Help..Not loosing weight

This topic contains 78 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  dykask 5 years, 8 months ago.

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  • I started the 5-2 three weeks ago, and have been really strict about following it. I have fasted, well, 400 calories max over at least 24 hours for two to three days a week. The rest of the week, I do pretty much eat my norm, except a little less as I am so conscientious about it. I never binge. I kicked up exercise a bit, and am dancing two to three times a week, with some home exercises I do on the other days. In three weeks, I have lost one pound. I am a bit discouraged. Thank you for listening.

    Hi Oldtirednurse, there are a lot of factors in weight and three weeks isn’t very long. Exercise can even increase your weight, but for good reasons. Muscle is heavier than fat and you can also retain more water. Also weight varies a lot throughout the day. I often see multiple pounds difference within a single day.

    Sometimes the tape measure is more important than the scale. It is possible to trim down and be a little heavier. Over time many people lose around a pound a week.

    Now you might have to look at what you eat. In my case I can eat a good amount of food if I avoid refined sugar. Some people fatten quickly off of bread and other process carbs. While it is good to eat less it is better to eat well and avoid as much processed food as possible.

    There are lot of threads here with people concerned about the scale. You might want to read through some. I wish you well.


    Not losing weight usually means that too much food is being consumed.

    What do you mean by 400 calories over at least 24 hours?

    If you fast on a Monday the fasting period starts after dinner on Sunday and extends until you break your fast on Tuesday and you should only eat 500 calories maximum in what is actually a 36 hour period so I’m wondering if you are actually following 5:2 properly.

    As for non fast days, the first thing to do calculate your TDEE using sedentary as your exercise level and your goal weight rather than what you weigh now. Then you need to ensure you stick to it. Using your goal weight helps you adjust to eating less and means less adjustment one you reach goal.
    It would also be a useful exercise to count calories every day for a couple of weeks, no guessing, proper weighing and measuring and ensuring you include everything you eat and drink. You might discover you are eating rather more than you thought.

    As dykask says, it’s not a fast weight loss usually around 1lb per week but it does work if you stick with it.

    Good luck.

    Thank you dykask and Amazon for your kind answers. As I was a night nurse for many years, timing is a bit different, as I keep a crazy late night schedule still. It was working all night long that put on my weight to begin with. I forgot to add my initial sleep time, so my fast is from 3:am until 1:00 or 2:00 p (35 hours later) I am pretty sure my exercise has not added muscle much, as I am mostly dancing and then doing a little cardio at home. I will try to cut down even more, it is hard as I do get so hungry. I am also a pescatarian (I eat fish, but no other meat). I sure want this to work. Thanks .

    Hunger comes and goes. Have a glass of water or a hot drink and keep busy and you’ll get through it. After a while your body will adapt to eating less food, less often.

    Oldtirenurse you might need to figure out what food drives your weight gain. For me it is refined sugar and foods containing it. Avoiding refined sugars forces me to avoid a lot of processed foods. For some people it seems to more limited to breads and pastas. Where I live I would really suffer if I didn’t eat rice and some noodles but I do try to limit those when I’m not too hungry. Many people believe it is only calories but for me that is no longer true. I think it was pretty true a couple decades ago … age.

    Anyway I encourage you to exercise, while it can confuse the scale, over the long run it really helps. However it sounds like you have a job that requires you to at least move around a bit. If I didn’t do some exercise I would be just glued to a desk.

    As @amazon says you can’t trust hunger, especially when you have too much weight. You body is goofed up and the hunger signals are often confused. For me that is why refined sugar is so bad, it causes me to feel hungry. When I started avoiding refined sugar much of my on-going hunger went away. Now I’m to the point that if I eat some desert I even feel a sugar rush. For me it isn’t a food it is a drug. Just one that is hard to completely avoid. Strangely fruit has a much lighter impact on me so I mostly sweeten things with fruit, but I find I need less sweetness than I used too.

    Your schedule may drive a lot of craziness when it comes to weight. Also as a man I probably face somewhat different issues than you do.

    When it comes to weight I don’t think it is the meat or even fat so much as the carbs that tend to drive the weight. Things like fries, chips, breads, pastas, salad dressings, sauces and deserts really drive fat storage. Strangely enough fat itself often seems less damaging to weight. I think if you can make the bulk of your diet fish, vegetables and fruit you will have a easier time losing body fat. The processed foods are really the killers, at least for me.

    I’m not even sure I’m giving you anything useful. For me it was pretty much avoiding refined sugar. After I started that my diet changes a lot and I dropped 10kg. I used to tip the scales at over 106kg and now I’m typically around 83kg. My ideal weight is probably around 78kg, however even at 83kg I’m really trim compared to what I used to be. What works for you may be a little different. For the record, my diet isn’t low-carb but it somewhat low in refined carbs, that is my diet is low in highly processed foods. I do eat things like chips, deserts, etc but much less than I used to. The modern processed foods are very fattening to me. At this point if I have something like fries I know it is bad for my weight and I probably consume about 1/4 of what I did in the past. It is all about finding the tipping points and not going over them, if that makes sense.

