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This topic contains 185 replies, has 28 voices, and was last updated by Rob in Recovery 6 days, 16 hours ago.
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6 Feb 17
Week 23 and still stuck….
Weight = 230.5, this week 0lbs, total change to date -12.00lbs
Waist measurement = 109cm, this week no change, total change to date -14cm
The positive is I got back on track in terms of fasting last week – did 2 fasts, one Monday one Wednesday. Not much seems to have changed as a result however !
I guess I’ll just have to log it as part of the journey and plod along. Fast day today.
10 Feb 17
Hi Rob, I have been reading through your stream and am waiting for your next installment. How is it going? You had some good success, but I know it is a struggle and I hope you carry on, even if the sugar addiction makes it hard for you.Greetings from a fellow struggeler
Hi Poggy. It’s going OK. I fasted 2 days this week, but don’t seem to be losing weight at the moment – I’m not sure why ! I don’t think I’m overdoing it on NFDs and although I’m eating sugar, it’s not excessive.
I’ve started running again, so maybe there’s some swapping of muscle for fat, let’s hope so !
As much as anything I think it’s the lack of consistency over the last few weeks. I think the secret to this is consistency and patience. You need to just do those 2 days a week, come what may. You also need to be patient – this is a marathon not a sprint and things will not always work like you expect. You just need to keep your head down and carry on, no matter what. In the long term it works and the trend is in the right direction, but there will be short term fluctuations and plateaus.
The other thing I’m finding is that it’s important to not over-complicate things. There are lots of posts on here saying that in addition to fasting you need to do all sorts of other weird and wacky things – limit this, stop that. Part of the attraction of all of this for me is it’s simplicity. Longer term I may make other changes, but for now I’m just focussing on making the 5:2 bit a way of life.
That sounds like really healthy sensible thinking. Embrace fasting as a way of life, enjoy the journey, don’t focus and obsess on a goal.
You will need to work on the non-fast days, and it does sound like sugar is your Achilles heel!, but hopefully with time the fast days will influence your nom-fast day choices.
You can take back control from food. Hmm, man versus inanimate cake/ biscuits/ crisps/ pizza… !
13 Feb 17
Week 23 and the frustration continues….
Weight = 230.25, this week -0.25lbs, total change to date -12.25lbs
Waist measurement = 109cm, this week no change, total change to date -14cm
Once again I’m a bit confused by what’s going on. Is this a “plateau” ?
I fasted 2 days last week and ran 4 times, for around 5 miles each time. I didn’t eat particularly brilliantly on my NFDs, but it wasn’t awful either. Too much sugar (as usual), particularly at the weekend. I fast on Monday and Thursday, so I have the worst days food wise (Friday to Sunday) before I then weigh myself on a Monday. Maybe I should weigh myself on Friday mornings as things always look better then, haha.
Anyway, I’m still carrying on, today is a fast day.
I have also decided to do a little experiment. I am doing a half marathon (hence the running) in 8 weeks, so for the next 8 weeks I’m not going to eat sugar. While I understand that cooking everything yourself from scratch is ideal, I’m never going to do that – I live on my own and work full time. I’m also not a great cook, so I’ve decided “no sugar” will mean a couple of “rules”. If a food is in its natural form – vegetables, fruit, meat etc. I won’t worry about the sugar content, I’ll just eat what I want. If it comes in a packet, then I’ll only eat it if it’s under 5% sugar (i.e. 5g of sugar per 100g or less). So I guess that’s technically low sugar rather than no sugar….
One question I have is how those who eat “low sugar” treat fruit. Should it be avoided/limited or is it natural and therefore fine to eat what you want ?
As a member of the “weird and wacky” contingent, I need to state upfront that I don’t eat fruit or grains, or packet food — just so you know where I’m coming from! Trial and error has shown me that, as a recovering diabetic, this is what my body is happiest with. Everyone is going to find their own level, so good on you for persevering.
