TDEE for the Curious (or Why Don't I Lose Weight Faster?)

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TDEE for the Curious (or Why Don't I Lose Weight Faster?)

This topic contains 205 replies, has 61 voices, and was last updated by  MrsP2008 5 years, 7 months ago.

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  • Hi Nama, I hear u 😊 it’s like everything else u don’t know until u do it urself… your story is amazing. I don’t even know u and I’m proud of u. Yeah think the forum will be a god send. I just feel awful everyday. Time to do something positive about it. Hate taking tablets. If they made me feel better fair enough but I think I feel worse. My weight is seriously depressing me on top of health issues. I’m looking forward to starting Mon. I will just have two bif bowls of homemade veggie soup . Just to start me off . Plus loads of water. My only concern is I mess up my fast days be eating something I think is correct…but isn’t and mess up .. I think I’ve got it ??!!😞 Bit down at moment . Looking forward not back and roll on Monday so I can start to feel positive and hopefully better. Cheers Nama speak soon. I’m in Scotland where are u if u don’t mind. Just curious where we all are. Hard to tell πŸ˜‰

    Hi Polly penny .. sorry bout ur gain.. just makes u question yourself. One thing I do no is bran flakes has tons of sugar in them. I stopped them. Same as frosti’s or crunchy nut. Seriously πŸ˜‰πŸ˜Š molly

    Hi Molly,
    I am Downunder – in Melbourne, Australia. Winter here at present so fasting is a challenge on cold days. If you want more inspiration, check out Weemam’s posts on Jojo’s (Lose 2lb a week) thread. She is another Wee Scottish lassie and has lost 6 stone and kept it off a couple of years. Her health has improved greatly.

    Another thing, try to be patient. Easier said than done, but important. The weight did not go on overnight and our bad habits were not formed overnight. If you persist and become successful you will have a gradual realisation that this is a long term lifetime change, but you will never want to go back to the old you. Before Monday, measure yourself, even just your waist. When the fat starts to melt, it may not show on the scales but you will have shrunk. The best part is getting into new small clothes easily.

    Some people weigh infrequently. Many of us need the scales to keep us honest. I weigh daily and it motivates me, just to be reminded and to see my progress or lack of! There are always variations due to food in transit etc, but overall I find it suits me. Just experiment and find what suits you. Good luck for Monday.

    Thanks Nama for those words of encouragement. Looking forward to Monday taking measurements and fasting.Need a positive place to go. Will check out weemams post. 😊

    There has to be a balance between avoiding sugar and avoiding constipation. I am vegetarian, so I live on vegetables,and I drink loads of water.

    However, I cannot afford to be constipated -‘I had a third degree tear in childbirth. I’m reluctant to depend on Fibrogel permanently, so I’ll have to have a balance between porridge breakfast of fast days and perhaps bran flakes, the lowest sugar, Tesco own brand, on others.

    Will need to try the Tesco own brand!!lowest sugar as I have always been plagued with constipation regardless of my diet.

    Beans (pintos and black a super high), chickpeas, almonds (super high fibre + omega 3), apples, raspberries, blackberries just to name a few have loads of fibre. Add a chilli to your salads , if that doesn’t get things moving you’ve been eating concrete.

    Apples and satsumas I love. However, I have difficulty in fitting them into a fast day. Having chick pea chilli fir dinner tonight, recipe from ‘the bible’.

    Managed on 400 cals yesterday, after a satsuma and coffee for breakfast. I was simply too busy to think about my 1pm breakfast. I did find it quite easy, so will try again on Thursday.

    Hope it will boost. Weight before holiday. Childish, I know, but I’d like to have 9 something showing before I go! And before my daughter in law sees me again. I’ll probably be half the weight of her mother. Oooh, that’s catty!

    Good weigh day today, lost the two pounds I’d gained last week and another pound and a half.

    Just half a pound from my psychological 9st boost.,However, changed a pair of new size 14 trousers for size 12 and just had a massive try on session resulting in a full charity bag.

    Two satsumas today. Now I’m going to iron the huge pile to both keep me occupied and warm. It’s freezing here!

    Well done Polly!! Great work.
    I wonder where Molly went?

    FANTASTIC POLLY!!!! Well done u. Great achievement. I started on Mon. One fast day under my belt. Missing my brown wholemeal bread and eating little n often. I’m still getting my head round it as the new 5.2 book is giving different instructions….. from u lovely people. I’m getting there. πŸ’–

    Thanks, Molly & Nama.

