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This topic contains 208 replies, has 29 voices, and was last updated by Rob in Recovery 7 months ago.
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18 Oct 16
Try to remember it’s a long term thing. And a health thing. Not a fad diet or a quick fix. I’ve taken to not worrying about week to week, just the long term loss.
K-Lo – I’m off to the Caribbean (Dominican Republic) so hopefully similar to the food you found in Mexico.
I find when it’s hot I crave lighter, fresher foods – fish, salads, fruit and so on. When it’s cold my mind turns to stodge, particularly sweet stodge – spotted dick, treacle tart, anything with custard. Bad, but then oh so good too….
Thanks Johnny. Yes, I know what you mean, focus on the big picture and accept short term variations.
That said, there’s something in the old wives’ tales. Take care of the pennies and the pounds look after themselves. Or maybe take care of the pounds and the stones look after themselves.
31 Oct 16
Week 6/7 and a slight slip backwards :
Weight = 235, this week +2.25lbs, total change to date -7.5lbs
Blood sugar = 5.4, this week -0.5, total change to date -0.3
Waist measurement = 105cm, starting measurement 108cm, total change to date -3cm
Well after a week of progress I took my foot off the gas for a couple of weeks. First week I did one fast day, but ended up eating about 500 calories in the evening (normally I eat nothing) then on the second fast day had a full collapse in the evening and ended up going out to dinner. Second week I was on holiday in an all-inclusive resort so didn’t fast at all. I ate pretty well with lots of fruit and veg, but there was a fair bit of bad stuff in there too.
Putting a little bit of weight on is not great, but I’m not too disappointed as there’s no surprise to it. I know what I did and this is the result. So it’s more learning – as obvious as it sounds and with limited experience, if you do this properly it seems to work, if you don’t it doesn’t. So the answer is obvious – do the programme properly and be consistent with it.
I bought the book again at the weekend (I’d lent my copy to someone) and am re-reading it. I’ve set myself a short term target of being “good” until Christmas – do 2 proper fasts a week and avoid snacks and sugar on NFDs. I think I can do that. Today is Halloween so no fast today, but I’ll try and be good this evening, then fast tomorrow and Friday.
Bottom line is I need to just get in the habit of doing this. I feel like I’ve been faffing about a bit, so I just need to get my head down, do a few solid weeks and entrench the habit.
Good to see you have made the best decision! It would have been unrealistic to have a holiday in the Caribbean and not gain a bit, the trick is not to allow this to be an excuse to slide right back to the bottom of the mountain. Your health will thank you and you will feel so good about yourself when you lose more weight. Great plan to re read the book, we all faff about a bit at times, just keep trying and do what is doable. You will get there eventually if you just stick at it consistently!
1 Nov 16
Thanks Nama. I think you’re right – be consistent until it becomes a habit and a way of life. I’m fasting today and looking forward to it to be honest – I’ve always enjoyed fasting days and haven’t done one for a while ! They feel like little pauses from the food debates in my head….
7 Nov 16
Week 8 and the ship has been steadied !
Weight = 234.75, this week -0.25lbs, total change to date -7.75lbs
Blood sugar = 5.8, this week +0.4, total change to date +0.1
Waist measurement = 106cm, this week +1cm, total change to date -11cm
After a 2 week holiday, both literally and metaphorically from the Fast Diet lifestyle, last week was about getting back in the groove with fasting.
I did the fast days as planned and this week my measurements were fairly steady. There’s no great weight loss, but no great gain either, so that’s good. It’s still early days so I’ll put it down to experience. As I’ve said before, I feel that after a good start there’s been a fair bit of faffing around, so hopefully this is the start of getting in the groove of doing the fast days and eating well on NFDs. Hopefully my body will respond by getting in the groove of a gradual, steady weight loss and increasing feelings of wellness !
Fast days continue to be good – I’m still doing water fasts, looking forward to them and enjoying them. I need to work a bit harder with NFDs though – I’m very aware that I’m still eating too much sugar. During the day things are fine, it’s the evenings on the sofa with Netflix that are troublesome….
10 Nov 16
Well done! I’ve met a few people who stop and never start again.
It’s good news that your weight is steady after a break. But a short holiday from the 5:2 shouldn’t cause too much weight gain unless you really go for it on the extra calories!
As for eating chocolate I went through half a bar of Lindt last night with my wife eating most of the other half. I also had 2 pints of beer and some nuts. But I try not to beat myself up too much as I skipped lunch and swam for an hour too. Today is my fast day and I’m emotionally much better than yesterday. Sometimes I need a minor blow out, and to be with friends. Life can’t be about fasting all the time, which is why the 5:2 suits me I think. I now see it as part of my routine and am very strict on FDs, but not so much on the NFDs as I’m increasingly finding I’ve cut down on snacking and eating on those days anyway, and I try to have a mug of tea or coffee first if I feel hungry on NFDs.
Binge watching Netflix is a problem though!
Thanks Johnny. I think you’re right, it’s about making 5:2 a way of life and a routine, as well as realising this is a long term thing rather than a quick fix.
I fasted well on Monday and today is my second day of the week. Like you I’m strict and only have water/coffee on fast days (wish I could give up coffee though…). For the most part I like them, as I’ve said before they are simple and provide a break from thinking about food.
