Over 60? It's tough, or is it just me?

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  • Did my first fast yesterday and everything went well however I am really hungry today. Is this normal and will I get used to it as time goes by.
    I am trying not to get to hung up about “dieting” so not getting on the scales and just going by my clothes.
    I have tried many diets before and always get obsessed by them, weighing food, getting on the scales several times a day so this time I am trying to be relaxed about it. All I could think about was food.
    I have started to have a personal trainer at the gym and she has measured me and weighed me and will do it again in a month. For now that is enough.

    Yes initially that is the normal response. Your liver is so lazy at the moment that rather than accessing stored fats to make up the shortfall in calories (and convert the fat into glucose + ketones) its telling your brain that the easy alternative is to EAT more. Give your liver at least 1-2 months to ramp up. Also as you start to eat less your stomach will begin to shrink so it will release leptin (satiated hormone) for longer.

    Your want of food, or thinking of food is also normal. This is a learnt behaviour and it too will pass. All I could think about was food and how I was going to attack the fridge the next day. The next day came, Id eat a fraction of what I would normally eat and Id be satisfied. Hang in there for a month, it gets easier after that.

    Thanks for this. I am on a train at the moment so have no access to the fridge so it is all in my mind

    I did my first FD on a non-working day yesterday and it went well. It was actually my 29th FD since August.

    My problem is that I often get very tired at the end of a FD and sometimes a bit ratty. I think of food a lot but resist it and go to bed early or snooze in the armchair.

    I’m not usually that hungry the day after though. While I keep thinking of food and all the lovely things I’d like to eat the following day, I rarely do that and stick to a normal diet. Sometimes, I eat even less as I’m more aware of what and how much I eat.

    In saying that, I’m not stressing over food on non-diet days. I weigh myself twice a week, on the morning of the day following a FD and the result is normally pleasing. This morning I weighed the same as last Friday morning, but I hadn’t gained anything, so I’m very happy.

    Sounds like you’re off to a good start, Kazoo, and approaching this in a sensible effective way.

    You will find that your body will acclimate to FDs and just treat them as a part of a large pattern. I do my FDs back-to-back too and don’t find the second day any harder than the first but you should be aware that it isn’t necessary to take them on two at a time. If you think it will work better for you, have a food day in between.

    OTOH, it might be educational to just tough out a second one in a row, if that’s what you’re intending at the moment, to see if you’re as hungry in a few hours as you were when you wrote the above.

    Hang in there! If you can get through 3 weeks I think you’re gonna find your body is ready to fast after your food days.

    L A Chubster. I thought to start with I would do two separate days fasting until I get use to it. I did yesterday and hope to do Friday. Thankfully I am not as hungry now as I was mid morning. I had a sandwich on the train at lunch time and then felt really full so wished I had only eaten half of it and saved the rest for later.
    Off to the gym now and will have a salad after so will catch up with you tomorrow.

    I have to rat myself out. I broke both of my FDs. Monday I had albondigas soup with lots of veggies and some meat. Not a terrible thing to do but, still, I broke my commitment to do a water fast. Then last night I had 2 LARGE bowls of soup — turkey with veggies — and then followed that with at least a cup of salty cashews.

    I’m really irritated with myself.

    I did an extra 30 minutes of cardio this morning. That will make up for the calories but it won’t do much to get my metabolism right again. ::sigh:: Gotta get this in hand fast! Christmas party coming up this weekend. 😳

    Gee, that doesn’t sound like a lot of food to me, LAChubster. Soup with turkey & veggies seems like a lower calorie option. Am I wrong? Only you know what was in it. Will missing FDs one week impact metabolism? Thanks for sharing so a newbie like me can learn πŸ˜‰

    I sure hope this 5:2 program doesn’t make us feel like failures every time we skip a fast day or two. I just did my first one on Sunday and today is my second one. So far, so good. I’m so busy that I don’t even notice any hunger. And, this is how I’m approaching the 5:2, so veterans please tell me if I’m off base. With the holidays coming, I know I will eat more, but the important thing is to not feel bad about it, but just get back on the program as soon as possible. Would Dr. Mosley approve of that attitude? Some things make life worth living and for me it’s the holidays with all the good food & good cheer. I plan to moderate what I eat, but I won’t feel bad if I indulge when the spirit moves me. But, once it’s over, I’ll be right back to the 5:2.

