Maria – from healthy to healthier

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Maria – from healthy to healthier

This topic contains 19 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by  ellybee 11 years, 2 months ago.

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  • Maria – from healthy to healthier

    I started doing IF after seeing the television documentary in August.  As I’m a sceptic about faddy ‘diets’ I was interested in the research behind it and did a bit of reading before really getting stuck in.

    I’ve now lost 22 lbs, down from 11.4 to 9.10 (BMI 24.04 to 20.69). I’m 57 and post menopausal – had been struggling to kick start loss of the weight that had crept on during the past 5 or so yrs.

    Having just come through christmas with no weight gain I think this way of eating is pretty amazing – and yes I ate the full works, including christmas pudding, cake, chocolates – but have now learnt to eat and enjoy (without going over the top) and then compensate. The most important thing for me is that I see how sustainable this is long term – no “going on a diet” and then struggling to keep it off in a depressing cycle.

    I’ve just read the book and think it’s a very good intro to the ‘experiment’!  All I would add is that I started out doing smaller meals throughout the day on fast days – but found it easier to not eat anything at all until the evening if I’m busy (eg at work or out and about).  Eating breakfast really does make me hungry for lunch – so not eating anything until an evening meal makes far more sense for me.

    Some weeks I do 5:2 some 4:3  – the fast days fit around my life, not the other way round.  I don’t do two in a row (tried it once but it felt too much like being “on a diet”!).  My diet is generally healthy anyway, mainly plant-based, but over the years I was clearly eating just that bit too much each day and the weight crept on.

    It’s great that Christmas went so well for you. Yes, the good thing about this, I find, is that it fits around my life rather than my life fitting around it. Hope it keeps going well.

    I agree that eating just once in the evening works out best as I can have what feels like a proper meal (no carbs though) with the family.

    Well, since getting back into the zone after Xmas I have lost a further 3lbs. Getting back to work really helps as I’m kept busy, out of the house, and have more stairs to climb :-). The fasting really is just something that I now do without many problems if I’m not stuck at home.

    Interestingly I’m now starting to think a lot more about upping my exercise. In many ways that’s probably the wrong way round as I “should” have been using exercise to aid weight loss (?) but the fasting has actually given me more energy and now I feel ready to tackle the exercise issue. When I was 25lb heavier I just felt like a lump and had very low energy and no enthusiasm for exercise at all.

    About half a dozen people at my office are now doing this – three since August with similar weight loss to me, so as colleagues have really started to notice we have ‘come out of the closet’ and now spread the knowledge 🙂 The majority of the people doing it that I know of are talking about increased energy levels – while ‘anecdote is not data’ I think there is something interesting here – particularly if you look at the history of fasting in a religious context – the whole ‘altered state’ effect (including clarity of mind).

    For anyone thinking of trying this – it really is life altering


    Just finished my first week. I have been splitting my calories into three meals but find I’m really hungry by bedtime and sleep pretty badly as a result. Any suggestions?

    I have been fasting since September but had a 3 week break whilst in Australia and over Christmas. I don’t really have any weight to lose so if I get too low I will probably do 5:2 every other week because I think I can still maintain the health benefits that way. I was getting terrible cramp on day 2 of the fast but since I started having miso soup and lentil and aubegine bake on fast days it has stopped.

    This is my second week and I have lost 5lb so pleased with that but couple of pound goes on again by next fast day 🙁 Can anyone tell me if steroids and blood pressure meds slow down weight loss please? Had a bad year with Lupus and steroids up and down and have gained two stone in 12 months but hoping to lose that now. Thank you.

    My daughter and I live in Australia and although we are 4000 kilometres apart, we are supporting each other in doing the 5:2. To start off we are doing the 2pm – 2pm version two days a week as it suits our lifestyles. The 3 hour time difference between Perth and Sydney means we will need to be careful about posting yummy pics of fast breaker meals etc ! I would like to get my husband to think about doing this, while i have bought the book, he is unlikely to read it on my iPad, but i cannot find a link to the Horizon documentary that works from here for some reason. Can anyone help please?

    Like Maria, I watched the Horizon programme, enjoyed it and took inspiration from it.