My long term target is to get into the healthy BMI range, but I’m quite relaxed about when I get there. As long as I’m progressing in the right direction, I’ll just go with it and I’ll arrive whenever.
Great work Rob – you will succeed, you have the right attitude. There are always bumps and twists in the road. Just curious re the coffee – why you wish you could give it up? I love my coffee, drink heaps of it and have no intention of giving it up. My husband is very sensitive to the effects of the caffeine so used to limit himself to one cup early in the day. We have found a good quality decaf blend of beans that he loves, so now he has it whenever he pleases. We use one of those little Italian percolators on the stove and the flavour is beautiful. Life has to be enjoyed! I have never been overly keen on alcohol and as I get older, it does not agree with me. I have weaned myself off sugar, so coffee is one of my delights! Cheers!
11 Nov 16
Thanks Nama. I started another thread about coffee, but I have a bit of a love hate relationship with it. Like you, I enjoy the ritual and flavours and sometimes the effect, but recently I’ve found it’s not always been making me feel very good, either mentally or physically. My stomach is becoming very irritated and quite often I’ll have a coffee expecting to feel energised and perked up, but in fact the opposite happens – I feel lethargic and flat.
I need to have a break from it and see what effect it has, but it’s a hard thing to quit. There are nice coffee shops everywhere and there’s always that one last cup before quitting ! I also find quitting exceptionally difficult – I get serious withdrawals from it. I used to smoke and quitting coffee is certainly on a par, maybe harder, than stopping smoking, at least for me.
The other thing I find with caffeine is that it seems to make me seek out sweet food. I have a sweet tooth anyway, but I’m sure caffeine does something to my blood sugar levels that makes me seek out sweet foods more than when I don’t drink it (I have quit for a few months once before). If you go in any nice coffee shop and look at the kind of food they sell, a significant proportion is sugar. My pet theory is that it’s not a coincidence !
Yes Rob, you are probably right about the coffee vendors also selling a lot of cake! What a delightful combination that is…. But I am fussy now, the cake has to be as good as home made – not those bought ones that taste just of sugar and bicarb soda! Since I have tamed my sweet tooth, I am much more discerning. This took a year of fasting though!
I am amazed that you find coffee as hard to quit as cigarettes. My son is 37 and very addicted to cigarettes, he has tried every conceivable way to quit, but cant. He has reduced them from 60/day to 20/day, so I still hope!
Its a shame that the coffee irritates your stomach, but I guess you need to listen to your body and try to do without it for a while to see what happens. Maybe think of something else you really like to drink, so you can still have that ‘ritual’. We sometimes have a chai latte, made the proper way on the stovetop, with the tea and spices brewing in milk, very nice, especially on a cold day. Also interesting about the effect of the caffeine on your energy level, maybe sometimes your adrenals need a break! I used to work with very premature babies, sometimes they are given caffeine as a stimulant drug to keep them breathing!
Nama, the subject of addiction can be contentious, but my view is that some people have more of a pre-disposition to addiction than others. Some will carry on smoking despite signigificant health impacts, while others can happily smoke a cigarette once in a while and never become an addict.
Sadly I’m one of the addictive types and if it’s possible to become dependent I will ! I’ve had issues with a number of things over the years including alcohol, which I no longer drink.
I’d be interested in your approach and experiences with sugar. I certainly have a very sweet tooth and eat alot of sweet things. Some view sugar as an addictive drug – I don’t know what I think of that, but I’m interested in what you’ve done to reduce your use of it.
We are on the same page re addictive behaviour. My mother came from a large family of ‘Irish Alcoholics’. Fortunately she was able to beat it via AA when I was very young and I don’t remember her drinking. But there is a strong thread running through my family of individuals with various conditions that I believe are genetically linked – lots of manic depression, anxiety etc. My son that struggles with smoking has Tourette Syndrome, a poorly understood condition but usually in families with a history like mine.
I have definitely been addicted to sugar, I now believe it is very addictive. I started 5:2 to get my weight under control as the arthritis in my knees was starting to seriously impact my life. I have tried many weight loss approaches over 40 years and lost b/w 10 and 15kgs approx 4 times. However, the weight always crept back on gradually, with interest. Eventually, in my 50’s I gave up and decided I could never achieve that elusive weight and would have to accept being chunky!
However after being told by a surgeon that I needed knee replacements, I got enough of a shock to realize that I had to do something about my weight. Nurses (and ex nurses) don’t usually rush into such big surgery! 5:2 happened along at just the right time for me and has truly changed my life. I have lost 23kgs and kept it off, painlessly, for 2 years. Taking that pressure off my knees has allowed the inflammation to settle down and I am totally pain free. I swim for exercise because I love the water and hate getting hot and sweaty! I have so much more energy, need far less sleep and take no medications at all (I am 63). Previously I was needing anti-inflammatory drugs just to function, plus drugs to protect my gut against the effects of the pain killers. I have gone down four clothing sizes and feel wonderful.
