The Second Annual Silly Season Challenge

This topic contains 391 replies, has 21 voices, and was last updated by  thinatlast 9 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • Breakfromcookies, I agree with you, staying the same weight throughout the Silly Season is a success. In 2014/5, I was still losing weight and was so happy not to have gained my usual 3kgs at that time of year. I treated it like a plateau. I notice bottles of kombucha available in our main grocery store now.

    Diverdog, I’m in awe of your 35 hour water fast. Do you ever feel hungry when you go to bed or has your body adjusted to them? I’m sure I’d have trouble sleeping.

    CalifD & LJ, hope your FDs went well. The beans sound tasty. I’ve been eating a lot lately. I like to mix garbanzos, black beans and kidney beans with finely diced red onion. Enjoy your function today LJ.

    I skipped breakfast and dinner yesterday but must have overdone it feasting at the lunch function. So the scales say. I’m back where I started a week ago. Today’s a FD. It feels good to put the breaks on. It seems the body can absorb these occasional excesses and the weight drops right back with a good fast. But I hope I do better next time.

    thinatlast, I’ve found its not too difficult to do a water fast vs 600 calories. Sometimes I get a craving for something to eat in the late afternoon but it is psychological not physical. By evening it passes and I don’t have any issues sleeping. I’m not usually hungry the second morning either.

    One thing I’ve learned from tracking my blood ketones is that eating a <600 calorie meal on a 35 hour fast really limits fat burning for me. At the end of a 5:2 style fast I’m at 0.4 mmol which is the start of the fat burning range. If I water fast it will be ~ 1.8mmol, a much stronger indication of fat burning. It take three days of <600 cal eating for me to get into the same fat burning range as one day of water fasting.

    When I do my next five day 500 calorie “fasting micking diet” in January I’m going to make the first day and a half a water fast to kick start the fat burning. Then 3 and a half days of eating one avocado made into guacamole with raw veggies to dip. No protein consumption allowed.

    For the next week or so I’m going to continue to do 2:1 with water (black coffee allowed) fasts

    Wow. I’m impressed by your self-control diverdog. I know what you mean about hunger though – it comes and goes in waves, can be distracted and most of us have probably not experienced hunger in the true sense. I can deal with it easily during the day by thinking, ‘this is all doing my body good’ but at night, I have nothing to distract me and find it hard to sleep on an empty stomach. How do you test your ketones? Please tell me that your 5 day 500 cal fast permits 500 cals per day, not for the entire 5 days! Do you have other family members doing this with you?

    I’ve not been to Nevada for a long time. I used to live in San Diego and would typically drive up to Las Vegas whenever o/seas friends were visiting to show them the lights. I bet it’s changed a lot in 30 years. My OH is from Utah.

    It gets easier to fast over time. I think my body is getting used to burning fat for energy. I am a foodie and a great cook so giving up food is not my idea of fun. The habit of eating several times a day is tough to break. When I’m hungry I drink seltzer water. But I must admit that everything tastes better after a fast!

    My stomach doesn’t grumble when I go to bed. I’m tired so I usually fall asleep quickly.

    I measure blood ketones with a “Keto-Mojo” device that is similar to a glucose meter. A finger stick and I get a read out in 5 seconds. Much more accurate that urinary strips.

    The five day “fasting micking diet” was developed by Valter Longo to make a five day fast more palatable for patients that could benefit from a true five day water fast. Particularly those receiving chemo therapy. A five day fast also has tremendous immune system benefits. He has patent on it and sells a product called prolon. Basically it is a kit of dehydrated veggies, phyto nutrients and fats. The essence is to eat <500 cal a day 50% fats / 50% carbs from non starchy veggies. As little protein as possible. I’ve mimicked the “fasting micking diet” three times, not for weight loss but for the other health benefits.

    Thanks for the information diverdog. I know the name Dr Longo from Dr M.’s original documentary that led him to develop the 5:2. I think he tried Longo’s 5 day fast and wanted to come up with something that we mortals could sustainably manage.

