maintenance mode. The weight loss is mostly about being as healthy as possible for me. Approaching 60 and thinking about what life will looks like when I eventually retire has made me very aware of lifestyle and the choices we make. I have friends who have gradually added more food and wine than needed and slowly dropped exercise when the daily routines of work have disappeared.

    This is a month full of celebrations and opportunities to enjoy delicious meals and wine. It is a test of this WOL and I am sure with some planning it will be possible to lose a little, a lot or maintain. All are counted as success in my mind!

    Thanks for hosting @at. Your service is greatly appreciated!

    Hi! Is it too late to join? If not, I’d love to participate! Newbie here.

    Welcome to @bellyblast @mogaman and to @tracygogo (never too late to join!) to this DECEMBER 2019 CHALLENGE – LAST ONE FOR 2019! You are all on the spreadsheet should you want to use it

    Lovely to have last month’s host @ciren2 with us still providing support and encouragement 🤗

    For those new to these challenges and to this WOL (way of life) I thought I would share a little bit about myself. I am a 61 y.o. female, married with a grown up daughter
    Height = 163cm/5ft 4in and a now realistic maintenance weight range of 54-56kg/119-123.5lbs/BMI 19.8-20.6 (I did get as low as 53kg but was not maintainable or a good look I think)
    I started this WOL on my own in January 2016 – discovered and joined the challenges in November 2016 as I had plateaued for the previous 3 months but managed to reach maintenance in early December 2016 and have remained in maintenance since then.
    Health improvement markers since starting this WOL:-
    1. Total weight loss = 22kg/3st 7lbs
    2. Full of energy!
    3. Mental health changes = sleeping well, waking up feeling good in myself and happy with my life
    4. My Asthma is controlled to the extent that I no longer use any inhalers either treatment or preventative!
    5. My blood cholesterol has improved so much that currently it is just above normal range

    As this month’s host my role is to try to keep on top of the daily posts, however there are many experienced people here who are happy to share their knowledge and to answer questions you may have. I am not an expert but I can promise you that we will continue to learn and support each other in this WOL

    So sign up for this last challenge for 2019 and sign in daily for accountability and remember that “SOMETIMES THE SMALLEST STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION ENDS UP ENDS UP BEING THE BIGGEST STEP OF YOUR LIFE”

    Hi can I join you… first time for me to join a forum. I’m 70 y.o. successfully used basic 5:2 through spring and early summer to go from 74k to 68.5k but stuck since then. Would like to get to 65k…and most importantly not stack it on in December! I’m generally healthy, could be more active. Married, not very well husband, one daughter two grandchildren. Can I go on the spreadsheet?

    Day 1 – South Africa 🇿🇦 – NFD

    About me:- David, 57. Originally from the UK, living in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. I started fasting in 2014 halfheartedly after seeing the ‘Eat, Fast…’ documentary. I got serious about my weight in March this year, about a year after I retired when my weight started creeping up. I lost about 8 kilos, and I’ve been working on maintenance for about 5 months.

    So this is my 8th Challenge. Like many people I now find the FDs the easy part of this WOL; the tricky bit is not overindulging on NFDs. I recently started using Myfitnesspal to track calories which has been a big help with maintenance.

    Thank you @at for hosting December, & best wishes to everyone for the last Challenge of 2019! 🍏

    Day 1, Emden Germany (being Dutch), NFD

    Hi everyone!

    I’m a Dutchwoman (from Limburg in the South) living in the North of Germany, married, owner of a lovely cat, 63 y.o, 163 cm/5ft 4in tall. My weight was 56 kg/126.5lbs all my adult life until starting a new job in 2011 where my weight crept up to 72.9 kg. I read the book and joined the challenges from March 2017 on. I lost 20 kg very quickly (too low I must admit) retired in April 2018 and maintenance became a struggle. I lost motivation and gained almost 10 kg, weight this morning 58 kg/127.9 lbs. I DID IT, my handle is highlighted in green again!!! I’m back in maintenance (although it feels a bit like cheating weighing after a FD), now the hard work begins: staying in maintenance. The husband just said it’s also due to his support. I totally agree, it helps immensely if you’re having support at home.

    @ciren2, @metatauta and @michelinme thanks for the cheers!

    @jaifaim lovely to have you back with us!

    Have a nice day everyone and let’s make this month a good one!

