Welcome to The Fast Diet › The official Fast forums › Body › Weight loss › More on what to do if you’re not losing weight
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22 Feb 13
Many people have found that they easily adapt to the 5:2 Fast Diet and start losing weight straight away, others find it more challenging. If you persist it will work, but there are things to bear in mind.
Firstly I would not obsess about weight. What you really want to do is lose fat, preferably around the gut. I would always start by measuring your stomach, around the belly button, and see what happens over a period of time. On a normal diet you will lose a mix of fat and muscle, which is why it is important to up your exercise levels when you diet, to maintain muscle mass. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat; it burns calories even when you are asleep. What is unusual about Intermittent Fasting is that studies have consistently shown that people on it tend to lose mostly fat and very little muscle.
I also think that people have to be realistic about what they eat and drink on non-fast days. You shouldn’t be obsessing about calories on your non-fast days, because that defeats the whole purpose of it, but nor should you go wild.
If you are not losing weight/fat then I would look first at the calories you are getting from drinks on your non fast days. Juices, lattes, alcohol, fizzy drinks, smoothies all contain a lot of calories. If you can move to drinking more water and sugar free tea/coffee that will help. Calories you drink do not satiate. If you eat three apples they will fill you up. Drink 3 apples in form of a small fruit juice and it will not fill you up.
The other thing is you should be moving more. I always take the stairs, even up 7 flights. Get a pedometer. Aim to do 10,000 steps a day. Most people do less than 5000. A long term study on people who lost weight and kept it off found that those who were successful all increased the amounts they walked.
23 Feb 13
Top advice. Not to mention the superior hippocampus 🙂
25 Feb 13
I’ve been on the eating plan now for five weeks and lost half a stone. One thing I’ve had to do though, is educate myself in terms of calories. I’ve always been very aware of food types and the impact they have, but not on how much energy they contain. I kept a food diary for a week and then sat down and worked out roughly how many calories I was eating on my non fast days and in many cases it was more than my 2000 allowance. Since correcting this without really much effort (stop the snacking which is my big downfall) it’s made a big difference.
I have seen in the media (and elsewhere anecdotally) the 5:2 Diet described as “eat whatever you like” on the non-fast days. Michael says I believe “eat normally” which is not the same – I feel it’s important to point out the subtle distinction. Been on it 4 weeks and loving it 🙂
I have completed my 4th week religiously following the procedure. I am 80 and fit. I have had to significantly tighten my belt, some ankle swelling I had has almost gone and I feel more energetic and generally fitter BUT, it seems that any weight loss is marginal, perhaps one pound from a start of 190lb. How is it that I have taken off 2 inches around my waist but hardly lost weight. I invested in a good quality BMI scales and take measurements each morning just after rising.
I think both Annabel & Fabulous50 hit the nail on the head. Your ‘normal’ days are not a free ticket to stuff your face with chocolate, KFC etc! I have been recording what I eat for a while & am using MyFitnessPal. Because i wanted to loose weight, I’d been restricting myself to 1200. Now I’m fasting, I still monitor and tend to keep between 1200-1500, which I know is still under the daily recommended amount, but I’m cool with that. I’m very new to fasting, today being my third day, but so far it’s been great. Getting to really know your cals and the restriction of 500 has really upped my appreciation of just how much food ‘costs’. Good luck to everyone on their respective fasts 🙂
Toosh has put it in a nutshell.
Anyone taking an interest in 5:2 must surely be wanting to get rid of a few lbs or inches of blubber, so inevitably counting calories and looking at ratio of nutrients being eaten. And we can all see, by using MFP, that we are pretty poor at estimating portion size. This has been 4 weeks of discovery for me, despite thinking I was a foodie. I am delighted that I have found this system of weight management, and trust my blood profile and general health will benefit.
I’ve just calculated my TDEE (http://www.fitnessfrog.com/calculators/tdee-calculator.html) and it’s a rather alarming 1519 calories a day – quite a bit less than then rough guide of 2000 for women! This means at 25% calorie intake for a fast day, I should be eating 380 calories! Well I’d better give it a try…!
Update – Michael has been in touch to say stick to 500 cals – phew! Should be MUCH easier! Thanks Michael.
26 Feb 13
Hi Toosh – totally agree with your point that fasting makes you think about the calorie cost of food. There’s an awareness that develops which is really useful on non-fast days. I think my portion sizes were way out of whack for years – funny how we tend to eat whatever is put in front of us at a restaurant. Now, I’m much more attuned. Good luck and let us know how you go
I AM losing weight, and at a satisfying rate. After starting over a month ago, I have gone from 12st5 to 11st11. However, I am NOT losing body fat (as weight, not %age) according to my scales. (I am aware that these types of scales may not give absolute readings, but I am only using them for comparative measurements). Also, my waist size has remained the same, which may confirm what the scales are telling me. What is happening here I wonder? Others have reported reducing their waist size and not losing weight! As you say, ideally it’s fat that should be lost, and overall weight is a secondary concern.