    Oh dear! Welcome, north rancher! I’m so sorry I made you concerned.

    You’re absolutely right that this is meant to be a sensible do-able program and it IS! It’s very flexible for moving FDs around to suit circumstance and that makes it well suited to the holidays.

    I was talking about my own eccentricities and adaptations. I have a lifelong twisted relationship with food that left me addictive about it. I am not able to limit my food as in the FD with 25 % of your normal calories. When I eat I want MORE. Consequently, the way I do my FDs is to have nothing but water or hot plain broth. And, in consequence, I am not plagued by insane cravings on my food days. YAY!!!!

    This is what’s worked well for me for nearly a year. It leaves me free of cravings and able to enjoy and be satisfied by sensible food on my food days. But, when I blew it Monday, it was worse on Tuesday. I knew it would play out that way but I did it anyway. 😑

    It will NOT screw up my metabolism in any long-term sense. But for those days when I didn’t keep my food to a 6 hour window — also one of my personal “rules” — I slowed my metabolism down so I was not maximized conversion of stored fats for a day or so. Plus, I fell off the wagon completely between April and October and packed on 20 pounds that I’d worked hard to lose. I don’ want to go *there* again! t was bemoaning that. I’ll get past this. So don’t let me scare you!

    You’ll have great success and a great experience, I’m sure, working the program that you set out for yourself. So don’t mind me! πŸ˜‰ And welcome again. So happy you found us!

    Hi all

    FD for me today and so far I’m doing OK. I started a very belated spring clean this morning at 9:00am and was so busy it was Noon before I realised it. Have just had a boiled egg and cup of green tea and then back into it. I hope the afternoon goes just as quickly and it’s dinnertime before I realise it. Then a bowl of soup beckons.

    Like you Chubster, I failed on Tuesday FD. I went into work and all went fine until I got home at 7:30pm when a demon on my shoulder demanded I open a Christmas gift and found choc/orange sticks so I promptly ate half a packet! Will fast Saturday to make up for it – that’s the great thing with this program you can change things around if life intervenes although I feel much better when I don’t indulge in empty calories. Still, it’s the first bit of chocolate that has passed my lips since I started this WOL in October so I take heart from that.

    Good luck to all fasting today

    First chocolate since October! That IS an achievement!!! πŸ˜ƒ ✨ 🍾 πŸ‘ πŸ’₯ ✌️ πŸ˜ƒ

    Thanks for the explanation, LAChubster, and for sharing. I totally understand where you’re coming from and how your diligence keeps you on track & the cravings at bay. I hope I get where you are now!

    I wasn’t as much concerned with what you said, as I was confused. I’m just getting the hang of this program, and I’m hoping it won’t feel like a diet. I just can’t do those anymore. From what you say, I can see we need to customize it once we figure out what works and what doesn’t. That’s helpful to know.

    You mentioned one of your “rules” is a 6-hour food window. Can you share what your “rules” are? Many thanks!

    So this is a first for me, 61 and need to loose about 65 lbs. I heard of someone my husband knows who eats 500 every other day and has lost about 40 lbs. This seems a bit easier…do you do the 2 days back to back. I would love to hear a sample day on 500….

    Hi, JudithRaye, and welcome onboard. The main thing about losing the weight is patience and persistence. Usually the fast days are not back to back and there are many options as to how you do it. I am on 4:3, fasting on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for 24 hours (dinner to dinner). My husband has joined me in the effort and on FD in the morning we have coffee with a dash of milk and a sweetener, chicken or veggie broth for lunch and in the evening we usually have a reduced in volume normal meal. The weight loss is not the same every week, but that’s not the idea. I weigh in once a week, some do it daily and others do not weigh regularly. It’s a personal choice in fasting, eating and weighing, that’s the beauty of it. If you happen to fall off the wagon, get back again and go on. We are in it to win it. Good luck!

    HI and welcome, Judith!

    You’ll love intermittent fasting. As bjanna said, there are as many ways to do it as people making it fit their lives. I’m a person who does back-to-back FD. I have come to look forward to them. The favorite part of my week is when I tell myself I’m halfway through my second FD. Then I’m free to enjoy my food the rest of the week. But that fits my particularly addictive approach to food.

