Really struggling on Non-fast days

This topic contains 19 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Martie 5 years, 3 months ago.

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  • I’m finding fast-days fairly easy, because I have a plan on those days (you know the script) and I find it quite easy to stick with. Unfortunately, I’ve got a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde things going on and I’m really struggling not to overdo it on non-fast days, especially with sugary foods.

    I went from January to July without touching sugary foods, then I started the 5:2 diet and the sugar monster reared its ugly head again with a vengeance on those non-fast days.

    I just want to quit sugar and I know the down side of the all-or-nothing approach (as described above) but I find it really difficult to do it in moderation (even though I can cut it out no trouble on fast days!)

    I’m not particularly overweight but I do have a large middle/visceral fat etc. (and I’m 50) so any tips at all greatly appreciated.

    Hi Martie,
    Very impressive to ditch the sweet stuff for so long! Have a look at any hidden sugar in any foods that you eat as you may find if you can eliminate those little devils that will really help. Avoid anything ‘diet’ or ‘low fat’ as they often have far more sugar than the usual stuff. Have a look at the complex carbs that you are eating too. I find that pasta and rice both drive me to eat more sweet stuff and bread just makes me want more and more. I have ditched pasta for several months, rarely have rice, only occasionally have any bread and potatoes feature very rarely.

    There are 2 books that both helped and inspired me. Jason Fung ‘The Obesity Myth’ and Robert Lustig ‘Fat Chance, the hidden truth about sugar, obesity and disease’. They are on You tube too, but I prefer a book that I can dip into.

    Think about what you eat on a NFD and compare that with what you eat on a FD. What is different? Are there any positive changes that you can make to food on a NFD?

    Thanks Annette, I will look into the books you mentioned. Having said that, I’ve read tonnes of really interesting stuff but there’s this little voice at the moment that’s managing to convince me that as long as I do two fast-days per week I’m going to lose weight, so I can eat what I like on NFDs. Oddly enough, my appetite has reduced (I’ve even been throwing out of date food out, which is a first for me!) but it’s just getting on top of the sugary stuff on a NFDs. For example, I’ve had five chocolate biscuits, a chocolate bar and a scone today (and an omelette and chips for lunch) and I know I just have to dig really deep at the moment and cut down on the sweet stuff, which I know I can do, but the longer I go the more of a blow-out I tend to have! I know the Fast Diet book mentions this and I can’t remember the term etc. but it’s something I’m really struggling with at the moment as it feels like I’m self-sabotaging and cancelling out the benefits gained on the successful fast days.

    Do you care at all for plain yogurt? If eating dairy is not a problem for you, consider my sugar/carbohydrate craving-buster: start w/ 1/2 Cup non-fat Greek style yogurt (it’s thicker, fools me that I’m eating something “rich”). I heat frozen blueberries (1/2 Cup) and pour over the yogurt. For a touch more richness or when serving to friends, I add chopped walnuts. Or how about some craisins with walnuts in the yogurt? Walnuts are calorie-rich but have healthy oils/nutrients and are very satisfying so you won’t easily go through them as you do the chocolate biscuits and candy bars. I take a serving of the yogurt/fruit/nut w/ me to work as part of breakfast or lunch.

    Try not to self-sabotage, my friend: don’t buy the temptations in the first place and stock up on healthier alternatives.

    @martie. Sugar is addictive. It triggers the same regions of the brain as other drugs of addiction. There is no easy way to do this. You will have to dig deep and avoid sugar for about a month to break the hold. Get rid of all the sugary treats from your house. Its too easy to give in if the treats are there in lain sight.

    Hi bigbooty, I know exactly what you mean and have read the all the books (even have dvd copy of ‘that sugar film’!) etc. and I just really struggle to allow myself a little sugar here and there because once I allow it and my guard is down I really just don’t know how to stay in control. I guess the only thing that works for me is quitting it altogether (I can do months at a time and did Jan to July this year) but then the longer I go the more I seem to hit it when I crumble. I might even look at having some kind of CBT because it’s something I feel like I will never get on top of the way I currently think…

    It is hard, no doubt about that. Just try and make your environment as safe as it can possibly be. If someone was an alcoholic it wouldn’t be good to keep just the one bottle of booze in the house. Too much temptation. A work colleague is always bringing in biscuits, cakes, chocolates etc and leaving them in the lunch room for all to share. I look at the goodies and think, man your making it hard for everyone. I look think twice and grab the apple out of the fridge for morning break. Sometimes there is no easy way of doing something and you just have to grind it out.