    I feel more energetic, too, and far more thoughtful about food. Out for a meal on Friday, we ate breakfast late, then waited for the meal. Two course and left most of the pasta.

    We’re off the the USA for a month on Wednesday, so I’m a bit worried about maintaining there. It’ll be hard to find decent food while on the tour part. I struggle there anyway, as a vegetarian. And I’ll have to be very disciplined not to have wine every night.

    Um – so with the TDEE tool we estimate our current caloric intake need? That would be the one that maintains our current weight. So by cutting calories to 600 per day for two days we then are cutting out 2 days worth TDEE – 1200 calories?

    So in my case: 2200 calories x 2 = 4400 calories – 1200 leaves me with a weekly loss of 3200 calories before any added exercise?

    So my real question at my goal weight my TDEE will be less?

    So this means I have to increase my exercise or continue a modified 5:2 to maintain the weight at that point?

    Thanks in advance.


    Hi david:

    Your TDEE falls with your weight so your TDEE at your goal weight will be less than it is today. Just put your goal weight in the calculator and you will see the estimate of your TDEE when you reach that weight. To maintain your goal weight you will have to maintain that calorie level. If you don’t you will gain weight. That is really why most people regain their weight after losing it – they start to eat like they used to. But that means they are eating over their new, lower TDEE and so will regain their weight.

    Exercise has little to do with it – it really does not burn that many calories. Your TDEE estimate includes a lot of exercise so doing a lot more to allow you to eat higher amounts of food while still maintaining your lower weight is unrealistic.

    The hardest thing for most dieters to come to grips with is how little food the body needs to function properly without gaining weight. Until they understand and accept that they just can’t eat like they used to, or want to, they will fail.

    Good Luck!

    Hi david,

    As you lose weight you don’t need to eat as much to maintain that weight. Exercise helps weight loss but the majority of the loss comes from the diet itself. Exercise makes you feel good so I don’t discount it but probably 90% of the loss is diet. Carbs have 9.3 calories per gram, fat has 3.8cal/g and alcohol has 7cal/g. You burn a combination of glucose, glycogen and fat all the time. The ratios change depending on the activity you are doing. About 0.5-1kg loss per week is about average on 5:2. I lost 0.7 kg over the course of a year.

    Hi big:

    I think you got your calorie counts for carbs and fats reversed. Rounded, its 4 calories for carbs and 9 calories for fat.

    You know, I just posted but can’t find my post yet — so maybe there is a delay. I just realized I made a silly mistake. I said that I was eating 1200 on non-fasting days (which is true) but it’s not true (obviously) that that’s 10% lower than 1125, is it!! lol. In fact…I have no idea what I did, but that’s clearly not write! I think what happened, was I was afraid to go much lower than 1200, because I don’t want to get into an every day restriction cycle — which will do more harm to my metabolism. Sorry for that weird error, there.

    Still, comments welcome.


    Oh dear. It looks like the first one didn’t post???? I’m so confused. I wrote it out, it was quite long, but it’s not here. Let me try to remember what I said:

    I was just hoping to get a little feedback. I was wondering if anyone else is doing 4 fasting days: 3 non-fasting days like I am? I just started this week. I have a LOT of metabolism problems. I am hypothyroid, which has made me the highest weight I’ve ever been, and I typically have been eating around 1000-1100 calories on that and gaining and my body refusing to lose. I’ve dealt with severe anorexia since 9, so I know I’m actually painfully accurate about my calories (much more likely to overestimate than under.) I am on meds now for the thyroid (and am very familiar with all the research and all the mainstream and non-mainstream ideas and dilemmas, but thanks! πŸ™‚ ) My doctor and I are still working with medications as my symptoms are not resolving yet, though my levels look a lot better. But that’s really just an aside. I know there is a lot of talk about how not much effects the metabolism and folks can drop as low as they want to on calories any day of the week, but in my experience with myself and all the hospitals I’ve been in, this has not been true, and I have permanent metabolism damage already to show from it. So that’s also a player and also makes me worried about making sure my calories are not TOO low on non-fasting days. However, I’m disabled, and I move very little, as I typically only leave the house about twice a week to go to the doctor — and due to hypothyroid and other things, have very disabling fatigue to the point when I’m out I walk with a walker (I’m on 38.) Anyway, so when I went to figure my TDEE and all that, I did it using my goal weight, and of course, marked as “sedentary”, and that came to 1350. As these numbers are just estimates and are said to be roughly within 10% accuracy either direction, I rounded it down to 1200 on non-fasting days. I know I should be eating 300 on fasting days then, but I’m worried about my overall calories being too low and also making it not sustainable in the long-run. I also know the kind of damage that happens very quickly to a body when overall calories are too low and don’t want to go there either.

