More on what to do if you’re not losing weight

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More on what to do if you’re not losing weight

This topic contains 281 replies, has 183 voices, and was last updated by  Roldan 3 years, 6 months ago.

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  • Has anyone had success on the diet with an under active thyroid or are a cortisol type person? I struggled to loose fat around my stomach.

    Thanks Danni, measuring already!!! Good luck Kandm1, it’s my first day too.

    Does anyone know if Camomile tea has calories???

    Thanks x

    Hey everyone, so great to read the enthusiasm (for the most part) on this site. Just an update from me: After 6 weeks I find fasting second nature and I look forward to it, I’ve lost 5lbs and all my clothes are looser. I even did 3 days last week so as to pre-compensate for a birthday binge at the weekend. I have heaps more energy and mental clarity, and I am one happy bunny. Good luck everyone fasting today.

    Hi LittlePixie77 Cammomile tea has no calories 🙂 try fennel tea too it’s naturally sweet 🙂

    I did this diet/eating plan from September till just before Christmas last year, after reading the Telegraph article. In the first week or so I was weighing myself frequently and then getting downhearted because I was registering gains. I followed the fasting plan faithfully but stopped weighing myself until Christmas, at which time I found I had lost a grand total of 1 lb since September. My clothes were starting to feel a little looser in that time and my thighs appeared thinner but I was still bitterly disappointed. I knew that in the early days I had probably overdone it on the non-fast days and had gotten much more careful about what I ate at those times, but I still had only one miserable pound to show for it. I bought the book and am going to give it another go (I’ve just had surgery and want to wait till I’m fully recovered before starting this up again, which will be soon) but I will definitely start by measuring waist hips, thighs etc so maybe I can have something to show for it besides a number on a scale.

    This is my 7th week on 5:2 and I am really sticking to it, despite this I dont seem to be losing weight – HELP I feel better but the scales just stick at that number I want to change for the summer!!! What could I do? I seriously dont over eat on the other days as I just dont feel the need to gorge – any ideas Michael/Mimi or any of you fellow 5:2 ers? I keep wondering if there is something more seriously amiss?

    3 weeks in and no weight loss. Sticking to the 2 day fast and am not a big eater at the best of times. Salads, home made soups etc.Don’t do fizzy drinks sweets etc. Drink lots of water and the odd cup of black coffee. Exercise on a regular basis. However I am on tamoxifen for breast cancer and have put on weight since taking it. Want to get the weight off to hopefully stop any reoccurance. Anyone any ideas. Maybe I’m just being impatient.


    I have been doing the fast diet now for 4 weeks and have not lost a single pound! I use myfitnesspal to add up calories and i am always at 500 or below ( I fast on monadys and thursdays, have a small breakfast and a small dinner with sparkling water in between). On feast days I eat normally and try not to gorge. Admittedly at the weekend I eat what I want. I exercise 3 times a week at least including on fast days. My scales measure % fat and water but they haven’t changed either. Im at a loss. I would be very grateful for advice on where i am going wrong. I admit I have felt as though I have more energy since starting the fasts but I would like to lose some weight. Any advice would be gratfeully appreciated!

    Hi, been using My Fitness Pal for a few months now and it is great for calorie calculations now that i am using the 5/2 diet. I now have a question. (don’t we all? )
    I know i have to restrict myself to 600 calories on my fasting days, Monday and Friday but as my (generally accepted) MBR is around 2300, do i have to eat that amount on my normal eating days to avoid my body going into starvation mode? It may sound a silly question but i was using my ‘goal’ calorie intake on MFP for losing 1lb a week and that was 1930 calories.
    That would mean a deficit of about 5550 a week! Should i counter act this by eating up to my BMR on my non fasting days and let the calorie deficit on my fasting days do the work, so to speak? I do eat sensibly on non fasting days, grilled chicken etc but struggle to get it up to 2300 calories without eating junk!

    I am on my 8th week of the diet and sticking to the recomemdated calories allowances on the 5/2. Lost initially 4 lb but have not lost any weight for the past 5 weeks. I am about to throw the towel in. Has anyone hit a plateau on this diet and then started to lose weight again? Is there any hope?

    Hmm. Third week of fasting and only a quarter of a pound lost this week. I will have to measure my stomach to see if there’s been any loss there. Haven’t gone nuts on my non-fast days, but it seems to take longer to get rid of that nasty, sticky fat.

    But regardless, I’m going to continue with it. It’s only two days a week, after all.

