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This topic contains 208 replies, has 29 voices, and was last updated by Rob in Recovery 2 months, 4 weeks ago.
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13 Dec 16
Good luck with cutting sugar Rob. I cut down to less than 20g/day, sometimes zero but I do allow some deserts sometimes. When I did that my fat just started melting away. A few months after doing that I had to buy new pants that were two sizes smaller.
So start saving up your money!
dykask – haha. I would happily spend the money to buy new trousers ! I’ve heard from a number of people that when you quit sugar you can dramatically lose weight – I’m hoping that’s true !
@rob: Reducing or eliminating sugar does make a big impact; for me an ongoing education is around hidden sugar/glucose. Check out the impact of alcohol and other carbs/starches; they convert to glucose in our body giving a momentary endorphin rush and then set us up for a glucose crash that we counter with more glucose! YIKES; why bagels and muffins (marketing talk for CAKE) set us up for failure and weight gain. Big contributors to the Global Diabetes epidemic.
Thanks August. Much of what I’ve read focuses on fructose rather than glucose – Lustig, Gillespie and the like seem to talk about fructose being the problem. The liver can’t deal with it, produces fat and causes all sorts of health issues including diabetes. They don’t seem to talk about glucose at all much, other than to say the body can process it fine.
My understanding is that the vast majority of fructose is found in sucrose, i.e. what most people refer to as “sugar”. So as long as you avoid anything with (too much) added sucrose, you can eat pretty much what you want ?
14 Dec 16
My experience with cutting out refined sugar is I can eat pretty much everything else. In fact I typically eat until I’m reasonably full or close to it. However in general I don’t eat nearly as often, I just don’t need too.
The only concern I had was with fruit, but I don’t seem to be able to eat enough fruit to cause me to gain weight. Even though there is a lot of fructose in some fruit I’m not sure that it is actually being well absorbed in to the bloodstream. I eat both whole fruit and dried fruit. When do eat a normal desert I often really notice the sugar rush now, I never used too. However with fruit I don’t really get that kick.
The impacts I noticed when I cut back on sugar:
* My hunger was greatly reduced. This is the main reason I was able to start experimenting with fasting. The difference was huge. I really suffered from hunger a lot on my eat less move more approach that wasn’t working.
* My waistline measured over my belly button started shirking very noticeably. I probably had a very fat liver.
* I started noticing a lot things are really sweet that I didn’t notice before, like salad dressings, etc.
* When I do eat more sugar like say I have desert two days in a row, the hunger comes back.
I’m sure the impacts and benefits vary a lot but it really made a difference for me.
Thanks Dykask. I’m looking forward to the experiment, although a little daunted too – sugar is a big part of my life ! I’m going to let Christmas and New Year happen first, then get on it from January 1st….
If you haven’t already discovered Dr. Jason Fung, check out his 6-part series on “The Aetiology of Obesity” on youtube. It’s an outstanding lecture series which will give you insight on the science of insulin, the effects of sugar, and the benefits of fasting. He’s a brilliant communicator, with nothing to sell. Well worth your time.
Good luck with the next part of your adventure!
Good stuff Lolly, I’ll check that out. Never heard of him, but I’ll see what he has to say.
Rob, Dr. Fung has also published several books, the most well-known being The Obesity Code. This book is a very well written treatment of a fairly dense topic.
19 Dec 16
Week 14 and another bounce in the wrong direction…
Weight = 230.5, this week +2lbs, total change to date -12lbs
Waist measurement = 109cm, this week +1cm, total change to date -14cm
I’ve been keeping a spreadsheet of my progress over the last few months and there’s a bit of a pattern developing – I lose for a couple of weeks, or have a bigger loss one week, then this seems to be followed by a week of going in the wrong direction before losing again. Well that’s what happened this week ! The previous couple of weeks I lost 4.5lbs in total, then this week I’ve gained 2. It’s still a net loss, but a bit confusing and frustrating. I suppose the way to look at is that as a percentage of my total weight it’s under 1%. So maybe it’s food “in transit”, different levels of hydration or measurement error ? I guess as long as the long term trend is in the right direction, that’s the main thing.