    Have you seen Dr. Mosley’s BBC documentary? He explains all the research and the variations. I found it inspiring. And liberating. https://vimeo.com/103656060

    I haven’t had time to read whole read, but as a 69 year old, I thought I would give my take on it.

    Since retirement my weight crept up, with me joking about spare tyre being bigger than my bust and that I used to have a waist. However, one day the penny dropped that my two slim friends ate far less than my two fat friends and, indeed, less than I.

    I read Michael Mosley’s book from cover to cover and we started immediately, using the recipes and those from Mimi’s book. I reached target in September, OH has a way to age.

    Age should not make any difference. I love being a size 10/12 again.

    Well done and MOST encouraging, Pollypenny!

    Hi Pollypenny,

    Thanks for sharing your inspiring story! How long did it take you to get to your goal weight? I just started, but I’ve already lost weight and the fasting days have been easier than I thought.

    April 25th to middle on September – that included holiday in the States. But as vegetarian, I don’t do well there. We didn’t have breakfast included, so skipped it anyway and just quietly watched what we ate and drank.

    Pollypenny, in 5 months–that’s remarkable. Good for you!

    I have spent the last week baking Christmas cookies. I’ll be spending the coming week doing it again. And I won’t lie: I’ve licked my fingers more than a few times. Yesterday I broke down and had 2 cookies. YUM!

    I’m grateful that my FDs are coming along to keep me from going off the rail. And I’m grateful that these cookies have to be done by Thurs evening because I will be MORE than ready for a break from cookies by that point!

    I found this video of HIT exercises that require nothing in the way of equipment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VmWEseYN90 I have a knee without cartilage so, of the exercises he illustrates, I was only able to do the bicycle kicks from the floor. Still, I did what I could.

    There’s NO WAY on earth I could do it for 20 minutes. I did possibly 5 (if you count the rest periods along with the active ones). But I did them a few times yesterday and twice today. Does anyone know if you lose the benefit with such short intervals? I know I was breathing HARD! Much harder than after an hour on the recumbent bike and the treadmill. Though I work up a better sweat on the cardio machines.

    In any case, I think I’ll keep up doing some of both.

    Hi LA,

    Most people tend to confuse HIIT with just a normal exercise routine. The fact that Josh (in the video link) was able to talk while doing his exercise means he was NOT doing HIIT (he wasn’t operating against enough resistance to get him into HIIT territory). You should not be able to talk during or immediately after doing a 30 second HIIT burst. If you can sustain the exercise for more than 30 seconds then it is not HIIT!!! HIIT is a completely anaerobic activity where you are operating at an output about 250% greater than an activity where you would be absolutely spent after one hour (your VO2 max effort). You should be in absolute pain while doing the 30 second burst. Then allow yourself a one or two minute break and then go for it again. 3 sets of 30 second bursts (to the point where you feel physically ill from the effort) can deplete your muscle glycogen stores by up to 50% (in the muscles used for that activity). Your body will then spend the next several hours accessing fats to replenish the burnt glycogen.

    If you have bad knees perhaps try running in a pool (obviously the pool cant be too deep, waist height would be perfect). Run absolutely as fast as you can against the resistance of the water. Do this for 30 seconds. If you don’t feel like youre going to throw up from the 30 second burst then it hasn’t been at a high enough intensity. I incorporate 2 x 30 second bursts at the end of my bike rides where I am pedalling at my absolute maximum. I feel physically ill as I pull into my driveway and Im struggling to get enough oxygen into me. Please dont take this the wrong way, any activity is good both physically and mentally but people seem to be confused about what HIIT actually is.

    Is HIIT necessary for 5:2 to be effective? TBH, exercising until you feel like throwing up sounds pretty awful and maybe even dangerous. At this age and stage, I’m a big believer in moderation in all things and HIIT sounds like something that could even bring on a heart attack or other health consequences, especially without having a doctor’s OK. IMHO.

    ‘Fraud I’m with you, northrancher! I’ll do it until I’m gulping air and can’t hold my feet up anymore but I’m never going to do anything until I feel like I’m going to be sick. It will either do some good or it won’t but I’m guessing it won’t be a wasted effort.

    Dr. Mosley didn’t originally specify exercise — I mean at least the documentary focused on diet rather than exercise — but before long he was endorsing HIIT as a partner to intermittent fasting. Of course, he’s not our age. …yet.

