Welcome to The Fast Diet › The official Fast forums › Welcome to The Fast Diet and Exercise forums › The Basics for Newbies – Your Questions Answered!
This topic contains 540 replies, has 175 voices, and was last updated by simcoeluv 7 months, 3 weeks ago.
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19 Sep 14
Short people such as yourself have a bigger challenge than others. Most people coming to 5:2 that stick with it for longer than a month come to realize just how few calories it takes for the human body to keep going. They often adjust by reducing junk foods and adding foods with better nutritional content.
But small people such as yourself (and I do not use that term in any negative way whatsoever – it is irrelevant for all purposes other than weight loss) have to fight with the ‘numbers’ that say it is harder to lose weight when you have a low TDEE.
I have no (satisfactory) answer. You just have to eat less than seems imaginable in today’s world of endless food availability. Water fasting on diet days may help a bit (eat no calories whatsoever on diet days), and maybe 4:3 with water fasting. But it will be slow nevertheless. I’m happy to try to help in whatever way I can.
As my other posts indicate, I believe that caloric restriction is the issue for weight loss, not time between meals. So if you eat within the limits you choose ( 500 or less, or 25% of TDEE or less), I think it matters not whether you eat them in 8 sittings or one. Over time you will discover which works best for you.
Give it a shot – Good Luck!
Just to say that I agree with Simon. I’m 64″/163cm and approx. 49kg but have a low BMR (<900kcals) and TDEE (approx 1050kcals on a sedentary day and 1300kcals on a more active day). (My numbers are calculated from my muscle mass that was estimated from a Dexa scan and using the Miffin St Jeor formula which is the one used to calculate BMR and TDEE on this site – it’s just that mine is probably more accurate because there’s a good estimate for my body composition rather than using average values.)
It is quite eye-opening to see how little food we need to meet our basic needs. I used 4:3 to change my weight to my current level (after an initial few weeks on ADF for various reasons that aren’t relevant). I had lengthy plateaus along the way but did shed 60lbs, over time.
Good Luck with integrating 5:2 comfortably into your life.
Thanks guys, I will stick with 500 calories for the first little while till the fast days become a bit easier for me (as Im starving right now lol) but as slow and difficult as it might be I have to do it as it seems to be the only one people can manage long term. Thx for all the advice and encouragement, best of luck to you both too 🙂
This is the bad news that dieters, nutritionists, dieticians, doctors, exercise physiologists and most researchers would prefer weren’t true. For many people, to lose weight it is necessary to starve.
The only time starving isn’t necessary, so far as I can see, is when over-eating or poor food choices, caused by conditioning, are behind the weight gain. Those people only need extinguish the conditioned responses around food addiction or compulsion and the weight drops off them.
Here’s just one example. A woman was eating a family-size block of chocolate each evening in front of television. She used an NLP technique called “collapse anchors” to successfully extinguish the addiction. However the really interesting thing was the next day when she reported not having the chocolate. She said that when she thought about having the chocolate she remembered feeling really nauseous before, after a chocolate session. This shocked her because apparently she’d had a kind of amnesia for the nausea.
If thin people overeat something to the point of feeling sick, they tend to avoid it for a long time. But someone with a food addiction will just repeat it again and again, “forgetting” how sick it made them.
Hi all, I’m doing my ‘practice’ fasting day today and so far ive only had a couple of gingernut biscuits and a small sushi roll. I am getting the shakes at the moment and that sick feeling in my stomach because I’m hungry. And the more I drink the more sick I feel. Is it best to not eat at all until dinner time and only that small 500cal portion?
My advice would be to ditch the gingernuts on a fast day!
Whilst no food is forbidden, the choices you make will dictate how easy or hard this is, and poor food choices may jeopardize your fast.
I started in January at 72.4kg and have been maintaining at 60ish since June.
I don’t know what you ate the night before, but I find fast days more manageable if I avoid processed carbohydrate and sugar the evening before (insulin/blood sugar not spiked).
On the fast day itself I also avoid processed carbs/ sugars (like bread, biscuit, cake). These are empty calories, with no nutritional benefit, and only drive up blood sugar/insulin making you hungrier. Don’t feel deprived though, you can have them tomorrow! Try to choose foods that fill you up for longer but don’t spike insulin levels. Protein and fats are good, so eggs, fish, cheese, nuts. I also eat natural yoghurt (unsweetened, and NOT low fat) with some fruit, and that fills me up a treat and doesn’t lead to shaky/ sick hunger later on.
