Diet seems to not be working… Help!

Welcome to The Fast Diet The official Fast forums Body Weight loss
Diet seems to not be working… Help!

This topic contains 19 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  mishnihor 1 year, 10 months ago.

Viewing 28 posts - 1 through 28 (of 28 total)

  • Hello everyone.

    First off I’d like to start by saying I have been on the 5:2 Diet before with great results. The first time I started off at 12st 10lbs and I managed to get myself down to 10st 10lbs over the course of about 3 months.

    The second time I was 12st 3lbs and I got down to around 11st in about 2 months or so.

    The trouble I am finding is I have tried to do the diet on and off over the last 6 months and even when I stick to it quite religiously I don’t seem to be losing any weight. I started off at 12st 9lbs this time and at the moment I am 12st 5lbs. I was 12st 5lbs last week, I stuck to the 600 calories on fast days and I was strict with what I consumed on non fast days.

    I just can’t work out why the last few times I have tried to do the diet it hasn’t really had any effect. It’s almost like my body has become immune to the diet now.

    Any help much appreciated.


    Hi Jim and welcome:

    There is no scientific evidence I am aware of that a body becomes immune from losing weight. I would guess you are just eating more food than necessary. Here are some tips – computing your TDEE and then counting calories to make sure you are eating less than your TDEE should do the trick:

    Good Luck!

    I think I am just getting frustrated. I know with the diet it is supposed to be a steady gradual loss but in the past it seems to have dropped off of me. This time I am lucky if I lose a pound a week.

    I can’t work out why as I am not doing anything differently. I also find myself getting bored of the foods I have on fast days.

    Hi Jim:

    The average weight loss on 5:2 is about a pound a week. If you are doing that, you are right on track. 5:2 is not a ‘fasting’ diet, nor is it a ‘fast weight loss’ diet.

    Nor is 5:2 a diet where weight loss is steady and gradual. A much more common pattern is no weight loss for one to three weeks, followed by a sharp two or more pound loss, followed by no loss for awhile followed by a sharp loss again. Here are some tips:

    Good Luck!

    Hi Jim, sympathy for your frustration.
    I do agree with Simco that the issue seems to be not so much the way 5:2 is working for you, but more your anxiety about losing weight quickly. I hope you can find a way to look at 5:2 as a life change in the way you eat, that should (in its own time) lead to a healthy weight and long term better health.
    Think sustainability, entrenching new habits, and what your life will be like next year and next decade, rather than what the scales say tomorrow or next week. This is hard in the modern world, and especially while you are working hard and maybe feeling hungry and irritable (if you are anything like me) but I have been doing 5:2 for nearly three years, and got to the lower end of my healthy weight range about 15 months ago. Slow and steady wins the race!

    @jimbuckley – Unless you are quite short you aren’t that heavy for a man. Your BMI is likely lower than 25. You should expect your weight loss to be slower when you are already at a healthy weight. Maybe your goal is unhealthy.

    There are many factors involved in weight. Calories are a big factor but they aren’t the only factor. Personally I find 5:2 healthy because one can focus on eating a good diet rather and just trying to starve themselves.

    If you are trying to cut fat, fasting is great for that but there are other things that greatly help:
    * Exercise – very intense but short is normally enough. Look up HIIT
    * Cut refined sugar out of you diet as much as possible
    * Don’t over consume carbs, like bread, rice, pasta, etc. You can go low carb and burn a lot more fat, but that isn’t for every one.

    JimB, I have found that as I’ve aged certain foods promote weight gain. i have now learned to avoid eating rice and drinking beer. these did not used to be an issue, but they are now. When I avoid those, I keep the weight off. Simco, Cinque, and dykask all have good advice too. You have to find out what works for you.

