drinking alcohol

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  • I’m just wondering if there is anyone else on this diet that started it partly as a way of limiting alcohol intake?I’ve been on the 5:2 diet for nearly 3 months now and have lost around 7 and a half pounds. I’m really amazed at myself for being able to go teetotal for 2 days a week. I’m guessing that may sound a bit strange for some of you but for me, weight gain has been because of the increasing quantities of beer i’ve been drinking over the years. While enjoying the break and elation at being so self-controlled for the first few months, I’m finding that just as people may over-indulge on food on non-fast days, i am also over-indulging on alcohol on non-fast days. I exercise regularly, running at least a couple of days a week, playing squash usually once a week, and usually eat a fairly healthy diet focusing on low carb, low dairy and high protein incorporating with lots of vegetables, cooked and raw. i’m guessing things should even out over time but just wondered if i have any drinking buddies out there experiencing the same thing?

    Hiya Patsykona
    My problem is wine…… Every night for the past 3 years has certainly taken its toll, my first day is today and decided to fast. I’ve has 3 pints of water already and a cup of tea. I’m trying to get my head around it all but the women at work swear by it and with great results so I guess perseverance is the key!
    I need to lose at least 2 stone so the wine will have to go ( only on fast days at first)
    Fingers crossed and good luck πŸ™‚

    Hello Patsykona and Liz28.

    Well the reason I started this diet/regime wasn’t entirely to help me reduce my alcohol levels but it was one of the factors. I usually had some form of alcohol (mainly real ale) seven days a week for decades and it’s never caused me any problems health wise, however my weight has crept up this last decade, from weighing 84Kg in 2004 to 98.8Kg at the beginning of June 2014. I started the diet early June and at the moment (July 16th) I weigh 92.4Kg. I tend to have three alcohol-free days per week now but when I do have a beer yes I do tend to over-indulge as if it’s my given right to reward myself. I haven’t lost any weight for three weeks, nor gained, so maybe the plateau I’ve reached is a signal to tell me I need to stop rewarding myself so heartily!!
    Oh, and on a fasting day once (ok twice) I had a single pint of IPA but still managed to keep within the calorie limit.
    And yes Liz that first week was a bit strange for me too but when the scales showed good amounts of weight loss it spurred me on.
    Good luck both of you. Would be interesting to hear how you’s get on.
    Drinking pal SharpLeft.

    Hi Liz28 and SharpLeft,
    Nice to hear your feedback. I’m still struggling with the alcohol – i still binge every now and then. The two free days are amazing – wow SharpLeft, three days would be awesome!
    The first few months on the 5:2 diet were incredible because i guess i lost all the
    beer fat lol, but now the process has slowed down and i also seem to have plateaued.
    Today i went for a beer and i notice that i now can only drink one pint before i’m over the limit – i know because i have a breathalyser in my car – so i guess that’s good yes? My tolerance level has decreased due to all the fasting and the moderating of my drinking.

    Hi Patsykona.
    Interesting how your tolerance threshhold has changed. And yes it is good! Mine seems unaltered, well for now.
    I’m on a big push this week – I’m having (planning maybe is the term) 5 alcohol-free days and going out on my bike a few times just to try and break this wall I’ve hit. I went out today down the coast on a 20 mile round trip and calculated I burned 1300 calories. So with it being a fasting day I’m expecting to have made some inroads on the weight loss front. However this Sunday will be a big drinking day as I’m at the tail end of a local music festival where some of my friends are playing. http://www.sagegateshead.com/event/home-fries-outdoor-stage-2014/ so we’ll see what the scales say on Monday!

    Ha-ha, glad to have drinking buddies here I’ve just joined after being a yo-yo dieter for years, tried them all and had some success. I have always been a drinker and know I should cut down for the benefit of my health & my weight, so I’m hoping starting with no alcohol on 2 fast days will help break the habit & get off the 1 stone I have put on over the last year or two.
    Cheers, here’s to success for us all!

    Hi Pattysparkle.