I eat twice a day, so late breakfast (the yoghurt) or early lunch (maybe cottage cheese/ tuna with salad and veg) then through to evening meal of protein and veg.
In the early days I did get shaky mid afternoon so had a small snack of almonds or cheese.
It does get easier the more you do it.
And remember if you go over the 500cals it isn’t the end of the world! And if you bail out of the fast one day, just try again the next. You won’t have failed, you’re just practising and refining and finding what works for you.
I have something that might suit some people for fast days, but also some people might find it unpalatable. See what you think.
I researched how to do a homemade protein shake, based on egg white and skim milk powder, that was tasty and also filling. For me that’s a chocolate flavour and I add xanthan gum and psyllium to get a thicker shake. I flavour with stevia to balance out the bitterness of the cocoa. Personally I think it’s delicious and it feels quite decadent, even though it’s very low on calories.
Each serving is only about 70 calories, and if you look at the ingredients it seems to be quite nutritious as well.
I’m having 3 of those, plus some fruit, on my fast days and coming in at around 300 calories, which I need because of my low TDEE. I keep a big jar of water on my desk, with about a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in it and I find that seems to have an impact on appetite.
If anyone would like my homemade recipe for protein shakes I’ll be happy to put it up and also put the nutritional data that I calculated for it. I worked out the cost at around 30 cents a serve.
“This is the bad news that dieters, nutritionists, dieticians, doctors, exercise physiologists and most researchers would prefer weren’t true. For many people, to lose weight it is necessary to starve.”
Interesting point of view, suthers, albeit I don’t find myself in agreement – possibly because I’m not wholly sure of what you mean by “starve”. If you’re using it as a synonym for a strong feeling of hunger or emptiness, then perhaps (although that seems to fade quite quickly for some people tho’ not others). If you mean something more akin to the clinical state of starvation then I’d dissent from your proposition that “it is necessary to starve”.
It is necessary to create sufficient of a caloric deficit, and a friendly metabolic/endocrine state, to allow us to mobilise our fat stores and to use those for day to day energy needs, rather than constantly taking in enough to meet all of those needs from our food intake.
As I’ve mentioned, I have a low TDEE for someone of my age and activity levels because I have abnormally low levels of muscle mass. I’m not starving on my present level of food intake, I’m maintaining. Yes, there is a stark contrast in my portion sizes tho’ I’m reluctant to extrapolate from my individual circumstances because a major accident, followed by an abruptly sedentary period (relative to my normal very active life) that continued for 2 years, was the stage setting for my weight gain.
I have a superstitious reluctance to say this but there’s been a marked change in my appetite levels that is reflected in those smaller portion sizes. I’ve seen a lot of references to a return of appetite in weight maintenance – sometimes to constant and intrusive levels.* I would hope that I’m spared that experience but I know it’s possible . I can only say, for now, that I’m not starving and that my appetite matches the portion sizes that I need to maintain.
NB * Debra Sapp-Yarwood is a member of the National Weight Registry and has been in maintenance after radical weight loss for 14 yrs now, iirc. DSY kept a very interesting year long journal of a year for her in maintenance and she has a lot to say about endocrine impulses towards increased appetite and weight gain:
For some people, she seems to have a pessimistic take on the realities of maintenance but I find her very clear-eyed and stoic. Plus, as she says, so many people ‘bright-side’ maintenance that it is refreshing to read someone who has been so remarkably successful altho’ it hasn’t been puppies and rainbows for her.
20 Sep 14
Thanks for all your replies, The only reason I had those ginger biscuits is because I was nauseous (still recovering from a bug I had last week) and ginger biscuits help relieve that feeling. I normally only eat twice a day anyway, if im at work its not until 1pm but if its my day off its around 11am. My practice fast went out the window last night when I went to my sisters and she cooked me dinner :/ oh well, Monday is my real day and I know I can condition myself to do it because I want/need to lose this weight. Hopefully it all goes well!
