Welcome to The Fast Diet › The official Fast forums › Mind › Planning › Different ways of managing your fasting days
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11 Mar 13
As we say in the book, it’s important to find a pattern that works for you when it comes to the timetable you decide to use when eating on a Fast Day.
My method is to wake up on a Fast Day morning and have breakfast of around 300 calories at about 7am, before going to work. Then I drink lots of calorie-free fluid but go without food until 7pm, when I have a 300 calorie supper with my family (I eat the 300 calories, they tend to eat rather more).
I think of it is as ‘a day of fasting’. This makes it straightforward to explain and understand. However, as some of you have pointed out, if you eat supper at 7pm on the night before a Fast and then have a normal breakfast on the day after a Fast, you can argue that you are actually eating 600 calories over the course of 36 hours (7pm Fast Day 1 until 7am two days later).
If, however, you decide to fast from 2pm until 2pm, as some fasters do, you would have a normal lunch on Day 1, then a 300 calorie supper on Day 1 and a 300 calorie breakfast on Day 2. If you have a normal lunch on Day 2 this would be a 24-hour fast, full stop. You can, of course, decide to skip lunch on Day 2 and wait till supper to break your fast.
On the 2pm-2pm method, because your fasting window is diminished, your overall weekly calorie count will probably be higher than with the 7am-7am method. You will probably lose weight more slowly.
Some people find it hard to sleep when they are hungry and for them a 7pm to 7pm method might be easier. That way you never go to bed hungry. Again weight loss will be slower. Also, here are some great suggestions from Twitter about dealing with nighttime hunger, if you’d like to look at those. If one routine doesn’t suit you, try another. Flexibility (within the basic parameters) is key – do let us know what works for you.
Hello – I have had a go at the 500 calories on a fast day and find that it’s actually harder than just not eating anything at all. It seems that if I eat small amounts on fast days, I just get hungrier and feel weaker and more desperate for food. If I just don’t eat anything at all from the time I wake up to supper time, I can cope with that and usually feel fine. Is it all right not to eat the 500 calories during the day?
well i am a born again healthy person all thanks to the fasting lifestyle
I have lost 12 kg (1.75 stone) over the past 8 weeks
it took a few weeks to get used to and now i know the difference between hungry and full again! I taste food and enjoy every wonderful mouthful. i feel alive and fit and have got back to the gym. I wake with a zest every day – basically the fast diet has changed my life!!! thanks thankls and THANKS! i now will see turning 50 as a fit and healthy Gary 🙂
…hmmm…I eat 2 or 3 small meals totalling 500 calories throughout the day. I lost 1.5 lbs. my first week, and ate well on my feed days.
I’m wondering how much more beneficial it would be to have more lengthy gaps in between like the post suggests.
Anyone else just eat small amounts spaced out, like I do?
My partner and I have signed on to the FastDiet starting today. I have undertaken the hCG diet several times. This diet includes 500 calories of food per day from a fairly balanced list of fruits, vegetables, meats. I am using this as a template for the two days per week FastDiet. On hCG you can have 2 cups of any one of the list of vegetables and about 4 oz meat or protein item at each of two meals. I ate a lot of cucumbers and cabbage. Two cups of either of those is VERY filling – and that’s the thing I like about applying the hCG diet template to FastDiet. It’s the ‘enough quantity to be filling’ aspect. I wasn’t hungry on 500 calories of hCG and I don’t anticipate I will have much difficulty on the FastDiet.
The idea with eating then having a good amount of time of fasting has to do with the burning of sugars. A certain period of time is required for the body to burn sugars after which it begins to use its fat stores – which is when weight loss happens. That said, just the fact of only eating 500cal on a day, having off day(s), then doing 500cal again is going to make huge (positive) metabolic changes in the body. Check information on the Ketogenic Diet and others online. There is a lot of information available on the process.
astarr, excellent response; thank you. Very helpful to me. Yes, just eating 500 cals twice a week is working, no matter what the time frame.
I think I’m just obsessing too much over the time frame between eating. I’m very happy with losing 1.5 lbs my first week, and I’ll take even a lb. a week. I’ve found my new way of eating!
12 Mar 13
Thanks for this Michael, the 1 sleep method has less of a calorie reduction and therefore less weight loss is expected.
I find that having my breakfast on a fast day early on actually kickstarts my appetite and making me feel hungrier sooner, so I have started having my breakfast (porridge with water) around 1pm. I find this not too difficult to wait for and just drink herbal teas and water until I eat. I then eat again in the evening eating upto the 500 calorie allowance. I am tyring to each breakfast later and later on fast days so eventually I can go all day without food and then just have one meal of 500 calories in the evening. I am on my third week and have lost 4 lbs so very happy with that!!