My wife and I began the 5:2 diet immediately following Michael’s TV programme and have just completed our 29th week. We are both age 71. My starting weight was 9st-9lb, which was a little over a stone above my mean weight when I was working. We fast (600cal) on Tuesday and Friday each week. After a steady weight loss of around one pound a week, I now have stabilised at around 8st-9lb.
My wife hasn’t lost quite as much, but is well pleased with her weight now. We haven’t found the fasting a hardship. Foe exercise we go dancing 3 or 4 nights each week as well as walking.
Hi. I started the 5:2 Fast Diet last Thursday, had my 2nd Fast Day today and plan to fast on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I’m looking forward to a lifestyle change which will end my years of yo-yo dieting.
Hi, I’m confused- on the programme ‘Eat, fast, live longer’, it showed that scientific researched showed them that they tested the diet on two groups of people- one eating your stereo-typical american style fast food diet which is high fat and high calorie, and also one eating a calorie controlled healthy diet. They claimed that the results showed the results for both health and weight didn’t differ between the two- thus forming the concept of ‘eat what you want on feed days’. So, is that not actually true? How could they say that if it’s actually the case that you also need to limit your in take on feed days too? Any answers would be great!
27 Feb 13
Hi, two questions – can you still do this diet along side a slimming club ?
Also, can any one recommend a good ‘reliable’ body fat monitor scale ?
Hi,I’ve been on the diet plan now for 2 weeks, and although I have lost some weight, my problem is with stomach problems. I have to take acid reducing medication in the morning before I eat, and find that my stomach gets more and more uncomfortable as the day goes on. Does anyone have similar problems. I would like to continue with the plan, but wonder if it may be making my stomach problems worse.
Any advice would be welcomed.
So it seems that the 5:2 diet actually means fast 2 days a week and the rest of the time stay within the recommended calorie limit for your gender. Shucks. So much for the big sell – that we could eat what we liked on the 5 days ‘off’. Here’s the thing – those of us who gravitated towards the fasting diet, did so because we wanted to lose weight. We have gained weight because we are in a habit of eating more than our calorie limit on a normal day. The attraction of the 5:2 diet was that it offered a chance to only diet two days a week, instead of counting calories the rest of the time. Realistically, what this diet really means is that we have to change our habits 7 days a week – bring calories down to recommended limits on 5 days a week and fast for 2. This means that all 7 days will be hard. Not just 2.
MY FAST DIET WEEK ONE
Just had to share this …………….
Starting weight 12s 9lb
1 week done = 12s 3lb
OMG LOST 6LB
Thank you thank you thank you !!!!
i am loving this plan and I plan to stick with it for a long time as long as I keep losing weight of course !!!
28 Feb 13
Well, I’m only on my second week but would appear to have lost 2lbs in week 1. What I’m slightly concerned by is the fact that I consome my 600 calories over three meals. I tend to have:
Breakfast: two medium eggs (approx 160 calories)
Lunch: Chicken Noodle soup (142 calories)
Dinner: Stir fry (106 calories) plus pre-cooked chicken (around 150 cals)
I do this, because I suffer from IBS (although not badly these days) and this seems to be the best way for my system to work. The question is, should I be trying to do all of my cals in one go?
Katherine1950, I, too am on Omeprazole, taking it first thing before food. On fast days I still do, taking it before a decent bowl of porridge with a sprinkling of chia seeds, made with half water and half kallo coconut milk (which is 27cals). I find this breakfast sustains and settles an acid tummy, and in fact, my tummy has felt much better since starting the diet 3 weeks ago.
Can someone tell me how the 2-2 plan works? Is it the same as bedtime to bedtime in that you can still have the 500 calories in that time. Thank you x
naomi123, I thought in the programme the ‘typical American diet’ section was when Michael was trying Alternate Day Fasting which is a different system to Intermittent Fasting. If someone can confirm, please do!
After 5 weeks on it I am finding the fast days easier and easier to do, it’s just becoming second nature now but it takes awhile to adapt.
This is my second week and have struggled to keep to 500 calories,also having terrible headaches, I am drinking lots of fluids water mainly plus earl grey tea. Would too much coffee be making the headaches worse ? Anyone else feeling the same? Have lost 4lb though so will keep at it and hopefully headaches will subside in time.
