Overeating on Non-Fast days

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  • When I first started the 5:2 diet, I was used to calorie counting, so I stuck to 500 on a fast day and about 1200 on a non-fast day. But the book seemed to suggest that this was unnecessary and that I would naturally not want to overeat on a non-fast day. So I stopped counting calories. But I now find I am binge eating on the non-fast days.

    Has anyone else had this experience? I think I might have to go back to calorie counting on the non-fast days as I’m gaining weight again.

    I was hoping that 5:2 would be a good way to get away from calorie counting.


    Hi Helen:

    What foods are you binging on? There may be an answer, depending on the food involved.

    Left overs – what the kids leave, or the little bit of spare rice or pasta left in the pan. Also sweet things, if there are any in the house. Bread and butter.

    Hi Helen, I am a Weight Watcher and I only wanted to lose 5 to 8 pound when started 5-2 and I did the same thing, I cut to 500 for 2 days and only vaugely thought about my WW’s points for the other 5 days. Although I lost 3 lb in 4 days, it as been very sluw since. I have decidedi this week not eat after 7 pm this worked for me some time ago. I have done fasting every other day and a back to back with not much increase of the lose. I know when we get within a small amount of weight to lose it gets harder. So I will keep going, I am within 1.1/2 lb of my WW’s weight goal but it is hard as I said. Today I have had a day off and enjoyed every minute of it. Tomorrow is another day. But not a fasting day for me again. I will be back on tract fasting on Friday. Let’s keep going and tweek as we go along anything is better than nothing. JIP

    Hi Helen
    I find I still think carefully about food choices on non fast days. If I have a large meal, I reduce the others. I don’t snack between meals unless I’m socialising. I have definitely cut back massively on carbs every day in the year since starting. I know how destructive they are to total calorie intake. I’d rather gorge on really flavoursome vegetable dishes now. Even when eating out, the vegetarian option is often the best food available and is low in fats and very filling. Lentils and chickpeas are brilliant for sustained satisfaction. Blueberries and strawberries add a zing to your diet without forsaking calories. Count the cals on fast days religiously, but keep an eye on what goes in on other days. It can only be healthy for you, because low calorie, filling foods tend to be the ones that are healthiest anyway.
    Do you own the Fast Diet recipe books? Even if you don’t follow them exactly, they give you great ideas.
    All the best

    Hi Helen:

    I read rice, pasta, bread and sweet things (sugar).

    It sounds like you might be addicted to carbs.

    5:2 does not fix carb addiction. In fact, it makes it worse, in the sense you go with few carbs for over 30 hours and then, when your body is carb starved, you can eat ‘normally’. As many people discover after they are on 5:2 for awhile, eating carbs leads to wanting to eat more, even if they are not addicted. When a person is addicted, I observe quite a bit of ‘binging on non diet days’.

    Dr. Atkins recognized carb addiction in the early 70s, and so he included the ‘induction phase’ in his diet book. The induction phase was not the Atkins Diet (although many still think it is), but was instead designed to break a person’s addiction to carbs before starting the Atkins Diet.

    Following the induction phase of that diet works very well (thankfully breaking carb addiction is easier than breaking alcohol or drug addiction).
    The induction phase is to eat 20 grams of carbs or less for 14 days. Along about the 3rd through 5th days will be the hardest, and you may feel fine (even very fine) by the 7th day. You will obviously be eating a lot of cheese, fatty meat, eggs and lettuce. It turns out that is quite a healthy diet.

    Don’t worry about 5:2 when you do the induction, and don’t worry about weight loss. Although you will be able to eat as much high fat, high protein 0 carb food as you want, you will probably finish the induction phase several pounds lighter.

    It is not that easy, but it works and will probably allow you to continue with 5:2 without the binging problem.

    Good Luck!

    Thanks everyone. It is really encouraging to get some support. I think it’s time I started to keep a rough track of calories on the non-fast days.

    Very interesting on the suggestion of carb addiction. I have never considered it before. You might just be right! I will do some reading up on it and the “induction phase” of Atkins. I haven’t previously tried it.

    Hi Helen:

    It may be worth a try. The Atkins diet is very effective, but, as with most diets, many people find it extremely hard to follow over time. They have grown up eating a totally different way (lots of carbs) and, even if they are not addicted they can’t limit their carb intake as much as the diet requires (much less the induction phase). And the minute they start eating carbs again, the weight goes right back on.

    That is where 5:2 is so interesting and effective. It only focuses on calories, not types of food eaten. So you can eat the foods you are used to eating and still lose weight and gain the blood work benefits that come with weight loss. It is only when someone can’t control their eating on non diet days that problems arise.

    Good Luck!

    Still overeating – massively, on non fast days, 17 months on. Help! Is anyone else still struggling with this?

    I count calories on non fast days too at the moment and I have found that some days I am eating over my TDEE but not too seriously. I think I am probably addicted to carbs too and I crave them on fast days sometimes. (I tend to leave a hundred calories or so to use on eating some vita weats or other savory dried biscuit).

    hi all, i know this post started in may 14… but going to comment anyway..im new to 2:5 and while i really love the 500 cal days although hard! i really do like how u put a stop to ongoing bingeing… i am really struggling with eating too much.. after reading so many say.. eat whatever u want… my brain literally takes that as a challenge! and follows through.. so i have accepted that i have to do 1500-2000 cal count on non fast days… i just need that control… as im free fall into binge eating big time on the the non-fast days…. although im disappointed that i still need to calorie count for the moment… im still loving the freedom this style of eating does given u compared to the normal diets etc… so nice to hear other people have this issue as well..

    H skinnyree. I too was a binge eater and have been for an awful long time. I have been following 5:2 since the end of November and the one thing that it has done is to curb my appetite big time, there are still loads of chocolates, biscuits and cakes in the house from Christmas. I would say that I have sort of binged twice since starting and I could pinpoint why. The unfortunate thing is that I have seem to have had a cold since the start of December and over the last few days I have been awful, this has worried me but most people I work with seem to have had some kind of infection. So for now I’m taking a break until I feel better. Hope that helps – I have lost about 10 pounds.

    Hi, Just wanted to add something to this thread.

    I spent many months with a dietician about 25 yrs ago working out if I was intolerant to any foods, as I had a history of what seemed like food related issues. I did a full elimination dieting regime. Food intolerance is where a food causes an adverse reaction. There are various reactions eg stomach bloating, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, and a few other things.

