November 2019 Challenge

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November 2019 Challenge

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  • Here it is….the new monthly challenge.
    Maybe you’ve been following us during the October challenge and already know what we do.
    We are a friendly, supportive international group of people following (or, in my case, trying to…) the 5:2 way of life, as set out by Dr Moseley on this site and in his book.
    @coda first set up these monthly challenges in May 2016 and many of us owe her a great debt.
    To join us, add yourself below,
    On Day 1 (Friday the 1st) tell us a bit about yourselves. Try to post every day if possible which will help you stay focused, as follows:

    “Day 1: Gloucestershire, UK, NFD” for example in my case.

    It’s good to know where you come from and whether that day is a FD (fast-day) or NFD (Non Fast-Day) for you.

    @rafiki44: has prepared a spreadsheet, and, if you want to use it, the link will follow.

    We start on Friday.

    @ciren2 thank you so much for hosting the Novemver 2019 Challenge and @rafiki44 for making a spreadsheet again! I’m in!

    The link to the spreadsheet:

    ..and the list of acronyms & abbreviations from previous Challenges.

    IF Intermittent Fasting
    WOL Way of Life
    FD Fast Day (500 cals)
    MFD Modified Fast Day (800 cals) on the new Fast800, it’s a FD
    WFD Water Fast Day (Water only)
    CFD Controlled Fast Day (1200 cals)
    NFD Non Fast Day
    EFS Epic Face Stuffing (we’ve all had one of those days!)
    5:2 5 days NFD:2 days IF
    ADF Alternate Day Fast, FD, NFD
    16:8 16 hours fast 8 hours non fast
    B2B Back 2 Back (days of FD or WFD)
    Hunger Dragon – that dreadful psychological beast that sometimes cannot be satisfied
    DD, DS Darling Daughter, Son
    OH, Other Half
    LOL Laughing Out Loud
    Keto, way of eating that generates Ketones
    LC, Low Carb way of eating
    LCHF, Low Carb High Fat way of eating
    TDEE: Total Daily Energy Expenditure (see the ‘how it works’ link on the home page to work out yours)

    I’m just starting my 5:2 journey. So glad I found your forums as I’m doing this solo. I’ve read through your past, October challenge (what is a pocket pal?) and I’m in for November! No idea about your spreadsheet or exactly what you do here but I’ll catch on.


    -Lind, California,

    I have been struggling with maintenance after losing over a hundred pounds using intermittent fasting. My weight is up and my health is deteriorating. My asthma is back with a vengeance. I had been almost entirely free of my inhalers but am not sleeping as I can’t breathe when I lie flat and am becoming fatigued during the day very reminiscent of how I felt just before I discovered intermittent fasting three years ago. But this time I know the weight isn’t to blame as there is still 100 pounds less of me than there was then.

    So I am going to revisit the monthly challenge as an aid to sticking to fasting again. I never stopped restricted time eating but it clearly wasn’t sufficient. I need to do some more significant fasting. I aim to fast every other day but still eat my veggies every day so I will allow myself up to 800 calories on fast days. I want to see if I can improve my asthma this way. Some weight loss would be a welcome side effect but is not my main goal.

    I am very pleased to see the monthly challenge is still going strong. It is also good to recognise a number of familiar names. Waves a hello 🙂

    Count me in for the November challenge which will be a month of getting rid of post holiday weight gain ☹️ I seem to have stalled for much of 2019, and while frustrating, I was still fitting into UK size 10 but with a few wobbly bits. However, after my 4 week trip away the weight has rocketed upwards.

    No health issues thank goodness, just want to feel more comfortable in my skin.

    See ya’ll on Friday.

    Hi to @fatrabbit, good to see you back ☺️

    @ciren2, you really are a trooper to continue doing these challenges, let alone hosting 2 this year, Thank-you!!! I’m confident you’ll get back on the wagon and join the rest of us desperately trying to find that comfy seat that suits us ‘just so’!!! ……………… As you can guess, I’m in!!

