Longest plateau ever, followed now by weight gain

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Longest plateau ever, followed now by weight gain

This topic contains 11 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  HappyNow 6 years, 3 months ago.

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  • I have been on the fast diet since 2015. The initial results were fantastic – within the first six months I lost five kilos and came tantalisingly close to my target weight. After that, for months, my weight would dip after a fast, and come back again on non-fast days. There were times when the dip touched my target weight, or lasted over a couple of weeks, but I have not been able to sustain it.

    I figured my body had reached some sort of balance, and since I was not willing to make further sacrifices during non-fast days, I settled down to doing the 2 days of fasting per week to maintain my weight (always hoping, of course, to lose a couple more kilos and achieve my target weight permanently). Two years have passed, and I have mostly stuck to the 5:2, with only short breaks for holidays or work trips. The amount I eat on fast days has reduced over time, as I got used to the fasting. I am also marginally mindful during non-fast days – my portion sizes have reduced because I feel full on less, and I only occasionally eat desserts. While the lack of weight loss has been frustrating, I have kept myself going by reminding myself of the health benefits, and by being satisfied with maintenance at least.

    But now, on the same regime, my weight has started to go up!

    I can’t think of what might be causing it. Is it a winter thing – is my body trying to store fat to keep warm? I don’t remember a similar effect last year or the year before – in fact I think my major weight loss was during winter months. Does the body adapt to the fasting over a period of time and stop responding? I don’t think my TDEE has gone up recently to justify the gain. Perhaps it is an age thing (I’m in my late 40s)?

    Is there anyone else out there who has practised the 5:2 over a period of one or more years, and had a similar experience?


    Did you know that as you get older you need fewer calories? It might only decrease by a few calories but over time that adds up and the fact that you’ve continued to fast for a long time without losing weight tells me that you are eating more than your body needs on non fast days.

    I suggest you re-calculate your TDEE and keep a food diary for 2 weeks. Write every single mouthful down. I think you’ll find the answer to why your weight is moving in the wrong direction as we all slacken off in the discipline department at some point, we’re only human 🙂
    Also consider that isn’t just the amount you eat but what you eat than can make a real difference. Too many carbs especially things like biscuits, cakes, bread can cause problems and many of us who’ve been following this WOL for a while have come to realise that 100 calories of cake is much more harmful than 100 calories of carrots.

    Maybe once the festivities are over you could try a Mediterranean style diet for a few weeks and see if it help.

    Good luck.

    Fightplateau, I’ve only been following the 5:2 for 7 months so can’t address long term program concerns, but I did want to mention your age related questions. I’m 68 and am about 2 kg from my goal after losing about 21 kg. Judging from what I read from others on this forum, I’ve lost at a normal rate for 5:2, several plateaus along the way and eating that was sometimes overboard on NFD. It was much easier in the beginning with lots to lose than it is now. I could eat pretty much whatever I wanted on NFD as long as I didn’t go crazy, and still lose because of the FD. Now, I have to be much more mindful. I’m still not counting calories on NFD, but definitely have to pace myself. Just wanted to let you know that age didn’t have much to do with it, at least in my case.

    what about ordering a food control meal measure plate…I have just purchased one from e-bay its really good…it just puts portion size for different food groups in perspective

    Thank you for your useful suggestions, Amazon, CalifDreamer and Nikkinoos. I guess there is no way of getting around the fact that I will have to cut calories on NFDs if I want to lose those extra kilos! 🙁 I can easily keep off the cake and biscuits – but I’ve grown up with rice as a staple and literally have no appetite to give it up!

    Hello Fightplateau
    Don’t give up the rice! What I do is have half a standard 75g recommended portion and bulk it up with frozen peas or sweetcorn, depending on what I’m eating the rice with.

    You don’t need to give it up, just eat less of it.

    Giving up something you really enjoy eating isn’t always successful especially if it is something that has been part of your diet throughout your life as it means so much more than a helping of food.
    I don’t agree with bulking it up with anything as I think it is better to get used to having a smaller portion as you’ll need to stick with the smaller amount if you don’t want to regain weight.

    I love potatoes and bread but I’ve no intention of giving either of them up so I eat smaller portions less often.


    I am really new to 5:2 (only my second month) and just turned 53. Battling all sorts of midlife stressers that seem to have caused me to hold on to pounds more than I used to. 🙁
    But I am encouraged by the fact that I am losing on this WOL right now.
    I love rice to and heard this recently and maybe it’s worth reading for you?


    I do agree that you may have to really pay attention to TDEE as it’s so easy to “guess” wrong. And even 100 calories per day in the wrong direction will be a 10 lb gain in a year!! Ugh.

    Happy Holidays!

    Note that the headline says “could” not “does”

    I wouldn’t take it seriously until such times as a detailed study has been undertaken on humans and proven.

    Without question it is not proven–I just grabbed this one article but have heard it from multiple sources…just an idea.


    FP, first of all congratulations on your fat loss and sticking with a great plan so long. I’ve kept off 50+ lbs of fat for 17 years. At 67 YO I’m 70+ lbs down from my max at age 50.

    One of the key factors for my long term success other than controlling calories is to maintain muscle and bone mass with weight training. As Amazon pointed out we need fewer calories to maintain our weight as we age. The major reason for this is muscle atrophy. However we can maintain and even grow a little muscle as we age with resistance training. I know women don’t like to hear this but pumping iron is an essential part of being healthy as we age. Intense exercise will also burn 150-300 extra net calories a day. Forget about steady state cardio it’s a waste of time. Don’t pay any attention to the calorie burn on exercise machines of fitbit either, they are wildly optimistic.

    On the diet side restrict your eating window on NFD to <10 hours. Chronobiology suggests that it’s best to eat in the first part of the day when your insulin sensitivity is highest so if you start at 8:00 AM finish by 6:00.

    Try making your FD a water fast. I used to eat the standard 5:2 <600 calories on FD. When I measured my ketone levels after the 35 hour FD I saw I had mild fat burning going on. To really rev up the fat burning I had to do 3 days in a row. With a water fast and a HIIT workout on the bike I can get to the same fat burning levels in the 35 hour FD as I can with three days of 5:2 style fasting!

    Cooking rice or potatoes and then cooling them changes a good portion of the carb to “resistant starch”. It resists digestion in the small intestine and feeds bacteria in the large intestine. Cooking the rice with a bit of coconut oil is a new wrinkle that seems to slow down digestion and insulin spikes even more. It’s OK to reheat the rice or potatoes after cooling them. It doesn’t mean you can eat lots more though! LOL

    I like to mix rice with veggies too. However it’s always non starchy veggies like , broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, peppers etc. My usual serving is 1/3 cup of rice with 3 cups of veggies and a TBS of olive oil.


    I’m not sure what you’re hoping to gain by finding people who’ve had a similar experience to yours. In terms of understanding where you’re going wrong it might be more useful to find similar people who’ve had a different experience!

    You’ve been economical with information, which makes it nearly impossible to advise you. I’m assuming you’re female. It’s not clear what or when or how much you eat, how much you weigh, etc, So you say you can easily keep off the cakes and biscuits, but it’s not clear that you do?

    I’m 48 now. I started 5:2 in January 2014 at over 72kg, and dropped below 60kg in June 2014. I’ve been easily maintaining at under 60kg since then. I don’t think I’ve done two 500 calorie fasts since I reached goal. What I have done is stopped eating bread/pasta/rice/added sugar on a daily basis,

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