    So, I’m really trying to deal with this lousy hand of cards I’ve got, while managing this weight gain situation at the same time. Does anyone else have any thoughts about what I’m saying? Not looking for outright “you must do things this way…” but ideas, and thoughts about what might be helpful and what things might work against me…

    Thank you for your help. Sorry for this long message. And lastly — I know this diet is not considered a good idea for people with eating disorders. I am intensive therapy for a host of conditions, and right now think this is a much healthier idea than any others I would normally come up with. Besides — nothing else has worked, unless I’m literally not eating. (I fasted completely for one month last year — not healthy, don’t do it — and my body didn’t lose a pound until i then introduced a tiny bit back the next month. Do be careful…)


    Sorry — but does what I said even make sense? If you’re doing ADF, is it kind of the same thing if you’re fasting 4:3 or fasting 3:4? I’m losing my mind! lol. help!


    Yes I stuffed up. Should be the other way around. fat = 9.3 carbs = 3.8. Well picked up.

    Hi Hypo,

    Wow youre all over the place. Take a deep breath. On the assumption that you are correct and that eating 1000-1100 calories means you are putting on weight, then plainly 1000-1100 calories is too much. Disregard the calculated TDEE. Im also assuming that the anorexia you mentioned no longer applies to you now? It was an eating disorder that you had in the past? Otherwise it doesn’t make any sense that you have anorexia and are overweight? You also say that you fasted for a month. Was this a water only fast? And you did not lose any weight? I find this very difficult to believe. Im a firm believer in the laws of physics (occupational hazard). Your body needs energy to run. it gets this from external food sources or stored fats and protein (if your using large amounts of protein then you have entered starvation mode, not good).

    First let me say that I think your should consult with your doctor and a qualified dietician as to the appropriateness of doing 5:2 as everyone on this forum will only be guessing at your circumstances. No one can know your full medical history and any medications you are on. Why not just try a very simple trial to begin with. Do 5:2. Eat 1000-1100 calories each day for 5 days and then a quarter of that 250-275 for your two fast days. Do this for say two weeks and monitor your weight. Are you losing or gaining weight? Modify accordingly with the supervision of your doctor/dietician.

    If youre willing to say, can I ask how tall you are and what your current weight is? What would your doctor ideally like you to weigh while on your medication?

    Lol. Thanks, BB. I’m actually not “sped up” or not-not slowed down. This probably won’t make sense without a lengthy explanation (not appropriate here) but my message sounded like that mostly due to my primary condition.
    To answer your questions, yes it was a water only fast and I was in the hospital at the time with my weight being monitored. I know it’s a difficult concept, but weird things like that do actually happen especially in light of certain conditions (such as long-term anorexia and hypothyroidism.) I do still struggle with anorexia, but I’m right now, trying to keep it that way, but it’s hard. I didn’t say I’m overweight. I am not overweight,however, I’m at the highest weight I’ve ever been and it is more than “uncomfortable”. I gained the weight that I have on a normal amount of calories due to the combination of permanently damaged metabolism from anorexia and hypothyroidism. As time went on (since the hypothyroid issue came to a head) I ended up settling, most of this year around 1000-1100 calories/day. This did not cause me to continue gaining weight, but due to what I’ve already stated, my body refused to let go of the weight it had put on. (This is extremely common even if you only have hypothyroid. Sometimes the metabolism shuts completely off.)

    I’m dealing with several several specialists, as my entire life centers around my disabilities. I have yet to have my RMR (aka BMR) tested, though I hope to soon (not knowing how reliable it actually it is though) but hoping IF will be a new kind of challenge to put my body to. Nothing else has worked, so I’m willing to try.

    I realize I threw a lot of information out there at once, and this forum is not made up of medical specialists. I was just wondering what people’s opinions might be on the facts I put forth. I really wanted opinions based on the average person who has numbers (such as TDEE) that I have, I was only explaining the extemporaneous issues as an aside. I realize it’s probably too much to comprehend though. I’m used to the craziness of symptoms and illness and body issues that seem to make no sense! But I can work on it on my own and with my own specialists. Sorry, sometimes I forget how weird my medical issues would seem to other people. Thank you for trying to help.