There may be a simpler explanation though. Last week was sort of OK in terms of fasting and eating. I fasted well on Monday, but on Thursday got to the evening and some friends reminded me I was going out to dinner with them ! So I fasted for maybe 24 hours rather than my usual 36. The Christmas eating has started a bit too – treats in the office, boxes of chocolates when visiting relatives, meals out etc.
So overall it’s OK. It’s that time of year, I’ll fast on Monday and Thursday this week then not worry too much about the Christmas weekend. Next week will be the same with the New Year weekend. If I can keep my weight steady then I’ll be happy and then go into the new year kicking off my no sugar experiment.
I’m hoping for big things when I cut out sugar – I’ve been watching a couple of interviews with Peter Fitzsimons on Youtube over the last couple of weeks. I don’t know too much about him, but he seems to be a big deal in Australia (ex rugby player). He cut out sugar and alcohol and has lost a remarkable amount of weight – about 50kg ! I don’t drink alcohol anyway, so starting January 1st, I’m hoping I have a similar experience with sugar. Only making half the change, I’d be happy with half the loss. Dropping 25kg would be just fine….
@RinR. To quote Peter Fitzsimon “Its the sugar STUPID”. Get rid of the sugar and simple carbs and youre well on your way to weight loss.
BB – thanks. I get it, even without the capitals.
@RinR. Peter Fitzsimon was on the radio the other day. The reason I used capitals was that he shouted that quote out to the radio announcer. Its a little bit more complicated than just sugar, but get rid of sugar and you are well on your way.
Ha. No problem, he seems quite excitable. Rx
22 Dec 16
Hi Rob, Just a bit of homework for you before you start your next challenge! May not teach you anything, but a light hearted read… (I was reading a newspaper today and saw this article and thought of you!)
Thanks Nama. Hopefully I’m a bit better informed than the lady who wrote the article ! I know I won’t cook everything I eat from scratch, so I know that I’ll be eating some sugar.
It’s more accurate to say I’m planning to go low sugar rather than no sugar. My plan is pretty simple : if it doesn’t come in a packet (fruit, vegetables etc.) then I’m not going to worry about it. If it’s processed/packaged then I’ll only eat things that are under 5g sugar per 100g (i.e. 5%). I generally eat wholemeal bread and prefer brown things over white, so I’ll look to cut down on white things, but not avoid them entirely. From what I’ve read, Fructose is the problem, so that’s what I’m focusing on.
It may not please the carb-fundamentalists, but I think it’s a pretty significant shift in the right direction. Most importantly, I know I can do it. If I try to cut out everything at once, I’m pretty sure I’ll make it a week then fall off the wagon spectacularly.
Sounds like a great plan. It has to be ‘doable’ or as you say, you will fall right off the wagon.
I am being tempted by some home made Christmas Cake at present, but my desire for sugar has really diminished so much. I dont even feel like chocolate these days, just does not appeal and I used to love it and crave it. I also had some ice-cream today, a previous favourite ‘treat’ and an interesting thing happened – I could not finish it because it was so sweet!
24 Dec 16
Have a very Happy Christmas Rob!
You have come so far this year, and I know you will continue to succeed with your goals in 2017.
Thanks Nama & Merry. I’m feeling positive about the new year. I’m really glad I found this way of life. Hope you have a great holiday too !
28 Dec 16
Week 15 and a huge drop….
Weight = 222.5, this week -8lbs, total change to date -20lbs
Waist measurement = 107cm, this week -2cm, total change to date -16cm
I said last week that I’ve been keeping a spreadsheet of my progress and that there’s a strange pattern developing with my weight – that I lose, then gain, then lose again. Well last week I gained 2 pounds and now this week I’ve lost 8. And it’s Christmas ! I’m not aware I’ve been doing anything spectacularly differently. Christmas has messed my routine around a bit, but not enough that I can explain losing over half a stone in a week !
I’m not complaining though. For the first time in a long time I’ve dropped below 16 stone and I’m right on the border of the obese BMI boundary. My plan moving into the new year is to stick with 5:2 for the full year and to cut way back on sugar. I’m planning to not eat it for the most part, but save it for special occasions. I don’t really want to cut it out altogether at this stage, so the challenge will be being honest with myself on what constitutes a special occasion. I must resist scouring the diary for obscure justifications : the international day of the butterfly, cow appreciation day (a real day, apparently…..) !