    I’ve got a big gut. My waist has decreased from size 22 jeans (once 24 but that was before 5:2) to size 10 so I know 5:2 is getting me there. But that took a year and now I want faster results. …and I don’t want to keep carrying around all this unhealthy visceral fat. So I’m trying to up my calorie output.

    LA, good to hear you got it done with 5:2 without the HIIT. Your results are fantastic. Really. You hit it out of the park! I bet you’ll continue to lose weight in your waist without knocking yourself out stressing your body to the max like that. No way I’m doing HIIT. No way. When I walk on the treadmill, I alternate with running for a minute to 5 minutes (depending on how I feel), just to get my heart rate up. But, I don’t do anything the feels “punishing” to my body. I lost a lot of weight doing that 4 years ago, so I’ll just go back to that. I think we should all be gentle with ourselves at this age/stage.

    Today was a FD for me, and my kitchen is filled with cookies and pastries. It’s been quite a day resisting it all. But, I got through it. Almost dinner time, so I’m home free.

    I don’t think HIIT is necessary to be successful with 5:2. Ive only recently incorporated HIIT into my cycling. I love cycling and the fitness that goes with it. When I ride my bike it takes me to my “happy place”. Im not doing HIIT to lose weight, Im doing it as a means of becoming fitter and to improve my recovery after maximum effort. Im all for exercise no matter what the intensity, as it helps the body and mind. It makes you feel good, and if you feel good your chances of success are a lot higher.

    Hi All
    LA, I should never have eaten that chocolate!! I went from bad to worse which culminated in an unplanned weekend of eating out and making horrible choices. The result is that I feel pretty darn ordinary this morning and it was a struggle to make myself go to aqua for some exercise. However, a big lesson learnt. I didn’t realise how ordinary I used to feel until I started this WOE in October and felt fantastic – mentally sharper, body not so sluggish etc.

    Am restricting my calories today and will fast tomorrow to get back on track. Wish me luck!

    Well done, northrancher! When you can resist that kind of temptation it’s really empowering!

    Good for you to have moved into the zone of embracing exercise, bigbooty! I’m not there but I began setting the alarm on my computer to sound the hour so I’d step away and walk around my house. I don’t know if I’ll ever enjoy exercise but I *do* feel good about getting it done and I know it makes my energy level so much better.

    We all have those moments, wall. Thank god for the FDs that help us put them behind us!

    I haven’t consciously exercised any more than previously- Tai Chi once a week, walk down town and back, hilly here.

    One of the reasons I started was because my knee, which had hurt after kneeling or occasional running with the dog, had started to play up. My time up our hill is much better and I’m not panting when I reach home,,either.

    I’ve had a hard weekend, though, as I’ve hurt my hand. Can’t grip, so knitting, lifting are out. I was bored and found my mind drifting to food.

    Pleased to report that weekend/last week blow out didn’t do too much damage. I weighed this morning and am 100 gms down on last weigh in. I wasn’t able to do a full fast yesterday but did 12 hours between functions (breakfast and dinner). Out for lunch again today but have NO commitments tomorrow so complete FD it is!!

    Good luck to all fasters this week

    Hey Sexy Sixties! Where’s everyone been? Whattcha been up to?

    I am atoning for 3 days of sugar binge in which I ate 2 quarts of ice cream and a box of cookies. AND, most annoyingly 3 weeks before a big formal event. So I’m in the 4th day of a water fast. Happily, it’s going very smoothly. No particular pangs of hunger to speak of. Seems the less I eat the calmer my stomach is.

    At this point I may just go to see how far I’m able to take it.

    Trying on formal wear and shape wear has resulted in razor focus on the bay window smack in my middle! 😱 More HIIT and cardio to come!!!!!

    I know! Everyone’s DEEP into Christmas preparations.

    I’ve got my own to do. Today I’m making kitchen gifts and I thought I’d share this with you:

    Yield: about 2 cups

    The traditional Mediterranean use of dukkah is to dip bread into olive oil and then dukkah. It is also good sprinkled on roasted veggies such as cauliflower drizzled with fruity olive oil and it adds flavor and texture when sprinkled liberally over hummus.

