I'm new to IF – what was your first fast day like?

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I'm new to IF – what was your first fast day like?

This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Mr Data 11 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • Please tell me about your experiences of your very first fast day: what was it like, how bad were the hunger pangs, do you always get hunger pangs on fast days now or did you see improvement after a few weeks?

    This diet/way of living is entirely new to me. I’m 42 and since my early 20s, I have used calorie control as a way of losing/maintaining my weight. While I’ve never been overweight, in the last few years and particularly since having kids and being less active, my weight has started creeping up. I’m currently around 7lbs heavier than I want to be and for the past six months I’ve been struggling to stick to a healthy eating plan. I decided that I needed to do something more drastic to lose this weight, particularly as I was told after a routine blood test in January that I am pre-diabetic which was a shock.

    I had heard of 5:2 but never tried it (or wanted to!) but I’ve come to realise that what worked for me in the past is now no longer effective, and that I need to get serious if I’m going to shift the excess pounds once and for all.

    So now here I am. I ordered and read ‘The Fast Diet’ book last week and today is my first fasting day. So far so good. I had porridge (made with water and two teaspoons of sweetener) for breakfast, along with a cup of tea and nothing since. I don’t know yet whether I’ll try and have nothing to eat at all until dinner or whether I’ll maybe have a piece of fruit or similar to keep me going.

    I’d like to know what I can expect from my first few days/weeks of being on this plan, and of course whether the fast days are really as bad as what I’m expecting! Thanks for reading.

    Hi BigSooz,

    I’ve being doing this for over 10 years now so I can’t honestly recall what my first fast day was like. I’m guessing slightly hard work as I wasn’t used to it. It definitely gets easier with time, but that’s not to say there aren’t a few occasions when one still feels a bit hungry. I’ve found it easier to keep busy and distracted and to drink water or black tea/coffee or herbal tea a bit more than usual. Any hunger pangs tend to come in waves which quickly pass and are forgotten about – so if you hang in there the feeling should go quite quickly. Remember you are only ever less than 24 hours from being able to eat what you like the next day.

    Hope this helps and the best of luck.

    Monday was my first fast day. I chose to eat 3 small healthy meals. I started with black coffee only. Then about 11am I had 2 scrambled eggs. (I usually have Oatmeal for breakfast, but protein helps me not get so hungry.) Lunch was a cucumber and tomato salad that I keep in the fridge ready for lunches or snacks. Dinner was a protein shake. I didn’t get really hungry, but I drank a lot of water and black tea between my meals, so that helped.

    Thursday was my second fast day. The only difference was that lunch was a soup I made with chicken stock, lentil pasta and spinach. Low calories, but high protein. My weight loss on Friday was just under 2 pounds, so I was happy with that. Moving forward I’ll stick with the 3 meals on fast days, and keep my protein high. I feel like that’s a sustainable plan for my lifestyle.

    How are you feeling now? Did your fast day go well?

    Thanks Mr Data and MagsViroga. Your responses are very helpful.

    I’m now one week in, doing my third fast day. The first day wasn’t anywhere near as bad as what I was expecting – like you said, the hunger comes in waves – and I managed with porridge for breakfast, an apple for lunch and a bowl of soup with one slice of bread for dinner. For a snack, I ended up having three pieces of pickled gherkin (8 calories) – an unusual choice perhaps, but the crunch really helped.

    The second fast day was much like the first – making an early dinner for my kids was a struggle as I had to resist not to nibble what they had left on their plates, but resist I did and by that time, all hunger pangs had disappeared and by the time I sat down to dinner – a large salad kit with some cottage cheese added (300 cals) – I wasn’t actually that hungry which was a revelation.

    I bravely stepped on the scales on Saturday and was amazed to see I’d lost two pounds! Wow!

    Fast day three and I’m feeling very guilty as I had a rather indulgent bank holiday weekend, with fish and chips on the Saturday and frozen pizza last night, along with a couple of ice creams in the sunshine. Really hoping I haven’t undone all my hard work from last week but planning to make up for it and have a more modest week and weekend this week.

    Hi BigSooz,

    Glad to hear it’s started off well. As long as you get back to 5:2ing as soon as possible afterwards then enjoying holidays is one of the great benefits of the approach which helps to make it sustainable over the long term. I’ve never fasted on holidays, or from Friday to Sunday inclusive. However, as soon as the holiday is over I’ve got back into it. Sometimes life also just gets in the way of our best plans and only doing a 6:1 is possible – in which case just do what you can do for that week and don’t fret about it.

    You may find the following links useful as you continue doing 5:2

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

    In particular, plateauing after several weeks of losing weight is really very common, but it does worry people. It happened to me at least 3 times in my first 6 months. Just keep persevering and hopefully the weight loss will begin again after a little while. It took me those 6 months to lose the weight I’d put on over the previous 10 years and, with a bit of up and down since then, the weight has stayed off ever since, although I still have to do the 5:2 to make that happen. Initially I tried 6:1 for a few months, but my weight gradually increased again, so I’ve stuck with 5:2 ever since – although probably not as rigidly as when I first began.

    Very best of luck to you.

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