The Maintenance Chatbox… come and share your success with us!

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The Maintenance Chatbox… come and share your success with us!

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  • I started 5:2 back in September 2013 with a weight of 67k and at five foot four inches that was heavy. My BMI was nearly 26, I was overweight.
    I switched to 4:3 in October because the weight wasn’t going very fast. After switching my weight loss was quite steady, a pound a week. By Christmas I had got to 60k and by the end of February 2014 I had reached my maintenance weight of 56k and what a happy bunny I was! My BMI was just under 22.
    I have maintained that weight since then and just want to say a big thank you to Dr. Mosley for getting me going with intermittent fasting and all it’s benefits. It’s marvellous to have gone down two dress sizes and to know that I can maintain that weight easily and what’s more at 63 years of age I feel a great deal better than I used to.
    Good luck on your journey with fasting everyone and I hope you will find the same success as me.

    Wow that’s amazing and inspirational!! Well done

    Auriga, congratulations on your weight loss and on maintaining it — which many people find to be even more of a challenge! I’ve lost 40 pounds since last August with 5:2 plus walking more, probably only five more pounds to go — do you have any tips for keeping the weight off? I’ve been practicing healthy eating at an appropriate amount of calories on my non-fasting days and plan to switch to 6:1 — hoping that will work πŸ™‚

    Thank you and well done too franfit!
    My tips for maintaining are these: stick to what works for you with fasting but modify it a little. It’s no good thinking you can go back to your old way of eating because if you do you’ll pile it back on again. Being much smaller you need less food than before too! I tend to try and stick with 4:3 only allowing between 500-700 cals on my fast days depending on my current weight….I weigh every day without fail now. I drink alcohol only on three days of the week, mainly red wine! I try and avoid refined carbohydrates, but the occasional treat is sometimes unavoidable:) I eat plenty of green salad or green vegetables, with the odd carrot or red pepper thrown in! I eat quite a bit of chicken as I am allergic to all sea food and fish.I also add good quality olive oil to my salads and take a teaspoon of flaxseed oil because of not being able to eat fish.I want to stay this way so I am very careful and mindful now of what goes into me. That’s it really:)
    I believe I need to maintain for at least a few years before I can say I am ‘cured’ of my old ways! I am in this for the long haul. Good luck if you’re just starting out……it works!! Good luck if you’re trying to maintain.

    Auriga, thank you very much for this, I was thinking that switching straight over to 6:1 might not be enough for maintenance, since my weight loss is slowing with 5:2 (actually I do a modified third fast day, not quite 4:3) the smaller I get. 6:1 worked for Dr. Mosley, but he only had 20 pounds to lose. I weigh daily now, too, every new low is immediately followed by a small bounce back up, where it hovers for a while before heading back down again. No way am I going to gain it back! No way would I waste the hard work, or risk feeling that terrible again. And besides, I gave away my larger clothes — I’d have nothing to wear πŸ˜‰

    Shall we keep this going as a ‘maintain your weight loss’ thread?

    Hello again franfit and ‘yes’ I think we should keep this thread going, because I think it’s important to help those of us in maintenance: after all when we get to an ideal weight it’s staying here that (believe it or not) is the hardest thing to do and well documented as being so!
    Like you I gave away my bigger clothing to charity and would have nothing to wear if I put the weight back on……not just me either, but hubby too! You know I still get a shock when I look in the mirror and see a skinny me. I was so used to seeing a larger image.
    I am going on holiday soon to France and in a way I am wondering how I am going to manage when confronted by French cuisine every day…..it’s the bread that will be my downfall if I am not good. I might employ a strict only two meals a day regime, no falling off the wagon.

    Auriga, good, I will have a maintenance buddy! I have a buddy from another thread who I will invite to join us, she’s only one pound away from her goal. I’m struggling a bit with what my exact goal weight should be. I’m 5’4″, 57 years old, started 5:2 at 157 pounds, my goal was to get back to my original, baseline adult weight, before I ever started gaining, or at least within 5 or 10 pounds of it. Sounds reasonable, trouble is my baseline was like 105-107 pounds, technically slightly underweight. I still feel like I would like to get to 112-115, especially if it comes off my waist, but that is really the only place where I still have weight to lose, and it may not come off there. Will have to see. I see my doctor next week, will ask his opinion.

    I, too, am constantly amazed when I see myself walking around in my new summer clothes. Even though the overweight image never really seemed like me, I still have trouble believing that the new image is really my 57-year-old self.

    Oh, I hope you enjoy your holiday in France! Yes, I think bread could be a real problem — it sure can spike the insulin levels. Maybe be sure to only enjoy it as part of a mixed meal with some protein and fat. Keeping to two meals a day sounds like a good idea, too. Then you can at least relax and enjoy a bit when you are eating.