    Best wishes.

    Hi Hypo,

    Given that your circumstances fall way outside what I would consider a desire for “normal weight loss”, Im not sure that there are many forum members on here that are going to be able to give you sound advice. You say that you are not “overweight” but are “uncomfortable”. Hard to gauge what you mean by uncomfortable? Physically or mentally uncomfortable? Im thinking it would be best to follow the advice of the specialists that have been treating you to date as they know your history. Good luck with it.

    Oh, well I just want to add, while I don’t expect medical advice (like I said, I was only looking for opinions based on my TDEE, and the number of days I’m fasting and amounts I’m eating, as it would apply to the average person) maybe a few different people could still give me their thoughts. And perhaps the medical stuff I included just made the question sound too confusing in that sense — I was only trying to say I have some weird stuff going on which is WHY I’m using the lower numbers I gave, and more fasting days, but not looking for anyone to give me advice on that part. Sorry if that made it more muddled. πŸ™‚

    Separately, one does not have to have a BMI in the “overweight” category to desire a “normal weight loss”. Like I said, I’ve never been this weight before and it’s only because of some medical issues; it’s not natural or normal for me. I’m now on the higher end of my range, and I’d like to be back in the lower to middle part of my range, where I typically am. And that’s ok. But honestly, I’m not asking for opinions on how much weight to lose or whether people approve of me wanting to lose or not. That falls completely within my jurisdiction, and my doctors. That’s really not a consideration of anyone else’s.

    And I’m not trying to be rude, at all. Perhaps you are just trying to be caring, and I do thank you for your concern. Maybe others will choose to make their own comments as well.

    Best wishes.

    Hi Hypogurl and welcome to the 5:2 forum,

    I too have a complicated and unusual medical history with multiple conditions, though very different to yours. My history has left me very short on energy production and while I’m mobile and can walk normally I can’t walk a long way or at a fast speed, and have challenges with stairs going up and slopes etc. My lack of normal energy production means all of my body gets reduced energy including my brain, so I get brain fog, slowed thinking, challenges with language and tracking thoughts to keep on track. It would also be impossible for me to explain my complicated medical history and it’s implications on here. I have had medical conditions all multisystemic , all less than common, all not well understood by the medical community, research still going on, and so on. So…I am not going to try to understand further than the brief outline you’ve given of your medical situation. I cannot possibly understand all you and your medical team understand, and I have no experience of the thyroid situation.

    But, I am going to try to answer your queries that I think you’re asking. I think what you’re asking is: “are my thoughts about intermittant fasting normal, and Is how I’m looking at applying it normal.” Is that right?

    Sometimes, because of life situations, we can lose sight of what is “normal/average” and not know how to work out what is “normal/average”. Some of my life challenges have put me in that situation too at times. When that is our situation, especially when things affecting our viewpoint of normal and our relationship to it and reference points of normal, have been distorted in childhood, we keep looking for that normal reference point through our adult years. We keep trying to get that reference point of ‘normal’ and get it perfectly. Instead, ‘normal’ is a range. So.. I’m going to attempt to answer your questions by looking at whether I think they fall into the range of average.

    Also, I understand, I think, about what you mean about being not overweight but uncomfortable. ‘Normal weight’ is a range across a number of lbs or kgs or BMI for someone’s height, sex. This range has an upper limit and a lower limit. So I think you’re saying you are now in the upper end of the normal range for your height and sex, and you want to be towards the lower half of your range. All this, so far, is mostly to say, “I get it”. I’m not the same, but I think I’ve been through enough to get what you’re saying OK. Please say if I’m not.

    Your questions:

    1. Alternate day fasting – which would be 4:3 on week 1 and 3:4 on week 2, then back to week 1 (4:3) then repeat week 2 (3:4) etc because you need an even no of days for Alternate Day Fasting. In a 2 week period there should be 7 FDs (fast days) and 7 NFDs (non fast days).

    Week 1 – 4:3

    Monday. FD
    Tuesday NFD
    Wednesday FD
    Thursday NFD
    Friday FD
    Saturday NFD
    Sunday FD

    Week 2 – 3:4

    Monday NFD
    Tuesday FD
    Wednesday NFD
    Thursday FD
    Friday NFD
    Saturday FD
    Sunday NFD

    4:3 would not mean fasting for 4 days straight then nonfasting for 3 days straight, and. 3:4 would not mean fasting for 3 days straight then nonfasting for 4 days straight. It would also mean over a fortnight you would be doing 8 FDS and 6 NFDs, which reduces your calories over the fortnight even more and so more extreme than Alternate Day Fasting. There are a few people, very few, who will do multi day fasts, but they don’t do them repeatedly every week, and they should only be done under medical supervision.

