Easy On, Easy Off

This topic contains 18 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Priyavk 5 years, 8 months ago.

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  • As I bounce around this Forum, I often come across posts from people that are upset about their weight gain. They get on their scales and see they have gained 300 grams (or whatever), or maybe have not lost any weight when they feel they should have, and wonder what is wrong with them, their food or 5:2. They have got nothing on me.

    I don’t weigh myself that often. I have an old scale that has a dial that theoretically tells me my weight in pounds. I really can’t see the dial that well, so when I’m on the scale I am really only getting an estimate of what the dial says. If I really care what the dial says, I put a mark where it is pointing. That way, I can actually see the poundage line, and later on see if I am gaining or losing from that mark. It’s probably another reason I don’t weigh myself that often.

    But I weighed myself awhile ago and was happy to see I was down 19 pounds in 19 weeks. I went through the rest of the week, and Saturday I went to a beer festival where there was much great beer and food. Under 5:2, I can eat normally if it is not a fast day, so I did.

    I sampled over 20 beers (4 to 12 oz. a sample), had a large breakfast (can’t drink beer on an empty stomach), a large lunch, great dinner and some really good snacks in between. Overall, just a great day.

    However, I got on my scale Sunday morning and could not help but notice I had gained 6 pounds since the previous Wednesday.

    Now 6 pounds is a lot. It is about 21,000 cal. And that is over and above my daily TDEE that I can eat without gaining any weight. Add 12,000 calories for 5 days. I immediately started (trying) to remember what I had eaten that added up to 33,000 calories and had caused that much weight gain in only 5 days.

    Let’s see – I like eggs, but I would have had to eaten 390 of them for that weight gain, and I could not remember doing that. I also like chicken breasts (with skin), but I would have had to eaten 132 of those and I did not see even one chicken bone in my garbage, so I must not have eaten that much chicken. Beer has no calories (or so I’ve been told, I think), so it could not have been the beer.

    I proceeded to fast on Sunday, curious about what I had eaten that had caused me to wipe out 6 weeks of hard earned weight loss in only 5 days.

    I stuck to my fast, and Sunday evening thought I would weigh myself to see how I was doing. I was down 2 pounds – a good start. I went to bed and was delighted to find upon waking that I had lost another 2 pounds overnight. Sort of magic. I ate a nice breakfast of bacon, eggs and bagel with lots of great coffee and went about my day. I just stepped on the scales again, and am delighted to report I am now the same weight I was last Wednesday. Now I’m trying to figure out how I managed to cut 21,000 calories out of my diet in just 2 days, when I ‘normally’ eat only 2400 calories per day. Seems like that would be hard to do, even if I ate nothing.

    So for all of you that become concerned when you gain a little weight on 5:2, or don’t lose as fast as you feel you should, don’t sweat the small stuff. I gained 6 pounds on 5:2 in just 5 days.

    But lost them all in 2.

    Remember, it takes as much work to gain weight quickly as to lose it quickly. And most of us don’t put in that much work. So it’s usually just ‘easy on, easy off’ (otherwise known as water weight).

    Good Luck!

    Great post simcoeluv – and so true. I am so near to where I want to be and the last few pounds are determined to hang on it seems. I can lose, gain and lose again 4 or 5 lbs without doing anything! And certainly not by consuming – or cutting out – 14000 or 15000 calories in a day.

    An exact science it certainly ain’t!!

    Hang on in there


    thanks for sharing Simcoeluv!

    a similar thing happened to me some weeks ago, overnight I put on 2 lbs,( I know it isn’t that much lol)but couldn’t think for the life of me how that could have happened in one day and put it down to water retention, so the next day I drank gallons of water and hey presto the 2 lbs had gone by the evening!!

    ah well, its all good at the end of the day 🙂 keep going!!

    “Beer has no calories (or so I’ve been told, I think), so it could not have been the beer.”

    You are being facetious aren’t you Simcoeluv?

