The weight loss is good, but the rest is great as well

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The weight loss is good, but the rest is great as well

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  • The weight loss is good, but the rest is great as well

    (an email from a Fast Dieter – reprinted by permission)

    Hi Doc,

    I saw your 5:2 special after I got back from my 40th birthday trip. On the drive back, I was just so disgusted with myself and somewhat despondent, as I had gone back up to 194lb’s. I’m 5ft 10, male, and had in 2009 gone up to 200!. Then I saw your show on iPlayer, Eat, Fast etc. Was brilliant, highly recommend it. Best time spent in front of the TV in my life.

    I have been doing the diet since then, and now weigh 172lbs, and have started swimming 4 times a week in the last 2 months as well. It is the easiest thing I have ever tried to make myself feel good. The weight loss is good, but the rest is great as well. You just feel so much better. My next door neighbour also tried it for a few weeks. He lost 11lbs, and said the same thing I did. He noticed his insides now are good, no more reflux etc etc. I had that for the last 20 years. Basically beer & eating crap.

    Thanks really, you have changed my life a great deal. I have also been like a rabid ex-smoker, evangelizing on the benefits. So I have had a few people start, and they all are blown away at the results.

    Merry Xmas and have a happy new year

    Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to you too. Really pleased to get your email

    best, Michael Mosley

    it is rather easy to get evangelical isn’t it? me too. husband has lost 4″ off waist (would have been more by now but we didn’t fast over Xmas which I am regretting not for the weight gain but just it is pointless coming off a plan that is so easy and supposedly for life)and I am down a dress size (not quite at two but working on it) but we are noticing aches and pains reduced and mental acuity improved. Husband is an engineer and he is most insistent on that last point. says he feels GREAT!

    Yes, never thought I’d be evangelical about an eating plan but you’re never too old! Both a friend and I have found our problem with restless legs syndrome has disappeared – wonder what else it can do?

    The programme made so much sense-and it costs nothing.
    I started 5:2 back in August, and have gone from 186lbs to 169lbs without really being too strict.
    At age 59 my GP told me to lose weight you have to exercise until you literally drop- Well I don’t exercise, but have a chin up bar, and the six-pack is coming along nicely.
    I used to run 2 miles every morning but since a back injury I can only walk.
    This regime was like someone switching the light on.
    And my fasting days? Porridge in the evening, with a few nuts and a bit of fruit.
    I also love the idea that the evil supermarkets will see less consumption, and lower profits.

    I have just started on the Fast Diet and have a slight concern in that I don’t have that much weight to lose, maybe half a stone max. I’m largely interested in the health benefits, having a family history of heart disease and high cholesterol. Losing a few pounds would be great but I don’t want to keep on losing – and it sounds as if this is a lifelong eating plan. Of course the answer may be in the book, but I haven’t got the book yet!

    Can anyone recommend a decent free on line calorie counter or even a book if it is comprehensive and easy to read.


    Today is my first day on the Fast Diet. I’ve been a Weight Watchers devotee for longer than I can remember but the weight is now refusing to budge. The Fast Diet was recommended to me and I’m looking forward to seeing a weight loss but I’m SO hungry on this, my first day. Please tell me it gets better!

    Read with interest comments about becoming an evangelist, it is hard not to do so!
    I am only in my second week of trying this, have lost 7.5lbs already! Aiming to lose about 1-1.5 st, a day at a time. Of course I was equally attracted by long term benefits in terms of reducing risk of serious age related diseases. Even on non fast days I have really approached eating in a different way, I think that this increased awareness and responsibility towards eating is an “unseen” benefit.

    Question: How important is it that fasting days are consecutive??

    Anybody know?

    A lot of us find the sooner we start eating on a fast day, the hungrier we are. I found that if I save my cals for dinner I don’t tend to feel hungry during the day, at least not until nearer 5-6pm just before dinner, and it’s never unbearable.

    Froggy, try the app or online MyFitnessPal site for calorie counter, diary and progress tracker, allows you to compile recipes also, recommend it.

    Try Myfitness Pal

    I have also switched from splitting calories between breakfast and dinner, as I prefer to save them all up for dinner. I’m not sure if the actual fasting gap is important as opposed to low calories, but his regime gives me around a 21 hour total fast. I dont find hunger much of a problem now, particularly if I keep busy. I had some bloods taken 3 weeks ago at the start of the 5:2 and these will be repeated next week. It’ll be interesting to see if these have changed as well as the 1/2 stone weight loss.

    Early days but My husband and I are in our second week of the fast diet and have both lost about 3 pounds so far. We have friends that did the diet as a couple as well, lost a stone in six weeks , even with stopping the program for Christmas temporarily. We are hoping to lose the same. My question is about eating on our nonfast days and what kind of calorie consumption should we be sticking then? My first day back to so called normal eating, I didn’t have much of an appetite but as the week went along I ate my normal diet (about 2000) calories and I did gain back 1 of the pounds I had lost. Should I be having less calories or is it normal to put back a bit of weight lost on nonfast days? We do use my fitness pal to track our calories and are finding that it isn’t that hard to stick to 500/600 calories if we plan it out. It’s also quite fun to see how we can put our days meal together with such limited calories. It’s almost as if our bodies welcome it. Our energy levels are as good, if not better on fast days and we feel as though we can commit to this fast diet for the long term.