    For the record it took me many months to get over my sugar addiction. It took much longer before I reached a point where I didn’t long for a lot of processed foods. It has taken me almost six years to go from my high of 106kg to my current weights and at this point I’m actually building a lot of muscle mass which is slowing down my weight loss. That is okay but it took me years to get here.

    You have to really figure out what works for you. For me it is avoiding refined sugar, fasting and exercise. Others find even better success with different formulas. I wish you well and good success.


    My wife is a nurse. They have the worst diets know to man due to their shift work. My wife lives on chocolates, lollies, cakes and biscuits while on shift. I place more importance on what I eat rather than how much I eat. I do not count calories. Its not necessary if you eat the right foods. My wife has seen me lose 48 pounds, 202lbs to 154lbs so she knows it works but only after 3 years of nagging is she now prepared to eat healthily. She is a vegetarian. Not eating meat does not mean you eat healthily. I find it to be quite the opposite as most vegos eat very little vegetables!! They live on grain based foods and rice. That stuff will slowly kill you. Ask yourself is what Im about to put in my mouth a grain based product? If it is then youre going to struggle to lose weight no matter how much will power you have.

    Once you get into a routine about 1lb per week is an average weight loss. Good luck.

    I’m not convinced that grains are that bad, most of the world would be starving if it weren’t for grains. That being said, if the grains are highly processed and that makes up the bulk of the diet, that isn’t good. So I agree if the bulk of the diet is gains in the form of cakes, cookies, biscuits, etc … it isn’t good.

    I like starting my day with oatmeal which is made from just rolled oats. I top it with a lot of sliced fruit and raisons. I don’t seem to have any negative impacts from that filling breakfast. Typically I have white rice with meals. Well some consider that horrible the nutritional difference between white rice and brown rice is small. It is much easier to get more nutritional benefits from more vegetables. In Japan I’m lucky since a wide variety of vegetables are used in typical Japanese dishes.

    Many processed foods are typically poor for your health, most processed foods have a lot of sugar, even things like store bought bread are loaded with sugar. Many of these foods have the same ingredients, flour, sugar typically in the form of high fructose corn syrup, salt and little else. I agree that kind of food is horrible for losing weight and health in general. On the other hand, vegetables are packed with nutrition and hard to get fat on. So while I’m not afraid of grains, I try to eat my 10 servings a day of fruits and vegetables, at least when I’m not fasting.

    I agree with dykask’s advice. Lots of fruits and vegetables and limit processed foods. It’s hard to overeat vegetables and fruit because of their bulk and fiber. Legumes are also high in fiber and are great for keeping you feeling full for a long time. I eat mostly whole grains but also eat white rice with some recipes. Like dykask, those dishes have a lot more vegetables than rice. I think of white rice as more of a carrier for the veggies. Sushi with brown rice just doesn’t do it for me.

    I try to avoid fruit juices and eat the whole fruit instead. When I use fruit in a smoothie, it’s the whole fruit, not just the juice.

    I lost about 13 kg to reach my goal by doing the 5:2 and never skipping a fast day. I count the 500 calories on FDs but almost never count on NFDs. But if you’re not losing, perhaps weighing foods and keeping track for a week or so on NFDs would be a good idea, just in case something you’re not aware of is adding too many calories.

    Good luck to you on your 5:2 journey.

    Thank for the support CalifDreamer!

    I don’t really disagree with bigbooty … it is just I live in Japan and frankly one would probably not be very comfortable without being to eat some rice, noodles or other grain products. Still those foods are just fillers or holder for the vegetables, eggs and some meat.

    I think though some parts of the world are kind of upside down in how they eat, for many grains in the form of processed foods make up the bulk of the diet. Carbohydrates generally breakdown into glucose, although the rate that it happens can vary a lot. However processing tends to speed up the breakdown into glucose when consumed and then lots of fructose is also mixed in from the processing. It is kind of a double whammy. Fructose fattens up the liver and then the excess glucose gets shoved into our main fat reserves. We top it off by snacking and keeping our blood insulin high which limits the amount of fat we can burn. It is really a fattening cycle.

    my sympathy to all those not losing weight, but one cannot measure hope or despair by a scale! I know that this is a psychological malady, over eating and I pray to be well one day. I pray my faith increase. Unfortunately we are dealing with a very sophisticated machine here. It stubbornly sticks to its weight (homeostasis) and is subject to many unseen factors. Thermo dynamics. I am resolved I will lose. If the 5:2 does not work for me I will do a 2:5. If that doesn’t work I will fast until I drop 20 lbs. and walk until my poor little feet cant walk no mo! I will do whatever is necessary, with God at my side I cannot fail. I will also learn to accept myself no matter how I look physically. As long as we have our health and our faith… never give up!

