HELP! All ladies of a 'certain age'-please respond

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HELP! All ladies of a 'certain age'-please respond

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  • Just a couple of questions regarding vegetable portions..
    Does everyone weigh each serve and how many do you limit (or not) yourself to?

    I’m also wondering how to calculate thickening for stews/casseroles, which usually involves flour, but I don’t see a calorific value for that in the book.

    Today is the 5th fast day and so far I’m having no problems, but although I have not lost weight, my midriff is deflating and my fingers are ‘thinner’ 🙂

    I’m expecting the recipe book today, so I can be even more inspired in the weeks to come!

    Hello All Ladies Of a A Certain Age!

    Wow there are just so many posts I would like to respond to but I must go shortly.
    I would like to especially mention maricaf8 though.

    I really felt for you reading your first post; I’m really glad too that so many others LOACA’s took the time to respond to you and give you some support.

    It is demoralising when you read that other women at our stage in life and all that entails regarding hormone changes etc; are still able to lose weight much ‘easier’ than you can.
    As I’ve said before, this doesn’t mean we are not pleased for them, quite the contrary; but it does mean we wish it was as ‘relatively’ easy for us.

    So marciaf8 – how is it going for you? Let us know; don’t struggle on alone and one small tip – just don’t buy the choclate in the first place. You are speaking to someone who has vast experience on eating any choclate lurking in a 3 mile vicinity.

    Regarding my weight gain after my two week holiday; I put 3 1/2 lbs on after my holiday which was less than I thought it would be. We didn’t go for long autumnal walks daily as we would normally because I’ve done something to my foot and I’ve had to rest it for some weeks now. So, no fasting and no exercise….

    I am delighted to report that since getting back on the fast diet wagon; I’ve lost the 3 1/2lbs and also another 1 1/4lb since before going on holiday!
    My weight loss hadn’t changed since 13.09.13; so the additional weight loss has been excruciatingly slow but it is going in the right direction and I am grateful for that.

    This is unheard of for me and has been since I became a Lady of a certain age. It used to be; I went on holiday and had nice meals, treats and more wine than normal weeks. I put weight on, then that became my new weight; I couldn’t lose it though we purchased various exercise machines for me and I used them too but to no affect. Then our next holiday came around and same thing; so the fact that I have lost the excess I gained and lost some more is really nothing short of a miracle.

    I remember someone else posting that they had had a break from the 5:2 for some weeks and found that it kick started their weight loss again.

    Good luck to us all with the battle of the bulge!

    Hi, I am 65 and have been on the diet since March this year. I lost weight initially but have stuck at 9:12 – my doctor wants me to get below 9 stone so don’t know how to face him next month. I eat less on the feast days than I used to so I was wondering where I have gone wrong. However, I am committed to this eating regime as I do feel much healthier since I started it and I know it’s not just about weight loss. I used to have bouts of diverticulitis quite regularly and haven’t had any problems since starting the diet and I enjoy my food more now. I think I could probably take a bit more exercise which may help. Thanks for listening. 543ingrid.

    Hi there, I’m in peri-menopause and I’ve been fasting since the second week in July. I’ve lost 8 lbs. Seems to all be in my fingers and feet. I’ve gotten back into jeans that I couldn’t wear before I started the fasting, and my rings don’t fit.
    Sadly I didn’t measure before I started, so I don’t know about inches, just that my pants fit looser.
    I’m sticking with it, as I’m happy that I’m going in the right direction
    I wasn’t loosing at all until I started walking regularly.
    I took last week off from fasting and walking, I needed a break, so maybe that will kick start things.
    Overall I love the fasting. I have a very very busy life and the last thing I needed was more counting, more recipes, more anything! I love that this is less. I really hope I loose more wieght though, I’d like to get down another 12lbs eventually.

    are you sure you should be shunning food instead of sticking to the prescribed 500 calories?
    Don’t be disheartened. I’m not loosing quickly either, only 8 lbs since beginning of July. I wouldn’t shun all food, stick with the plan as prescribed.

    Hang in there Marciaf8!!!
    I too struggle with weeks of the scale not moving one bit.
    Check out the faq’s. Mosley says to walk if you aren’t loosing. I did. And ever so slowly the wieght is moving. Also, try not wiegh in too much. I think of this as a lifestyle.
    I wish you so much luck!
    slow and steady wins the race my friend.

    I think the 500 calories is there to make it easier to do – and MM got good results with a small number of calories. Personally I prefer to just do a water fast on fast days as eating anything seems to stoke up my appetite. If I have something, I have it in the evening but I try not to. I don’t think having 500 cals is prescribed but I see them more as optional. I have a LOT of weight to lose so, for me, a water fast gives good results and honestly is easier than working out what is 500 cals.
    On fast days I prefer not to have anything much to do with food at all.
    But whatever works really. 🙂

    Hello ladies, and good to catch up on this thread. Gosh, I’m getting very close to cracking that 70kg target but it eludes me still. I know that once I get below 70 I can make 65 and stay there happily for the rest of my life. I know it.