The fruit question is an interesting one. Fruit is basically sugar, albeit unrefined. Some people tolerate it perfectly well, others not so much. Since your weight isn’t shifting and you’re up for an experiment, why not limit yourself to a couple of fruits a day? If you find that doesn’t help, then you just keep experimenting until you discover what’s blocking you.
Operation Rob: The Science Project. 😀
Thanks Lolly. I guess diabetes is a strong motivation to find what works for you ! Although saying that my ex-father in law was diabetic. On diagnosis, he changed his ways for maybe 6 months then started sneaking sugar. He behaved like a naughty schoolboy, with every successful mission to sneak a biscuit a sign he was “getting away with it”. This continued through amputations and various other health problems. It’s amazing the power our appetites have over us.
Sugar is certainly a hard one to beat, being so ingrained in society and life as a means of reward and celebration : cakes for every occasion.
I suppose it’s all about performing a mental “flip” to see sugar as the problem rather than a good thing. I haven’t quite managed that yet ! I’m sitting here wondering how I can rationalise just one last sweet treat before abstinence….
Congratulations on your persistence!
If you do nothing else, read Jason Fung’s book, The Obesity Code. It will all make sense then. Really.
Fung is a Canadian Nephrologist who tired of treating people whose kidney disease was due to Type 2 Diabetes/Obesity. So he researched Weight Loss and has had success reversing diabetes with fasting/diet/lifestyle changes.
Re fruit, I find to keep weight down I can mainly only eat berries or cantaloupe on a regular basis. I love all fruit, especially the stone fruit we have had here recently over summer, but mainly see it as a treat. I get local farm cherries when away at our weekender and tend to gorge on those! In winter I do enjoy sweet naval oranges and tell myself (as with the stone fruit) that the fibre negates the sugar! But they are a treat!
Re exercise – research shows that weight loss is 95% what we eat and 5% exercise. Of course exercise is great for good health, but be aware it will increase your appetite. It is impossible to run off all those calories! I find the days I swim (laps) I am extra hungry.
Think of appetite as waves. They come and go, they are never stationary, they will pass. Appetite is exactly the same. I use this mental picture and stay busy on fast days, it helps me.
Keep going, you are doing really well in just not giving up. And remember you are still 12.25lbs lighter than you were!
ps Your FIL was in denial, poor man.
And also, meant to say, if you don’t get the book, at least google Fung. He has a great blog (Intensive Dietary Management) But if you find time to read the book, everything falls into place!
Rob, if you really manage to kick the sugar habit, don’t deny yourself access to fruit. Even though there is sugar in fruits, it is a so much better and natural packet than all the processed crap we have been made addicted to. Good luck on that battle, I can’t wait to hear how you manage.
14 Feb 17
Just keep on keeping on, and you will eventually get this worked. Your health, happiness and wellbeing are worth it. I have done umpteen little experiments on my journey, repeating them, and I’ve learnt heaps more about what foods do what to me.
Unless you are diabetic or have some other medical issue with fruit then it’s healthy to include fruit in your diet. I’m not diabetic, and never been pre-diabetic or had high blood sugars.
My body loves fruit, but to lose weight I had to stick to low cal low GI fruit – strawberries, rockmelon/cantaloupe same thing in diff countries, small apples, and I mean small, not USA small, small oranges, blueberries, lemons, limes.
I had to drop grapes, bananas, mandarins/satsumas, and few others because they stalled my weight loss. I seem to be a more extreme case of having things that stall my weight loss – not just grains and sugar but also legumes, lentils, chickpeas etc, some vegies, some high fat things, and some fruit. It’s a bit of a drag, but I got used to it while losing my weight (21kgs). I’m now at maintenance and sticking to 5:2 hoping to gradually add back in some of those but in much smaller portions
Keep on and keep posting. You will get there bit by bit,
20 Feb 17
Week 25 and more of the same….
Weight = 232.25, this week -0lbs, total change to date -10.25lbs
Waist measurement = 110cm, this week +1cm, total change to date -13cm
I continue to be pi$$ed off as another week passes with no progress.
