Newbie – 5:2 with 13:11

This topic contains 12 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  GKW 3 months ago.

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  • Totally new to this but as a serial yo-yo dieter for all my adult life, I’m hoping this is something that will finally work as I head into my 40s…

    I’m aiming for a combination of 5:2 coupled with 13:11 on NFDs as I am definitely guilty of grazing throughout my waking hours ordinarily!

    I’ve just done my first 13hr fast (actually ended up.doing 13.5 despite being pretty hungry for the last 2hrs) then I’m going to add in 2 FDs next week. Might start with 800cals on these days and then build up (or should that be down?!) to 500cal over the next couple of weeks.

    Any tips/advice much appreciated.

    Hi Hayley,

    The only advice I’d give you is to remember this is a marathon and not a sprint. Long term gradual weight loss, with some plateaux, not immediate large and consistent losses are what to expect. I’ve been doing it for 8.5 years and have tried to keep it as simple as possible, just sticking to the original guidance from 2012. For me that’s why it has proven totally sustainable and easy to fit in with an otherwise normal life style.

    Very best of luck with it..

    Hello.

    Been considering whether to post – in black & white means there is no fooling anyone, especially not myself.

    I’m restarting the 5:2 journey, the coming week will be the third week in. Initially the target is Christmas to lose the belly fat. In 3 months will be my birthday and it would be such an encouragement to have some real changes then – I hope it is possible.

    If I can say so, my problem isn’t about the weight itself, but the belly fat. I am 5″1, and have a belly that sticks out from the ribcage down like a classic “beer/sugar belly”, measuring about 5 inches too much (measured at the belly button level). My old clothes don’t fit, either I can’t zip up or looking like as if I were pregnant. I am not and have not been. In all of my photos, I try to hide the belly but it is still definitely showing. Awful.

    Returning to 5:2 is partly for health reasons (I’m in my mid 40s, apparently perimenopausal), but to be honest, I really want to fit into my clothes again without buying loose cut tops or sucking my belly in (which doesn’t do anything anyway). I feel really self conscious and embarrassed.

    I don’t know how long before I can see some difference. This week when I weighed myself (I do once a week on the same day and time), it appeared I have lost exactly 1kg, but the belly measurement has not changed. I have decided to put on the same dress once a week as I weigh myself, to see how that fits, rather than singly using a measuring tape. I know changes won’t show right away, afterall my belly didn’t just happen over weeks, but over the last 10 years or so.

    My question is, how do you gauge the portion size on the eating days? I have been resisting refined sugar mostly since restarting fasting, for example, reducing the amount of rice, sweet potatoes, no cakes / biscuits/ sweet items, but replacing desserts and snacks with fresh fruit and plain nuts and plain greek yoghurt, drinking water or hot infusions. I don’t put sugar or honey in tea or coffee anyway and I have drastically cut these down to just 2 cups a day, over a month ago because of migraine.

    I would really like some encouragement by hearing your success stories. Thank you for reading.

    Thanks for the wise encouragement Mr Data 👍

    GKW – Portion size and too much sweer stuff have always been my main problems too. At the moment, I’m just concentrating on the fasting and trying to eat a bit healthier each day sonthat my eating habits improve over time as I’ve found in the past that when I’ve tried to radically overhaul my diet, I can’t sustain the changes as it feels too hard and overwhelming long term.

    Hello Hayley-bopp,

    Thank you for writing back. We should encourage each other along the way! I think your approach is sensible, and you will soon develop good habits. For me, generally I eat well, with plenty of veg and fruit, but I do like snacks, whether they are sweet or savoury (especially crisps). I love to cook and have retrained as chef, so if you want some simple recipes, let me know I can post some on here, but I don’t really count the calories. For fasting days, I tend to follow the 5:2 recipe book as it is simple and I don’t need to work out this and that. Other days I can play with flavours but still focusing on healthy and fresh food.

    Like you, I don’t radically change what I eat. I try to make smaller changes, for example, if I have a curry takeaway, I make my own brown rice, and have a few tablespoons and have a massive plate of greens with it. I don’t order a big takeaway really, my husband and I just order two curries, a chicken/lamb one and a vegetarian one and that’s all, so in that sense I can control what I eat.

    Anyway, hope the fasts in the coming week go well with you.

    This story may help. In mid-March 2013, after about 6 weeks on 5:2, I sat down to a meal and commented to my wife that it seemed like quite a large helping of chips. That’s when she told me it was less than half of what I used to eat before starting 5:2. It seems my portion size control just sorted itself out naturally without my realising it.

    It took me 15 years to put on my original excess weight and 6 months to lose it on 5:2. My BMI went from 27.45 to 21.96 at its lowest. I now try to keep it at around 22.5 as that was reported as being the most healthy BMI on average. Today it was 22.73.