    I’ll try and find that Keto-Mojo. Is it definitely not possible for the body to enter into ketosis after 24 hours of fasting or is everyone a little different?

    Hello all… Joining in but only a relative newbie. This is my second month on 5:2.
    Am involved in the December challenge as well but need all the help I can get!

    This was a NFD that quickly spiraled into a higher than TDEE day. 😈 After a good FD yesterday (hard earned).

    I allowed myself to go fully off track with some good IPA.
    And been feeling melancholy for no good reason and let that take me further down.

    Back to it tomorrow but really just want to learn from you all who have been on this path for longer.


    Mjrbcd44, I find that alcohol is the quickest way to sabotage a NFD. If I have two glasses of wine at dinner all bets are off! LOL Hang in there as tomorrow is another day.

    TAL, yes it is possible to switch to fat burning quickly. I typically start my water fast ~6:00 PM. I measure ketones in the morning and typically the meter shows lo out of range. I do a 20 minute HIIT workout on a spin bike to help deplete stored glucose. In the evening ~ 24 hours after starting I typically see 0.5mmol, the start of the fat burning range. I break my fast around ~10:00 AM the next day and typically see 1.8 mmol a good fat burning range to be in.

    I try to eat high fat, moderate protein, low carb most of the time but I blew it today with a pizza and wine. The only good thing is I stopped eating at 4:00 PM and tomorrow will be a fast day.

    Day 6. Still in London. We went out for a family meal last night. It was Turkish, a cuisine I haven’t eaten for 25 years . Not knowing what anything was I let the family order and gave the OK to what they ordered for me, which was a mistake. I reached the stage that I had eaten just too much, then a second main course arrived for each of us. All healthy stuff, just far too much. I should have realised when the waiter seemed surprised at the amount ordered.

    I can compensate today – they are accustomed to my habit of not eating breakfast, only Grand daughter will be here at lunch time and I head for the hills mid-afternoon, so I can totally fast. The weirdness of this time of year means that I will eat nothing from 9.30 pm yesterday until 12.30pm tomorrow, when I meet a bunch of friends for a Christmas lunch. After that I will probably need another total fast.

    Hi everyone,

    All going well so far. I’m going out for lunch today and will make it my only meal. The friends I’m meeting rarely eat dessert so I might be able to get away with one course and some wine 🙂

    Have a good day everyone.

    Welcome Mjrbcd44 – I hope you’re feeling chirpier today. What is IPA? I call Australia the land of acronyms but I’ve not come across that one.

    Diverdog, thanks for the info. You prompted me to better educate myself on ketone production so I’ve been doing some light reading. You mention chemotherapy and I recall reading that patients can experience fewer side effects & more accurate targeting of the cancer cells when practicing fasting.

    I first came across the concept of fasting not for weight loss but for cell repair about 7 years ago when researching treatments for breast cancer because a close friend had been diagnosed. A Canadian doctor was seeing great results with cancer patients. Put in layman’s terms, cancer cells had until then only been fed or medicated and didn’t know how to behave when starved – they simply committed suicide. He was urging people ‘not to try it at home’ but cancer patients had learned of its anecdotal success and being free, easy to administer and requiring no medical prescription, it was becoming popular with good early results. I see now that there are lots of studies underscoring this theory – Valter Longo is mentioned in several of them.

    Penguin, I couldn’t bring to mind much in the way of Turkish food other than Turkish bread and ‘Turkish delight’. And doner kebabs. We have a friendly local Turkish takeaway but I had to abandon it some years ago when giving up bread. I hope your GD is feeling better.

    Amazon, you have a fun social life! How was the lunch with friends?

    It’s frothy coffee Thursday for me. My FD has seen off the damage from Tuesday’s excesses. Now I have 3 NFDs to try and eat properly.

    I’m doing another FD today, my second for the week. I don’t usually like to schedule them so close together but I’m out for lunch again tomorrow and I want the option of a 3rd FD on Saturday if I think it’s warranted, so today it is.

