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 5 years, 7 months ago.

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  • Well said, Franfit! (Hopefully I won’t be eating my words when I weigh myself on Friday.) Will definitely keep you posted though. πŸ™‚

    I went on the fast diet last year, and lost about 3/4 stone. Felt good etc, I fell off the wagon in the fall of last year when I developed a slipped disc in my neck. I started Lyrica medication at 75mg daily, the weight piled back on…..(but I wasn’t 5:2 ing)

    I have been back on the diet for over a month and I haven’t lost any weight, or body fat %

    Is it possible the Lyrica is interfering with the weight loss?

    I have made a note of my BMR and TDEE, which one should I follow when dropping the calories on the fast day?
    That is should I really be consuming 25% of my BMR (350calories in my case) or 25% of my TDEE (450).

    The 5:2 diet was so helpful last year and I am so disappointed that it just isn’t working for me this time around.

    Hi annie:

    You work from TDEE.

    Good Luck!

    annieinthehat, the Lyrica can indeed cause weight gain and interfere with weight loss. I know this from personal experience as well as from reading about it.

    The 25% of usual caloric intake is a “ballpark” figure, somewhat arbitrarily set at 500 calories/day for women. Even though 25% of my own TDEE is more like 350-400 calories, I’ve always done the 500, or even a little more, on fasting days and have lost 40 pounds in 40 weeks on 5:2 plus walking more. It is not necessary to go below 500 calories on fasting days unless you especially want to.

    Because of the Lyrica, though, you probably need to select a lower than usual TDEE to aim for on your non-fasting days; it doesn’t have to be exact, just a ballpark figure to aim for. I would try calculating the TDEE for my goal weight at one activity level lower than what I think I qualify for and try to stay under that. And increase exercise/activity, as long as it doesn’t increase your appetite and cause you to eat more.

    I hope your neck is feeling better.

    Good luck!

    Thank you Franfit and Simcoeluv for the responses.

    The advice about TDEE for my goal weight instead of my current one. I need to change regime to 3:4 I think until my jeans are baggy when I put them on after laundering them.

    The dog will benefit from the additional time out too on the prairies.

    My neck is feeling better with the Lyrica, but I begin to feel pain if I stop taking it. Ho hum. Disc collapsing in my neck, must be the density of my brain!

    Been on the diet three weeks. Fasting every other day…63. Lost 10 pounds the first week and then stayed the same for the last two weeks. Treadmill every other day. I think I am losing fat but suggestions?

    Hi Island:

    About the most fat your body can lose in a week if you don’t eat at all is in the four pound area. Your 10 pounds was mostly water.

    Additionally, weight loss is not consistent. ‘Plateaus’ are common.

    Here is how you might find your weight loss proceeds:

    Good Luck!

    I just keep telling myself, that even if I don’t lose much weight, the time that I am on zero calories, (about 20 hours) is doing my body good. I am now trying three days a week, and trying to keep the calories count on the normal days down to 1600. Not much fun really, it is remembering to keep busy every day that helps.
    I used to work 12 hour shifts in an ITU, I have gone for a long time without calories, and I never knew it! Cold coffee and a bladder of steel….

    good luck y’all

    Hello All,

    I’m having a terribly disappointing morning. Weighed myself expecting to have lost more weight, but instead I gained 3 lbs. I started about a month and a half ago at 156.6, and last Friday I was down to 149. Today I up to 152! I’ve been eating 1600 calories or less on my non-fast days, and 500 or slightly less on fast days. Even did 4:3 the last two weeks. I also increased my exercise this week. It really hasn’t been easy, so I was at least hoping to continue seeing weight loss, and was certain that I would. Any ideas?? Do you think perhaps I need to lower my caloric intake to 1500 cal or less on non-fast days?

    I’m not giving up by any means, as I have faith that I will ultimately continue to lose weight, because I know I’m taking in less calories in general than I’m expending, just feeling low… πŸ™

    Hi stevelyn:

    It is probably your exercise. When you increase it, your body retains water to help repair the muscles you are damaging with the exercise. Exercise is good for your, of course, so if you continue just know it might be awhile before you get positive scale readings.