    β€’ 1 cups sesame seed
    β€’ 1/2 cups coriander seed
    β€’ 1/4 cup macadamia nuts, ground to a fine meal with some larger bits
    β€’ 1/4 cup cumin seeds, ground
    β€’ 1/4 cup nigella seeds
    β€’ kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

    1. Roast each ingredient separately until aromatic. Grind the roasted seeds together until finely crushed but not pulverized. If grinding in a food processor, grind in short bursts to avoid mixture becoming paste. Mix in the roasted chopped nuts.

    2. Store in covered jars.

    There’s nothing critical about the nuts or seeds. Add what you like. Today I’m using a mixture of macadamias and pistachios and adding fennel seeds as well. I use the nigella seeds when and if I can locate them.

    It’s also not a bad thing to nibble on when you’ve just GOT to have something. It doesn’t have any carbs and it has a decent amount of protein. It also has a lot of flavor and sometimes that fits the bill.


    The other thing I’m making is chocolate salamis. …don’t ask!!!!

    Yum, LA Chubster! I love Dukkah and yours is the best recipe I’ve seen! I’m definitely copying it! Thanks for posting!

    And yes! I’m keen to read more about those chocolate salamis! I love the chocolate chili recipe that I serve for dinner often. My version of this is a kangaroo chili!

    Oops! Just looked at the recipe and it says “ground cumin seeds”. That’s a mistake. All the seeds should be whole until they’re pan roasted then ground together.

    Here’s the chocolate salami: http://cookingtheglobe.com/chocolate-salami-salame-di-cioccolato/ It may be easy but, boy!, is it messy! I think I was washing my hands about every 5 minutes so I didn’t get any chocolate in my mouth by accident and wiping my counters at least as often. But they came out good and my husband’s verdict was a big thumbs up.

    Hi girls,
    I waited for a while to post good results, but this morning I was ve-e-ery disappointed. After a 4:3 week, two 24 hour FD and one 36 hour FD, and I was 200g up!!! I know it’s the wine and the carbs, but these are things that I am not willing to give up. This was the reason I quit Ducan (only protein and veggies) and was so happy to find a diet, which said:”Five days you eat normally, and two days you fast.” It turns out you have to skip carbs here as well. I am not eating a lot, do not go over my TDEE, even with a bit of rice or potatoes, so do not understand why I am not losing weight. Almost on the point of giving up…It’s my third month on the diet and I have lost only 3kg, going up and down a few hundred grams every week. No sweets, just a couple of glasses of wine on NFDs. We have been drinking wine at dinner for 40 years, it’s a habit my hubby and I find very difficult to give up. Any of you having a similar problem? Hugs,

    There is no magic involved. You’ve answered your own question. ”Five days you eat normally, and two days you fast.” By definition you can not be eating normally on those NDFs. By definition you must be overeating to the point that you need FDs just to break even for the week. No foods are banned but some foods make it REAL hard to be successful. You mention that you are unwilling to give up alcohol, rice and potatoes. Empty carbs with alcohol and insulin spiking carbs with rice and potatoes. Success doesn’t chase you, you have to chase success. It really is up to you.

    Bjanna, ask yourself if you really want to lose weight? You are making those choices to keep wine and carbs. Big portions of crunchy salads along with the meal, recipe from Mimi’s book, gave us the eating experience. After a few weeks, our appetites had shrunk and both found that we ate less every day.

    Experiment with non- alcohol drinks, as it’s hard to find something that’s not sweet. A weak lime and soda works for me, as does fizzy water with slices of lemon or lime.

    Now I’m maintaining, I do allow myself half a bottle of wine on Saturday, ditto Sunday. I also have my weekly ice cream treat – a portion in a bowl, not sitting with the whole box!

    I have to agree with ALL of you! Altho Dr. Mosley *did* present his diet as, essentially, eating “normally” on non-FDs, the truth is most of us find that we need to make some really significant changes to lose accumulated body fat. After all, we got fat because our typical eating patterns were excessive in some way and distorted our metabolic systems into dysfunction. I, personally, have had to make MAJOR changes but I moved toward them over time and only did what I was ready to at any point. I made them willingly because the benefits of how much better I felt made any issue of deprivation out of the question.

    Perhaps the really amazing feature of intermittent fasting is that it becomes POSSIBLE to make these changes over time, that it’s not so wrenching to make them when fasting resets our metabolisms to a more normal functioning and that the insanity of cravings doesn’t work against us at every moment.