5:2 worked for me because I believed I could easily fast for just 2 days. Whatever tempted me on a fast day, I told myself I could have it ‘tomorrow’. Of course when tomorrow came, I no longer really wanted it. A lot of it is mind games: wanting what we cant have! I continued to have ‘treats’ on non fast days,(ie sugar based, I was such a sweet tooth), but as the weight came off, I found I could not ‘cheat’ as much and continue to lose. By now (after about 6 months) I was feeling so positive and motivated as the weight peeled off, the desire for ‘treats’ lessened. Looking back, I am certain it was just the desire reduced as I ate less and less sugar. Things I previously loved, really sweet things, just tasted sickly sweet. My tastebuds grew accustomed to less sweetness and preferred it. I still really enjoy a nice piece of cake or similar, but I restrict these things to weekends and recognise them as ‘treats’ and not everyday food. If I have a particularly indulgent weekend, birthdays etc, eating more junk than regularly, I find the sugar beast rears its head again and I really crave carbs/sugar for a few days. A good, strict fast resets this.
So in answer to your question, I did not consciously set out to reduce sugar but found out on my 5:2 weight loss journey that I was finally able to reduce it without suffering the previous ‘deprivation’ misery and resentment. The combination of discovering that fasting was the way I could finally control my weight, plus experiencing much better losses when avoiding sweet things, motivated me to greatly reduce my intake willingly. So the addiction was not being fed! As I did this, my taste for really healthy food increased. Previously I always ate ‘good’ food, just too much of it as well as too many sweet snacks. I no longer crave these snacks and really enjoy eating really good quality, made at home from scratch, healthy meals. I rarely eat breakfast (weekends only) and don’t miss it now, hence the need for coffee first thing! I used to wake hungry every day and could not imagine not eating breakfast. Before fasting, I never would have believed I could happily give it up! But I know to maintain my healthy weight, at my age, three meals a day is just too much food for me. That was the biggest shock maintaining – I really don’t need much food at all! I weigh myself daily to be accountable to myself and note that my weight always increases with carbs – I read somewhere that this is water weight that accumulates with carbs, which must be true as it always drops off just as quickly following a fast. I suspect that the sugar molecule attracts water due to osmosis. Obviously avoiding sugar/carbs also reduces Insulin release, so the whole cycle of blood sugar ups and downs never starts.
I know I will always fast. I enjoy fast days, I finally feel totally confident that I am in control of my weight, I can still enjoy life and splash out on other days, just not every day! Sometimes I ‘fail’ a fast, something unexpected pops up, but I just reschedule it another day – simple! Constant deprivation just does not work, there is only so much willpower one can have!
Keep going with fasting, I am sure you will discover many things about yourself that you never suspected. Sorry for the long post!
Hi Nama & Rob,
Just enjoyed reading this thread. I’m in my 60s, and I’m trying 5:2 for the 2nd time. The first time I was too impatient and didn’t really understand the diet.
I’ve been dieting all my adult life but until my 40s I had my weight under some
control. But for the last 20+ years I’ve lost stones and put on stones. Like you, nama, I had given up and tried to accept being the size I am. I’m an ex-nurse, and have a chronic back pain, andlike you I’m having a lot of pain in my knees and have been told that I’ll probably end up having knee replacements. I take NSAIs every day just to stay mobile.
I’m on my 3rd week of 5:2 and I’m 9lb lighter, this is probably mainly water but I’m getting this really good feeling that I’ve found a diet I can stick to. Today, I realised that I don’t need breakfast on my non-fast days. I’ve been drinking green tea and water until I start eating between 1-2pm. I’m weighing every day because I want to see what my weight is doing and since I’ve not had breakfast, the weight loss I get on fast days remains through my non-fast days.
I know it’s early days and I’ve got a very long journey (6 stone) ahead of me but I feel in control of my diet for the first time ever.
Thank you for that post Nama. It was a really inspiring read. I think even the Fast Diet book says it takes up to 6 months for your dietary choices to shift towards healthier foods. I still have the odd binge on chocolate/biscuits on NFDs but have noticed in the 8 weeks on the 5:2 this is gradually getting less.
I think what you’ve captured in your post is the personal psychology that makes the 5:2 successful. I did one of my NFDs yesterday and managed to make a nice Thai Red curry with veg and a small bit of rice fit into 600 kcals. It tasted great, and all the better for knowing that it was part of another successful FD. My wife said how hard it must be to stick to the fasting, and I responded that it was easy due to knowing that I’m very noticeably losing weight, and that I can eat more or less what I like tomorrow without feeling that I’m undoing good work. But today I’m fasting again until I have a nice meal tonight, which will be over 600 kcal, but the intake over 2 days will generate a deficit of around -3500 kcal, and add up to -5500kcal for the week. And I know that it will just nudge a bit more fat off this week. For me it’s a similar feeling to going for a longish run; the thought of it can be dissuasive, but after you’ve completed it you’re so proud of yourself, you just know you can do another and another.
For me It’s utterly brilliant. I thought that I’d spend the remaining years of my life fluctuating between being overweight and OKish fat/fit overweight; gaining when I don’t exercise enough and losing weight when I run a lot. But now I think I see a slim person gradually emerging, I almost feel the fat going, and I now think even a ‘six pack’ possible by next summer, which makes me laugh. I’ve a bad knee at the moment, but hopefully sorted by Feb (operation) so I can get back running and circuit training outside. My aim with 5:2, plus some swimming and rowing machine work, is to run some PBs next year. The 5:2 is just truly transformative for me. I’m sticking to it, it’s easy and rewarding. I’m a big believer in cost/benefit analysis and I think the 5:2 has so many benefits, that they far outweigh the costs of having to fast.