    If it is not the exercise, then this might be going on:

    Good Luck!


    Thanks for the words of encouragement. I hope you’re right, and this weight gain is a result of the exercise. Have you experienced weight gain during your 5:2 journey or just plateaus? Gaining weight feels much worse than just not losing any.


    The only time I gained weight while doing 5:2 was when I took my own advice and started exercising more. I gained weight, then went over 7 weeks without any weight loss.

    But I ended in better physical condition than when I started!

    Good Luck!

    Hi all, hope you are well? Im feeling so bloated and constipated and fat today. Im disgusted with myself as I was doing great, but then a couple of weeks ago the weight loss stopped and then I managed to put on one pound. To make matters worse my waist size that I was so proud of has gone from 29 inches to 30 inches in one week. And I was so very near my target goal of 10 stone 3 , but now things seem to be going in the wrong direction. So what did I do differently recently to cause this? Nothing. I stuck with the 2, 36 hours fasts with 450 cals both days. The other days I didnt count cals cos I was loosing anyway and it didnt seem necessary. So this week I am trying a 3rd fast today ie 4;3. Sorry for ranting on. Im sure some people have bigger problems, but I had to get this off my chest. Good luck all!!!

    Hi everyone

    Wel a little about me. 5ft 2 weight is 10stones 2lbs start off weight was 11stones. I have been doing the diet since June fast days are Tuesday and Thursdays. In 3 and half months I have lost 10 pounds which I feel like is really slow. Any light on where I’m going wrong?

    Hi Elle,

    Doesn’t sound like you’re doing anything wrong. You’re losing weight, and getting healthier. At your height and TDEE, your rate of weight loss seems within the range of what you might expect.

    5:2 doesn’t promise fast weight loss, but as a way of life it offers the opportunity for long term sustainable weight loss and health benefits.

    I’d say keep doing what you’re doing and celebrate your success to date!

    Thank you. I thought I would of lost more. Looking at everyone’s else success stories or weight loss to date seems a lot more than mines.

    Hi Elle,

    Everyone is different. I think it holds true for all parts of life, that if you compare yourself to others you will generally find yourself wanting. To be happy you need to focus on what you want, and what is achievable for you.

    You can’t compare your results with those of any other person here. We are all different weights/ heights/ builds/ ages/ health/ activity levels etc. And no two people are actually doing 5:2 in quite the same way!

    I think you’re doing just fine.

    Thank u xx

    Good Luck.
    Remember no one else can make you lose weight.You must undertake diet and exercise …

    Doing my 9th fast and still no change, in fact I gained weight during the first two weeks and am yet to lose it. No change with my waist measurement either. I am going to keep going in the hope that my internal fat (high cholesterol) is being reduced. I eat normally on non fast days and keep my intake around 1550 as per my TDEE, when I fast I don’t eat anything from 7pm – 7pm which gives me a full 24 hours without food. I feel that I must be doing something wrong…any suggestions greatfully received. Thanks Sarah

    Hi Taffinoz and welcome:

    My question is how many calories are you eating before 7 pm on the day you begin your diet 24 hour period and then after 7 pm the next day?

    Hi simcoeluv, I eat up to 1550 each day (which is really hard for me as I don’t eat bread, rice or pasta) including the day before and after my fast day. On my fast days I find it easier to eat just one meal of no more than 500 calories in the evening. Today was fast 9 and I ate 400 calories, tomorrow I will go back to eating normally starting with breakfast.

    I’ve been on the Fast Diet for 11 months now. I lost about 2kg then started to put on more weight than when I had started, even when I fasted for three days a week.
    Same story for my partner.

    Then we stopped eating all simple carbohydrates and I quickly lost 4kg. Then I stopped losing.

    My partner has lost 7kg and looks about 15 years younger.

    My next goal will be to reduce fats. :-/

    This is very frustrating because I need to lose about 15kg.

    Hi Taffinoz:

    If I understand you correctly, you are eating up to 1500 calories before 7 pm, up to 1500 calories after 7 pm the next day, and up to 500 calories during your 24 hour diet period.