    Like @daffodil2010, 2019 has NOT been kind to me, I’m heavier than this time last year and in all honesty, it’s totally down to complacency ………………………….. mixed with a huge helping of denial!!! Yes this WOL works like a dream, but only if you put the effort in, only if you curb your binging & only if the maths adds up for the week, no calorie deficit = no weight-loss, shocking, I know!!!! ‘See’ you on Day 1!!

    Welcome back @fatrabbit, as we all know (not from experience in my case!) maintenance is where the real work kicks in, you’ll be back on track in no time & remember, we’ve got you!!

    Morning all

    @ciren2 – thanks for hosting November.

    I’ll be here for November, just not all of it!
    Joys of retirement, another holiday! We tend to be at home during summer and flitting around this time of year.

    ‘See you’ all on the 1st

    Thanks for hosting @ciren2

    Hoping to get back on the wagon and have a good November

    See you soon x

    I’m “in” for November, and hoping for a good summer of weight loss again, after the weight stalled and then crept up slightly over the colder winter months (most of which I’ve now lost, yay!). I’m still more than 11 kg down over this time last year, so I really can’t complain.

    Thanks for being our host this month @ciren2!

    I’m in for November!

    Hey, great to see a lot of old friends ready to continue during November.
    @lindsosa: welcome to the start of your 5:2 journey with us.

    The pocket-list is a list of people fasting that day. Simply copy and paste and add your name if you are fasting. The theory is that you can put the list in your pocket and carry it round with you for motivation!
    The spreadsheet, is kindly provided via the link above…..I’m not the one for technicalities, sorry….but, I think you can insert yourself?

    @ayame: welcome to you too.
    Also old friends @betsylee (our October host), @brightonbelle, @i-hate-lettuce, @flourbaby, @daffodil2010, @fatrabbit (one of our maintainers!) @funshipfreddie, and @snowflake56…..thanks for joining me xx

    Dear @ciren2 – Thank you so much for being our host in this penultimate challenge for 2019 🤗💐

    Welcome to @lindsosa @ayame and dear @fatrabbit – great to have you back with us – you have been missed!

    I will offer straight away to do the December Challenge as it is my anniversary month – 3rd year in maintenance!!!!!!

    “If I quit now, I will soon be back to where I started. And when I started, I was desperately wishing to be where I am now”

    I’m here again, @ciren2 — this will be my 30th month on a challenge since @coda in May 2016!

    @at: hello again….and thanks for December!
    @songbirdme: Maintainers are great! Good to have you both again xx


    Thanks for hosting again ciren2. Count me in, too! Down 4 lbs. and ready for the new month!

    @ccco: You’re in…..4lbs down, that’s very good. Onwards!

    Please count me in for November. I’m in carb central, Italy. Eeeeeeeeekkkk. OMAD is probably the way to go, as someone suggested. Sorry I can’t remember who. Having tons of IT problems – no internet access for two days and all posts going to trash before that. Grrrr. Anyways, have a good November all. H

    @emma-taylor: good to see you.
    Remember, the mediterranian diet is supposed to be one of the best. Where else but Italy?

    Thanks for hosting @ciren2, count me in. Like @daffodil2010, I’ll definitely have post holiday weight to lose.

    @at — glad to see you’re doing December! We’re in this thing together, aren’t we? 🙂 I might be able to do January.

    I’d love to join the challenge. I’m not the most regular poster but really enjoy reading everyone’s updates. Thanks for hosting @ciren2

    Day 1 – Japan – WFD #77

    Feeling good, but very busy.

    Hello! So glad to have found this forum.
    Day 1, New Zealand. Today is a NFD. Feeling like a hunger dragon today though 😭 I am doing an FD tomorrow. Hoping 5:2 will work in my favour to shed a good 27kgs in 10 months

    New to this forum.
    Helping my colleague, Patient1, with data entry and trend graphs for their weight tracking data, BMI, and TDEE.

    They started the 5:2 Fast Diet “FD500” about 2 months ago.

    After seeing the 70-day weight loss graph data, it is quite surprising.
    Whether the 3.5kg per month weight loss will diminish for them over the course of the first year of the diet, remains to be seen.
    According to the data trend, it may take more than 1 year for them to reach their BMI goal at the 3.5kg/month loss rate.