Thanks Nama and don’t apologise, I loved reading what you wrote. It sounds like you’ve had a wonderful journey and I can only hope mine is as insightful and fruitful. I’ve read other people who also talk about their appetites changing as they adopt this way of eating and I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens with me and how I respond to it.
That’s what I meant in my earlier post, I feel I’m on a journey and the destination is a bit of a mystery. My job is to control the things I can and put in the legwork (2 fasts a week, be sensible for the most part on other days), but then let go of the outcomes and enjoy the journey : I can only control what I put in my body, not what it then does in response. I’m excited to see what happens and am trying to view weight loss more as a pleasant side-effect, not the primary goal. I see lots of posts on here by people setting themselves weight loss goals and to be honest I don’t understand it. I know what they’re trying to achieve, but the outcome isn’t that manageable, so it seems to be setting yourself up for failure, punitive restrictions, calorie counting and the rest of it. I don’t want to live like that. I’m very bad with “rules” !
Fascinating also to hear about your family and your mother in particular. I have the same problem as her and used the same solution – I haven’t drunk now for 23 years, and have met a large number of lovely Irish men and women along the way ! From what you’ve said about your age, she must have got sober early in the days of AA in the UK and Ireland and must have been quite a remarkable lady. I think you’re right, it runs both in families and races. My family history is Scottish and there’s certainly something about the Celtish blood !
You’ve inspired me to keep plodding along and doing the work ! I’ve fasted well this week, now just a weekend of eating “normally” before the next set of measurements on Monday…..
Hi Rob, Helen and Johnny,
I am so pleased my story was helpful and so pleased that you have all found 5:2 and have given it a chance. These threads helped me a lot (still do!) and we ‘maintainers’ are always thrilled when others discover our ‘secret’
Yes Rob, my mum was one of the longest standing members of AA here in Melbourne (Australia) when she died at 68. Her eldest sister, the only one of 6 children who did not drink and considered the ‘wowser’ of the family, often said that alcohol killed her family. (Mum was the only one of the others who managed to stop drinking, maybe having 4 children and a wonderful husband motivated her!).
Helen I hope when you lose your weight that your knees will respond as well as mine did. My husband used to joke (when I lost 20kg) that I was no longer carrying around a bag of cement all the time! He used to say he would put a bag of cement on the kitchen bench to remind me what I had achieved! It makes sense though, all that weight pushing down. The numbers of joint replacement surgery are growing so rapidly as our generation becomes more and more obese. So you have a great reason to stick to 5:2!
Johnny I had some Toblerone last week and (shock,horror) did not even enjoy it! Chocolate no longer calls me as I walk past it in the supermarket, I have no cravings at all any more. Bread is the thing I need to avoid starting on! And cake of course! But I still have it in moderation and really enjoy it.
I wont ramble on as long today! Its early Saturday here and we are off to visit a friend’s strawberry farm with our son and DIL! Strawberries and blueberries with a small serve of natural yogurt are my favourite ‘treat’ these days – it still surprises me what has happened with my tastes! Good luck to you all xx
Hi Rob, and Nama and Johnny,
Rob, good to hear you are back from holidays and ggetting back into 5:2 so well. Well done! No great weight gain on a holiday is an achievement and a step in the right direction. We learn so much about ourselves on 5:2.
Nama – I have one of those families too, and my Dad was also an early member of AA, and 30 year veteran still attending up to his death in his early 70’s. It made such a difference to our lives, and I am forever grateful to AA and my father for the massive change getting sober made for the better.
12 Nov 16
I know I’m a bit late to the party but, I want to touch base with you for a couple different reasons.
In many of your posts, you talk about being perfect….. I think many of us want the illusion of perfection but we don’t realize that we all our perfect, in an odd twisted fashion. We are perfect because perfection has a different meaning and sign for each one of us……
I’m a type A personality with a hyper perfectionism gene, not only did I believe I need to be perfect but I also expected all those to be perfect around me. Then after a horrendous day, I came to the realization, that I was perfect just the way I am but I had a few things I did not necessarily like about my self. In translation, in the strive to be the all encompassing perfect person, I forgot to love myself for who I was and who I am.
Once I found the love for myself things became so much easier. I still have days where I just want to become part of the pavement and my days are rough, then there are days where I feel beautiful, sexy and super model and I still have rough days, but it’s those days in between that I just love being who I am that are the most successful.
The point is as long as you are trying, each day will bring new experiences and the weight will disappear. Just remember to love yourself, enjoy the moment and everything you desire will come to you.
14 Nov 16
Week 9 and slow progress…..
Weight = 234.25, this week -0.5lbs, total change to date -8.25lbs
Blood sugar = 5.2, this week -0.6, total change to date -0.5
Waist measurement = 112cm, this week 0cm, total change to date -11cm
Well I’m glad I said all that stuff last week about not being too hung up on weight loss and numbers as this week they have hardly changed ! A slight reduction and movement in the right direction, so I suppose that’s good. I fasted well last week, 2 water fasts on Monday and Thursday and feel better for them. I didn’t think I ate too badly on the NFDs, but there was still a fair bit of sugar. That said, I met my girlfriend on Saturday for coffee and cake but could only eat half the cake, I just didn’t feel like any more. I’ve been finding that a bit recently, I’m generally fuller quicker and don’t seem to be able to eat as much as I used to.
