Some negative thoughts

This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Firefox7275 4 years, 11 months ago.

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  • Male 64, 80kg, 173cm
    So I have been into this for 7 weeks. I dropped to 78.3 kg last week, thats a loss of 3kg, and felt delighted. I do proper fast day on Tuesdays and skip lunch on Friday to do a 100 minute walk, no snacks but a normal dinner. The primary goal is the health benefits of the extra fasting window.
    Some negative thoughts have entered the story. Is fasting simply turning me into a feaster? Before starting this I simply ate till I felt satisfied and walked 45 min most days. I kept my weight under 85 kgs and was happy with 81 kgs. Now on normal days but especially the ones after a fast day, the food taste so much better, I am craving just a bit more. It is like the body wants to be rewarded for the fasting, which of course defeats the purpose. I am extending the exercise but there are only so many hours you can walk for.
    A kg up or down can depend on your bowel movement cycle and the increase in fibre exaggerates that. This morning I was back to 80 kg because I am in a different part of the cycle.
    So I am feeling for those who are serious about losing weight. This sea-sawing is interesting to me but it must be disheartening for them. This is dieting, this is a 7 day a week system because you have to fight to not eat more than normal on the NFDs. Just extending your normal exercise regime is not going to make a huge difference. I would be tempted to pay out for an exercise bike if weight loss was my primary goal.
    My head is still clear and I am feeling better generally so my goal is being met but I am feeling a great deal of sympathy for those with a real weight issue and I see lots of them.

    My work/ study background is lifestyle healthcare.

    All effective healthy eating plans and weight management plans are seven day a week systems. Dr Michael Mosley and Dr Clare Bailey are no different.

    Many Westerners cherry-pick the guidelines of this and other plans, or equate selecting foods they perceive as healthy with a healthy diet. ‘Freelee the Banana Girl’ is an extreme example of this. But experts agree that a healthy diet is properly balanced, very varied and nutrient dense.

    Portion control is widely recommended, but there are plenty of wholefoods we in the West can/ should eat more of on non-fast days. These include low sugar fruits, non-starchy vegetables, oily fish, seeds such as chia and linseeds, beans and lentils. So we should not have to “fight not to eat more than normal” but rather fill up on the right types of wholefoods.

    Daily physical activity – including most walking – and regular formal exercise overlap but are not interchangeable concepts. The former may not make us measurably fitter or slimmer, but still has proven health benefits. (Where possible) Dr Mosley advocates high intensity interval training and strength training which sit firmly in the latter camp.


    Yes I agree. I think the priority of changes to be made around diet is food choice and then exercise. It is much harder to walk it off than to switch your choice from a muffin to a salad. I was shocked to see a breakfast show reveal that a cafe muffin contained 800 cals. That is a whole fast day allowance.
    The deeper issue is our relationship to food, the mental wrestle of wanting comfort and reward v/s discipline of what do I need, what’s best for my body. If we could change that inner struggle and self talk by an experience of weight loss and health gains then the diet is real progress.

    Hi Martin,

    Thanks for asking such an interesting question, I have been thinking on it.

    I guess the bottom line is that if you are not fasting to lose weight, and fasting is leading you to put on weight, the best thing may well be to stop 5:2 and do other things for your health.

    But if you are enjoying fast days and pleased to get health benefits, and especially aiming to get to a healthier weight, then you have the interesting challenge of working out why you are tending to compensate for a low eating day. Many of us here have had to think about this and there are a whole range of social, psychological and physical things going on. eg fear of hunger, fear of depriving ourselves, low sugar, a habit of giving ourselves permission to overeat at the slightest excuse. I think it is mostly social (look at all the advertising encouraging us to treat ourselves) and psychological (we grow up developing a complex relationship to food).

    I love that 5:2 gives me two days a week to rest and reset. I was 20 kg overweight when I began 5:2, and 30kg above the weight I am now. I had a lot of food issues to sort through, and I am still doing it after 4 years of 5:2.
    My main tool is using my intelligence to overcome impulses and feelings that lead me to overeat. But they are old habits, and as soon as there is stress, my new habits tend to fall away and the old ones surface.

    For me, 5:2 is a healthy sustainable way of eating. A one day fast shouldn’t set off compensatory eating in a healthy person: most cultures have some sort of fasting as a normal part of life, and 5:2 is surely the gentlest way of fasting. That is what I hold onto.

    And the best thing is that we can do it as we learn things (like your breakfast muffin). Good luck sorting out what works for you.

    Thanks Cinque. I agree with you on all that. I have not put on weight, it’s just the sea-sawing I was referring to; and wanted to highlight that there are many factors that play into our weight on any particular day. Like you say the social part. Just sitting down to diner and hearing somebody say, oh you are really being good today or the opposite, I thought you were fasting today. This can set off a whole range of emotions.
    We do have to use our intelligence and I think when we contribute to these forums we are reinforcing our intelligent understandings and creating a sense of belonging, walking with others.
    If we do not get our self-talk onside it’s just a temporary struggle, a diet, rather than a lifestyle adaptation. Like the Clever Gut book talked about the biome needing diversity of interacting microbes, healthy living has a myriad number of factors, food choice, exercise and portion control are major consideration but our mental approach if fundamental for the long term success.

    Martin21: Oh absolutely. We might split that muffin with a friend but we are unlikely to only eat a quarter! And then there are the calories/ sugar/ cream/ alcohol in the drink that accompanies the muffin …

    Many of us are more successful in changing unhealthy behaviours when we limit exposure to the places and/ or the people that sabotage us or tempt us.

    We can borrow strategies from the field of smoking cessation and substance abuse. For example removing paraphernalia from the home, always having healthier substances or items available, walking or driving a different route to avoid vendors or trigger locations, not carrying payment methods.

    I should unearth and re-read my books on health behaviour change, if I still have them.

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