    I eat mostly vegetarian, have fish once, maybe twice a week, same with eggs. I do eat yogurt and cheese, but also like to do grain/bean/veg combos, try cooking things from different cultures around the world. I live with my son, who is underweight, and we share the cooking. I cook on my fasting days, he cooks on most of the other days. He is on a prescribed calorie-dense diet and likes to make homemade pizza and ice cream, lol. So I am used to fasting while delicious smells waft through the apartment while he makes his breakfasts and lunches. We are quite a pair!

    I will be on maintenance soon — within a week or two — so I will contribute to this thread.

    I can hardly conceive that going from 4:3 and losing to 6:1 and maintaining will work for me, but I am willing to try it.

    How marvellous to have maintenance buddies! Looking forward to developing the thread together.

    Welcome, Amy C. πŸ™‚

    I guess, at this point, if we see ourselves start to re-gain weight with 6:1, we can always quickly return to 4:3 or 5:2, whichever we’ve been doing. I admit to being a little bit apprehensive.

    I found an interesting article on maintaining weight loss from the National Weight Control Registry (in the U.S.):

    http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/82/1/222S.full

    Here is a quote from the summary:

    “Findings from the registry suggest six key strategies for long-term success at weight loss: 1) engaging in high levels of physical activity; 2) eating a diet that is low in calories and fat; 3) eating breakfast; 4) self-monitoring weight on a regular basis; 5) maintaining a consistent eating pattern; and 6) catching β€œslips” before they turn into larger regains.”

    Would love to know what you all think.

    Yes, thank you for starting this thread, Auriga πŸ™‚

    franfit:

    “eating a diet that is low in calories and fat”

    Most that have followed 5:2 for some time have learned that if they eat high fat/protein foods on their diet days they are less hungry.

    Current research indicates over one-half of daily caloric intake should come from fat calories – even better, saturated fat calories.

    If that formula is followed, a person will be much less hungry and much more likely to not over eat which, of course, is the only way not to regain the weight it took so long and so much effort to lose, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRe9z32NZHY

    simcoeluv, I agree with you — and wondered if anyone was going to pick up on that πŸ™‚ I personally avoid starches on fast days, and I’m currently reading “The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet” by Nina Teicholz, which is quite instructive about the whole history of the official low-fat craze. In this particular study, long-term maintainers seemed to be averaging about 25% of their calories from fat, but who knows how many more people might be long-term maintainers if the low-fat dogma was not so prevalent? Probably not too many intermittent fasters in the sample, either, if everyone is eating breakfast (which, incidentally, far from all successful maintainers were doing). I have no argument with staying physically active, eating few calories, monitoring my weight, and taking action if I regain even a little, instead of waiting until I gain 5 pounds to do something about it. One thing that seemed interesting, more long-term maintainers seemed to eat pretty much the same way whether or not it was a weekend or holiday (this is what they meant by “maintaining a consistent eating pattern”). I would guess that a person would do best maintaining pretty much the same way they lost the weight, whether that was eating the same every day, or planning lower calorie days during the week to make up for excess calories consumed while socializing on weekends.

    Hmmmm … engaging in high levels of activity! Not me ! I am sure it’s good for some but count me out.

    lol, Auriga, you made me smile! πŸ™‚ My high level of activity is walking πŸ˜‰

    Hi Maintainers!
    Pleased to see this thread, as there don’t seem to be any other active maintenance threads.
    For info, I was 159lbs in Jan, now 136-138. At 5ft6, and big boned (!), it seems about right for me. Just making the transition to maintenance this week.
    I’m also going to keep processed carbs to a minimum. I don’t have any cravings for them anyway, so no hardship; there’s no nutritional benefit; and and I feel better without them (no bloating/blood sugar crashes). The rest of my diet is quite Mediterranean, esp in summer.
    I’ve adopted a 16:8 eating pattern and will stick with that, breakimg fast at 11ish. That gives me a longer fasted state each day which should help control insulin.
    And I’m going to do 6:1 instead of 5:2.
    I have upper my activity levels as well, but I know from experience that while high levels (cycling 70 miles/week in my 30s) will maintain weight, it maintains whatever weight you happen to be at, not necessarily the weight you want to be! So yes, I was a fit but slightly flabby cyclist….
    I hope this will work, but I know I can throw in extra fast days if needbe.
    I think I will need to relax a bit about the numbers though, and not stress so long as I’m maintaining somewhere below 140lbs.

    I’ll be interested to read what works for others.