My measurements have all had to be reset as I found out at the weekend I wasn’t reading my tape measure right. I’m not quite as stupid as I sound, it’s a bit of a fancy tape in a plastic case – you push a button and it tightens on the bit of you you’re trying to measure. Anyway, the tape starts at 0cm on one side (the side I’ve been using) then at 6cm on the other side. This is the side I should have been using – the difference takes account of the case, so all my measurements have increased by 6cm. Ha.
My other thought this week is on blood sugar. At the start of this I bought a glucose meter and measure my blood sugar along with everything else when I get up on a Monday morning. Maybe it’s just that I only measure it once a week, but the results seem a bit random – anywhere between 5.2 and 5.9 with no obvious pattern or correlation to anything else ! I have the meter so I may as well keep measuring it, it will be interesting to see if a trend emerges over time.
Right, better get on with my week and my first fast day….
Well done on hanging in for another week, 2 good fasts is more than many people can manage and you are obviously concentrating on big picture stuff. Excellent news that you did not feel the desire/need to finish the cake!
Re your blood sugar measurements – I must admit I wondered why you are doing that. The glucometer will just reflect what is happening at the exact time you measure it. Lots of things make our blood sugar fluctuate, its not ever completely stable. Try taking serial measurements after eating. You will see it rise steadily until it peaks when the body starts releasing Insulin in response. You can even see this if you just eat something like lettuce. I realize you are doing it after an overnight ‘fast’, but it will still vary within a small range. When nursing and doing night shifts, we would sometimes measure ours at about 4am. If we had been busy all night and not eaten, sometimes it would be as low as 2 or 3! Our bodies are amazing machines, always monitoring and correcting something in our biochemistry.
Monday night here, so my fast day finished. Almost compensated for the weekend, however all those strawberries we picked on Saturday had to be eaten whilst still so fresh! Fortunately these days I prefer them without cream or added sugar!
Have a great week.
Thanks Nama, good to hear from you. My ex-father in law had diabetes and I suppose I’m a bit concerned about getting it. I was tested by the doctor a while ago and he said I’m fine, but that there were some risk factors (weight etc.) that meant I shouldn’t be complacent.
I figured if I tested my blood sugar at the same time each week (Monday morning when I get up) that would be a “constant” point and so I’d get a good idea of what’s going on. My understanding is that in the UK 5.7 is seen as the borderline for being pre-diabetic, so I’m keen to get (and stay) well under that.
I may be misinformed and/or measuring something that is pointless. The overall trend over the last couple of months seems to be downward though, so although I may be deluded it’s making me feel better !
Of course you are not deluded! Reading back, I sounded a bit of a smarty pants! It makes perfect sense to measure your blood glucose at the same time, under the same conditions, every week. And if your doc has pointed out your risk of Type 2 Diabetes, of course you are sensible to be concerned.
I must admit that was also something I worried about a bit when I was overweight, but luckily my only complication from my weight was the impact on my knees. I think we will all gain lots of positive health changes from fasting and weight loss, some of them we may not even know about!
15 Nov 16
Hi Nama, I didn’t read what you’d read as smarty-pants, if you were a nurse you know far more than I do. It’s interesting to see the effects of fasting.
I had a good day yesterday and today my scales had dropped below 230 for the first time in a long time. I know it’s a temporary post-fast dip and most of it’ll come back over the next couple of days, but it’s encouraging nonetheless.
Wow Rob, that’s a four lb drop isn’t it? You might find it motivates you to eat really ‘sensibly’ on your non fast days and maintain at least half of that loss for the week. Obviously we weigh a lot less without food ‘in transit’ but I have never managed more than a 2lb drop with a strict fast. What you will find is that as you continue, when you see a new, lower number on the scales once, gradually it becomes the norm and stays!
I had a catch up with an old friend today that had not seen me in person for a long time and was very impressed that I had managed to stay slim for a couple of years. Like many people that you talk to about fasting, her immediate response was “I could never do that, I would feel faint”, etc etc, And when I told her that I could swim forty laps of the pool on a fast day, running on coffee and water only, I could tell she really did not believe me!! I guess it is just like giving your first born a dummy for the first time, you don’t really know the benefits until you try it for yourself….
21 Nov 16
Week 10 and it was a good week…..
Weight = 230.25, this week -4.0lbs, total change to date -12.25lbs
Blood sugar = 6.2, this week +1.0, total change to date +0.5
Waist measurement = 111cm, this week -1cm, total change to date -12cm
A pleasing week this week on the weight front. I water fasted for two days and ate reasonably well on NFDs, although there was a fair bit of sugar and junk. I had to drop my mother at the airport on Thursday and am ashamed to say that lunch was KFC, dinner McDonald’s. The rest of the week was much better, but it’s encouraging that you can have off-days and still make progress. I’m also enjoying the flexibility – Thursday is normally a fast day, but last week I couldn’t do that, so simply swapped to Friday instead.
I’m carrying on measuring my blood sugar as I bought the monitor, so I may as well. It has a cartridge with a fixed number of tests, and I think when they run out I won’t bother carrying on. I’m not sure what it’s telling me and (as I’ve posted before) the results seem quite random. This week, despite eating better and dropping some weight, the sugar level seems to have gone up.