    So far I’ve had one pot of tea and have no appetite yet, so I’m anticipating an easy FD.
    I’ve pulled my last remaining tub of bouillabaisse out of the freezer and will have that for dinner tonight. If I remember clearly, it has prawns salmon monkfish and veggies in it.

    LJoyce, I remember back when you were making that bouillabaisse. That seems like a really good soup to have on hand because it’s high protein and relatively low low carb which seems to make FDs easier. Maybe I’ll make some and freeze it. The problem is finding space in our freezer. We always have lots of bags of plain frozen vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower. I like fresh but they seem to get old so quickly. The freezer means always having them on hand. But the home made soups would be more handy.

    Tomorrow will be a FD for me. I’ve been maintaining around 59 and 60 kg, but I should be trying to lose. I have to get my brain out of the eating mindset and stop looking at all the holiday recipes on Pinterest and recipe sites. It’s way too tempting. I’m too close to my final goal to coast through the holidays without losing.

    Cali – I also have 5-6 veg in the freezer also. But I really rely on my soups (always frozen in 1-2 serve portions). I’m trying to finish them all at the moment because I don’t enjoy soup when the weather is hot and we are having a bit of cool weather at present. It does mean I don’t have to think about cooking in FDs at the moment, which is quite handy.

    I too have been looking at lot of recipes. My cousin’s eldest daughter is getting married next year and budget is a big problem for them. They have managed to find a venue that will provide the mains & drinks and allow them to bring in their own food for a dessert buffet. I’ve offered to make all the cheesecakes and have been trolling through so many recipes looking for variety. If it was up to me and my tastes they would all be baked lemon or raspberry cheesecakes, but I know some odd people like chocolate or salted caramel in theirs, so I’m trying to be open minded and cater for all tastes. I’m just hoping they don’t want me to make individual cupcake sized ones, that’s a lot of work, where 4-5 large ones is a lot easier.

    Day 7. Back in the Forest. After my overeating Tuesday and fasting Wednesday I return the same weight as I went. I will break my fast with a Christmas lunch. Thereafter no more Christmas events for a week, so I should get back on track.

    I’m in. I’m only new to this way of eating but I’m committed to doing it. I’m currently 79.8kg and would love to lose 1kg by New Year.

    Hi everyone,

    Lunch out was good, we were surrounded by people having early Christmas lunch with their colleagues/friends so it was a very jolly atmosphere in a place I go to regularly, chosen for the good food and good service.

    I had a couple of G&Ts, roasted salmon with celeriac puree and chard and succumbed to a dessert (as my companions both wanted some and I cannot sit and watch others eating it) which was very good. I didn’t eat anything else yesterday so no damage done.

    I have no idea if I’ve lost any weight since 1st Dec as I only weigh once a week as I can do without the stress incurred by the daily ups and downs of weight due to food in transit, fluid, exercise etc.

    I’m fasting again today and all is going well.

    It sounds like everyone is doing pretty well staying on plan. I’m in hour 39 of a water fast and although I’m not hungry I’m looking forward to breaking my fast after I take the dog for a walk with a slice of sprouted bread toast with melted cheese and 3 eggs over easy.

    I went to the gym yesterday and got my HIIT done on a bike and also got in a ballroom dance lesson. I finally received my weights at the new house so today will be a lower body, weight workout.

    My first holiday party is Friday night. I’m just going to eat and drink in moderation. Since I’ve been eating low carb sweets do not call to me. Give me savory umami flavors any day.

    Good Morning ALL! I am inspired by diverdog, how many days a week do you do HIIT?

    Wishing distractions would disappear…Funeral Saturday, trying to squeeze in a water fast Friday.

    Then the festivities set in next week…

    I’m hoping to follow this smaller group.