    We can’t do anything about our age always going up, but we can make the weight go down. Living La Vida LOACA – and loving it.


    I have been reading these posts and wanted to say that it is very affirming to read of the struggles that other women of a ‘certaine age’ are experiencing with weight loss.

    I started to gain weight without any changes to my lifestyle or diet about four or five years ago. My bra size went up from D to E and despite ramping up my exercise to include more cardio, cutting carbs drastically, eating salad for dinner regularly, the weight was not coming off. And it centered in the midriff area.

    I think anyone who says the approach and onset of menopause does not cause weight gain is lying. Perhaps it doesn’t happen to everyone, but it does happen. My mother who had never had a weight problem – she was a fashion designer and always conscious of how she looked, hit her late forties and within a few years put on six to seven kilos that she could not lose.

    I’ve always been a healthy eater – organic and home cooked foods are the mainstay of my diet and I have shunned the idea of fad dieting.

    But fed up with nothing fitting me any more, and making no progress with the changes I had adopted, I started the 5:2 diet three months ago. I have lost six kg (13 pounds) in that time. This includes regular exercise and a holiday in Italy and Greece for three weeks (yes I kept up the diet) where I spent most days walking for several hours.

    So it is most likely slow progress, but at least I am making progress.

    The most infuriating thing was going to doctors with my situation and having them not take you at all seriously.

    I hope to continue into the maintenance phase after Xmas and I hope it stays off.

    Good luck to everyone!

    Good for you Jeana1
    Everybody is different and the way this works for each individual is different also. It’s not just the weight loss but what 5:2 is doing for your health and insides.
    Patience goes along way !

    Hi Jeana1
    My understanding is that 6 kg in 3 months is the expected rate of loss on 5:2, and given that included time on holiday (even tho you kept up 5:2), I would say ‘well done’! 😀
    And given you were already eating healthily, you didn’t have the same amount of less healthy food that you could reduce (unlike many of us!).
    So it seems to me that you are doing very well indeed. How much more weight are you hoping to lose?
    Best wishes
    Sassy 🙂

    G’day ladies. Usually when I sit down to peruse this forum it is a fasting day and I need a bit of support, but today is an eating day. I’ve been out in the garden planting spuds and all the summer veg. I’m dosed up but it still hurts my hips and back and knees. I’m feeling a tad sorry for myself and wishing there was something as simple as 5:2 that would fix my arthritis.

    However, it hurts less, and I recuperate faster, without that extra 10kg of blubber I used to carry around.

    Hope all of you who are reading here for moral support get the positive vibe hovering above my little whine – I think it is a good good thing we are all doing. Cheerio.

    RoBa, read ‘Pain Free in 6 Weeks’ by Sherry Rogers!

    Hi RoBa and everyone else

    Was just reading the previous posts and came across your ‘Living la vida LOACA’ RoBa – love it

    I also thought I would give you my lines to finish your little ditty:

    Oh Ladies of a certain age
    The scales are not the only gauge
    T’is true – what we know fills many a page
    Both wisdom and lipstick – it’s all the rage

    So wiggle your booty, jump’n’jive
    Five Two’s the way to stay alive
    Gimmee a high five!!

    Hope this cheers you up a bit
    I’m off to have wine and chicken and chips now(Hmmm….could that be why my weight loss is soooo sloowww?)

    Thank you for the encouragement Sassy! It’s great to hear that I’m going as expected. I’m not sure how much more I want to lose. I have a pair of pants that I bought in Italy 5 years ago and my aim is to fit into them again. Probably another three kilos, I would say.

    I don’t weigh myself and the only reason I know that I’ve lost this amount is that we had health checks at work in May this year where they measured cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure etc and weighed us. Then they did the same a couple of weeks ago and that’s when I found out how much weight I had lost. I could tell from my clothes that I had lost weight, but I didn’t know how much. My levels for everything else was probably good too, but they were good to begin with. They actually told me when I had the first tests done that I had the blood pressure of a twenty year old, and asked me if I take cholesterol medication – because my levels were so good: I put it down to having a Greek background and pretty much following a Greek diet. However, as I said in my first post, that didn’t stop the peri menopausal weight gain.

    I remember my husband saying to me about six months ago after watching me exercise and watch my diet so carefully: “I’ve never seen anyone put so much effort for such little results”. He was the one who suggested I go and see a doctor.
    He used to say “Babe, there must be something wrong. Unless you get up and eat a tub of ice cream in the middle of the night, there’s something not quite right.”

    How is your progress going?

