Michael’s Christmas blog

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Michael’s Christmas blog

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  • Michael’s Christmas blog

    Like Mimi and many others I spent the run up to Christmas and then into the New Year feasting, rather than fasting. It is so strange; I know that I shouldn’t and that I will feel bad afterwards, but I still couldn’t resist eating far too much chocolate, cake and mince pies. It is because it is there, right in front of me, all the time.

    Normally I try to ban such things from our house as I have a sweet tooth and know that when I am feeling peckish they will be hard to resist. As Oscar Wilde once famously put it, “I can resist anything but temptation”.

    There’s a book I’m reading at the moment called The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt that helps explain why we sabotage our own best interests.  As he points out, we can probably muster the willpower to resist ordering a dessert but not the willpower to resist it if one is put in front of us.

    Or, as the poet Ovid wrote “Desire and feeling pull in different directions. I feel the right way and approve it, but I follow the wrong”.

    We are like riders on the back of an elephant. We hold the reins and think we are in control; we can steer the elephant as long as the elephant has no desires of its own. But in the end the elephant does what the elephant wants to do and we are left helplessly raging at our own apparent weakness.

    But is it really weak will or is it mainly about context and opportunity?  I have a lot more to say about unconscious impulses, but that will have to wait for another day.

    Did you gain weight over Christmas?

    Like you I spent Christmas and New Year feasting not fasting. I made a del with myself, get below 90kg and I could feast for the festivities. I gained about 5kg over th 2 plus weeks but think it will drop of now I’m back on plan. My wiegh in is Friday morning so I willknow my progress in a few hours.
    I’m loving this new lifestyle, Thanks Michael.

    In paleolithic times man would gorge on the honey tree if they stumbled across one – Christmas can be regarded as the modern day alternative to the honey tree, as long as it is kept to ‘just’ special occasions naturally!

    Am I Cheating?
    I eat normally between 7pm and 9pm, then fast the next day. This can be a variety of things but always less than 600 calories. I then eat again normally between 7pm and 9pm. So I’m fasting for between 20 and 22 hours. Is this acceptable? I’ve been doing it since August and it has worked for weight control and generally feeling fitter. But I don’t want to cheat the system !!

    Hi okcole

    Like you, I tend to start fasting at about 6pm. It seems to work for me and I hope that it doesn’t matter when you start so long as you do about 24(ish) hours.

    The question I have is this – if you don’t eat ANYTHING during the 24 hours, is that REALLY bad???



    I don’t eat for 24 hours from about 7pm on one day till 7pm the next, but I do drink 4 500ml mugs of green or rooisbos tea on those days. Then I have a 500 calorie meal and eat normally the next day. I do this on Mondays and Thursdays and do it this way because for me spreading the calories was making me hungrier and also because I had heard that fasting for 24 hours increases the health benefits.

    I am also interested in thoughts on not eating at all during the fasting days, I started fasting this week after some test days a few months ago and, I fasted on Tuesday and Thursday, I did not eat anything at all from about 2100 on the evening before the fasting day until 0900 on the morning of the day after (36 hours fasting but only one day). I felt fine both days and not really hungry at all,. I do drink cups of tea (with a little milk) and also water but no food.

    I am obese and I need to lose about 30KG but for me mentally not eating at all is much easier that thinking about what I will have next. Its early days but I also notice that I am probably eating slightly less on non fasting days as well.

    Anyone else doing something similar.

    I started the 5:2 plan in August/September 2012. To begin with, I divided my 500kcal allowance into two 250kcal meals at breakfast and supper. However, I was restless and night and found it intereupted my sleep. I now save all of my Kcals for one evening meal. Due to my hectic life, I tend to have my last evening Feast at 8pm, and then fast till 8pm the next day. I have found that you can pack quite a lot into 500kcals in one sitting, I tend to have cous cous or pasta with lots of mixed vegetables and a nice piece of fish. I sometimes even have calories left over for a pudding. Usually strawberries in jelly or a banana

    I forgot to say that I now sleep like a log now that I follow this pattern.