    WellMe, I usually do cycles of HIIT, lower body Weights, upper body weights and two off days. But I’ve been consolidating two houses into one new one and I haven’t been to the gym in a month. So much lifting, carrying, climbing ladders etc that I’ve just been too tired to go. I haven’t been able to dance either and I really miss it! I’ll have another couple of weeks getting the houses ready for market and then hopefully I can settle back into my fitness routine.

    IPA is India Pale Ale 🙂

    I’m really hungry this evening so have just eaten two small dill pickles to curb the hunger dragon and keep me on track.

    Ah! thanks Amazon, I had a hint that it could be alcohol-related due to diverdog’s response in the post that followed. That sounds like an enjoyable lunch. So today’s your weigh-in today? I’m an obsessive weigher, sometimes weighing a few times a day. I weigh naked first thing in the morning (so your London family wouldn’t appreciate me in the kitchen searching for the scales, Penguin) and if I don’t like that result, I weigh again after my 5km walk and that’s the one I record.

    Penguin, thanks for the daily reminder of where we are in this challenge. I’m afraid after seeing that it’s day 7, I realised that I’m back where I started at the high end of my 60-61kg wiggle room range. Need to get my act together on NFDs. Perhaps I should be counting down the other way to remind me of how long I have left to see that kilo off. So 23 days to go ………

    Welcome Sharon – loved reading your profile. We’re a family of animal lovers too. When did you start IF? If you’re committed to getting a kg off at this time of year as a newbie, then there’s no excuse for me.

    Welcome Wellme, I’m getting lots of information from this small group.

    Diverdog, you’re a machine.

    LJ, I’m with you. Give them a maximum choice of two cheesecake flavours! Any more presents a whole lot of temptation for you and only encourages the wedding guests to return to the buffet to try out each flavour. Oh, wait a minute, I might be talking about myself.

    NFD for me and lots of challenges. Lunch and afternoon out.
    I got less than 3 hours sleep last night and was up at 7am as I had roofing contractors arriving and didn’t want to get caught in a bathrobe. I found myself eating vegemite toast at 8am – I rarely eat breakfast, so this wasn’t a good start. I’ve tried to compensate by spending the rest of the morning gardening. I think I overdid it as I’m hobbling more than walking now.

    LJoyce, operating on such little sleep is tough. I hope you will recover quickly. I must admit vegemite is a delicacy I have yet to try! What does it taste like?

    Oh no, not the vegemite discussion! It tastes like axle grease diverdog. 😆

    Did someone say Vegemite?? 😻 😛

    No CalifD, LJ was saying she needed some axle grease to rub on her sore joints.

    TAL, I did say delicacy with “tongue in cheek” LOL No offense to our Aussie friends intended!

    Diverdog, I ordered some from Amazon after asking about it on a thread here. I found that I really like it on sourdough toast with butter. Then I realized they carried it at my neighborhood grocery store in California, so no need to have to order it online. A jar lasts a long time because it’s very salty. I was warned here to spread it thinly. Except by thinatlast. I think she uses it on her car. 😁

    What I find amusing is that CaliD (who lives in California) likes vegemite and Thin (who lives in western australia) doesn’t – go figure.
    I was a true Aussie kid and developed a love of it when very young.

    That’s only because I’d already tasted the far superior Marmite, LJ.

    And CalifD’s motives were dodgy – she was trying to wiggle her way into the SH thread when she chose Vegemite over Marmite.

    “A jar lasts a long time because it’s very salty.” That’s not the only reason, CalifD. he he he!

    Morning/evening all,

    Marmite is dis-gus-ting, eeuuuwwwww!
    I love Vegemite 🙂

    Seriously, I find Marmite too bitter for my taste and was very reluctant to try Vegemite when an Aussie friend offered it over 30 years ago as I thought it would taste the same. I finally gave in and have been hooked on it ever since. On the rare occasions I eat toast, it is my first choice for a topping.

    thin, when did you first taste axle grease…………….. 😉

    I’ve lost 1lb which is good news and will help me to stay on track over what is going to be a challenging weekend socially as there will be lots of empty calories in the from of alcohol on offer and most likely far too many carbs. EEK!!!