    As I understand it Alternate day Fasting has been researched by Dr Varady and has had good results in research in helping the body function better. It does give that rhythm of alternating food days with nonfood days that seems tocause the body to kick into more repair mode. However, it is too strict a regime for most people. It isn’t an average approach to Intermittant Fasting. That is why 5:2 came into being. It still prompts the body to go into repair mode and the average person can do it.

    Question 2: Working out TDEE, and calories for TDEE.

    TDEE is worked out on your present weight, not goal weight. Doing it with goal weight drops your calories unneccesarily for both NFDs and FDs. FDs are intended to be <500cals or 1/4 TDEE. Yes, a very few people do it with goal weight, but they do it to intentionally drop their calories as a way way to speed up their weight loss for whatever reasons, but it’s not what was intended, and not what most people do. My TDEE is 1470cals right now for my present weight, and I redo my TDEE periodically as my weight has changed. I am at present in the upper range of normal and want to be in the lower half of the range also, but I still always do my TDEE on my present weight not goal weight even though I’m not far off now.

    10% variation, so you’re rounding calories down from 1350 to 1200 – nobody does this. I’ve been on the forum and read around various threads over nearly 2years and I’ve never seen anyone do this. That 10% deviation would be a statistical deviation and that would include not just 10% below but also 10% above 1350, so by your reasoning it might also be logical to choose 1500cals the upper limit of the standard deviation. If you’re trying to counteract the statistical variation then the middle figure, eg 1350 cals, is the most accurate one, not the upper or lower limit of the deviation. By choosing the lowest deviation you are again dropping the calories unneccesarily.

    Because 1350 is your TDEE of your goal weight, it would be normal/average to

    1. do TDEE on your present weight, then
    2. Use the TDEE figure as is.

    This is very long, but I hope it’s useful to you in seeing what is average, and where in your proposed approach you seem to be dropping calories down unneccesarily. I wish you well.


    Merry — thank you!!! That was SO helpful, and just what I was looking for! I was needing the “reality check” about what I was doing, I can totally take it from there, so THANKS!

    I’m sorry to hear about your medical troubles too! But nice to hear someone can relate. <3

    You made some very valid points — I’m glad you pointed out what you did about TDEE (using the average, of course) and some other things too — that I kind of thought to myself when I read them — well, of course, that’s right! But I’d felt I needed to take the lowest numbers on everything because of worrying/anticipating so much the metabolism issues. Like I said though, dropping too low across the board could be a problem for my metabolism too though — so your points were very relevant and I will take your advice!!

    I know you wrote out a lot, but it was very beneficial and I really appreciate it. Take care!


    You’re welcome, and thank you for your kind thoughts re my health.πŸ™‚

    One other thing I forgot because I was getting tired – 10% deviation down of 1350 is 1215, so your ’rounding down’ was a little over 11%, so another creep down of, that time of 15calories/day.

    In your last post you say – felt you hadneeded to take the lowest numbers because of worry/anticipating metabolic issues. To me, not knowing how your system functions, but looking at the normal/average thought process, I would be choosing the opposite i.e. choosing a higher end of the ranges of various numbers on everything, because it’s the constant daily lowering of them that seems to be the cause of metabolic issues.

    In the researched variations of Intermittant fasting that have shown cell repair it is not what is done daily but the switching back and forth from the fasting/low cal days to the TDEE days that initiates the cell repair on the fasting/low cal days. Lowering the cals on every day defeats the purpose.

    Hoping your health improves Hypogurl. xx

    My philosophy is myhealth is quite challenging, yes, but it is up to me whether I choose to be happy or unhappy in that situation. My happiness is a daily choice, and I concentrate on what I have to be grateful for each day.

    Take care, and nice to meet you πŸ™‚

    i am now COMPLETELY confused, lol


    I am a little late, but I hope you don’t mind that I say my opinion.

    4FD:3NFD at your TDEE could do very much damage, in my opinion. First of all, I think there is a real and big risk of lowering your already-low-TDEE, increase cortisol / stress, nutritional (micro and macro) deficiency, risk of developing a binge eating disorder, and so on.