    @wytco0 – I have just started experimenting with proper fasting from 7pm the day before fast day through to 7 am on the morning following the fast day. Just finished second one, feeling great, much easier to stick to than eating during fast day.
    Cheers, Ian
    4 months in, 120Kg -> 103Kg, another 35 or so to go!

    I found it easier to use most of the calories in one meal too – I kept my weight stable over Xmas by (most days) not eating until the evening (or late afternoon) even though I was then eating the usual Xmas treats 🙂 I had my share of 3am turkey sandwiches and large glasses of advocaat too so this method really does, for me, do away with the whole idea of “being on a diet” and moves me into the zone of “eating like a thin person”

    Over Christmas I have stuck to the program, fasting 2 days each week. I’ve enjoyed the treats and now feel keen to get back to reality. My weight has continued to decline at a slower rate.

    Hey! Over Christmas and the New Year, I had a holiday from Fasting. I gained 5lbs over 3 weeks eating very heartily indeed. This was not helped by the fact that I also had Flu and a Chest infection which completely knocked me off my feet for another two weeks. Boxes of Chocolates, Cheese Boards, big family meals, snacking and over eating was the norm. However, Got back on the 5:2 plan this week and have lost 3lbs already.

    I kept fasting over Christmas, but allowed myself more like 600 cals on my Christmas fasts, so I could still have a little treat or two as they were all around me!
    The first week of Christmas I pigged out but lost 1lb! The second week was a bit more indulgent, what with all the tasty Christmas gifts. I regained 0.75 of that pound. Overall, I came out quarter of a pound lighter atfer Christmas than before. Having lost a total of 31.5lbs since August I am still steadily losing around 1lb a week on 5:2. Huzzah!

    I started this 4 months ago and lost 1.5 stones in 3 months. I am also a runner and since starting my diet I have improved my personal best for 5k from 27.10 to 23.05. I am 55 years old, thanks Mike!

    One of the beauties of the 5:2 approach is its flexibility. That meant for me that there was no problem fitting it around Christmas. Low cal days on the 23rd, 27th, 29th and 2nd, then back to the usual pattern after that.

    I started at the beginning of January, did 2 weeks, and then went down with a cold last Sunday and don’t really have the mental energy to stick with it this week. I’m not going to let that bother me and will get back on again next week. However, I’ve found it tough to drink black anything, but begrudge giving up may calorie allowance to milk.

    Having a sweet tooth and a passion for anything ginger flavoured, I’m thinking of going to work with a bottle of Waitrose low calorie fiery ginger beer. I think this will make my fast days more than tolerable but I’ve not seen low calorie drinks or food advocated anywhere on Fast Diet pages. What do people think?

    I read the book. My first day today. Wanting to loose 21pounds and gain a health future, iv only really been thinking about my future health since I turned 30! I don’t smoke btw. Today I am fasting I’ve had my calorie allowance between 10am-12.30 so I go 24hrs from then don’t I? Or just nothing else until, same time tomorrow. Anyway I shal keep you upto date. Iv got two kids so shouldn’t be to hard to keep occupied . I was amazed at the findings in the book. Really makes sence.

    Like Jolene I have read the book and started on ,y road to a slimmer and healthier life. I have just turned 47 and recently had my hip replaced. Weighing in at 14st 2lbs I hope to be 12st 7lb.

    I have tried dieting before without success, they seem such hard work,being miserable around food for weeks only for a night out with mates to undo it all.

    Fingers crossed……

    starting tomorrow- lots to loose but much more to gain!!!