    Is there *one* thing you would be willing to *experiment* with giving up for 2 weeks, bjanna? Would you be willing to drop the wine for 2 of your non-FDs for a couple weeks to see if you got the results you’re hoping for? Or could you cut your volume to half on your non-FDs? You can still have the experience with your husband — the conversation, the intimacy, just sip a little more slowly. And you’d get the opportunity to assess whether it’s worth it to continue.

    In the end, it’s just a suggestion because how you live your life is *entirely* up to you and you get to choose the priorities and deal with the consequences. You should *definitely* make yourself happy. I’m sure all of us support you in that. It’s just that telling us that you’re in this place seems to indicate that you still want to find a way to make it work.

    I’m wishing you the best in that effort!

    Eating ‘normally’ does not mean the over-eating which got us in the cuddly state in the first place. It’s eating what we should be to maintain a reasonable weight.

    I’m now 9st 4lbs, bmi of 23, but at 69 I’m very happy with that. According to the graph, 7.12 is the lowest bmi for my height. I’d look like a wraith!

    I realised that my two slim friends ate sensibly, while two other tuck in, with an expected girth!

    I do agree with all of you as well, thanks for the posts. The problem is, you mention big appetite and overeating, which never have been an issue with me. I practically do not have any appetite at all and definitely do not overeat. My daily “breakfast” is a cup of coffee with a tiny bit of milk, lunch is a a bowl of homemade soup (usually veggie), and in the evening a baked potato (one), or half a chicken leg with 2-3 tbsp of rice or two crackers with egg and caviar/cheese and pate. No snacks, no sugary drinks or sweets. I have been eating like this for more than ten years, yet find it difficult not only to lose weight, but to keep it. Yes, I lost 17kg on Ducan in three months eight years ago and hated every minute of it. I did love my newly acquired slim figure, but at the same time felt miserable and unhappy. I felt tense with the coming of mealtimes, as I knew the piece of chicken leg with a boiled veggie was all I would get for dinner (I do not eat white meat, beef, fish and seafood). We did have wine with that and still lost weight, but that’s not the kind of life I could enjoy and I quit. The weight came back with a vengeance. Pollypenny suggests salads, and it’s fine for warm weather, but in winter a cold salad would be the last thing on my mind. And I do not think that a toasted slice of whole wheat bread with some dip spread for dinner should overturn the cart. Please, do understand that I am not trying to find excuses for my way of life, you are right it’s only up to me to decide what measures to take. And, Chub, I think you are right about trying to take small steps at a time and see how it goes. As you mention, being overweight is a great issue for me and that’s why I am here, yet I’ll have to reconsider how far I would like to go to balance being happy and being slim. I have done 14 and 16-day fasts in the past and I do not have a physical problem (no hunger at all) on a 36-hour fast, but I miss the dinner socializing. 24-hour fasts are OK, as long as our candle-lit dinner with a beautifully arranged table is the highlight of the day.
    Even with the present results my spare tyre around the waist is deflating (4cm less) and my thigh measurement is 1cm down, which is still an achievement. Thanks again for your concern and advice, I know you all mean well and trying to help. Merry Christmas to you all.

    I’ve had an “off course” week, but I kinda expected that to happen during the holidays. I wasn’t able to fit in even one FD last week, which I hadn’t planned. I’ve had visitors, dinners out and parties…too much fun going on and I’m just trying to bookmark my weight until Jan. 1. My goal is to stay even and I’ll consider that a success. Tomorrow I’m doing a FD and then will see how the week goes so I can fit in another one. We have an annual Christmas Tea at a fancy hotel with scones & clotted cream coming up on Tuesday, so there will be no FD that day. I’m thinking Wednesday or Thursday for the 2nd one. Wish me luck–I’ve lost 7 lbs. already and don’t want to slide! Happy Holidays to all!!

    Hi bjanna,

    I commend you for really working on your goal, and I think everyone has given you very good advice. If I may I’d like to add a little to that.