    Day 1 UK NFD

    Determined to make a better effort than of late Fasting Monday and Wednesday at least and need to do better on NFDs

    2nd post

    @at thanks for leading us through the most difficult month of the year, the month of temptations, celebrations and parties! xxx

    Day 1: Gloucestershire, UK, NFD:

    Hello to a new challenge. Good to see so many old friends back and also NEW ones..welcome!
    Those who don’t already know me…
    I’m 66, a postlady delivering for Royal Mail in a small town 11 miles away. My husband is a retired postman….guess how we met! We’ve been married 32 years. Our daughter is an agricultural scientist in Australia….researching dairy fodder etc. We have a small rescue dog who gets me out (more) walking every day… hubby is awaiting a new knee and can’t do much.
    I first joined the challenges in May 2016 (@coda) and reached my goal weight four months later. Maintained for a further three or four….then…lost it! I haven’t regained ALL my lost weight, just about three-quarters, but now remain steady, just hovering on the “overweight” BMI.
    If ever I get back on the fasting wagon, I need to lose 9kg and just over 4 inches off my waist!

    Day 1, London, UK, NFD,

    I completely forgot to post here this morning after I signed off from November’s challenge!!!

    Now, I’m rushing so I’ll do a proper intro later!!

    Oh, and Newbies? ……………… Best ………. decision ………. EVER!!!!

    USA Day 1 FD

    Just jumping in for accountability! Counting my calories to work my way out of Thanksgiving dinner and leftovers!! Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

    Day 1 – UK – NFD

    Welcome to @potterymad to this DECEMBER 2019 CHALLENGE – LAST ONE FOR 2019! and yes of course you can go on the spreadsheet – I have added you so you can add your details.

    Last day in Suffolk before I head back home tomorrow – had a lovely few days catching up with dear friends and tried not to overdo food/drinks!!!!!

    This is my 3rd maintenance anniversary I give thanks yet again to this WOL for giving me back my health and my appetite for life…..“If I quit now, I will soon be back to where I started. And when I started, I was desperately wishing to be where I am now”

    @at: What a fantastic role model you are with it being your THIRD year in maintenance, as of TODAY. What a star to follow!
    @ccco: and all our American friends needing to recover from Thanksgiving excesses.
    YOU CAN do it, and you will!
    All newbies very welcome. @tracygogo and @potterymad you’re in the very right place.

    USA Day 1 FD

    Thank you Ciren2! I think I will have to stop eating until Christmas in order to recover! LOL In any case, I am having Black Friday and cyber Monday difficulty getting into websites, so I suspect the internet is dealing with holiday overload! I will come back again tomorrow. Maybe it will be better, although tomorrow actually is cyber Monday!

    Have a great Sunday, everyone!

    Day 1 California NFD

    I am a 52 year old woman who started this WOL a year ago back on December 17th. I lost 20lbs and now i’m in maintenance and doing pretty good considering I never count calories other than on my fast days.

    It’s a little more challenging doing a fast day when it’s cold so I think I will switch to soup from salads in future. Even in California it gets pretty cold when you aren’t used to it!

    Day 1 Canada NFD

    Enjoyed a delicious brunch and have friends coming for dinner. It’s definitely not a fast day for me.

    I am going to fast Monday, Wednesday and Friday to kick the month of strong.

    Happy anniversary @at I can’t wait to join you in maintenance:)

    Day 1 UK NFD

    Hi count me in for December please. Did not too badly in November but went a bit off the rails on the final week. I had a birthday and that became an excuse to revert to some bad habits!
    Anyway, hopefully back on track for December with the help of this amazing forum. Thanks to @at for leading us this month.

    Onwards and downwards!

    Day 2, Aus, FD

    Hello everyone! And welcome newbies – may you be with us for a long time.

    November was a write-off and December will have its festive challenges. But today’s a FD which is always a good start.

    I’ve been playing around with 5:2 for a few years now. When I follow it properly, I lose weight. (Whodathunk?) But if I’m honest, I’m overindulge on the NFDs and consume far too much booze. Empty calories there! If I don’t increase my weight this month, I’ll be happy. 2020 will be an awesome year.

    A newbie ready to get going… count me in too.

    Day 1 Aus NFD
    Just bought book – ready to measure and start tomorrow. Am looking fwd to dropping 10kg before a wedding in April.

    Day 1 USA (Illinois) NFD

    GREAT to be back again with you all! Welcome, newbies – you will find this a wonderful group, great camaraderie, and support. @at – thanks for taking us on this month. It’s a tough one for many with holidays that generally mean lots of calories in our meals.

    I began 5:2 on March 15, 2016, joined @coda in May, and have been involved in all the challenges since then. I lost 35 pounds (had begun about 195#, pushing upward) and am content to be about 160# – hardly thin, but BMI is just about 25, so content with that. At 71 years old, the extra weight helps stave off wrinkles.

    I am a retired school music teacher who still does church music, directs the local townspeople choir, teach some piano lessons, and work at out new children’s museum. Husband of 50 years, 4 kids and 5 granddaughters all scattered around, none close.