    Welcome HappyNow to the Mainaineers!
    Franfit you posted, β€œFindings from the registry suggest six key strategies for long-term success at weight loss: 1) engaging in high levels of physical activity; 2) eating a diet that is low in calories and fat; 3) eating breakfast; 4) self-monitoring weight on a regular basis; 5) maintaining a consistent eating pattern; and 6) catching β€œslips” before they turn into larger regains.”
    OK so I do not do number 1…..like you all I do is walk more, because at 63 turning into a gym bunny is not what appeals to me at all. I don’t do number 2 either and agree with somcoelove that fat is good for you if it’s the right kind! Neither do I eat breakfast any more as I do 16:8 everyday and never eat before 1:30pm.
    However I do self monitor, follow a regular eating pattern and I am watching the smallest of ‘slips’.
    I just hope I can keep this up long term. This is the slimmest I’ve been for forty years and I don’t intend to slide back into bad habits. That’s my incentive and also I have halved my blood pressure medication too. Sometime soon I am having my blood lipid levels checked (it’s an annual thing with me) and that might be interesting!

    Auriga, congratulations on being your slimmest in forty years, I think that’s wonderful!

    In reading the study, it turns out that what the authors mean by “high levels of physical activity” is the equivalent of brisk walking for about an hour a day, not the “vigorous activity” described in our TDEE calculator.

    I think we all have to pick and choose the strategies that work for us, individually; that’s one of the wonderful things about 5:2, the degree of flexibility we have to make it work for us. I also think that will help us to maintain, as we’re already used to making daily decisions about food and exercise instead of following a rigid weight-loss plan.

    When are you going on holiday? It sounds like so much fun!

    I am going on holiday in just over three weeks time at the end of June, thanks for asking franfit!
    I agree we have to pick and choose what works for us, but the one thing I will say to those of you still working towards maintenance is that it’s the refined carbohydrates that will stop you losing weight if you’re not careful with them! They’re the culprits for keeping you insulin levels high (unless you use up your glucose from carbs in the gym, unlike me!) and it’s high insulin levels which make you put on weight…….so don’t graze we’re not made to be like sheep or cows!!!
    Perseverance is the name of the game with this way of eating and being mindful of what you eat.
    Good luck if you’re reading this for the first time πŸ™‚

    Hi to all of you!

    I am now also in maintenance. I was 65kg in November and am now 56kg. My body fat percentage is now 17.4%, down from 29.8 and my BMI is now 19.6 down from 22.5

    I have lost 14cm around my waist (6 inch), and 6cm around my neck.

    For me exercise has become a vital part of my new life and trying to eat as healthy as possible, with few exceptions. No alcohol, only tea and water…no more Coke…hardly ever white rice, pasta or pizza…

    I walk every day somewhere around 15000 steps and more, by jogging with my dogs. I do 6 days a week weight training at home with body weight exercises and dumbbells, plus 30 minutes on the elliptical. Twice a week inline skating and/or biking for an hour. This way I earn myself some calories that allow me to feel less restricted in my dietary calories. It also helps with muscle maintenance that helps to raise my metabolism. And above all, my fitness level went up dramatically.

    I still watch my diet very closely and log everything on myfitnesspal and so far it works all very well.

    I wish you all the best on your journey of maintenance!
    Stef.

    Hi Stef., good to see you here! I am seriously impressed with the amount of exercise you do πŸ™‚ You sound very dedicated, I feel sure you will succeed!

    Wow Stef you really do do a lot of exercise and that’s admirable!
    I wish I liked it but I never have, I suppose I could always start it :/ !

    I tried to start my maintenance regime last week and it was a spectacular fail. By mid week I had gained about 3lb and by the end of the week I didn’t even dare to weigh myself so I don’t know if and by how much more it went up.
    Anyway the plan was to do two ‘semi-fast’ days, taking in half calories as opposed to quarter (in my case 800). Well firstly, I found guestimating 800 cals much more difficult than 400 so I don’t know if I stuck to it. Secondly, it was half term week (I was off work), and it rained for 3 days solid, so I had nothing to keep me busy and on my non-fast days all I could think of to do was cook, bake and eat. Also we went for lunch with the in-laws and then had my parents to stay so I did lots of cooking and eating for that.
    I seem to have lost the ability to exercise moderation. I can do the proper fast days no problem (I’m doing one today) but on non fast days I can’t help myself from over-compensating. Even though my stomach has shrunk and it’s very uncomfortable to eat too much I still do it. I never seem to learn. I ate so much on Friday night I couldn’t sleep with indigestion and bloating. I can restrict my portion sizes at meal times but then I get intense cravings for something sweet and go out and buy chocolate. I need to remind myself of how I feel after I’ve overdone it, hopefully this will discourage me from doing it.

    Hi StraR, and welcome. So sorry to hear you had a difficult first maintenance week. It kind of sounds to me like what you’re eating isn’t satisfying you in some way so that you end up with cravings for something sweet. Or maybe your body still thinks that your starting weight was the right weight for you and is trying to get back there. That’s what I worry about for myself. How much did you lose, over what period of time, and how? Remind us of your accomplishments. Do you know anyone else who has done half-fasting days? I have done one a week in addition to two real fasting days, but the way I did it was very structured.