    Help… i have been so positive and excited about this, got my husband to start with me, the first week i lost 3lb but for the last 2 weeks i have stayed the same, my husband is steadily losing! i have most of my calories in one meal but do use up some in white tea with sweetener throughout the day, had a really good fast day yesterday and just weighed myself and again i’ve stayed the same 🙁

    Day 2
    No weigh in this morning as its unlikely to be any different. Woke up feeling hungry probable because I was awake most of the night reading the book haha. I woke up conscious of the fact that I only had 500cals to have today and then zero calls for the rest of the day. Eek…between 10am and 12.00 lunch time I had half cheese salad sandwich on seeded brown bread with butter and half a tin of soup and of course followed by several cups of tea because I knew I’d not get anymore until 12.00tomorrow 🙁 as I have sugar and milk and the point is to have long periods with zero calories.) i think iv used up 450calories , it’s 6pm now and I’m feeling hungry so I’m drinking water, rumble belly but not feeling sick or ill or headache. I’m also cooking tea so my portion can go in the fridge for tomorrow when I can eat normally. I feel lighter and confident to day. Feeling good that I could actually stick to this, I’m finding myself not thinking about wanting food just focusing on making myself busy. I have no intention on going to the gym or anything as I get enough exercise at work 3days a week and being a mum of 2. I want a diet that fits in my life style not one where it says go to the gym. I’m sure it’ll be hard making my hubby a cup of tea and not automatically making myself one. I still intend sitting at the table while they eat as we have family time and I won’t miss that. As I was reading the book it was saying about how we have turned into grazers and over eating and back in the day there bodies where made for fasting and didn’t have allot of food, and none of them had weight issues and all these health problems we have today. Makes perfect sence. By starving our body for short periods of time it shocks the body in to repair mode and uses the fat to survive because I’m not putting calories in. Tricking the body and keep my met rate up I think haha.

    Day 3
    Well I made it through the night, had big rumbles in the bath so hungry went 8 with out a single calorie and then had a cup of tea then all night and woke up thinking what I could have today on my normal eating day. 9.00am and I made a seeded bread, tuna, salad cream, cucumber, tomato, lettuce sandwich for my breakfast?,,,!, its what I really fancied. Had cup tea and I really struggled to eat the whole sandwich. Thought about dinner and trying to have all my meals in a bunch as early as possible. But I really don’t wanna think about food. I reckon I could do a day two of fasting? Because there’s talk of a 4days fast in the book. But didn’t think I could do that. Weighed myself on wednesday and I was 141pound and this morning (friday) I was 139 pounds so that’s -2pounds in 2/3 days?!!!!!!! Whoop whoop , yeah it’s prob mostly water but who cares rite? I feel lighter. I feel in control. It’s only 3days but yeah I’m feeling good 🙂 it’s now 9.40am I wonder how long I can go without calories today? Difference is tho if I get hungry later I will eat something because its a normal eating day. I’m not going to starve myself. I’m going to listen to my body and eat when I need to.

    Started yesterday with a fast day – 501 calories. My hunger pangs weren’t too bad and they do pass. I was surprised at how easy I found it but I guess not every day will be like yesterday. Best of all I woke up this morning feeling alive and alert! And not hungry! Had a normal breakfast. The hardest part was watching last night The Great British Bake Off for Comic Relief and wanting Claudia’s chocolate biscuits! Told myself I could have them today – but today I don’t really want them! Yay!

    Have started 5:2 this week. Fasted on Monday and Wednesday and did not find it too bad (I have a very busy worklife!). Was really hungry yesterday, though, and had 4 small (healthy) meals rather than my usual 3. Today I don’t feel so hungry. I really feel this lifestyle will work for me, as I love food!

    Shasha – some weeks weight will plateau, some weeks you’ll see a healthy drop. Michael always suggests people watch what they are drinking on fast days. Try black tea without sweetener. Know it’s hard, but it could really help! Lots of other no-cal drinks that you may like – all in the book. Best of luck.

    Got my copy of the book Saturday and decided to start the diet Monday. Had to abandon that day and restarted Tuesday and it was ok. I think I may have gone over the 500 calories slightly but overall it wasn’t too bad. Forgot how tasty Ryvita and cottage cheese are and have found some really nice cuppa soups. Still have a cup of tea in the morning with milk and sugar which is my daily treat. Recently given up smoking and trying to diet at the same time is a little difficult but I am feeling very positive about things.
    Next fasting day is Sunday… normally a grazing day, but I can manage with the support of my family and looking forward to filling my fridge with lots of lovely veg when I go shopping on Saturday.

