New to 5/2 – help please!

This topic contains 9 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Kari641 1 year, 4 months ago.

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  • Hi all
    Today is my first fast day on the 5/2 diet. Iā€™m wondering if anyone could suggest the best place/ way to track my calorie intake. And also the best place to go to for recipes?

    Thanks heaps in advance
    Best S


    Best of luck with it. I’ve been doing this for 6 years, so I can vouch it has worked for me.

    I’m not a great foodie so I just worked out a couple of Fast Day meal plans and have stuck with them. Clearly most people need more variety than that and the Fast Book link from this website has a couple of recipe books that may give you what you need.

    The thing with 5:2 is that, apart for the Fast Days, you don’t have to count your calories at all. The Fast Recipe books will give you the calories each of their meals contain. As I have a very limited meal plan for my Fast Days I just worked out how many calories were in each of them to aim for a 600 calorie intake on the day (I think the new book allows more calories). I’m pretty sure I got my original calorie totals for each ingredient from the first Fast Diet book. I worked it out once and then just stuck to the small number of meals I use – porridge or granola for breakfast with blueberries, a small fruit portion for lunch, and either eggs on unbuttered toast or bacon and beans on unbuttered toast for the evening. A can of zero coke gives some extra flavour with the evening meal. Black coffee, sparkling water (“sodastreamed”) and sometimes a glass of squash during the day too. I appreciate this approach will not work for everyone.

    However you do it stick with it and remember its a marathon, not a sprint. I lost just over 2.5 stone in the first 6 months (36.8lbs or 16.7 kg) at an average rate of about 1.4 lbs per week – with ups and owns mixed into the general weight loss. Most of it has stayed of since, with my BMI today being 23.

    Best of luck,

    Mr Data.

    Hey Suzie,

    Well I just started today, on 5/20, so I am 24 hours behind you. I had some success with this a few years ago so I know I can do it…. you can too.

    What I found was keeping it simple on fast days was the best for me. I gave myself 600 calories and then found an easy way to stay at that level or below. For me that meant 0 calorie coffee for breakfast. 150 calorie yogurt for lunch around 2pm, and then a 450 calorie dinner which usually was scrambled eggs with a little cheese and veggies or a simple salad kit. That and drinking a lot of water. The fast days weren’t that fun at first, but I got used to them. The worst was always the 4-6:30pm window.

    But here was the amazing thing… my non-fast days became different all on their own. I thought I would susceptible to binging, but it was the opposite. I found myself feeling satiated faster. I actually ate less often, healthier, and with a reduced amount of calories than before the 5:2 plan and felt pretty good… and it just happened all on its own.

    So good luck to you, and to myself. I hope to get a week or two adjusted and then I need to add in a good exersize plan.


    New again:

    I’m back…………….So I tried 5:2 about a year ago and gave up. I’m not the heaviest I have ever been but I just don’t feel that great. Tried the KETO Diet for a bit but I just didn’t like it. I need to make a lifestyle change, not sure If I could give up carbs for life.

    So I’m back on 5:2 and started it this morning. My boyfriend is starting tomorrow. Please keep me in our thoughts as I’m sure I’m going to hit some road blocks.

    Oh and if there are any suggestions, please pass them along.

    Kari šŸ™‚

    The approach that has worked me has been:-

    1) Weigh every day so you get used to the idea your weight will go up and down all the time – the general direction is what matters.

    2) Remember it’s a marathon not a sprint. Some people have hugely unrealistic expectations of how quickly they can healthily lose weight. About 1.5 lbs per week on average was what I did.

    3) If you have a goal weight set yourself a few targets on the way to it so you get a sense of achievement as the earlier ones are achieved.

    4) Stick with it. Your appetite on non-fast days should naturally reduce too, but if you just stop its so easy to slip back to the old habits which helped you gain the weight in the first place. Make it your way of life. With the exception of holidays I’ve now stuck with it for over 6 years.

    5) Find what works for you and keep it as simple as possible.

    Hope this helps.

    Mr. Data

    Dear Mr. Data,

    Thanks so much for your tips. Today is my first fast day and it’s been interesting. A bit of a headache but I think my body is just crying out for what it’s use to……FOOD, and lots of it. I’m looking at this as a lifestyle change. I need to get healthy as I really do want to live for a while longer. šŸ™‚


    Hi Kari and Mr. Data, nice to meet you both. I love the tips, but I will share with you a different perspective on #1. I would argue that its better not to weigh yourself daily and to do it weekly at the most. I say this because, as Mr. Data says, your weight will fluctuate daily, especially after a fast day and indeed it is the overall trend you care about, which is much easier to see at 1 week intervals.

    Remember, the fast day works because it messes with your metabolism and sends you into ketosis. The body’s response to ketosis is to prevent ketones and this in addition to burning fat stores, you will also urinate like crazy. So despite drinking a lot of water, you are going to lose a lot of water weight. I can lose 2+ pounds on a fast day, but its water, not fat. As you come out of ketosis on the non-fasting days, you tend to re-balance your normal hydration and can get a truer sense of weight.

    I weigh myself on Monday mornings. I typically fast Mondays and Thursdays so I find Monday morning to be a good predictor of non-dehydrated weight level AND it helps keep in line on the weekends should I be tempted to go nuts.

    Now, if anyone knows a way to get motivated to exercise more, please let me know.

    Best of luck to everyone!

    Thanks so much to the both of you. This is my second day of fasting……FUN, but I know I can do this. Tuesday was a bit hard as I was a light headed and really hungry, but today I’m doing pretty good and I haven’t eaten yet. Having a light, light lunch and a small dinner.

    I’m only going to weigh myself once a week as I don’t want to get frustrated and I’m also going to go by how my clothes feel on.

    Please stay in touch as it really does help having people to chat with while doing this life changing eating program.

    Hi Again,

    I don’t usually keep contributing to the same forums. When I add my latest measurements to this website’s tracker from my own Excel sheet I tend to check who has created a new post without getting a reply from anyone else, and if I feel I can usefully reply I do.

    I don’t really know anything about ketosis but I did think it took 2 or more days of fasting to exhaust the gluten stores in the body. If that’s true I don’t think just one fast day on 600 calories would put your body into ketosis.

    A review of 17 separate studies have shown that regular weighing, anything from daily to weekly, is generally associated with more weight loss and not with negative psychological outcomes. Whether you do it daily or weekly is very much a personal choice. Although I weigh daily I only do my tracking on this website once a week (Sundays in my case) and I know when I first started that despite following the same regime all the time, in my weeks 6, 13, 17 and 25 I would have seen a weight gain over the previous week instead of a weight loss. That early on in doing 5:2 I imagine I would have found that quite dispiriting if I hadn’t known that during all those weeks I had also seen some daily losses. Week 29 would also have been particularly depressing as I put on 1.7kg on my week-to-week measurements – yet 5 weeks later I hit my lowest weight. With a weekly weighing there are bound to be some occasions when the timing will coincide with a heavier day – particularly when you get into maintenance mode. However the key thing is to do whatever works for you. I happen to like numbers – hence daily recording appeals to me psychologically.

    Very best of luck with it.

    Thanks for your feedback. šŸ™‚

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