    For chocolate, try this:

    1 500 gram tub low-fat (NOT non-fat) Greek yogurt
    1 tablespoon cocoa
    1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
    1 tablespoon no-alcohol vanilla extract or flavoring
    1 tablespoon agave nectar, or substitute equivalent amount of stevia

    mix together. With the brand of yogurt I buy, it works out to about 1 calorie per gram. 180-200 grams makes a satisfying breakfast (with over 17 grams of protein) with a serving of fruit on the side. 120-150 grams makes a great snack; 60 grams makes a nice little fasting days dessert. You need to use low-fat instead of non-fat for two reasons: taste and satiety. Nonfat is too tangy for this application. That little bit of saturated fat helps you feel (and stay) full.

    I have been doing 4:3 for the past two weeks, so I think I will start maintenance by first scaling back to 5:2, then eventually trying 6:1 with a couple of 16:8 days (where you fast for 16 hours, restrict all your eating to 8 hours in the day) a week. Thanks for sharing your experience, it is warning me to be cautious!

    Good luck with this week — please let us know how it’s going.

    Hello franfit, I started in January at 9 st 7lb (although I was 9 st 9lb just after Christmas) and by the end of the week before last I had got down to 8 st 9lb, so almost a stone. I wasn’t overweight to start with, and nor am I anywhere near underweight now (bmi 21 or so). My husband made some comment like, ‘don’t go all size zero on me’ so I thought ok, I’ve probably lost enough now. However I probably picked the wrong week to try to start maintenance, it would have been a bad week anyway, what with all the eating opportunities and occasions. So I’m back on normal fast days for this week, will see what my weight is at the end of this week and take it from there. I knew 6:1 wouldn’t work for me, too many days of overeating opportunities! I don’t know of anyone else doing half fasts, we definitely need more threads on maintenance, there must be lots of people reaching that stage and floundering, wondering where to go from here. I guess it will be trial and error for most of us, finding out what works. Maybe it will be one full fast and one half fast? Anyway I would be very pleased to hear from anyone who has successfully maintained for a significant length of time.

    On another website with quite a few maintainers their success is down to doing 16:8 and going back to either 5:2, 4:3 or ADF if their weight goes up.
    I am doing a mix of 16:8, fasting on two days and a slightly modified fast on the third day. My weight had stayed more or less the same since the end of February.
    I think you just have to find what works and go from there. Early days for all of us . πŸ™‚

    StraR, that is funny what your husband said πŸ™‚ The way my son told me he thought I’d lost enough weight was, he started cooking pizza and homemade ice cream at least one night a week on one of his nights to cook, and then serving me 3 or 4 scoops of ice cream instead of the one scoop I serve myself!

    I’m not officially on maintenance until I see my doctor tomorrow, but I’m sure he will agree with me that now is the time. I would love to get some more off my waist, but, at this point my ribs are showing when I wear a low-cut top, my BMI is 20.1, down from 26.9, it’s just time. Since I have done 4:3 for the past two weeks I think I will start easing back by going back to 5:2 + a half-fasting day this week (the way I do that is a 16:8 at 50% of calories), seeing how that goes, easing back from there if weight does not go up. I figure I will try to maintain in a range of up or down two pounds from a loss of an even 40 pounds, at 115-119.

    Auriga, it’s good to know that others are using 16:8 as part of their maintenance plan, I have been hoping that doing 6:1 + two days of 16:8 at 50% of calories might work for me. I agree with you that there will be some trial and error as we find what works for each of us. Your success is inspiring, and it’s impressive how much you’ve had to do to maintain. I agree with you about the refined carbs (or too much of any carbs) being potential weight-control landmines. I could eat white rice or bread every waking moment without it ever filling me up, so I would rather not eat them at all. My main ‘treat’ is ice cream, I have one scoop three or four times a week (not letting my son dish it up for me any more, lol!)

    I was weighing once a week when I first started losing, because then the long-term trend was most important, but lately I’ve been weighing daily. It’s impressive how much fluctuation there can be from day to day. I think it would be safest to continue daily weights while transitioning to maintenance. I’m curious about how often everyone else is weighing now.

    Auriga, seriously envious of your upcoming holiday πŸ˜‰ Where will you be going in France?

    These are some things I’m curious about for maintenance:

    How often do you weigh yourself now?
    I’m weighing daily at this point.

    Is your goal to maintain at a certain number, below at certain number, or in a particular range?
    I would like to maintain in a range from 115 to 119 pounds.

    How many times a week do you do a proper 500-calorie fasting day?
    I plan to scale back from 3 to 2 this week.

    Are there any other kinds of fasting days you do?
    I plan to do one 16:8 @ 50% calories.

    Do you count calories on non-fasting days?
    No, but I do weigh my portions of some high-calorie foods.

    Franfit you wrote:

    How often do you weigh yourself now?
    I’m weighing daily at this point.
    My answer: I weigh daily too.

    Is your goal to maintain at a certain number, below at certain number, or in a particular range?
    I would like to maintain in a range from 115 to 119 pounds.
    My answer: In a range 8stone 8lbs to 9stone and no higher!