Does anyone suggest doing the fast days, 2 days in a row or breaking it up during the week?
Hi Jewel17; I’m very new having only done one fast day yesterday, but I did exactly the same; waited until mid-day and had porridge made with water & blueberries – then dinner as late as possible (around 7pm) 🙂
Liana, Dr. Mosley suggests fasting on non-consecutive days. I do mine on Mondays and Wednesdays, but will be flexible for special events, luncheons, etc. That’s the beauty of this plan. We make it fit US, we don’t squirm to fit the plan like every other diet out there.
13 Mar 13
I have just completed my third day of fasting. I did it last Tuesday, Thursday and again yesterday. I had nothing from round 5pm the night before, then an early breakfast and supper around 7pm. I folowed the advice given in the book and the food was delicious. I have weighed this morning and haven’t lost anything and my BMI has stayed the same. Perhaps I ate too much on my 5 days but was under the impression that would be ok, but have spent the last 4 years on a ‘slimming world’ eating plan. Can anyone advise on what I have done wrong.
@holidaygirl – It would also be helpful to have an idea of your current BMI and what you need to lose, as those with less to lose will do so less quickly. Also if you’re quite active you may be converting fat to muscle, which weighs more. Don’t forget to measure your waist as sometimes you’ll see this decrease even when there’s no change on the scales. If you’ve got a lot to lose then the natural fluctuations in body weight can also mask a small loss, but over a longer time period you’ll notice the downward trend on the scales.
I am going to go for the 7-7 fast option and use the 2-2 method on days that it works better for my routine.
As I read in the book, it is important to leave as long as possible between the low calorie meals on fast days, which will allow our bodies to go into ‘healing mode’.
My main motivation for trying the ‘Fast Diet’ is to lose the viseral fat that I cannot see. Weight wise I need to lose 1-1 1/2 stone.
Mostly I have eaten healthily since 1978, most organic vegetarian with some fish at least once a week. Tend not to eat processed food, or ready meals, as a general rule.
I’m thinking that it is hard to know if the viseral fat has gone without a scan. I’d like ideally to see what is there now, in 3 months time and in 6 months time. Does anyone know how much this costs and where might offer a reasonable price?
From my perspective, I think that what we put into our bodies is the key factor to health, next exercise, next decent sleep.
Having just started the ‘Fast Diet’ I am excited to see what changes occur. At the moment my pulse is a bit erratic, I have palpitations some times (hereditary). I did have this checked out and was told that there are no underlying problems, just my rhythm. I take no medication and prefer to self manage.
Thank you Michael on the clarification of the 2-2 method. 🙂
I have settled into a comfortable routine which suits me and doesn’t seem to leave me with any strong hunger pangs, the only adverse effect being bad breath on fast days (keep spray handy). I have stopped eating breakfasts so go from 18.00 to 12.00/13.00 which gives me 18 hour most days. On fast days I split my calories between lunch and tea and don’t find it difficult to go until lunch time the next day. However, I do have an apple or a banana before going to the gym if I am doing a body-pump or cycle session. I don’t really feel I need it but at 64, I suppose I should be a bit careful even though BP and cholesterol are well within healthy.
shiningmoogie, thank you for your advice. I am not particularly active but did do a 10 mie walk on Saturday which I thought would help. I need to lose about 2 stone and am energised by ths eating plan, so will not be daunted.
14 Mar 13
this was day 1 for me. as a diabetic, i must eat 3 small meals a day. i managed that within my 500 calories with no problem. i think having GOOD food and volume are going to be the key for me. i’m a little hungry right now, but not too bad. i may lose slower, but i have to keep my sugar levels in check. anyone else diabetic and doing this?
I have been on this regime for about 7wks and am amazed like others t the results, lost about 19lbs, 1-2 inches on wit and BMI reducing toward healthier range. Feel so much better.
My preference IS to do fast days back to back as I find that this is easier once a first fast day is underway.
Question…. on the fasting days, do I have to eat or can I truly fast and not eat anything and just stay hydrated with water.
15 Mar 13
I work evenings 3-11 p.m. I have my days off on Thursday and Friday. I’ve chosen my fast days to be Sunday and Wednesday. Since I don’t go to sleep until 2:00 A.M. What time should I have my fast meals on those days? Should they be 12 hours apart? Thanks in advance!