    I am into my fifth wk of 5/2 and only lost barely 4 lbs. I am very heavy five St overweight. I have stuck to the fasting days rigid I am a nurse so walk a lot over ten hrs and on my feet.i have never stacked at work nor succumbed to the treats available there. I got heavy in my nurse training 12 yrs back and remained this way since. I have been to the gym four and half months followed a regime with a personal trainer followed his diet to the tee and lost not one ounce. I went four times a wk for an hr and half. I was purple faced but lost zero. I have nothing wrong with me according to blood tests. I lose usually a stone and then it stops and I give up after about five months of no results. I can feel my shape changing slightly on 5/2 I keep a diary of tge normal days, I started not counting cals to see what I eat. I never go over 1900 even with a treat of cake or sweets. But they are rare I am a meal person. If I have cake I don’t have a meal. Tge 5/2 regime I have Googled seem to say 2000 cals on tge normal days? Someone measured my norm and said I should be on 2190? I never eat that much so I ignored this. I seem to eat similarly anyway. I don’t have sugary drinks or drink alcohol. I need to see weight loss though even if only a pound a wk. But it’s been five wks and it’s 3.5 lb? I do see shape change. How can I lose size and not weight? I need encouragement too and get almost none. I need to be slimmer. I will stick to this if I know it will eventually work. A year from now if I were 52 lbs lighter I would be elated.

    Hello and welcome to the forum @portchie

    First of all work out your TDEE using the calculator available in Resources above – I would advise putting in your target weight and inputting lightly active only (no matter how active you think you are as we all tend to overestimate how active we are!!!!) If you put your goal weight and start eating to that level you then don’t have to readjust your intake as you lose weight and you will lose weight faster as well!!!

    I have lost 22kg in less than one year and have now been in maintenance for 14 months – I am a 59 y.o. female – 164cm and weigh around 53kg and it gives me a TDEE of 1511 cals to maintain my weight! I believe that I am fairly active doing 2 x 1.5hr yoga classes, 1 x 1hr pilates, 1 x 1hr aerobic and 2 hikes of 2hrs each week. I have found that my eating pattern has changed and even though I still enjoy my food and drinks 🍰🥂🍷I just don’t eat it all everyday and in the same quantities that I used to – I follow a more mediterranean style diet these days!

    This WOL does work and I found joining the monthly challenges a great motivating factor, logging in daily helps and there is great support and advise from the people who join, there are folks at all different stages of their journey and they are always willing to provide great advice and support – I hope you find a way that works for you.

    I often read through threads without commenting but I have to say after reading this, what a wealth of good advice handed out by those who have succeeded and want to share what they’ve learned along the way with those who are struggling. I’m always amazed at how generous everyone is is sharing their knowledge and experience 🙂

    The most important thing I’ve learned is that 5:2 is definitely a way of life rather than a quick fix. Going back to old habits will do exactly what it did before which is make us gain excessive weight. There is no going back, we have to change our habits permanently in order to be slim and healthier than our pre 5:2 selves.

    I would encourage those of you experiencing slow weight loss to stick with it. It does work long-term, as it is working for me (21kg down and 21kg to go) and it has worked for lots of people!

    I have found over the months that what I eat on Non Fast Days is what makes the difference in terms of weight loss. That is assuming you can do the 500/600 cals on the Fast Days! Over the last year I have done a lot of reading about ‘healthy eating’ – I thought I knew a lot about it and I didn’t really. I began in July 2017 following the Mediterranean Diet, then converted it to plant-based and now follow ‘whole-food-plant-based’ and have the highest benefits on this approach to eating. This is an eating pattern I hope to follow the REST of my life, using fasting to help with weight loss (and hopefully disease prevention too!).

    I have ALWAYS gained weight on the standard Western Diet and I have come to the conclusion it is basically unhealthy for most people. So if I change my approach to health by eating mostly plants (no calorie counting for me!) this may be the final solution to my weight problem.

    Its all about the Non Fast Days – stick to it and find the healthiest pattern of eating you can enjoy long-term.

    Portchie, no one ever said that you are supposed to eat 2000 calories on a non-Fast Day. That number is an industry standard for comparison. Recalculate your TDEE [how many calories to eat on a non-Fast Day] as AT suggested. If you eat the recommended calories on Fast Days, then eat, say, 1400 calories on Slow Days, you should see your weight drop. Eventually even 1400 calories will seem like a lot of food! You can do it. Don’t give up yet.