    How many times a week do you do a proper 500-calorie fasting day?
    I plan to scale back from 3 to 2 this week.
    My answer: At least twice a week possibly three for me.

    Are there any other kinds of fasting days you do?
    I plan to do one 16:8 @ 50% calories.
    My answer: I also do 16:8 everyday.

    Do you count calories on non-fasting days?
    No, but I do weigh my portions of some high-calorie foods.
    My answer: Not particularly but I try and avoid refined carbs!

    Let’s hope franfit that everyone lets us know what they do.

    p.s. I am going to the Perigord, near Le Bugue. My maintenance plan will be out of the window a bit then!

    How often do you weigh yourself now?
    After this week I will weigh twice: Friday morning when I’m at my lowest, Monday morning when I would probably be heaviest!

    Is your goal to maintain at a certain number, below at certain number, or in a particular range?
    Hoping to stay just around/above 8 and a half stone

    How many times a week do you do a proper 500-calorie fasting day?
    I now anticipate 1 – 2, depending on how bingey my weekend has been!

    Are there any other kinds of fasting days you do?
    I plan to do one 16:8 @ 50% calories.
    Me too, and one @ 25% calories

    Do you count calories on non-fasting days?
    Definitely not!

    Auriga and StraR, thank you for sharing! It looks like we have fairly similar plans for maintenance — so here’s hoping those plans will work! It certainly seems like they should, none of us are planning to do anything remotely like resuming our old eating habits. Having people to share with about this will help me, for sure!

    Auriga, I had to look up Le Bugue on Google Maps, never having heard of it before. Is there a special reason you chose that part of France to travel to? I don’t think many people fast on holiday, although I’ve heard of people using the days of getting there and back as fasting days, especially if the journey was long and most of the food available en route was not so great anyway. Will it take you very long to get there?

    Hello franfit it’s good to have buddies who are similar isn’t it!

    The reason we’re going to Le Bugue is because we’ve been going to the area around there for more than thirty years with a company whom we really like for gites. We don’t go there every year but it’s a great area and we love it. We’re staying in gourmet hotels on the way down and it’ll take two days driving (very slowly by choice, about 250 miles a day). We have done it in one go when we were younger , but there’s no rush to get there and it gives you chance to enjoy the country as it changes and have a leisurely picnic for lunch. We’re going with good friends and will just chill out!

    Are you going on hols soon fellow maintainers franfit, Stef, HappyNow or StraR and where to? I shall definitely let you know how I get on with all that gourmet eating! I shall judge any weight increase by my clothes!

    Hello Auriga, I got to back to my WW goal today, I have been trying to lose 5 or 6 lb since January after Christmas and 10 day AI holiday in Tenerife, I will have been at goal for three years on the 5 July. I am 68 and I want to get below 140 lbs that’s into the nine’s. I did get to goal in 1994/5 but I did not stay there for long, so this time, with 5-2 pals and my WW pals I know I can do this.
    I started d Nordic walking yesterday and did a B2B Sunday and Monday this week.
    My downfall is a rum and diet coke, I really want one to night to celebrate but I do want to mentain this and lose a bit more. So I still intend doing B2B sun/Monday for a few weeks.
    How often do you weigh yourself now?
    I’m weighing daily at this point.

    Is your goal to maintain at a certain number, below at certain number, or in a particular range?
    I would like to maintain in a range from 139 to 135 pounds.

    How many times a week do you do a proper 500-calorie fasting day?
    I plan to scale back from 3 to 2 this week.

    Are there any other kinds of fasting days you do?
    I do not eat after 7pm any day of the week.
    I like breakfast, bit fruit 1pm’ ish, meal about 6pm

    Do you count calories on non-fasting days?
    Not always but I always write every thing down. So I can look back
    It’s WW thingy.
    My BMI is top of the range so a few more pounds will be good.
    Thanks franfit for the intro to this thread.
    Happy maintaining all. JIP

    Welcome JIP to the maintenance buddy thread.I hope you manage to lose the little bit more you’d like to lose. I think we all might need wiggle room until we are secure in our weight or set point. Getting used to being slim and staying there is my resolve. There isn’t a great deal of information on this yet so we’ll have to all help each other. Happy fasting and maintaining. πŸ™‚

    JIP, congratulations on reaching your WW goal and good to see you here πŸ™‚ You are one of the most determined people I know, the weight loss you have achieved while having to take steroids is truly remarkable!