    There is also an addictive componant to some food intolerance for some people. It works this way: when you eat a particular food it feels good and you have been craving it. After you eat it, the craving goes away. A couple of hours later you start craving it again – and leads to bigeing but ithe craving is actually a withdrawal symptom. So you eat it again and the cycle begins again. This type is particularly prevalent amongst people with ADHD, but happens with others as well. Most people would recognise this type of cycle with coffee and teA or coca cola or Red Bull type of guarana drinks ( guarana is caffiene basically)., as this type of addiction happens with caffeine as well. I am intolerant to all grains except corn. All the other grains, have that addictive componant for me. Also am intolerant to rice, although that is a rarer one as rice is usually tolerated well by most people. Grain foods give me various symptoms, including wheat giving me inflammation in joints. Here’s the big bit though – whenever I eat any grain food, or any of the other foods I’m intolerant to with that addictive quality, I then crave ALL of the foods that have that addiction componant for me. It takes 5 days without any of them for the withdrawal symptoms including craving all of those foods to go away. However, once past that 5 days, the craving disappears and my feeling of hunger is quite different, and I eat very normally with no binging ever, as long as I stay off the grains. For me that means instead of grains only eating GF breads, crackers, corn pasta, etc. It’s not the same thing as coeliac ( have been fully tested for that and am not coeliac), but very grain and gluten intolerant.

    There are also natural chemicals that are an inbuilt part of food, that people can be intolerant to. Salicylates and Amines are the two common ones. I am intolerant to Amines, and these are in some fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as meats and many other things.

    Perhaps this will shed some light for some who find themselves bingeing.

    Hi Michael and all you 5:2 ers.

    Oh PLEASE help me. I’m really still struggling on the 5:2. I have been on it now for over 18 months and, at the start lost some weight – about 10 lbs, and don’t need to lose much more.

    However, as you will see from previous posts, I am profusely struggling with overeating on non-fast days – or as I call them – ordinary days (OD’s).

    Although I have had a problem with nasty carbs for some years, I have never been this bad. I just cannot stop overeating/ continually craving and emotional eating – all wrapped into one.

    I used to have much better management of my eating but now on non fasting days or OD’s I have no control at all. I have mostly maintained my weight loss except over xmas, when I put on 7 lbs in 8 days.

    I have read about a famine effect from intermittent fasting with the suggestion that one should stop 5:2 until better control is regained. I have tried this (over xmas and at other times) and I just never gain control. I just eat and eat.

    I used to be able to have low carb breakfast and not eat til lunchtime, but now, if I eat at all, I just can’t stop. I feel terrible and it is affecting my mood, decreasing my self esteem and makes me miserable. I feel trapped now.

    Of course, fasting days are very difficult, but I seem to mostly manage them, with the occasional slip of a few salted nuts here and there.

    As a result of overeating on OD’s, I feel completely out of control and have not lost any more weight, if I didn’t do 5:2 at all, I’m fairly sure all of the lost weight would return. I am now obsessed with everything about food and nutrition, and, recipes and I NEVER stop thinking about food.

    I am very positive about 5:2 and about its science and I imagine it will be a way of life for me forever now. As I know I can eat after a fast day, it keeps me going, instead of continual deprivation of other diets.

    I just feel very miserable now and am really struggling. Best wishes. L

    I too am finding it difficult not to overeat on non-fast days and even when I think I have eaten in moderation, I find I am up a pound the following day. The only time the scales registers a loss seems to be the day after a fast day, which is probably not very accurate. I am disappointed that non fast days are not as easy as I thought they would be and I certainly cannot eat ‘normally’ or without thinking on those days. I seem to be a grazer, but try to eat healthy snacks such as an apple or berries or a few almonds. I also believe in the science of 5:2 and want to persevere for the health benefits. Any advice would be most welcome.

    I started the 5:2 diet last week. I found the fasting days to be not too difficult but I ate and ate on the non-fasting days with the result that in my first week I managed to gain 800gms!! Like Fittoretire the only time I managed to lose any weight was the morning after my fasting day which is unrealistic. Im continuing this week and today is a fasting day so we will see how I manage by the end of the week.

    Hi Everyone,

    I’m very interested in hearing that other people are having problems overeating on non-fast days. I tried this diet initially early in 2014 but stopped after 3 weeks because I put on weight. That was because I had no control over what I ate on my non-fast days. When I read ‘eat normally’ on five days a week, I was stumped because I’ve been on a diet of some kind since I was 15 and I’m now 65 and I don’t know how to eat normally. I wasn’t overweight when I was 15 (just wanted to look like Twiggy) but I’ve had big weight problems since my late thirties and I do have major issues with food.

    Over the last few years I have been increasingly aware that I have become addicted to high carb processed foods – a carboholic – bread, cakes, biscuits, cereals and chocolate are what I crave for. I’ve tried Atkins many times over the years and when doing the induction phase of Atkins for 2 weeks it always stops the craving but I’ve tried to stick with the diet through the different phases and I find it too hard to do long-term. The Dukan diet during the attack phase (pure protein and low fat) for between 1 to 14 days (your choice) also stops the constant carb craving but it’s a tough diet to follow with the alternate ‘protein only’ days and the ‘protein and vegetable’ days.

    I’ve been on the 5:2 diet this time for the last 3 weeks. The first 2 weeks I put on 2 lb. I couldn’t even manage one fast day – I was useless – don’t know why because I have managed a week of complete fasting before (only lost 4 lb, trust me it’s not worth the pain). the first two weeks I put on weight because of the constant craving for high carb food. I was powerless to resist. But last week I thought I’d try the Dukan style of pure protein for the fast days. I did my first day so easily that I did my second on the next day – the craving for carbs had literally disappeared. On the 3rd day I was so worried about eating carbs again so I started off with a protein only breakfast and halfway through the day plucked up the courage to eat some healthy low GI carbs. It was easier than before and when I wanted something sweet I ate an Atkins low carb high protein chocolate bar (Caramel chocolate brownie – yum). It gives you a chocolate fix without the high glucose levels afterwards. Today, another non-fast day, has been good – not craving carbs at all. Again I ate an Atkins bar with a skinny latte in town and felt good – in fact I feel really good. I’ve actually got some energy to do things. This morning, at the end of my first successful week I am 4 lb lighter, so I’m pleased and encouraged to continue.

    I’m sure it won’t be easy all the time but I think I might have found a solution to my carb craving.

    Also, unlike last year, I’ve found this brilliant website. I’m keeping up with the diary and reading the forums daily and getting lots of good advice. It’s really helping. It’s so good to know there are people having problems like me and I’m not a carbo-freak.

    Hi labelle and welcome:

    You make some very good points and I would like to second many of them!