It’s all good though, I feel like my health is improving, I am happier and things are going in the right direction. I’m hopeful for the future and am really enjoying this new way of life. A very happy new year to you all !
This is a fascinating thread. I have just joined and am looking forward to following.
2 Jan 17
Week 16 and there’s work to be done….
Weight = 228.25, this week +5.75lbs, total change to date -14.25lbs
Waist measurement = 109cm, this week +2cm, total change to date -14cm
After last week’s big loss, a big gain. While the scale of last week’s loss was a surprise and a mystery, sadly I can’t say the same of this week.
I didn’t fast at all last week and have eaten too much. It’s as simple as that.
Anyway, I’m a mixture of annoyed with myself and determined to get back with the programme from now on. Today is my first fast day of the new year and I’m glad it’s a day off work. I’ve picked up a bit of a cold and it’s on top of feeling sludgy and fat. Overall I’m feeling sorry for myself and down.
On with the day though. I may just go to bed and stay there.
Happy New Year and commiserations! Don’t beat yourself up too much, you know what happened so you can now fix it. The weight did not go on overnight and it wont disappear overnight either, long held habits don’t just vanish!
Quitting alcohol and coffee are one thing, but we HAVE to continue eating to survive. So its a contant challenge to make the right choices. We have all been there (actually I have been there tonight – had a great fast day, feeling determined all day after the xmas feasting got a bit out of hand, then went to a movie and came home so starving I ate some unplanned peanut butter!) Often its two steps forward then one step back, but progress will happen.
We just saw the new movie La La Land and really enjoyed it. The lead actors were perfect and the music was brilliant. Woody Allen will be jealous! Its incredible what people feel they have to take into a theatre to survive though, those boxes of flavoured pop corn are getting bigger! I was hungry but the movie made up for it!
Enjoy your day off, stay in bed if you must! Lazy days are underrated….
Thanks Nama. I think you’re right, this is about adopting a new way of life and I suppose you have to accept change can sometimes be difficult, particularly when what you’re looking to change is years of ingrained habits and emotional reactions.
Part of my problem is I’m a perfectionist – I want to change everything in one go and get it right 100% of the time straight away. Any deviation and I tend to react by just throwing it all in and going back to my old behaviours. I know I do it, but being aware of it is one thing, acting differently is quite another !
Another thing I’ve learned is that ups tends to have corresponding downs. I’ve had a lovely Christmas and new year, but feel really depressed and down today. It’s like my brain has been full of happy chemicals for a while and it needs to react by flooding itself with sad ones to compensate ! I just feel like bursting into tears. I know it’ll pass.
3 Jan 17
At least you are aware of your reactions and emotions (ie highs and lows). I think lots of people have the same problem, with varying degrees. At least you accept it and know it will pass. Comfort eating is a problem, but being aware is huge progress. Gradually you will replace the pleasure from food with other fun things.
Re the big weight swings, just a thought, are your scales really accurate? It is normal to go up and down pre and post fasts, but your swings seem really big. Also, I have found if I indulge in carbs, such as at Xmas, the weight seems to pile on quickly then fall off quickly. I assume it is mostly water, the carbs seem to hang on to water. Actual fat wont come and go so quickly.
Hope you are feeling brighter by now, we are onto Tuesday down in Aus by now!!
Hi Nama. I’m not sure about the scales – they’re an OK brand (Salter) but a pound variation for someone my weight is under 0.5% of the total, so unlikely to be 100% accurate. Hopefully if I continue to use the same set they’ll be consistent and show me a trend, even if they are consistently wrong !
That said, I’m not that hung up on weight, I’m more interested in how I feel and how tight or loose clothes feel.
9 Jan 17
Week 17 and a flat week, in all senses….