    Hi has anyone done the 2pm till 2pm fast ?When do you have your 500 cals and is it as effective as the ordinary day fast ?

    kathryn 1950 when I was 2 weeks into the diet I couldnt understand why I was sufferring from severe abdominal cramps. I was able to trace it eventually to diet coke-something I only started drinking when I started the fast programme. I think I’m intolerant of aspartame which is an artificial sweetener. Since excluding products that contain this I no longer have the pains. I am slowly losing 1/2 pound/per week. I was hoping for more but its going in the right direction.

    I wanted to know can you spread your 500 calories over three meals instead of 2 or one?

    Hi, I need some advice please! I have been trying the intermittent fast diet since the beginning of Aug and although sticking to it strictly have not managed to lose more than 2lbs. I have even tried trying 24hour fasts and a few times have even gone for 36 hours with food. Still to no avail, I find that I would lose a couple of pounds during my fast days but when I am eating on my non fast days (I do not over indulge on those days) I put the weight back on. I have been trying this now for nearly 6 months and am at the point of giving up!! My husband tried it and lost 6kgs within the first two months!! Not sure where to go from here..this week I have tried only eating protein for my fast days (with the exception of some milk in my tea and some vegetables during meal times). Also, I have tried to vary the fast days – either going all day and saving all my calories in the evening or splitting the calories (after going 16hours fasting) for a mid morning snack then having the rest in the evening.
    Would welcome any advice please. Also, not sure if it makes a difference but I donot have a gall bladder.

    Hi to Lollylulu and Brixton Rioter. Re your headaches : as a former migraine sufferer, I found that a sure trigger was not eating regularly and still am prone to headaches if I go too long without food. I am on the Fast Diet and spread my calories so that I can have something at lunchtime otherwise I felt headachey too. Hope this is of help.
    Also I have ‘stuck’ after losing 4 lbs my first week ( I’m 3 weeks in), however my thighs are no longer rubbing together, my waist is a little slimmer and my clothes are not so tight. So, whilst I would love the scales to be giving me better news, something is definitely happening with the shape of my body.

    This has given me great inspiration. I have been on the diet for four weeks now. Initially I lost 4 1/2lb the first week then I put on a lb, then I lost 1 1/2 and this morning it tells me I have put that 1 1/2 back on!!!! I am on or under my 500 on fast days and on the other days stick to around 1500 – 1900 using my fitness pal. I go to the gym 2 – 3 times a week. I find the fasting bit easy and have now moved to eating just in the evening. I don’t miss food during the day at all. I won’t lose heart but will keep going. Tough since a friend is losing a kg a week.

    I have been doing the diet for 3 weeks and have not lost any weight. Nor have my clothes got any looser. However my fat percentage (according to my scales anyway) has gone down from 30.1% to 21.9%. How can this be? By fasting have I somehow gained more muscle? bone? water? skin?

    I have just completed my 3rd week on 5:2 and have lost 9lbs. I know it is still early days so realistically I don’t expect to keep losing at such a good rate even though I am well overweight. In January 2012 I started doing the Slimming World diet after my weight reached 19st 10lb. By the end of November I was down to 17st 7lb. Over the next few weeks I gained more weight and by the end of the year was at 18st (I should add that I was aware that I had deviated from the diet plan both in portion size and amount of beer!).
    Since starting 5:2 I still go to the pub 3 nights a week but will probably drink 4 pints of beer plus 2 dry white wines with soda. I try to compensate for this by skipping lunch on my pub days. I do realise that as I lose more weight (hopefully) I may have to re-think this strategy. I have not found the fast days too hard but after the first fast I have been consuming my 600 cals in one meal at about 5.30pm. On feast days I try to eat reaonably healthy meals although if I fancy fish and chips once a week I will have them. Hope somebody may find this post to be useful.

    I did the 2pm to 2 pm but didint find it worked, I have had more success with running the 2 fast days concurrently. I have been doing it 4 weeks and have lost 4lbs but have lost several %points in fat. I do not have a lot to lose but am doing it more for the health benefits as I have high cholesterol and my mother had Alzheimers. My GP is very supportive and is going to give me blood tests in a month to see if my cholesterol has improved.

    I follow a Paleo lifestyle, any tips on combining that with 5:2 ? I feel wonderful on Paleo, but haven’t lost weight, Is it OK to be eating good fats even though I don’t have a gall bladder?
    Thanks so much

    Does any one know how many days you should leave between fast days?