    ‘Normal eating’ – one of the big faults in the 5:2 book is saying people can eat normally on their five non diet days. For overweight people coming to a weight loss diet, normal eating usually equates to over eating. If you diet for two days and overeat for five, it means your weight gain will slow or stop, but you won’t lose much. That is why there is so much talk on this site about TDEE and the need to eat to your TDEE or less on non diet days. If you don’t, you won’t lose and will quit trying. Now if you start 5:2 by eating normally for you and are losing weight at an acceptable rate, there is no need to start calorie counting on your non diet days. But if you are not losing, or were losing and then stop, your non diet day calorie intakes are probably the problem.

    Carb addiction – Not all people that eat processed carbs are addicted to them, just as not all people that drink alcohol are alcoholics. But many people are addicted, and, like you, recognize it. If you look around this site you will see many posts that say the poster is addicted to bread or cake or chocolate or whatever, but not to steak or coconut oil! 5:2 does not help those who are addicted – it actually intensifies the addictive effect by restricting carb intake two days a week. The body then tries to compensate by demanding more carbs the remaining 5 days. The result is bingeing. As with any addiction, the only way to address it is to eliminate the offending substances as much as possible. I’m glad your plan is working for you!

    A second effect of binging on processed carbs is rapid weight gain. The gain is not fat, it is water. Processed carbs spike the blood sugar in the body and the body responds by saving the sugar as glycogen (if it can). As glycogen requires up to four times its weight in water to be saved, your weight will go up very fast. As you have noticed, it also goes down very fast when you start burning glycogen, rather than making it. This process is why many on this site recommend eating foods high in fat/protein on diet days (you don’t get hungry if you do), and note that if they go out for dinner or on holiday and eat/drink some carbs their weight loss pauses or they even gain weight.

    As blood sugar spikes caused by eating processed carbs are usually cleared quite quickly by the body, that is also why people post that if they eat carbs, they are soon hungry again (because of low blood sugar), where if they eat fat/protein, or nothing at all, instead, they are not hungry. For those that may not have thought of it in this way, when you don’t eat your body begins supplying its energy needs by consuming its own fat. As the body is happily nourished in this way, you don’t get hungry. Most newbies are astonished that after they do 5:2 for a month or two and their bodies get better at converting from using food to fat for energy on their diet days, they are virtually never hungry. Hard to believe at the start!

    It sounds like you have found a way of eating that will work for you and may help others.

    Good Luck!

    Hi Simcoeluv

    thank you for your comments and advice. I didn’t realise that there was so much water retention after a carbohydrate binge. It certainly explains the large weight gain and horrible bloated feeling I get after a Chinese takeaway which eases off after a few days, and it’s given me a reminder to stay in control on my non-fast days.

    I actually think I’ve found a diet I can follow without going carbo crazy, though I’m thinking of it as a new way of eating for life and not a diet.

    I love the way you explain things, by the way, you make more sense than the hundreds of diet books and articles I’ve read over the years.

    Many thanks

    Hi everyone, it is such a relief to see others experiencing similar issues to me. I have been off wheat for over 1 yr now as I found I have a severe intolerance so usually eat rice and oats for carbs. Have been on 5:2 since Sept and absolutely love it but am finding on non fast days eating huge amounts of oats for breakfast then wanting more. Wheat free cake or banana bread I have no control over myself so simply have to stop making it. Never had these issues before. Will start to try increase protein and fat and see if that helps. Right now feel like I am out of control, thanks for all the great advice

    Hello everyone

    So happy to find like-minded people! I have the same problem on “normal” days. Last year I managed to lose all the weight I wanted and reached my goal. However, Christmas and holidays arrived and all my good habits went over the window. For the last two/three weeks I have been trying to lose those pounds gained but, instead, I seem to be putting on more weigh!

    I had never heard of the term “carboholic” before, but it makes sense! I remember once watching a program where Paul McKenna was saying that some people have what he called a “trigger” food (similar to what Merryme explained). He said that once they eat that particular food then all the good resolutions go over board. In my case, in these last three weeks, I have discovered that on feeding days even a crumb of biscuit/bread/brownie/pasta/potatoes, etc. can trigger a binge. I have no problems whatsoever on fasting days because i simply don’t eat and there is no temptation. But I can relate to all of you who experience troubles on “normal” days.

    I have started reading a book called “The chimp paradox, Mind Management”, written by Prof. Steve Peters, who helped the British bicycling team during the Olympics. He states that some of our reactions to certain situations sometimes go against our wishes and it explains why we do this. I have not finished reading it, but hope to be able to understand the reason why we binge and how to stop it. At present, the only way to stop my binging is being extremely strict with myself and not allow me to eat any of those trigger carbohydrates. What I don’t know is if there is a time when I could eat a little bit of carbohydrates and not feel the urge to continue. Has anyone had this “addiction” and managed to control it? I am not sure there are enough studies out there in this respect. If anyone has more info I would really appreciate it!

    See http://www.dramandaonline.com
    and explore it thoroughly, including reading the first chapter for free and watching the videos.
    Professor Salis is a world authority obesity researcher and former obese person who became slim over 15 years ago without conventional deprivation dieting – just employing scientific principles discovered during her PhD research at the world famous Metabolic Institutes in Geneva.

    She is the voice behind the doscoveries of “Famine reaction” and “fat brake” which really are essential knowledge for anyone trying to lose weight.

    A lot of people in this thread COULD be experiencing “famine reaction” – a scientifically-backed natural reaction of the hypothalamus to losing weight and or not having enough nutrient and /or fuel coming in over time.

    The point at which this occurs varies btwn people – it is genetically determined and is also related to the “set point weight” to which your hypothalamus refers and believes to be true. It is possible to lower your set point weight too !
    It is all fascinating and extremely useful and vitally important to know.

    As such I strongly recommend that ANYONE who is aiming to lose weight by any method whatsoever – including 5:2 – 0reads her website and reads her first book “The don’t go hungry diet” by Dr. Amanda Sainsbury Salis.

    After easily and happily losing 10 kg on 5:2, famine reaction has recently hit me.
    My old enemy.

    But this time I know what to do !
    There’s a very real chance that for the first time in 40 years of trying to conquer this once and for all that I won’t regain all the weight I’ve lost.

    It is very easy – and pleasant- to calm and counteract this physiological response to weight loss.

    I’ll be right back to my beloved 5:2 when it passes.

    Dear Qotu01,

    Thank you very much for your contribution! I will check out that website. After having successfully lost my excess weight and reaching my ultimate goal, I put it all back on (which is quite demoralising and frustrating). Just this week, I have regained the momentum to go back on to the diet so I am more than curious about what Prof. Salis says (it is interesting that it wasn´t until I reached my starting point that I could seriously go back to the diet, whereas I just could not do it before despite all my good efforts).

    Thanks Simcoeluv this is really useful.