    Jim, how it it treating you? You said you were bored with the food you eat on Fast Days. Why? There is such variety available? Tell me what you like to eat and I will send you some recipes.

    Fasting_me: I read what you told JimBuckley ands I think you are spot on! Since I am almost 70 yo, I have found that very thing to be true. I can eat brown rice but not while and OMG I can’t eat bread, let alone drink beer! If I even look at bread or beer, I swear I put on weight. So sad! LOL

    Cornish-jane: I loved your email. I have been thinking the same. Currently, I am on the Mediterranean diet and love it but I have also been moving toward a more plant based diet, perhaps eating solely vegetarian some days of the week. I also exercise and absolutely love yoga and pilates (I do both, plus have a personal trainer). Although I haven’t yet had the success on this diet I hope for (I am fairly new to it), I definitely believe in it. I love everything I’ve researched, including the health benefits. It makes sense. However, I read something in The New York Times that I found interesting that could apply to JimBuckley, among others. Jim has not made this program a lifestyle, so that can easily put him in this category. According to the Times article, people who have gone on regular calorie counting diets and succeed, sometimes have a problem maintaining as their bodies fight to get back to another weight set point, one you may not want because you were overweight before. This causes you to have to eat fewer calories to maintain the newer weight. It made sense (and was scary) but I think by making intermittent fasting a way of life, that might be avoided. I don’t know but the article was interesting.

    Hi ccco:

    I have been watching you posting on one thing or another since you arrived on this forum, and admire your quest for information and knowledge on diet and nutrition. Very few people are as interested as you seem to be – most just want to lose weight. And your enthusiasm is infectious!

    What I see with you is you are understandably becoming confused by the many theories that float around on this web site and in the publications/internet sites you are visiting. The set point theory you mention is one of them. It is just that – a theory, with no scientific support whatsoever. One of the problems that ‘supporters’ have with that theory is that if there really was a set point in everyone’s body, not very many people should gain weight. If they got above their set point, the body should bring them back down again. But it does not seem to do that.

    But if you lose weight, and gain it back, the theory kicks in and you gained it because your set point was high and your body ‘fought’ to regain the lost weight. Sorry, but a set point needs to (always) go both ways. You mentioned you checked out the maintenance thread. What you saw were people that set a weight range that, if they exceeded it, immediately went on a diet (whether it was just ‘eating less’ or going back on 5:2 or 6:1 or whatever) to lose the excess weight and get back within their desired weight range. There was no ‘set point’ that magically kicked in and brought them back to ‘normal’.

    I mentioned in one of my first posts responding to one of your questions that the initial diet you described that you were following when you arrived on this site was an every day reduced calorie diet. You used the ‘language’ of 5:2, but were not ‘following’ 5:2.

    My suggestion to you is to try, at least for awhile, to forget all of the many things your are running into in your studies and just do the real 5:2 for a month or two. First, focus on doing two diet days a week correctly. Go to bed, get up, eat 500 cal. during your waking hours, go to bed, get up, and eat ‘normally’, which I guess for you is now a Mediterranean diet (certainly nothing wrong with that). Do that twice a week, for at least four weeks. If you fail and do not get two correct days in during a week, start over with the goal of at least four consecutive weeks doing 5:2 correctly. And see how things are after you have achieved that success.

    Don’t worry about doing 24 or 48 hour water fasts, or doing any other ‘eating pattern’ like 16:8. Just do 5:2 correctly for a month, and see what happens.

    I actually can anticipate what you will learn, but telling you is meaningless. I do know you might be very surprised!

    Good Luck!

    ccco: Thanks, Simcoluv. I am going to do that starting tomorrow, although I do know, perhaps because of my age, that I have to count calories to be sure. The older we are the harder this gets. Take care! 🙂

    Hi ccco:

    You probably should count calories for your two diet days to make sure you don’t go over 500. But I have never counted for my non-diet days and don’t suggest you do, either, unless you go for a month or more without losing any weight. I suggest you work on your diet days first, and go from there.

    Good Luck!

    I needed to read this thread today. Thank you so much @jimbuckley for starting it, and thank you to all of you for sharing your insights and encouragement. Your comments are so helpful for us newbies as we try to work out what might be the best way to go forward.