22 Sep 14
Recent research shows that food sweetened with sugars stimulate the brain, but those sweetened with artificial sweeteners have no effect. The research indicates that artificial sweeteners do not have the same impact as sugar does: http://news.yahoo.com/brains-know-difference-between-carbs-artificial-sweeteners-202736452–spt.html
23 Sep 14
I sure that I ate under my TTEE on non fast days and under 500 calories on my fast days. Honestly I even worked out 3 times and did a 2km run. I haven’t lost anything. I have a sore throat. Seeing the scales today really broke my spirit and went for a cinamon donut at the local bakery. I think I was angry and stuffed myself even thou I wasn’t hungry
You don’t say how long you have been doing 5:2. You might read #2 and #5, above. Without more information, that is about all I can say right now.
24 Sep 14
I also got on the scales this morning and so far haven’t lost any weight in 5 days. However the 7 days before I lost 3 kg.
I think there are 2 problems here. Firstly we want instant gratification. When we’ve put so much effort in, we feel that we should be rewarded for that. It’s only natural to feel like this, but not very helpful when it comes to weight loss, because of the next problem.
The second problem is that we’ve been indoctrinated with “calories in/calories out”, and we now know that this is a bit of a red herring. Particularly if you have a metabolic problem, then reduced calories can simply result in increased fatigue and/or depression.
So weight loss isn’t a smooth journey. Despite our sticking to any program our weight will go up, down, and nowhere, depending on a whole lot of other factors.
I don’t believe there is any “magic bullet” answer for everyone and it might be that 5:2 isn’t your answer, and that you have to keep looking. However it’s way too early to make a call on that.
I just encourage you to keep going long enough to give it a chance, and to use a daily log. Studies do show that people who keep a log are more successful.
Is it ok for me to not eat all my cals on non fast days? I only eat a little lunch and then a little dinner and it doesnt always meet up with my 1200cals. Or do I actually need to make sure I eat all of it?
It is a common misconception that you have to eat to your TDEE on non diet days. The general guideline is to eat to your TDEE or less.
The less you eat, the more you lose.
25 Sep 14
Hello 5:2 team, i am just checking in. I completed one fast day a week and a half ago then had to go away for a week. I was staying in a hotel and had to eat out for the whole week. I managed not to put any weight on (yay me!). I am doing my second fast day today and can now focus on two of these a week. Just having a quick read on what i have missed the last week or so. Posts are very motivating. Have a great Thursday everyone :-).
Congrats on no weight gain – it is very hard to do when away from home!
30 Sep 14
You may have seen on this site (or others) that intermittent fasting can help cure type 2 diabetes. Here is the thread: http://thefastdiet.co.uk/forums/topic/type-ii-diabetes/
And here is some scientific information:
This gives a very basic outline of how and has many success stories: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAwgdX5VxGc
This is a speech to other doctors and is much more detailed in what causes diabetes and how to cure it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oZ4UqtbB_g
2 Oct 14
An ‘old’ (2007) Varady paper reviewing human and animal clinical studies on ADF: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/86/1/7.full
6 Oct 14
If you have heard that the low fat diet is unsafe and dangerous to your health, this will give the scientific basis for that position: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbnshVO4PRM
It also covers why high protein diets are not all that healthy, either.
7 Oct 14
I always thought the idea on a fast day was to choose foods with a low GI value, as I will normally have some type of meat and eggs and lots of veg (I now have a clicking jaw sometimes to prove it) which will come to just over 400 cals, and save the extra for coffee(s) with skimmed milk for evening, or if I need a bovril or broth drink during the day.
Not low GI, low insulin raising properties. That is why I recommend high fat. Protein, especially dairy and fish, raise insulin levels quite a bit even though they do not affect blood sugar levels. If you are not diabetic, then low GI works better than high carb low fat.
simcoeluv, Thanks for posting the link to the Varady paper, it’s really informative.
You have got some great resources and it is very kind of you to share them, I am very grateful to you.
13 Oct 14
Fat, particularly saturated fat, has been given a bad name by the government and doctors for decades. It turns out that research shows it is actually good for you and that low fat diets are not.
Here is a nice history of the low fat diet, the science and why dietary fat is actually good.
If you want, you can watch it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRe9z32NZHY
or read it: http://coconutoil.com/enjoy-saturated-fats-theyre-good-for-you/
14 Oct 14
Well having spent this morning reading this site I am convinced to give this a try, wish me well.
Good morning all. I just compleated my 2nd fast day yesterday. I was more hungry that the first day (last Thursday) but I made it through. I was looking for suggestions for fast days. I do eat a Paleo diet and have for 3 years. I have not seen any weight loss yet but hope to in the next couple of weeks, I have now become obsessed with the scale. It’s been really fun reading this thread!