    Auriga, your holiday sounds lovely! I am not planning one at the moment. I do part-time freelance elder care, and a client I’ve been helping care for for almost five years is very slowly dying of dementia and breast cancer. It would be pretty hard on everyone else involved if I were to go away right now, I am the support person for the round-the-clock carers and the only person her frail, grumpy 92-year-old husband will let help him with anything. So I look forward to hearing about what everyone else is up to, and will take my holiday at some point in the future πŸ™‚

    My doctor heartily agreed with my plan to switch from weight loss to maintenance and trying to very gradually improve fitness at this point. So it’s official, my goal is to stay in the 115-119 pound range (that’s 8st. 3lbs. – 8st. 7lbs., 52.3 kg. – 54.1 kg.). I will see a physical therapist next Thursday to start designing a home exercise program to improve core strength, balance, flexibility, and upper body strength while protecting my neck, back, right shoulder and left knee from any further injury.

    Auriga, I have been doing some reading lately that really supports limiting refined carbs, like you do, or even all carbs. There are two books about nutrition research that I really recommend to anyone who is interested, they are ‘Good Calories, Bad Calories’ by Gary Taubes and ‘The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet’ by Nina Teicholz. Both document the history of the mistaken low-fat eating recommendations that are still being pushed by public health authorities. Very interesting reading.

    Hi All.

    Weighing frequency.
    Daily at the moment also. I don’t count calories, so weighing daily will hopefully enable me to fine tune my eating on nonfast days.

    Maintenance goal.
    I think I’ll be happy to be below 140lbs so will use that as my upper limit. Currently 134, for only the second time in my life – the first time would have been in my early teens I guess! Could go lower I know, but not sure I should.

    Fasting frequency.
    I never did more than 2 500ish fast days per week and now plan to do 6:1 I think.

    Other forms of fasting.
    I have been doing 16:8 most days though and limiting processed carbs, like Auriga. That will definitely continue.

    Calorie counting.
    I don’t count calories any day. Just started making deliberately healthy choices, and then found that came naturally, as did recognising when I was full (and stopping eating!).

    And Auriga, thanks for asking, hols this year are not exotic though! Walking in Scotland and the Lake District. Really looking forward to it though. Last year I hated summer, low on energy and confidence, felt fat and frumpy, covered up in baggy clothes…. This year? Bring it on!

    Hello buddies! Your holiday sounds just great HappyNow…I love the lake district although its been a while since I went there….I hope you have a good time when you go. It’s good isn’t it when you don’t have to worry about covering up the lumpy bits! I have bought a new swimsuit for my hols and cant wait to wear it for once instead of grabbing a large towel quickly when I came out of the water. Although I do look a bit like a balloon after you’ve let it down, a bit wrinkly skinned on the thighs and stomach since the fat has mostly gone!!

    Franfit I think you and I are interested in the same books…..you might like ‘The Diet Delusion’ by Gary Taubes, ‘Grain Brain’ by David Perlmutter MD and ‘Fat Chance’ by Dr Robert Lustig, all very good reads! I have just sent off for ‘The Big Fat Surprise’ as I haven’t read that one.

    Amy are you going on holiday I forgot to ask you?

    I know we’re not all ‘of a certain age’ but for those of you who are supposed to be post menopause I have noticed at 63 that my hot flushes have come back with a vengeance since I have been doing intermittent fasting and was wondering if any of you have found that? If not I shall post in the ‘Ladies of a certain age’ thread. Just wondering of it’s turning back the clock!!!!! Now wouldn’t that be weird!

    Hello All
    We are going to North Devon (Ilfracombe) for a week in August – my parents are celebrating their golden wedding this year and instead of parties for this sort of occasion they like to take all the family on holiday, which is great for us! There will be 12 of us across 3 generations, ranging from 3 to 74. Fingers crossed for a summer like last year. The weather can make or break a holiday in England. My parents are also doing 5:2, although they were never really overweight, just health-conscious. As it’s only a week I don’t think any of us will fast while we’re there, but will probably do one just before and one straight after.
    Re the carbs, I did plan to have a carb free day yesterday, but found it really difficult, I ate a cookie at lunch time and a packet of crisps when I got home, then I just wanted to keep nibbling…. but I only had small quantities of everything. I think I definitely have some level of addiction to carbs/sugar, although I manage quite easily on proper fast days, so I guess it must all be in my head. Maybe I should take a look at some of these books that franfit and Auriga have mentioned.

    having lost 3 stone with this way of life since february 2013 and now maintaining and exercise features in my life i want to thank michael moseley for kickstarting me to start this way of life.

    Yes buckslady I think we’re all very,very grateful to Michael for bringing this into our lives. I wonder if he’s aware of it though as I don’t think he reads much on the website anymore…….I guess he’s off doing more marvellous things!

    StraR what a great way to celebrate a Golden Wedding bringing the whole family together. I used to go to North Devon as a child and have very fond memories of the area…..I hope you and your parents have a lovely time there and fingers crossed for some great weather for you too!
    I agree that those dratted refined carbs can be addictive, I think it’s mentioned quite a bit in ‘Fat Chance’ which is about sugar mainly.

