First time faster

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  • Hi All

    I started a 5:2 way of life last Monday, fasting on Monday and Tuesday, I’m on my first fast day this week, and am just looking for some clarification please.

    I’m 5ft 3 and weigh 10st 12.9 (down from 11 st 3 since early Feb from doing a 3 day juice detox followed by healthier eating before starting my 5:2 journey).

    I’m wondering what I can expect to lose, this week Monday to Monday hasn’t been great as I started on 10st 13.2, is that around average? I am counting calories on non FD and have either been at or below my TDEE (I found that Wednesday I just didn’t have the hunger to eat so ended on under 900cals, and through the week managed higher calorie intakes. Saturday I hit TDEE, Sunday I didn’t track) I am drinking 3+ litres of water on weekdays, I do struggle with water intake on weekends.

    Is it advisable to split my fast days? I do them consecutively as I think I am more likely to continue on as day two I find quite easy, day 1 is a bit more difficult.

    What do you do on holidays? Do you just take that week off, or continue with your fasts?

    Any hints or tips you can give me to make sure I succeed please? My aim is to get my BMI back at a healthier level and then maintain that (my ideal weight for BMI is 7st 6 to 9st 6!!).

    Thanks so much in advance 🙂

    Hi MoosMum1,

    Best of luck with this. I’ve been doing it for over 9 years now so it certainly can work and can definitely be a sustainable way of life.

    I can tell you how it went for me and how I’ve done it, but it is different for everyone and things that suit me could be useless for you. E.g. I have never fasted on consecutive days – the original book advised against it but I can’t now recall if that was for health reasons or just because that might be too hard for most people to stick with and the whole point of this approach is to make it something you can keep doing. I’ve also never counted my calories on non-fast days, never fasted when I’m on holiday (but go straight back to it as soon as the holiday is over) and if it turned out that it was just too awkward one week to fit in 2 fast days I did one instead (e.g. due to work commitments).

    After my first 26 weeks I had lost 2st 9.5 lbs, at an average rate of 1.44 lbs per week. However, that was just the average – sometimes I even seemed to put weight back on for one week, and I certainly had at least two plateaus during that first period when I seem to get stuck for several weeks at a time. I just kept faith in the process and the weight always started coming off again after a while.

    There are a couple of links for new people that are worth reading:-

    https://thefastdiet.co.uk/forums/topic/warnings-to-newbies/
    https://thefastdiet.co.uk/forums/topic/the-basics-for-newbies-your-questions-answered/

    One of the most important things to remember is that this is a marathon and not a sprint. Considering it took me 10 years to put on the weight I didn’t want, and only 6 months to lose it all again by following 5:2, I reckon wasn’t a very reasonable timescale. Today I am a little bit above my target weight, but that’s fine. It goes up and down and when I start eating salads in the warmer weather I know my average weight will drop a little bit again. My aim is to be around a BMI of 22.5 and today it is 22.9. In the 8.5 years since I first hit my target weight the worst my BMI has been is 24.1 and it has been as low as 21.6. (I started at a BMI of 27 – in 2021 my average BMI was 22.8.)

    To begin with I did set myself a few interim targets to help give me a confidence boost. I think the first was to get to a BMI of 25 and the second one was to get back to 13 stone, which I hadn’t been since I was a kid.

    During these 9 years I’ve had 5 operations under general anaesthetic, been made redundant, attended 3 family funerals and decided to retire – but it was still possible to keep sticking with 5:2.

    A few other tips if the fast days start to become a struggle. I find both distraction and drinking help – the feeling of hunger comes in waves rather than being consistent so keeping busy and drinking water or a black coffee or a zero calorie fizzy drink help (I know the latter aren’t great from the viewpoint of being ultra-processed but sometimes I just need some extra flavour in my mouth and a couple of cans a week should be ok).

    I hope this works for you as well as it has worked for me.

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