It takes awhile for your body to become used to a different eating pattern, and it takes awhile for your mind to come to grips with how little food you need to keep going. Experience and observation shows a person needs to do two diet days a week correctly for a month or two before they understand how 5:2 works and before the body becomes accustomed to severe calorie restriction two times a week. Most people that quit the diet quit in the first month or so, either because it is too hard for them, or because they lost quite a bit of weight initially but then stopped losing.
As the common expression goes, whatever works for you is what to do. But many find that eating just one high fat/protein meal in the evening on diet days works best. They find after awhile they are not even hungry until evening, and an evening meal helps them sleep better. Those that graze throughout the day often find they are constantly hungry, especially if they are grazing on carbs.
Personally, I rarely eat anything on diet days. I do not get hungry, and don’t have to worry about counting calories. People starting out often can’t imagine this, but those that continue with 5:2 understand it even if a different eating pattern works better for them.
Experiment a little to find what works for you now, and don’t be surprised if your solution changes as your experience with 5:2 grows.
Thank you simcoeluv,
I will keep at it and trust that it will get easier and the weight will come off. I am aiming for a total of 25 pounds. I will keep checking in here. Reading what everyone goes through really helps!
Thank you for all your info… just started today on my first Fast Day. off to bed and hopefully will sleep.
won’t forget to drink lots of water and actually looking forward to eating normally tomorrow.
Nothing really new in this report of recent research finding a higher fat diet helps reverse metabolic syndrome (obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, low good cholesterol and high triglycerides): http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/10/14/olive-oil-nuts-may-help-reverse-heart-risk-factors/
except maybe this quotation from Alice Lichtenstein, director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at Tufts University in Boston:
“Certainly no one is currently recommending low fat diets for anyone . . .”
The word is finally starting to spread, even among the elite of dietary dogma.
15 Oct 14
Well spotted simcoeluv. As we move into Summer here it’s a good reminder to make our own olive-oil salad dressings 🙂
16 Oct 14
Taking a guess about getting the shakes on first fasting days.
Though I can’t reference it. If someone has been on a high amount of carbs for long periods. Where the protein and fats of their diet have been typically much lower than carbs. It may and guessing may be a probiotic issue. Where the bacteria in gut that digests the proteins and fats are in poor condition population numbers wise. Where the vast amount of calorie uptake is from the carb breakdown. Then suddenly restricting the carbs , and only eating the fat and or protein could result in a very low energy day.
I am guessing though. Diet foods like diet soda can sometimes be harmful to the probiotic populations , thus having some feel like craving carbohydrates that the remaining bacteria are very good at breaking down. In this situation I’m just guessing again that it is temporary . As we bring the macro nutrition of protein/fat/ carbs into healthier ratio . The probiotics regenerate.
It’s my u derstading that fasting of any amount helps the probiotic population regenerate. Further it can take upto 6 weeks for the normal amount of protein and fat bacteria probiotics to regenerate.
Just guessing something close to this theory is why some newbies find the carb restriction intolerable , with symptoms like the shakes even though they had plenty of fat and protein.
I admit I may be completely wrong, but is how I understand it.
So I have restarted this several times now . The 600 calorie days. Eating at 7pm , going sleep over night, having 600 calories throughout the day, going to bed again and eating sometime after 7am – 36 hours. The beauty of this calorie restriction is that even though I prefer to eat red beans to restart a 5:2 or 4:3 on weekly basis. Someone is free to choose what suits them. IMO in that first weeks the probiotics MAY regenerate so that was was less tolerable in the beginning becomes easier to digest as I keep on keeping on. From my personal experience trying to learn how to fast on sedentary days and extremely active days. I have more difficulty on the active days when I first restart fasting. Within a few weeks I’m less sensitive of low carb days.
My strategy has been to put the strenuous exercise days on feed days. Especially when restarting. Not sure this would apply to everyone, just sharing my experience. Adding also I believe it’s more important to learn what works in the first six weeks, as opposed to being fixated on the scale results. Because if I’m cutting out 100,000 calories per year. I know I will see a downward trend on the scale. As long as I’m not grossly overeating on feed days. 🙂 it’s hard to see adjust a pound of loss when my water retention varies so much. I have been obese for more than 20 years. I simply don’t need to do a diet that enable me to lose 30 lbs in just six weeks. Especially if return to the same eating habit. I learned new eating habits , and I live with pain! So the exercise for weight loss is less tolerable for me personally. I feel like the ADF or Intermittent Fasting approach over the term of years will help me get my weight down to healthy weight and keep it off eventually. More than 50lbs so far. In less than two years. I have full confidence I will have lost over 100 lbs in less than 3 years.