    I try to do Silver Sneakers exercise 3x a week and occasional yoga. In maintenance I generally do 6:1. Works pretty well.

    Onward and downward.

    I would like to be part of the challenges. I live in Nebraska USA. In January 2019 I gave up sugar and flour and have lost 42 lbs. at a plateau and seeing bad habits creep in want to do IF. My IGF-1 is elevated so I would like to get that down as well. I am 41 years old 5’3” currently weigh 139lbs bmi 24.4, goal weight 119Lbs with a goal bmi of 21.1. I am going to try the 5:2. I am currently fairly sedentary going to add walking to my routine.

    Day 2: Gloucestershire, UK, NFD:

    @aussiechic: @samanthajc11: Of course you must join us! We are a fantastic and supportive group, from long-term maintainers, to newbies and everyone in between. So, welcome.

    I was rather perturbed to find this morning that the battery in my scales had slipped and where I thought I was doing quite well, it turns out it was under-reading by almost TWO KILOS or over THREE POUNDS…..Aaargghh! I rather think the old style mechanical scales may show what’s actually happening more clearly…?
    What a start to December…

    A cold and frosty morning to start the working week. Out on my deliveries by nine (I hope). We have to sort up all our mail from scratch first….which generally takes about two hours. The office is hot, so quite a contrast when we get out!

    Must go now….see you later xx

    Day 2 – South Africa 🇿🇦 – FD

    @bellyblast – I’m with you! Mon, Wed, Fri. FDs. I’ve put you on today’s pocket list already 😉

    Pocket List – Day 2 🍏

    Day 2 – Ireland 🇮🇪 – FD

    Get me on that pocket list!! It’s definitely a fast day today, the usual weekend indulgences did not punish me too much so I am grateful for that and want to start December off well.

    I have my work Christmas party on Friday…stay over in a 5 star hotel and all…….and I gave an array of dresses to try on to see which one looks best. Alas I believe my fab Ralph Lauren number might be too snug this year but we will see.

    It was freezing cold around these parts at the weekend, and we were out and about visiting Santa at a theme park and I now feel very sore throaty and sniffly and cold. So it’s soup for today’s FD meal.

    Have a great fasting Monday.


    Day 2, Emden Germany, FD

    @daffodil2010 here we’ll also have soup today, beetroot soup. Good to stay warm on a cold day.

    @ciren2 scales are just annoying! I only weigh at the beginning and end of the month, in the time between I go by the fit of my clothes. For me this works better as scales can upset me. Do your clothes feel tighter or is it because the reading of most of the scales differ a bit? I have old balance scales.

    Pocket List – Day 2 🍏

    Have a nice day everyone!

    Day 2 – Lake District UK – FD

    Morning everyone

    Me …. well 64 year old, retired from racing of rats! Started 5:2 on 26/7/19
    Start ….. 265 lbs BMI of 38 – BMR 1999 – TDEE 2748
    Currently.. 246 lbs BMI of 35.3-BMR 1912 – TDEE 2692
    So a loss of 19 lbs in that time, despite a couple of holidays where I just released the Greedy Dragon and put weight on, straight back to 5:2 and it went quickly. Lots of walking helps me and calorie counting. Feel much better and now have got my head round it all, determined to keep going!

    Didn’t call in yesterday, interesting day travelling home, we had beautiful sunshine with hard frost -3 when we set off, went through fantastic countryside all iced over, in between we had patches of freezing fog down to -5, so just had to take it easy and enjoy the nice bits. However fabulous weekend with family, so back to WOL and a FD today.

    Take care all

    Pocket List – Day 2

    Day 2, London, UK, NFD

    The last of the dreaded weekend NFDs for me today ………… there are ups as well as downs to working a 3 day week!!!

    I’m a mid-forties ex-Civil engineer, but still working part-time within the construction industry. At my heaviest (heftiest??) I was 195lbs, I started 5:2 in November 2016 and got down at some point to 150lbs, but these last few months since my hols in July have seen the re-emergence of my arch nemesis, the red wine dragon!! And I’m starting Decembers challenge at 165lbs, still 30lbs less that my high(?) point but nowhere near 150lbs!!

    Aiming for 140lbs and I’ll see what that looks like on me, no need to highlight any wrinkles for the sake of the scales!!

    Anyway, I’m hoping everyone has a fab start to this challenge; personally, I’m taking it one week at a time and sticking to the basics of 5:2!!!

    Onward & downwards folks!!

    Day 2 UK FD

    @flourbaby Yes those numbers look similar ! I seem to have well and truly lost the plot recently and I’m in constant yo yo mode – have a fair few events etc this month but I’m really going to try and stay firm on FDs and show some restraint on NFDs and end up with some kind of loss at the end of the year

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