    That sounds very much like you have a plan! Yes the two fasting days definitely help break habits as I’ve found during my time on the 5:2.
    I’ve now lost nearly 7Kg in just under 7 weeks without trying too hard but had, as mentioned in my last post, hit a wall of late (not while out on my bike I hasten to add haha). Being a bit more religious about it this week hopefully has breached the wall even if it’s only half a kilo!! Mon morning will reveal all.
    Good luck and would be interested how you are coping/dealing with it and what results you’ve had.

    hi pattysparkle….nice to meet u.i’m having a bit of a relapse at the mo’ – been so good the past few months but now just enjoying drinking!! the drinking was always the problem with me, not the food! sometimes if i overeat i have serious reactions like diarrhoea etc. but for some reason no such reactions if i overdrink. in my first 3 months on this diet have lost 3 kgs but at the mo’ at a bit of a brick wall. it’s an old pattern, the drinking, but hopefully will get back on track again tomorrow – back with my old routine of jogging 2 or 3 times a week and 1 game of squash – Tuesday and Thursday being 500 calorie days and also alcoholfree days. best of luck with your dieting πŸ™‚

    Hi my drinking pals!

    Hope you are both doing well, I just don’t seem to be able to get into it, have only managed one good fast day in 2 weeks, like you patsykona I don’t have a problem sticking to my food plan but out of habit keep giving in to the demon booze!

    I have not managed to loose any weight in the last 2 years just keep going up a couple of pounds then down a couple so my weight hasn’t really changed at all.
    We have family visiting mid week so I will commit to a fast this Thursday!

    Part of my problem is I can’t really make my mind up which “diet” I want to follow I read about them all and agree with what I am being told but then read something else and waver! I try to eat only real food and avoid wheat products and processed stuff. Hope your both having a good week.

    Hi – was interesting to read about 5:2 and alcohol. I have been on the diet for about 7 weeks and have lost weight (not measured but need to tighten my belt by a notch or two!) and have no problem not drinking or sticking to calorie limit during fast days. However, I did notice that I started to drink more on non fast days! Always enjoyed a drink but I do but keep active and play football 2 – 3 times a week – not bad for a 60 year old!

    Must admit that after following the diet I do feel fitter and more alert. All my cholesterol and blood pressure reading have been excellent since starting fasting (they weren’t bad before but are better now). Cholesterol reading was due as part of regular check up and I was advised to check blood pressure regularly as I am on tablets.

    So, I am going to enjoy a drink if I want one but perhaps remember that it’s easy to overcompensate. Cheers everyone πŸ™‚

    Hi Pattysparkle!

    Sorry to hear you’re struggling.
    Yes it is difficult avoiding alcohol when your lifestyle is set up in a certain way, like mine is! I’m managing though (through gritted teeth it has to be said) and driving myself to have more than the 2 days a week off alcohol so when the 2 fasting days come it’s not a complete downer.

    Hi Ainsley.

    It doesn’t sound like you need to diet especially since you’re so active but hearing about your cholesterol and blood pressure readings coming down certainly makes the 5:2 worthwhile, not to mention the extra alertness you feel.
    Good stuff, keep it up!
    I’ve never ever had my cholestoral level read. Think I might go to the docs and have it done at some point.

    Drinking any kinda alcohol is bad for health..So skip it ASAP..

    Hi patriciasmith.

    “Drinking any kinda alcohol is bad for your health” is a totally incorrect statement Patricia. However I think we can all agree that drinking “far too much” alcohol is definitely bad your your health (as well as the people around you) and drinking “too much” alcohol “can” be bad for your health in the long term. I say “can” because different people have different inherited genes, different tolerances and different reactions, and who sets the bar (no pun intended) as to what is “too much” since the so-called experts change their mind so often on health matters?
    Personally speaking I’ve been a regular drinker since I was 16 years old and at the age of 51 now I have no health issues apart from wanting to lose weight which has crept up on me this last decade, a natural occurrence when ones metabolism slows down as we get older. I go out cycling when the Northern English weather allows and have a physical job (electrical engineer/electrician). In recent times it has even been reported that beer is “good” for you and a decade or so back it was said a glass of wine per day was good for the heart. No alcohol is a no-go for me. I take it you don’t drink?