    I did a little better today. I’m actually surprised at how reduced my appetite is since doing 2 fast days and skipping breakfast. I just need to keep improving my food choices (to state the obvious!) but I’m definitely feeling more optimistic today. Many thanks 🙂

    Many thanks gibbygabby, I’m quite partial to sheep’s yoghurt with a few nuts, sweetened with cinnamon and a touch of stevia powder and will definitely be buying a little more of that and a lot less of the sugary stuff 🙂

    Yes its a weird side effect of the 5:2 diet ( My opinion).
    I started to crave food on NFD (and sugar food on hand at my place of work)
    I have taken this as a sign that my body needs more energy.

    Started 16:8 and feel more balanced now.

    Gosh, there was a long gap between those last two replies – 360 days to be precise! I’m glad to report that I now do 16:8 daily, have lost weight and don’t eat sugar (or even sweet stuff) at all.:-)

    Oh wow! thats great to hear. I switched too. how much are you eating in an 8hour period?

    Well, firstly, let me apologise for my appalling maths above (I’m in England, and it was late!) 😊 I tend to eat eggs and/or chicken as a mid afternoon snack (usually a four egg omelette), then every evening I have a plate full of a concoction I make up every Saturday (and store in tubs in the fridge). This is a mixture of eggs, mackerel, spinach, onions, New potatoes (I’m don’t try to be 100% carb free), broccoli, tomatoes, garlic etc. etc. And that’s pretty much it really, apart from when I eat out on Sundays (which is usually slightly more adventurous!). 😊

    Martie I am so like you with the sugar, I do not do things in moderation at all and the only reason I am FAT (34% according to a Dexa scan) is because of the sweet stuff.

    I own the sugar film too, which made me laugh and i have read Jason Fungs books and also watched so many youtube videos on the evils of sugar, including Robert Lustig who’s video the skinny on obesity is and excellent watch and a real eye opener on what is causing the obesity crisis.

    With all this knowledge I still find it bloody hard to stay away from sweet stuff.

    I do find that I want to eat more on my NFD and i have only been doing 5:2 less than a week!

    What made you stay off the sweet stuff, what is the secret?


    Hi Chris,

    There’s a great book called ‘Changing for Good’. I read it years ago, so I’m not saying it’s the answer. However, the method it espouses is now being adopted in the UK as an alternative to more traditional addiction treatments. The point is that they emphasise the importance of ‘maintanence’. At present, I quit sugar by setting myself a 90 day challenge (various studies have shown that this is more than long enough to rewire our brains etc.). Making it a challenge makes it, well, more of a challenge than a chore. I also kept sweet stuff in the house to counter ‘forbidden fruit’ syndrome, wherein the ‘addictive voice’our minds rebels against what the better part of us has forbidden (if we feel like we are’ allowed’ we are less likely to ‘protest’). So, it just takes sheer determination, and then maintenance, because it’s when we think we’ve beaten it that we are most vulnerable. In other words, quit via sheer determination, and always remember that eternal vigilance really is the price of freedom…😊

    Thanks Martie, I will have a look for the book.
    Well done for beating it!

    Thanks Chris. To be honest, it really is ongoing and I never really consider it beat as experience has taught me that it’s then I’m most likely to cave. Good luck 😊

    Thanks i understand that!

    Hi Chris,

    I wrote the piece below, over in another thread and thought to copy and paste here because of my own challenges and relationship with food. I wanted to point out that control and discipline based on logic hasn’t really helped me with emotional eating and bingeing. At times it even seems to exacerbate the situation. Not sure if this will help or not, though thought to share, just in case it might resonate with others in the same boat as I…

    “…I admit that I binge and I’m still working on healing that. No one would guess now, since I practice 5:2 and reached goal weight more than 2 years ago. In fact at work recently, I mentioned this to a colleague who wondered why I even would practice 5:2 at all? ‘You don’t need to lose weight!?!’ she exclaimed! I then went onto explain a little about my erratic and emotional eating and how I use food as a stress response. I chuckle because I just don’t think she believed me, or didn’t get it, which is okay.