    Been on the 5:2 for 2 weeks now and although I have lost some weight I understand that I also need to stay within the 2000 cal mark to be able to lose weight more consistently. I laughed out loud when I read how Skinnyrees brain takes on the “eat what you want” on non fast days as a challenge. Ditto my brain! So its all in the mind eh! Don’t worry Skinnyree you’re not the only one with issues. Apart from the carb addiction theres my withdrawal symptoms from reduction in alcohol, tea and coffee (with milk!).

    Thanks Merryme, MMP and Qotu01 for the really interesting insights on craving, intolerance and the famine reaction. I guess the trick is to identify the “trigger” foods, to prevent falling into the self destructive chain of reaction which cancels out all the hard work and achievements of dieting.

    So glad I started this diet apart from the above issues, the 94kgs are killing my knees and back and I did a base line blood test only to find cholesterol and bad LPs way over the limit. I’m in my mid 50s and feel this is an important time in my life to get my weight and blood chemistry in order before later on things get even more complicated health-wise.

    Thanks for starting this post Helen74, haven’t heard from you in a while, hope you’re doing well.
    Good luck to everyone

    Pleasure, MMP.
    Be sure to read her book too !
    Remember you can read the first chapter online via the home page of http://www.dramandaonline.com

    The only “trick” for famine reaction is to reassure your freaking out hypothalamus that you aren’t at risk of starving to death !
    And the ONLY way to do that without blowing all the weight loss you have achieved is to temporarily
    1. Stop losing weight.
    This will additionally re-set your “set point weight” to a lower level which is essential for long term weight loss success.
    2. Eat NUTRITIOUS calorie-dense food that appeal to you to satisfaction (only). *

    This research-based phenomenon should be included the Fast diet book.
    The advice on pages 132 to 134 of the revised edition is not going to help Fast Dieters who are in famine reaction – which most dieters – including fast dieters – WILL experience.
    80% of people who lose weight WILL REGAIN THE LOT – AND MORE – WITHIN 5 YEARS.
    Reason ?
    Famine reaction.

    Another aspect can be psychological deprivation and rebellion, which may be conscious or unconscious.
    This psychiatrist and his book can be helpful: http://www.weightlossforfoodlovers.com/
    Watch the videos.
    Dr. Amanda recommends him.

    If I find myself wanting too much crap and it’s not famine reaction, I find Paul McKenna’s stuff BRILLIANT.
    Works like magic.
    The DVD and the audio CD included in this book are brilliant and very, very effective at stopping “emotional” eating very promptly.
    But if it’s famine reaction driving it, the only cure is (*per above).
    And it’s a NICE cure !
    Taking a break and eating to satisfaction of nutritious rich food that appeals to you!
    With the promise of being able to successfully continue with weight loss later.
    What’s wrong with that ?

    Sorry – “edit” closed on me whilst I was fetching this URL !
    The excellent Paul McKenna book / DVD / Audio CD is this

    Also, the above reply is for EdieO as well

    BEST wishes to everyone.
    This problem is NORMAL, physiological and SOLVABLE.
    Dr. Amanda (Prof. Salis) ROCKS !
    Thank God for her.

    Again edit slammed shut again !
    Doesn’t last very long does it ?


    She is very interested in intermittent fasting and is doing further research on it too.

    Hi qotu:

    There is no such thing as starvation mode or ‘famine reaction’ that I am aware of.

    Please cite your clinical research (not an internet web page or diet book) to support your claims.


    Sorry – that’s not possible.

    There are many, many pages of clinical research references supporting the existance of Famine Reaction – both Prof. Salis’ published, peer reviewed papers and those of other academics to which she refers – at the back of the book mentioned.

    Thus it is not reasonably practical to type them all out by hand here on my mobile (!) nor is it possible to attach a scan of them here.

    Alternatively, I can suggest that to view them, you could borrow the book from the library.
    In my country, if a library does not have a book they can usually order it for you from another that does, so it should be possible.

    For the author’s professional credentials:

    Sydney University trusts her opinions and research accumen as does the National Medical and Health Research Council (NMHRC) which is the National Govt body that approves and funds her research, which has won her multiple prestigious awards over the years.

    Hope that helps 🙂

    This Nov 2013 article may also be helpful as a springboard for further searching (it contains many key words).


    Hi qotu:

    You have not cited any clinical research.

    I suggest you read the Minnesota study (although it is quite long).

    I do agree there is a ‘starvation mode’. But clinical research shows it begins when the body reaches about 5% body fat. Most people trying to lose weight are not close to that.

    If you don’t want to read the research (and there is much more than the Minnesota study), you can rely on your common sense.

    Data from tens of thousands of water fasters show that the fasters lose weight at a constant rate for the entire length of their fasts – which range from weeks to months. If there was a ‘starvation mode’, they should not do that. After a couple of days (according to your comments) they should drastically reduce their rate of weight loss, or stop losing altogether. But they continue to lose around a pound a day – no starvation mode in sight.

    The starvation mode is a myth, as Dr. M has written (see FAQ and his post on the subject.

    You can believe in it if you want, but basically eating more calories is not a successful strategy to lose weight. The less you eat, the more you lose, with eating nothing being the fastest way possible to lose weight (but not recommended for the average person).

    Good Luck!

    I have just been reading some of the free material from/about Prof. Salis, and it is very interesting. I have just read a book that goes into the Minnesota study in some depth, and that is talking about starvation which is different from what Prof. Salis is calling the “famine reaction”.

    As simcoeluv says, the starvation reactions the Minnesota study documents are about bodies that have not only lost fat but also muscle, whose hearts have shrunk, whose bodies are in massive reaction to keep the body alive when food is so scarce. These are the emaciated bodies seen after the concentration camps, or in people in famine areas of the world. This is not what Prof Salis is talking about. It is perhaps a pity that Prof Salis uses the word “famine,” which suggests starvation.

    What she is referring to is the phenomenon some people experience of extreme hunger after they have lost quite a bit of weight, even though they are still overweight. Lots of people in this thread are talking about extreme hunger on feast days, and of overeating on those days. Others don’t experience this at all.

    Prof Salis posits a “set point”, a point your body understands as your “proper” weight, suggesting that for some people the body has got confused over what the “proper” set point is, and her methods are designed to, step by step, teach you body to accept a lower “proper” weight. She suggests that when weight loss goes below the “set point” some people get this intense hunger that can lead to binge eating (“famine reaction”), putting the lost weight back on. (She also suggests the body has mechanisms when you go over the set point too (the “fat brake”), that lessens your hunger, and tends to keep the body at the set point.)

    I will see if I can borrow her book from the library. Sounds interesting. Maybe for people who are experiencing unexpected cravings and hungers as they lose weight, her ideas may prove helpful.