    What I would test in your situation:
    1. I would keep eating at sedentary TDEE (maybe max 10% deficit), but eat in a smaller eating window. Like 2 meals a day in 6 or better 4 hours window. This is to lower insulin.
    2. Also to lower insulin, the time of this 2 meals is important. You lose much more with breakfast+lunch, than with lunch+dinner, at the same caloric intake. 3 studies here, first post:
    3. If eating at your TDEE and following the first 2 steps does not give you results, then you can try first 6NFD:1FD and if the stress from fasting is manageable, 5:2. So maximum 2 fast days a week, with a single meal at 500 calories intake, not 25% of TDEE. (To cover your nutritional (vit.+min.) needs.)

    I think this approach is much safer than your current plan.

    Wish you health and good luck!

    Thank you so much, @adaline. I agree, that method seems much safer for me!
    I also wanted to update you guys on what ELSE we just found out about what’s going wrong with my body (accounting for the unexplained weight gain and the rest.) Notice, I’m only 38 (but I have very severe Complex PTSD, DID and other trauma disorders.) My cortisol is through the roof. I have an autoimmune disorder or (s) but we don’t know which ones yet (though it’s clear it’s also causing POTS — a dysautonomia); and lastly I have almost zero estrogen — which is almost the same as being in menopause, though I’m not and I’ll be starting birth control at least, ti increase my estrogen. Because, not only has my weight mysteriously and strangely increased, the weight distribution is TOTALLY different than my body has ever looked — but consistent with no estrogen.

    Put all that on top of hypothyroid and almost 30 years now of anorexia — you get this biological organism (me) with a completely broken metabolism! I’m SO anxious to get things back under control. I cannot tell you! This happening to an anorexic mind is torture, and i do not say that lightly… ;( Thanks for listening…

    I am very sorry to hear about your new health problems. And reading about your cortisol, I would totally forget about 5:2 fasting and try only intermittent fasting with 4 or 6 hours eating window, which (4/6) is less stressful.

    May I ask about your height and current weight?

    Thanks. Yes, sure. I’m 5’3″ and around 132. Far more than I’ve ever weighed. And it’s killing me (this is not to insult ANYONE else based on simialr or other stats, this only has to do with my own mind and thought process.) I was restricting my intake the whole time I gained weight too.

    i’m going crazy.

    I hope that I’ve “translated” correctly as 60 kg at 1.60 m. I understand you. At this weight, intermittent fasting / IF (2 meals a day in a 4-6 hours eating window) should work for at least 5 kg fat loss. Probably 10 kg, for someone with a healthy metabolism. But this is under normal cortisol, estrogen, and without any interfering medication..

    I hope that if you take it slowly, 0.5 – max 1 kg lost / month, you will be successful with IF. It would be great if you could talk also with a single good doctor about ALL the aspects of your health and come with a plan to cover all, including weight loss / weight gain cause(s). Because many times the problem is not “how to lose weight”, but “how not to gain”. Ex: if you gain weight from cortisol / estrogen, no diet / fasting pattern on this planet will gonna help you. Treat the (initial) cause (ex: high cortisol), not the symptom (weight gain).

    Don’t let your mind to be overwhelmed. Take the big problems and break them in much smaller tasks, prioritize and go! (Little) Step by (little) step.

    Wish you all the best! 🌷


    I have to point out that IF, including ‘eating window’ IF, is not recommended for people with serious eating disorders like binging or anorexia.

    @adaline, thank you again for so much helpful information — and so kindly given. I really appreciate it! I also anxiously await the call from one of my doctors (today or tomorrow) to discuss this all more thoroughly. This is only the beginning of finding out what’s wrong and beginning to address it all. Many more doctors will be consulted, worked directly with, and more tests given.

    @simcoeluv, thank you for your concern, but I have permission to be exploring diets that could help me lose the extra weight. And I too have read the disclaimers for this diet/lifestyle change.

    In my case (and many others), IF had helped (not cured, but helped very much) with my binge eating disorder. In my (very informed) opinion, those that have bigger binge problems on IF, are not properly informed on IF and doing it wrong. (I could talk for hours on this.)

    For a former anorexia suferrer, in my opinion, IF is less harmful as 5:2 (or what was her initial option). And Hypo’s BMI is not near anorexia, and neither her current speech.

