Non Fasting Days

This topic contains 18 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  CalifDreamer 1 year, 7 months ago.

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  • Hello. Just joined the site and hoping to get support from others. I’m a young 65 who never had a weight problem in my youth and I’ve always had a healthy appetite. I’ve tried this method before but gave up because during the week I was gaining back what I’d lost on fast days which gave me a stalemate situation. I thought this method would work for me as I hate calorie counting (even though it works). I don’t struggle too much on fast days if I keep occupied and plan what I’m eating those days. I’m realising that I can’t ‘eat what I want’ on non-fast days and still need to be careful. How do others manage their non-fast days without feeling you’re on a ‘diet’ all the time?

    MD52, you are correct when you say you ‘can’t eat what you want’ on a Slow Day.
    That means: watch the sweets [we eat dessert 3x/week but not huge ones]; continue to eat lots of fruits and vegetables [they help fill the plate :)]; cut down on snacking.

    What do we eat on Slow Days? Sun: Pancakes or special Coffee-cake for breakfast, roast chicken or pork with all the trimmings. Mon: Fast Day. Tue: coffee-cake for breakfast and Sunday repeat for dinner. Wed: Cereal + fruit for breakfast, Pasta with sauce [husband used to eat 2-3 oz pasta to my 2 oz. now he has 2 oz pasta and I enjoy 1 oz] plus veg and bread. Thurs: Fast Day. Fri: Baked goods + fruit yogurt for breakfast, fish for dinner with rice and veg sides. Sat: Cereal + fruit for b-fast, personal pizzas for dinner. We drink wine on Slow days with dinner.
    Now, does that sound as if we are on a diet all the time?

    If you want some guidance, go to RESOURCES on the search bar under the title, then click BMI CALCULATOR. I know you said you don’t want to count calories, but knowing an upper limit [TDEE] and doing a few days of counting can make you more aware of what you eat and even when you eat it.

    Good luck on Fasting the Second Time Around.

    I’m going through something similar, MD. After losing weight by counting calories a little over 2 years ago I started 5:2 so I wouldn’t have to count calories anymore. So far it hasn’t really worked out the way I had hoped.

    I gained about 13 pounds doing the traditional 5:2 and have modified the plan several times since May trying to take the weight off. I know my problem is eating too much on non-fast days but so far haven’t been able to overcome that.

    I started doing 0 calorie fasts, but was even gaining weight doing 3 fast days a week. I had to go to four 0 calorie fasts a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) before I saw any weight loss. I’ve now got more 6 pounds to lose to get where I want to be but am not sure what to do when I get there to not regain again. Doing four 0 calorie fasts a week is not sustainable long term for me; 3 a week might be but 4 is too much.

    I’m 60 years old and have been yo-yoing my whole life so I doubt if it’s ever going to change at this point. It’s just so depressing to do 3 fasts a week and still see the number on the scale increase. I felt like giving up many times but what has kept me going is the thought of how much worse my weight gain would be if I didn’t fast at all. Still looking for that magic bullet that doesn’t seem to exist!

    I hope you have great success with your fasting plan.


    Thanks for feedback. I’m guessing you’re in USA as you refer to ounces. I think you’re right that you can’t eat anything and you need to be careful. Most of my failed attempts in the past can, I think, be put down to lack of planning which I think is the key to any weight loss attempt. Onwards and upwards.

    Oh dear. Sounds as if you’re really struggling. I don’t think it’s a good idea to reduce calories so much on fasting days as your metabolism will slow down. I agree that it seems that calories need to be kept under control on non fast days. Tough one but I’ll give it a go. I’ve set up My Fitness Pal with 600 calories Monday and Thursday and 1708 the rest of the days. This is what my BMI calculation said I should have on non fast days. If I want more calories I’ll need to move more. I hate exercise!

    I am on this forum because I am not truly having success because of “slow” days. Clever by the way.

    I have done 5:2 4 yrs. The problem seems to be I think I can eat anything on slow days, but cannot. I am up 7 lbs since I reached low weight where I would like to be.

