Diet on non fast days?

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Diet on non fast days?

This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Mr Data 4 weeks, 1 day ago.

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  • Is it helpful to restrict calorie intake on non-fast days? I’ve lost a kilo a week for my first 2 weeks by fasting 2 days and taking around 1250 calories on 4 days and around 1800 calories (my keep myself sane treat day) on one day. This week – 300 grams loss! Disappointment to put it mildly especially as I really have stuck to the 1250cals. Anybody else found this helpful, or is it possible it could actually hinder weight loss long term????

    Hi Boris1,

    With just one minor reservation I would say absolutely do NOT, NOT, NOT count calories on your NFDs. I’ve been doing 5:2 for over 7 years now and the fact that I only have to worry about what I eat on the FDs is what has kept me going for so long and is definitely what makes it a long term plan for success. (Still 30lb/13.6kg lower than when I started with an average BMI over the last 6 years of 23.)

    (My minor reservation is that if you were somebody who was obviously over-eating on NFDs to compensate for the FDs then you might need to look at what you eat on the NFDs – but from what you have said that obviously is NOT the case at all.)

    Unlike many people I weight myself everyday and I’ve had times when I seem to have put weight back on after a FD, instead of losing it. The key thing is the long term pattern, not what happens from one day to another or even from one week to another. Due to the complex way the body processes food and drink and the inherent timescale for everything you consume to be processed and excreted there is bound to be variability, which probably can look more extreme if you are only weighing weekly. I know my weight is hardly ever the same 2 days in a row (measured to the nearest 0.1kg).

    Looking back I can see that my average weight loss over the first 13 weeks of 5:2 was 0.62kg, so you’ve been losing weight initially much faster than I was. After 26 weeks, which is about when I hit my target weight, my weight loss had averaged 0.65kg per week. During that time I had at least 2 occasions when my weight seemed to plateau, or even go back up a little, for 2 to 3 weeks, but then it started back down again. Considering that it had taken me about 14 years to gradually put on my excess 16.2kg, i.e. just over an extra 1kg per YEAR, losing it again at about 0.6kg per WEEK seemed like a really fast reduction, but at the same time a safe and sustainable one.

    It is often, and very correctly, said that 5:2 is a marathon not a sprint. If you stick with the process the weight WILL come off and it WILL stay off, but there will be a few apparent hiccups along the way, and occasionally bad habits may creep back in and you need to reset and go back to basics to ensure you are doing it correctly. However, my experience is definitely that the process works and that by only having to worry about what I eat for 2 days a week it is absolutely possible to maintain this approach for a very long time.

    I hope this helps. Best of luck to you and I bet that next week you see a larger weight loss again.

    Hi Boris1,

    With one minor reservation I would say absolutely do NOT, NOT, NOT count your calories on non-Fast Days. I’ve been doing 5:2 for over 7 years now and the fact that I only have to worry about what I eat for 2 days a week is fundamental to my ability and motivation to stick with it. (I am currently over 14 kg lower than when I started, with an average BMI over the last 6 years of 23.) It makes it easy and simple, and therefore sustainable.

    (My only reservation is if it was apparent that you were over-compensating on your NFDs and eating more than you should to make up for what you missed on the FDs, but that is very obviously definitely NOT the case with your good self.)

    Looking back, I can see that over the first 13 weeks of my 5:2 I lost weight at 0.62 kg per week, and over the first 26 weeks, which is about when I hit my target, I had lost it at 0.65 kg per week. During that time, I hit a plateau at least twice for 2-3 weeks at a time when the weight loss seemed to stop, or even go back up again, but the long-term trend was always downwards. Due to various health check ups I can see it took me about 14 years to put on an excess 14.5 kg, so I gained at just over an average of 1 kg per YEAR (and in fact I can see times it went up much quicker than that, and then stayed the same for several years). Losing it at 0.65 kg per WEEK is remarkably quick in comparison, yet at the same time felt both safe and sustainable. Your initial weight loss of 1 kg per week is much higher than mine was.

    Unlike many people I have always weighed myself daily since doing 5:2 and I know that there are odd fluctuations – even apparently putting weight on after a FD, which could be quite de-motivating. I virtually never weigh the same (to the nearest 0.1 kg) from one day to the next. How the body processes what we eat and drink is hugely complex so there is bound to be variability in what we weigh, and that variability may look more extreme if you only see it from one week to the next. The key thing is what is the long-term pattern? If it is still going downwards then that is success, even if you hoped it might be a little bit quicker all the time.

    It is often, and utterly correctly, stated that 5:2 is very definitely a marathon, not a sprint. There will be hiccups along the way, times when one’s discipline wavers a little and one has to return to the basics and double check that one is still doing it correctly, but the process works – or at least it has worked for me and after 7 years it continues to do so.

    I hope these comments are of some help. May I wish you the very best of luck and I am sure that if you stick with it you will find that in subsequent weeks you will once again see more weight being lost.

    (Sorry – it looked like my original post had been lost so I had to write it all out again, then when I posted a second time the first one re-appeared. Hopefully they both say more or less the same thing.)

    Thank you – that was both helpful and encouraging. Long term is what I have to have. I’m 67 and was first put on a diet by the school nurse when I was SIX. Spent the intervening 60 years (and I’m not joking. Tears, yes, but not of laughter on this subject) yo-yo dieting, always ending up heavier than when I began the last diet. As a result, my pulse and heartbeat are impossibly low – my doctor described them as being akin to a hibernating animal. My metabolism is also s..l..o..w. Generally, in a non-dieting phase I find I can stabilize my weight by eating no more than 1250 calories per day – any more and I gain weight.

    I shall try! I have to – I badly need a prosthetic knee but have been refused treatment until my BMI is below 35.

    Thanks again

    Sounds like you’ve been through the mill. I’ve had 5 knee operations myself for damaged cartilage and my consultant says I’m genetically predisposed to such problems and will probably need a replacement myself at some time. I know how painful it can be when your knees are having problems. Trying to keep my leg muscles strong is the only way to prolong the time before such a replacement is required.

    I really hope this works for you and gives you the long term solution you need. I think it has a great chance and you’ve certainly got an excellent reason for keeping your motivation going and your eye on the target.

    I wish you all the luck in the world with this.

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