Lollylulu – I too am suffering with headaches. 2 weeks in and no other real issues, but the headaches make things unpleasant. Usually kick in around late morning/early afternoon and become penetrating. Fasting on work-days (Mon & Thurs) and finding it hard to concentrate once pain has arrived. Drinking lots of fruit tea and water during the fast days to stay hydrated. I take 2 aspirin when I feel the headache arriving, but they do little to calm the pain. On a normal day I will have a cup of tea and a skinny latte in addition to normal meals – so I don’t feel that I’m over-doing the tanin/caffeine hits. I normally drink aboout 750ml of water every day also. Any advice/tips would be most welcome!
1 Mar 13
Headaches are likely a result of toxins being released into the blood stream as fat cells are melting ib fast days. Drinking some caffeine may actually help by acting as a diuretic and moving the toxins out of your system. Make sure you drink lots of water, though, to replace the water lost. I like to add juice of 1/2 lemon to a litre of water for flavour and detoxification, alkalinization.
‘on’ fast days
I’ve just started the 5:2 system and am so pleased to report that I’ve already lost 5lbs in just over a week, I am so pleased to have found your book and think everyone should fast!
The only thing I have found is that I have a strange completely painless pulsing in my back, left hand side just below my ribs (I believe, from the describtion in the book, to be my pancreas) is this a normal/ok reaction?
Hi, I have been doing the 5.2 diet for 4 weeks now, but my weight seems to fluctuate even though I am sticking to the plan and eating sensibly on the non fast days, I also exercise 3 to 4 times a week, being either a half hour run or a 2 hour bike ride. I seem to lose 4lb and then gain it again. I weigh myself on the days after my fast days. I’m confused and a bit disappointed, my partner has lost loads. I have been suffering from headaches and nausea in the mornings too. I’m not pregnant, age 52! So what am I doing wrong? I plan to write down everything I’m eating and drinking. I have lost 2 stone just from normal dieting, ie cutting back on carbs and butter etc last year and kept it off. I need to lose another stone and thought I could achieve it with the fasting. Do I just need to be patient? Thanks, look forward to your answer. Julia
I also meant to say I strangely enjoy the fast days, even though I am hungry it gives me a sense of well being, but I would still like to lose weight!
Hi, I’ve been doing the 5:2 for 2 weeks now and I have lost lbs, but I’m finding it hard not to put lbs on after feast days. I’m currently trying 1700 calories on feast days, should this increase weight loss or would it better to stick to the recommended allowance of 2000 calories???? Hope someone can advise as I’m eager to loose weight sooner rather than later with experimenting???
2 Mar 13
Hello! I’ve been doing the fast diet now for 3 weeks, having lost 7 lbs in the first two weeks and then nothing in the 3rd week. I had a very ‘foodie’ weekend and think I had totally gone over the top with my calories. I now stick to 1500 calories on my non fast days. I think that if you have got weight to loose a slight calorie restriction on non fast days (I use my fitness pal) certainly helps. I also think that a massive weight loss of 7 lbs is quite a lot for such a short time and maybe the body needs to adjust somehow ?
Hi I have been on 5.2 for 2 weeks first week lost 5 pounds really delighted! As have tried every diet there is! This week I have stayed the same so feel very disappointed.not sure what I have done wrong. Can anyone help? Also get very constipated does anyone else find this.
Hi I have been on the fast diet for 3 weeks now. I initially lost weight but then it crept back up on my normal days. (I would admit to using it as a license to pig out.) But this last week I’ve noticed my stomach must be shrinking as I went out to a dinner party (on a normal day) and couldn’t manage much pudding – which is not really like me. I’m going to continue to see if, for me, it’s a long term thing.
This week I’ve started losing weight (2lbs) on my fast days again. Fasting is getting easier. I’m 51 and have struggled with my weight most of my adult life.
Dr Mosely I think it is important for you to consider that this ‘eat what you want’ concept doesn’t work for everyone. I am stuck & I think it’s due to carbohydrate intolerance. I really wish you would look into this and revise the advice in the book as it would make a massive difference to all the people who, like me., struggle with insulin resistance. This is the best article I’ve read on the subject http://www.philmaffetone.com/2weektest.cfm
I think combining 5:2 with a primal foods type diet would work and that’s what I am going on to try now after 7 weeks with no loss.
Sorry – I meant to add that it might work if you begin with the two week kick start thing Dr Maffetone suggests – ridding your system of excess insulin before continuing on with the 5:2 diet and primal foods
4 Mar 13
About to start my fourth fast day and my weight this morning is the same as before I started. Was about to get despondent until I read some of these comments, which were helpful – thanks! I know that I need a very low number of calories up lose weight consistently but was really enjoying eating on my feast days things I wouldn’t usually (chocolate biscuits, bacon) as I suspected to start with I’ll probably need yo watch the calories on those days a bit more.