I’ve also finally got around to quitting caffeine, so am feeling very strange. Yesterday was Day 1 and being a Sunday was OK, I could just chill out. Today is work and my head is beginning to throb, concentration and thought is difficult, and I’m starting to feel tired (it’s 2pm !). I’ll be OK though, just have to sit with it and wait for it to pass. I’m sick of being addicted to caffeine and being unable to function without it, a couple of days of pain is a small price to pay for freedom.
That’s a brilliant week. I’ve been on the camomile tea all afternoon. It seems to do the job and the taste is OK.
I’ve just started my 11th week, and this is my 20th fast. I don’t own any scales so I will report progress tomorrow when I nip into the pharmacy to weigh-in. I must’ve lost a bit if I’m down around 40,000 kcal! I hope I’ve made as much progress as you.
Nama – that exactly the reaction I get from people. We’re all programmed that we will feel faint, etc. of we don’t have breakfast, or if we don’t eat a meal every 4 hours. People think I’m crackers for fasting. I just wish I’d know about it years ago, it’s so easy!
22 Nov 16
Hi Rob! Thanks for your post on my accountability thread. It gave me a lot of food for thought. I’ve just read though this thread of yours and I’d like to say well done on the weight you’ve lost to date. It’s really cool to read about your 5:2 experiences and weight loss/health journey and other people’s too!
23 Nov 16
Thanks Johnny and Pixie. Hope your weigh in goes well Johnny, let us know how you get on. You too Pixie, let us know how your journey unfolds. My experience is that there are ups and downs, and weeks of doing it well and others of not so well. I think the thing is persistence and time – stick with it for an extended period and it will work for you. That’s my plan, so I hope it’s right !
Day 4 of no caffeine today and I feel like things are getting better, although it’s still a bit of a struggle !
I have been away in the country with no internet for a few days and its so nice to log in and see you have had such success Rob! I hope the caffeine is starting to realize YOU are in charge now too! Well done! Re the blood sugar readings – the numbers you see are millimoles per litre of blood (mmol/L), so although your reading may have gone up by one whole point, it is insignificant. Normal values are always in a range because lots of factors influence them.
Yesterday I was chatting to a friend who has recently taken up 5:2 and she has lost 10kgs in about 6 months. She has been a yoyo dieter for years (like lots of us) and is thrilled to have found something that works and is DOABLE. She told me she has completely changed her relationship with food (sounds familiar) and as a bonus, the hip pain she has had for a long time has settled. I think ‘Doable’ is so relevant to why 5:2 works.
Lucky me, I got some freshly picked cherries whilst away and they taste even yummier knowing how healthy they are. Sorry, we have had our winter down here and at last the summer fruits are appearing.
25 Nov 16
Hi Nama, good to hear from you again. Yes, I’ve finally quit the caffeine and it’s been a rough week ! I’ve really struggled to work, with the headaches, tiredness, muscle cramps and all. I really should stay away from anything mood altering – caffeine was my last drug though, so from now on it’s just me and the world, no chemical filter between us….
Good to hear about your friend too. I was in a workshop the other day with a guy I haven’t seen for a long time. He didn’t eat the lunch provided and when asked why said there was a day a week he ate a lot less calories. I asked him about it and turns out he’s on the fast diet too. He has always done 6:1 and hasn’t lost much weight in the 6 months he’s been doing it (about a kilo) but has taken in his belt 2 notches and feels much better.
It made me smile meeting him again and finding this out. We’re like some kind of underground society….
28 Nov 16
What a great thread from you all! Rob in Recovery, thank you for starting this. You are all so inspirational in sharing your stories, hints, tips. All of this will be so helpful to me.
I start tomorrow (Monday)!!
Week 11 and it’s all getting very confusing….
Weight = 233, this week +2.75lbs, total change to date -9.5lbs
Blood sugar = 5.9, this week -0.3, total change to date +0.2
Waist measurement = 110cm, this week -1cm, total change to date -13cm
Well if this is a journey I think it’s the magical mystery tour ! Last week was (I thought) a very good week. Fasted (water only) on Monday and Thursday, ran a couple of times and ate pretty well on the NFDs. Too much sugar (as usual) but not excessively so. Then I weigh myself today and I’ve put on 2.75 pounds ! The only thing I can think is that I’ve maybe weighed myself wrong last week (or the scales are flaky) but I don’t think that’s true. The only difference from last week to this is that I gave up caffeine a week ago and so maybe I was in a dehydrated state (caffeine is a diuretic I think) and this week I’ve just re-hydrated myself ? That said, my waist measurement was down 1cm.
I understand to put on a pound requires an excess of 3,500 calories, so to put on 2.75lbs requires around an extra 10,000 in a week. On a NFD I think I eat around 2,500 calories, so that would mean I’d eaten an extra 4 days-worth of food on top of what I’d normally eat, and I can guarantee I didn’t do that. My weight loss in the previous week was 4lbs so again that would have required a calorie deficit of 14,000 calories, so I doubt that was all “real” loss either.
The honest answer is I have no explanation. I think I’ll just have to put it down to experience and realise that there may be things going on that mean the process isn’t linear. I can do things wrong and lose weight, do them right and gain weight. I also need to not get too hung up on short term, week to week fluctuations and focus on the longer term big picture. I’m pretty much 10lbs down in the same number of weeks, so that’s the 1lb a week average lots of people talk about.
