Embracing the 5:2 lifestyle

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Embracing the 5:2 lifestyle

This topic contains 21 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  Franz 10 years, 8 months ago.

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  • I’ve been on 5:2 for 2 months now, not only have I stopped drinking as much (by a lot) but feel great too!
    My total loss so far is 12lbs, although inch wise not much has changed (oddly) my clothes fit better.
    There are days I feel a bit lower…….mainly excessive days as its finding the energy but once I’m doing it I can’t tell I’ve had less that day.
    My only thing is that I can’t ‘feast’ when I did there was no loss just maintained so in order to loose the weight my feast days are circa 1200 cals……..but this I don’t mind.

    Love the new me and my mind set!! Great lifestyle and highly recommend

    Ps, has anyone else found the lack of inch loss v clothes fitting?….maybe it’s a small all over loss?



    I was also baffled how my clothes were fitting better, but the tape measure didn’t move.

    I mentioned this to a very dear and always slim friend who had noticed that the part between the base of my neck but before the bust has slimmed down. I had thought that I looked ‘less matronly’, but couldn’t figure out why!

    Also, the fat all down my back has much reduced, because tight tops of an unforgiving fabric are now loose and the sqidgy bits of fat have gone.

    I wish I’d measured my upper arms, but they are definitely slimmer and so are my calves.

    Hi Ana, similar story here. Started 3 months ago and lost about 14lbs. The first 2 months the pounds were dropping, clothes fit better, but my waist stayed the same – very stubborn fat! For the past month or so the weight loss slowed down but almost 3 inches disappeared from my waist! Guess at first I was losing a little overall just like you. Best of luck!

    Interesting I have a similar story fastinberlin. Today I surprised myself by finding I had lost 3cm from both my waist and hips over the last 3 weeks even though my weight was only down .2 lb. I have lost 21lb in 22 weeks but the last 2 months has been really slow so its nice to know I’ve lost somewhere! Good to know others have similar experiences!

    I’ve lost 7 pounds in 8 weeks. This is slow but the trend is downward which I’m happy about. The biggest loss I had was the first week since then its been small amounts weekly but Im ok with this as I want this to last me a life time.

    I take photos monthly rather than measurements so will be updating those the end of July! I can see and feel the changes.

    Fully embracing 5:2 here 🙂

    Hi all,
    Great idea to take photos Kiwiana hadn’t thought of that. Today marked 6 weeks on the 5:2 plan. I had set out a weekly weigh-in and a measuring session for today.

    Over the 6 weeks I reduced my weight by 8lbs which is great (some weeks 2lb/3lb but a mius 1/2lb when I had 2 nights out of dinner and wine. As I had set myself a 2lb a week target I felt disappointed that I was 4lb behind, I think my expectations were over ambitious but many others on the forum seem to have a similar experience which helps.

    Measuring today has really helped as I have reduced by 12 inches overall. On the day I started I measured all the areas that had become unattractively podgy and the 12 inch is spread: Neck 1/2 inch, upper arms 1 3/4 inch, chest 1 1/2 inch, ribs 1 1/2 inch, a colossal 3 inches from my waist, hips 3/4 inch, upper thighs 1 1/4 inch and above knees 1 3/4 inch.

    No wonder your clothes are feeling looser ladies and your friends are making favourable comments, which really help don’t they.

    I started on the 5:2 lifestyle at the beginning of this year with a BMI of 25.1 so not masses to lose but about a stone to feel comfortable again.

    I am now about 11 lbs down (averaging about 1.5 a month) so it’s slow progress but when I think of how the weight went on (gradually over the past 4 years or so) that’s not surprising.

    I have never once fallen off the diet – I have deliberately taken 2 separate weeks off for holidays – as I tell myself that I only have to get to midnight – if I can’t sleep through hunger, I would have a snack. Actually, I only ever had to do that once, usually I fall asleep and wake to a wonderfully tasting breakfast.

    I have started to encorporate more and more exercise into my fast days and I can’t believe it but I’ve found it to be an appetite surpressant!

    Every so often, to get past a plateau, I sneak in an extra fast day for a couple of weeks (but only if I’ve not got much on) and that works for me.

    Having a fast buddy who I work with helps tremendously as does seeing these posts.

    By the way, my skin is far clearer since I started.