    Hi everyone! I think I qualify. I’m 60 and have always been really active. My husband and I work out everyday and I couldn’t understand why we were putting weight on. I’d never been bigger than a size 14 but for the first time in April I had to buy size 16 jeans. At the end of July,just before my 3rd grandchild was born,my husband said enough is enough because he also had expanded beyond his comfort zone. We’d read about this way of dieting and some of our friends were doing it so we thought we’d give it a go. I didn’t want to weigh myself-I said I’d go on size! Nothing seemed to happen for ages,though hubby weighed himself every week and reported good weight loss. I just persisted however and now 3 months later it just seems to have fallen off me and my jeans are falling off! I’ve always kept my favourite ‘thin’ button front Levi’s which fit me again. The best thing is the comments I get at all my exercise classes,especially from people I haven’t seen for a while. I thought it might be hard when we visited the grandkids in Australia for four weeks in Sept/Oct but no,it was fine. Even managed a few trips out with my daughter-in-law for the odd skinny latte and cake and a week’s holiday in Byron Bay. I’ve finally weighed myself and still have a few Ks to go but I’ve got my waist back and I’m pretty happy! My hubby has practically disappeared and is very close to his target.
    Good luck to everyone and just persist.

    Hi Sonunda

    Welcome to the fast diet forum

    You definitely qualify to post on this thread. I’m feeling more than a little green around the gills at the fact that you can fit into your ‘thin’ button front levi’s!
    But I am very pleased for you and as you advise; I will persist.

    Thanks PreciousBooBoo,they’re not THAT thin but thinner than I’ve worn for a couple of years! Can’t remember when I last wore them but when I got too fat for them I just didn’t have the heart to throw them away. Hope that never happens again. My hubby also dug his out. His new size bottom doesn’t even fill them!

    Check your diet on fast and non-fast days. If you can, as someone posted earlier, keep a food journal and be honest with yourself. You can track calories on the internet of what you’re eating.

    Then, start moving around more, even if it’s just walking around the corner a couple of times. Just move.

    Hi jeana1
    All the best for those last 3 kgs! Keep doing what you have been doing, and those kgs should go (remembering that on non-fast days you have to eat a little less than you did when you were 6 kgs heavier. You can use the TDEE calculator to check what on average someone of your age, weight, height and activity level (note, best to underestimate your activity level) needs calorie-wise each day. Not sure tho how TDEE allows for menopause – and as you infer, I think for many, our metabolism slows with menopause).

    I am going well, thanks for asking. Close to my goal, have been doing 4:3 to help me get there and ensure I can sit down in the lovely tight fitting dress I have bought for my son’s high school graduation, but I think I will revert to 5:2 after my next weigh-in, and do my best to be careful on the non-fast days.

    Cheers 😀


    We take a hit at menopause, no question. But you’ve lost nine lbs and that is fantastic! Go pick up a gallon of milk and hold it in front of your stomach, then look in the mirror. Realize you’ve lost more than that amount and be proud of yourself!

    Hi, everyone. I finally weighed at the 10 week point and had lost 10 pounds! I was amazed as I’d been HOPING for 5. But, I am also a bit baffled as I don’t feel that I look like I’ve lost 10 pounds. My clothes are a bit looser, true, but I thought 10 pounds would make a bigger difference. I still have a bigger than ideal belly. Is this all a part of being 68? Am I always going to look a bit flabby even if I keep losing weight? I’d love to hear what your experiences have been. Thanks!

    Hi All,

    Yep I’m going through the same thing – 6 weeks and only 2 kilos lost. BUT something about this diet really helps with inflammation…. I am usually in constant pain and now I’ve had only a few pain days in the past 6 weeks. I feel so much healthier, so if the weight loss is slow and frustrating I figure hey ok I’m still cuddly but it’ll come off eventually and meanwhile I feel well again – woohoo

    Quo Vadis, Hooray!- so glad you feel better!

    MaybelleW- This is how I also feel, when people lose weight fast, the skin doesn’t have time to catch up, and I’m now at an age that my skin might not be able to rebound as fast as it once did. When people have liposuction, they are told to wear girdles for a time. Normally, not a fan, but I think the point is to hold the skin closer to the body, to encourage closer bonding. If you try this, just go for a little snug and not too tight. Do not have a clue as to if it will help, but I don’t want you to do anything that might hurt you, so if you are bulging out the edges, it is probably too tight. Your skin will tighten anyway, with time.