Weight = 228.5, this week +0.25lbs, total change to date -14lbs
Waist measurement = 109cm, this week no change, total change to date -14cm
Last week was a tough week, it was the first week back at work and it just felt grey. I’ve learned that one of my big “failings” is that I make promises to be perfect at some future date, then use that as an excuse to indulge in the meantime. One “last hurrah” before I become a paragon of virtue. That’s what I was doing before the New Year – I’ll be perfect from January 1st (no sugar, no caffeine, regular exercise, perfect fasting !) – so before I get there I’ll binge like a lunatic. Loads of sugar, lots of caffeine, no exercise, intermittent fasting !
Well, no surprise, but January 1st didn’t bring perfection. With the bank holiday I didn’t fast on Monday so the week started badly. I did fast on Thursday, but then the weekend brought massive indulgence in sugar. I bought a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts (I had the kids) but then ate probably 8 of them myself. I don’t know what they put in them, but they really messed my stomach up ! Like eating sickly sweet foam.
I’m a little surprised that my weight has stayed more or less constant after last week’s indulgences. I need to get a few consistent weeks of 5:2 under my belt, it feels like I’m out of the groove and at risk of throwing it all in. One of the main things that keeps me going is the fact that I write on this forum. I feel like I have a duty (I’m not sure to who) to keep reporting progress, so that keeps me sticking with it.
I always find this a hard time of year and I’m struggling a bit in all areas of my life. I need to remember it’s a journey, a marathon not a sprint and all that. Get my head down and plug away.
I hope to have a “proper” week to report on next week.
Just a few words of encouragement for your 17th week: keep on writing because you’re heading in the right direction. I do the same on my own thread. It’s a way to not forget my process and a reminder that I have committed to something utterly impossible — which I am making completely possible by simple things done every day. It helps me stay accountable.
Perfectionism is the enemy. Celebrate the successes and learn from and change what doesn’t serve you. We’ve all been there with that “last hurrah”, goodness knows. But you’re plugging away, and that’s going to make you a winner of this very non-race.
Happier 2017 to you!
I just started a week ago, thanks for sharing your journey, it’s very encouraging to a newbie like me!
10 Jan 17
Thanks Lolly & Poca. Yes, I’m finding posting here very valuable and it reminds me that I’ve come a fair way already, despite the meanderings of my journey !
Yesterday was a good fast day and I’m feeling more positive. Perhaps the secret is to think less – just put a plan in place and do it, don’t analyse and ponder all the time. “Think less, do more”. Maybe that should be my mantra for the year ?
I think it’s important to keep in mind that we’re human, and more importantly to allow yourself not to be perfect. I agree with what Lolly said about perfection, imo – striving for perfection is setting ourselves up for failure.
Success is not in NOT failing, success comes with continue with the journey in spite of the occasional obstacle.
Let’s be like Dory ‘Just keep on swimming!’ 🙂
16 Jan 17
Week 20 and it’s a bit of a struggle….
Weight = 230.75, this week +2.25lbs, total change to date -11.75lbs
Waist measurement = 109cm, this week no change, total change to date -14cm
I’ve noticed my week count was out. I’m not sure why, but I keep a spreadsheet of my stats and there are 20 entries on it now, so last week must have been week 20.
I said the previous week was a tough week and last week was the same. I’m not sure what’s going on, but I’m finding things hard. There’s probably a number of reasons, but I think one is that the novelty of this way of eating has worn off. After the initial excitement and early results I’m finding it hard to stick to the fast days and my results reflect this. I’ve noticed on the boards there are many excited starters but far fewer long term remainers ! I guess I’m at that crossroads – am I going to stick with it, or am I going to lose heart and drift away ? I need to remind myself I’ve still lost a stone, despite my best efforts to sabotage myself, I’m still in credit overall.
Last week I fasted well on Monday and was doing well on Thursday, but in the evening decided a little bit of chocolate wouldn’t do any harm. Normally I fast completely (no food at all) so I knew I’d still be within the 600 calorie limit. Well I certainly wasn’t within the limit by the time I’d finished – it was like the floodgates were opened and I stuffed myself. And as you may guess, I didn’t choose to stuff myself with raw carrots and mineral water, it was any and every kind of junk I had to hand. It’s one of the lessons I’ve learned recently – sugary foods don’t seem to satisfy my appetite, they seem to have the opposite effect. When I eat sweet things I seem to crave more, it’s like a monster inside me is awakened !
