Hi, I'm new from Chigwell,Essex. Uk. Just saying Hi !!

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Hi, I'm new from Chigwell,Essex. Uk. Just saying Hi !!

This topic contains 9 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Daz_B 1 year, 3 months ago.

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  • Hi everyone,

    I hope you are all keeping well ?

    My name is Darren, an aging 54 year old 😉 , finally feeling the need to lose weight and become a lighter, healthier me.

    Well I have finally started my weight loss journey just over two weeks ago, having weighed in at a heavy 16 stone 11 pounds, the heaviest I have ever been!

    Having a desk bound job and constantly snacking and eating whatever i liked, the pounds just piled on.:(

    But now having stuck to just 800 calories a day and eating healthy food, cooking at home, I have now lost 1 stone 3 pounds. I have never drunk soo much water in my life though lol.
    I must admit i’m feeling better in myself now though.

    I’m now starting stage 2, and have just had my first full fast day, only drinking water.
    Is it just me or does anyone else worry about every little thing they eat now?

    I’m looking forward to losing at least another 1 stone 5 pounds hopefully before Christmas.

    Are you all finding the 5:2 diet and fasting, easy to do ?

    I’m on medication for blood pressure, under-active thyroid, and colesterol, i would be interested if anyone has any recommendations regarding interesting recipes to make for anyone with an under-active thyroid ?

    I look forward to hearing from you all soon,
    Have a wonderful day!

    Hi Daz,

    I don’t know if this helps, but I’ve managed to keep following this regime for 9.5 years now, so it is definitely a sustainable way of life.

    I can’t help with any recipes but you may find times when the following links come in handy:-


    Hope it carries on going well. Best of luck with it.

    Hi Mr Data,

    Many thanks for your reply. I’m managing to keep my weight from increasing but seem to have hit a wall at 1 stone 6 pounds off.

    Good to hear you have kept to your regime for 9 and a half years now, Wow ! that’s dedication for you 🙂

    Just one last thing please, do you do a regular exercise routine to keep your weight off or is it mainly only down to the diet.

    Thanks for the links I will look into these shortly.

    I will stick with it.

    All the best,

    Hi Daz,

    Lots of people plateau for a while and then after a bit the weight starts coming off again. In my first 6 months (which is how long it took initially to get down to my target weight) I plateaued twice and even had a small increase for a while. So I wouldn’t worry about it and trust the process will start working again in a bit. (At least one of those links mentions this, I think.)

    My exercise levels have varied a lot over the last 9.5 years. No gym work in that time at all. Sometimes a fair bit of exercise on a static bike, but mostly not. When COVID hit I was able to do a lot more walking everyday and our holidays have been UK walking ones for the last 30 years. Partly inspired by the extra time during COVID I took early retirement in April this year and am now regularly walking 4.4 miles most days, instead of just at weekends, along the local river and canal. I have to be a bit careful with exercise anyway as I’ve had 5 knee ops and one back op – with another one due in a week.

    So overall, I have managed to keep pretty active but no “exercise regime” as such.

    Hope this helps.

    Hi Mr Data,

    Thank you so much for those encouraging words. I must admit I need to get out and walk more, now we have a new puppy in the house.

    I really felt the need to lose my weight following my first encounter with COVID nearly three years ago, which put me in hospital for two weeks over the 2020 Christmas and New Year whereby seeing three people pass away in front of me, really hit home what i need to do in my life. Thinking I wasn’t going to be coming home to my family, worried me big time.
    At least I sorted out my Will when I did get out.
    But, the hospital food had one benefit it helped me lose weight quickly !!

    I was a few pounds lighter than I am now.

    When I decided to get going on this diet, I had put on all the weight I had lost in hospital and always felt bloated.

    It’s working thought I’m feeling a lot better now bit more energy not as tired all the time, even though i still work and commute for 14 hours a day. Oh well life eh.

    Great to hear you get out more, walking most days along the scenic river and canal 🙂

    Thanks for the inspiration, and I hope it all goes well with your op due soon.

    Take care,



    Thanks Daz,

    That COVID experience sounds really awful. It must have been a hell of a relief when you left the hospital.

    I was diagnosed as being pre-diabetic and then shortly afterwards started feeling like there wasn’t room inside my body for my organs to fit comfortably. That sounds weird but I think it was the extra fat I was carrying at that time around my internal organs. Very fortunately Michael Mosley’s Horizon programme in 2012 was broadcast only a few weeks later and I immediately thought that was the only way I was going to lose weight. There was no way a strict calorie controlled diet was ever going to appeal and none of them ever seemed to work in the long term anyway. Also as I don’t eat many vegetables, most diet suggestions were never going to be workable for me anyway. It took me a little while to convince my wife it would work – had to re-watch the Horizon and buy the first book, but since then (Feb 2013) I haven’t looked back.