    Hi Jantra,

    Cortisol levels can be measured via a blood test. A good indicator that you may have high cortisol levels is to think about how you react to a shock like a loud bang. For example if a child pops a ballon behind your back, do you shrug off the “shock” within about 30 seconds or do you remain unsettled for the next 15 minutes or even longer. If the latter, your cortisol might be high and your body is in the “fear, fight, flight response” all the time. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands, which sit on top of your kidneys so you may also find yourself uriniating alot or retaining fluid – depending on how your body reacts. Some cortisol is neecessary for normal stress reponse but unfortunately we can produce too much as our bodies slow down with age etc (oh joy lol). If you have high cortisol levels, reduce the amount of coffee and other stimulants in your diet 🙂

    Thanks Piper 🙂

    Maybelle good luck 🙂

    I’ve been off the diet last week as grandchildren came to stay. I weighed myself this morning and don’t appear to have put on any weight. I fully expected to gain something after all the sweets and treats I ate last week.

    Diet today and am feeling hungry but determined to stick to it.

    PreciousBooBoo – losing weight without sleep is supposed to be really hard. Most of us have had a bad night or two, but if it gets chronic, can’t be good. When I can’t sleep, I turn around so that my head is at the bottom of the bed. For some reason, most of the time, that one thing seems to help. Maybe eating something little, like a spoonful of nutbutter, might help. I’m sure you’ve already tried lots of home remedies already, so I’m talking to the expert. Just want you to find ways of dealing that help.

    Hello all Ladies of a Certain Age!

    There are loads of comments I want to respond to but you have to have sufficient time! Anyway, here goes…

    So Hi jeana1 – your weight loss is fantastic but it is, for me and I’m sure others, affirming to hear how hard you tried in the past with exercise and calorie control. It was exactly the same for me with my weight just going up and up.

    Hi etherial – I am counting the calories on my non-fast days this week; I haven’t up to now. Sensible advice regarding more exercise, even something as simple as walking more; but I’ve developed a sore foot and my daily brisk walks have been out for some weeks and I am having to ‘manage’ how sore my foot gets.
    Goodness, I thought I would be talking about ailments like these when I hit 80 not the ‘new 40′(ish).

    Hi MaybelleW – I have congratulated you already on another post (you were talking about the new you next year (Yay to that). People have talked about losing inches from their calfs and seeing emerging collar bones; so your weight loss has probably skimmed a bit off all of you!

    Hello Quo Vadis – You are absolutely right; slow weight loss or even no weight loss pales into insignificance when you have considerably reduced the pain you were in.
    Sometimes this eating regime seems like a miracle.

    Hi Janthea – Well done for not gaining weight with a week with lots of goodies in it. How it is going now?

    Hi piper – You have encouraged me on various other threads and this one too. Thank you for trying to help; it is apprciated and I’m sorry that it has taken me so long to say hi to you.
    I know exactly what you are saying with the bottle of milk example and you are right; I am grateful after, like many other LOACA’s, my weight only going in one direction for so many years.

    BUT after four months of hard slog with horrendous side effects, like nightmare insomnia, 9lbs is actually not much to shout about.

    If you look at the beginning of this thread; I am asking for support from other woman at my stage of life (there was no point; I felt in asking the blokes and younger, non-menopausal women, for their input because we are not on the same playing field – period (no pun intended – this is not MBOTS in disguise!).

    And whilst I am really gratified to see LOACA’s telling us their stories daily; I still think I am in the minority even in our particular group.
    Most ladies have far outstripped me and though some work really hard for their losses; others don’t seem to have to try so hard at all.

    So please keep all your posts coming BUT could those women whose weight loss has been really low and disappointing get in touch?

    Living la vida LOACA!

    (unashamedly pinched from RoBa)

    Dear PreciousBooBoo,

    Being a lady of that certain age, and starting the first week of the rest of my life i.e. this FDL 🙂 I am very grateful to everyone’s honest and helpful replies. I have been overweight since a baby (yes, really, a wee Michelin blimp or what) and obese for about 4-5 years. I’ve been on thyroxine for about the same amount of time but the weight just did not shift no matter what I tried and now I have to lose weight or lose my health. So 5:2, first week down and here we go!

    I wish everyone success and good health xx

    Hi Ronna- a stone is 14 pounds, old imperial weight, used to be used here in Australia, but we have used kilos for about 30 years so i get confused with all the talk of ponds!

    Hello everyone!
    I’m 52, not sure if I’m menopausal or not yet as I’m symptom free so far. My mother didn’t get any symptoms so I’m hoping it runs in the family!

    I’ve been doing 5:2 since the beginning of July and although I didn’t weigh in at the start I think I’ve lost about 17-18 lbs. I’m really happy with that rate of loss, which works out to about a 1lb a week. I only weigh myself once a fortnight as I hate obsessing and getting upset when the scales don’t budge. I’d rather see a small loss even if it takes 2 weeks to get there.

    I don’t eat all day on a fast day until dinner time when I have about 400 calories, strangely by the time dinner rolls around I’m not even hungry any more so I’m finding it easy to stick to. I feel less hungry the next day too. Last week we had friends staying so I skipped one of my fast days and felt stodgy and couldn’t wait for Monday to come so I could fast again. I really look forward to fast days now – which seems strange doesn’t it?