    Which is why you are not losing any weight.

    You are not creating a calorie deficit, which is required to lose weight on any diet.

    A ‘day’ runs from midnight to midnight. So to lose weight doing 7 pm to 7 pm, you have to eat less than your TDEE on each of the two days covered by your 24 hour diet period. How much less you eat will dictate how much/fast you will lose.

    Good Luck!

    Sorry simcoeluv I think I’m being a bit dense, lol. I eat normally 5 days a week and then have two fast days. Is this not correct? My fast days are usually Monday and Thursday so I eat normally until around 7PM on Sunday which is when I have my evening meal. I then fast until around 7PM on Monday and then eat my 500 calories. When I wake up on Tuesday I go back to normal eating of around 1500 calories throughout the day, I do this again on Wednesday. Again I eat nothing after 7PM (fits in with work) and fast all Thursday until I have my 500 calories for my evening meal. Friday, Saturday & Sunday are normal eating days and I then start all over again. Thank you so much for your help, I really need to get this right. Sarah

    Just checked my numbers to…BMR 1371 and TDEE 1885 so am I eating too many calories simcoeluv? Thank you so much for taking the time to help. Sarah

    Hi Taffinoz:

    So you are doing 5:2 (the 7pm – 7 pm is irrelevant).

    If you have gone a month and gained two pounds, it sounds like you are eating over your TDEE. Assuming your TDEE number is correct (your BMR is also irrelevant), you might expect to lose a half to three-quarters of a pound a week. Here is what I would do:

    1. Check my TDEE – yours does not sound too high, but I would still check it, making sure I put in one activity level lower than I thought it should be.

    2. Count calories for at least one diet day and two non diet days to see if your estimates of what you are eating are in the ball park. Given your low TDEE, even slightly eating over your TDEE will result in no weight loss.

    That usually identifies the issue.

    Good Luck!

    Thank you simcoeluv. I put in second level for activity as I walk everyday (I track using FitBit) achieving between 11,000 and 18,000 steps. I also am establishing new gardens so hoe and dig for at least 20 minutes each day. I will go in and try the lower TDEE level and see if that helps. I do track everything I eat using MyFitnessPal so will continue to do this too. I am so greatful for the help as I struggle to keep motivated when things appear not to be moving. Off to the pool now…as a teacher in Australia I get to teach swimming all day on Friday πŸ™‚ Enjoy your weekend. Sarah


    Have you just recently started your current level of exercise? If you have, that also might have something to do with it – see number 5 in this post:

    Number 4 will explain TDEE.

    To understand where I’m coming from, 5:2 is a simple calorie restriction diet. If a person’s TDEE is correct and they eat to or below it five days a week, and if they eat 500/600 calories on their diet days, by definition they have to lose weight unless there is some outside factor like increased exercise or hormone issues that muddy the waters.

    Good Luck!

    I’m struggling to lose weight. Been on the 5:2 for a month and my weight is the same. I did however start exercising again at the same time I started the 5:2, so I’m about the impact of that? I go to the gym 3 times a week for 45 mins.

    I try to eat well on the non-fast days, rather than anything I like, but feeling frustrated. I’m trying to keep going as I know there are other benefits other than losing weight. I am keen to lose weight as I have a back problem and I’m sure being lighter would help.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    I’ve been on the 5:2 for a month now and on non fast days, I’m on 1200 calories a day, but I am only losing 150 grams a week which is next to nothing! I’ve lost 600 gramms in one month and I don’t appear to be losing and weight in my measurements. I started this diet because I went on HRT patches 4 months ago and gained 5 kilos and I really want to lose it all. Any suggestions? I religiously keep a diary on my app of every calorie consumed and stick to the 500 calories on my two days and 1200 or less on the other 5. I walk on average 11,700 steps a day. I’ve been thinking of going to the doctors to see if I have a medical problem that I’m not aware of, but wanted more evidence, seems like I’m getting some.