    Day 1, Emden Germany (being Dutch), NFD

    Hi everyone!

    I’m a Dutchwoman (from Limburg in the South) living in the North of Germany, married, owner of a lovely cat, 63 y.o, 163 cm/5ft 4in tall. My weight was 56 kg/126.5lbs all my adult life until starting a new job in 2011 where my weight crept up to 72.9 kg. I read the book and joined the challenges from March 2017 on. I lost 20 kg very quickly (too skinny I must admit) retired in April 2018 and maintenance became a struggle. I lost motivation and gained almost 10 kg, weight this morning 61.1 kg/134.7lbs. So new month, fresh start, sticking to 5:2 until I’m back to maintenance again.

    @at Happy 39th Anniversary! Hope the dinner tasted as well as the menues read, had to look up a lot again.

    Have a nice day everyone!

    Thanks for the welcome @daffodil2010 @at @ciren2 @flourbaby it is so good to have this familiar place to come to when I need support:)

    Day1 UK NFD

    I had a successful (modified) fast day yesterday and felt better for it. I really hadn’t managed to do anything other than 16:8 since entering maintenance in early 2018. I weigh 153.2lbs this morning and would love to get under 150lbs by the end of the month. Longer term I would like to get as close to 140 as possible. But my main priority is improving inflammation symptoms as my asthma is limiting my life at the moment and reading about the carbon footprint of inhalers in the news yesterday has added even more importance to finding a better way to control it. I didn’t expect the improvement I got before but I can’t see a reason it shouldn’t work again. It may take the entire month for me to see a difference so I must be patient and stick with it.

    I am 54 and 5ft8 and my BMI is currently 23. I am fairly active although lately I have felt my energy slipping away. I run a Rabbit Sanctuary and am outside most of the day looking after them all in all weathers. Three years ago I weighed about 250lbs which I got down to under 140 with a year of intermittent fasting, mostly ADF but also a stint of Fast800 to break through a plateau.

    I am planning on every other day fasting with up to 800 calories on fast days. It worked for me before and I see the limited intake of healthy plant based food that I have on fast days as the equivalent of the fast mimicking diet. I am fully vegan at the moment as dairy is too inflammatory and my hands get too painful when I eat it. With the cold weather coming I need to stick with this as I work outside every day and the cold makes it even worse. I also can’t tolerate processed carbs so have had hardly any bread or pasta or rice since I first started fasting in Nov 2016. I also avoid sugar although I have let eating chocolate with my nuts become a daily bad habit and it needs to stop. If I eat any processed carbs I pay for it by feeling as if İ have flu so İ don’t have much trouble staying away from them anymore.

    I am really looking forward to this month of fasting. It feels a bit like coming home. I found trying to simply maintain very difficult as it was less structured and lacked that psychological boost that successful weight loss gives you. Which is probably why I put that stone back on this year, a steady gain of about a pound a month. Time to reverse the direction and take back control.

    Day 1 – South Africa 🇿🇦 – CD

    About me:- David, 57. Mancunian, living in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. I started fasting in 2014 halfheartedly after seeing the ‘Eat, Fast…’ documentary. I got serious about my weight in March this year, about a year after I retired when my weight started creeping up. I lost about 8 kilos, and I’ve been working on maintenance since July.

    So this is my 7th Challenge. I quickly found out, as I think most people do, that maintenance is no picnic (pun intended) & I have to constantly remind myself not to fall back into old habits to keep the weight off. Maybe some people can go to 6:1, but for me it’s still 5:2, exercise & vigilant non-fast days – mostly!

    Thank you @ciren2 for hosting, & best wishes to everyone for the November Challenge 🍏

    Day 1: Gloucestershire, UK, NFD:

    Well here we go with the November Challenge! A big welcome to all of you who have joined us.
    @dykask: good to see you, our water-fast champion!
    @fastingto58kgs: Welcome, and I guess that’s your goal right there, eh?
    @suki2, @bellyblast, Welcome back.
    @doctorscience: 5:2 works very well, but initially the weight loss is always faster, and, of course, it has to become a way of life in order to maintain the loss afterwards. We have the maintainers on here to prove it can be done.