    I’ve got more energy, I’ve dropped a jeans size and I’m noticing a reduction in bingo wings and belly fat. With this nice steady pace of loss I’ve also noticed that my biggest fear of losing too much off my face and looking haggard doesn’t seem to have come true. It is remarkable that with this diet the fat does seem to be leaving me from all the right spots for a change!

    Definitely a way of life now, I can’t imagine giving it up as I enjoy it too much. Good luck to everyone with their weight loss, stick with it and try not to obsess over the scales, bit by bit the pounds and inches will come off.

    Hi Precious–

    You wrote:
    “So please keep all your posts coming BUT could those women whose weight loss has been really low and disappointing get in touch?”

    Well, that’s me. I’ve been doing it for many several months and have lost a pound, sometimes two but they come back a day later, so I consider it to be just water.

    So I got desperate and upped the ante to 4:3. Still nothing budged. So I increased the fast days to 4 a week. And am now on the 3:4 diet! That three days eating and four days fasting. This means fasting two days in a row, mixed with alternating fasting days.

    I also eat much less than the 500 allowed on a fast day. Usually aim at about 250 and sometimes nothing. I’ll tell you my tips for eating lo-cal at the end.

    But on eating days, I eat what I like—highly flavored food—Indian curry or goat cheese pizza. Nuts, fruit, olive oil, avocado. (No desserts.) And I know I eat a fair amount of calories on those days.

    Have dieted all my adult life on and off and have really learned that the hardest thing of all for me is to eat a restricted diet every single day. My only hope is to have hard and fast, inviolable rules such as eat/don’t eat. This is why I was excited by the 5:2 diet. But if I now have to eat only 3 days a week and also watch my calories on eating days—I’ll feel I’ve landed in the most depriving diet of all time! For me it’s becoming essentially a don’t-eat diet!

    My goal was to lose about 25 pounds. It would be hard to have time to exercise more though I walk several miles several times a week. I’m in good health and have never eaten junk food. Also, I feel very tired at the end of fast days.

    My lo-cal foods for fast days include: frying white and crimini mushrooms in mushroom broth (5 calories a cup) . They look and almost taste like they’ve been fried in butter when finished but you can eat a a big mound for about 50 calories total. Big bowls of high quality lettuce, no dressing, with a half cup of shredded chicken mixed in. Lots of celery. Measured amounts of water melon and cantaloup. Hard boiled eggs. If I eat black beans–I’ll have only a 1/4 cup. Beans mixed with mushrooms, hot, is a nice snack. Lots of tea or decaf sweetened with Stevia which allegedly has no calories. Sometimes a half cup of plain no-fat yogurt mixed with a half cup of berries. Of course, I don’t eat all of these on a fast day. Just enough of them to equal about 250 calories–which I track carefully.

    So, that’s my tale of woe, though I am still mightily determined. Not sure what to make of the situation. Years ago, of course, if I’d eaten like this I would have lost weight immediately. It’s as if my metabolism has gone on strike. I expected this at first, but after so many weeks—I don’t know what to do.

    Thanks for persisting in asking about those of us who are really struggling. You’re not alone!


    Our stones weigh about 10 pounds here in Chicago.

    Would that make a difference?


    Hi Rocky and Loretta–
    Actually I think a stone is 14 pounds. So it was years ago when I visited England (and first gained weight!) and so it is now when I google the conversion of it.

    Oops–I missed that you were joking! You got me!

    Hi All Just thought I would let you all know how I am going, especially Sassey, as she helped me at the beginning.
    I did my weigh/measure in today after completing 4 weeks (8 Fast Days) on the 5:2 and have lost a total of 3.4kg (7.5lbs)and 6.3cms (2.5 inches) off my waist plus my BMI has gone down by 1.6. I am so thrilled with this approach to eating.
    I don’t like to call it a diet because it isn’t its a change in the way I eat, not what I eat.
    I’m going to fit into that dress easily on the 7/12/2013 at this rate, if not now but I’m not even going to try until closer to the time.

    @ zuzu lane
    “Oops–I missed that you were joking! You got me!”

    It was a light hearted moment.

    I omitted the obligatory, just kidding, tag line.



    She got me too- I thought it might have been American humour but you can never be sure about these transatlantic, transpacific issues like the relative weight of stones…..perhaps it’s gravity that makes them heavier down here…..

    Hi Guys,

    I want to add my voice to this. I’m 54 with a BMI of 34. I’ve been following the diet for 6 weeks and lost 2kg at first and then nothing except fluctuations with no downward trend. It is disappointing. Better than absolutely nothing I suppose.

    I am studying at present so I can look up the research that Michael quotes. I was thinking about the Horizon program Michael made where he tried the High Intensity Interval Training and had some disappointing results as a genetic ‘non-responder” I am thinking along the lines of possible responders and non-responders.