    I have followed a low fat calorie restricted diet for some years and lost a stone but for some time have been unable to shift anymore. My daily calorie allowance has been about 1300. I fast on Mondays and Thursday and find that I lose a couple of pounds then eat normally for the weekend (not going mad) but put the 2 pounds straight back on. Can anyone suggest what I may be doing wrong?

    A small update. I measured my waist and neck since I hadn’t lost any weight. I have lost 2cm from my waist and 2 1/2 cm from my neck. Not sure what is happening but something is so it is worth sticking to even if the scales say different. Maybe we shouldn’t all obsess about weight and do the measurements. I now wish I had measured more bits of my body other than just my neck and waist.

    oh yes…will head to with a tape measure now
    thanks for the reminder

    I was worried I might be the only one not losing as much weight as I’d hoped. After an initial couple of pounds off the first week – my weight fluctuates quite wildly sometimes anyway for no apparent reason – 5 weeks in I’m only 3 lbs lighter than I was when I started. One week I felt I needed a boost and fasted 3 days instead of two – and was rewarded by an increase of half a pound in weight at my weekly weigh-in. No inch-loss anywhere either, and no suggestion of fat-loss on my scales.

    I vividly remember Dr M on the programme tucking into a burger in a car on a non-fasting day but clearly this isn’t meant to be normal “non-fasting” food. When the diet suggests you can “eat what you like on non-fasting days” it means have one chocolate hobnob with your coffee (not six), go out for dinner with friends one night and have what you fancy (but for the other 4 fasting days that week be sensible and fairly restrained, and even then you may not lose weight that week).

    Interestingly, anecdotal evidence (both on this and other websites talking about the 5:2 fast and from chatting to friends also doing the diet) suggests that men would appear to have more success with this diet than women; my husband is certainly doing a good deal better than I am too, and eating considerably more. Must be a metabolism thing ;(

    I am persuading myself that it’s worth continuing with the 5:2 on health grounds and will do so until the end of April and appraising the situation then before deciding whether to continue (that will be 3 months on it) but – alas – the initial reason for following the diet was to lose 8 lbs before I went on holiday at Easter so that I’d look a little better in my swimwear; that clearly isn’t going to happen.

    … sorry, above it should read “but for the other 4 NON fasting days that week be sensible”

    I have been experimenting with the 5:2 since Michael’s programme and have definitely lost some of my belly fat, which I am very pleased about. I’m not measuring or weighing as I think that just causes unnecessary stress and worry and that it can vary with other factors, particularly the menstrual cycle for women. I also suspect Audrey2 that your husband is losing weight more easily because he’s not spent most of his adult life dieting (I could be entirely wrong, of course!) but generally men will find it easier to lose fat partly because they are genetically programmed to carry less than women (so unfair!) but also because they often haven’t messed up their metabolisms with years of dieting and deprivation and bingeing.

    My husband and I have been following the diet for six weeks now and he’s doing considerably better than me and has lost over a stone. However, he was originally advised by his doctor not to try it as he has type two diabetes. As he was really struggling to control his eating habits and really needed to lose weight we thought it was still worth a try and he seems to be fine on it. Does anyone have any experience of this or know of any potential problems if he continues.

    i saw ur video bfore it came 2 the usa. got me very motivated. concerned about my type 2 diab lost 5 lbs since 3 4 13 keep all tracking and journals on supertracker a us gov site .weigh only after fast days always lose however this weigh after 3/11/13 fast day i gained 1 lbs is that normal? mond/frid fast day ave 497 to 500 cals. have a blood test coming up @ the end of march what test should they do?

    I put on a little weight over Christmas (as usual!)and having seen the Horizon programme and read the book, I decided to try the 5:2. I must admit I was sceptical at first, but the science made sense, and having both parents and a sister with diabetes, it made sense to try anything to reduce the risk of developing it myself. I started 6 weeks ago and I’ve lost 7 lbs; I feel great, my clothes don’t feel tight any more and I have more energy. Fast days are usually Monday and Wednesday; I keep it simple, and I don’t count calories – I don’t have anything to eat from dinner the previous day to lunchtime the next, giving me 16-18 hours fast, then I usually have poached salmon fillet with heaps of salad for lunch. For dinner I usually have 3 thin slices of ham or chicken with heaps of steamed veg. I even allow myself a small gin and tonic! I’ve lost what I set out to, so I’m going to try fasting one day a week now, and see if that will maintain my weight, although I’m not sure if this will maintain the health benefits – has this been tested yet?

