Looking for thoughts on maintenance now I'm nearly at my target weight

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Looking for thoughts on maintenance now I'm nearly at my target weight

This topic contains 14 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  ST1100 8 years, 8 months ago.

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  • Hi All

    I posted a story on my own fast diet experience in Personal Stories around October last year…


    Basically I’m aiming to stop the frequency of fasting and ease back on the strictness of the calories on days I do fast to try and find an optimal balance.

    Whilst I did 5:2, I often went up to 4:3, adding a Sunday to my usual Tuesday and Thursday schedule when I felt I’d been particularly indulgent and saw my weight going in the wrong direction. But I did this over a long period of time and didn’t rush anything.

    Going forward I plan to continue swimming most mornings for an hour – as I did before trying the 5:2. I also try to walk for 2 to 4 km during the day.

    I was already swimming daily for about 9 months before adding fasting to the mix, which on its own had brought my weight down to 104kg from 113kg. 13 months on from there I’m just under 80kg (78.7 kg 19.4% body fat according to my FitBit scales this morning).

    But now I’m entering uncharted territory. I’m not that confident about strategies for controlling the weight at a steady state. My aim is to be no more than 78kg but what’s the best strategy?

    I did hear Dr. Krista Varady being interviewed about her every-other-day approach and she suggested that a good strategy amongst her fasters was to go to 3 days of 1000 calories a day and the rest whatever you like.


    My question is, is this an approach that anyone else has tried, or, if not, what has worked for you?

    One thing I’m very sure of is that fasting one day a week at 600 calories will not work for me as I have an appetite like a gannet 🙂



    I was hoping to drop to 6:1 when I reached my target weight but I find I have a few too many times when I don’t fast at all – holidays, visiting my mother (who would be horrified!) that I need to keep returning to 5:2 in between. I probably also over compensate on non-fast days. That said, I have maintained my weight at a reasonably steady level this way for about a year now and know that I can easily drop back to it if I over-indulge at Xmas or for some other reason.

    I guess that I am going to have to try different approaches and try to figure out what works for me. I am tempted by the idea of trying the 3 days at 1000 calories approach as, compared to 600 calories, it seems like loads.

    It’s almost as if, for me, the thought of not having some form of regimen in my life will make me feel more vulnerable to reverting to type… For the longest time that type was me eating any time and all the time… a real habitual grazer.


    Hi Ralph,

    There is a maintenance thread (maintenance chatbox) with people who are or have transitioned to maintenance.

    Everyone there is different! Some still do 5:2, some 6:1. I am probably more along the lines you’re thinking, as I tend to do ‘semi fasts’ rather than full fasts. But I combine that with daily 16:8 (I don’t eat until 11 or 12). And Monday to Friday I eat very little refined/ processed carbohydrate. I set an upper weight limit for maintenance, and if I approach that I will do a proper fast day.

    I’ve been lucky that 5:2 has helped with portion control and food preferences, so overeating (and cakes!) aren’t much of a problem anymore. But I did lose probably another 3kg while I worked out how to stop losing and start maintaining.

    It is trial and error I think, finding what works, and actually maintaining is more challenging than losing!

    Thanks for the feedback. I thought this was the right place to be for maintenance feedback. I’ll check out the chatbox now you’ve highlighted it.



    I am in maintenance for a couple of months now. I set myself a weekly calorie goal and go by that. In other words if I overindulge one day I make up the next.

    The truth is you will have to watch your calorie intake. I log all of my food on MFP which makes it easier for me to keep track on my calorie intake.

    Best of luck,


    HI, I reached my goal weight in 6 months, losing about 30kgs on 5:2. I have had to stop fasting though to try and stop weight loss, as I struggle to eat enough healthy food in my day as bus driver to stay at a level fluctuating weight . Whatever you do the fine tuning is that!

    Hi All,

    I am a 58 year old man 5’ 11” tall. I have been on the 5:2 since I saw the documentary on BBC in the summer of 2012 about 30 months ago. I started the 5:2 before the first book came out.

    When I started my weight was 186 Lbs and today I have reached my target weight of 160 Lbs – Yippee!