    I have stopped (pretty much) exercise in last year and that has been chief factor. Physical problem, but does not mean I cannot walk.

    Expect also to really say no to sweets other than fruit. I begin a walking regime today.

    Hope to get help with suggestions and will keep posting as time goes on. Pea Jay

    One thing that made a difference for my husband and me was what we ate in the middle of the day. On Slow Days, we used to eat lunch. Now that the appetite has shrunk, my husband went from a sandwich and some crackers/cookies at noon to 1 oz of cheese and some pretzels. I’m satisfied with 8 oz milk, 1 oz cheese, and maybe a cookie.

    Cutting down on lunch on a Slow Day is an easy way to cut calories. Also, look at snacks you can eliminate. or lower calorie alternatives to your favorites.

    Bronx, there is something else going on with your diet if you have to eliminate calories 4 days/week to lose weight. What are you eating on Slow Days?

    I find on slow days its easy to follow the 16:8, basically I continue to fast for 16 hours of the day and eat during an 8 hour period. Similar science to 5:2 but you are just eating your days calories in a shorter period. What I found was I was less likely to eat my whole days calorie allowance anyways because I got full a lot quicker.

    My routine:
    Fast day – Eat 190 calorie lunch at 1.30pm, piece of fruit later on and then eat remaining calories for dinner around 8.30pm

    Slow (non-fasting) day – Drink herbal teas during the morning, eat lunch at 1.30, snack on fruit, exercise after work, eat dinner around 8.30pm

    Obviously everyones 8 hour period could be different, I know some people who eat between 10am-6pm etc… And this won’t necessarily work for everybody but for me it has taught me to eat when I am actually hungry on slow days rather than just eating because I know its a non-fasting day.

    Hope that makes sense!

    Yes, RAZA: learning to eat only if you are hungry is a huge step in the right direction. The faster we learn that, the better. Now hunger masquerades as other things: thirst, boredom, anxiety, sadness. All ‘feel like’ hunger. If hunger isn’t the problem, then food isn’t the answer.

    I know my problem is eating too many nuts on NFD. They’re good for you but packed with calories. Just find it hard to believe I eat that many nuts to put on weight while eating nothing 3 days a week. In denial I guess.

    Still haven’t found a way to put the almond bag down after only having a few. It’s been a life-long problem and at this point will probably never change. Sit down and plan to have a “Few” almonds. Before I know it half the bag is gone and I feel awful for having eaten so much.


    Bronx, try metering out a sensible [2 oz?] portion of nuts for you to snack on and then HIDE THE REST OF THE BAG. Of course you still know where the bag is, but it will take more effort to get to it.
    Portion control can be learned. “A few” nuts pack a huge calorie wallop. I have to hide the pistachio bowl on a Fast Day.
    Portion control will also help on a Slow Day for meals. If you are accustomed to eating as much as you want, then reduce the amount a bit each week. I was talking to a friend yesterday who wants to lose 15 pounds but then looked at how he eats: cooks when he’s hungry, eats as much as he likes. I suggested that he try portioning the pot of chili into single servings and freezing the rest. Makes it harder to go back for seconds. Ditto with the big pan of mac & cheese.

    Once you can identify the behaviors which prevent you from achieving your weight loss goal, find ways to over-come them. One step at a time. If you can find a way to cut out 100-200 calories/day, think what you save in a week. Then the next week, continue until you become used to less. Then drop it a little more.

    Raza… I like the idea of doing 16:8 on a slow day. That seems doable for me. I realize I will need to vary the time from day to day, but not a lot. Maybe I get up and eat at 11:00 am one day and then figure my food intake is over at 7pm. Another day it begins at 12pm and goes until 8pm. Thanks.


    Thanks for the tips. I moved the nuts into a closet in a locked spare room that I don’t go in during the week. Hopefully that will make them too much of a hassle to get. I’ll still have them on Sundays, though.

    When I was counting calories during my initial weight loss once or twice a week I would reserve about 420 calories for nuts after dinner. I’d figure out how many I could have, put that number of nuts in a bowl and that’s all I’d have. Doing that took the fun out of food and made eating more of a chore than something to enjoy. I was hoping 5:2 would allow me to enjoy eating again but it doesn’t seem to be working out that way. If I have to start counting calories again there’s really no reason to do fasting too; just seems doing both would be doubly tough and not sustainable long term for me.