Im new and at 50 years of age, I have been doing the 5 2 diet now for 4 weeks. With only 5kgs I am wanting to lose ( so not as much as what other people appear to want to lose on here)
I have put on 1 kg and I am following it properly! What I am wondering is, that perhaps this diet is not suitable or does not always work for a few people? I am ready to give up now, today, my fast day… as I just do not think it is working at all. I have checked measurements too!! 1kg extra ( I cant believe it!)
Hi Millie and welcome:
It is impossible to do 5:2 correctly and not lose weight.
5:2 means you eat your TDEE or less on five days, and 500 calories or less two days a week. By definition, you have to lose weight.
If you have not lost weight in a month, it most likely means you are eating too many calories on your non diet days. Perhaps, you might also be eating too many calories on your diet days.
I would suggest that you count calories for a couple of non diet days to see where you might be eating too many calories. That usually identifies the problem.
thanks for your reply.
I have been following this correctly believe me!!! I have also ,on non diet days been counting and went below the TDEE..I am sure my metabolism has slowed recently (as did my mother’s at same age)
So I am at a loss to understand what is happening!
I will keep trying for the next week and if there is no weight loss then I will give up. As for the 1kg I put on, I haven’t put any weight on for over 8 months, why now, I don’t know?!!!
What is your TDEE according to the calculator? What activity level did you enter?
My TDEE is around 1700 (I based it on a few that I saw as this one (on 5 2 diet site) was higher (1750) and thought I could average it to 1700, in saying that I aim for less when I can. My activity was 2-3 times of exercise per week, I then looked at less and it was about 1500. On some days I eat to 1200!
For TDEE purposes, if you walk five miles three times a week, you are inactive, or sedentary. So I would guess 1500 is appropriate – can I guess you are a fairly short person?
Using 1500, you would eat 1500 five times a week and 500 two days a week. That would mean you could expect to lose about 1/2 pound a week on 5:2 (1500 – 500 X 2 / 3500 = .57 X 16 OUNCES = 9 OUNCES). After four weeks then, you might expect to lose about 2 pounds.
As your weight can vary up to 2 pounds a day, your fat weight loss could be masked by simple daily variations in water weight and ‘food in transit’ depending on when you weigh yourself.
Here is more information on TDEE: http://thefastdiet.co.uk/forums/topic/tdee-for-the-curious-or-why-dont-i-lose-weight-faster/
If you have more information, I am happy to try to help.
Hi simcoeluv thanks so much for your help. I am 65kg (10stone) and 163cm tall so am average height for a woman. I have tried to stick tot he lower TDEE I mentioned above but I have gone above to 1700 which I though was ok occasionally. I will keep trying and see what happens but it was just the extra 1kg gained which shocked me! As for the exercise I clearly need to do more than 3 times a week! I will keep you posted!
Totally back Simco’s wisdom. If you are really eating your TDEE or less 5 days and a quarter on 2 days, you will lose weight even if you don’t add extra exercise.
The trick is to eat low cal, tasty, filling foods (non starchy veg and lean protein ) to keep yourself satisfied. There are lots of great suggestions in Michael’s book and on this site.
If you eat less than your requirements over the week you will lose weight.
Weigh youself every morning and evening under the same conditions and record. You will realise how much the weight fluctuates naturally. Record this and measure and record your waist, chest, hips weekly. You WILL be staggered.
All the best PVE
Hi again Millie:
The extra 2 pounds could be just water weight on the day you weighed.
I would just keep going, watching your cals on non diet days, and see what happens.
It really works, but it is not fast.
May I throw in my two pennyworth re the impossibility of losing weight on 5:2.
It’s true that overall you will eventually drop a few kilos. The operative word is ‘eventually’.
The reason I say that is that while I have lost quite a lot, it has taken me far longer than many on the forum, part of the reason being a 5-month-long plateau. And it is true, you CAN do everything right and not drop even half a pound.