    Fasting is very powerful but there is a point where it isn’t positive. Please don’t fast if you don’t feel well. While fasting one should have plenty of strength and vigor. It isn’t about starving, it is about using your fat and healing your body.

    We have to listen to our bodies, they know best. Only eat when hungry. Drink when thirsty. Put no time limit on your recovery. Just to know we are healing is enough. Glory be to God!

    Again, thank all of you so much. I listen and take notes. Just to tell you, the only meat I ever eat is fish or seafood. I am pescatarian, and a wanna be vegetarian. I eat very little processed foods, and mostly zero fast foods. I do not snack on chips, etc. except the occasional popcorn. I admit I do like butter on my popcorn though. And I love ice cream, but try not to have much. This weekend, I participated in an intense Swing Dance event, we danced for many hours for three days. I lost four pounds. I know some could be water weight, and expect maybe a little disappointment on the scales, but I do feel I hydrated well, so… I think I was a little slow at the beginning, and maybe I am now kick started. One can hope! I want to be healthy. I want to dance. I want to see grandkids grow up, and I will do what I can to make that happen. Thank you so much. Love and support to every one of you.

    Exercise is great for the body and mind, not so much for the scale. You should exercise and it is helpful, just don’t bank on it to force the weight down. There are many reasons for that:

    * Lean body mass built by exercise is much denser than fat. (Takes up less volume but weighs more.)
    * When we exercise we tend to move less the rest of the time, a compensation effect.
    * Exercise increases the appetite and many eat more even without realizing it.
    * Muscles can hold a lot more water than fat does, can be very wet and heavy.
    * etc

    That being said, exercise can help burn fat and help reduce the fat being stored. Sometimes it returns great rewards with weight, it just isn’t something to bank on. Still there are so many other positives from exercise so it is well worth it.

    Oldtirednurse, congrats on the 4 pound weight loss! I think that sometimes our bodies just hold on to a lot of water, for whatever reason, and then give it up all at once. It seemed that my plateaus were like that, where one day most of that water weight would just go. There were times when I’d be up several times during the night, even though I didn’t have a lot to drink right before bed. Maybe it was salt intake or maybe it was something else. But I’m glad your weight finally gave you that nice whoosh effect! I bet your weight loss will be more even now. Keep drinking lots of calorie free liquids to keep things constant.

    pain and suffering which is the root cause of all disorders cannot be measured on the weight scale. that is what I tell myself. one day at a time. sometimes sacrifices will be called for. I too love ice cream and cookies but if I eat them will I lose weight>? which is more important to me? five minutes of pleasure of the day long satisfaction of controlling my desires? peace to all

    while exercise in and of itself does not do much for weight loss, the discipline and self esteem gained from it is priceless! The more we keep exerting our wills to do the right things for our bodies, the more our success will spread and then the weight will start to drop off, peace yall

    I spoke too soon. A little over four weeks and I have lost six pounds. Loving it. I think my body just took a while to get used to the idea of loosing. Thank you all so much.

    So pleased for you! Especially that you stuck with it. It’s hard to stick with it when we don’t see the reward.

    Great work!

    That’s great news, Oldtirednurse! Congratulations! Around a pound per week seems to be the average, so you’re already ahead of the game. 5:2 can seem a little slow sometimes but I think the trade-off in terms of how simple and easy it is to stick with it, makes up for that. It becomes so routine after a while. For me, The biggest thing is that it’s sustainable, a way of life I can stick to now that I’ve reached my goal. I don’t feel deprived since I can eat normally for the other 5 days of the week.

    great! I am in the position where you were lol! I have only myself to blame. I have lost so many lbs. over the past few years and did not maintain the loss! I cannot complain if I now cannot seem to lose any weight no matter what I do. I am trying hard not to focus on the scale but golly gee it’s so hard!!! peace to everyone

    jrmelmer, For me, I hope that maintaining after my weight is back to where I want it, will be just like when I quit smoking many years ago. Whenever I thought about going back to light one up, I remembered how hard quitting was and did not do it. Thank you all for the encouragement. This is working, and I already feel better. Hang in there. Think about how good you will feel!

    weigh in yesterday showed almost 3 lb loss for one week, I am so grateful, keep up the good fight yall

    Yum. 3/4 cup riced cauliflower and broccoli, with 1 teaspoon barbecue sauce 25 total calories. 🙂

    Oldtirednurse it is great to hear your progress!