    Hi maintaining buddies! I got super busy with work yesterday and didn’t even have time to read the forum! My weight is still solidly in my maintenance range πŸ™‚ even though I felt very poorly yesterday AM and ate breakfast so that I’d be able to function — that happens to me once in a while — I made the fast-day dinner I’d planned and ended up with a 50% of calories day, now plan to do a proper fasting day Friday instead of one of my 16:8 @ 50% days as I had originally planned. Hope I can make it, as that’s going to be another busy day! At least I’ve got leftovers in the fridge from yesterday for our main dish that evening, just have to add a veg and a salad.

    Welcome, HappyNow, and congratulations on your great weight loss! I think walking in the Lake District and Scotland sounds wonderful, isn’t it great to feel confident in how we look and feel?

    StraR, the family holiday you have planned sounds wonderful, too! The effects that too many carbs or refined carbs can have on our bodies are interesting and a little scary, I think. My degree of carb sensitivity seems to be kind of medium, if I eat whole-food carbs or even a controlled amount of refined carbs as part of a mixed meal with plenty of protein and some fat I seem to do OK, but forget about eating a high-carb food by itself, I’ll be hungry an hour and a half or two hours later for sure.

    Hi, buckslady, are you maintaining by doing 6:1, or do you do something else in addition to that?

    Auriga, I am going to check out the books you mentioned. I keep getting more and more interested in carbohydrate metabolism and the problems with the official low-fat diet recommendations.

    I think I need to stabilize at my new weight for a while before I cut back very much on my fasting. One thing the research seems pretty clear about it that the longer you maintain a new, lower, weight, the higher your chances of continuing to maintain. So I do not want to re-gain anything at all. When I get to the low end of my maintenance range and stay there, then I think that I can ease back a bit more on the fasting. What do you all think?

    Hi Franfit. Thanks for the congrats!
    I did a fast today (my first this week, although I am on 16:8 and low carb most days), but think it would have been more like 50% than 25%. I’m not too worried though as for the last week or so (including the weekend which featured a couple of bottles of wine and fried brunches) my weight has been exactly the same each morning. If its up on Saturday, I’ll just have to be stricter next week.

    I too am increasingly interested in the effects of processed carbs, and think the food industry (and government dietary guidelines) have done us all a huge disservice (but hey, they all got rich so our health is a small price to pay….).
    Now as well as being an intermittent faster, I’m also an intermittent processed carb eater.
    I’m finding if I ‘over carb’ in the evening I get overnight water retention and bloating, lower abdominal pain, back ribcage pain and bizarrely some upper thigh weakness. I never believed in food intolerance before, but the effects of excess carbs on me do seem a bit toxic…. And that’s only the ‘visible’ effects.

    Re: stabilizing before cutting back. Seems an entirely sensible approach, letting your body (and mind) adjust to your new weight and making changes gradually. We’re now in uncharted territory moving to maintenance. Who knows what will work!

    HappyNow, it is very encouraging to know how stable your weight has been πŸ™‚ You’re right, we’re in fairly uncharted territory. If I’m not mistaken many of the people who’ve posted on this list so far qualify as perimenopausal/menopausal/postmenopausal women, and we have an especially tough time just avoiding weight gain, let alone losing weight. So we should all be very proud of ourselves!

    Since most people I know are overweight (2/3 of people in my country are overweight), I am continually surprised at how few ask me what I did to lose the weight, and how very few show any interest in trying intermittent fasting. Of course IF hasn’t become as well known yet here in the US as it is in the UK, but it still puzzles me. Are most people so discouraged about their weight that they’ve just given up?

    franfit I think that overweight has become the new normal, it’s now the normal weight people who stand out! Also I think sugar and carb addiction is very widespread and very difficult for people to overcome. There is just so much temptation out there! I for one feel both alarmed and dismayed at the idea of cutting out sugar (especially chocolate)completely from my life, although I am determined to cut right down. Have ordered ‘Fat Chance’ and the ‘Big Fat Surprise’ for some inspirational reading.

    I am still up a couple of lbs from my lowest weight two weeks ago, so I’m going to carry on with 5:2 until I’m back to that and then try again with maintenance, but planning much more carefully this time!

    Hello buddies….marvellous weather here in the UK today! I feel a steak and salad coming on. Hubby is addicted to carbs still and bought a small French baguette for his lunch! It was hard to pass on it I can tell you!

    I find it very interesting that we all seem to be of the same mind and very similar plans to succeed with our maintenance….uncharted territory is always a bit tricky! I just dare not stop the modified 4:3 I am doing, it works so I just can’t risk cutting back to 6:1……I’d have to be really skinny before I did that.

    I too find it incredulous that there are so many people these days who are overweight or obese. Maybe it’s because they have just been given the wrong advice….the hype to eat low fat, high carb is still ongoing and I think it really doesn’t do any one any favours. It’s hard to convince some people that what we’re doing (IF) is good for us. My hairdresser was horrified that I had largely given up refined carbs

    I read today a very positive article in ‘The Telegraph’ about fasting and its advantages for making the immune system stronger, especially in older people and those having chemotherapy…..a little bit spoilt only by a suggestion that this could be achieved through drugs!! Hmmmmm I know which one I’d plump for! ‘Big Pharma’ as it’s referred to these days has a lot to answer for and food manufacturers.