    Good luck everyone, keep at it, the results aren’t instant but it’s a lifestyle change and I personally feel that I could do it forever.

    I agree with Annie that exercise suppresses the appetite, it keeps you busy and your mind off food too! I go to the gym the morning after a fast day before breakfast, and amazingly I stop thinking about food almost instantly!

    Hi all,

    Dont forget the science about how 5:2 works, this will help when you see the weight or the measurements plateau.
    The worst fat we have is the stuff that swallows up our organs and leads to heart attack or disease. Just because waist measurements are the same it does not mean nothing is happening, you will be loosing the dangerous fat around the organs which is more important. Loosing the extra weight is a good by-product of fasting but the biggest benefit is what it does on a cellular level.

    In case it’s of any help to anybody, this is my experience of embracing the 5:2 lifestyle during the last 6 months:

    I discovered Michael Mosley’s article in the Radio Times in early February. It felt like a lifeline: I had been weighed at my GP’s at the end of November; a depressing 97 kilos. I am 6′ tall so fat rather than obese but I knew my number was up if I didn’t want to follow my parents into an old age of heart problems, diabetes, strokes etc. Spurred on by that and some truly ghastly photos of me taken at Christmas, I decided to try 5:2 from 11 February and my husband joined me (he is much skinnier than me but kept moaning that he was getting a ‘belly’). We had already resolved to go on the wagon between my 60th birthday on 4 February and his 64th on 28 March and I think this helped get us off to a good start. Much to my surprise I found fasting a doddle and I didn’t get crabby, headachy, or suffer from ‘low blood-sugar crises’ which, as we all know, most women (think they) suffer from…. Also, I started to feel loads healthier and fitter within a couple of weeks.

    Despite resuming moderate wine and beer-drinking on 28 March – hooray! and always eating 600 calories rather than 500 on fast days (I am taller than most men, that’s my excuse), when I was weighed again on 10 June I had lost 12 kilos (85k) and my husband, who has access to scales at work, is now about 76k. He has been on ‘maintenance’ for several weeks now but the nurse who weighed me advised me to carry on until I get to my ideal weight of around 78 kilos which I will do. Out of respect for the sanity of my entire acquaintanceship, I do not permit myself to own scales so I will need an excuse to go and get weighed again at the GP’s at the end of August to see how I’m progressing. It won’t be for my asthma: in common with many other 5:2-ers, mine cleared up within a couple of weeks of starting the diet!

    Several colleagues have tried 5:2, some say it’s because they have seen me disappearing. Some have found it too hard/doesn’t work and have given up. Others are doing well on it. Based on my experience and others, my advice for making a success of it, for what it’s worth is:

    a) Only weigh yourself once a month or so or you risk becoming obsessed. 5:2 is not a crash diet – that’s why it actually works and you will need patience.
    b) Go by your gradually too-big clothes and not the scales – the people who talk about losing the fat around your organs make sense to me.
    c) Don’t rely on other people noticing. I found nobody commented for weeks and then, suddenly, everyone was ‘on my case’ to know what I’d been up to. If you were not much overweight to start with nobody will notice anyway but think of the health benefits!
    d) Some people seem to struggle with doing the pattern that Mosley/Spencer recommend and try alternatives like 2pm -2pm , 8pm – 8pm etc. From what I’ve seen you are better off sticking to the recommended 36-hour one. The only person I know who has made 2pm -2pm work, fasts completely and only drinks water/black drinks. ‘Not for me, but the 36-hour 5-600 calories works fine and is easy to stick to.
    d) I think the ‘fasting/feasting’ notion has misled some people into stuffing themselves on their non-fasting days. Consequently, they get disappointed with the results and give up. I read these forums now and again and when I read talk of ‘feeding days’, I visualise someone throwing massive steaks to lions! I think the idea is to eat normally and normally means healthily which does get easier in time, as many people have found. I am another recovering crisp addict – almost 6 months now and I don’t even fancy them any more.
    e) If you don’t already, try exercising on your fast days; it is much easier than you might think and you shouldn’t feel weak. I walk uphill to work or cycle it every day and that seems to help, plus the hill is getting easier every week.
    f) Don’t talk about your diet unless someone is really interested. Nobody likes a diet bore, and I am trying hard not to be one, honestly. If somebody asks about 5:2, I give them a copy of the Radio Times pullout & say I’ll be happy to answer any of their questions if I can.
    g) Finally, we need to remember that 5:2 is not a religion and it really is easy to pick it up again if you stop for a while. You will not be damned to hell if you eat more than 5/600 calories by mistake on a fasting day, either. I had a week off in early July, ate well and actually felt thinner afterwards – I’m probably deluded about that but maybe the fact that I was cycling round Snowdonia helped… I just went back on 5:2 afterwards and found it easy, even welcome (!)

