Fasting 5:2 and Exercise -struggle

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  • Started 5:2 after a heart attack to lose weight and improve lipids/glucose etc and get a better long term metabolism.

    Started out great …lost weight and no real problems with hunger etc.Felt great !!!

    As I’ve recovered from heart attack I’ve increased exercise up to 5 cardio sessions a week ( still need to add in resistance sessions!!!!) BUT increasing exercise has driven hunger through the roof !!! Difficult to stick to diet and weight loss halted 🙁

    Any advice gratefully received 🙂

    Hi Simon,

    Well done on starting 5:2 and getting into the exercise habit.

    What time of day do you exercise and do you eat beforehand or afterwards?

    I find I am very hungry about an hour after working out and I am in the habit of drinking a couple of glasses of water followed by a large coffee. By coffee I mean strong ground coffee with approx. 30mls of milk and I find that calms the hunger down nicely.
    I always exercise in the morningon an empty stomach as I never eat breakfast.
    My first meal is either lunch or if it is a fast day I don’t have any food until dinner. It can be difficult at times but I just drink more water and find something to do until the wave of hunger passes.

    If you’ve only recently started exercising it might take a while for your body to get used to the change so you may have to grit your teeth and tough it out.

    It might be worth eating an egg based meal after exercise as egg protein is very helpful in keeping hunger at bay.

    Simon – yes – exercise also makes me extra hungry. But i think you could combine exercise and 5:2 with some refinements. It seems worth a try as you are tackling some serious health issues. Eg, try

    – reducing exercise to eg walking on your 2 fast days – then you can focus on achieving 2 really good fast days per week. This success on fast days is very motivating for the control needed on non fast days.

    – exercise in a fasted state – it is surprisingly good and most people don’t get light headed or feel weak, which is what is typically expected. Many athletes do it.

    – then follow your exercise session with a handful of your favourite raw nuts such as almonds, walnuts etc, or a healthy planned satiating snack. To stave off the ‘after hunger’ feeling.

    Then you can focus on healthy eating on your non fast days.

    Hope this helps!

    Is it better to exercise on a non fasting day or fasting day, weight training 3 times a week and i do get hungry after a session.Any ideas

    I go do my session at the gym on Fast Days. No particular reason, but it works just fine. I make sure to have a pint of ice water in the car to drink afterward — rehydration as well as appetite suppression.

    I tend to do more cardio type exercise on Fast Days. I refer to workout in the fasted state, but will often do more strength building exercise on the morning of a non-fast day before eating.

    For most people I think the body can tolerate almost any workout/fasting pattern. It is more of what works for you than anything else. At first working out while fasted wasn’t easy, but after a few months of it my body because adapted to it and now it is easy. There probably is value in changing the routines every so often.

    Hi @simondlee I also found it a bit tricky to settle into a 5:2 routine and still maintain my exercise regime.

    I’ve been on 5:2 for just over a year and I usually fast on a Monday, and either go for a walk or do a reformer pilates class (usually during lunch, but otherwise after work).

    On my other fasting day, Wed/Thur, I either go to the gym and do a 45min HITT class and a run (Wed), or play mixed netball in the evening (Thurs). If i’m fasting on the Wednesday I usually give myself an extra 100cal or so, as the session starts at 6am, and by the time I get to dinner (which is where I eat my 500cal) i’m ravenous and sometimes not feeling great. If I fast on Thurs, I just eat my meal before netball, then come home and go straight to bed.

    Good luck finding what works for you!

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