    Hi, I’m 22 year old female, 170cm tall and last weigh in was 82kg, my heaviest ever πŸ™ Just finished my 3rd week and I don’t own scales so I’m really not sure if I’m seeing a difference! Feeling rather unmotivated as I was very grumpy today while fasting πŸ™ and headachey and my friends ate chocolate cake in front of me!

    My fasting regime (twice a week, days subject to my schedule) has been wholegrain toast with a small poached egg for breakfast and then nothing until dinner where I eat a very small portion of whatever my flatmates have cooked, if its something unhealthy ill skip and go for a salad but usually its pretty good food. I’m worried Im eating too much on fast days. I definitely feel the hunger though. Been using MFP to count calories on fasting and non fasting days. Always under my calorie goal.

    I find the mental strength of resisting eating is not too bad only hard in the evenings. It definitely has given me a better perspective on food and portions in general, if I eat too much on a non-fast day i feel ill, and I find it much easier to resist bad food any day of the week. I also feel more mentally alert and able to keep up with exercising easily.

    I currently run around 10km up to 3 times a week, practice yoga, strength training at the gym and have just started jiu jitsu so I consider myself very fit but I find it very unmotivating that I keep gaining weight. Can anyone give me any advice on my fasting regime and tell me when they started seeing results? Cheers

    good to read how everyone else is doing – after my first couple of days when I lost a couple of pounds, I seemed to get stuck for a couple of weeks, but persisted (fasting 3 days a week) and suddenly things have started shifting, very pleased and hope it keeps going – I am losing 1-3 lbs a week now, and losing some inches off neck, waist and hips, so am feeling very positive! I am not too worried on non fast days about calories, but just listen to what my body wants, and it is not starving. I am having a wee treat if I want one, but no desire to keep nibbling.I also feel more supple (anti-inflammatory effect?) and my fears of feeling faint etc have not come true, my body has just taken a week or two to adapt. I am very happy!
    I think it is good to really be aware of not eating after early evening on the eating days and maximise the fasting hours…..

    Hi all,
    Im after a bit of advice. I have been doing 5:2 for close to 3 years now (I think!). It is certainly a way of life for me and has been a godsend. I initially lost ~12Kg but have oscillated since the initial loss. I still need to loose about another 6-8kg. To be honest, my diet is not good on non-fast days. Actually my diet is good but my portions are way too big.
    I have heard and read (but can’t find any reference to it here) that 3:4 can work. I have tried 3:4 in the past but it never seemed to make a difference. Maybe I just didn’t give it long enough? So, my question now is what are peoples experiences with 3 Fast Day’s in a week or what have you done to get over a plateau.
    Appreciate any comments / suggestions / advice πŸ™‚

    I’ve been doing the 5:2 diet now for about 2 years, having breaks over Christmas and while on holiday. I have loved it up until this year, I dropped to 9 stone 3 in October last year (with no exercise) and this year the weight has steadily crept on. I now exercise weekly and walk most days. I also watch what I eat Monday to Thursday usually not in taking more than 1500 on the days which would not be my fast days. On the weekend I do drink and have treats but then I always have on this diet and it has not been a problem before. Does anyone have any ideas of what else I can do, I’m wanting to change my weekends because that’s what has been so good about this diet in the past.

    Rach, have you recalculated your TDEE? Since you weigh less now, your body doesn’t need as many calories to survive as it once did. Also, is it possible you are working out more and/or harder, and getting the water retention/inflammation that long, hard exercise brings?

    You could go to 4:3 for a week or two and do the Fast Beach Diet on non-fast days to see if it makes a difference.

    Unfortunately, once we start dropping, we have to eat even less! How I wish it were the other way around!

    I am just completing my third fast day. No weight loss that I can detect. Feel fine on the fast days and I’m surprised that I can survive this long without food. On Monday, I ate about 540 calories and I wonder, if I do slip over the 500 mark, should I fast an extra hour or (gulp) even two hours to re-balance? How does the metabolic kick work? In the book you mention that the body probably speeds up a bit on fast days – natures way of getting us ready to chase our next primitive meal – so do the benefits only accrue in the last few hours of a fast?