My blood sugar monitor told me today the test cartridge it uses is out of date in 5 days. It’s not cheap to replace so I don’t think I’ll bother – it’s a bit of a random measure that I don’t really understand anyway.
So, onwards with today’s fast day and a new week. Where will my journey take me this time….!?
Thanks let it be. Hope you started today as planned and it’s all going well for you. It’s a great adventure, you learn alot about yourself ! Let us know how you get on.
Makes me think of Paul McCartney! Welcome and keep posting, these threads are invaluable. Good luck with your first fast, remember to drink lots of water and have some salt if you get a headache.
Hi Rob I hope the coffee withdrawal is easing a bit! How pure you must be feeling – no chemicals at all!
Just editing my post as ours crossed – incredible when we are on different sides of the world!
I think your weight variation is probably down to the coffee, at least partly. Water weighs a lot and can make a big difference. Try not to focus on the numbers on the scales, many people lose in ‘steps’ and plateau a lot in between
It may not seem like it, but you’re going well. It’s a journey, I’ve learnt, and sometimes you just have to go with the flow, which, as you’ve discovered, isn’t linear. Fluid levels and food in transit make a difference on a daily basis. But – the big news this week is you’ve git the caffeine out of your system. And that is just about priceless, so well done!!
Onwards and downwards,
Thank you for the welcomes!
Rob, I am starting today, and so far so good! I am doing 800 cals per fasting day/2 consecutive days a week. Dr. Mosley said this is fine for “constant cravers” (from his documentary on finding the right diet), and I am definitely a constant craver!
Nama, thank you for the tips. Yes, let it be comes from one of my favorite Paul McCartney songs. I love that song.
Here’s to success for all of us, no matter how long it takes! Onward and downward!
p.s. Rob I wouldn’t worry too much about that weight gain. When I was in Weight Watchers for many years, I heard over and over that weight will fluctuate and some weeks you will gain weight, even if you did everything right, and that was true for me. It’s the bigger picture that counts. I’m thinking of weighing myself once a month, I hate the scale that much!
Thanks all. Yes, I’m not getting too hung up on the numbers, I feel good and am feeling better and better as time goes on.
The really big thing (huge) for me was quitting coffee/caffeine last week, so the week was a success whatever else happened. I did another thread on it, but caffeine and I have had a destructive relationship for many years and it’s been a really tough one to kick. I did it though, and I have no intention of going back. It’s great to be free !
5 Dec 16
Week 12 and has the blip been corrected…?
Weight = 229.75, this week -3.25lbs, total change to date -12.75lbs
Waist measurement = 109cm, this week -1cm, total change to date -14cm
I had a pretty good week last week. I have stayed off caffeine (2 weeks now !) and fasted well, water fasts on Monday and Thursday. I weighed myself this morning and last week’s surprise weight gain seems to have been corrected, and I’m a touch lower than my previous lowest weight to date. I’m not sure how productive it is to set a date for a weight loss target – although I can make sure I follow the plan, the outcomes seem a little unpredictable ! Having said that, it would be nice to get under 16 stone (5.75 pounds away) by Christmas or maybe the end of the year. We’ll see.
My Achilles heel is sugar. I have a really sweet tooth and last week (and the weekend in particular) I ate far too much of it. A big box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts on Saturday (not all to myself….), toast with jam, ice cream, cake etc. I’m certainly getting more aware of the amount I eat and have started to notice that when I eat something sweet, rather than feeling satisfied and full, my appetite seems to get switched on and I want to eat more and more. I’ve been reading a fair bit about sugar (David Gillespie, That Sugar Film, a new book by Peter Fitzsimons) and am toying with the idea of giving it up as a new year’s resolution. I’m not sure how long I’d do it for – could I last a whole year ?
As a taster of what could be in store I’ve decided to eat no sugar this week. I’m interested to see how I feel and what it does to my weight. My guess is I’ll eat a lot less overall – all of the snack foods I gravitate towards tend to be sweet. My definition of “no sugar” is actually low sugar. If it doesn’t come in a packet (fruit, veg, salad etc.) I’m not worried about sugar content, but if it does (and therefore has a nutrition label) I’m only going to eat foods that have less than 5g of sugar per 100g (i.e. less than 5% sugar). I don’t have the time or talent to cook all my food from scratch, so this seems a reasonable compromise.
Anyway, on with the week. Today’s a fast day and I’m looking forward to it…..
12 Dec 16
Week 13 and a good solid week
Weight = 228.5, this week -1.25lbs, total change to date -14lbs
Waist measurement = 108cm, this week -1cm, total change to date -15cm
Last week was a good one – water fasted on Monday and Thursday as is becoming my habit. A reasonable weight loss and I’m heading relentlessly towards 16 stone (224lbs).
I’ve also just realised I’ve got the first full stone off ! My loss rate is around the pound a week average, which seems common to lots of people on these forums. I didn’t eat any sugar at all last week, so I think I was secretly hoping for a slightly more dramatic loss, but never mind. Maybe it takes a little more than a week ? I have a really sweet tooth and quitting sugar for even a week was quite hard – there was no dramatic withdrawal, but I think I’m conditioned to the habit of it. Life last week just seemed a little grey and lacking in sparkle without a sweet treat here and there.