    I started 5:2 2yrs ago with 21kgs to lose. I have a challenging chronic health condition and started 5:2 without knowing if there was anyway my compromised body would be able to tolerate 5:2 or any form of fasting. I knew that I could not try other forms of “dieting”. My goal also included eating healthily while the weight went down. But, I started 5:2 vowing to myself that if I could tolerate 5:2 I would just keep doing it till my weight was normal, with no time goals. I didn’t care how long it took. It took 2 yrs, I kept what I ate and drank healthy, and now I have to look at how I tweak my way of eating to stay in maintenance. I well keep doing 5:2 as my body will tolerate it and seems to help with my health. I tried back 2 back fasts, and doing that 2 weeks in a row was OK, but the 3rd week my body did not tolerate it, and I also found that it was messing with my head. It was “too” easy to fast, and I can see how easy it would be to think “OK, 5:2 is a good thing, then more fasting must be better”.Certainly for me that is not the case and could actually be dangerous. The other thing that happened to me was I plateaued about 3 months after I started and the plateau did not stop in a normal time. An experienced 5:2er suggested I go off all starchy carbs for a week or 2 to test if I was one of the people who could not lose weight while eating starchy carbs. There are people who can and people who can’t. After experimenting I discovered that even if the calories fitted my TDEE I could not lose weight if I ate grain foods, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, green peas, or any legumes and other beans e.g. Lentils, chickpeas, red kidney beans, berlotti or butter beans etc. So I decided to leave these out just while I was losing the weight, and will gradual resume them now I am maintaining. I think all of those are healthy in moderate portions and unprocessed. Because my body does not make a normal amount of energy I do not have a normal activity or exercise level, I cannot exercise at all, so my TDEE calories are fairly low for my height. So I decided to not drink calories. I prefer to eat calories rather than drink them.

    What you say you are eating in a day is very small and seems to be lacking in salads and vegetables and a small amount of fruit. I’m suggesting you experiment by only doing 5:2 and changing what you eat for a week or 2 to see what happens.

    I’d also suggest when you find what works best to get the weight off that you keep doing till you’re down to your normal weight then gradually add back to include some of the things you love. The strategy of just doing it till the weight is normal has worked well for me. I think you’Ve had some good suggestions on the red wine too.

    Otherwise, if you’re not willing to try changing anything further then be content with a loss of 1 kg per month, doing just 5:2. It is working even if a little slower, but you would still be on a downward trend. Sometimes people are so used to daily deprivation from having used “weight loss diets” that they think more and more deprivation is the way to go p, and it’s not. Tweaking what you consume is the key, not adding more fasting. 1kg a month is more than I averaged, and is also about the same as Buttonboots who has been losing steadily for about 3 yrs now. There’s no magic formulae, it’s slowly and steadily wins the race.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family bjanna,

    @merryme: Thanks for the lovely posting. I read it a few times and even though you are saying almost the same things as the others, it’s presented in such a nice and caring way, I could not help admiring it. I’ll try to lower the carbs after the holidays and I know my weight will go down (it did on Ducan), but as you put it, after so much deprivation for 40 years, being on different diets, I subconsciously revolt against going through another one. Time alone will show what’s to be done and how, thanks a lot for your kindness and for encouraging me on my bumpy road.

    bjanna, When I wrote about salads, I did not mean a sad, cold salad as your meal, but an interesting, crunchy side, accompanying your meal. Besides salad, you can load your plate with vegetables.
    Mimi’s recipe book is brilliant, with loads of dishes, including vegetarian.

    I thought that I could never give up my beloved potatoes. Strangely enough, I have not missed them. Now on maintenance, we occasionally have 100grms or we’ll have sweet potatoes.

    One key aspect of the plan is the ‘eating normally’ days. This ensures that our metabolism does not go into starvation mode.

    @bjanna. Something doesn’t quite add up. If you are truly eating as little as you say and you are under your TDEE then I suspect that it comes down to what you are eating and not how much you are eating. Have you actually sat down and calculated the calories of the foods you eat? You might be surprised, I know I was!! Make sure to include alcohol!!

    So if it turns out that you are under your TDEE you realistically have to find out what is spiking your insulin and then be prepared to cut those foods out. I no longer eat grain based foods. Basically if the food is derived from grains, eg bread, pasta, pizza, cakes, biscuits etc then they are a no go zone. Potatoes are a no go zone. I get all my carbs from veggies, legumes, nuts and some fruit. And I come from an Italian background. If after 55 years I can get rid of pasta then if you really want to lose weight you should be able to eliminate a food(s) that causes you to gain weight.

    Good luck with it.