    Thank you for your encouragement. It means a lot!

    oldtired, keep up the progress. Maybe you won’t be so tired eventually. [can’t do anything about your age, but you might feel younger as you lose weight!]

    Hi. I am new to the forum and am struggling to get going. I have responded to your message as it’s exactly like me. I started 5/2 on January 10th clearly momentus to me as I recall the date exactly. But I have lost only 6lbs. I am strict on the 500 cals two days a wk. I choose work days as for me it’s busy I am on tge move and drink water all day I eat at home a 500 cals meal at about 7.30 pm. I started doing the two days together very hard on the mind. I also used to split cals in half and have lunch then supper. But I found tge evening difficult. I manage better drinking water all day til 7.30 pm as stated. But I have barely lost weight. It’s disheartening it’s classic me. I have always been three four five months on a diet regime strict and barely lose and give up. I have gymmed and walked and cycled and even had a personal trainer in those four months once and lost not one ounce. Had my thyroid checked and I am apparently fine. I am over fifty and gained 4.5 stone 12 yrs ago during nurse training. No I never eat snacks or treats at work. Never have. I decided to do the 5/2 as a Dr at work advocated it medically. But I am sticking to it but I have barely lost weight. I am beyond desperate but have no no idea what to do. I don’t dare stop. I feel weight or size has reduced in my top half somewhat but that’s it. It’s been sometime since you messaged have you cracked this yet? Are you losing weight? Thanks👍

    Heya. I read your reply to the tired nurse, (funny as I too am that!) I do what you say. I actually sent off for the original 5/2 book this wk to check if I am doing it wrong. I have a notepad and have checked cals and written down my regular diet. A friend checked online what amount I should eat daily on the non fast days she had done the 5/2 previously. She told me I could eat over 2000 cals a day!!!! I calculated my normal days initially in complete honesty to see what I tend to consume I wasn’t even reaching 1800 with snacks.i cannot manage 2000 cals a day. So I aimed for 1700 as it’s less than my norm. I did all of this without help just with min explanation of the 5/2 from a Dr. But apparently I am doing it all correctly? I like doing Tues and Thurs each week as the fast days. I fast all day til I am home and eat at 7.30pm, I rink 2 litres of plain water all day. Work colleagues are in horror, but I often find people say ‘you need to do something about your weight’ and then you do and they do not support. I have lost size slightly, but since Jan 10th 2018 I have lost just 6 lbs. I yoyo from tge 4 lb mark up to 6 lb to 8lb mark back down to 6lb then 4lb. (This is how many stones I am and so many pounds!). I cannot shift the weight. Thanks?

    Hi. I want to defend nurses diets here but I can’t. I need to defend myself though as people assume I do what you said. I am very overweight I got fat during nurse training. I used to run and cycle and swim and at 9St 3 thought I was fat! Lol. Now I am fat I long to be 10 St haha I didn’t eat crap at all was a veggie for 19 yrs and ate so sensibly I have never eaten the cakes chocs biccies crisps we get at work. I see my colleagues men worse than women in my area of work, consume the boxes of chocs given in gulps, and cakes etc are devoured daily as though they will lose out. I bring in food for my lot as a way to contribute of which i never ever eat. I have been watching my food at work for 12 years. To no avail. I eat sensibly. I do like sugar. I have switched to honey after reading a great deal re the poison of processed sugar. Anyway my thyroid is apparently fine but my thyroid does swell? And tge butterfly shape is apparent. But blood tests show nothing. So I now cycle and walk and am doing the 5/2 since Jan and only lost 6 lbs it yoyos to 4lb lost to 6 lost to 4 lost I do not get any further. I must be doing something wrong but after reading the book this wk end seems not. Any help would be great. Ta.

    Reall this is a great motivational topic for every overweight person like as me.

    this morning as I was praying I received this: forget (literally) about your weight and what you eat. Just pray more to be healthy and holy. simple advice but im taking it peace out

    Hi Port and welcome:

    If you are not losing weight, then you are eating too much food. It is that simple.

    I suggest that you first go to the top of this page to ‘How It Works’ and re-compute your TDEE. I suggest that after you determine your ‘activity level’ you use one level below because virtually everyone overestimates the amount of activity they do. Some also suggest you put in your goal weight instead of your current weight to insure that the TDEE given is a low, rather than high, estimate. This ‘new’ TDEE might explain why your weight loss is so slow – if it is lower than the 2000+ you have been using, that will mean the calorie deficit caused by the diet is currently less than you think it is.

    Your general goal is to eat 500 or fewer calories on your diet days, and your TDEE or less on your non-diet days.

    I’m sure, especially since you mentioned you like sugar (who doesn’t?), that some people will pop on here, explain that sugar is terrible for you (and that honey sugar is no better than any other sugar) and that you must immediately banish it (and other processed carbs like flour) from your diet or you won’t have a chance of success with 5:2.