    I explained why: there are many pages of references to different aspects of the phenomenon – over 30 on famine reaction alone and around 100 in total – and I am not typing them out !
    I can’t scan and attach them here, or I would.

    Particularly as they are publically and readily available.

    If you want to read original research papers in full and need references to do so, you could do an academic search on an academic search engine (not ordinary google or other general search engines) under “Amanda Sainsbury Salis”. That covers all her names over her career. There are pages of references. Her published research papers will doubtlessly have multiple references to other relevant studies at the end of each. No use searching for “famine reaction” in academia – it is a “lay” term coined to explain the science to the public, not to academia.

    NB it’s not only her work that is in the back of the book.
    And the 2007 book is now 8 years old and more study on the subject will have been done since then – by both her and others.

    Re me reading “the Minnesota study”, there are multiple studies known by that name.
    Thus, in the absence of any other information, I am speculating & guessing that you are referring to the one led by Ancel Keys in 1944 called “The biology of human starvation” (volumes 1 & 2, 50 pages) ?
    IF this is to what you refer, yes I know it.

    That was the study where 32 young males were fed 1,570 calories per day for 24 weeks.

    The one where they steadily lost about 5.4 kg of weight in the first 12 weeks but in the last 12 weeks – without any changes to the food intake – that slowed dramatically to only an average total of 1.3 kg over 12 weeks.

    The study where they started obsessing and dreaming about food, suffering from mood and psychological disturbances and binge-ate.
    And felt cold and could no longer exercise as they had before.

    The study where they eventually regained all the weight they had lost PLUS 4.5 kg more and ended up with 50% more body fat than when they started.
    Classic famine reaction “to a T”.

    That particular 1944 study did not name this as “famine reaction”.
    That came later.
    Nor did it address why it happened
    nor how how to prevent it occurring
    nor how to stop it before it caused rebound weight gain – back to the “set point” and beyond.

    The researchers also interpreted the severe symptoms suffered by a few of the subjects as mental illness and also dropped some subjects who had symptoms of famine reaction from the study on the assumption, based on understanding at that time (71 yrs ago), that they were cheating re their intake.

    Some research is the starting point and some is a continuation.

    “The biology of human starvation” by Ancel Keys et al is now common knowledge in the field of research and was built on previous research by Francis Benedict done 29 years earlier.
    And more work to build on understanding it has ensued since.

    The Fast Diet book acknowledges that research about intermittent fasting in humans is in its infancy.
    There is more happening around the world, Dr. Mosley tells us – and Prof. Salis and her various teams are among those doing it.

    The huge body of research about or relating to
    the complexity of famine reaction is not incorporated into “The Fast Diet” book.
    That doesn’t mean it is not true or
    that the phenomenon doesn’t exist or
    that the researchers are wrong or
    that the government agencies that fund the studies are all idiots.
    It just means that the authors of the book are either
    – unaware of it
    – they ARE aware of it but have chosen to not include it, for whatever reason(s), unknown to us.

    Re “After a couple of days (according to your comments) they should drastically reduce their rate of weight loss, or stop losing altogether.”

    As I do not think that happens ‘in a few days’, I couldn’t imagine writing it. And on checking my posts, sure enough I did not.

    Famine reaction is an extremely complex phenomenon.
    This interview provides some idea of just how complex


    Rather than via a quantity of time, famine reaction is at least partially triggered by FAT loss – at varying degrees amongst individuals.
    eg after losing 1-2 kg for some, after 10, 20, 30, 60 kg lost for others. Pick a number.

    The point at which the body reacts to the fat loss (and tries to stop it) is thought to be genetically-determined.
    And in some people, it doesn’t happen during weight loss regimes.
    And it doesn’t appear to be triggered in weight loss incurred by gastric banding or VLCD.
    And no one knows why.

    So research continues.
    And it does so because 70% of people who diet to lose weight will re-gain everything – and often more – within 5 years.
    Huge global problem.

    My original post supported another poster who had mentioned it.

    I pointed out the phenomenon as a possible explanation for what at least some people in this thread were experiencing and providing 2 easily-accessible resources (as a first point of call) to anyone interested.
    It certainly was a rudimentary, extremely brief, “in a nutshell” overview of 2 key elements. There is a hell of a lot more to that body of work than what I posted.

    Re “If you don’t want to read the research (and there is much more than the Minnesota study), you can rely on your common sense”
    “You can believe in it if you want” …

    As a practicing health professional, I am in fact very much a fan and follower of current research-based evidence by globally-respected researchers.

    This includes those mentioned by Dr. Mosley in “The Fast Diet” AND also Professor Salis, whose distinguished and impeccable credential are mentioned here and in the link above. I have no reason to distrust her.

    I don’t pretend to understand even the titles of some of her research – which is published by and for and of interest to top-tier scientists in that field.
    Much of it is completely beyond me.

    But, forunately for the likes of most of us, she excels at interpreting the most complex level of science into something which ordinary people (who don’t have suitably advanced background in these disciplines – and that is the vast majority of people in the world) can understand. Thankfully.

    This is EXACTLY what Dr. Michael Mosley did with the advanced scientific research material in “The Fast Diet” book and his Horizon documentary.
    I wonder how many followers of 5:2 have dug out the original research papers done by the professors to which he refers and checked it was all up to standard methodologically and he was not making it up ? I didn’t !

    I know both approaches work and that both are based on high quality current science.

    It would appear that both approaches could work together compatibly.

    But no advice I have encounted includes what to do – based on reputable and specific research – when famine reaction is experienced, except that of Prof. Salis’ and that is to where I am hitching my wagon on that subject.

    I follow Dr. Mosley’s advice on fast days and I follow Prof. Salis / Dr. Amanda’s work about satiety on the 5 “feed” days.
    AND her material on famine reaction and set point when famine reaction (occasionally) strikes.

    If I dont, I’m GUARANTEED to regain everything I’ve lost on 5:2 – something I know very bitterly from SIX previous identical experiences of famine reaction.
    I’d have to be crazy not to do differently this time.

    Re “eating more calories is not a successful strategy to lose weight” …

    My mentioning [eating more] referred specifically to calming famine reaction.
    Which happens sometimes, not all the time.

    [eating more calories to lose weight] is specifically covered in her second book “Don’t go hungry for life” where there is an entire chapter (no.10) called “Are you eating too little to lose weight and keep it off ?”
    (There is also conversely a chapter called “Are you eating too much to lose weight and keep it off ?”)

    Good luck to you too, simcoeluv.
    Maybe you are one of the lucky few who never experiences famine reaction during a weight loss diet.
    Wish I was !