    @fasting_me, thank you for the tip about eating rice. It might be the reason, I’m struggling to drop the weight too. I live in the States but I’m French and giving up my slice of bread with blue cheese might be too hard for me lol (I have already given up wine and chocolate), but I might just have to give it a try for a bit.

    Sacre Bleu, Emma — you have given up vin and chocolat and bleu cheese is next?! Not being sarcastic. I eat and enjoy all those things on SLOW DAYS, but not chacque journee. What one eats on Slow Days makes a world of difference. See if the white rice [or lack of it] does the trick. Bonne Chance.

    @fasting_me, I just realized I never answered you. I tried to give up cheese and that just cannot be. So I am going with your train of thought: occasionally on NFD :p

    What’s a slow day?

    Also, you were so right! Rice is not my friend. Even brown rice. I will reintroduce it or eat it in very very small quantities when I’m where I want to me but right now it’s a no-go.

    Emma, I always call the 5 normal eating days NFDs, but some people have taken a literal opposite of “fast” and started calling them “slow”. It just means the days when you aren’t fasting, call them what you like. (Although as someone who has struggled to stop binge eating behaviours I object to “feast” or “feed” days as the description implies overeating to me.)
    I don’t eat rice either because it’s one of the lowest fibre options when it comes to grains. I find I can eat some wholegrains as long as it’s modest amounts and only the highest fibre options such as freekah or barley. They take quite a bit of cooking but I find my gut does well with them. These days they are an occasional food for me rather than an everyday food.

    Emma, a Slow Day is a non-Fast Day in our household.

    I’ve read the posts on this intersting thread. My challenge is that I’ve apparently hit a plateau. The diet has been working so very well for me since but now, over the past 6 weeks or more, I have stalled.

    I am a 62 year-old male, 6’ tall, and weigh 180 lbs (US). I’ve consistently lost a pound a week since I was close to 200 lbs. My goal is to achieve – and stay within – the rage from 170 – 175 lbs.

    I am more aware of staying away from simple sugars, carbs and the like. (Used to do Atkins so I’m very clear about such things.) most fora suggest that people who have stalled simply wait it out and they will begin losing weight again… but I’ve become frustrated. I’ve also started jumping rope. I am a very cheerful person who is full of joy. But this gives me no joy at all. Any ideas?

    mishnihor: One thing that is often suggested here that seems to work is that you need to find your new TDEE for your target weight and not for the weight you are now. If you are using your TDEE for your current weight, you might be inadvertently in maintenance. I would try that. It should jig things up! Good luck!

    Thank you, ccco. As I’ve counted calories for years, that makes absolutely perfect sense! I WAS, hoping, though, that on the 5:2 I wouldn’t need to count calories, so I’m a bit disappointed. Maybe I just need to count them for a few weeks to get a new idea of quantities I can eat now, as opposed to even a few months ago. Thank you.

    Hi, mishnihor! A lot of us do just that. We count initially, so we can make sure our portions are accurate. Then, periodically, you might want to recheck those portions to make sure they haven’t inadvertently grown in size. It happens. Also, you might want to figure out your TDEE on this website. You will want to know your TDEE for your goal weight because if you use the one for your current weight, you will be in maintenance. Good luck!

    @mishnihor, I do think counting calories is really helpful. Often, many of us miscalculate when we gauge (gage?) what we eat, so I have to write mine down. I am always shocked at how fast those small bits of calories add up. Being a woman my TDEE is quite low, and I get to 1400 calories very fast. It turns out we really don’t need as many calories as we think we need to function/

    Thank you @ccco and @fasting_me for the explanation. I thought it inside my head but forgot to say it 🙂

    Emma1202 and my friends: thank you for your perspectives. I can see how important it is to count calories. I guess that in the end, whatever works (healthfully) is the right method, and it takes time to discover the answers which are unique to all of us. Having read the book I’d hoped it wouldn’t be necessary, but hey, I’ve done it before! Thank you all.

Viewing 28 posts - 1 through 28 (of 28 total)

You must be logged in to reply.