    My recommendation, however, is to ignore that advice for now. It is hard enough to incorporate 5:2 into your lifestyle without further having to radically change the foods you are currently eating, too. After you have successfully done four to eight weeks of 5:2 you can then reevaluate what you are doing, including what you are eating, and begin making choices that fit your eating patterns and food choices. 5:2 can accommodate any choices you make, because it is calorie based, not food based, and can therefore work with virtually any food diet.

    Long experience has proven that the people that start by doing the basic 5:2 successfully eventually develop food diets that work for them and end up very happy with their results. People that try to make too many changes to their diets all at the start usually end by giving up and going away.

    Here are most of the basic tips you will need to be successful on 5:2:

    Good Luck!

    Portchie, have you calculated your TDEE? You will find info about it under Resources at the top of the Forum page. You are right: 2000 calories for a Slow Day is way too high. This would be the reason that you are not losing weight. And when you calculate your TDEE, instead of putting your current weight in, use the weight you would like to be.
    Does sound as if there is a thyroid issue, but I’m no doctor and you are the nurse… Change the amount you eat on a Slow Day and you might get on track.
    Good luck to you and to OldTired.

    @portchie – Have you actually written down everything that you eat? You should try that for at least a few days.

    Calorie counting is almost worthless it is so error prone it really only gives one a rough estimate. Even the calorie counts on packages are often off. If companies with great equipment can’t do it any better, then you can be sure you can’t trust your own counts. Besides that the standard counts used for many foods were set up over 100 years ago and are often just estimates. Many times values have been rounded down. Don’t you think it is funny that carbs and proteins work out to 4 calories / gram or fats to 9 calories / gram. Mother nature and your body don’t count calories. I assure you the actual values don’t workout to nice round numbers.

    TDEE is another estimate and while it has value for large populations it can be way off for an individual. In fact TDEE can vary a lot for just one person day to day. If you overeat your body can increase things like heartrate to burn more food. So keep that in mind. I actually use an activity tracker and it mostly works off of heartrate. My daily calories burned range anywhere from 2300 to 3200 calories / day. That is quite a range.

    Finally our bodies don’t count calories and not all food is used for energy. Forcing everything to be in terms of energy is just another rough estimate. All these estimates taken together can leave someone like yourself on the fat end of the stick.

    simcoeluv advised you to ignore any advice but his. That is pretty lame considering you are doing exactly what he says you should and it isn’t working. Calorie counting does work well enough for some people, others it just drives them crazy. TDEE does work well for some people and calorie restriction typically works well short term. Calorie restriction typically fails in the long term. I’ve seen estimates as many as 97% of people using just calorie restriction end up being just as heavy as they started two years down the road. That is pretty grim.

    In my own case I used calorie restriction only (no fasting) for 4 years. The first two years I went from 106kg to about 94kg. Then I was stuck. I worked out harder cut calories more and actually was losing lean body mass and gaining fat. (Sound familiar?) Finally I gave up the last treat I had a daily ice-cream bar that was around 300 calories. I was eating well under 2000 calories a day at that point. Two things happened, I started feeling a lot better as my constant driving hunger went away and I stopped putting on fat. From there I did cut almost all added refined sugar from my diet and I ended up replacing it mostly with nuts at the time. I actually started eating more food in terms of calories and my weight started dropping. I went down to around 87kg pretty quickly and I had to buy smaller pants. After that I started fasting and I’ve gone further but I eat more on a weekly basis than I used to. That is mostly because I’m activity working on building muscle and it has slowed my weight loss. (This morning I was 79.3kg)

    Okay the point is what we eat really matters. I don’t know if refined sugar or honey is your problem, but something is. You need to figure it out and only you can do that. There are some good starting points:

    1) Avoid processed foods as much as possible. I do eat some processed foods but I know I have to keep it very limited. The more whole foods you eat the better off you will be. Processed foods are packed with refined sugars, salt, low quality fats and refined grains.

    2) Push vegetables as much as possible, they are filling and won’t make you fat.

    3) If you do cut out sugar you can try replacing it with whole fruit. For example ground up figs can be used if you don’t mind the taste. This provides some fiber at least. Anyway it is difficult to overeat on whole fruits.

    From there user your food log and experiment. Calories are important but what you eat can even be more important, at least it was for me. I’m hyper sensitive to refined sugar and it quickly adds fat to my middle. However, I’m a man and men are more prone towards that. It could be your issue, or maybe something else is or perhaps some combination. Only you can figure it out, but a food log should help.

    Something else I do is I just water fast, I find this easier and more effective for myself. However many people find it more difficult. My primary problem is keeping my blood glucose low. For that water fasting is great.