    @rach, I just put on another kg! I wonder what it is that its now going the other way??

    I had to go back over my week to see why I gained almost 2lbs? I have been keeping track of my calories because i tend to under eat. I added it up and on average for the 7 days it worked out I only had 985 calories per day. The week I lost 2.2lbs I actually averaged 1353 calories for the 7 days and that was a much better week. So this week I need to make sure I eat enough and will see if it does the trick. I have been struggling to lose the weight I started with 16/8 in Feb 2015 and then switched to 5:2 8 weeks ago and I have not lost any weight, I lose then I gain I lose then gain. I eat healthy whole foods and work out so Im not sure whats going on. But I do love how I feel fasting there is no question about that. I will see what happens after this week and make sure I eat enough. If any one else struggle like this would love to hear from you.

    Hi Stevelyn:

    I know for me I found out that I wasn’t eating enough, when I averaged 1700 calories I lost weight, but if i ate below that I would either gain or not lose. Im going to see how I do this week and make sure i’m eating for my activity level. If you work out allot, do the TDEE equation to make sure your getting in enough calories on your fest days. Good luck πŸ˜‰

    the 5:2 in regards to eating a certain amount of calories on 2 days then whatever on the other 5 days didn’t really work for me. I used this method, which is more IF than 5:2 and it worked but I was hungry for the first 2 weeks. all good now though and lost around 3kg so far. only 15 more to go! hahahahahahaha

    Hi there…I started the 5:2diet three weeks ago weighing in at 11.8 at the start of the diet and I’ve only lost 2lbs 😒 I have been eating less calories on my normal eating days ( lots of veg white meats & fruit) but thought I would of lost more by now? I do spinning 2 twice a week, Pilate’s once a week and fitness class once a week.. Should I be exercising more? My metabolism is very slow. Any tips please?

    I use a program called ‘MyFitnessPal’ to track a multitude of data including food intake, exercise (amount and kind) and much other data. When things aren’t going right the program generally shows you where you went wrong then you simply make adjustments as indicated. The program is FREE which will serve the needs of most folks. They also offer their PREMIUM version for $49.99 yearly. I personally like the Premium version. Highly recommend giving MyFitnessPal a try. You won’t be sorry if you’re serious about changing your lifestyle.

    Lots of Success to ALL!


    I’ve put on a pound this week, after a steady pound a week loss since 25th of April. It seems that I am unable to eat any where near ‘normally’ on a non fast day as that seems to have done. Visitors at the weekend, but healthy food – salad, quiche, strawberries and Greek yoghurt with a meringue. Half a bottle of Prosecco, glass of Soave – not excessive.

    Finished the Soave the next day, 600 Cals on Monday, fasted yesterday.

    I realise that I’m not getting enough fibre, so constipated, but the calorie count first seem to allow for fruit.

    Just measured tum and I’ve lost 2inches! So somethings going right!

    Hi everyone, first time poster!

    I started 5:2 on the 9th May, and have been losing between 1 to 2 pounds a week. However, I haven’t lost any inches around my belly, and I seem to have plateaued for the last few weeks; I haven’t lost anything (inches or weight) since the 15th June. I track my calories using ‘Lose It’, and have been aiming for (and hitting) 1900 calories or under for my non-diet days. My TDEE says 2275; is it possible I’m not eating enough on feed days?! I have also been exercising a little more – yoga for an hour once a week and 10 minute weight/resistance training twice a week, as well as upping the amount I walk, and jogging up stairs.

    Does anyone have any advice? It was going really well for the first 6 weeks, but I feel like things have stopped despite me not changing anything. I’d really appreciate any ideas!