I’m still off the caffeine and not even eating chocolate as it contains the evil substance ! That automatically cuts down (or at least changes) my snacking habits as I’m not doing the “sitting in front of the TV with a couple of chocolate bars every night” routine.
I have my work Christmas meal tonight so today isn’t a fast. I’ll switch my days this week to Tuesday and Friday rather than Monday and Thursday but that’s no big deal.
Well done in shedding a whole stone! Thats no mean feat. I am impressed that you can first give up coffee, then a week without sugar straight after that! You are really on a roll at the moment.
I would expect that if you keep off the sugar, the losses will soon be more than a pound a week. But you should also get a much more important benefit: your sweet tooth will gradually diminish and no longer have the power over you that it presently has.
My iPad that I usually type on decided to die this week, so I am typing on phone and finding that tedious, so wont chat long! Husband bought me a new tablet today but I have to make an effort and set it up!
Keep up the great work, you seem to be really in the groove at present! Cheers.
Thanks Nama. I’m really happy to be off the coffee, I really don’t miss it at all. The sugar is another matter ! I’m going for my work Xmas meal soon and I’ve ordered a big sugary dessert and I must say I’m looking forward to it.
I am thinking of giving up sugar for an extended period in the new year – I’ve read alot about sugar and I think it would be an interesting experiment, just to see what the effect of it on my health and wellbeing is. I’m thinking it would probably need to be a few months at least.
Do you have any experience or tips on quitting sugar ?
Sorry my only suggestion is pretty basic , just dont allow it in the house.. I have never been brave (or sensible?) enough to quit sugar completely, because I still prefer to have the occasional sweet treat – I think that is why fasting works so well for me. I dont get the ‘deprived’ mentality and end up splurging in self pity or resentment!
But I am so much more selective these days, only a quality serve of dessert or cake a few times a week. I just dont get the sugar cravings that I used to, plus most really sweet things (eg chocolate) taste sickly sweet to me. These days I am more likely to become unravelled by a nice piece of crusty bread with peanut butter!
I dont deny myself anything, I just try to control the amount I eat of certain foods. We are all different and obviously different methods work for different people. However for me its all mind games! Obviously I dont have the healthiest relationship with food, but I am working on it. Fasting seems to help my ‘reset’ button.
People on other threads here have done no sugar challenges and lots of them have apparently succeeded, just not for me. But as an experiment,for you, its a great idea.
One small tip, dont substitute sugar substitutes. There is research that shows these fool the body and we still produce insulin in response, thus negating their effect. When I was in my weight loss phase I found this out inadvertently. I was having low calorie jelly and my losses stalled. This was well before I read about their insidious effects!
13 Dec 16
With regards to sugar just go cold turkey. It will take a month to detox and stop the cravings. The longer you go without it the less you seek it. My wife will make a banana cake every so often with bananas that have gone soft and brown. She puts 1/4 of the sugar into the cake mix compared to what the recipe calls for!! Its still too sickly sweet. Even my wife is getting used to the lesser amount of sugar and she used to be a sugar-holic.
Have to agree with Nama about sugar substitutes. There is evidence to suggest that some people secrete insulin even if its not glucose but just the sensation of sweet entering the body.
Hi, Rob — enjoying your thread and wanted to add on to the sugar discussion.
I’m a sugar addict, so I’m talking from the far end of the spectrum, but for me there IS no “just a little bit” or moderation. Same as an alcoholic with drink. I quit sugar cold turkey last March. First three days were white-knuckle but after it cleared my system I was finally in control and able to make my own choices.
Not only is this do-able, it’s easy — as long as I abstain. Desire for it passes, as does craving. I don’t miss it at all and I love the food I eat now. (I should add that I also eat no grains and starches which convert so easily into sugar in the body.)
I had no off-switch when I was using sugar. Today, I am a new person. Also, I am no longer diabetic. My blood sugar is normal. That was my original mission and I don’t intend to lose sight of it. Losing several stones is just a nice bonus.
I will also agree with Nama and bigbooty about the artificial sweeteners for two reasons: first, they seem to set up an adverse reaction even worse than the sugar they are trying to replace; and second, the taste of sweet, whether natural or artificial can be a trigger. My palate these days doesn’t include sweet — a miracle considering what I was downing on a daily basis less than a year ago.
Continued good luck and progress to you. This programme lends itself well to a thoughtful approach.
Ask yourself this. How often do you see thin people drinking diet coke (or any other branded diet drink)? Answer, very rarely!! There’s a reason for that. Whether you satiate the need for sweetness naturally or artificially, the end result is the same. Grit your teeth, cold turkey time. You can do it.
Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. I’ve decided I’m going to go sugar free for the first 6 months of 2017. That should be long enough to make it a decent experiment and see how I feel as a result. It’s a bit daunting, but also exciting. A big new road in the adventure !
I’ve noticed recently that even if I’ve just eaten a meal and feel full, if I then eat sugar I want to eat more and more sweet things – it’s like my appetite is switched on.
I also went out last night for my work Xmas meal and had a sugary desert (sticky toffee pudding) for the first time in over a week. As I walked home my head was spinning and I felt really weird, then this morning when I woke up it was like I had a hangover. I don’t drink alcohol, so it wasn’t that either !
I think it’s time for it to go. I’ve read too much and not taken enough action, so I need to do a little experiment on myself and see if what all these authors have been saying is true…..
Way to go Rob.
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