    Hi Port:

    As I mentioned, someone would show up and say calories don’t matter and the food you eat is all important.

    But this is a 5:2 site, 5:2 is a calorie based diet, and if you want to follow 5:2 you will watch your calories.

    I still suggest it is a lot easier to watch your calories for a couple of months than it is to totally change your diet.

    It is up to you.

    Good Luck!

    @simcoeluv do you even bother to read people’s posts? Portchie 3 posts belabored the fact that she was counting calories in all three posts.

    Calories are important but they are far from the only factor that effects people’s weight. Many of us here are living proof that 5:2 doesn’t even require calorie counting. It is just a tool but it isn’t the only tool in the toolbox.

    Hi dy:

    Do you even read them?

    She has never calculated her TDEE – her friend did. That is what I focused on.

    If you don’t believe in 5:2, don’t believe in the necessity in 5:2 of eating 1/4 of your TDEE on diet days and your TDEE or less on non-diet days – if you don’t even believe calories can be counted – why are you here? There must be other sites more attuned to your beliefs. Why roam around this site and tell people that the basics of 5:2 are unimportant?

    5:2 has worked for tens of thousands of people around the world, many with different diets than yours (much less focus than yours – muscles). Why try to convert the world to your diet?

    @Porchie – A few more thoughts.

    Fasting deplete glycogen which tends to dehydrate us. A lot of the bouncing weight may just be water weight as the glycogen is depleted and restored. Glycogen is roughly 75% water.

    I personally believe that nutrition is more important than calories. If you focus on having a nutritious diet is will force you to eat a lot of foods that are naturally low on calorie density. It can take time for the body to adjust too. For example even though I was losing weight I used to have excessive gas from eating some foods. That isn’t so much an issue anymore. Anyway it is easy to cut back on calories but also end up with poor nutrition.

    Finally you are walking and biking some now. That can really mess up your weight sometimes. You should also be paying attention to measurements. If your muscles were weak and now you are using them they will quickly be heavier. You might want to consider an activity tracker too to help you get a better idea of what you are really doing and even how many calories you consume a day.

    Hi Portchie,

    Ok so what you are doing isn’t working. is that a fair statement? So if you do more of the same you’ll probably get the same results. I hope that’s a fair enough statement. So you need to change something. Does 5:2 work? Yes it does for lots of people, but not everyone. Does 5:2 + eating healthy work? Yes it does and it may also help people that fall into your situation. You need to find what your “healthy eating” is.

    The concept of CICO (calories in calories out) that is followed religiously by some has a fatal flaw in its logic. It assumes that WHAT you eat does not influence the calories that are expended (i.e. the CO part of CICO). This assumption is incorrect. What you eat has a significant impact on CICO. If this was not the case then how simple would it be to have 500 calories of sugar on your fast day as your meal. Then your TDEE worth of sugar for the rest of the week. You’d end up very ill in a very short time and I seriously doubt you’d lose weight.

    Now everyone has their version of what healthy eating is. For me I now exclude all refined sugars (including honey which is just 85% sugar + 15% water), so no chocolate, fruit juice, honey etc. I do not eat any refined grain based products, so no bread, rice, pasta, cakes, biscuits etc. When I was trying to lose weight (started at 202 lbs and now 154 lbs been in maintenance for 3 years) I would not eat fruit. Since reaching my target weight I do eat some fruit. Mostly berries and apples.

    Do an audit of what you eat and group the foods into different parts.

    Processed grains like bread, rice etc.
    simple sugars, chocolates, honey table sugar etc.
    Fruits, high like bananas and low sugar content fruits like strawberries
    veggies, cruciferous or starchy
    alcohol, beer red wine etc
    fats like cheese, yogurts
    proteins like beef, chicken etc.
    proteins like nuts, beans, lentils etc.

    Now eliminate one of those big categories for a month. Did you make progress or it made do difference? Find what you need to eliminate.

    Hi Big:

    “The concept of CICO (calories in calories out) that is followed religiously by some has a fatal flaw in its logic. It assumes that WHAT you eat does not influence the calories that are expended (i.e. the CO part of CICO). This assumption is incorrect.”

    Could you please cite some clinical studies that confirm WHAT you eat influences calories expended?


    @simcoluv, it seems you didn’t read what I wrote and you are making assumptions you can’t be sure of. I’m not pushing a particular diet other to eat healthy and to learn what you are doing. You have only one mode of advice, compute TDEE and count calories, nothing else matters. That is trying to push everyone down a path that is proven not to work very well as almost all diets center around calorie restriction and almost all diets only work short-term. With 5:2 it is possible to good results but that probably has a lot more to do with the fasting aspect than the calorie counting. Now you have crossed a line where you are even saying not to listen to anyone but you. You are the one trying to force something. If you what to stick to your narrow viewpoint, that is your choice but don’t try to stop others from expressing their views.