    Yes. It’s interesting that the Keys study AND it’s predecessor were done around the WW1 and 2 when there was lots of starvation. And needing to know more about it and how to reverse it.

    Can you tell us the material you were reading re the Keys study ?

    However the symptoms of famine reaction and those observed in the Keys study are in many cases the same.
    Feeling cold
    Losing control around food
    Obsessing about food
    Craving calorific food
    Rapid rebound weight gain when access to food was available

    Prof. Salis is no fool.
    Do read the interview I posted from news medical where she is described as a “thought leader”. She has won so many awards for her work.

    The Minnesota study was actually about how to do the re-feeding after starvation, not about starvation itself. No-one knew the best way to get people back to health after starvation.
    The starving participants were young men in their twenties, conscientious objectors, doing their bit for the war effort. And their health never really recovered from the experience (they were followed up 30-odd years later).
    I’ve only read a book writing about it, not the actual research (“Hunger, an unnatural history”), but the extreme reactions to food and the extreme reactions of their bodies keeping their hearts, lungs, brains, circulatory system etc working are in another realm from that of people losing weight. People with anorexia are maybe in that realm of experience. They were very close to starvation before they were into the feeling cold, not able to exercise, strange obsessive eating behaviours etc.

    I was not very impressed with Prof Salis’ answer to the 5:2 diet question in the link you gave. She was a bit too facile, as if she had not really studied what it is and how it works and the research behind it. It always annoys me when experts narrow their focus to their own corners of the world, but I suppose it is that focus that enables them to do really great research.

    I can see the sense of a body having its own idea of what counts as “right” weight, that it defends. And I can see that what counts as “right” could get confused, especially if it has been subjected to all sort and kinds of diets. And I like the idea that there is a method to retrain the body to a better “proper” weight. Of course at that point we are into making up what we believe is a “better” weight.

    I don’t like the way body shape and size has been “normalised” by the medical profession. I am sure genetically we are supposed to be all shapes and sizes without that necessarily being unhealthy. But how to know what one’s own “proper” weight should be. I wonder if a continuing 2-day-a-week fast would continue to strip weight, or if the body would stabilise at its “proper” weight. Michael says he has gone on to a 1-day-a-week-fast as a long term maintenance strategy that will not involve losing more weight. So that seems a vote for not staying on the 2 days. Maybe the weight you end if you keep on with the 2 days is that thin, stringy body shape that the alternate day fasters achieve. And is that “normal”, “proper” or just an artefact of long term restricted calories?

    If we just make up a number for our “proper” weight, and use 5:2 to achieve it (with some controlling the famine reaction to reset the “set point”, if required), are we simply following the current trend of what counts as proper size and weight, forcing our bodies into the current “healthy” mould?

    Afterthoughts, MiriamNZ

    The study participants were on 1,570 cals / day weren’t they ?
    That is 370 cal/ day more than conventional weight loss diets until recently and exactly which I was prescribed by my GP as a teenager and did with mainstream commercial diet clubs too – as late as the mid-90’s.
    So I and dieters in decades past – were worse off them them, supposedly.

    Also I have been thinking all through these “starvation mode” posts – are “starvation mode” and “famine reaction” even the same thing ?

    I’d never once heard of “starvation mode” until I read “The Fast diet” yet I’d known about famine reaction and seen it in the media heaps of times since Dr. Amanda Sainsbury Salis / Prof. Salis’ first book was published in 2007.

    When I read the FAQ about “starvation mode” in the first edition (p.126) I didn’t bat an eyelid.

    But, knowing what I know about famine reaction, I was really alarmed when I first read the same FAQ in the revised edition (p.132) – particularly the final two “dot” points above it advocating going at it harder when weight loss slows or stops – which can be a sign of famine reaction. (Perhaps alarm bells rang partly because it coincided with me actually developing it ! :D)

    However, onto page 133 and there are 2 pertinent mentions of
    “after PROLONGED STARVATION” and “an EXTREME situation”.

    “If they had continued the experiment (fasting beyond 84 hours) … (sic -unwanted metabolic consequences would occur) … not least because they would have begun to lose a SIGNIFICANT amount of WEIGHT”.

    On to p.134: “IN THE SHORT TERM there is no evidence that starvation mode exists”.

    So these refer to LONG TERM and severe deprivation regimes ? Eg

    1. Deprivation lasting much longer &/or being more severe than a fast day (or two consecutive ones).
    2. The loss of a “significant” amount of WEIGHT being the trigger for a drop in basal metabolic rate.
    3. SHORT term calorie deprivation not being associated with problems.

    None of this would be grossly contrary to Dr. Amanda’s books – except ignoring and pushing through hunger.
    However, for this reason on fast days
    – I delay eating until I feel hungry – which is often very late in the day.
    – then I eat to satisfaction of low calorie satisfying food with generous protein – I frequently can’t finish the servings in the books’ recipes.
    – I never do 2 consecutive fast days.
    – Stop weight loss and eat up per her advice if signs and symptoms of Famine reaction arise.

    Her books are very much about the problems that arise – ie famine reaction and it’s very unwanted consequences – with long term, every day, week after week, pushing-through-hunger-signals in order to stick to externally dictated intake goals as per conventional, traditional pre-5:2 diets.

    Knowing her approach so well, as I did, the only way I could give myself permission to even try 5:2 (prompted by mum being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease) was because

    1. It only required SHORT bursts of calorie deprivation followed by unrestricted feeding most of the time and
    2. I could still follow her advice the vast majority of the time (5 of 7 days certainly and to a point on fast days).
    3. Knowing I could eat freely to satisfy hunger on feed days.

    Fear of Alzheimer’s Disease finally persuaded me.

    But despite 5:2 being SO different to other conventional every day deprivation diets, famine reaction has still happened – it will be due to set point being out of range of [weight lost to date] I guess.

    So I searched the forum to see if anyone knew Dr. Amanda / Prof. Salis’ work and books and whether anyone had had any success combining it with 5:2 and wondering if others had encountered famine reaction doing 5:2.

    After considering the research, she’s open to intermittent fasting and thinks its the future of weight loss. And is researching it.
    I can’t wait to see what she has to bring to the table !

    That hunger book sounds interesting.
    It’s been years since I read about Key’ work so have forgotten details.

    Re “but how to know what one’s own “proper” weight should be”
    The weight you always return to is the set point – that is known. And fortunately it can be altered advantageously with the right strategies. But I get what you mean about medical dictates. I simply can’t stand the BMI chart. If I did what it said, mama Mia. Last time I lost weight, when my BMI was 24 (just inside normal range) my mum said she was starting to not recognize me and begged me to stop losing any more weight. If I’d gone down to a BMI of 20 at the bottom of the normal range – Holy cow. 10 kg less than I was. It would have been like concentration camp victims. Per the medically-utilised and sanctioned BMI chart !!!