    Hi patriasmith – thanks for that – didn’t realise alcohol was so bad – have stopped immediately but is it OK to carry on with the cocaine?

    Love it Ainsley! patriasmith i started this thread because of my own struggle with moderating my alcohol intake and need to find others who sympathised and who maybe could give some helpful advice, without any judgement – we all have our weaknesses. It’s not about giving up alcohol!

    All I can say is lol!

    So, how are we all doing? Have decided to try 6:1 maintenance but will probably try and have a complete fast – just water. Think that this will be the most effective way of maintaining my weight/benefits of fasting. Cheers


    @ainsley: …. decided to try 6:1 maintenance….apparently I am obese BMI 30.2…I am not over weight but am obese…..OK to carry on with the cocaine?

    funny ass dude

    Thank you for that honest sharing all of you πŸ™‚ guess this is a general tabu.
    I have had the 5:2 book on my table for a few weeks and only started Reading today which led me to this site.
    I definately know that my/an intake of alcohol (wine) increases my weight. And i Can manage to be indifferent with the wine some days but it just tastes(and feels) so good. So i dont drink wine everyday and “only” Half a bottle each time or less! πŸ™‚ almost feels like this is an AA confession LOL.
    So Nice to hear your input – Thank you so much – very inspirational.

    Today Will be my first Day and i am hungry now but i Can skip lunch and look fwd to steak, vegetables and ONE glass of wine tonight πŸ™‚
    Love and karma to you all

    Hello All.
    Interesting to catch up with recent posts on this thread, some from new participants (good luck Misscat). I’ve continued to lose weight bit by bit but painfully slow after the initial big losses in the first month (June).
    I was dreading jumping on the scales this morning as I’ve been on my travels these last ten days starting in Budapest and ending in Nuremberg (basically working my way down the Danube). I have drank wine and beer on every day of the holiday, especially on the Nuremberg leg of the trip. The Franconian beer there is fantastic by the way.
    Anyway, I’ve put on 0.8Kg (1.7lbs) which I’m delighted about as I was expecting at least double that. It’s inspired me to restart the diet again on Thu, with a fasting day, so this week will be a 6:1 and the 5:2 will commence next Monday.
    Just goes to show a blow-out week isn’t all bad.
    Good luck all.

    Hi all,
    I started the 5;2 about 2 wks ago and only saw a weight drop this morning, 3lbs. So that is good. One of the reasons I chose this was to help enforce at least a couple of non-drinking days. My favorite is bourbon.
    This week I’m gonna try for no drinking Mon-Thur. I love the way my head and mouth feel after a no drinking night, but so enjoy the taste and feeling of sipping some bourbon on the non-fast days. Quite the dilemma.
    I have found that a bitters and soda is a great substitute when I’m feeling like I’d really like a drink. Bitters does have some alcohol in it, but you use so few drops that I just count the small amount of calories and it seems to do the trick for me.
    It’s so nice to know I’m not alone in wanting to better my health and body and drink just a bit less. thanks to all of you.

    That’s great Marks, I fully understand the dilemma. The discipline is key, but within your own perameters. The group on this thread are really great, whereas you might find on other threads there’s a lot of preaching going on.
    Keep it up and good luck!

    Lol, drinking a lovely glass of red wine while reading all this- so glad to know I’m not the only lush out there πŸ™‚ I’m fasting tomorrow so time will tell if my one glass remains just one!

    I definitely agree that having a tasty drink around the time you’d usually start drinking makes a difference. I should have poured a cranberry juice instead of wine! My problem is as soon I as start drinking alcohol I start snacking .

    Fast days are a great way to curb that. Good luck everyone, this regime is awesome because you are constantly starting and stopping dieting, which is how I was before anyway. My huge draw to this regime is the concept that your body starts to repair itself while fasting, including new brain cells, which is something constant alcohol abuse is known to destroy. I could really use a few new brain cells!