    My advice is simple and it has to do with examining what is being eaten and figuring out what works and what doesn’t. How is that forcing any particular diet?

    Finally there is nothing wrong with working with a friend on a diet even if that friend is computing TDEE for them. In fact that should be encouraged. Social support can be a big factor in losing weight. That being said, computing TDEE is rather bogus and there is wide variation between individuals. Working with someone else is probably worth far more than the actual numbers. If the diet is examined one will find a level and style of eating that works for them.

    @bigbooty – I’m glad you are no longer afraid to share your diet. Just because I have some differences in what I eat doesn’t make your choices wrong. We all have differences. 🙂

    Hi dy:

    As for calorie restriction, I refer you to the first segment of a BBC program hosted by Michael Mosley entitled ‘Eat, Fast an Live Longer’. In that segment, it reports that calorie restriction causes people that follow it become a ‘different species’.

    No diet will work if you don’t follow it. Including yours. But that does not mean that ‘it doesn’t work’ – if you follow it. If people want to lose weight on 5:2, they will if they eat 5/600 cal. per day twice a week and to or less than their TDEE on the other five days. Your belief that it will not work is simply wrong.

    Why try to make people change their total diets just to lose weight when they don’t have to?

    @simcoeluv – Determining what is holding one back from losing weight isn’t changing a whole diet. In fact changing the whole diet is what you are pushing. You only answer is to eat less and when that doesn’t work eat less. Scaling a diet down and down becomes extremely drastic. At some point everything breaks. If you bothered to really watch the whole BBC program you would see that Michael Mosley mostly focused on learning about fasting and then figured out how to build a diet around fasting. It wasn’t using fasting to restrict calories, instead he allowed calories to get people to at least fast a little. It isn’t purely calorie restriction, it is about getting the body in a mode where it does burn off more fat. Even short fast promote drastic changes in our hormone levels.

    As for CICO, Dr. Ethan Sims conducted overfeeding studies in the 1960’s. He was. I did a quick search didn’t get me to the actual study but I found a blog that talks about it.

    Some citations for sims and others on overfeeding.
    1. Sims EA. Experimental obesity in man. J Clin Invest. 1971 May; 50( 5): 1005– 11.
    2. Sims EA et al. Endocrine and metabolic effects of experimental obesity in man. Recent Prog Horm Res. 1973; 29: 457– 96.
    3. Ruppel Shell E. The hungry gene: the inside story of the obesity industry. New York: Grove Press; 2003.
    4. Kolata G. Rethinking thin: the new science of weight loss— and the myths and realities of dieting. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 2008.
    5. Levine JA, Eberhardt NL, Jensen MD. Role of nonexercise activity thermogenesis in resistance to fat gain in humans. Science. 1999 Jan 8; 283( 5399): 212– 4.
    6. Diaz EO. Metabolic response to experimental overfeeding in lean and overweight healthy volunteers. Am J Clin Nutr. 1992 Oct; 56( 4): 641– 55.
    7. Kechagias S, Ernersson A, Dahlqvist O, Lundberg P, Lindström T, Nystrom FH. Fast-food-based hyper-alimentation can induce rapid and profound elevation of serum alanine aminotransferase in healthy subjects. Gut. 2008 May; 57( 5): 649– 54.
    8. DeLany JP, Kelley DE, Hames KC, Jakicic JM, Goodpaster BH. High energy expenditure masks low physical activity in obesity. Int J Obes (Lond). 2013 Jul; 37( 7): 1006– 11.
    9. Keesey R, Corbett S. Metabolic defense of the body weight set-point. Res Publ Assoc Res Nerv Ment Dis. 1984; 62: 87-96.
    10. Leibel RL et al. Changes in energy expenditure resulting from altered body weight. N Engl J Med. 1995 Mar 9; 332( 10); 621– 8.
    11. Lustig R. Hypothalamic obesity: causes, consequences, treatment. Pediatr Endocrinol Rev. 2008 Dec; 6( 2): 220– 7.
    12. Hervey GR. The effects of lesions in the hypothalamus in parabiotic rat. J Physiol. 1959 Mar 3; 145( 2): 336– 52.3.
    13. Heymsfield SB et al. Leptin for weight loss in obese and lean adults: a randomized, controlled, dose-escalation trial. JAMA. 1999 Oct 27; 282( 16): 1568– 75.

    I understand that you only think calorie restriction matters and the fast days are only that. That doesn’t give you the right to try and prevent others from expressing their viewpoints.

    Hi dy:

    If you actually watched the Eat, Fast and Live Longer video you would know it had nothing to do with weight loss. It was a video about calorie restriction and longevity.