    I suspect its what you are eating rather than how many calories. Try and avoid cheap dense simple carbs like SUGAR, bread, rice, pasta, potatoes. Alcohol? 7 cals per gram, and it MUST be processed by the liver and stored as fat. Carbs will cause a huge blood glucose spike and produce a huge insulin spike. High insulin is the body’s message to stored calories as fat. Try and get your carbs from veggies. Don’t be scared of fats and some protein. For fats I have high fat low sugar yogurt, cheese, avocados, almonds, walnuts. Some tuna/fish, chicken, tofu, beans, lentils for protein. Have two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before every meal. It reduces the blood glucose spike. See if you can do a water fast day as one of your fast days. So dinner at 6pm, water fast the next day and then breakfast the day after = 36 hours. If that’s too hard try a breakfast to breakfast fast = 24 hours. Fasting really lowers you basal insulin levels.

    Without sounding too rude Im not sure what 10 minutes of resistance training will actually do? There will be zero to minimal fat burning involved. It will be dominated by muscle glycogen energy burning. You may get a slight muscle toning effect and it may make you feel good which shouldn’t be discounted, but fat burning? No. Are your muscles a little sore the day after? If not then its really not resistance training. I know when Ive put in a decent effort on the bike rather than just ambled along the legs will be a touch sore the next day. I go for an hour long walk every day. That will burn more fat than 10 minutes of resistance.

    Hi Lukealice,

    About 1 pound per week is average so no need for concern there. I lost 44 pounds over 52 weeks, so about 0.7 pound per week. Avoid starchy veg like potatoes!! Avoid sugar and carb dense foods like bread (any bread), breakfast cereals (all just processed crap), pasta, rice, pizza etc. Whole fruits are OK, NEVER fruit juice. Id avoid bananas, stick to your berry type fruits, like blueberries, strawberries etc. Drink two table spoons of apple cider vinegar before every meal. It reduces your insulin spikes. High insulin leads to fat storage.

    What makes you say your metabolism is slow? Do you feel cold or sluggish? If you suspect your metabolism is slow then restricting your calories on non fast days isn’t going to be helping you any!! Eat your TDEE but try and restrict your calories more on your two fast days. Try a water fast if you think you can do it. It will be tough for about a month and then it gets a lot easier. Your liver will love you. After about a month of water fasting your liver will really be cranking and burning fats. Something it isn’t very good at doing right now.

    Hi bigbooty

    Thanks for the advice. I was two pounds lighter today, so hopefully it’s started to get going again! I do try and avoid carbs, although the draw of this diet was not having to restrict the types of food too much – I have a housemate who cooks for me two nights of this week, so it is difficult to manage those days. Water fasting sounds very difficult! I have quite an active job, and I work with children, so I need to have a good level of energy. I will try the apple cider vinegar trick, my sister in law uses it for everything!

    I do really ache after the training. I use the FitStar app which matches the exercise to your level – I am extremely unfit, so find any high-intensity work out very difficult. Currently, this is just a way of starting to increase my exercise and getting my muscles more used to it. I would love to get to 10000 steps a day, but have nowhere near the time, so this fits better into my routine.

    Thanks again, and hopefully I keep on losing!

    Hi Eddie

    Newbie here just having a browse through and you made my day!!! 71 years and you guys are dancing 3 – 4 times per week πŸ™‚ Total stars πŸ™‚ Hope you are still cutting some rug, happy and healthy πŸ™‚ xx

    Hi x am so new to this but regarding the concept of eating what you like in feed days – there is no such thing on any diet programme, however temptingly it might be packaged. I stuck religiously to the rules of Slimming World and gained 12lbs in a month. Devastated πŸ™ But realistically, it should have dawned on me that I was eating maybe treble the usual calories, albeit observing the rules of the SW programme. I did my first day yesterday, a fast, planned to do my second fast today but got derailed so had it as a food day and 1500 cals (my TDEE. Fast day again tomorrow. But although I have major water retention problems I am peeing for England and my pants were looser today. I pee for hours with clear urine, then a few hours regular urine, then after a tiny bit of salt, I m back to peeing clear urine again. Weird or what? I refuse to weigh myself over the next ten days while this yo yo peeing is going on. I know only too well if I have not lost it would knock me right off my track. So from weighing myself probably every day of my adult life, am going to be brave and ditch the scales for a while. EEEK!!!! πŸ™‚ Of course I want a miracle, don’t we all, but one every ten days will do me πŸ™‚

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