    Because of a circulatory disorder which struck out of the blue when I was 49 years old, I was advised by a consultant cardiologist to get my weight down to 160 Lbs. At that time I was 176 Lbs and thought he was being a it alarmist. But as the years rolled on so did the rolls of fat culminating one time to 190 Lbs altogether.

    Anyway, nothing I seemed to reverse the upward trend until the 5:2 came along. Somehow fasting twice a week has made everything more doable and also this way of eating has the ability to claw back the calories when one “falls off the wagon”.

    When I started, for the first 20 weeks or so my weight fell off at the average rate of about one pound a week. Sometimes I would lose 3 pounds a week, sometimes one sometimes none. Eventually, it “settled” at 166 Lbs and I found I was able to maintain this weight without any real problem.

    I ate what I liked on my feed days (did not count calories except on fast days). On these feed days I probably overate on my recommended TDEE of 2,150 calories, but I always cut back to 600 calories on fast days religiously twice a week and that seemed to keep me hovering at this new weight 166 Lbs. I fasted sometimes consecutively and sometimes I split up the days depending on my weekly schedule. Recently I find splitting the days up is the easier option.

    About 1 year ago I saw a photograph of myself and thought I was beginning to look a bit “weedy” in my arms and upper chest due to the weight loss, so I incorporated weight training three times a week into the mix (particularly for the arms, back and chest) then eventually as well I incorporated some HIT (30 seconds of HIT) three times a week as Michael suggests in his second book.

    The weight training I decided to do is not too taxing (one and a half hours a week) but I took it seriously enough to get a personal trainer organised before I started. He charges $45 an hour. I visit him for two half hour sessions on average four or five times a year this keeps my routines fresh (periodization is important).

    He also made sure I did not injure myself – avoiding injury is even more important when starting off, especially if you are over 55. Incidentally, for those interested, I just do one progressive set of each exercise (10 -12 reps). I read somewhere that one set three times a week builds 80% – 90% of the muscle involved doing three sets. I have a problem with joints and tendons and these cause me problems long before the muscles do so that’s why I do only one set.

    In January 2015, I decided as a New Year’s resolution it was time to go from 166 – 160 LBs. One reason for this was I wanted to achieve the weight recommended by my doctor (ten years ago!) and also I was aware that my belly circumference was “stuck” at around 37”. It was time to get that sorted.

    To do this I “shaved 150 calories from my TDEE for five days a week. In other words I kept to 2000 calories on feed days rather that the recommended 2150 for my age, height and activity level. So after all the trial and error putting 5:2 and exercise together looked like this:

    Monday: Fast 600 calories

    Tuesday: Feed 2000 calories Weight Training before Breakfast

    Wednesday: Fast 600 calories

    Thursday: Feed 2000 calories Weight Training before Breakfast

    Friday: Feed 2000 calories

    Saturday: Feed 2000 calories

    Sunday: 2000 calories Weight Training before Breakfast

    The above put me in a weekly calorific deficit of 3850. This got me down to the required weight in about six weeks and my waistline is now 36”. That’s it for me now – I’m done. Its about maintenance now.

    Incidentally, I do the weight training in a fasting state because there is some evidence out there that this is more productive in terms of muscle development rather that doing the exercise with a loaded stomach:



    According to the above, when you go to the trouble of weight training doing so in a fasted state gives more “bang for your buck”. I went for a check up yesterday and my doctor (who also does weight training) informed me that that in the past 20 years there is a lot of research which points to the fact that a well-developed musculature is linked to good general health and is effective in warding off certain chronic diseases associated with aging.

    Keeping the Weight Off:

    This is where most diets fall down and where the 5:2 seems to work as evidenced so by my own experience.

    However, now that I have reached my final target weight of 160 Lbs, I intend to keep to this regime except that I will now “up” my feed day calorific intake to 2,200 a day. If I continue to lose weight (that is drop below 160 Lbs) I will change to a 6:1 (and keep feed days to 2200). If and when I go over 162 Lbs I will revert to the scheme above ie 600 on fast days and 2000 calories on feed days. I weigh myself once a week on Tuesday morning and make the call to include Thursdays or not depending on what the scales tell me.