    StraR, I agree about large being the new normal. I have friends and family who thought I was thin anyway and now suspect I may be anorexic. I’m a size 10 and BMI 22, I’ve hardly wasted to nothing!

    Re: fear of giving up sugar. Fasting has liberated me from carb cravings. Now, 5 months on, if I crave something sweet (rarely) I can eat in moderation, trusting my body that there’s something in that food I need. OR I can ignore that craving entirely (discipline from IF) and it will subside. I’m no longer an addict.
    Hopefully you will have a similar transition?

    After nine months of being on the diet I haven’t found my cravings for things like cake, bread, biscuits or chocolate have gone away!!! I can ignore the cravings with an iron will power I seem to have developed, but I am not cured! You’re very lucky HappyNow, my brain still needs re-educating.

    Good morning, maintaining buddies! Saturday is my official weigh-in day, so I was very happy to see the number 115.2 on my scale this morning, especially since it said 117.8 yesterday! I did fast and walk 10,000 steps yesterday, but hardly think I could have lost 2.6 pounds of fat in a day, so a lot of water weight must have been creeping up on me. If I manage to stay at 115, I can consider backing off my calorie restriction to regular 5:2 πŸ™‚

    I agree about heavy being the new normal, I almost feel like I’m part of a privileged elite now when I walk down the street πŸ˜‰ The main thing is I know how uncomfortable it is to be heavy, that’s what makes me think that people must have just given up on trying to do anything about it when they don’t show any interest in how I did it. Or maybe they’ve forgotten what it feels like to be comfortable in your own skin. Well, aside from that little flap on my belly where the consequences of past heaviness and the scar from an emergency C-section converge, lol.

    I sometimes think that I would like to try a low-carb diet for a few weeks to see if it could target my waistline specifically. There are a number of obstacles in my way, none of them completely insurmountable, but together they add up to a lot of things to figure out how to solve. Number one, I’m a mostly vegetarian who really doesn’t like meat. So I don’t like the vegetarian products that pretend to be meat. Number two, I’m at risk for kidney disease, so can’t do high-protein. Number three, I don’t eat soy products more than once or twice a week because of a history of breast cancer. Number four, my son, who does half the cooking, is an underweight former preemie who likes to cook with white pasta and rice. He’ll put up with brown rice in a casserole and likes the Bhutanese red rice we tried recently, so there’s some hope there. But he doesn’t like the taste of whole wheat products, and I have to say that his taste buds are not completely leading him astray. Whole grains contain phytates that interfere with the absorption of some vitamins and minerals from the intestine unless they are soaked, sprouted, or lacto-fermented, none of which processes are usually involved in modern preparation methods. So you don’t really want to base a diet on commercial whole-wheat pasta, cereal, bread, etc., even though it’s probably OK to eat a bit of these things. And converting over to soaking, sprouting, and lacto-fermenting all your grains for a grain-based diet is a chore. Beans have the same problem but are easier to deal with: just soak dry beans overnight with a tablespoon of lemon juice, vinegar, or yogurt with active cultures, then cook in the slow-cooker on low for several hours, use some and freeze the rest for later. These cause much less gas and taste better than even the best canned brands, too. So I’m glad that I seem to be reasonably carb-tolerant, or I’m not sure what I’d eat. As long as I eat high-carb foods as part of a mixed meal with plenty of protein and fat, I’m OK. If I eat a high-carb food by itself, I’ll be hungry in an hour or two. And white rice or bread do absolutely nothing toward making me feel full. I don’t eat even fruit by itself. It’s good with a few nuts or some cheese, though. I’ve gotten good at being able to enjoy just one scoop of ice cream. I’ve noticed that most of the enjoyment of a food like that comes in the first bite or two. Then you can eat more and more trying to get that initial ‘mmmmm’ again, but it won’t happen. I have a friend who is diabetic who’s gotten to the point where she can really enjoy just a tablespoon or less of something she loves. But that doesn’t work for everyone.

    So Auriga, I know what it’s like to live with someone who can eat anything and everything, lol. I’ll walk in at lunchtime on a fast day and the apartment will be filled with a wonderful aroma from the bean burrito my son is making himself, and I’ll just have to think, ‘oh, well, I can have one tomorrow’. Not always easy, even after all these months πŸ˜‰

    Wow franfit that was a good post! You make me realise that being a salad loving carnivore is a breeze in comparison to some of the obstacles you face daily. You’re right about that ‘first bite’ yummy moment too……I am like that with red wine, it’s very difficult to have just one glass!
    Glad for you too that it was water weight and the scales are being kind.

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