As last week, I fasted 2 days last week and ran 4 times, for around 5 miles each time. I did a 10K race on Sunday that reminded me just how fat and unfit I am – I managed to crawl in just under the hour (59:50) but it’s depressing. Only a couple of years ago I was maybe 20lbs lighter but would have run it 10 minutes faster. Sigh.
The thing about running is that it’s a very honest sport, perhaps the most honest. Unlike something like cycling, you can’t buy fantastically expensive equipment that makes any difference. You run or you don’t and what you get out is directly related to what you put in. So although I’m doing more, I simply haven’t put enough in (in training terms). I’ve put plenty in when it comes to food…..
I ate OK last week (still too much sugar and evening snacking on NFDs….) but really stuffed myself yesterday. A huge curry last night followed by a big bit of cake and lots of chocolate – I’d earned it ! I am the king of rationalisation….ha ! I’m hoping my mountainous consumption is still “in transit” and therefore my measurements today are anomalous. We’ll see.
Anyway, time to trudge on. Fast day today again….
I am sure you are right, the numbers on the scale are reflecting that big curry!
But I think you must be ‘overcompensating’ on non fast days too, otherwise you would be starting to lose by now. At least if you are staying the same, you are not gaining, good practise for when you get to goal and want to maintain.
Also keep in mind that exercise does make you hungry. Its great for a ‘feel good factor’ and overall wellbeing, but will have minimal impact on weight loss.
Do try to read some of Jason Fung’s writing, if not the book, google him and read some of his blogs. It might make things easier once to follow his reasoning and science.
Cheers from Aus.
Hi Nama. I started the programme 6 months ago (time flies….) and over the first 4 months lost 20 pounds. I was doing 2 good fasts a week and probably eating quite well on NFDs, but by no means perfect.
Since the New Year I’ve been faffing around if I’m honest. Not eating well, not really fasting consistently well. And as a result I’ve put on 10 of the lost pounds. No excuses, just not sticking with it. I am learning just how much of a perfectionist I am – I either have to do it perfectly or not at all. Unfortunately perfect is hard to maintain, so as soon as there’s the slightest going off-track I tend to throw the whole thing in. I know balance is good, I just really struggle with it !
I’ve bought “The Obesity Code” and will start reading it this evening.
Great news re the book, I am confident you will find it a great help.
I get it re the perfectionist stuff, there are lots of us with those issues I think. At least you know fasting works, you have had success and you will get back to it when you can. It gets to a point eventually that you have lost enough weight to feel so good about it that the food is not as important. Still important of course (!) but not enough to undo the fasting.
You have shown great determination in sticking around so long, lots dont. Food is so hard to manage for some of us because we still need to eat every day to survive! Its taken me a few years to develop a healthier relationship with it, I just wish I had found fasting years ago. If I do go overboard these days I dont panic like I used to and throw the towel in, I seem to be able to stay calm and focus, in the knowledge fasting will right things again without too much drama.
I hope you enjoy your evening with Jason Fung!
27 Feb 17
Week 26 and more of the same….
Weight = 231, this week -1.25lbs, total change to date -11.5lbs
Waist measurement = 108cm, this week -2cm, total change to date -15cm
An OK week, plugging away far from perfectly, but made some modest progress. I ran a fair bit (8 miles yesterday) but countered it by sitting down watching rugby a lot too ! I’m thinking that I must actually be fairly fit to be able to run that far at my weight ! According to the BMI system, to even scrape the top end of normal I need to lose 47 pounds ! Imagine how much easier running would be if I weighed just over 20kg less !? Hopefully in due course…..
I need some new scales so I’m going to buy some good ones (the kind doctors use…). My weight next week may therefore fluctuate for no reason other than that. We’ll see.
Fast day today, so onwards.
28 Feb 17
I fasted yesterday and weighed myself when I woke up this morning – 5 pounds lighter ! If only it stayed off……
6 Mar 17
Week 27 and cautious progress continues….