    I have just bought the book and wondered…..if you eat a light last meal at 6pm then do not eat at all until lunch time the following day (500 calories), then end your fast day at 6pm with a meal whether that was cheating???? It means that within a 24 hour period you are only eating 500 calories with a 16 hour complete fast period but it feels a bit too easy.

    Thanks 🙂

    My husband and I have been doing this for a few months now. He has F.S.G.S. (for the layman, he has a kidney disease) and is on a rather aggressive drug regime with continuous weight gain. I am post menopausal with some weight gain and no health problems or drug taking. I have lost 6 inches from my waist which I assume equates to somewhere in the region of 1 stone and my husband has lost in excess of 1 stone. We both feel wonderful, energised and plan to continue this way of eating for the rest of our lives as it is so easy and the long term health benefits are what will keep us focused. My husband is a lark so he needs to eat early in the day whereas I’m an owl so I do most of my eating in the afternoon/ early evening. Friends have started to comment on how good I look (no one has ever told my husband that he looks good and we do not anticipate a change there!) and I have not felt this well for many years. Thank you Michael from your number one fan x

    Is it possible to change my password from the allotted one to one of my choice please? If so, how do I do it? Thank you to anyone that has this information.

    A couple of years ago I had cellulitis in my right leg – partly because it was an extremely stressful period. I took eight different antibiotics to no good effect, and plenty of bad effect. I finished the course then took another approach – de-stressing, chi Kung, de-tox, and the cellulitis went. However I have been left with a regularly numb foot, and often get pins and needles. When I recently took up the 5 and 2 fasting, within two weeks the numbness and pins and needles have gone, as well as a few pounds in weight. I think there is obviously much to the argument that it is switching on a repair mode – quite incredible and wonderful and not least inspirational. I intend to stick with this – thanks guys for bringing it to our attention.

    I’m a newbie to this diet but after 3 weeks have lost 4.5 kg down from 106.5 to 102 kg-like most other people here also feel 100% better. Having some blood tests next week-will be interesting to see what happens to the cholesterol which was high(7.00). Also interesting to see what happens to liver function as well as I’ve given up drinking too. Will report back on any progress to fellow converts…!

    I started the diet on 24th January and have already lost 3.5 lbs. I fast on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and found the first day left me with a bad headache. I think this was probably lack of caffeine, as it didn’t happen the second day after I drank black coffee. So far so good….

    This diet should carry a health warning-yes health warning! Not physical or mental health you understand -all these have improved immeasurably(or rather measurably)but the health of ones wallet. I was hoping that eating a lot less pain au chocolat and vin rouge would leave me feeling flush—au contraire….all monies saved have gone to my expensive italian tailor who is getting rich on re-jigging all my suits I haven’t been able to get into for the past 10 years.
    Additionally-I’ve had several embarrassments when my jeans have mysteriously gone south whilst out and about.

    what’s a thinner man to do…?

    Weighed myself on Saturday morning. I have been on diet 3 weeks and decided only to weigh myself once a month, the first day of the month after a fast day. For me, that was Saturday and I have lost 7lb! I also feel brighter, more alert, positive. No bad thing. My husband has lost the same. He’s still grumpy:-)

    I can relate to the jeans problem by the way, my size 16s started falling down after a couple of months, now my 14s are doing the same and I’m going to have to dig out the 12s!

    Started diet last week and fasted Monday and Tuesday. Is it still effective if you do 2 consecutive days? I found it manageable.For a few years we (husband and I ) have been having soup days Mondays and Tuesdays to balance out the weekend. I don’t have a weight problem but at 52 I feel there is a tendency for weight to drift upwards and am interested to see if the fasting halts this.

    Have been exhilarated and appalled in equal measure since starting….lost 5 pounds after 2 weeks then went back to starting weight at the end of week 4. I have had such a bad few days since finding this out it makes me want to give up but I know if I do it will just be another thing in life that I can never quite see through to the end. Any suggestions or words of encouragement?

    Keep at it Celery. I lost 1.3kgs in the first 2 weeks and nothing in the third week. I felt really disheartened but kept going and ended up losing another kilogram in the fourth week. I think it is a slow process and there will be fluctuations. But if the weight comes off slowly it is more likely to stay off and I look at this as a lifetime diet (as all “diets” should be). Keep going 🙂

    Watched the programme last summer, prior to going on holidays, commenced 5:2 diet September 10th, have now lost 12kg – I’m a 53 year old guy, had never dieted before, but had managed to develop a “middle aged spread” I think it’s great, and so easy.

    … the rest is great as well … Except… just been to favourite restaurant (Crab & Lobster, Asenby, N Yorks) and can normally manage 2.5 courses, easy. Today, after a few months 5:2ing, enjoyed duck spring roll starter, waded into assiette of fish, couldn’t finish it, had about 3 chips and pudding out of the question. Find myself uncomfortably full. Next blow-out will have to be 1.5 course max. Now realise new way of life well and truly entrenched. Thank goodness tomorrow is a fast day.