I started 5:2 on 3/2/13 mainly for the anti-inflammatory effect and repair mechanisms. I choose to save my calories for the evening meal so I end up with a 24hr fast followed by a 13hr fast, which is different to Varady but is working for me. I also exercise during fast days. I have lost 9 lbs and gone below my original target of 10 stone 4 lbs. I am now aiming for 10 stone exactly, 1 pound to go. I am 5ft 10in, not far off Michael.
Fast-day calories are not counted any more because I have lost my reliance on carbohydrates (and there are only so many calories you can fit into a single meal!). The jury is still out on the repair effects but I have blood test results due next week so we shall see… Wife has done well on 6:1, sharing one fast day with me, and is being more careful to eat sensibly the rest of the time. We are both in our sixties – one disappointing thing is body-fat calculations that take age into account as they would suggest that we are still carrying stacks of excess fat which is patently not the case…
Hi everyone, I could do with some help & advice. I have been on the 5:2 fast diet now for 7 weeks & whilst I lost 5lbs in the first week, I have only lost 2lbs in the other 6wks, but these 2lbs fluctuate on & off. I am only tiny at 4′ 11″ tall & weighted 8st 5lbs to start. I am now at 8st. I would like to lose about another 4-5lbs. I have been abt 6st 13 to 7st 3lbs all my life until I hit the menopause then put a stone on very quickly, hence the diet. I am normally a very active 50yr old! – HOWEVER – I am really struggling with the diet now as I am Hypoglycaemic – & my blood sugar really drops dramatically overnight on my fast days & the next day I am really bad with the shakes & heart palpitations for several hours until I can regulate it. Can you tell me – Should I really be doing this diet?
I really wanted to do it because of the health benefits of the “repair” mode part of it, because lots of ladies in my family have had breast cancer (including my mum!) Please help. Thanks. Suzy
For lyme girl from ny: see my comments above. I am, I suppose, the opposite to your diabetic condition, in that I am Hypoglycaemic. I have started to question whether this is a good thing for me or not. However, I think I saw in the book that diabetics are not really supposed to do the diet? Could be worth re-reading it & checking that one out. I cannot regulate my blood sugar the next day & end up having to take more glucose as a result. Perhaps Dr Mosley could advise us both?
18 Mar 13
I was just wondering how some of you manage holidays etc. I’m booked for a holiday for 12 days in May and because today is a bank holiday (Monday would normally be my fast day)I can’t decide whether or not to fast as normal or leave my fast day till tomorrow… I probably need to relax more but being a real creature of habit I feel lost not doing my normal fast and am wondering how I will cope on holiday – do I abandon the fasting on holiday and just enjoy it and start again on my return? Thanks a mill!
Please, please remember that this is NOT a weight loss programme! The whole point is that your body gets time to repair damaged DNA in cells rather than processing proteins. Weight loss is a side effect. If you want weight loss as well as the repair effect then don’t eat so much on non-fast days. Above all, don’t get obsessive about any of it! Eat the advised amount of calories in any combination of meals on fast days. That’s it. But remember that eating a balance of fat, protein and carbohydrates in meals outside of the fast days is good – as is eating foods that are unprocessed, i.e. fresh fruit and vegetables, fish and meat. I’ve been doing the fast diet since the programme was first shown on the TV and feel completely different – and yes, I have lost weight as well! Enjoy the regime rather than worrying about the issues.
Today was my first day and stupidly used a stock cube which sent me 50 cals over. So I consumed 550 today. Will this impact my weight loss this week? Thanks
I wouldn’t worry, amandajaynep123, just live on towards your 2nd fast day! Hopefully you will feel more relaxed about the odd 50 cals over, or under, in a few weeks. I am in my 5th week on 5:2, it gets easier and I feel it as ‘normal’ now, including being more laid back about it all (whilst sticking as closely as possible to the 500 cals on fast days). Good luck.
19 Mar 13
i have been doing the fast diet for 9 weeks and have found it easy to do and have lost 14 lbs-much needed. i want to keep fasting for health reasons (am 56) but dont need to lose any more weight. i dont feel comfortable with adding more calories on the other 5 days and wonder if there is any evidence of doing a 6:1 diet to maintain and reap same benefits?
I have managed to shift about 4 lbs but seem to have stabilised at the moment. I fast on two non-consecutive – Mondays and Thursdays. I do the fasting days as follows: after dinner on Sunday evening to the same time on Monday evening; similarly for the Thursday fast. I eat 0 calories during that period and drink plenty of water and black herbal tea all the day. However I do not seem to be losing weight at the moment. Any ideas? I eat sensibly (I think) on the non-fast days; on those eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with no snacks in between.