The weekend was mixed – I ran the Parkrun on Saturday, then did a 6 mile run on Sunday, but I also ate a lot of sugar. Slumping in front of the TV eating sugar is my problem, if I could just stop that I’d be laughing.
Anyway. Today’s a fast day and I’m going to do it.
Sorry to read you are struggling at present, we have all been there!
Try to get through one good fast day at a time, your confidence will grow. Just take it one fast day at a time.
I have maintained on 5:2 for over a year and some fast days can still be tough, but these always follow a sugar splurge. The less sugar I eat, the easier it is. Cravings really do diminish if you can avoid sugar\carbs. At present I am getting the xmas goodies out of my system and each fast gets easier.
You know you have to do this for your health, but the other benefits are fabulous. Your confidence will soar as you finally begin to feel in control.
Sugar is your last demon, you can do it. Just dont buy the stuff in the first place or if you find that too hard, buy smaller quantities of junk food. Slowly but surely those cravings will diminish and the less you have, the less you will want. Good luck Rob!
I started the 5:2 4 years ago and I am still here. There have been times when I have been weeks when I have not fasted and times when I have given up this way of life and then returned fatter and miserable. I would like to share with you what I have learned along the way and which I wish that I had known, it is up to you what you choose to do.
I wish that I had known that sugar consumption drives more sugar consumption not because we are weak but simply due to biology.Dr Robert Lustig(Fat chance, the hidden truth about sugar, obesity and disease)he is a paediatric endocrinologist and explains so clearly about how not all calories are equal, how sugar can cause illness even if you are not overweight, how many of our foods are filled with hidden sugar and how to avoid them. If you haven’t read the book, do so, I found it liberating.
I learned to read labels and make choices based purely on sugar content which I wish I had done sooner. A complete eye-opener if you consider that WHO guidelines are 24g sugar per day and I think that most people would struggle to get anywhere close to that unless they change the contents of their shopping trolleys.
Have a look at articles by Dr Aseem Malhotra(UK cardiologist) and my recent discovery because I kept hearing his name mentioned on these forums is Dr Jason Fung-a Canadian Nephrologist-The Obesity Code. He inspired me to try longer fasts, so I had a bash at x2 24 hour fasts(dinner to dinner) the week before Christmas and again the week afterwards and the result was that despite my 2 days of eating whatever I wanted..on the 1st January my weight was exactly the same.I put on 5lb last year and 10lb the previous 2 years.
Exercise is great on many levels but losing weight isn’t one of them. You cannot outrun your fork! I have staggered round a half marathon course and used a measly 1800 calories BUT consumed 3000 just to get round!
My dear friend who has been overweight all of her adult life, lost 4.5 stone last year simply by avoiding rice/pasta/potatoes/bread and fasting twice a week. She has done many mad diets but have changed her diet to one that avoids these refined carbs she now finds that she no longer wants them or enjoys them. At a guess I would say that she has another 3 stone to lose which should bring her into the right weight for her height bracket.
According to Fung our bodies have a set weight that they try to be, which is why losing weight can be so difficult but he claims that the solution is 2 part, one is to reduce refined carbs, sugar, stress and increase sleep..and the second half is to fast regularly. No snacking between meals either.
Have a look at what you eat each meal and see what improvements you can make. If you are struggling then post on here and see what we can come up with.
I hope this helps. Don’t give up.
Forgot to say that I found a 24 hour fast much easier than a FD when I ate twice. I simply had my evening meal, nothing else, slept missed breakfast and lunch and then enjoyed dinner. I know it sounds bonkers that it could be easier but for me and many others it is. Give it a try.
Thanks Annette & Nama. Following this programme is certainly an education – I’m learning alot about myself and my eating habits. Sugar is my big problem area – I knew that before, but not the extent of it. This time of year makes it harder as there’s so many more opportunities and it’s the “done thing”.
I have seen the Lustig videos and I’ve just started reading a new book by Gary Taubes “The Case Against Sugar”, so hopefully I’ll indoctrinate myself !
On the fasting front, I currently do 36 hour water/coffee only fasts. I eat my evening meal, then don’t eat the next day and start again the day after, sometimes at breakfast but most often at lunch. I find this easiest – if I eat at all during the fast day it seems to switch on my appetite.