    I have some thoughts about some of the research this book was based on.

    Krista Varady is the lead researcher for Alternate Day Fasting. She excluded perimenopausal women from all of her studies-(as well as smokers, diabetics., higher intensity exercisers and people who had lost or gained weight in the last three months). She doesn’t explain why she excluded any of these volunteers, but being in the perimenopausal category I am particularly curious about why she might have excluded my group- (our group)

    The number of people in her studies is quite low- a maximum of 34 and in some of them as low as 12 or 14 people-it’s really not many people who have been studied. It is expensive to do research, but to be relied on, we would need bigger numbers and longer periods of study.

    In addition the results are not written as a table for individual participants, and then averaged, but presented as a group average with a range.

    So….from her articles, I don’t think you can tell if a few of the participants responded with little or no weight loss- or if they all lost weight……. In addition she did not study perimenopausal women……… Another factor is that she was studying alternate days and we are trying 2 out of seven.

    So…it seems to me that we are in unstudied, unproven territory. This is true of many diets. This might work, it might not. I so hope it will. I am tired of lugging around an extra 30kg.

    I am not minding the fast days- although the first few I thought I’d have to eat my own arm off, but now I quite like it. I am very disappointed not to notice any results, and like the others I am now conscious of trying to restrict on my ‘eat normally’ days. I hoping the other positive effects are also real.

    Krista Varady’s first study had a fasting day followed by a day ‘ad libertum’ this means literally eating freely- not restricting oneself.

    I suppose my next experiment of one is to try ADF

    It is a bit untried yet has a very long history and I’m sure that probably means it has good effects. Just has to be proved now. But ten, when was any diet every really and properly tested? None that I know of.

    I’m doing quite well on this I think about 14 kilos now (2 stone) in about 9 weeks. But I have a lot to lose (bmi about 50) so maybe that helps. I weigh every day. Just for immediate feedback about te effects of what I’m eating. I note that after a fast day it is often a new low. Then after eating days it goes up but in general the trend is down at about 1 kilo a week now. I don’t eat carbs such as bread, rice etc. I think that’s the key. Then you can eat well on feast days without triggering a big insulin response.

    I asked Dr. Fung about the rise in Human Growth Hormone that you get when fasting. I Googled it and it has lots of bad effects when taken as a supplement. He said he felt raised levels of natural HGH was not a problem and ensured that you hung on to lean tissue.

    I’m going to try 5:3 one week then 5:2 the next to try to get closer to ADF without it getting too much of an obsession.

    Was disappointed that my bp has not come down at all in these weeks but will keep going and hope it eventually does. Otherwise it will be bp pills. I’m hoping this can be a non-surgical gastric band way of weightloss for me.

    I am sure that there will be such a thing as a non-responder. But also I do wonder if we are expecting rather a lot from 5:2 – we want to carry on as normal 5 days a week, eating/drinking sugar, refined carbohydrates and frequent snacks (I’m not pointing at anyone in particular) and we expect that a partial fast on two days will undo all that.

    From what I can read (and there hasn’t been much research, so its mostly guesswork on the part of scientists) fasting resets some of the metabolic imbalances making us, in particular, less resistant to insulin, and helping to burn fat. But it must surely depend on what damage we have done ourselves in the past, how easily that is reversed.

    Clearly being menopausal or peri-menopausal is not the only thing, or all we LOACAs would struggle – but many seem to succeed. And of course there are others who aren’t members of our exclusive club who seem to have trouble.

    So for me, when I hit my plateau, I went back to what I have done before and cut down heavily on carbs (and especially sugar), as well as fasting. But that might not be the whole story for everyone.

    I’ve been reading and watching a lot recently. I have come to the conclusion that in preventing obesity its probably more important to avoid snacks and sugary drinks between meals than to fast. However, whether that is enough to lose weight is another matter. In order to lose weight we have to overcome our natural propensity to conserve body mass.

    I am also wrestling with the whole thing about ideal weight/body fat/hip/waist ratio because the guidelines really don’t line up with some of the statistics.

    I posted earlier that I’m struggling to lose weight now. I started at Easter and since then have lost about 5-6lbs. Now, I lose 1-2lbs on fast days but put it back on on non fast days. However, I have dropped a dress size from 16 to 14 so I think I have lost inches or fat rather than weight.

    I am now being extra strict with myself and watching that I don’t over-indulge on non fast days. I may add in an extra fast day, but I will see how it goes.

    Hi everyone 🙂

    I haven’t read this topic for a while – there is so (too!) much to keep up with on this forum; I already spend a lot of time reading and replying….

    Lots of interesting material has been added to this topic since I last posted; too much to comment on everything that I would like to 🙁

    maureen55 – Thanks for the update, things are going well for you 🙂 That’s great! Best of all is that you are enjoying this new WOE.