Weight = 229.25, this week -1.75lbs, total change to date -13.25lbs
Waist measurement = 109cm, this week +1cm, total change to date -14cm
An OK week, I fasted well on Monday but not so well on Thursday. I also had my mum’s birthday celebration yesterday, so all told I’m pleased with the progress last week. Running is getting a little easier and I’m feeling more positive about things. I don’t think I’ve done a “proper” week for some time, so that’s my goal for this week : 2 proper fast days, with reasonable eating on NFDs.
I spent much of the weekend reading “The Obesity Code” by Jason Fung. I’m not sure why, but although I’ve read and watched lots of other things on diet, I’ve been strangely resistant to reading this book. I’ve owned it for a few weeks, but never opened it. That was a big mistake – it’s fabulous ! Obesity and the way the body works is explained brilliantly. Much of the information is familiar, but it’s making much more sense. The way he explains things is so clear and obvious – I find myself stopping frequently in amazement – why have we not realised this stuff before ?
I’m just over half way through – tonight I move on to the chapter on fructose and I can’t wait. I understand what he’s been saying about insulin before, but I’ve also read that fructose doesn’t stimulate insulin release. So there’s a question in my mind about that : if insulin causes obesity but fructose doesn’t stimulate it, why is fructose bad ?
I find it so much easier to change my behaviour if I understand why something is suggested. What difference will it make and why ? Fung is brilliant at explaining the “why” and I believe (hope) the “doing” will be a lot easier as a result.
Well done Rob, really good to read of your progress
Great work! Slowly but surely is the way to go, you are gradually changing your eating habits without even noticing!
So pleased you are into the Obesity Code. It makes a lot of sense doesnt it?
I am not “doctor bashing” but I think Fung is a rare breed of doctor. He still has the passion to want to help his patients and really “cure” them. Not content to prescribe accepted treatment and then blame the patient for ‘failing’ he has used his amazing brain to find an effective treatment. I am certain this new understanding will really help you in your own journey.
Good luck with doing 2 “proper” fasts this week but remember, 5:2 is very forgiving. Especially if you follow Fungs advice and keep off the Insulin producing sweet stuff. The less you eat of it, the less you will crave it.
Well done on the running too, those endorphins can only help…
Have a great week, love reading your progress!
Thanks Nama, Fastdieter. The one thing I haven’t got my head round with the book is cortisol and coffee. As I’ve written before, I have had a years long problem with caffeine. I won’t go into it the details, but the short version is I find it really hard to give up, yet I know it isn’t doing me any good !
Fung talks about stress/cortisol, along with insulin, being one of the main drivers of obesity. He then goes on to talk about several cups of coffee a day being fine, in fact they may even be beneficial to health.
Given caffeine is a known stimulant of cortisol, I don’t follow the logic ?
Cortisol actually is a stress hormone that has been sorta associated with “protecting the fat”. But that’s not all it does. Cortisol also stimulates production of HGH as well as cause autophagy.
You can alleviate some of the cortisol via butter and MCT/coconut oil in coffee. Though I am not sure what that does to HGH/autophagy.
I find that taking butter or oil right when I used to feel hungry was agood way to prevent my body from stressing out. However that worked when I had an extra 30-40lb than where I am now. Its nowadays barely working, maybe I should take more of it, no idea.
7 Mar 17
Hi Rob, good question re the cortisol.
From what I have read, the jury is still out on whether or not caffeine raises cortisol levels significantly. Some research even suggests that if we drink coffee daily then the body ignores this mechanism and cortisol levels are ok.
This is just my opinion, but I would say that Fung believes that the benefits of coffee outweigh any propensity for it to raise cortisol. People who are chronically stressed, sleep deprived or similar are constantly producing too much cortisol in response (fight or flight, which requires glucose)and the way I read it, it is this chronically elevated level of the hormone that leads to chronically high levels of glucose that in turn leads to insulin resistance.
I trust Fungs judgement! I love my coffee but remember you have a problem with it…..is it possible for you to just enjoy a really quality cup, say once a day?