    Friends who remember those days glaze over now and shake their heads and say “you were SOOOO thin – don’t … (go there again)”.

    This time round on 5:2, and 9-10 years older, I currently weigh 6-7 kg more than then, yet colleagues have told me I look “anorexic” and to “stop it”.
    And my BMI is 24 – overweight category !!! “Very hard to believe” sniffed a nurse practitioner.

    An endocrinologist at work told me years ago “to throw it in the bin” – that it did not consider any differences in sex, race, age, bone density and muscle mass and thar Arnold Schwarzenegger was obese per the BMI chart when he was Mr. Universe. A British Olympic athlete was recently determined the same.

    I certainly don’t want to look scrawny, particularly as I age.
    I find Mark Mattson quite alarming: he’s almost skeletal.

    The problem with the 1:6 maintenance is that it is not yet known if there are disease – risk reducing benefits from that model, which is the appeal for me.

    I always thought that when I want to stop losing weight, I’d just try to eat more calories on my 5 days -like yummy cream ! I think that is what a naturally slim doctor at work does.
    But if 1:6 is eventually shown to do the trick, that would be great. Easier.

    Re what is a normal body, personally I think knowing my viceral fat was OK might possibly satisfy me. And being able to get about easily, including being able to sprint.
    SOME subcutaneous fat pads out wrinkles, surely !

    I saw a fashion mag in a waiting room the other day – it really doesn’t help looking at models.


    is this a helpful thread? Is dogma ever really helpful?

    Twice its been mentioned that most of us will regain all our weight, and more.

    Whilst most people here know this, from bitter experience, surely there is a mechanism in place to prevent this happening, maintenance at 6:1?

    I am not a medical professional, nor a scientist, but I have learned a thing or two. Benefit of my years.

    Saying this wont work is a surefire way of putting people off trying.

    Plateaus happen, they are not permanent.

    People need encouragement.

    People are not stupid, but they are insecure. Excess weight brings with it a plethora of excess baggage, including huge insecurities. Including failure. Including low self esteem.

    5:2 has its many detractors, there is not sufficient research into the short term or longterm effects.

    But it is different. It is working. People have achieved their goals. People have achieved much more than their goals.

    Look at this forum – Ill bet there is NO data which reflects the most important part of 5:2. The cyber interaction. Cyber interaction that has created a group ofpeople who interact and encourage, but where dogma is discouraged. Advice is freely given, but ‘what works for me’ advice, not ‘you have to listen to me and do as I tell you’ advice.

    It doesn’t matter a fig whether there is a famine mode or a starvation mode. You can be sure there will be times of increased calories, only here its called falling off the wagon, a blip, a binge, of just plain overeating. Or just real life! Maybe its is instinctive overeating. More likely, Christmas, Easter, a delicious buffet table at a birthday party. Maybe because fasting and feasting is completely natural.

    Simcolev has said repeatedly, now and in times past, fewer calories in, weight lost.The basic principle of 5:2 and of all weight loss.

    Perhaps instead of discounting the simple adage that if we eat less, we will lose weight, because I presume there is plenty of scientific evidence, as well as anicdotal evidence, to support this, there should be research on the 6:1 maintenance aspect. That would be, at the least thought provoking, and at most, profound.

    The problem with science, to my untrained mind, is that it selects candidates, it uses mice, it uses humans, and humans are fickle creatures, is always a small group, and it is very often contrary.

    This forum has a wide group of men and women, who have come together to support one another to lose weight and to become healthier. From all over the world. Instead of stressing on this forum that most of us will fail, stress instead that most of us will just keep on trying until we stop failing and start to succeed, until we get to mainentance.

    And that is when we can start to work out how to increase those statistics.

    So please just agree to bear in mind that we are not scientists here, just ordinary people, many of us on shoogly pegs. Help, encouragement and kindness are not scientific tools, but they can move mountains.

    Milena, knowing about famine reaction and what to do about it if it occurs is a way to NOT be in the 70%.
    Knowledge that can most certainly help.
    It’s conventional dieting to date that gets those results.
    Newer models that have more science behind them may not.

    I love 5:2. I do 5:2.
    But it’s still resulted in famine reaction so I’m working on counteracting it in the best research – based way found to date.

    Hi qotuO1

    Saying hi turns threads into conversations, I believe. I am not contradicting anything you are saying.

    For you knowing about famine reaction and what to do about it is a way to NOT be in the 70%, or even the 80% which you actually quoted first.

    For you.

    My point is you are being dogmatic, when something is the only way, it is dogmatic.

    When you write that most of us WILL fail, how is that being helpful?

    Will 80% of us fail, if so why try in the first place? 5:2 is doing it differently, will the percentages be better or worse? Who knows? No one.

    Writing that you did something and because of it you didn’t fail. Now that would be helpful.

    People on here are trying not to overeat too often, perhaps they are doing what you are advocating naturally, perhaps thats why all feast days are common throughout the world.

    I am not disputing whether you are right or wrong. I am certainly not disputing simcolevs comment that people on true longterm fasts lose weight at a fairly constant pace for a long time.

    My only point is to be mindful that, even if it makes complete sense to you, if one person reads the thread, and gives up because they think they will be in the 80%, and people generally will not imagine themselves too be stronger than the 80% – especially overweight people with low self esteem who just want to be ok, a little better, just more ordinary – then being right isnt being helpful.

    I hope my replies project that it is my concern at the interpretation of folks resding your posts.

    Your statistics made me pause to wonder if my efforts are going to be worth it, and I am that ordinary overweight person Ive just mentioned.

    Hi qotu:

    Well, you come to a 5:2 site, post claims on several threads that 5:2 puts people into a starvation mode and becomes ineffective, and then direct people to a different site and a competing diet book. Sounds like spam to me.

    You also ignore the fact that 5:2 has worked quite nicely for hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, so the starvation mode must not be generated by 5:2 for a large number of people or they would not be losing weight.

    The set point theory, like the starvation mode theory, has never been proven in any clinical studies I am aware of. If there is such a thing, I wonder why people ever gain weight (there is a set point, right?) and, if they do, how they could ever lose it (again, there is a set point). It is a nice way to help sell diet books, I guess, as it replaces simple eat less, lose more basics with scientific jargon that makes someone that is not aware of the research and literature think something new has been discovered that is the secret to weight loss and weight maintenance.

    The ‘secret’ sells few books, but it works quite nicely. The ‘secret’ is quit simple, although hard for most people to do – eat less than you expend to lose weight, and when you get to your target weight, eat less than you used to eat to not regain your weight. There is no need to discuss mythical starvation modes or set points, and it does not make for much of a best selling diet book.