    There is a lot of good advice to new starters around the site. There’s one in particular from an Aussie which talks a fair amount of sense. I’ll try to find it and let you know.

    FYI I virtually never eat vegetables – I know I should, I wish I would but I hate almost all of them and its probably very psychological now. I do eat loads of fruit, but its not as good as having veggies too. Nevertheless 5:2 has still succeeded in losing the weight (and size) I wanted to and then keeping it off.

    It wasn’t the Aussie, but another very helpful contributor who created this excellent advive forum:- https://thefastdiet.co.uk/forums/topic/the-basics-for-newbies-your-questions-answered/

    Wow!That’s an amazing achievement and really encouraging to read.

    Thanks both for the support – I’ll take a look at that other thread. Trying my first FD tomorrow so we’ll see how it goes…

    Thank you Mr Data for your story and the links in the forum. I guess the word of the day is PATIENCE. Fasting days tomorrow and Thursday and I have planned the meals. Thankfully the weather is going to be nice and hot, I find fasting on these days easier, than on a cold winter’s day. Like you, I also had quite a long stint of intermittent fasting 10 years ago. Now I’m back on it with renewed determination to lose 4kgs and 5 inches of belly fat, hopefully by Christmas 2021, to fit into clothes and to curb the “menopause” spread. After that it is to keep the fat off and the weight stable.

    Week 3 and second fast this week is going well. After about 19 hours I still have the full 500 calories to play with. If I can last the final few hours with plain water, my dinner can be much more substantial.

    I do have a question about the effects on fat/weight loss for a “skinny” person. I find quite a lot of research was done on people who are overweight or obese or have other health issues, so the fat and weight loss are more obvious and significant from the start. But for someone who is slim built, petite, not overweight for their height (BMI normal), and has belly fat, I haven’t found much research on this. Can I ask if anyone has come across any research of this kind?

    Thank you.

    GKW, I’m 5′ 3″ and have a big belly, too, and hate it. a week behind you on starting the 5 2, so it will be nice to see how we do.

    Hello AlannahB,

    I’m 5″1. Been reading some old posts following Mr Data’s recommendation. I now have more understanding of 5:2. In a nutshell, this is going to be a very long process with very inconsistent fluctuations. So far I have lost 1kg, that’s after 1 week (2 fasts), it has stayed the same without moving either direction, and I’ve just completed week 3. Waist also has not changed, checked using a measuring tape and an old work dress. I’m not going to weigh and measure weekly, but will do at a monthly point (and after time of the month!). I do want to have some good progress by Christmas 2021, I think this is a more realistic expectation provided we stick to 500 calories each fast twice a week; eating normally but not excessively the rest of the week. I’m also planning to do some simple exercises at home (pushups, planks, lunges, etc.) and add on a second walk uphill in the day. I hate exercises, currently my only forms are dogwalking and housework, exercising is harder than calorie restricting! Lets spur each other on!

    Hi All,

    If you are only going to weigh yourselves very infrequently, I’d recommend doing it after a Fast Day as that has the maximum chance of giving you a positive result which is psychologically very important. I know I’m very unusual in weighing myself every day (ignoring holidays) and the day-day fluctuations up and down can be quite significant. Looking back at my early readings I can see that on the second Sunday after starting I’d lost 1.4kg, the very next day I’d put back on 1kg so my overall loss was down to just 0.4kg. The day after that I’d lost another 1.2 kg, so my total loss was back up to 1.6kg.

    My total losses at 4 weekly intervals were:

    4 wks – 2.7 kg
    8 wks – 4.3 kg
    12 wks – 8.1 kg
    16 wks – 11.2 kg
    20 wks – 11.8 kg (obviously had a bit of plateau here)
    24 wks – 15.3 kg
    28 wks – 17.6 kg

    Today my total loss sits at 15.7 kg, which is 0.8 kg above my ongoing target, and that’s fine. It goes up and down – sometimes a lot more up than that, especially between Christmas and Easter. Salads on non-Fast Days help a lot at this time of year (some of the very few veggies I do eat), now it’s finally got hot in the UK.

    Good luck to you all.

    Hi everyone, how are you all doing? I’m into the 5th week now, tomorrow is the second fast of this week. Looking forward to it. Progress wise, I find the numbers are either fluctuating or elusive. I “think” I have lost 1 kg and possibly an inch at the waist, but this all depends on which day the measurements were taken! I have tried on an old work dress and just about to zip up, despite the belly. Husband commented the sides of the waist are coming in and I agree. But my problem is a protruding “front loading” belly, and unfortunately this hasn’t changed. Obviously I’d like some positive changes especially after a few weeks in, but I’m going to keep going. I hope changes will come ONE DAY. I do “feel” lighter, however arbitrary it sounds. Hope everyone is well and all the best for the fasts this week!

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