    So, many of you will know, I spend my days delivering the post (working at the good old Royal Mail). I’m 66, married with one daughter, who is currently working at a agricultural research centre near(ish) to Melbourne, Australia. My husband (used to be a postman) is retired and we have a small rescue dog. We live in the Cotwolds in SW England……and, what do you know? It’s raining again! Luckily it’s my day off….ha….ha!

    Day 1 – Ireland 🇮🇪 – NFD

    Hello to November. Starting the month higher than last month but hey ho. I went clothes shopping last night and had to buy a size bigger but they look great, I don’t look bulgy in them, and they are “only” a UK size 12 after all…….a couple of years ago I would have given anything to be a size 12!

    I am female, 52, married, no children of my own but 4 step-children and 1 step-Grandaughter. One cat Missie. I live on Co Meath in a rural village, work in a Finance company in a nearby town, and am generally very happy with life. I was always slim until I stopped smoking in 2002 ( still the best health decision I have ever made) but weight gradually piled on until in 2013 I weighed nearly 180lbs. I lost 55lbs on the Dukan, couldn’t maintain and gained back 30lbs…found 5:2 in 2017 and lost those 30lbs.

    Unfortunately 10lbs have crept back post holiday, and I am in a bit of a slump, but intend to keep on keeping on.

    It’s Friday and miserable rain, but till tomorrow 👍

    Day 1 – Lake District UK – CFD

    Firstly – @ciren2 -Thanks for hosting this month, I’m away (again) for a couple of weeks, from Monday, but will be back….. and will be needing to shed some pounds gained from holiday, managed it easy enough last time!

    Me, joined this group which has really helped with motivation, started 5:2 on 26th July – was feeling my age (male aged 64) and weight.

    Starting point………. 265 lbs BMI 38 BMR 1999 TDEE 2748
    This morning weigh in .. 244 lbs BMI 35 BMR 1903 TDEE 2619

    Very pleased with progress considering there was a 2 week holiday in that time!
    I write everything down, record calories in and walk, a lot! (my ‘Man on a mission’ walks) Maybe exceed my BMR figure once a week, but 2 fast days and 2 or 3 controlled days a week have really worked wonders, as has belonging to this group!

    Keen follower of Rugby (Union) and have actually started watching daytime TV … don’t worry not become a couch potato, the World Cup Rugby being from Japan has morning KO …. For those not in the know runners up match today and final (England vs South Africa) tomorrow! I know my friend @funshipfreddie will be watching along with others from the forum, but he’s in South Africa, hope it’s a great final, good luck buddy!

    Good luck for November everyone, welcome to anyone new and take care all!

    Day 1 UK NFD

    Aiming for a gentle start then >500 FDs Monday and Wednesdays Hoping to shift the annoying 15lbs that seem to have attached themselves to me over this year

    Day 1, London, UK, NFD,

    The slate has been wiped clean; September & October were less than perfect fasting wise, so November is finger-out time!!

    A little about me! I’m hanging on to my mid 40’s, a Civil engineer working a part time 3 day week – 3rd best decision, after giving up smoking & fasting!! Having made it to -40lbs following 5:2 and 4:3 with B2B2Bs I now find myself struggling with bouncy-bouncy scales and currently -34lbs. I’m determined to make November’s challenge successful and actually view this for what it is ………………… a Challenge!!! I don’t think I can manage a dry November with all of the birthdays and anniversaries this month, but there’ll be no drinking at home ……………………. So I’m hoping for lots of invitations!!! (joke!)

    I’ve set myself a 6lb goal this month, I WILL make this target, it’s all in the planning, meals drinks & calorie counting since control appears to be an issue for me.

    Happy fasting folks!!!

    I would love to join the challenge. I have just read Dr. Mosley’s book and currently reading The Complete Guide to Fasting by Dr. Fung. I have plenty of weight to loose, but I am optimistic and glad to have found this group 🙂
    Will be fasting today, only drinking water so far.