Glad to hear that longer fasts are working well for you.
It really doesn’t matter what the ‘done thing’ is, it only matters what you are doing. My friend(who has lost loads) has finally stopped calling it a diet and now says that this is how she eats now.
Sugar is a problem for many of us, you are not alone.I loved sticky Toffee Pudding with a passion but this time last year I reduced my tea consumption overnight from 7/8 mugs to 3. It had nothing to do with sugar at all, I had seen a programme that shocked me about how much caffeine i was getting through in a day. What I hadn’t considered was that 1 tsp of sugar/mug=35 tps of sugar less a week!
I found that if I had a pudding at work it made me feel very tired in the afternoon. So I ditched puddings for a week to see how I felt and it may not surprise you to hear that I felt much much better. Then I thought that I would have a pudding to see if that had any effect on me..I felt lousy, struggled to keep my eyes open whilst looking for my next sugar fix.
I then looked at the sugar content in everything and if sugar(in all of its 40+ guises) was in the top 5 ingredients then it stayed in the shop.I learned to make a tomato pasta sauce that had far less sugar in it, I stopped buying anything ‘diet’ or ‘low fat’as they are invariably stuffed full of the white stuff and started to reduce the sugar in my tea to a half a tsp. I noticed that lots of foods tasted sweeter to me now that my taste buds were no longer swimming in sugar and I craved them less and less.
I ditched sugar in my tea completely in the autumn, I rarely have a pudding now. I allow myself 1 piece of cake a week, but don’t always have it.In my world nothing is banned, merely avoided. I avoid the white stuff.
I found it really helpful to limit myself to 24g sugar per day or 6 tsps of sugar when I started reducing sugar.Don’t try and do everything at the same time. If you have fizzy drinks then reduce the amount and ditch them as a priority. I think that the key is baby steps, so reduce your daily consumption and see how much better you will feel, to say nothing of losing weight.
You have done really well, Rob 🙂
Keep it up
Thanks Annette, Fastdieter. I think you’re right, baby steps are the answer : “Progress not perfection”. My natural tendency is for perfection though – change it all in one go or don’t bother.
I’m learning some really self-defeating behaviours I have : the big one for me at the moment is that if I don’t change in one go, if I tackle something in small, logical steps rather than one big one, then I’ve somehow cheated. Even if I achieve the result I was aiming for it doesn’t count as I haven’t gone toe to toe with the problem and beaten it straight off in hand to hand combat.
Just writing it down makes that train of thought seem ludicrous, but in my head it can make perfect sense. I guess it’s ego and pride doing me in (again).
I thought that it might help you to see how I slowly changed from being Miss Puddings to one now and again. I never thought that I would be able to stop hiding chocolate and scoffing it all by myself either…
For me the reduction of sugar, meant that I was far more aware when I had some, exactly how I felt. I didn’t feel good so there was no sense of deprivation when I avoided it the next time. Replace the sweet stuff with something healthy, whether it is a piece of fruit or some nuts.
It does sound ludicrous and I don’t know how to tackle that impossible-sounding mindset. How about just being kinder to yourself? Think about what you would say to someone else in your position and then say something positive every day to yourself.
Jason Fung would say that obesity is a multi-factorial problem and that all of the elements need addressing to lesser and greater extent for each person. Are you getting enough(7/8 hours) sleep? Are you stressed? Are you reducing both the hidden and visible sugar in your diet? Are you reducing the amount of refined carbs in your diet? Are you fasting regularly?
It sounds as if the fasting is going very well and it would be a shame if your sugar consumption was slowing your progress. Remember that every small positive change that you make to your diet all add up.
You are doing really well. If miss sweet tooth here can quell the sugar beast then anyone can. You can do it Rob.
I am now aiming for 3 days/week to eat meat/fish with either/and vegetables or salad. I started off with 1 day a week with no refined carbs at all for the whole day. Seemed weird at first but I am very happy with a salmon fillet , sprinkled with some dried chilli or nude (wrap in a foil ‘pocket’and bake for 20 minutes)serve with salad/veg. My favourite salad dressing is 2 tbsp exra virgin olive oil in a small jam jar which has a lid, add x2 tsp white wine vinegar and 1 tsp Dijon mustard. Shake together and this is enough for several days and very very tasty over salad.