    Beer has a lot of calories…that is of course why Homer Simpson has a beer belly. 🙂



    By the way, many thanks for all the quality links and informed info you have put up here. They have helped me immensely. I’m broth fasting now, with supervision.


    It’s the water. Water can fluctuate your weight by 4-5 pounds easily. Not just water that you drink, but also the water in the food.


    It is the water, but not just the water in what you eat and drink.

    If you eat/drink a lot of carbs that spike your blood sugar levels (or, in the case of alcohol, go straight to the liver), the body takes the excess blood sugar and stores it as glycogen. For each gram of glycogen stored, the body needs 3 to 4 grams of water. When you stop spiking your blood sugar and start burning glycogen as fuel, the water is released.

    That is why many report they gain weight when they eat carbs, and don’t when they eat fat and protein.

    Thanks for the info, I was feeling very fed up having put on 2lbs in my third week of intermittent fasting.I will stick with it because I am keen to “enjoy ” the other potential health benefits.
    Snowy owl.

    So pleased to see your post today simcoeluv, I was feeling despondent as I am on week 4 and have been doing great, lost 8 pounds but then after a weekend eating normally and a couple of treats I was disheartened to have put back on 3!! I do feel better in myself though and today is a fast day so I am going to just carry on!!!

    I am a newbie, started 3 weeks ago. Pleased with my progress but after a moderate weekend was fed up to find I had put on 2lbs of the 5 lost so far. Your post makes me feel much better about this and has given me the push I need to carry on. Thank you.


    Many dieters do not fully understand why they can gain and lose so much weight from day to day. While food in transit weight and water weight resulting from ‘time of the month’, salt intake and needs of the body (inflammation) can account for some of the water weight variation, most water weight variation comes from carb ingestion/depletion.

    Water weight is a mystery for many, and the body does seem to act arbitrarily sometimes. The initial water weight loss many experience when starting many diets comes from a reduction in glycogen in the liver. As food intake is reduced on diet days, liver glycogen is converted to energy to support the needs of the body. The thing is, for every gram of glycogen, there are about 3 to 4 grams of water needed to store it and as the glycogen is used the water is released. That is why many that start the diet report they have to make several additional trips to the loo. The body can hold up to 2 or 3 pounds of glycogen (depending on size of person), so that can mean up to 12 pounds of water can be lost quickly by reducing carb intake (as you must on diet days). This explains how people can lose several pounds a week when starting 5:2.

    This rate of loss ultimately slows down as glycogen stores are reduced both in the liver and muscles and the much slower fat loss takes over as the measure of weight loss for the dieter (much to the distress of the otherwise happy dieter).

    On the other side of the coin, high carb meals rapidly increase glycogen stores, which requires additional water to store the glycogen and added water weight. This is one reason why many report quickly gaining lots of weight after being on holiday or after a weekend of partying. It is very hard to gain several pounds of fat in a couple of weeks – you would really have to try to do this (as they do in this video – http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/why-are-thin-people-not-fat/. This is also why many report they have better weight loss and less weight variation by eating low carb meals.

    Hope this helps explain ‘water weight’.

    Hi simcoeluv,

    Thank you for this explanation of the carb water connection!

    I’m one of those people who can’t eat grains or starchy carbs like potatoes, sweet potato, corn, pumpkin, and still lose weight. I’ve tested it out and plateaued. I’m actually grain and gluten intolerant (grains give me inflammation in the joints) so it’s not a great loss for me to be grain free. Then I tested gluten free starchy carb options and plateaued again. (if I’ve spelled it right, plateaued must have more vowels in a row than any word in the English language.) Not having gluten free commercial products is not much of a loss either as they’re usually stuffed with sugars and palm oil.

    At times I do give in and have the traditional baked dinner (because I like them) and like trying (not gorging on) other foods when travelling which usually includes grains (putting up with a few aches). Always, my weight plateaus or goes up what seems like more than the cals involved. When travelling I stick to FD’s, and do 16:8, eating between 12noon and 8pm. I also don’t overdo the grain thing, but I do love trying all sorts of other cultures’ foods, and there’s always breads and grains. I think I like the textures as well as the tastes. Saving grace is I’m not a calorie drinker. Happy with water, weak black tea and sparkling water seems quite festive with meals out.