    I have just completed my third day of fasting. I did it last Tuesday, Thursday and again yesterday. I had nothing from round 5pm the night before, then an early breakfast and supper around 7pm. I folowed the advice given in the book and the food was delicious. I have weighed this morning and haven’t lost anything and my BMI has stayed the same. Perhaps I ate too much on my 5 days but was under the impression that would be ok, but have spent the last 4 years on a ‘slimming world’ eating plan. Can anyone advise on what I have done wrong

    I’ve come looking for encouragement having started the Fast Diet 6 weeks ago and loosing 8lbs in the first 5 but putting 1 back on last week! Having read all the comments here it’s disappointing to find I’m not alone. Is it different for women? My husband has lost 7lbs and is really noticing looser clothes! It helps that we’re in this together but frustrating not to be seeing any changes! Does having more weight to lose (5 stone +) make a difference? Do I have to diet on non fast days too for it to work? I really related to Mimi’s comment in the book about wanting to commit hari kari every time you open the fridge on a conventional diet! So disappointing if I’m going to be one of the people the Fast Diet doesn’t work for !

    I do think the best approach is to give yourself over to the process for six weeks (it will fly by). Weigh and measure (thigh, hips and waist) yourself at the beginning and then give your scales to a friend to look after for you. On non fast days stay within the recommended calorie limits as much as you can (just eating good fresh food is the best approach), but without the hassle of weighing food. Then when six weeks is up weigh and measure yourself again. It takes time for your body to adapt. Over six weeks I’ve dropped six pounds and lost 2cm from my thighs, waist and hips. I invested in some Omron BF511 scales (as Michael uses in the programme, they are currently £47.99 on Amazon, a very good price) I’ve dropped 4% body fat (it was on the Omron high ++ level when I started!) and reduced my visceral body fat by 2 (luckily this started in the norm range). If after six weeks you have no change on any markers weight, body fat and measurements then it might be worth talking it through with your GP to have a look at some of the causes. I also kept a food diary to try and understand what I was really eating, only for a couple of weeks, but it made me realise how much I snack on non fast days. The only exercise I do is to walk the dog every day for around an hour, although I’ve upgraded to some Nordic walking to get my arms involved. Good Luck all

    I’ve been on the 5:2 diet for 6 weeks tomorrow and havent lost anything! I always stick to the 500 on fast days and eating less, and healthier on non-fast days. My boss told me a friend of hers took 5 weeks to lose anything but should I give up after losing nothing after 6 weeks?

    On my second week and although I lost 2 and a half pounds the first week, I have gained half a pound this week even though I have stuck scrupulously to the diet. I am 51, about a stone and a half overweight and use thyroxin to treat hypothyroid. I know all about the ‘plateau’ stage of a diet, but week 2 is rather early for that. I work out with a personal trainer twice a week and go Nordic Walking two or three times a week. I was much encouraged by what appeared to be a fairly rigorous scientific basis for this diet. So much for that.

    And by the way, I think Dr Mosley’s suggestion that anyone who is not shedding weight is probably drinking too much juice/alcohol/smoothies/fizzy drinks is disingenuous. I rather doubt if all of the people who are not losing weight are bingeing on these drinks on the non-fast days; I know I’m not. Further I do not need lessons on exercising and eating good fresh food as I have been doing that for as long as I can remember. The main selling point of this diet is that slashing one’s calories by 75% two days a week will work – if for no other reason – simply on a calories in/calories out basis. Well Dr Mosley: does it or doesn’t it?

    I dont think people understand this diet, it’s not a starve 2 days, gorge 5 days, that won’t work! People are criticising it saying you need to still diet for the other 5 but that’s not true! You fast 2 days, eat normally for 5! And normal can include anything up to your calorie allowance for your body a day (ie 2500 for me)! That’s opposed to eating 1800 on a normal diet, I know what I’d prefer! If you are moaning your not losing weight cos your stuffing yourself with 4,000 cals on feed days with McDs and KFCs then you really can’t complain’
    I’ve lost stone in 2 weeks , fasting 2 days and eaten my daily calorie intake for a man of my size the days I can eat (isn’t the point to learn to eat what you need anyways not what you like all the time?) I can tell you I look forward to having my chicken baguette on feed days or occassional bag of crisps that I’d never be able to eat on a conventional diet! And that’s the point really! Learn to eat right inc a bit of what you fancy rather than deprive yourself for months and months

    Stereomad, I am not stuffing myself on 4,000 calories on McDonald’s or KFCs. Indeed I have not visited a McDonalds since the 1980s and I have never eaten a single portion of KFC. I have probably forgotten more about calorie counting, healthy food and cooking than you have ever known. I have a First Class undergraduate degree, a Master’s Degree, a good knowledge of Greek and Latin and for several years lectured at University. I have no problem in comprehending either the general thrust or the specifics of this diet. I understand the concept of ‘normal eating.’ And by the way: the word ‘occasional’ has only one ‘s’; ‘cos’ is a lettuce not a diminutive of the word ‘because’ and it is traditional to end sentences with full-stops, not apostrophes – see the end of your first paragraph.