    @bigbooty Thanks for the suggestions, after the holidays I’ll start eliminating foods one by one and most probably will get an answer to the riddle. Like ten years ago I was diagnosed with a fatty liver, it may also contribute to the problem. Maybe first I’ll cut the carbs on week days and see how it goes. Easy does it. I am just wondering how one week I can lose 1.5kg and then two weeks later gain them back being on the same food. Anyway, I’ll have to figure that out myself and experiment with cutting different foods. Thanks for your concern.
    @pollypenny Thanks for the explanation. Sometimes I try to eat salads, but I can have a very small amount, as I get full after a few bites. I believe my metabolism is dead and gone, as I feel full most of the day and maybe that’s the reason I do not get hungry. Hormonal disbalance is also on my mind, as years after hysterectomy (at 39) I had very high estrogen. I am trying to balance it with natural progesterone cream, will see if it helps. The problem is I have been living in China for 27 years (thanks god, this is my last year) and it’s very difficult to consult a doctor, as I am not very fluent in the language. When I go back next summer, I’ll have a thorough check-up to get an answer to the rapid weight gain during the last years.

    bjanna, I’m sorry if the tone of some of our responses seemed harsh. I want you to know we’re ALL on your side. And I’m glad to see that you’re still hanging in there!

    An open experimental approach to losing weight is really important since there’s a serious amount of detective work involved in making lifestyle changes. Some of it we have to do on our own. Some of it requires the assistance of health professionals. I wonder, for example, if you’ve had your thyroid function assessed. Or maybe there’s some other issue that causes you metabolize in a difficult way because, truly, what you report you eat doesn’t add up to overweight.

    Anyway, the important thing is that you feel you can come here, speak candidly and get support! I think you’re been brave to withstand all the well-intentioned information and opinions which may be compromised by our very incomplete understanding of all your circumstances.

    With regards to a fatty liver, a diet with alcohol and/or sugar will cause it. With regards to medical conditions poor thyroid or pituitary function may also cause it. Vitamin E and coffee may help improve the condition of the liver.

    bigbooty reminds me that it’s worth remembering that it’s not just sugar that your body *reacts to* as sugar. Both alcohol and starchy carbs (which is to say grains and the things that are made with them like bread and pasta plus starchy vegetables like winter squash and potatoes) are immediately turned into sugar in your mouth as soon as you start chewing/swallowing them. And, of course, there are those processed foods that are laden with disguised sugars like peanut butter and ketchup which, spoon for spoon, has more sugar than ice cream.

    When you know or find out by reading labels you can avoid this stuff. Stuff that has, in some people (like ME) an addictive nature. But the good news is, once you cut it out, you don’t miss it AT ALL!

    I’ve been baking for the last 2 weeks. I made Christmas cookies for 200 people. Then I started baking holiday breads for friends and family. I worked with chocolate which means having it all over my hands and all over my equipment and wasn’t tempted by ANY of it.

    To me it’s *clear* that the benefits of intermittent fasting are far less in what weight we are than how much better we feel, how much improved every moment of our lives are and how calm we can be without food running our, or at least MY, life.

    @la Chub. Yep, yesterday was my fast day, so water only for me. Came home and the “restaurant” was open for business and dad was taking orders for the evening meals. I have 3 sons. Eldest is a vegetarian, youngest is a very fussy eater with a very limited range of foods that he will eat and the middle one will eat anything. Basically I ended up cooking two meals with all the associated smells. Used to be hard, now my tummy doesn’t even rumble. I made a vegetable medley and added various spices and some grated cheese. Into the oven for browning and presto a lovely veggie meal. Couldn’t do a taste test because of my fast so was hoping I got it right. It did however smell good which is a good sign! Apparently I got it right and it got wolfed down.

    Been having an interesting conversation with a work colleague today who is a chemist and who used to work for a food multinational. Food companies are well versed in exploiting the bliss point. Get the bliss point right and cardboard can be make to taste divine. They also exploit something called the Maillard reaction which is what happened with my veggie medley. This is where sugar reacts with certain animo acids to produce a plethora of different flavour compounds. All of a sudden veggies taste and smell superb. Even though the veggies are low in sugar content they do have sufficient sugar to react with amino acids and browning is part of that reaction as long as you bake above about 140C.

    The average uninformed punter really is being exploited by food multinationals without them even knowing. Time to fight back.

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