    I’m about to go travelling again for 6 weeks, and the carb water connection info will fortify my reasonableness in decision making – ‘will I share that serve of……. or eat the whole thing and have another one tomorrow’ sort of thing. Usually I can tick the foods off my ‘done that’ list, but the occasional thing beckons repeatedly.

    Simcoeluv, thank you for all your good advice wherever it is on the forum. I read your advice to newbies at the beginning of my 5:2 journey. So informative and helpful. Your knowledge, experience and ability to put things into words so well has helped me a lot! Love the trouser story:-)

    I’ve been disabled by a chronic health situation for a couple of decades and put on many kgs ( too ill to shop or cook right). When improved somewhat it took several yrs to get 10 kgs(22lbs) off using ever ything I knew about nutrition etc ( forcibly and unfortunately sedentary), with no other way to get the rest of the weight – 22 kgs(48 1/2 lbs) off, but knowing getting it off was about the only way I could improve my health. I was literally praying for a way to get back to normal. 5:2 has been the required miracle. In 11 months I’ve lost 14.5kgs (39lbs) with no exercise, and I’ve travelled, visited, eaten Christmas, and the requisite birthday and other celebratory foods, and thoroughly enjoyed every minute.

    I’ve enjoyed the whole journey and will continue to enjoy losing the last 7.5kgs (16 1/2lbs). Maybe the 1st 3 weeks were a hassle (calorie counting), and I felt what I thought was hunger the first 3, maybe 4 FDs, then my concept of hunger just seemed to change. I started looking forward to FDs(who would have thought!), and I just naturally seemed to need less on nonFDs, so sticking to TDEE was relatively easy. I spend less on food. Special celebrations are enjoyed guilt free, as are the odd occasions I choose to eat something like coffee and cake. The only expense is smaller clothes! The book is cheap, the forum is free. What’s not to like. My medical team are very happy!! I take less medication, my step length has become a little longer, and I can walk a wee bit faster and a little further. My posture has improved. I can go up another step or 2 before I stop to get HR down. My balance is better and going downstairs now easy. I am very happy:-)

    Cheers and thankyou!

    Hi Merry:

    You are welcome.

    I also want to extend my thanks to you for this research simcoeluv! It makes so much sense and matches my experience and a phenomenon that up until now, I also didn’t understand.

    Great to read your story, MerryMe. It sounds as if fasting has been really transformative for you.

    Hi all I’m a newbie to this site but havr been doing 5:2 for past 5weeks seen weight loss for the first time in my life with 5:2.

    But despite a regular weight loss of around 1-2lbs across the 4 weeks going from 68.4kg to 65.6kg now at week 5 I’m back at 66.8kg. This was my weight after my first fast day Monday. Yikes !! I don’t understand why!

    My weekend was not that good food wise but nothing exceptional either and
    I’m also due to start my period could these be factors ?

    Any helpful advice is greatly appreciated

    Thank you

    Hi Priyavk and welcome:

    If you’ve read the Warnings post you know your weight will go up and down ‘for no reason’ and you just have to keep going. The body will retain water, especially if you have eaten processed carbs, and release it when the carb consumption goes down. Food in transit weight also varies – people eat pounds of food each day and if you eat a pound you gain a pound until it is processed and/or eliminated.

    Weight loss is not a constant, downward path. What you have to look for is a trend down, with constant ups and downs along the way. Just continue to do your diet days successfully and try to eat to your TDEE or less on non diet days. You can expect to lose around a pound a week, or a little less, over time.

    Good Luck!

    Thank you for this information Simcoeluv. It definitely helps.
    I will be continuing with 5:2 it’s the first time in my life I have tried something like this and actually see that it is working.

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