    Thanks everyone for your help and suggestions. I hope your fasting plan is more successful than mine has been.


    Bronx, I’m not saying that you must count calories every day forever. That is onerous, I know, since I used to diet that way. Just do it for a week or 2 to get a handle on what you eat. You may have some label-shock as you discover just how many calories some favorites contain, but you can also find out which favorites you can still have but in smaller quantities.

    We have been Fasting for 4.5 years with good success. We love eating and look forward to Fast Days because of the delicious foods which we reserve for those days only. Here’s an idea: Find some Fast Day Dinners that you really like, and eat them on Slow Days, too. My Fast Day Crab Cakes are wonderful on a Friday Slow Day. My Slow Day Chicken Parmesan was enjoyed greatly on a Sunday Slow Day. Ditto with my Chili Non Carne. Doing this helps to reduce the calories on a Slow Day without pain.

    I keep recipes for Fast Days in a file box so I can look through and find great meals for any day. My husband tried counting calories, tried reducing fat, tried several ways to lose weight. He finds the Fasting Lifestyle to be very sustainable and lost about 40 pounds.

    What is it you ‘enjoy’ about food that dieting/Fasting/metering the nut portions kills?


    Once agin thanks for the tips. I have read many of your posts here and appreciate the advice you (and others) give to those of us trying to work out a sustainable way of eating.

    About 5 years ago I started counting calories to lose weight. Did it for almost a year and lost 65 pounds. Most of the time after eating all my calories for the day I was still hungry and shear will power and the desire to lose the weight kept me from eating more. I found myself to be in a bad mood all the time and I think it was because of the control I had to have on eating certain foods at specific times of a specific quantity. Counting out 60 almonds for a Saturday night “Treat” and then stopping when they were gone wasn’t satisfying at all. Eating in such a restricted way was pretty miserable for me.

    As stated earlier (sorry to be repetitive), 5:2 sounded like a way to not have to be so restrictive with my eating and not regain the weight. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be the answer for me. I guess I’m over-compensating for the fasting days by eating too much on the non-fasting days. If needed I can go back to calorie counting for a while on NFD to get a refresher of how many calories I’m eating, but don’t want to go back to doing that long term.

    Thanks for reading.


    Bronx …I am sorry you do not find help with 5:2. I guess that is because It helped me loose and could say I enjoy being on it. The a fast day is like a well worn pair of shoes. Slow days aren’t always as easy, but early on (way back when I counted calories to loose) I realized I didn’t so much like food as the activity of stuffing food in my mouth. Doesn’t make sense. I think I ate for the wrong reasons. And sometimes I slip back into that, but trying to maintain control with 16:8 on slow days is helping. Thank you Raza.

    Fasting_me… I would like to have the fast day crab cake recipe. I do not want another cook book, but would like a recipe or two I could make ahead, freeze and cook on fast day. I have been trying to do 16:8. Not successful completely, but it makes me cut out snacks on slow days. Having some success anyway. I live in U.S. So tomorrow is Thanksgiving. My thanks is That I am back in control of my eating. Tomorrow will be a bunch of things beyond the usual. My goal is to not stuff myself. ๐Ÿ™‚ Pea Jay

    Hi! New and excited to find this forum. What does everyone use to count calories on nonfasting days? I have been following this since October, but haven’t lost anything yet. I am wondering if Spark People is counting calories on the high side…so looking to find a good calorie counter people that have lost weight have used…

    Would like to drop at least 5 pounds by Christmas…I want to be under 150 pounds to start the New Year.

    I use MyFitnessPal. I donโ€™t usually count calories on non-fast days unless I hit a plateau, but I do count them on FD. MyFitnessPal is fast and easy to use. Itโ€™s easy to underestimate portion sizes. A food scale is handy for occasional use, just to make sure your portion size is what you think it is.

    Good luck with 5:2!

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