    PreciousBooBoo – I have been thinking of you and wondering how you are going. From some of the more recent posts It seems you are not alone with the slow/low weight loss. Very frustrating for you all. Sorry I don’t have any suggestions beyond the ones that have been made in assorted places across this forum. As someone has mentioned, who knows what impact our lifetime eating patterns (and other things that have happened to us) may have affected how our body deals with food. Perhaps if those of you who have had little weight loss continue to share more about your situations, you may come up with some theories and ideas for speeding things up. (By the way, have your tried melatonin to help with the sleep? I am sure you would have, but thought I would mention, just in case. A friend has just tried some and it worked wonders for her.)

    As also mentioned, I am all for a proper prospective long-term study of all ‘diets’ to really try to understand what works and doesn’t work for different types of people. I also think more could be done looking at the eating habits of people who have never been overweight.

    Anyhow, is way past my bed-time!
    Cheers 🙂

    Hi All Ladies of a Certain Age!

    Thanks for responding to my plea; it really does help to know it’s not just you who is getting less than impressive results.

    Hi audrich – I’m sure you will know; it’s pretty much a given that anyone with an underactive thyroid has enormous difficulty losing weight. No matter what they do!
    There have been some good threads about FD’s with thyroid problems so look them out; you get so much information from just reading previous posts/threads.

    The best of luck to you anyway from someone else who has had weight issues all her life.
    Keep us posted on your progress.

    Hello Haphazard196 – what you report is echoed by so many other LOACA’s. If I’d lost as much as you; I would be kicking my height! Well done

    Hello zuzu lane – It’s exactly people like you I hoped would respond. I’m not sure what advice I can give you; the regime you have reduced to is quite gruelling.

    Are you sure you are actually eating enough to ‘stoke’ your system? The reason I ask this question is; years ago when I attended WeightWatchers, I had a friend who was losing weight every week following the diet. One week she was quite ill and was sick several times; she thought ‘Oh I’m going to lose loads of weight this week…’ and no she didn’t. She didn’t lose any; the leader said it could be that she hadn’t eaten enough food to stimulate her metabolism.
    It is good to know I’m not alone but I do sympathise with you. Have you had your thyroid checked out lately? See above.

    Hi maureen55 – What can I say but well done you!

    Hello browns13 – You make some very interesting comments but I disagree slightly with ‘there have been no studies carried out on menopausal women…’.

    Have a read of ‘The 2 Day Diet’ which is the other 5:2 diet currently in circulation. This was developed by Dr Michelle Harvie and Professor…Somebody (can’t recall his name) and they developed the diet specifically for patients at their breast cancer clinic.

    They developed it about 10 years ago and report, in their book of the same name; that the results are very encouraging. Many of their patients were at our ‘stage of life’ and many who have never been able to maintain their lost weight; are now doing so.
    Definitely worth a read.

    Hi Janthea – I am just this week adopting a regime that you have just outlined. Perhaps my non-fast days are more calorific than I thought.

    Hi Sassy!

    Where did your friend get the melatonin from? her G.P? And no, I haven’t tried it and I’m getting desperate.

    Thank you for thinking of ways to help alleviate my seriously bad insomnia; it is much appreciated.
    And have you not seen the thread I ‘started’ for you to tell us your story?
    I hope you are not annoyed Sassy; I thought it would be a definite place for people to chat to you. If you are not amused; then just let it fade away….

    Have to go now folks…dinner and (thank you God) some wine awaits.

    Thank you everyone else who I didn’t mention personally – I need a secretary Ha Ha

    Dear Precious booboo,

    I am very encouraged to read your post about Dr Harvie will look it up. I didn’t mean to imply I had checked that there were no studies on menopausal women- just that the researcher from the Horizon programme had excluded us from her study group.

    I am really glad to read that it has worked for us. Still trying to work out why no good for me as yet. Certainly feel hungry and a bit stressed physically on both the fast day and the next day. Hard to feel as if effort is being made but no progress. V disappointing- rather like Jenny Craig followed to letter but no results.

    Am going to keep a food diary.

    All the best to the other posters- so happy for those that are losing, it gives me hope

    Hi PreciousBooBoo and all LOACA. Thank you for starting this thread!

    I have only just started 5:2 fasting – unofficially and unplanned yesterday around midday, after I’d had my normal breakfast and bought fish for dinner already – so my day ended up at 630 calories., but was a way of easing myself into it! I’ll officially start on Monday, and my husband is going to do it as well.

    I’m 51 and I’m not sure where I am in menopause as I had a hysterectomy some years ago – I still have ovaries but no uterus, so no obvious signs of hormonal changes. In 2008 an unexploded aneurism was found in my brain and in the next few years while they tried to stabilise it my physical activity was limited – unexploded bomb in head means you don’t want to push hard! I ended up having brain surgery in Dec 2010 to bypass the artery. All went very well but the incision in my leg where they extracted the vein to put into my head became infected, and that limited my exercise, too. As a consequence of all of tis, I put on another 20 kilos (44 pounds) above the extra 10+ I was carrying.