    I’ve had a problem with my weight since joining the Royal Navy in 1965. Suddenly being confronted with more food than I’d ever had, I began eating more than I needed and the weight gain in three months was ridiculous! I decided very early on to do my best to be in control of what I eat and managed quite quickly to get the weight off again.

    But over the years I’ve put on weight, lost it, put it back on, lost it… a vicious circle of my own making.

    It’s a vicious circle that isn’t helped by the abundance of food we have in the western world, and the temptations that are there everywhere we look. The ‘diet’ industry is only interested in making profits from ‘dieters’ and whilst they say they want to help people lose weight, they have a vested interest in seeing people put the pounds back on again so they ‘trap’ people into helping them make more profits. It may sound cynical, but most of you reading this would probably agree?

    Then, back in Oct. 2011 I was at my heaviest, 15st 7lb, and I did decide to use a commercial programme called Lighter Life. I lost 40lb in ten weeks. The Lighter Life regime requires you to restrict calories to around 600 per day, and I did this for all of those ten weeks. After the first few days I no longer felt hungry, and the weight did, literally, drop off me. I felt slimmer, looked slimmer, had to buy new clothes, and was smug and very pleased with my efforts.

    Then, over the Christmas period I put on 10lb (and I was horrified!) but I quickly lost it again in the early part of Jan. 2012 by going back down to 600 calories each day. I then managed to get down to 11st 10lb by the end of April. Alas, over the summer months I slowly went back up to 12st 10lb, and now as I write this, I’m up to 13st 4lb again. I’m still more than two stone lighter than I was in Oct. 2011, so in that sense I’m happy. But I know that the slippery slope is there and I’ve decided that it’s time once again to get back in control.

    So, having watched Dr. Michael’s Horizon programme on 5:2 I’ve bought the book, and intend to give it a go for the next six months. With me losing weight is more vanity than worry about health issues, because I do eat healthy food most of the time. I’m a vegetarian most of the time; never eat any meat, but do occasionally have fish.

    I’m a believer in the concept of WANT power, which is more powerful than just willpower. I do believe you have to want something more than the alternative. A friend of mine once said: “You have to want to lose the weight more than you want the apple pie” (for apple pie substitute any food that you adore and shouldn’t eat too much of!) and I do WANT to lose the weight more than eating the cheese/apple pie/cake/biscuits.

    So, this is another journey into getting to where I want to be, namely, 11st 7lb by the end of 2013. I’m going to see how I get on with 5:2 and take my inspiration from the folks here who are following this way of eating with me here.

    I will visit this site regularly and take inspiration from those who are on the journey with me. Wish me luck!

    I have been doing the Fast Diet for two weeks and according to my scales I haven’t lost any weight! I find the fasting quite easy and the recipes in the book are good. I am not giving up just a little disappointed!

    I lost just 1lb during my first week and I’m trying hard to look on the bright side. The positive thing is that I did not find the Fast Days difficult and I actually feel more comfortable and have not had ‘hunger pangs’ all week.

    like most I watched the prog re run after seeing Michael on Breakfast tv.
    Am 44, in good health but weight been creeping up as well as blood pressure!.
    In week 5 as we speak and lost 10lbs, my BMI in now 24 and my blood pressure most amazingly has gone from mild hypertension 140-150 over 90 odd to 125/78 !. Lost 3 inches off my waist too.
    I dont find this regime hard to follow as I can still eat a nice meal and have a couple of glasses of red.
    Not sure why this has been kept a secret for so long! – it works!
    Why didnt my GP tell me this !

    I’m so inspired by the stories here, especially Tony’s. I’ve been doing it for 5 weeks, have lost 5lbs and this week decided to try 4:3 just to see – it’s my birthday over the weekend and I’ll be having cake and champagne but don’t want to halt my progress. I find it second nature now, I feel great (so clear-minded compared to before). I feel this could even be quite liberating/ revolutionary – in the West we are surrounded by easy-to-get, cheap food and many of us do sedentary jobs and just eat to relieve boredom (well speaking personally!) – what might we do with our lives if we’re free from all that!