17 Jan 17
Yes, very helpful, thanks.
I buggered up my fast day yesterday. I was doing fine (eaten nothing) until about 9pm when I decided a little chocolate couldn’t hurt. I was wrong ! The kids still have a fair bit of christmas chocolate in the house, but they have a bit less now.
I think when I get home tonight I’m going to have to throw it all out. They don’t live with me most of the time, so won’t miss it.
Driving myself a bit mad and not enjoying life very much at the moment. My madness seems to be in the driving seat.
I’ve been an intermittent faster since January 2014, maintaining my weight successfully now for over 2.5 years. I mostly don’t have a sweet tooth now, and can easily refuse cake etc when out…unless I’ve eaten added sugar or simple carbs. And then the cravings to eat begin…
So my solution is to not eat added sugar or refined carbs during the working week, and then maybe ‘treat’ myself in moderation at the weekend (I use the inverted commas because of course white flour and sugar are really not a treat for my body!!).
I don’t feel deprived because I don’t eat biscuits every day. I remind myself that the definition of a treat is something you have on an occasional basis that brings great pleasure. Daily it’s just habit.
And like you, if it’s in the house I’m going to eat it! People have suggested freezing left over cake…But I’ve discovered I like frozen cake 😁
People are suggesting you might want to cut down your sugar consumption rather than cut it out. My approach was to just stop, because I know me, and any added sugar (or e.g. a slice of toast for breakfast) sets off the cravings. Much simpler for me to avoid those foods, and not suffer cravings gnawing away at me.
You’re clearly struggling at the moment, but you’re not alone! Even slim people battle with sugar addiction! For me, kicking sugar and simple carbs (bread, pasta) combined with intermittent fasting has been the key to finally being in control of my eating and being slim for the first time in my adult life.
I don’t know what clicked in my brain that day in January 2014 when I started 5:2 and gave up bread and sugar. But I’d had enough of the old me that I increasingly didn’t like, and was suddenly happy to take control and let go of the things that were making me fat and unhealthy.
If you’re not happy with who/how you are what’s stopping you committing to be better?
18 Jan 17
5:2 is the only thing that’s ever worked for me. I can’t stick to 24-7 calorie counting, I get bored or distracted then lose all motivation. It sucks all the pleasure out of life.
The way I do 5:2 is that on Monday and Thursday I eat nothing till 6:30 in the evening, then just have soup and a roll, or baked beans or poached eggs on toast. That way I’m not trying to construct 3 tiny low calorie meals; I know I can’t eat till the evening. It’s simple, and I find it surprisingly easy. And because I eat nothing after my evening meal the night before I’m effectively fasting for 24 hours twice a week, so I get maximum benefit. Blood lipids improved so much my GP is no longer threatening me with statins / fibrates.
This is the third year I’ve done it, I just eat like this all the time, with the exception of holidays and the Christmas period when I pig out a bit. These immediate post Christmas weeks are tricky because the house is still full of addictive stuff, but I try to eat that on the non fast days, and so I’m still slowly losing weight. Once the chocolate and biscuits have all gone the weight loss accelerates. When I get back down to what I consider to be my target weight I’ll be a bit less strict about the 600 cals, or maybe just do 6:1.
Thanks Keef. I agree, it’s the simplicity I like, along with the freedom to be “normal” on the non-fast days. The challenge I’m having is getting into the routine of doing the fast days, Monday and Thursday without fail. At the moment I’m tending to do one and then skipping or screwing up the other one.
I’ve found (so far) that not eating at all is the easiest option. I’ll eat in the evening before the fast day, then not at all on the fast day itself, starting again with breakfast/lunch the day after. This means a 36-40 hour fast twice a week. I may try your plan of a simple meal in the evening, but evenings tend to be my danger time – that’s when I tend to pig out. On the fast days I’ve screwed up I’ve intended to eat only a little, then end up having a bit of a binge on sugary rubbish.
Sounds like great news on the lipids. How much weight have you lost in the years you’ve been doing this ?