    Hello everyone – been doing the 6:1 for about a month and pleasantly surprised that I have lost a few pounds. Haven’t altered drinking much but have eaten more fruit and nuts. Also been reading ‘Fat Chance: the bitter truth about sugar’ by Dr Robert Lustvig which is worth reading. Have since been avoiding sugar whenever possible. Stay positive and enjoy life – cheers

    Hello Ainsley and everyone on here.
    That sounds great Ainsley, the 6:1 sounds like it’s benefitting you. Might give that sugar book a look.
    I’ve now reached the historic milestone weight loss of 10Kg after being on 5:2 for 4 months. My target was 10Kg but secretly I want to lose 15-18Kg overall so sticking to it until around Xmas and see where I am. Three alcohol free days seems to be the norm now,which isn’t really impacting on my social life as much as I thought it would. Keep up the good work!

    PS – Kdaggie, hope the renewing of brain cells is going well hehehe (liked that post). The repair side of the 5:2 does sounds feasible.

    Hi SharpLeft – congrats on reaching your target weight loss and good luck with your next target. Agree about the non alcohol days (I try and have 2 a week), they don’t have a great impact on social life but do give your body a chance to recover.

    Off to Budapest for a few days so will put ‘fasting’ and abstinence on hold.

    PS: Sugar book is worth reading.

    Ainsley, I’ve not long returned from Budapest.
    When you want some chilling out time checkout a bar called Γ‰lesztΕ‘, it has 20 ales on tap. Szimpla Kert another bar for good ales.

    I’d like to weigh-in on this discussion (pun intended). My experience is that I did loose weight on the 5-2. Felt better and my high cholesterol, blood sugar, and BP all went down into the safe range. My problem is wine. I went from an occasional glass to a couple of glasses every day, and then I want to eat more. I rationalized that the wine calories did not count. Foolish eh? I get off the 5:2 on vacations, etc. I have been back on it for about two months now, but not loosing weight – due to the wine. I drink a couple of glasses (usually 2) before supper. Then no more wine that day, but maybe about 200 calories of snacks, which I should not have. Conclusion: Alcohol calories DO count. Alcohol makes us want to eat more (lowers willpower?), and more than 1 glass is probably not good for you (me anyway). Next week I am scheduled to have a bloodwork check. Then I will know for sure. In any event, I will do as some of you suggest, and not have any alcohol on fast days, and see how that goes. Wish me well, please.

    Hi garypatt – I think you need to count the calories in alcohol. When I fast I time myself from the last calories that I had i.e. – last glass of wine (or any other calories) at say 10pm on Sunday evening would mean I would fast until 10am on Tuesday. Agree that alcohol can lead to having more snacks/nibbles so this is another reason not to drink alcohol on fast days.

    Good luck with the ‘bloodwork’ check. Worth persevering with 5:2


    Hey there.

    Yup one of my reasons for beginning this diet was to cut back on the alcohol. I mainly drink lagers and beers but could never stick to a couple. I always ending up some nights drinking up to eight. It made me pile the weight on and went from 30″ waist to a “tight” 36″ waist. Started the 5:2 a few months back but then left it off for a while due to a bout of illness.

    I’ve just finished a full 5 day fast week eating between 600/700 calories a day. No booze for over a week now too. Have lost 7 pounds already and can feel the difference in my clothes. Feel much more alert and with it after the 5 day fast surprisingly. Next week I plan to do a 4:3 regime but being careful on non fast days too as determined to get shot of this beer gut.

    Good luck all.



    Many people do not know how many calories there are in alcohol and when they find out, and apply them to how much they are drinking, they immediately understand why they are gaining, or are not losing, weight.

    Beer can have between 150 and 400 calories per pint. Wine, about 600 calories per bottle. Mixed drinks vary considerably depending on the mixer. The spirits themselves are around 80 calories per ounce, but many drinks have 1 1/2 or 2 shots and the mixer used can double the calorie count.

    Hi SharpLeft – thanks for the info re bars. Might need them as the weather forecast isn’t great!

    Nice to know I’m not alone .. wine is my friend .. though I have managed to go without two days this week,(week one of 5:2) I think that the act of fasting alone must be helping with abstinence. I also think that this section of the forum alone may be my motivation .. it’s looking like I I’ve lost a over a kilo and it’s day 5 .. time will tell … thank you and good luck to all.