    I’ve lost 2 stone in about a year, first by doing more and eating a bit less, then the 5:2 since the tv programme. I had a miraculous cessation in IBS symptoms almost as soon as I began the fasting – had had the ‘talk’ from my GP about that not being a good idea as regular meals is recommended, but decided to ignore his advice. Just wondered if anyone else has noticed this effect – it could of course be entirely coincidental. Anyway, can’t speak more highly of this eating plan, and although not ‘skinny’, am, at nearly 63, almost back to my more youthful dimensions – the important thing is that I now control what I eat and know I’ll not return to my large size as it feels too good, and is entirely ‘doable’.

    I have been doing intermittent fasting for more than a month now. Despite it being difficult at first, it has become much easier to do – and has brought a wonderful sense of well being – I’ve definitely noticed a positive improvement in my mood, reduced anxiety/stress levels and increased energy levels. While there was no medical need to lose weight I could afford to, the half stone I’ve lost has certainly been welcome. Not wanting to lose too much more weight, i’ve now cut down to doing one day a week to maintain the health benefits. The only perplexing thing is that I haven’t had a period since starting IF. Has anyone else had experience of it messing with their menstrual cycle? If so, how long did this last? I’m not sure if this is something to be concerned about or whether my body is just going through a period of adjustment whilst it gets used to the new regime. I read on another site that intermittent fasting is more suited to men than women and that it could be detrimental to a woman’s metabolism/physiology, but didn’t know whether there was any truth in this or whether it was just scare mongering. Can anyone shed light on this and put my mind at rest?

    Like many, I watched the Horizon programme in the summer. I thought about it, forgot about it, then was inspired to give IF a try after reading a magazine article. So far I’ve lost almost a stone in weight. I’ve tried every other diet going only to fall into the same old pattern of losing a little before piling it all back on again. My weight now seems to have stabilised, time will tell whether this is something I can sustain this long term, but right now I’m feel hopeful, it doesn’t feel like a diet and like another bloggger find that I actually quite look forward to my fast days.

    Terrific program, both on TV and in real life! Nice book — very readable and informative.

    I’d like to share a weighing method I have never seen anywhere that preserves motivation for me. (By the way, since I started this program 30 days ago, 20 pounds are gone.)

    My method is this: Every morning I get on my balance beam scale with the indicator where it was the day before. If my weight is lower, then I move the indicator lower, do my happy dance, graph my weight on a scale, and also put numbers on my watch (and so today I have “D-30” over “L-20”, indicating that on Day 30, 20 pounds are gone — I know this can’t keep up).

    If the indicator wants to go higher, I don’t move it. I know that if I have low enough calories in then the weight will have to go down “unless the laws of physics are suspended in my world,” and they aren’t. Right now I am having 4 days of fasting a week, sticking only to coffee and water the last several “double down days” and it’s working well for me.

    But about the scale method — there is always the chance that it might go lower and I get to the scale with pleasant anticipation. And if it wants to go higher, then that’s due to water retention, roughage, etc. Moving the indicator higher is demotivating for me.

    I’ve never seen anyone else use this method of weighing but for me it works very well.

    Only been doing the diet 2 weeks so far……and so good!
    However, now come down with a stinking cold, a stye (haven’t had one for years) AND now a whopping cold sore (ditto).
    Anyone else noticed any immunity drop when starting?

    I am almost down to my target weight (thrilled) and am only losing a little a week now as calories in/out are balancing out (and I’m probably being a little less stringent on at least one fast day a week).
    My main goals were the health benefits and to get my fat %age down. Alas, as we have been told, fat measurement is approximate in the extreme, eg:
    1 My scales, set at age 60, 4 years ago and which would give a higher percent if I reset them, show a reasonable 28.8%
    2 is a website using a calculation the US Navy uses and gives me 25.2%
    3 The caliper test at the gym gives me a depressing 37.7%
    So I am anything between super-fit and obese!!!!!
    The answer, of course, is something in between the two with, I am sure, the emphasis towards the fit end of the scale. Way of Life.

    Have only lost a couple of pounds so far which is a little disheartening but feel good and love the 5:2 approach as I love food and hate the feeling of deprivation that other diets offer. Am going to increase my exercise levels over the next few weeks to boost the weight loss.

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