    Sorry for this long ramble, it’s probably the only time I will post anything on this site – so, if you have, thanks for reading it.

    The very best of luck to everyone else living the 5:2 lifestyle and thanks to Michael Mosley – 5:2 has transformed my life. Regards, Miriam

    Hi Miriam Thankyou so much for a wonderful post, you have summed everything up so well. I really do hope you post again in due course to let us all know how you are getting on. I think you have a wonderful outlook on life, and are a great inspiration to us all. Jennifer

    I too hope you will post again. I found your post so helpful. Good common sense about not weighing too often. I smiled about 5:2 not being a religion and seeing nonfast days as normal not feast days. Good luck on reaching your target by the end of August and do post again.

    Ditto Jennifer4’s and Beavergong’s comments. Do let us know how you get on.

    Hi Miriam, I really enjoyed reading that and I love the tips. I think that is key isn’t it – eating ‘normally’ on the non-fast days. I know others who are doing it who saw ‘non-fast’ as a code for “fry up breakfast, a hearty lunch, a hearty dinner with pudding and wine”. I mean, that may be an occasional day of treats for someone but do people eat like that ‘normally’?

    I hope you post again too.

    Couldn’t agree more with the comments about non fast days not being feeding frenzy days. For me (female) 2000 cals absolute max or the weight hangs on. 5 weeks in, one stone (14 lbs/just under 6.5 kilos) down. Luckily the fast days seem to educate the stomach not to want to over eat on normal days, but my normal days don’t include any cakes, biscuits or sweet stuff other than fruit. I’ve had 2 choc ices in those 5 weeks and loved them, but have restricted myself to that so far. I’d be really interested if anyone here can truly “eat what they want” on normal days and still lose.

    Hi all

    Thanks for your post Miriam, very sensible.

    Humphrey: I believe that you can eat ANYTHING you want on non-fast days. The problems come up when you interpret “anything” to mean “EVERYTHING”. Those are two completely different things.

    Like Miriam, I am waiting for someone to notice that there is less of me than before. So far only one person has. For me the important thing is the health benefits but I quite like the weight loss too.

    Good luck to all. Remember that patience and persistence are important.


    Hi Quick – yes, they are clearly not the same thing, but I’m not convinced that I personally could eat anything on normal days. Still needs to be healthy and not too hefty on the cals to do it for me. Which is why I’m interested if other people’s metabolisms can cope with anything (not everything). The book talks about normal eating on those days but of course if you’re overweight, your normal is probably too much. I do love that video on this site which emphasises the point that a quarter of your normal cals on fast days clearly points to a normal consumption on 5 days of 2000 cals for a woman on the other 5. That has been more helpful than anything for me.

    Love this diet! So effective! 🙂
    I got a question about the diet though… Do you know if it’s safe to eat 1500-1700 cal on the days I’m not fasting? Just to speed the weight loss…

    Hi folks I tend to stay around the 2000 on non fast days but I loved your quip Quick about anything not meaning everything!

    I’ve been following this for 6 weeks now and am losing weight ok and look good – much less flab around the middle, but I feel dreadful most fast days. I’m drinking loads and eating the 500 cals, but I feel tired and miserable all day. I’m really not sure whether I should continue. I’m just over 5ft 2 inches and now weight 9st 4lbs, at age 62.

    At what point(s) in the day do you eat, Franz? I’ve been experimenting in recent weeks – I’m now on my 9th since starting – and have found fasting infinitely easier if I don’t eat anything until my evening meal. Mind you, at 5’2″ and 9st 4lbs it really doesn’t look like you need to persevere with 2 fasting days a week any longer!

    Thanks Stephb. I eat 1 meal around 6pm, but drinking tea with skimmed milk (200ml per fast day) and water with lime juice during the day. But today I felt really rough and faint so ate about 30 ml plain low fat yoghurt with 3 tablespoons blackberry and apple ) home grown and copked, no sugar)

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