    Day 1 Melb Aust CD (1077 cals)

    End of the day here. I’m a just-turned-70 retired female, single, whose household is run by male cat, Wilbur, a rescue ginger tabby. He was a “tom” till he was 3 years old, which explains his dominating personality! 🙂
    Started 5:2 at the end of November last year, lost 14 kg, then regained nearly 5 kg over the winter, of which I’ve now lost 3.4 kg, so I start this month 1.4 kg above my “lowest” weight on this WOL, but still much better than the starting point. I still have a ways to go, to reach goal weight, nearly 23 kg to go. For me it seems much easier to lose weight in the warmer weather, so am hoping to begin another dive downwards from this month.
    This is my 12th monthly forum, and it has been such a blessing and encouragement to be part of each forum, with the amazing hosts from diverse backgrounds.
    Let’s all have a great month!

    Day 1 USA (Illinois) NFD

    Maintenance is no “picnic” indeed (love it @funshipfreddie ). I have been on it for nearly 2 years, and thanks to this forum’s members, been pretty much around #160. Generally I do 6:1 but also some OMAD.

    I began 5:2 March 2016 then found @coda and this forum in May. I was just over #195 so lost 35# (16kg) in 9 months. THIS WOL WORKS!

    I’m 71, retired school music teacher who still directs a community choir, does church music, and have a couple private piano students. Married 50 years, 4 grown children and 5 granddaughters who do not live close. I do my best to do Silver Sneakers 3x a week and some yoga. Active with our new Children’s Museum.

    Looking forward to being around as I am able seeing old friends and meeting newbies. Thanks @ciren2 for your hosting talents!

    Onward and downward.

    Please count me in for the November challenge.

    Day 1 – Stratford upon Avon, UK – NFD

    Following a couple of disastrous months for one reason or another,I’m tentatively committing to the November Challenge, trying to hang onto the wagon but in danger of falling off and being run over….this month if I can at the very least commit to 2 FDs a week I’ll be doing well, anymore will be an achievement – I need to do this for me so it’s time to gather my thoughts and refocus….please be gentle with me….:-)

    Day 1, California, USA
    40, Female, BMI 19.2
    I’m joining you all for the health benefits of fasting, not weight loss. I want my chronic headaches and fatigue to be washed away with water. Today is a water fast day! I hope all your days were a success!

    Day 1, VA, USA, CD

    Greetings to the regular gang so far… and welcome (or welcome back) to some new names for me: @lindsosa, @fatrabbit, @ayame, @doctorscience, @marroni

    I have a sweetheart, we just celebrated 10 years married this year and two adorable kitty cats that both know tricks (like sit, standup, play dead etc) Their names are Kamoki and Birdie.

    I started this WOL Feb of this year. I’ve lost a bit over 50lbs and learning to not only make better choices, but also enjoying the better choices (not just b/c they are healthier but realizing now they actually do taste better. For example my arch nemesis (crisp/potato chips) no longer have the vicious hold on me! Which has never happened in my life until now.

    I am excited to hopeful work in a 5 to 7 day WF this month. 1st for the health benefit 2nd would help me get to my first goal which is only -5 more lbs!. I like the health benefit not only to reboot my immune system (especially before we go visit the family with loads of little ones running about) but also I find it helps me feel less bloated/inflamed/puffy feeling.

    Great to be here with you guys!

    @marroni: You’re very welcome. Good that you’ve read the book and Dr Fung too! you’re doing all the right things for motivation.
    @yo-yo-fletch: Good to see you again….jump in!

    Day 1, Oxfordshire, UK FD
    I’m a 58yr old female, married with 2 adult children and a 3 yr old cocker spaniel. I started 5:2 in 2014 and lost 30lbs. I maintained for a couple of years but then things slipped. I gained about 14lbs so I joined the challenges in August and lost 3.5kg. I’ve been motor homing in Portugal and Spain for the last 2 months and trying to make good choices.
    I decided to start this month with a FD because I couldn’t be sure what the scales would say.
    I’m pleased (amazed, relieved) to say that the scales were kind and only registered a 200g gain.
    My target this month is another 3.5kg loss.