    But yes, every person is different and I may be wrong suggesting IF to a former anorexia suferrer.

    men are doing this diet too

    hi, in February so far i have reduced my calories by 3000-3500 per week. i have not lost weight. I have worked out my TDEE and thought i would have seen a difference. My weight fluctuates by 4 lbs. However the heaviest weight has not increased. e.g. weight can be between 10st 10 and 11st but never more than 11st. That is an improvement but how can i get weight down consistently. i record all food snacks and alcohol. could it be the alcohol which i drink twice per week?

    Chamolly, weight can be a poor indicator of what is going on and lots of things impact weight. I’ve been currently stuck in a range of 78kg to 82kg for a couple of months. However I’m pretty sure I’m still losing some body fat. Sometimes a cloth tape is your best friend.

    Other things to keep in mind:

    TDEE – the calculations are just estimates and for many people they can be way off. You have to find your true TDEE and only you can do that. Last summer I did have a DEXA scan and it computed my TDEE over 2800kc/day where as the calculator at this site gives me 2490 kc/day. However since then I’m down 7kg so I’m sure my TDEE has dropped some. It is just a number and your body doesn’t really track calories.

    Calorie Counting – This is very error prone and it is based on the heat energy given off of food by methods your body doesn’t use. Even if you weigh your food perfectly you could still be off by 20% or more in calorie count because the number used are that crude.

    Study – There is so much conflicting information about nutrition and diet. You have simply learn what works for you. What worked for me may not be what you need. Just be opened minded and learn all you can about your body because you are the only one that has your body.

    Exercise – Short term it can really mess up your weight loss. Long term it can increase your basal metabolic rate, the amount of calories you burn doing nothing. Exercise is very good long term if it is they type that is building up your body. If you just try force your TDEE up by just moving more without building muscle you are probably going to defeat yourself. The most likely outcome is you will compensate by either moving less outside of exercise or by eating more than the energy expended.

    Habits – I’ve lost around 60lbs (27kg) over about 4.5 years. What didn’t work at least long term was calorie restriction. What did work was changing habits. Changing habits take time but the impact can be great. Some of the changes I’ve made:

    > I eat a LOT less added sugar, currently less than 5 teaspoons a day. (20g/day)
    > I eat a LOT more fiber. Maybe too much at times and it can cause gas to be passed.
    > I drink a LOT more water than I used to and a LOT less non-water.
    > I exercise a LOT less but a LOT more intense. Generally my workouts are very painful.
    > I’ve learn to fast some, that is why I’m here. πŸ™‚

    Big changes but made a step at a time.

    Finally don’t give up. 60lbs may sound like a lot of weight and it is, but that was spread over 4.5 years. That works out to only about 1lb a month on the average. That is something that is often really hard to see while we are doing the journey.

    Hi Chamolly and welcome:

    It appears you have just started. The fact that you have stopped gaining weight means you are eating less than you have been. I have found that you might have to wait at least a month to see if you are losing weight. As you state, your weight varies by 4 pounds, so you really don’t know what you weigh on any given day. But after a month, you should be less than where you started. Weight does not come off consistently – it seems to come off in chunks. You don’t lose and don’t lose, then lose 2 or 3 pounds, then don’t lose and don’t lose, then lose another 2 or 3 pounds. Please read this to get an idea of what I am talking about:

    Good Luck!

    Hi dykask:

    Solid advice.

    On exercise, it is a common belief that exercising leads to a higher metabolic rate. Research does not confirm this belief. In one study, they compared the BMRs of those that did aerobic exercises and couch potatoes. “The results of this study indicated that RMR was not significantly different between trained and untrained individuals. . . .”

    It is also believed that muscle burns significantly more calories than fat, so if you build muscle you will burn more calories and either lose weight faster or keep it off easier. However, current research shows that muscle burns only 4 calories per day more than fat – 6 cal. per day for muscle, 2 cal. per day for fat. So if you lose 5 pounds of fat and replace it through hard work with 5 pounds of muscle, your body will burn about 20 cal. more per day. So building muscle really does not help much with calorie burning.

    But as I have always said, exercise is the best thing you can do to improve your overall health (unless you smoke, stop). It just isn’t very helpful for losing weight.

    I’m sorry simcoeluv, but when it comes to the long term benefits of exercise we don’t have agreement.