    Have a good weekend everyone 😀

    Disappointed Amazon.

    Thin – I think your influence must be rubbing off on the local population. I’m just watching the SBS evening news – they said that Perth has the lowest rate of obesity of all Australian cities. Take a bow.

    Thanks LJ! Hard to believe after observing the locals’ snacking behaviour at the circus the other day.

    Thin, I guess having the best result is relative. From memory I think Perth was about 25% of the population – it’s hard to imagine that our other cities are worse than that.

    Hi everyone
    Just checking in – still the same weight as last Friday, better than a gain I suppose.
    I prefer Promite – not so keen on vegemite!
    Have a great weekend. Bye for now!

    Can I join this challenge late? I’d like to participate! You can read over on another thread that the day of the work staff Christmas party fell on my FD. That was easy compared to the temptations I will encounter in Melbourne when we go away for Christmas holidays! …There’s the ‘Zumbo’ patisserie, numerous raw food dessert and other gourmet cafe food that simply isn’t available where we live, and certainly fare that wasn’t on any of the platters at the staff Christmas party! Joining in the support here will remind me that I can enjoy and maintain equilibrium! This morning I weighed 58.1 kg. Gee, if I ended the year weighing this or even within a kg less, that will be the best Christmas gift and reason to celebrate New Years that I can think of! I’ll keep you posted as I go along. I work full time, so I tend to write ‘book length’ posts very randomly and I will do my best to keep up with reading progress of others here. Cheers!


    I tried very hard to like it but I just can’t 😒

    Amazon, you are English, right? Were you not weaned on it?

    Good job maintaining Arelkade! I have tried Promite, I think I was in NZ at the time.

    Minka, thanks for joining us. I read your story on the other thread. I tried to find your red Zumba cake from last year to share here but I must have deleted it. 58.1kg, fabulous!

    LJ, good luck with your extra FD tomorrow. I hope it doesn’t throw you off balance. Reading others’ efforts, I feel as if my fasting performance has been a bit pedestrian this year. I’m very happy to have stayed the same weight for this long but wonder if I should try and do a bit more than maintain a pattern of simply counteracting overindulgences with FDs.

    Hi Minka! Great to see you over here. Agreed that traveling can make it difficult not to overindulge on new and interesting foods or just foods that aren’t available very often. Maybe just limiting them to small amounts would be a good strategy. Or using LJoyce’s strategy of wearing snug clothes that are unforgiving and don’t have any stretch to them. I think I may use that one when I go out to eat.

    I’ve never heard of Promite before, but did order some Marmite around the same time as the Vegemite. I like it, but like the Vegemite better. Sorry, thin. 😁 I wish I could find things other than bread that they paired with. I love bread, but it’s hard to stop at 2 slices. I don’t like it on broccoli or cauliflower. I’ve never thought to put it on legumes.

    Cali, I’m definitely a vegemite on toast gal. I’ll have it occasionally on the thin rice cakes or corn cakes, as they have only 1/4 of the calories of a slice of bread – sometimes this is afternoon tea when I’m the mood for something savoury. The only veg that I can tolerate vegemite on is celery, although I’ve got to be pretty desperate. I will also eat it spread on slices of matured cheddar cheese – not a low cal option but really tasty.

    We were a two-mite household and had both vegemite and promite when I was growing up. The promite was my mum’s – the rest of us found it too sweet and ate the vegemite.

    Day 8. Late reporting today – early morning telephone call had me rushing out. Fortunately the snow was no-where near a much as forecast. Unwise eating at Christmas events yesterday leaves me one pound heavier than when we started this challenge. I think Mon/Tuesday will have to be a 65 hour water fast. That usually works.