    Today’s FD has gone well, I’ve kept busy unpacking, washing & dog walking. So far I’ve kept out of the kitchen too, my dh is cooking tonight.
    Here’s to a successful November.

    Day 1 – UK – EFS 🥂

    Great wedding anniversary day celebrating with friends unexpectedly……tomorrow is another day…..

    Such a drizzly and misty day was this first day of November!!!!!!!!……Will introduce myself properly tomorrow to those new to these monthly challenges ……

    October’s foliage yellows with his cold:
    In rattling showers dark November’s rain,
    From every stormy cloud, descends amain,
    Till keen December’s snows close up the year again.
    ~John Ruskin,

    Day 1 UK FD

    Hello I just wanted to get in under the wire on day 1. I’ve been on the forum for a while and have had a couple of previous attempts but have fallen off the wagon each time. I’m feeling pretty determined to persevere this time. I will add more info about myself tomorrow.

    USA Day 1 NFD

    Just had to quickly jump on board to make sure to be part of the first day! I was way busier today than I thought, especially outside helping my neighbor trim bushes, that I had no time for anything! At least that kept me from eating too much! Will be back tomorrow for a regular day!
    Congratulations to everyone who did well in October and I am rooting for everyone in the new month, despite that we will have to contend (at least in the U.S.) with Thanksgiving and all the food that entails. But we will prevail! 🙂

    Day 1 – USA – NFD

    @betsylee, thank you for hosting October! @ciren2, thanks for taking up the reins in November. Hard to believe 2019 is almost past us!

    I’m glad to join this month’s forum again…reading all your posts has been one of my favorite things to do since February 2017. I am 65, still working 2 jobs, 2 grown children and lost 57.5 pounds on 5:2. I’m in maintenance and enjoy about 3-4 FDs a month while I keep accountable on MyFitnessPal; I eat low carb, healthy fats, and moderate protein. I have a ton of recipes for meals that I love and find that substituting ingredients and planning is key whether fasting or not. Welcome to all the newbies, and hello @fatrabbit! Welcome back!

    Day 2 – South Africa 🇿🇦 – NFD

    Big day today! South Africa v England in the Rugby 🏆🏈 final. 3 hours to kickoff. @i-hate-lettuce and anyone else interested, enjoy the match!

    Welcome to the new people. Happy fasting in November 🍏

    “The difference between the possible and the impossible lies in determination.” Usain Bolt

    Day 2: Gloucestershire, UK, NFD:

    Off to work shortly so just a quick call in.
    @dahliafan: Welcome. This is a good place to be.
    I am also off the wagon, but hoping that being round successful people will rub off on me too.
    @funshipfreddie: You must feel a bit torn! Which side will you be supporting today then?

    Must fly….I have to eat my porridge now.

    Day2 UK MFD

    I wasn’t hungry until quite late yesterday but made up for it when I had finished working. Long winter nights are a challenge. Nibbling is so nice! I had had plenty to eat but the nuts were calling and took me well over tdee. Today I must make up for it. Given the heavy rain (again:() there are no volunteers coming as I doubt the animals will even get outside today. I got the essential cleaning done yesterday so they are all tucked in snuggly with lots of hay to munch so a day under cover won’t hurt them. Sometimes I wish I could munch on hay. I bet 800 calories worth is a huge pile! I am going to struggle with fasting on an inactive day. I need to find myself something else to do. A more thorough than usual clean of my room would be a good idea to get rid of as much dust as possible might help my asthma although not in the short term. I had a really bad attack when I swept the kitchen floor yesterday. Dust is such a trigger at the moment! Anyway the fast will help, so I must stick with it.

    Hello to all the new names and nice to see all the familiar ones again and to catch up on your progress. Together we are stronger.

    Day 2 – 2nd Post

    @ciren2 – yes, you’re right. I am torn. A pity it can’t be a draw! I’ll be happy for whoever wins. But South Africa are the underdogs, and we need some good news after surviving the Zuma years. We got a new president last year; a World Cup win would help towards the sense of a fresh start. May the best team win!🥇

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