Fat oldie struggling and baffled – please help!!

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Fat oldie struggling and baffled – please help!!

This topic contains 7 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  QuietOne 8 years, 1 month ago.

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  • Hi all,

    I’m 62, obese (5ft nothing and 174 pounds!), and have been going to the gym twice a week since last July as well as being on the 5/2 diet for a long while before that. I’m on antidepressant and anti anxiety meds which I think affect appetite.
    Since the twice weekly gym sessions my weight seems to be creeping UP, not down! I am gutted. I’m trying to up my walking (I am not a natural exerciser – very lazy and unfit but I want to address that and am proud of myself thus far for sticking at it).
    I really want to get fit and lose weight so I can have an active long life and be there for my grandchildren. I’ve been reading about HIT, but that seems to conflict with government guidelines to walk 10,000 steps a day, which I rarely manage anyway. I don’t want bouncy workouts; I am happy with my current strength training in the gym but it’s the cardio I need advice on. Is the thinking REALLY that if you pedal on the exercise bike for 3 fast intervals you’ll lose weight and get as fit as if you walk 10 thousand steps a day? I want to know how much and how often, for someone my age and level (beginner) and whether I should also aim to do the ten thousand steps or not. Any advice welcome, please!

    I’ve just been listening to Dr Mosley recommend that people don’t use exercise to take off weight. Just do the 5:2. He said that once you have lost weight, then exercise if really important for keeping it off.

    If I remember rightly, the reason is that you have to do an enormous amount of exercise to lose just a small amount of weight, and you get exhausted and often then eat more afterwards.

    So maybe just be nice and active without pushing it, and see if you start losing nicely.
    Good luck with it!

    The trouble is, Cinque, that I’ve been doing the 5/2 for a few years now and hardly lost anything. I am losing heart.
    I do sometimes ‘cheat’ – nibbling nuts during the late afternoon/evening, but could that really lead to no weight loss at all?!
    I wonder whether it’s the other days – originally the Michael M programme suggested that on other non fasting days you could eat what you like. On this site, it’s clear that isn’t so! I’m trying to get my head round this TDEE thing, but does this mean I’ve got a life of calorie counting ahead to stick to the TDEE limit? What do other people do?

    My reasons for doing exercise are many: I should have made it clear that I want to do it for my heart health, stamina, fitness, cholesterol and so on, but was hoping weight would drop too!

    Hi rowantree
    I’m sorry to hear your losing heart.

    Lots of people have been confused by the “eat what you like” comment, it means eat whatever food you like not eat as much food as you like. You do need to stay under you TDEE on none fast days to lose weight.

    I’m 66 and five foot tall my only exersize is walking. I have only been on the 5.2 diet for a few weeks and I am losing weight.

    What happens when I reach my goal weight I have yet to figure out. I may continue fasting 2 days or I may only fast for one. My understanding is that once I reach my goal weight I will be able to eat more on my none fast days as long as it doesn’t exceed the calories I’m under eating on my fast day per week.

    That’s my understanding but I’m fairly new to 5.2 so still learning

    Hi Rowan:

    If you have not been losing weight for a few years with 5:2 then you must get your head around TDEE. TDEE simply means the number of calories you can eat without either gaining or losing weight. If you have gone for years without gaining or losing as you say you have, you are eating to your TDEE. Bringing that down to a weekly basis, it means that you are eating below your TDEE for two days and over it for five.

    You now have three basic choices. First, if you ‘quit’ 5:2 and begin eating normally for two more days a week, you will begin gaining weight because you will be eating over your TDEE. Second, you can continue as you have been and maintain your current weight. Third, you can start eating less than you have been eating and start losing weight.

    There are many options available for eating less. There are thousands of weight loss diets you can follow. You can continue with 5:2 and just eat less on your non diet days. It is up to you.

    As for exercise, it is well researched and known that it is an ineffective weight loss tool. Exercise will not materially cause weight loss, as you have noticed. You exercise to get in better physical shape, but you have to diet to lose weight. So do any exercise you want and feel comfortable with but don’t expect that exercise to cause any weight loss.

    Good Luck!

    Hi again Rowantree,
    Yes it is very likely to be what you eat on the non fast days.
    You are not the only one to find that the Non Fast Days take as much work as the Fast days.

    You can do it without concentrating on TDEE numbers and calorie counting. I do. But it needs the understanding that it is ‘normal’ eating you do on Non Fast Days, normal for a healthy weight person! and it is quite a process to get yourself into a new habit of normal eating.