23 Jan 17
Week 21 and getting back on track….
Weight = 229.25, this week -1.5lbs, total change to date -13.25lbs
Waist measurement = 109cm, this week no change, total change to date -14cm
Last week was an OK week. I fasted twice, although I didn’t do it “quite right”. I normally water fast (no food) on Mondays and Thursdays and last week, although I did Monday OK, Thursday ended with a bit of a late night pig out. It’s something that’s happened a few times since Christmas so I need to stop that from now on.
There’s a lot going on at the moment with kids and issues in my relationship with my girlfriend, that mean there’s a lot of emotions flying around. I’m learning a lot about myself, not least my propensity to hit the “f**k it” button, plonk myself on the sofa and eat rubbish. I did that a fair bit last week, although I did go through the kitchen and clean out a lot of the rubbish mid-week. If it’s not there, it’s harder to eat it !
I’m hoping I’m getting back on track. I feel I started well but have spent the last couple of months faffing around a bit. The big lesson from all this (simple as it is) is that if you stick to the plan you get results. If you don’t, you don’t. Consistency is king, a marathon not a sprint and all that.
30 Jan 17
Week 22 and seem to be stuck….
Weight = 230.5, this week +1.25lbs, total change to date -12.00lbs
Waist measurement = 109cm, this week no change, total change to date -14cm
I’m getting bored now. Not with the programme, but with myself. Last week was typical Rob – a half-hearted attempt to fast and then going bananas (particularly on sugar) on NFDs and then super-bananas at the weekend. It’s frustrating and unbelievable how long I can carry on doing the same things and deluding myself I’m making progress : “I’ll change tomorrow so I may as well go completely mad today”.
I’m tired of telling myself (and writing here) that I’m going to change and that this time I really mean it. Very frustrating.
Hi Rob, oh dear, you sound so frustrated. We have ALL been there Rob and understand the frustration. Remember, you are still a whole 12lb less than when you started.
I have had trouble reducing my sugar cravings since overindulging at Christmas, it seems it really is addictive for some of us. I have just come home from 5 days at our country place and decided to do something drastic to outsmart myself. As there are no real shops less than 20 mins drive away, we always take all the food we need with us. As husband was at home working, I only needed food for myself, so I took only really healthy stuff. No biscuits, cakes, chocolates, etc. None. It made it much easier not having anything remotely sweet on hand. By day 3 the cravings had gone! Seriously. Of course, evil thoughts crept in concerning going to the general store, but I managed to divert these by keeping busy. I even made sure there was no honey, jam or dried fruit on hand. My only treat for 5 days (apart from healthy salads, a beautiful steak and some nice fish) was the odd spoon of peanut butter and some fresh cherries!
I know its not always easy to be so selfish with food choices, but my strictness has paid off. I think I am over the xmas damage and hopefully have learnt not to have sugar in any of its disguises in arms reach again. Of course, treats are permissable now I have lost my excess weight, but not at home and not in easy reach.
Keep trying Rob, you will get there. Try to devise some strategies where you are not in a situation faced with buying junk or not. Shop less frequently, plan healthy meals well ahead. If it is not in the house you cant eat it. It does not really make you happy, even when you are eating it does it? The guilt spoils it!
Try to think of food you enjoy that does not involve sugar..treat yourself with high fat things if you must, just not sugar/carbs. The cravings they set up are irresistable.
And keep posting….
This is a marathon, not a sprint. I try and visualise my finish line in May or June. And if I get it wrong, it just means I have to catch up, or finish a bit later. My belly has dropped from 41 inches last September to 37 inches, so I must be doing something right, and I feel much better
For what it’s worth Rob, my advice is to take the pressure off, stop beating yourself up, and focus on the long game. I had a right old binge on Saturday, but it’s in the past and I know I just have to plan a bit better to avoid the old habit returning, but I refuse to live like a monk as I would just give up!
Thanks Nama & Johnny. I’m OK, just annoyed with myself. I’m having a bit of hassle with my kids and girlfriend at the moment and am comfort eating. It’s a shame I don’t find comfort in raw carrots ! Anyway, have fasted today and it’s gone well. Just need to get back in the habit of fasting.
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