Persistent 5:2 Diet Effects

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  LowproteinLonglife 6 years, 4 months ago.

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  • Hi all

    I’ve been on a variation of 5:2 pretty persistently for about 4 years.

    I’ve recently been getting very tired, snoozing for a couple of hours on occasional afternoons (once a week on average) and more recently, it’s been a struggle to get out of bed in the mornings. It feels like my limbs are heavy (is the best way I can explain it) and big thinking jobs can also be a hard slog.

    Let me clarify a bit….

    I have been persistently on 5:2 for that 4 years, but I come off it if I go on holidays, Xmas and other special occasions. It really suits me and I enjoy it. No negative symptoms at all during that 4 years, apart from (understandable) hunger and slight grouchiness (although my wife would disagree with the word slight) on the last day of the fasting.

    The variation of the 5:2 I’m on makes it more 4:3. 4 days of eating whatever I like (and I REALLY DO !!!) (with alcohol permitted) and 3 days of 500 calories a day (no alcohol). I’ve recently learned that it should be 600 calories for a man, so I’ve cocked up a bit there.

    I started at 13 stone something (4 years ago) (I’m 5ft 8in) and very quickly hit the 11st mark. I’m constantly aiming for the perfect 10st 1lb (for my height) but as I’ve got closer to the 10st 1lb mark, I’ve been slackening off the diet as I’m comfortable in my 11st body, by having more treats on non-fasting days. The diet was not about body image at all for me and was all about carrying extra weight up hills and it tiring me out, which I no longer have a problem with.

    I exercise by walking 4 x 5.5mile walks a week (total 22 miles) and I would say I’m quite fit.


    Recently, especially on the weekends, I’ve been getting VERY lethargic. At first, I thought I may have the Winter flu that’s been going around without all the really bad flu symptoms. I’ve had flu once before and it felt like that BUT WITHOUT the worst symptoms.


    I’m wondering if anyone else has been on the 5:2 diet for a long time and has experienced similar issues. I’ve been to see the doctor and have got blood tests in a couple of weeks.

    Interested to hear if anyone knows about any research about the long-term exposure to 5:2 or can call on personal experience that may explain away my symptoms.

    Thank you.


    Hi Deepee,
    I can’t imagine how 5:2 would cause those symptoms, I hope your blood tests clarify what is happening.
    Some viruses do cause lethargy without the other flu like symptoms.

    Re your variation, the 600 is the top limit, so 500 per day is fine for a man! (Some people do zero calories for their fast day). However, if you feel the fasting pattern is too hard while you are not feeling well, maybe stopping it until you feel better is a good idea. Eat as healthy as you can to help your body recover.

    Best wishes. Good luck working it out.

    Hi Deepee

    Like you I’ve been following this WOE/WOL for along time now (5 1/2 years) and doing 4:3. I’ve gone from just under 18 stone to just under 13 and for my build that’s about fine.

    Can’t say that I’ve had a problem with tiredness or lack of energy, in fact it’s when I’m off it for Christmas and hols and stuff that that seems to be worse. Blood tests seem like a good idea but you’ll almost definitely find its one of those winter bugs doing the rounds.

    On the long term note though does anyone know of an research or stats on long term effects of the variations on Intermittent Fasting? One of the major factors in this WOL for me, obviously apart from being able to keep to a low weight for the first time in my adult life for a decent amount of time, are the long term health benefits.

    Have there been any statistics gathered on cancer,diabetes or heart disease rates amongst those doing this Long term?

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