    It means that most days don’t have snacks, most meals don’t have desserts. It means keeping on cutting out the ’empty calorie’ food like biscuits, crisps, ice cream, etc.
    It means learning what a normal portion is, and not eating more than will make you feel satisfied.

    You can see why most people find counting TDEE and calories easier! But on the other hand, there is a great sense of connection with your body, and a good feeling of autonomy, from listening and learning from your own body.
    Also, fasting can help you on the journey. Hopefully! I find the day after a fast it is much easier to notice how much makes me just nicely replete and easier to get a sense of what healthy food I am hungry for.

    If you do want to lose weight you are going to have to make more changes! Cheers for your journey!

    Remember Michael Pollan’s basic rules for everyday eating:
    Eat food (real food, less processed, ingredients you recognise)
    Not too much
    Mostly plants

    Rowantree, meds for depression and anxiety really make weight loss difficult so I’m going to make a suggestion. Please look in to something called the Fisher Wallace stimulator. It’s an FDA cleared device for depression, anxiety and insomnia. I have been using it for insomnia since November 2015 and I am off all meds. Many people report reducing their depression and anxiety med load after using it.

    I hope I’m not crossing a line by offering this suggestion. FW has made a huge difference in my life.

    Exercising won’t get you thinner, at least not without a LOT of exercise at a high intensity. Restricting calories will get you thinner. There are a ton of ways to restrict calories. Diets galore and paleo and no carbs and so on. 5:2 is an intermittent fasting method which restricts calories (through fasting) 2 days a week. You eat “normally” 5 days a week.

    Some confusion exists on what a “fast day” is. As per the the FAQ https://thefastdiet.co.uk/michael-answers-frequently-asked-questions/
    Is a “fast day” 24 or 36 hours?
    • In reality a fast day is 36 hours. If you finish your last full evening meal at 7.30pm on Sunday, then Monday is your fast day, you are not going to be eating normally till Tuesday morning 7.30am. That is 36 hours. If you decide instead to fast from 2pm on Monday until 2pm on Tuesday, then that will only be 24 hours. Wait till 7pm and that is 29 hours. To do 36 hours you would have to hold off till 2am on Wednesday, which would be a little inconvenient
    (it is not true fasting but for 5:2 we call it so). Others think a fast day is 24 hours as that’s what is in a day. Using a 24 hour fast you will find weight loss even slower than as 5:2 is written. “The 5:2 Fast Diet” isn’t fast weight loss. Done as written you should lose about 1 pound per week.

    TDEE and normal eating is the other area of confusion. As a lot of people don’t eat within their TDEE in fact they may be more than 1.5 to 3 times greater than there TDEE and to them this is “normal eating”. First you have to accept that your TDEE is “normal eating” not what you’ve been eating for the last XX number of years.

    Use the calculator at https://thefastdiet.co.uk/how-many-calories-on-a-non-fast-day/ to get your TDEE for your age, height and set yourself as sedentary (no matter if you run 10Km a day) set your weight as what you should weigh for your age and height, not what you weigh now, but what you should weigh if you were normal. That is now your “normal caloric” intake and your “new” normal eating has to stay within that range. On your fast day you shouldn’t consume more than 25% (1/4) of your “new” normal TDEE.

    A lot of us really don’t know what we consume. We think we are eating our TDEE when in actuality our energy consumption is 1.5 to 3 times that. It is kind of amazing how little 1800 calories a day is. It’s more amazing when you look at 25% of that. 450 calories is not much. It is downright miserly and to me it only fuels the “feed me” part of my brain. I’d rather eat nothing, zero caloric intake on fast days, it is easier for me, I don’t have to count calories or worry about making a meal, just have another glass of water. It is not for everyone but if you do it you will also lose weight quicker as you’re increasing your caloric deficit by 2 x (TDEEx25)

    Exercise to lose weight. Ok you can do it, run a marathon at 5 minute mile pace once per week without increasing your caloric intake at all while maintaining your present caloric intake to your TDEE and you will lose about a 1 pound. Exercising to lose weight is really difficult to do.

    Get thin(ner) then get fit(ter) it is a lot easier to do and it is a lot more efficient. When you are approaching your goal point or to help in maintenance a short high intensity work while water fasting once a week works wonders or so I’m told. I’ve probably got another year or more to go before I reach the maintenance stage.

    The idea of maintenance is strange to me, as I started fasting for health benefits and I’ve gotten those in numbers too great to count. I’ve lost weight for sure about 1 pound per week on average for the last 14 months and yes still going. So how will I do maintenance? Will I even need to? I don’t know I’m not there yet. We’ll see when we get there.

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