Has anyone got a reasonable calorie count for Suma luxury muesli? Thanks.
20 Mar 13
I am relatively new to the fasting diet. This is my 3rd week. I did not lose much weight the first week, but did drop 3 pounds last week. On my fasting days, I eat an egg for breakfast, eat a spinach and fruit salad for lunch, eat a clementine for snack and drink a protein shake for dinner. What is the verdict on the protein shake for dinner? I find it keeps me full longer. I hope the next couple of weeks are as productive.
Hello all! I just discovered this and I have a question: without knowing of the fasting diet, I used to do my way of fasting after a day (or two) of eating too much. What I ate was a musli bar or a couple of crackers for breaky and oatmeal boiled in water for lunch and dinner. That’s around 400 calories. Is this an OK menu for fasting days? Or are there too many carbs?
harbourlight, check this out: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Suma-Luxury-Tropical-Muesli-Pack/dp/B005KRO982
If you scroll down you will see nutrition info.
TML – we suggest more plants and protein for a Fast Day and fewer carbs – particularly the fast-release ones you tend to find in commercial cereal/muesli bars. They tend to spike your blood sugar and won’t fill you up and keep you full. Better to go for bulk from veg, and some protein. Protein is important on a Fast Day, both for satiety and for retention of muscle mass. If you want carbs, a bowl of porridge would be a decent option.
ctterry41 – if a protein shake works for you, particularly in the early weeks, go ahead. The diet needs to work for YOU, and some people find a shake makes all the difference (as long as it’s within your calorie budget).
Mimi, I have a very weird and demanding stomach and it tends to disagree with me when I feed it with fruit or veggies or protein without carbs. If a bowl of porridge is indeed a decent option then that’s what I’ll choose. Thank you very much!
Also, must the fasting day be divided in two meals? One in the morning and one in the night?
21 Mar 13
I have started on this the last couple of weeks, and have a couple of questions. First, is eating fewer calories if you can manage on fast day a good idea? Also, if I understand correctly, the goal is more time between eating, and I am doing a daytime fast rather than 2-2, is delaying the morning meal longer beneficial (more time between previous night’s dinner and breakfast on fast day), or is it preferable to maximize time between meals during the day? Thank you.
I’ve been on the fast diet since I saw Michael on ‘Breakfast’ in the new year. I find I feel hungry if I eat in the mornings, so on fast days I drink water and tea (with milk 🙁 ) and then keep busy. I find that I have no problems, no headaches etc. In the evening I eat a few vegetables (or nothing) and then a 40 cal hot chocolate drink as I go to bed. What I’m enjoying is that when I wake up the next morning, I am not too hungry. I’m newly retired and am trying to eat two meals a day now that I’m less active. I have no idea whether I’ve lost weight as my scales were whizzed many years ago when I stopped dieting. I like not stressing about calories, limiting my ‘normal’ days or having problems with my social life. Monday and Thursday works for me.
Oh, one piece of advice: don’t read recipes on a fast day, not even the ones in Michael & Mimi’s book! The day I did that was the only day I felt the fast was too tricky!
I previously lost weight on the Curves weight management programme which I found quite easy to follow and never felt hungry on. However, after a back injury, my weight went below what it should have due to painkillers taking away my appetite. I am on the mend now but have piled on all the weight I lost. I decided to try the fast diet as I don’t want to be constantly calorie counting and then putting weight back on when returning to “normal” eating. I have done about 6 fasts with gaps in between due to family events etc. I did lose a few pounds after the second fast but now weigh more than I did before starting the fast. I have been finding it quite hard to cope with less food as I tend to get weak, shaky and naseous if I have long gaps without eating. I tried fasting between breakfast and dinner but felt so weak and shaky by four pm that I could hardly keep my eyes open on the drive home. I have changed my routine by skipping breakfast, having a light lunch at 12.00 and then making up the calories between 6.30 and 7.30. I manage quite well without breakfast and feel satisfied with a small lunch until about 4.00 pm when I begin to feel tired and sick again. I wake up absolutely ravenous and really enjoy a large bowl of porridge for breakfast the next day. On fast days, I do not obsess about going over the 500 calorie allowance by a few calories as the whole point for me is not to calorie count. I have started exercising regularly again, although not at the same intensity as before my back injury. Unfortunately on my non fast days I seem to have an increased appetite and sometimes eat more than I did before I started the fast diet. I know that this way of eating is not designed necessarily for weight loss and I am keen to carry on to reap the health benefits as both my parents had type 2 diabetes and I myself had gestational diabetes. Apparently I am at a higher risk of diabetes, especially as I store my weight around my middle. Will I ever manage this fasting without feeling ill?