    I meant, of course, to write ‘McDonald’s hamburger’. My bad, to use the current vernacular.

    aspasia, did you have your insulin, cortisol and hormone levels checked? If you’re on a healthy diet but still having problems losing weight regardless bein on the 5:2 diet, there may be such an issue. I personally had such a problem and my results revealed that I had a very high level of fasting insulin.

    I was diagnosed as being insulin-resistant some years ago and was treated with Metoformin. I changed my diet and began to exercise a great deal more and after a while was diagnosed as being ‘normal’ again. Perhaps it is time I paid another trip to the endocrinologist. Many thanks for your helpful comment.

    Or ‘Metformin’ to be precise.

    A slight over reaction there aspasia! I did not quote you, I was trying to explain the misrepresentation of the diet in the media and that it’s not a “stuff your face on feed days diet”! However your response in quoting all your qualifications and picking up on my Idiosyncrasies when it comes to typing on forums has made you look a little pompous and aloof!
    So your a graduate? Well done

    Any idea how this works on a 60+ female metabolism?

    i heard you on the Diane Rehm show last night coincidentally when i was making a batch of smoothies. When you suggested that people should avoid too many smoothies, did you mean ALL smoothies in general. The reason i am curious is because i make my smoothies with only vegetables (mostly greens like spinach, celery, chard, etc and the occasional beet ) and low fructose fruits like limes, lemons and very few blueberries, so essentially very little or no fruit. I was wondering if you included this kind of smoothie in your list of things to avoid. Otherwise, i am already following a lifestyle similar to the one you suggest…SO MUCH BETTER than the constant grazing we’ve been led to believe is good for us… ~

    Hi all,started the 5:2 3 and a half weeks ago.My weight hasn’t changed much(70.4 starting now 70.6kg) nor has my bodyfat%(it’s actually going up 29.1 to 30 to 29.6 currently)I have been taking measurements and as yet haven’t noticed any significant difference.I eat 500 calories on Mondays and Thursdays.My TDEE is 2,347 calories however I have been monitoring my calories on non fast days and they are usually 1800-2000..I do weights and cardio 5-6 times per week.My BMI is between 25-26.Im female,27years old and 5foot 5inches tall.I love the concept of the 5:2 diet and as a medic was impressed by the evidence produced.However…there’s only so long I can continue to do this with no change weight wise.Any advice would be greatly appreciated,truly.

    I am another one who has lost very little, although only had half a stone to lose. In 6 weeks ive lost 2lbs, and my OH has only lost 3lb. He is a good 2 stone overweight, and has stuck to this religiously but has had hardly any loss. I do think that some people whether through metabolism/body type whatever just arent going to have as much sucess on this as others. We arent over indulging, eating rubbish or pigging out, so its rather offensive when that is suggested.

    Hello Pandora, yes I agree: body type and metabolism has got to come into it. I have dieted for the past 26 years, so have tried a number of diets! Like you I only have a small amount to lose (5lbs or so) and am making slow progress on the 5:2. I am NO scientist, but surely there is no ‘one size fits all’ diet? Where diets have worked for me in the past it is because they have taken into account differences in TDEE. I often diet with my sister, who is 5 inches taller than me and about 1.5 – 2 stone heavier and I have found that diets that give us both the same amount of calories / points etc. simply don’t work for me, but do for her. My TDEE is around 1532 calories per day, making a quarter of my daily intake 383 calories. I note above that Michael Mosley has advised Fabulous50 (in a similar position to me) to stick to 500 calories on fast days. I just don’t see how that can work. Just to add, in my experience (not at all scientific, I know) people who have dieted occasionally seem to lose weight relatively easily, whereas those of us who have always controlled our weight seem to find losing it very hard!

    I have been on the Fast Diet since August. I’ve lost 23 lbs but for the last month I haven’t lost any weight. I don’t eat anything at all on fast days and only drink water. I’ve gone down 2 dress sizes but wondered why my weight loss has ground to a halt. Anyone got any suggestions?

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