    [deleted due to copyright issues]

    my word, this diet is taking off like wildfire – suspect the impact of it will be huge – maybe outdoing Atkins and Dukan etc. Just spoke to the lovely lady in our local farm shop (we’re quite rural). She’s doing it (2st gone), her husband’s doing it, also 2st, all the chaps he works with are doing it, their son and daughter are doing it – crikey! Never known an eating plan that appeals to men but this one does. Might sound a bit extreme but can’t help thinking Michael Mosley’s programme may have saved a few lives and certainly the health of many

    Mimi – thank you for the words of encouragement, I am determined to continue, as i like the sound of the health benefits too 🙂 i also have just given up smoking, so hope to repair some of the damage I’ve done! will keep you updated of my progress 🙂

    Shasha you can do it, you should be proud you’ve quit smoking and this diet I’m sure from what iv read and watched will deco help you make it up to your body. I’m loving this diet, I’m not going to post my really long messages from my blog that I’m doing lol, today is fast day. Day for and started Wednesday and I’m already -3pounds down 🙂 it’s a life change and I can’t believe how iv abused my body on so much food when if you really think of the old days life styles and the amount of health issues they had. It’s obvious. This is going to help obese people so much all they have to do is not eat for a day at a time…. What’s easier than that? I hated calorie counting and points system. I’m 100%committed to this as I’m scared of my long term fait. I will do anything I can to stay able and myself until as old as I can 🙂 thanks to all them ppl who did that research

    Hello all. I’ve just started the diet this week, and so far I’ve managed OK with the fasting days. I’m just wondering how ‘normally’ others are eating on their non-fasting days? Do you set a limit to your calories and try to eat as healthily as possible? For me ‘eating normally’ would include lots of fatty, unhealthy foods. Thanks 🙂

    I’m eating ‘normally’ on non-fast days but my ‘normal’ has changed since I started watching what I eat last September. I started the fast diet this week but I just eat what I fancy on non-fast days. I have found that what I fancy has changed in the last few months! Today I have had a late-ish breakfast of porridge and berries and was too busy for lunch but I really fancy pizza for tea. I really believe in listening to your body and giving it what it wants. I think this is starting to get easier for me-someone who has been overweight for most of her life and yoyo dieted for the past 20 years or so. Good luck!

    Started Wednesday at 141lb weight today Monday (5days later) 138…-3pounds in 5days, feel amazing, zero bloating, whole new relationship with food and off to a great start in my 2nd wk mon-mon this time xx

    Had a massive pig out this weekend with Burns night and a significant birthday party. Weighed in and have put on a pound.

    Am I worried or disappointed?

    If I was on any other diet then yes but fast day tomorrow and lets carry on.

    Just stated to fast, today being the second day. I chose to fast today as I woke up late so got a head start. Blow me if the first session of a new night class involved the tutor supplying us with packets of chocolates as part of an exercise! I managed to stay clear and have kept within my 500. I always thought I could estimate calories quite accurately but was misleading myself and now weigh everything. It’s only for 24hrs. Feeling quite perky and tomorrow am feasting on venison sausages! Looks like a good way of life and, having been an unsuccessful dieter, feel this is manageable.

    Just read the book on Sunday night, decided to start fasting on Monday…My reason was I attend a well known slimming club and I am struggling with my weight loss…I either lose a tiny amount or maintain my weight, I have noticed however that after reading the book I realised I was fasting without even being aware of it…because I was being weighed on a Monday evening I would not eat from 7pm on a Sunday until 7pm on a Monday, but then i would come home and pig out more than the 500 calories recommended in the book, I have a funny feeling that most people who attend slimming classes do as I was doing so their weight loss was a little or much the same, now I know the secret I have nothing to lose apart from weight that is! As I said I started yesterday and found the first day liberating, not stuffing my face after a fast, I was only going to have the 500 calories (I only 480 cals) I can honestly say I have CFS/ME which makes it hard to sleep well last night was the first time in about 10 years where I have slept longer than 3 hours I could’nt believe it when I woke to find I had slept 5 hrs…when I got up I expected to head straight for the kitchen for something to eat but hey guess what I did’nt want anything until 10m this morning….what a relief…I am so looking forward to the coming weeks and to my next fasting day which is Thursday this week, I will report back and let you all know how I am getting on…….