Hi Nama. From what I’ve read it’s all about tolerance – if you drink caffeine regularly you build a tolerance to it and this includes the cortisol response. So if you drink it regularly, you don’t get the same kick as someone who is a naive user. Whether it’s good to become conditioned to using a central nervous system stimulant is another matter !
Caffeine in my experience is very like sugar. As soon as you question peoples’ use of it they react very emotionally and protectively. The bottom line is it’s an addictive drug and a huge number of people are addicted to it.
Rob you have given me food for thought concerning my own coffee use. I have always joked that I am addicted to it because I get a withdrawal headache if I dont drink it for 24 hours. I justify this by the amount of enjoyment it gives me I guess, but I know if I thought it was a serious risk to my health I would find a substitute.
I have gotten my sugar addiction under control because the cycle of cravings/overindulgence that in turn led to a weight problem was impacting my health in the form of severe arthritis in my knees. It took me a couple of years of fasting to really become free of sugar and be able to consume it occasionally without bingeing on it and you are right that until I was in charge, I would become very defensive if my husband mentioned it.
I find it reassuring that someone with Fungs knowledge openly encourages coffee consumption, or perhaps he sees it as the lesser evil for people who are clinically obese? Or perhaps he is addicted to it himself!! (I am tongue in cheek here, I believe this guy is completely ethical)
I guess we all have to make our choices of what we personally ingest and how these substances impact our wellbeing. As long as they are informed choices.
Nama, yes, I agree completely. We should all make our own minds up and do what works for us – if coffee gives you great pleasure then why would you stop it ?
I don’t find it gives me much pleasure any more – I drink it to feel normal and be able to function. But that’s just simple addiction – my body has adapted to having caffeine and complains if it doesn’t get it.
I need to just man up and quit. I’ve done it before and always feel better for it, it’s just summoning the fortitude to get through withdrawal – for me it’s like voluntarily giving myself a dose of the flu. And all the harder because I know a single cup of coffee will relieve it….
Hi Rob and Nama,
Hang in there Rob. We’re all just a work in progress. There’s nothing magical about us. We’re all fallible human beings, even those who come across as being more ‘perfect’. They’re not, and we’re not dreadful by comparison. We can also get caught up in the trying to be perfect about our knowledge of all ‘this stuff’ when sometimes, as you say Rob, we need to act. Regardless of what Fung or anyone else says, researches or reports, you know you have a challenge with caffeine and it is seductive. At the moment I too am finding a little challenge with caffeine. I rarely have it these days , but I’m doing the ‘ well I had that last week with no effect (discernible) so maybe I could do it again this week. If it wasn’t having an effect I wouldn’t even think that way, and I know it’s a red flag to lay off,
Best to you both,
8 Mar 17
I guess what you are also saying is, we must be honest with ourselves. Fine to say things, but if we want to change our behaviour, we have to be really honest with ourselves concerning our motives and as Rob says, “Man up!”
I don’t envy you giving yourself a dose of the flu Rob, cant you decaffeinate yourself gradually? Yeah I know, another ‘all or nothing’ person!
I am the very definition of caffeine resistant. I have to stop drinking for a week or 2 if I am going on a long trip, and then I have to save it for the return run, and even so, just maybe 1 or 2 – and it simply does nothing after that. I am not too chronically stressed, except when I am on call (like now) and stuff is screaming for no reason.
Nama – everything I read says that you should taper off caffeine rather than just stop cold turkey. It makes sense too – my brain and body have adapted to the presence of caffeine and so if I stop abruptly it causes problems – as Fung says, the body seeks homeostasis.
So you would think it would be easy – come up with a simple reduction plan over a week or two and ease off it gently.
Unfortunately that’s where my head comes in. As soon as I begin I start telling myself that I’m cheating, by not doing it cold turkey I’m somehow a weakling and that even if I stop it’s not “real”. Who knows why I do it – is it ego, pride, addiction or something else talking (or all of them) ?
It sounds so illogical writing it down, but at the time when it’s just me and my head it’s impossible to argue against. So I start again, promising that “tomorrow” I’ll quit all in one go. And time (years) drift by in this no-man’s land. It’s maddening and stupid, but a cycle of thought I’ve spent a long long time in.