I am very interested in this lifestyle concept – but I want to make sure I am doing it right. What works best for me is to have dinner at 6ish on say Monday – then nothing until dinner again Tuesday at 7. Would this be considered a “fast” and…. is that dinner on Tuesday a normal dinner – or does it have to be the 500 calorie choice? Thanks!
23 Mar 13
I have the same question as ervol57!
I finish eating around 8:30pm on Monday and then don’t eat anything until 8/8:30pm on Tuesday evening. I then have a meal of 500 calories and nothing else until breakfast the next day. Technically, I would have done a 24 hour fast – so could I eat more than 500 calories in that meal? I find that I feel energised on my fast days but feel incredibly lethargic on the day after. What can I do differently to stop feeling so tired the following day? Many thanks.
Started this eating plan 4 weeks ago. Have lost 3lbs-a bit disappointing but think there are other factors involved at the moment…( having a 3 week period, probably start of the menopause).
My question is: I have just read that if you fast for 12 hrs or more, your metabolism drops by 40%!!! Please tell me thats not true, mine is seems slow enough at the best of times!!!
Hi ! I’ve just started, am convinced and amazed at the simplicity of it all.. I do have a question though : on the 5 ‘normal’ days, can one really eat whatever one wants to? I’m wondering if I shouldn’t be more careful on those days too
24 Mar 13
I am wondering if you can eat more calories if you exercise on fast days? For example can I can eat 700 calories and go for a 200 calorie run?
It’s okay though, I understand that the fasting is the point not the weight loss, I’m just hungry 🙂
i have started on fast days to try to use only what is on this list below. is that ok or should i add a type of food?
some foods naturally have zero calories while some are converted into zero calorie foods during digestion
List of Calorie-Free Foods
A: Asparagus, Apple, Apricots, Artichokes, Aubergine
B: Beetroot, Broccoli, Blueberries, Blackberries, Brussels Sprouts, Bitter Gourd
C: Cranberries, Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower, Celery, Chile Peppers, Cucumber, Clams, Chives, Crabs, Cantaloupes
D: Dandelion, Damson Plum
E: Endive, Egg Plant
F: Frog Legs, Flounder, Fennel
G: Garlic, Green Beans, Garden Cress, Grapefruit, Guava
H: Huckleberries, Honeydew Melons
K: Kumquats, Kale
L: Lettuce, Lemon, Leeks
M: Mango, Mustard Greens, Muskmelon, Marrow
O: Oranges, Oysters, Onions, Okra
P: Pineapple, Papaya, Peaches, Parsley Leaves, Pomegranates, Parsnips, Pears, Prunes
R: Raspberries, Radishes, Rhubarb, Red Cabbage
S: Strawberries, Spinach, Shrimp, Sauerkraut, Sea Bass, Sorrel, Scallions, String Beans
T: Tangerine, Turnip, Tomato
W: Watermelon, Watercress and water
thanks so much 4 this lifestyle finally something that works!;)
26 Mar 13
@wiltl: At first I thought your fast day diet was all fruit and veg but then I spotted clams, crab, frogs legs so you have some protein. You could add salmon and tuna to your list for some extra protein. A day eating just fruit and veg would be difficult in my opinion.
For me, I have a white americano when I get into work, then a banana around 11am. Then I buy 2 sushi dishes from Itsu (UK Japanese chain, around 200 calories each) and eat them at 1-2pm and 5:30pm before going home. At home I’ll have a cup of tea. So far so good. 4 weeks in and 7.5lb lost.
I had tried the fast diet earlier in the year but stopped it when I got too absorbed in trying to find meals to cook that would the right amount of calories. I found the more I thought about cooking the more difficult I found the task. Simple solution was to buy pre-prepared food (Japanese sushi in my case) hence removing any cooking quandries.
On non-fast days, I eat normally but there’s a definite awareness to not overcompensate for the fast days. I probably eat between 1800 and 2500 on those days.
Hi everyone, Like some of you on here I find it easier to not eat at all on fast days than allow myself 500 cals. It just seems to make me hungrier!So I just drink water with lemon. My downfall is wine or G&T on my non fast days, Any thoughts?
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