    My “fast diet” diary

    Week 1 of the 5:2 fast diet
    Monday 21st january 2013 weight on Start day 141lbs
    By end of first week 138lbs
    Total loss in first week 3llbs
    Doing two day fast, eating allocated 500cals in one go leaving as bigger calorie free gap as possible.
    Eating smaller portions on normal days
    Did well no side effects like dizziness or anything, toilet visits less often. Felt great zero bloating and felt happy alert good mood excellent start.

    Yesterday was my third fast day and I found it slightly more difficult than the first two – it was very busy at work and I was running around a lot (normally I would ‘manage the stress’ with several biscuits) and instead of porridge for late brekkie I had veggie soup for lunch which didn’t seem to work so well. However I made it through, slept well, feel great today, and am determined to carry on 🙂

    Having spent the last two days reading the book cover to cover first day of fasting. have bmi of 24.3 but fat is 39%. Am not classed as overweight but carry too much fat. Decided to try the diet as am at risk of developing diabetes as had in pregnancy. Off we go!

    Book is fan by the way

    HI all , first 5 days of this regime completed. I tried the no eating breakfast so as to have a long gap from night before. My milky coffee at breakfast time has never tasted so good. 3 lbs off, so very pleased but a long way to go…..

    Page 80 of the book What quantities are used to calculate GL?

    If I have say 900 calories 3 days a week instead will this work?

    My “fast diet” diary: Pist off and failed diet 🙁 another chance? http://jayhutchsfastdiary.blogspot.com/2013/02/pist-off-and-failed-diet-another-chance.html?spref=tw

    My partner and I fasted this weekend, wanting to support each other before we go back to work Monday, and give the diet a good kick start.
    I lost 5.5lb, my partner lost 2.75lb.

    We’re going to start doing non-sequential fast days now and see how it goes.

    We worked from the book, but watched the horizon documentary last night on dailymotions.com and we are convinced this is worth pursuing.

    Thank you 🙂

    Have just completed my first week doing 5:2 and managed to put 1lb ON! My fast days were Monday and Thursday and I stuck to the 500 calories with less trauma than I had feared. I haven’t overeaten on the non-fast days but have been away for the weekend where I’ve had more alcohol than I would normally.
    Without the diet I would have expected to have gained a pound after this weekend anyway, so was hoping to have at least stayed the same having fasted for 2 days.
    Not a great start is it?
    I’m female, 50 and need to lose 1.5 stone.

    I adopted a 5:2 programme (4 weeks ago), but my fast days (Monday & Thursday)extend to 36 hours with no food as I stop eating e.g., 8pm Sunday and have first meal on the Tuesday / no food after 8pm on Wednesday evening, first meal Friday. I don’t go down the 600 cal route, but simple stop eating apart from water (found sparkling kills the hunger pangs better than still) and dash of lemon or lime for variety.

    I must admit it is hard not to think of food when you are surrounded by it on fast days, but I think its want rather than hunger and my will power tells me it is doing me some good. I am a three weeks in now and it is now becoming routine.

    Noticed fridge is emptier too ;-).

    I eat very well, but not overdoing it on eat days, simply having what I would nornally and I have always eaten pretty healthily having a strange addiction to raw vegetables and salad. Meat does play a big part especially fish, but I have cut back on the portion size (a bit) in favour of mixed nuts as a snack. Alcohol on occasion has been involved too, but not above 1-2 units and then only ocasionally.

    Lost 6.4Kg.

    Would add, loss was greater at first, so assume mainly fluid (noted to self to drink more water on fast days, but not looking to waste away, more on the healthy benefits this regime should deliver.

    My “fast diet” diary: Day1 of fresh start….Monday 4th feb http://jayhutchsfastdiary.blogspot.com/2013/02/day1-of-fresh-startmonday-4th-feb.html?spref=tw

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