    I want to drastically reduce my wine intake. I don’t have any Mon to Thurs, but then it’s no holds barred! OH doesn’t seem to know wine can come in bottles, and gets a box, “to last!” but it doesn’t! It’s not as if I’m savouring it, it’s just gluggable. Then peanuts and crisps. I’ve been going to Weight Watchers since February, and lost the princely sum of 7lbs. I know it’s all down to the wine intake, and it lowering my resistance to high fat snacks.

    Well done Yvonneca, early on the motivation is the big weight loss then it becomes a bit more difficult when things plateau out. I spent an entire month without losing more than a Kilo at one point (July) but stuck at it. I’ve now lost 10.6Kg overall since I started in early June and I’m so in the groove regarding my Mon and Thu fasting days that it’s almost second nature. I say almost as some fasting days are more of a struggle than others.
    Good luck.

    Yes Oldtyke I definitely think buying a bottle is the answer. And yes I think it’s natural that the snacks accompany wine so by cutting down on the wine you will reduce the snack intake. Good luck and keep us posted how it’s going.

    Hi There,
    Ive been reading your posts, and I find you guys….human! Its great ;0) I’m new to this 5:2 and wonder, after joining the site, how useful will the book be for me? I don’t have it yet, so some opinion on it would be great. Like alot of you on here, I miss my Mothers little helper..a tipple at night! But I have decided to treat myself to a bottle, whiskey for me please…once a month. Lols Its been a week of cutting out and re arranging when i eat..ie not at night in bed. So now I would like to give this 5:2 a go, I started today with a fast, which was ok, but its good to know I dont have to feel really crap if I dont make my own grade on fast day..I can try again the next. This is a good site, as I dont feel like Im going alone with this, very supportive place! Debs ;0)

    My blood test week before last did show that the Fastdiet resulted in my cholesterol, Glucose level, and electrolytes are all back down in the safe range again. I have been back on the diet for about two months now. I have lost a couple of pounds (I’m American) too. As for the wine, I try to keep it down to two glasses before supper. I try not to drink any alcohol or snack on my two fast days. Successful about 1 out of three times. Alcohol lowers our resistance to reality/our resolve. Not good. Snacking in the PM always has been my primary problem. I have learned that my always being active helps me. I am 73 YO, and I’m in pretty good condition. Loosing weight is not my prime motivation. Preventing heart trouble and diabetes (and keeping my BP down) is my goal. We need to be aware that the effects of alcohol could be a separate problem for us, in and of itself. The question is, does it interfere with your leading the kind life you would like to have? ALso, does it negatively impact your relationships?

    Hi Garypatt,
    I like what you have to say about drinking alcohol (relaxed but sensible)…And well done you! At 73yrs old and working hard at your health the way you are doing…I’m only 37 and notice a big difference from being 27! Glad I’m trying to sort it now, not giving up ;0) As regards to alcohol, I feel..for me, it is beneficial to help me relax as long as I am sensible…although sometimes its o.k not to be sensible! But I always put my well being, my loved ones (who I am responsible for) and finances(a roof over our heads and bills paid) first…that’s a job in itself I reckon! and now..of course i want to lose a couple Lbs…so focus! focus!focus!….Thank you for your pearls of wisdom, You make a lot of sense and provided..me…with some comfort xxx

    Hi FlamingoFlames and Garypat.
    Well said both of you. Re getting the book like you mentioned FlamingoFlames, I wouldn’t bother to be honest. The website gives you lots the info you need I find. And there’s the blogs.
    Good luck, and don’t give up when you stop losing weight, it happens to almost everyone on week three for a few weeks but then you start losing again.

    Hi There are many studies that show statistically, that moderate drinkers live longer than non drinkers, even those who drink a little too much do not seem to suffer too much in the longetivity stakes.

    LOL love your humour

    Hi – first fast day for me today and coping – just!

    I LOVE wine……….and Bombay gin……….