    The genius of the Fast Diet book is that it sticks to the basics – just gives a different way of doing them. But that way – intermittent fasting – runs head on into the starvation mode myth because by definition it puts people into the starvation mode at least twice a week (more for 4:3 and ADF). So, if you believe in the starvation mode, it ‘can’t’ work, and we must refer to another diet book for how to counteract the workings of the starvation mode and the body’s magical set point.

    I’m sure there must be a starvation mode and set point web site, and that is where you might find people more interested in your book’s theories. But please, don’t come to this 5:2 site, post on many threads that it puts people into a starvation mode, and hawk a book that will help people on 5:2 overcome a ‘basic weakness’ of 5:2. 5:2 does not put people into starvation modes, and it works quite nicely if it is followed.

    You say you are a health care professional and know much about diet and nutrition. Are you the doctor that advised one of the posters on this site that human males automatically go into the starvation mode if they eat fewer than 1400 calories in one day? Poor poster thought he could not possible lose weight on 5:2, because on his diet days his body would automatically go into starvation mode and shut down to preserve his many stones of fat. That doctor did not seem to know that the body stores fat for use when caloric intake is below that necessary for the body to function. The concept that the body has a built in mechanism to preserve fat, rather than use it when needed, is quit novel (and, I guess, sells books).

    As I said, there is indeed a starvation mode – that research shows the ‘mode’ lowers a person’s metabolic rate by about 40% – but only after the body gets to about 5% body fat. That is a level not seen among weight loss dieters. And research shows that people still continue to lose weight after the real ‘starvation mode’ kicks in, just more slowly, and just until they get some food, or die of starvation. So to claim an overweight person will stop losing weight when the starvation mode kicks in is also wrong.

    Science also knows that a person’s TDEE declines as they lose weight, making it harder to lose weight as weight loss progresses – unless you maintain the caloric deficit by eating less than you were at the start of the diet. That is why 5:2 recommends a person eat 25% of their TDEE on diet days, rather than stick with the 500 cal. most people start with, and their TDEE (which is going down) or less on non diet days. If you do that, it is proven you will continue to lose weight until you reach your goal, and this site is filled with people that have attained their goals.

    If you want to discuss 5:2, please do. This is a 5:2 site and all experiences are welcome. But please do not be another starvation mode addict suggesting 5:2 acts counter to how the human body operates. It meshes quite nicely with how the body operates, which is why it is so effective.

    Hi Milena

    Yes I think I understand you and I am sorry you lost confidence through my comments.

    Tricky isn’t it because how I have such a very different reaction to all this. People do differ a lot.

    I have know about the failure rate for at least 8 years but it’s never put me off trying for a second – except to decide to reject the already well-travelled (conventional) routes that lead to it.

    Nor have I ever encountered – either in person or otherwise – anyone having decided to give up weight loss efforts permanently either, so I have not imagined anyone would.

    My personal mottos are “there has to be a better way” which = “keep looking and keep trying”.
    And “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”.
    I know what and where old-style diet advice has got me 6 times and will not be going there again.

    Those stats (yes – used to be quoted as higher, now lower which I briefly forgot) drive me forward.
    I see the 30% and want to be in that. Somehow. I will hunt and try until I am.

    And, to me, they are a strong reason and motivator to avoid all old ways that have failed me and seek out new ones – better ones with solid evidence behind it, that is.

    5:2 is new. And different. It’s not part of conventional old approaches. Or the stats.

    I don’t seeking encouragement here.
    I seek information – that will get me where I want to go.

    So it seems I am not at all like you and you are not at all like me. All sorts.

    My posts were done with the intention of sharing hope and possibility via awareness – if one doesn’t know about something, one can’t have the choice to actively utilise it.

    That there is another possible explanation for the over-eating on feed days reported here and – if it fitted the picture – there is another approach to tackle it.

    And ultimately to keep continuing with 5:2.
    I imagined this positive good news would be very cheering and encouraging, not demoralising; not how it was intended at all.

    I hate to think of people falling into the same old holes, just because they weren’t aware of something that could have helped. Has happened to me so often. Countless times I have wished with all my heart that someone had told me [something] years ago.
    That is the spirit in which it was given. I am sorry it landed the way it did with you.

    In response to your comment: yes, I have tried it and yes, it worked.
    (But again we differ – a sample of one means little to me. A research trial on many inspires confidence.)

    Recently I was able to effectively turn off the unwelcome appearance of new, overwhelming, ravenous, distracting hunger on feed days and new extreme difficulty on fast days – by feeding it until satisfied.
    Took over a week but now it seems to be gone.
    It started after 6 months and 10 kg off. Normally this would be the thin edge of the wedge and the slippery slope and the beginning of the end.
    But so far, so good.
    Very different to the past 6 times.

    Now the plan is to stay the same weight for a while to reset the set point weight at a lower level.
    Then back to 5:2 again to continue where I left off.
    Onward and upward.

    Good luck Milena.
    To all of us.

    Hi qotu

    Thanks for wishing me luck.

    I’m all for information, and Im up for experimenting. Managing this regime quite well. Doing full day fasts, directly as a result of information posted, and because there are folks on the forum who do it. Completely out of my comfort zone, as a hobbitt who has has second breakfasts since I was nineteen (just reminded myself, freshly baked hot fruit scones for morning break, made in the factory in a canteen). Though I also remember pretty much living on toast and butter in my skinny late twenties.

    We are more alike than you think – we believe in hope and we believe in failure. I just think the purpose of this forum is to overcome past failures, we are doing something different, so we have a great chance to not fail, to have hope, to help ourselves to succeed and to take the time to help others. To give help and encouragement and to accept help and encouragement. To move mountains. To travel hopefully.

    @simcoeluv hi, I’ve been reading the “carb addiction” that you mentioned. I have been going through the same thing. I’m totally good and loyal with 500 calories doing a 16 hour fast. No problem, no craving, no hunger. But as soon as it’s all up, so my non fasting days…I’m eating carbs like crazy. Which is weird because before I started this, I had more control. Though I know stress can be my trigger. I need to do the Atkins plan to stop addiction as well. Thank you for your advice, really appreciate it. I’m also thinking of adding another fast day, so 3:4 to make up for my carb problem? Just a thought…

    I am not prone to binge eating but yesterday, day after my first fast I was so hungry. It is weird cuz my fast day was so easy. I was hungry yesterday after every meal with feeling nothing could satisfied me. It was harder than fasting. Today I am fine, tomorrow is my 2nd fast day, I hope day after tomorrow I would not be so hungry. Lol.

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