    “I learned a long time ago that dealing with my emotional eating and bingeing ‘head on’ by making myself wrong and disciplining myself never worked, or if so, only temporarily and sometimes just made me want to binge more. The only thing that I’ve found that does work is to continue practicing the good things as often as possible. For me ‘good’ things mean nurturing, caring, mindful ways and being considerate towards myself and this includes seeking support and assistance when needed. Last night this was in the form of ferreting out Dr. Mosely quotes from the internet! Why Dr Mosely? Because he writes of his human weaknesses and I find I have an affinity with him because of this. Logic isn’t enough for me. I needed to read about someone who has walked through similar trenches as I! In fact last night, in the wake of Halloween, I really needed needed a couple of strategies. Here’s a story about another one…

    “I was writing an email to a friend as I heard Halloween candy wrappers crinkle. My husband began opening leftover Halloween Dairy Milk, Cherry Ripe and Picnic mini- bars! I felt an instant urge to visit the refrigerator and fetch a last piece of the only form of chocolate I like, which is organic ultra dark and lightly xylitol sweetened. I didn’t desire what my husband was eating (too sickening sweet for me at this point in my 5:2 journey) though I simply craved because my husband just over there at the dining table, reading his book, began indulging. I didn’t want to feel left out. …Thankfully I was in the middle of the email to my supportive friend and had just read about Dr Mosely’s chocolate addiction because this gave me some feeling that I’m not alone and somehow allowed me pause to reflect. In other words, I thankfully didn’t just feel like I was hanging out at the mercy of the craving. I actually said to myself, ‘If I’m going to eat this piece of chocolate, at least I’m going to sit down and eat it by following the mindful eating exercise. I realized I was overdo for that exercise. I hadn’t practiced it in weeks! …This is where I sit with the piece of chocolate (or other small piece of food – whatever the craved item) and using all my senses, take 5 to 10 minutes to devour it. So there I sat, slowly and carefully unwrapping and respecting the special item/treat that the square of dark chocolate truly was. I then looked at it, taking in all its various qualities of darkness waxiness, angular shape. After a minute or so of doing that I then spent another couple of minutes smelling it, inhaling the aroma and so on. I then touched it, not enough for it to melt, but to take in the felt sense. Just as I was then about to put it in my mouth, I suddenly realized I didn’t really want it! …Hubby had finished polishing off his bars and all was quiet on that front. I carefully wrapped my square of chocolate back into the pretty paper in which it had originally been given to me and placed it back into the refrigerator. Even now I’m surprised at how relieved and happy I felt as I did so! Somehow this helped put me back in the ‘zone’ which I consider a place of equilibrium and balance with by body and food.

    “I’m happiest when I’m in the zone. It is my place of peace with food.

    “…It is now the next day and that chocolate square is still in the refrigerator and I have no desire for it. I’m happy that it is there. I can eat it anytime.”

    Hi Minka,

    I know the above was for Chris, but just wanted to say that I still have a chocolate bar in my fridge and the reason for that was what I’d call forbidden fruit syndrome: that is, that if we tell ourselves that we are forbidden to eat something then we are most likely to resist. Conversely, if we allow ourselves to have it (if we want to) then we are much less likely to kick-back, and much more likely to succeed – because we don’t feel the need to rebel against what part of us considers our ‘dictator’ aspect. So, if we drop the dictator, and replace that more with a loving, caring parent type archetype (who simply advises and guides, without forbidding), then we are more likely to cooperate with them, rather than compete etc.

    Interestingly, if you split the world into yin/yang, order/chaos etc. (not that we have to, because that’s how it is), it helps me to consider the idea of walking the dividing line between order and chaos, which is a balanced path in that you don’t go too far either way, as you focus on being as centred as possible in all things.

    This is relevant in this instance in that being overly disciplined doesn’t work as the more we lean towards one extreme, the more life attempts to balance us by pulling us back to the centre (this is true in all things, and is the basis of Chinese medicine and homeopathy). The same is true for when we lean towards chaos and the more ‘chaotic’ we become the more life pulls us into the direction of order, so we can balance the two.

    One thing I learned years ago is that at times when I feel like I’m being too creative, I will deliberately smash cups outside (in my bin, as a kind of ritual, which is perfectly legitimate and something most people have forgotten the benefits of) as this helps me to balance the creativity with destruction. Unfortunately, many creative people balance their creativity with self-destruction. As a musician, I certainly did my fair share of that when I was younger but I’ve found that it helps to be more ‘creative’ in our destructiveness, which WILL find a way to manifest itself one way or another, so it’s best if we do it mindfully rather than let it run amok, which is all too common, especially amongst creative types.

    I hope that helps (and wasn’t too ‘out there’!)?

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