    I set myself 2 different interim targets down to my ideal weight (which I decided should be a BMI of 22.5, as a recent medical study at the time of a large number of other studies indicated that seemed to be about the best BMI for long term health into older age). First was to get down to a BMI of 25 so I was no longer considered to be overweight, then I think it was something like 13 stone which I hadn’t been since I was a teenager, then finally losing another 7 lbs to get down to 22.5 BMI. I actually went quite a bit lower than that initially, but lots of people said I looked too thin then. I shouldn’t have listened to them – I moved to 6:1, put some weight back on and then found it much harder to lose again the second time. After several months on 6:1 I went back to 5:2 and have stuck with it ever since. I never went higher than a BMI of 23.85, but it took a couple of years to consistently get my BMI back down to 22.5 to 23. I think it is a fairly common finding that the weight is easier to lose the first time, but if you relax too much and let it creep up again it is much harder to get rid of the next time.

    Just recently my wife and I have also started following the Zoe regime for trying to identify the best foods for our unique blood sugar control, blood fat control and gut microbiome. We first came across Zoe via their COVID tracking App which was usually 2 weeks ahead of the official Govt figures, but they’d adapted it from their diet app which was originally only available in the US. Sadly it turns out I have poor blood sugar control, bad blood fat control and whilst I have 5 “good bugs” I also have 14 “bad bugs” in my gut biome. Lack of many veggies all my life no doubt hasn’t helped at all, but it can be changed (and changed quite quickly) so I’m currently switching out dried fruit for various nuts instead. The process has also increased my fibre input by about 80% – the daily recommendation is 30g, UK average is about 16g, I seemed to typically be about 18g when I started logging food (a real pain in the arse to do) in the Zoe app, but after making some key changes I’m now up to 30-40g each day. The Zoe app is very clever in giving you a score for each food item, then for each meal or snack, so you can figure out what would be better to eat, but it can be a bit depressing, it is quite American in tone and you do have to pay for it too. There’s also a reasonably long waiting list in the UK, since it launched here only a few months ago. I’m sure it will do me good but it can be annoying – obviously all the things I really like to eat give me low scores, so I should only eat them occasionally or mix them with other things that have much better scores. Adding lots of herbs and spices really helps – lots of different plant types is the main message, not just lots of veggies. So fortunately fruit, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices all count and I don’t have to try to force veggies down my unwilling throat. The App has a huge number of food barcodes in its database so you can scan something in the supermarket to see what score it would give you and compare it to other similar things. It took a while to find a bread type that gave me a good score (over 50) – but the biggest shock was that whole milk was far, far better for me than skimmed or semi-skimmed. At least that was a very easy switch to make.

    I am down to a BMI of 22.2 today, so the Zoe approach seems to be having a good effect on my weight as well as doing 5:2 – although having to log everything also tends to reduce any snacking (actually you don’t “have” to log everything, but obviously the more you do, the more information you get).

    You might want to investigate Zoe in parallel with 5:2, although my experience was obviously that 5:2 worked very well by itself for 9.5 years, at least as far as just pure weight was concerned.

    Sorry – this post has become very long, and possibly quite boring too. I’ve done a bit of a brain dump.

    Thanks for your kind comments about the op and very best of luck with your 5:2ing.

    Hi Mr Data,

    Thank you so much for your interesting encouraging post.
    It certainly wasn’t boring !!

    Nice to hear from someone who likes to spend their time writing such a good post.
    I will look into the Zoe approach too, to compliment the 5:2.

    Good to hear whole milk is better than my current semi-skimmed, I will switch to that too as I would prefer whole milk.
    I too don’t eat enough vegetables, but I have started to enjoy asparagus which I never thought I would like. I prefer nuts and spices. Not sure of the benefits of small chia seeds but I’m mixing them with my porridge at the start of the day.
    Also, been eating loads of eggs lately along with bacon and do enjoy a prawn omelette.
    Sorry I’m rambling on, my wife always tells me I go on too much !!

    Great to hear from you, keep up with the healthy living !
    All the best wishes to you and your family.

    Kind regards,


    Hi Daz,

    Just a quick one re-Chia seeds. Must confess I’d never even heard of them until starting on Zoe but they boost one of my porridge Zoe scores by 10 points for 10g of them (which looks like a fair bit, but as far as I can tell they don’t really taste of anything, they just get stuck in my teeth occasionally).

    Sadly bacon has a crap score for me, so we’ve switched to scrambled egg with smoked salmon mixed in – it’s a hard life!

    FYI, if Zoe proves to be of any interest I may be able to nominate your e-mail address to get you an earlier invitation than would otherwise happen. My brother and sisters weren’t interested (they all eat more healthily than me anyway) so I think any such nominations I had are still all available. Let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

    All the best.

    Good morning Mr Data,

    Thank you for your invitation for the Zoe app program, I have looked into the program and at this moment in time I will give it a miss.
    I see there is a long waiting list and you order the kit along with the subscription. It seems very scientific and customized for each individual.
    At present i’m doing good with the 5:2 program.
    If I look into Zoe program again sometime in the future I will let you know, if you have any nominations left at that time maybe you can help me then.

    Keep well, look after yourself and I hope your op goes well. 🙂

    All the best, Daz.

    No problem Daz,

    I really hope 5:2 goes well for you. One final finding for me from Zoe that may be of interest – Flora Buttery gives me much better scores than Yeo Valley spreadable butter (76 vs 45) due to the fat levels and me having really bad blood fat control at the moment.

    Very best of luck with it – and always keep in mind it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

    All the best,

    Thank you very much for the encouragement and info, Mr Data.

    All the best, Daz.

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