13 Mar 17
Week 28 and another small bump in the road….
Weight = 229.5, this week +0.25lbs, total change to date -13lbs
Waist measurement = 110cm, this week +1cm, total change to date -13cm
Another OK week, although I’m not sure what happened with my weight. I did go out for a big curry with my son last night though, so maybe I’m still full of chicken tikka masala and naan bread ? Fasted twice and ran a lot – 4 times for an average of 5 miles a time – so I shall just carry on plodding along.
14 Mar 17
Keep plodding, remember you are still (virtually) a stone lighter than when you started.
Maybe still have the ‘big curry’ with your son, but skip the naan bread? And dont rely on exercise for weight loss. I know its great, but wont be reflected on the scales. You must be pretty fit to run 5 miles at a time! You may even be making some new muscle…
Have a great week!
20 Mar 17
Week 29 and I’m not sure what to say…..
Weight = 229.75, this week +0.25lbs, total change to date -12.75lbs
Waist measurement = 108cm, this week -2cm, total change to date -15cm
I didn’t fast at all last week and spent most of the weekend sat on the sofa watching rugby. That’s just rubbish and I’m surprised my weight gain is so small. The plus-point of the weekend is that I’ve quit caffeine again, hopefully for the last time. That’s why I spent the weekend slumped on the sofa – I wasn’t good for much else ! Had my last coffee on Thursday morning, took Friday off work and just sat around with a sore head and lethargy. I don’t feel great now, but I seem to be on the mend.
I’ve just been looking through the spreadsheet I keep to track progress and I’m amazed. Talk about deluding yourself ! If you’d asked me how I’ve been doing with the fast diet so far, I’d have said I’ve stuck with it for most of the time, with the last few weeks being a bit dodgy.
Looking at the spreadsheet, it’s quite a different story. I’ve been at this 29 weeks – 7 months – and in reality I first started going off the rails (having weeks where I did no fasts or only partial ones) in week 7 ! Since then at least two thirds of the weeks have been poor – either not fasting enough or not at all. No wonder I made progress at the start, but that it’s been limited since. The other theme that runs through the log is my abuse of sugar, every week I note that I’ve gone mad on it.
I’m quite shocked. Here I am rabbiting on every week, when in fact I’m not even following the programme ! I need to get back to basics and just do the programme as it’s written, don’t think too much, just get on and do it. Make it a habit, a way of life.
Mondays and Thursdays are fast days and that’s it. Today’s Monday so time to get on with it….
Rob, I had to give up coffee and found a reasonable substitute. It’s a mix of dandelion and chicory called Dundee blend. I get it through Amazon.
You know you can do it because you have done it before!
The spreadsheet is a great idea, or any form of recording. I still write in a notebook every day, reading back can be very illuminating.
Well done on quitting coffee, I hope its the last time too.
Your minimal gain illustrates how little exercise affects weight, its what goes in your mouth, particularly any form of sugar – but you know this I think!
Have a great fast day and a great week….
What I’m seeing, different from last week are the measurements – waist 108cm, total lost -15cm. Over the last month and a bit, from the top of this page there’s only 1/2lb difference. You may be not getting where you want to go quickly, and have been still doing sugar thing, but look, you’ve stayed stable despite it, and gone down a little in measurements. So you’ve learnt how to stay stable. That is an achievement in itself, even if it’s not what you planned. That stability of weight and measurements wouldn’t have happened pre 5:2
Good on you for giving up the caffeine. Step by step you are improving. The spreadsheet has been a great idea and insightful for you. Well done. Not everyone keeps records. You
Were right when you said earlier you just need to keep plodding on, and that is a skill as well. You can do this Rob.
Keep getting back on the horse.
Onwards and Downwards,
Thanks all for your kind encouragement. I’m feeling quite down at the moment but that’s really just because I’m disappointed in myself. The good thing about keeping records is you can’t argue with the facts, no matter how much I try and persuade myself otherwise.
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