After being on the point of throwing in the towel, I suddenly I found I felt sick and bloated if I tried to eat carbs at lunchtime, the first meal of the day as I can’t face breakfast. So I switched from sarnies to sarnie filling alone, i.e. lean protein and salad leaves. The consequent cut in carbs worked as the weight began to go down again. Funny what the bod can tell you if you listen. 🙂
I’m now stuck on another plateau, but at least another 5 kilos have gone since the last one. I’ve cut down by only eating once – dinner – on a fast day, also taking care not to exceed 500 cal. I’m also trying to keep the midday calorie count to 150 cal or less on non-fast days. I know myself well enough not to try 4:3, and I’ve resigned myself to being the plateau queen.
So hang on in there, Millie. It will all start to disappear, but it might take longer than you would like. Have you tried on any of your clothes recently? I bet you find some are hanging loose, while others that were too tight now fit just right. 🙂
People won’t necessarily lose weight even on an extreme low-calorie diet. Some people just become very fatigued and very depressed as their metabolic rate grinds down.
I admit this won’t be a LOT of people, but it is certainly the case for some.
I initially lost weight on 5:2, then nothing, so dropped the calories even further on the non-fast days so I was coming in at around 800. Still no weight loss.
Now I’ve just done 2 things that have made a difference for me. I’ve started using testosterone cream (prescribed by my doctor because I’m producing almost none) and dropped breakfast on all days. I’ve very quickly lost nearly 2 kg.
The thing is there is no magic bullet for weight loss, and individuals’ response to different programs is very different. In other words what works very well for one person, might not work at all for another, and that includes straight out calorie restriction. Weight loss is definitely more complex than just calories in/calories out.
I echo what others here have said: if the weight’s not coming off, see your doctor and get complete blood work done, including hormone levels.
Milli, I’ve been doing it about 9 weeks now. In the first 4 weeks I didn’t lose anything and then on the 5th week it seemed to move. I have now lost 9 lbs which is amazing as the last year or so I’ve been losing and gaining the same 5 lbs over and over again. Don’t lose heart and take the above advice. Hope you get some success soon.
Trust me, if a person does not ingest any calories they will lose weight regardless of their hormone levels. It can be true in an extremely small number of cases that hormone activity lowers TDEE significantly, but that is very rare.
Millie has only been at it a month and seems to have a very low TDEE – she would lose only around 3 pounds a week if she ate nothing. So her weight loss will be slow, and easily masked on a short term basis by water weight ups and downs and food in transit weight. She can control water weight fluctuations a bit by eating complex carbs instead of processed carbs, but that’s about it.
Unfortunately, the lower your TDEE, the slower you lose. That is true with any diet, not just 5:2. Going to a doctor might be in order, but only after a few consecutive months of eating 500 cal on diet days and TDEE or less on non diet days without weight loss. The TDEE calculator just gives an estimate, but if you take the lowest number it will be in the ball park and the two diet days should cause some amount of weight loss.
I am interested in your story, though. What is your TDEE? Eating only 5000 calories a week meets the definition of a starvation diet and will indeed cause weight loss in most people. Do you think the cream raised your TDEE, or that not eating calories for breakfast got you going again?
17 Oct 14
Can’t offer an expert opinion here than to agree with simcoeluv.
However , some foods can interrupt thyroid function , like spinach. Then the function returns to normal. Not sure why this happens. Just taking a guess.
And another simple to read link about weight and thyroid .
I’m pointing to even though a person may have a very healthy thyroid , their diet choices can effect the amounts of hormone released into the blood. Causing variations in metabolism, yet still in the healthy ranges. Especially spinach.
Simcoeluv to answer your question I suspect (obviously don’t know because as an experiment it’s confounded) that it’s a combination of both: beginning to rectify testosterone levels, and cutting out breakfast (which was a single piece of wholegrain toast, no butter, smear of vegemite – only 77 calories anyway).
The only way I’ve been able to lose weight since menopause is to stick to 500 calories or less a day. 5:2 didn’t work for me (because I need to go such a long way below my TDEE to lose weight). Initially I lost 3 kg but then I started gaining. This makes no sense from the calories in/calories out paradigm.
I fully realise that most overweight people eat too much or make poor food choices but I do think that post menopause, a calorie-restriction-only approach can lead to a lot of disillusionment and distress for a significant number of women, especially if they already have a failed diet history and are already not overeating or under exercising, as demonstrated by a food and exercise log.
Personally I think that miserably existing on such minuscule amounts of food for months on end with little or no result, should be a last resort, not a first experiment.
I want to loss my weight but how?
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