    My husband and I drink most evenings, I love to cook and I love a glass of wine while I am cooking and then while I’m eating and then while we are relaxing in the evening……but this has got out of hand – I’ve put on 21lbs over the last couple of years that we have fallen into this pattern of drinking/eating…….my husband about 28lbs – he keeps saying its liquid how can it be fattening! lol Anyway now time for a change we are going to try and cut out alcohol on school nights and only have at weekends……. I must admit this is going to be hard – hoping the 5:2 will help kick start us to break the pattern.

    I don’t want to never have a drink again as I enjoy it so much but have to cut back, lose some weight and gain back a clear head – hoping you guys will help me along the path.

    Thanks for this thread – it’s good to know that I’m not alone in enjoying a tipple or several and good not to be judged for being honest about it x

    Hi Oh2bthin – (Great username) similar pattern to you re drink but found not drinking on fast days and cutting back during the week (but not complete abstinence) worked for me. Initially I noticed that I would drink more when not on a fast day, so I needed keeping an eye on that. It was almost as if I would ‘reward’ myself for having two non drinking days!!

    I used to be a teacher (retired) so not drinking on school days is fine for me! πŸ™‚

    Good luck

    I love Guinness, but that’s 210 cals a pint. I don’t drink on fast days normally Monday and Thursday and try to only drink Fri-Sun as one pint can sometimes turn into six. also I can’t handle going to work after drinking the night before – yes I know Mondays are miserable. When I started the regime I lost weight reasonably quickly, but it seems to have plateaued a bit lately. However I comfort myself by thinking how big I would be if I didn’t do this. I also think that doing the diet with my wife is so much easier. We now consider the 5:2 to be a lifestyle choice rather than a diet. Good luck to everyone ….especially to those of you who wake up early the morning after a fast day dreaming of a Mars

    Evening! Well just survived the great British bake off while on the first day of my fast – lol I’ve never eaten a yogurt soooooooo slowly – oh yeah and never watched bake off without a glass of wine in my hand – but made it thru!

    Hubby away with work until Friday so managing to stay focused – he is a nibbler and is always hungry so god knows how he will manage next week – oh yeah and a little added pressure of my mother coming to stay with us for a week – eeeek that’s when we will be tested on no drinks during the week – wish us luck!

    Ha ha Ainsley re not drinking on a school night ………. Think that’s called cheating πŸ˜‰

    Oh yeah and thanks for putting Mars bars in my head Hammersphil but totally agree with you re Monday morning grog – not a nice feeling and as for partner support always a bonus……….just not sure he’s as committed to fasting as me – he thinks giving up booze on weekdays will be bad enough…….only time will tell.


    I too am a lover of wine!!!! I don’t have a great deal of weight to lose, but the extra lbs that I do carry all seem to be around my belly…..my wine belly as I refer to it. I’m hoping that the 5:2 diet will help me to lose the extra pounds, increase my health and also get my drinking under control. I particularly love to start drinking while preparng the evening meal. Hunger, or when my blood sugers are low is definately a trigger to open a bottle of red. I have found that on my fast days I’m usually so hungry by dinner time that the choice between wine and dinner is an easy one – I need to eat! Yes, hoping that this diet will also help me to reduce my alcohol intake as well, but being new I’m finding it hard. Good luck everyone and thanks for this motivational thread.

    Hi Dragon12.
    Yes the common theme throughout this thread is the need to reduce our alcohol levels. I definitely think once you get through the first couple of weeks the two fasting days become easier and there’s almost a sadistic pleasure in them as well as a sense of achievement once the day is over!!
    Good luck.

    I have read many of these posts. We all experience about the same. Judging by my own dealing with alcohol with the fastdiet, I think the following is true, (even tho I do not always follow my own advice): The fast diet does work especially for keeping my cholesterol level, blood sugar and blood pressure at safe levels. Alcohol calories do count. Two small glasses of red wine on every day including fast days and just before dinner is OK, but no more. Exercise is important. Alcohol reduces my tolerance for anything requiring self control – like limiting my wine intake; and the fastdiet requires some resolve/control especially at the end of the day/evening when I like to snack. So, I plan ahead to have some low cal snacks prepared for the evening. Don’t start the alcohol until supper is being prepared. No drinking after dinner – even on weekends/party time. Good luck/wish me luck.

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