    I find that the only real downside of the above for me is that I end up having to keep an eye on my calorific intake – I find this a bit of a pain. But lately, I have discovered that because I eat the same food routinely most of the time and use the calorie counter app MyFitnessPal on my phone, I can work the calories of each meal out fairly quickly.
    The main problem as regards derailing the 5:2 for me is when I eat in a restaurant – it is really difficult to know what calories I am eating then – but that is a problem for everybody who wants to watch what they eat – not just me.
    Thanks to all the previous posters so far. – there is a lot of good information here.

    I’ll keep you up-dated as to how the weight maintenance goes over the next few months.

    Ya’ll keep goin’


    I am very nervous about transitioning as I am only about 2 lbs above my goal. I found that I also had to trim down on my non fast days in order to see steady weight loss.

    I know that transitioning to maintenance can be tricky no matter what the plan.

    I really would like to do 6:1 and possibly eat less on non fast days if necessary to maintain rather then continue with 5:2 as the second fast day often is difficult for me.

    We have been 5:2 fasting for 2 years. We found that weight decreases about 1 lb per week until you approach your body’s ‘minimum fat level’ then it slows your metabolic rate to keep a minimum amount of fat available.
    Don’t forget that the 5:2 fasting (‘feast and famine’) is a lifestyle to live longer. One pleasant effect is losing weight. It is not really a ‘diet’ that you do until you have lost some weight and then give up on.

    All great thoughts and comment. Really appreciate anyone who has taken the time to respond to my original thread…


    Hello friends

    It is possible by drinking warm water daily in the morning .You can also add lemon juice in it .It really works.and Green tea contains antioxidants that help the body to burn fat quickly. So, you should opt for a healthy diet. If you combine green tea with a good diet and exercise 30 minutes a day, you will certainly get results more than convincing and other tips hear

    Some tips to loss weight,
    . After breakfast, stick to water
    . Watch one less hour of TV.
    . Wash something thoroughly once a week.
    . Wait until your stomach rumbles before you reach for food.
    . Spend 10 minutes a day walking up and down stairs.
    . Don’t buy any prepared food
    . Bulk up your meals with veggies.
    . Avoid white foods.
    . Drop your milk type and you cut calories by about 20 percent.

    I am also thinking how to maintain my weight once I reach my target seems like a mixture of 6-1 & 5-2 will be the best option, I thank you all for your comments which has helped to part way answer my question. I have lost 2stone 4oz since starting on 5-2 23rd june 2014 I love food so my fast days are still a struggle but it is well worth it.

    Hi all, the 5.2 has been a fantastic discovery for me. I am down 16 kilo since I started. However you might be shocked to know that it took me 18 months to achieve this. Oh I didn’t weigh in much in the beginning, used the measuring tape only and the inches disappeared on a steady basis. Then after 6 months I weighed in once a week, and it seemed to take 2 weeks to loose a kilo which is normal enough. But for the final 6 months the weight loss was so slow that it was barely noticeable. I didn’t have a digital scale and it seemed to take a month to loose a kilo. Anyway,it didn’t matter as I regard the 5.2 as a way of life. I had years to loose the weight. Any small loss was fine for me. I felt great and still do. So here I am at 62 kilos down from 78. I might try to get to 60 but I am hovering somewhere between a slight loss and maintenance. If I don’t loose anymore that’s ok. With lots of patience and time the weight gradually goes. Most of the 18 months were strictly 5.2 with the odd 4.3 month here and there. Right now I am doing 1 liquid only day and 1, 500 cal day per week. I don’t think 6.1 would suit me and I might put on weight at that level. I have always been mindful of calories on non fast days ,but not obsessive. So for anyone out there who is unhappy with the speed of their loss it really does not matter. We can all get there, it’s not a race!

    Hi all,

    Some great ideas ans stories – congratulations to all who have made it to their target weight.

    Just an update on my previous post re maintenance – I have been on maintenance now for the past five months or so.

    Basically, my weight target is between 160 – 162 lbs. I maintain this by doing a 6:1 diet. This week for example I weighed in on Mon morning at 160 lbs so I fasted on Monday. Tues morning my weight was 157.5 lbs so I wont’t weigh in again until the following Monday. This has pretty much been the pattern for the past 4 months. I fast when my weight creeps up to above 160 lbs. If I were to get on the scales one Monday morning and I was say 163 lbs I would revert to the 5:2. This has not happened yet.



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