Hi guys and girls, I have found using the myfitnesspal app such a difference. I can calorie count everything that I eat and drink. The fast diet has shown me there are a lot more calories in both food and drink than I assumed. After doing the diet for nearly 3 weeks now I am finding that I am not eating as much on feast days and only eat when hungry, I feel my stomach has shrunk as I can no longer eat large portions. For the first time I am enjoying a diet. I would advise others to give it a go but be patient, it’s taken a couple of weeks to get used and to see and feel results. X
I think I was using the non-fast days to eat rubbish – so no wonder I wasn’t losing weight… (it was fun though 🙂 )I’m going back to my nice but sensible meals on normal days now. I’ve re-read the advice above and I think the walking on my non-fast days is a good idea, I’m off to blow the dust off my pedometer…
Still think the health benefits are worth it and I have noticed an inability to eat large meals now.
Hi. I think the comment often quoted from Krista Varady was on non-fast days candidates could “literally eat what they want”, which I think is different from eating what you can! I too found that when I first did this I took the quote too literally, but stopped when the penny dropped but the weight didn’t. lol. Carry on, it works, but view fat loss as a bonus and health benefits as the main reason for doing it.
Hi,I have been on the diet for nearly 4 weeks and following it religiously but have not lost any weight.I am a very active person and do 2-3 workouts of one and half hours at the gym each week.My weight has fluctuated alot within a 5lb weight range over this time but now I am the same as my starting weight.It is so frustrating as I find doing the diet fairly easy and have got quite used to it.I do not over indulge on my normal days and follow a reasonably healthy diet and only drink 2-3 glasses of wine over a weekend.My husband is doing this also with me and has lost half a stone of with I envy.I do wonder whether this diet works if you do not normally consume around the 2000 calories for a woman on your non fast days.I think my calorie intake might generally be lower so in order to lose weight I may have to further reduce my calories on fast days.Any thoughts on this would be great as i would love to lose a stone or more and do not understand why I am not losing any.I also know of several others in the same situation as me.
Weighed myself on Saturday and I’ve now lost 6.5lbs in two weeks of being on the 5:2. Very, very pleased!
I think that weight is not always the best measure. Your weight can fluctuate because of water levels or fluid retention without it indicating you loosing or gaining any weight, so this may explain it. Unless there is some medical reason stopping you loosing weight, such as an under active thyroid, I would suggest its impossible to do this diet and not lose weight, unless, of course you are overcompensating on your feed days. Stick with it and rule out any medical issues preventing weight loss.
5 Mar 13
Well here is my update on my weightloss (or not in my case!) after having lost 7 lbs in 3.5 weeks I got on the scales this morning and no further loss in weight…. But hang on to this 11 cm of my hips!! OMG I was wondering how I fitted better into my Jeans! So well worth continuing ! My advice: Definately measure!! I will continue..
Well weighed myself this morning (10days in on the 5.2) and woohoo!!! I have lost 7lb. and am loving the book read it cover to cover more than once, I have been a serial yo yo dieter for over 36 yrs so have a good knowlage of what food costs calorie wise, and as with all food restricted diets I am sure I will platu at some point and not loose but I will not beat myself up if I go off plan some times. It will happen to the best of us. I am on a mission this time and hope to get to my ideal weight and keep it off for all time 🙂
Well… I just bought the book after reading Dom Jolly’s article. I find this whole thing facinating and I’m going to give it a try. Tomorrow will be my first fast day! I have taken on board all the comments and find them really useful…
Wish me luck!!!
LittlePixie77, good luck!! Make sure you measure!!
Hi, I am on week 5 of Fast Diet started the diet weighing 9st 10lb and now weight 9st 5lb. Although hungry on my fast days didn’t initially find it too hard. This last week, however, I have started to feel unwell within 1/2 hour of eating my meals (nauseous & faint/dizzy/shaky). This is happening on my feast days as well as my fast days. Does anyone know why. I am not diabetic that I know of.
Hi, I have just started the diet having done one fast day so far. I have spent most of the past 7 years watching what I eat after losing 28 lbs then. I got down to 9stone 12lb but I am now 10stone 6 lbs. So I don’t want to creep up any further but I do seem a bit of pain when I forever say no thanks to a glass of wine or a piece of cake. Have I at last found a way of having my cake and eating it! I hope so
I have just read all the comments above and Michaels’s introduction. I must agree with Michael about the 10000 steps a day which I worked out to be about one and a half hours steady walking 7 years ago. I did them and a lot more all that time ago and it worked. I must get my walking shoes out. Thanks to all the writers they have given me confidence to take this seriously and not to overeat on non fast days.
6 Mar 13
Tomorrow is my first day on the Fast Diet! Day 1 of fasting starts in the morning! Very excited! Thanks for all of the tips! Wish me luck!
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