    You picked a very modest case which for many people would be achievable. That is replacing 5 pounds of fat with 5 pounds of muscle. Besides resulting is a good volume reduction in body size, as you point out it would raise your RMR by around 20 kc/day. You don’t seem to realize just how large of effect that is. That is over 7000 kc / year and enough to prevent someone from gaining two pounds (~1 kg) of fat / year. That alone could put someone on the track to sliming down over a few years or at least not gaining weight. Anything that impacts our RMR is a positive fashion can have large payoffs.

    Look at it this way, for most people at least 60% of their energy consumption is from their RMR. That is like getting work done for free and in general people aren’t driven to hunger by their RMR.

    So while you are correct that the amount of calories is small per pound of muscle, the impact can be large. One of the benefits I’ve noticed with 5:2 is that I’ve been building muscle again. Frankly that is very difficult to do with standard calorie restrictive approaches. It probably has to do with improved hormone balances and on NFD there is enough resources for muscles to be built. The body seems to able to easily handle short duration storages, but consistent shortages tend to lead to muscle loss. I’m finding 5:2 coupled with HIIT or HIT training to be very effective.

    Short-term exercise is probably a wash because it does drive compensation behaviors. Additionally the extra water retention and loss from exercise makes weight confused at best. Long-term it is a huge win.

    Finally at least for men, 5 pounds of extra muscle from a strong workout program is modest. Many can build and maintain more than double that. Pushing up one’s RMR by around 50 kc/day is a large benefit. For women it probably is a much more difficult benefit to obtain but overall it is still positive. What is wrong with doing something that is so long term beneficial?

    Additionally when the body is building or repairing muscle that can have profound short-term impacts on fat consumption. It is very complex and frankly there is a lot of conflicting information. However it is clearly better than doing nothing.

    I’m with you when it comes to just moving around to burn calories. That isn’t very effective short term or long term. However moving to build the body is a different issue. Short term it can cause weight confusion, long term it is very helpful.

    Thanks for sharing. Here Bodyzwellness it is a fake weight Loss Clinic in Mumbai they offering Fake Obesity Programme done in Mumbai with No results.

    That’s an excellent post, thank you πŸ‘

    Hello friends
    I am a new member. I’m 39 ,female. My TDEE is 1520 and my BMR is 1266. In the past two months, I used 2,000 calories per day and (500 calories on the fast day ) ,my weight loss is very low.Unfortunately, I don’t know English well πŸ˜” Please guide me how many calories I can eat on normal days and on the fast days.

    Hi Soveida and welcome:

    I admire you for going two months with little weight loss and staying with it!

    You have identified your problem with your TDEE estimate. By eating 2000 calories per day on your non-diet days you were eating about 4/500 calories per day more than your body needed. That comes out to about 2000 to 2500 extra calories per week.

    By eating 500 calories on your two diet days you cut about 2000 to 2200 calories from your diet each week.

    So by eating 2000 to 2500 extra calories in five days and cutting 2000 to 2200 calories in your two diet days, it pretty much comes out even and you can see why you are not losing much weight.

    To answer your question, then, try eating no more than 1500 calories on each of your five non-diet days. If you are comfortable eating 500 calories on your two diet days, it is fine to continue at that level but you can eat fewer calories on your diet days if you want to. Many eat nothing at all on their diet days to speed up their weight loss, but it is not necessary if you don’t want to do it.

    Good Luck!

    I have a TDEE of 1400. I now use 5:2 for maintenance but when I was losing weight I ate 400-500 calories on two fast days each week and around 1400 on the other days. The was more variability on the non-fasting days – sometimes I was near 1400, sometimes under and sometimes over (occasionally a lot over). By mostly staying near 1400 I did lose the weight I needed to. I didn’t want to control my eating too rigidly on the non-fasting days as I didn’t want to feel like I was on a diet every day.

    There is a positive side to this. Once you get to your goal 5:2 helps keep your weight stable. I still fast 2 times each week and it gives me the freedom to eat a bit more than 1400 on the other days.

    Hi simcoeluv & LJoyce
    Thank you very much, your information was very good and helpful to me😊 Thanks for your support πŸ™πŸ»

    Simcoeluv, I just read the website you sent me. Thanks. I usually use the Mayo Clinic site for various things. My TDEE on the Mayo Clinic site is 400 calories less than it comes up on this site, for some reason, and that is with calculating the same activity level. When I determined my caloric intake for FDs,, I subtracted the 500 calories from the results from the Mayo Clinic calculator. I thought this site gave me too many calories. I eat nothing during my 24 hour fast hours. Take care! πŸ™‚

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