    Vege/Marmite. Last week one of our down market newspapers criticised the new Californian Royal for saying that Vegemite is more popular than Marmite, when she should have known that they are exactly the same. At that end of the market our newspapers are looking for a scandal or something unkind to say and factual accuracy is not a major issue. A photo caption I saw today has the prince saying to her “I hope there are no nude photographs” to which she replies “Only you in Vegas”, which I rather liked. I would not know the vege/marmite difference. I have never tried Vegemite and the only Marmite I will have anything to do with is a chain of cheapish restaurants in France.

    I just saw a obituary for a man I went to HS with. It made me sad and nostalgic so I pulled out my high school yearbook and browsed through all of the senior pictures. I looked at over 200 18 YO’s and there were 2 obese people in the class of 1968! We are obviously doing something very wrong these days!

    Diverdog. I have a photograph of my first year in school, 1949. We were all scruffy – holes in woolly pullovers, jackets that were handed down by older siblings because everything was still rationed and impossible to get. The thing I hadn’t noticed until you highlighted it – not one obese child. I was in town today and shopping were some young people who were so obese that I would take bets that they won’t make middle age.

    Diver dog and penguin, it’s the same here, looking at photos in my high school yearbook where there were very few, if any, obese kids. At my high school reunion this year there were many. It was kind of sad because many of them were very good looking in high school, and now, with all the extra weight they look awful. Weight really ages a person too. It looked like an age discrepancy between those who had stayed thin and those who’d gained weight. Some where almost unrecognizable.

    I often hear that people are afraid of losing weight because it will make their faces look older. After losing 25 pounds, the bags under my eyes that I thought were aging are mostly gone.

    Cali, I really don’t think about my physical appearance all that much. I fast and exercise to be healthy and fit. But looking good dressed or naked is a great side effect! Lol

    Penguin when I look at my primary school class photos from tm 1956-1960 there are zero fat kids and there were no food issues here.

    My family was poor and we never ate at restaurants or had prepared foods. Although my dad and mom both worked meals where always home cooked. I learned to cook and helped when I was in high school. I remember picking mushrooms and catching trout for meatless Friday. Times have really changed.

    Sounds very familiar. I think every vegetable I ate was grown by my father. I still garden the way he and my grandfather did. When I was an under age Wolf Cub, now Cub Scouts? my first badge required me to cook something. In my case Yorkshire Puddings. Some days I even sound old to me.

    I agree, there were far fewer obese people when I was you. In my year through high school there were about 200 kids and I was one of only 4 kids who were obese (3 girls, 1 boy). And believe me, anything that makes you different in school is not a good thing. I actually weigh less now than I did in high school, which always feel a bit like a miracle to me.

    I’m doing a third FD for the week today. My normal 5:2 routine keeps my weigh safely stable if I only go over my TDEE one day per week, the rest of the time I have to be controlled. Unfortunately I’ve pushed the boundaries on that one this week and I’m also expecting more food challenges tomorrow, so I think a FD today is the wisest option. I’ll feel more relaxed going into tomorrow if I do it.

    There was something about doing a 4:3 week that I realised I usually do but haven’t really mentioned. I thought I should share it.

    Doing 2 FDs in a week almost feels as effortless as breathing these days – although there is the odd exception. Adding that third FD has the potential to mentally put me into a “deprived” frame of mind – which can easily lead to compensating with extra food on the NFDs – defeating the whole purpose really. When I start a third FD in a week I go into it thinking that I just need to be careful today and anything up to 800 cal is fine – I find this reduces the stress. The reality is that I rarely go above 600 on this 3rd FD, and mostly do a normal 500cal FD. But it makes a big difference to my mental mindset – I feel more relaxed about the day, which usually means a more controlled NFD to follow.

    Part of my thinking about this, is that I’m doing the 3rd day only because I need to get my calorie count down a bit for that week and doing a low cal day is better than not accomplishing a FD at all. For me, this third day is always about an immediate need to cut back a bit and not about fasting benefits.

    I guess what I’m trying to convey, is tackling a FD (or anything else really) has a lot to do with the way you think about it. It’s all too easy to think ourselves into poor outcomes. The way I frame things in my mind has a lot to do with whether I succeed at things.

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