    I have been restricting calories off and on for more than 12 months, and upping my exercise but I’ve had a lot of trouble shifting any weight and keeping it off.

    It seems to me that one’s individual metabolism is key, and I haven’t managed to find a way to boost mine to burn more fat. This is why 5:2 fasting appeals to me as a good thing to try – that it can give the metabolism a short, sharp shock and boost it into a different mode of functioning and processing fuel. I certainly felt different yesterday, on my 630 calorie, very low carb intake. I’ll be interested to see how 5:2 goes for me.

    Your comments about not sleeping resonate with me, PreciousBooBoo, because I’ve probably had only 2 decent nights’ sleep in over 2 years. In my case, these days it’s not getting to sleep that’s the problem (as it used to often be for me) but staying asleep, for two reasons – firstly, I snore, and wake myself (and my husband!). Secondly, I have to sleep mostly on my side because of the snoring, and I can only do one side because of the replacement artery in my head running on the side of my face, and after a couple of hours in bed I get a really bad back. Our bed is quite firm and this doesn’t suit my rounded curvy figure, and that doesn’t help. I actually now sleep out on the couch around half the time, which is more comfortable. (I suspect my flabby tummy is pulling my spine out of shape…)

    I’ve read in a number of sources and my doctor agrees that it is very, very hard to lose weight when you don’t sleep enough. I suspect it’s a metabolism thing – if you’re fatigued, the metabolism stays slow as a protection, and therefore exercise is harder and just exhausts you rather than boosting your body’s functioning, and there’s no happy endorphin rush! And if you consistently have fewer calories than you need for your basic body functioning, I suspect you just feel tireder rather than actually burning fat. Add on menopausal hormones – double whammy!

    For me, addressing the sleep issue is important. I can’t afford a new bed yet, but I take afternoon naps often (I work mostly from home so I’m lucky I can) and refuse to feel guilty about it. Two hours in the afternoon plus 4-5 hours at night does help – and then I can work on into the night, which is my productive work time.

    When I had a lot of difficulty getting to sleep, I found that a drop or two of lavender oil on a tissue near the pillow, or dabbed on my temples, helped a great deal, and I still use it especially if I’m stressed by something and the brain is in racing, circling mode.

    Okay, this has become as long as a book (and not the book I’m supposed to be writing!)

    Thank you all for sharing your experiences – I feel much more informed going in to this, and am glad there is support from women in similar circumstances.


    I wonder if sleep is one of my problems. I get to sleep very quickly but wake in the night a couple of times. There are even nights when I awake every two hours! I’m trying a. Pimple of weeks 4:3 and see if that works.

    I’m just now joining this forum–I’ve been on 5:2 for one week and it was surprisingly easy, I even look forward to doing my fast day. And yes, in the evening I was thinking about eating a hamburger and french fries (which I would normally NOT do) but this morning, on an ‘eat’ day–so far I have no desire to do so. Thank goodness!

    I’m 63 and have struggled with weight all my life. I got addicted to sugar very early on. I’m not using a scale to judge my progress as I can no longer face the ups and downs. I’m letting my clothes be my guide along with how I feel. I do a complete yearly blood workup and that’s about 5 months away–which should be very interesting this time as I will continue doing 5:2 until then and beyond. It’s the first time I feel that I can actually ‘do this’. My blood work will tell me lots as my cholesterol was getting higher and higher along with blood sugars. I went completely vegan to get my numbers down and gained weight due to the high carbs, even though I had eliminated all refined carbs. Plus it was simply very difficult to commit to and I wasn’t feeling better and better as I am now.

    Anyway, in one week my clothes are fitting better, I feel amazing, even took a walk around the neighborhood yesterday, something I haven’t done in a long time. My energy is really good on this way of eating–so far, and I feel good about myself and what I’m doing.

    What I have to be careful of: eating too much protein on ‘feast days’ as it turns to sugar pretty quickly for me and then I gain…so I keep it to around 8 ounces or 55 grams at the high end and less on fast days, of course.

    I”m grateful for this forum, super fabulous reading all of your posts, keeps me encouraged and positive.

    Don’t despair…. most of the first few weeks for me seemed to be loss of water/fluid rather than fat, then I plateaued for three weeks and this week I’ve lost another pound – which presumably is fat. My blood results show that something is going on (for the better) so stick at it. You could try drinking more on fast days (black coffee is a diruetic – so it may help to shift the fluid). If you’re on HRT or similar then that can cause you to retain water…. but I’m not a doctor so don’t fiddle about with your medication without checking first. Hope that helps.

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