    As for ‘overeating’, I have recommended on this site and others (for years) that you watch this one:

    Sorry, but literally every clinical study done, and those that confirm the clinical studies done, confirm that cutting calories causes weight loss. Its only when people go off the ‘diet’ and start ‘overeating’ calories that they regain (or gain) weight.

    The constant turmoil between those that focus on good nutrition and those that focus on weight loss causes many problems for those that simply want to lose unwanted weight. 5:2 causes people to lose weight.

    It is a shame that some try to complicate or ignore that fact.

    @simcoeluv – You see what you wanted to see. At the end of the video he has put together 5:2. That is how I learned about 5:2. As I pointed out the documentary is about fasting and 5:2 is a diet built around fasting. It isn’t just using fasting for calorie restriction. There are already many, many diets that do that and don’t work that well.

    When it comes to clinical studies you are simply wrong. There are so many studies and yes there are studies around compliance too. In the end everyone one has to eat some sort of diet to maintain weight so you are literally saying nothing. Lately there has been more studies that show that all calorie restriction diets result in plateaus and in the end there isn’t any clear winner. Compliance is also complex and obesity is becoming recognized as a symptom of deeper metabolic issues. It is also turning out there is very little actual science behind CICO concept, it is more of a way to drive profits rather than just control weight. As all really good half truths, it is believed because there is some truth about it, it just is far from the whole story. Making blanket statements about all studies is only a troll tactic and I’m kind of shocked you think it proves your point of view.

    There are basically only a few types of diets.
    1) Calorie restrictive – which has proven to mostly fail.
    2) Type approach – LCHF, vegan, plant-based, etc. These tend to be more successful for some people. In general when they work they share one attribute, avoiding processed foods.
    3) Fasting based diets that are often coupled with many different diet approaches including 5:2.

    So it is true you can use a calorie restrictive approach to 5:2, but it isn’t limited to that. Fasting also isn’t limited to weight loss and I know you embrace Dr. Longo’s work, even though much of what he is claiming is still to be studied.

    Again I’m not objecting to you expressing your views, I’m objecting you trying to prevent others from expressing a their view points. You are the only one trying to force an agenda.

    Hi dy:

    Thanks for letting me express my views.

    Please give me your clinical studies that confirm that calorie restriction does not result in weight loss and that other approaches result in equal or more weight loss.


    @simcoeluv – I never said calorie restriction doesn’t result in weight loss, it normally does at least in the short term. You are being childish, twisting peoples words and using troll like tactics.

    Anyway here a recent study that shows the problem with long term calorie restriction in humans:

    There are other studies, but what is the point? You won’t accept them anyway.

    While calorie restriction is a tool and one that typically works over the short term, it almost always fails over the long term. It isn’t a failure of compliance either because the problem is the bodies metabolic response can change and often does change. Eventually the only choice would be failure or misery or death. Hardly a choice.

    I personally experienced this problem with calorie restriction and thankfully changing my diet and starting to fast seems to have resolved the issue. Also I was lucky that realized I was on a path I couldn’t sustain and kept experimenting to find something that worked. After learning to fast I was doing multiple multiday fasts, one was even a week long. It took time before I was able to eat as much as I do now. However my food choices are also much different now.

    I don’t expect anyone to drastically change their diet. However the first step in fixing one’s diet is to really understand what they are eating and that is why I advised Portchie to start writing down everything eaten. Then one can start making changes. The changes might be eating less but they also could be eating something else. Each person has to decide on what is right for them.

    Hi dy:

    I, again, point you to the ‘Eat, Fast and Live Longer’ video. The first segment was on people that followed calorie restricted diets – not for a few months, but for decades.

    As a follower of Dr. Fung, I understand you believe that calorie restricted diets don’t work. You believe that if you go on a calorie restricted diet your body will go into a starvation mode that slows down its metabolism and causes the body to regain any weight it may have initially lost.

    For that to be proven, there must be studies that show that when people go on a calorie restricted diet over a period of years (or decades) they will, according to Dr. Fung, initially lose weight (he concedes the initial weight loss), then plateaus and then reverses, causing the person to not only regain all weight originally lost, but even more.

    There are no studies supporting that belief. But there are decades’ long studies showing that if a person goes on a calorie restricted diet and remains on that diet they will not only lose weight, but also remain in or regain excellent physical health (again, see the Eat, Fast and Live Longer video). They do not regain any weight. In fact, all studies (and there are thousands) show that calorie restricted diets cause weight loss. It is only when people stop their diets, go back to eating how they used to eat, that they regain any weight lost on their calorie restricted diet.

    You rail against calorie restriction – the absolute basis of 5:2. Please let us all know what works better for weight loss. Please! How can we continue eating however much we have been eating (from a calorie perspective) and lose weight? Give us a diet that allows us to eat our TDEE or more and lose weight!

    Please let us know!!

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