    Was delighted to have my tweet in your book. I lost 16lbs in total and now my husband has started doing 5:2 as well. I still fast but more on a 6:1 now (except after Christmas when I gained a bit). Found your show so inspirational and have been passing on the word via Youtube video blogs. Lots have people have commented about how they loved the show and book too. Thank you so much for bringing this into our lives 🙂

    Was facinated by the Horizon programme last year and have just started the diet, had my first fasting day yesterday and it was a breeze, even when I did feel a little hungry, a nice hot black coffee sorted that out, tried the receipes in the book so didn’t even have to really think about it – looking forward to see how I’ve done at the end of the week.

    I, too, embarked on this regime full of hope. The first week, I lost 4lbs. That was four weeks ago. Since then I have put on taken off another 2lbs but put it back on again. And this seems to be the pattern for me now. I can’t seem to lose any more weight. I fast on a Monday and a Wednesday and also I get plenty of exercise (I go running twice week, ride for an hour every other week (and not just a gentle hack!), go for at least two 1-1.5 hour walks a week too. What am I doing wrong? I feel totally disheartened.

    In your book you refer to one of the benefits of the fast diet is a reduction in IGF-1 levels , a prevention for cancer. Do you imagine this diet could help people who already have cancer?

    Like you tilly31 I started this on the14th Jan lost 4lbs to start with since then gone up and down and back to where I was the end of first week. On my fast days first and second week tried the small breakfast green tea and water all day then small supper. Third week I tried a late breakfast and small supper. This week I’m trying a fast all day with a small supper. So want to see some results as the whole idea suits me and I love the thought of health benefits. I think I have tried most diets without continued success. The fast diet has been suggested to me by my Nutritionalist so hoping she’s right. If anyone has any suggestions as to how they do their fast days would be great to know.

    Hello, I watched the programme last year and have embarked on the fast diet. I am a 62 year old gran and my weight is too high, my cholesterol is high, my blood pressure is high – I take tablets – and I love my croissants for breakfast at the weekend! So this sounds ideal for me but I am also confused. In the book and on the site you talk about having two meals per day – morning and evening – adding up to 500 cal. This means that your fast day is actually 36 hours, from supper time one evening to breakfast time on the third day. But you also talk about fasting from lunch to lunch or supper to supper working well. But this would only be 24 hours. My instinct was to go for the supper to supper regime with a light breakfast and lunch adding up to my 500 cals. But this means my periods with no food are from supper to late breakfast and then the afternoon to the evening ( we eat very late by most people’s standards). I have had two fast days so far and have seen no weight loss as yet. Have I got it all wrong and am I the only person confused by this?

    Dear Michael, Mimi and all 5:2 followers,
    I Have been applying 5:2 Diet for 3.5wks now and actually enjoying it and how good I feel. To my amazement I have lost 12lbs and 4 inches (around belly button). A 50 year old male I was nudging 16st and I am now under 15st for the first time in over ten years!!
    Down a jean size already thank you Michael and Mimi.

    Have discovered a “Hidden” and perhaps unpublished effect of this “way of life” in so far as my attitude to food on non fast days is changing whereby I consciously or sub consciously no longer want the types or quantities of foods that I previously consumed.
    Prefer doing my fast days back to back and aware that recommendation is that they are non consecutive, just my preference.

    Requested blood tests a week or so ago from my GP and will get results Monday as I wanted to get a baseline on blood sugar levels and cholesterol as close to start of 5:2 as possible.

    In danger of becoming an “Evangelist” for 5:2 so need to maintain modicum of balance.
    Feeling good.

    I’m nearing 80 and am lucky enough to feel nicely fit and active still – and weight isn’t really a problem: BMI below 23. I ascribe a lot of that to all the cycling I did before I reached 30, when a GP sadly recommended I should get rid of the bike to sort out back problems I was having. Possibly a big mistake; a good chiropracter put that right for me 10 or so years ago.
    When Wiggo showed signs of winning the Tour de France in due course I watched the Sky team on ITV4 whenever I could and just felt so envious… I had to get a bike again.
    After a near 50-year layoff it’s taken me a while to build up stamina on the saddle again, but now I’m approaching my 80th birthday I felt I ought to celebrate it in some appropriate way. I’ve set myself the target of doing an 80-kilometre ride. 50 miles. A more exciting prospect than any party. To me, anyway. Back in club-riding days we used to do that in 3 hours as a yearly ‘get back to fitness’ test. Touring around Somerset and Dorset; plenty of hills. No way I can hope to do that now. But that’s the distance I want to achieve.
    Where does that fit in with your diet plan – ? Diet is inevitably a key factor in any project like that, and I was excited to read your insert in the Radio Times; it sounded right. I’m committed to the 5:2 plan after just a couple of weeks, and I’m already feeling so much better for it.
    And now I’ve got the book, to fill in so much more of the background and where you’re coming from. That brought back memories of those cycling days in the 40s and 50s, of just riding and riding without worrying too much about eating: 150 miles on a Mars bar and a couple of date sandwiches. Made up for it the next day, of course.
    Impromptu fasting for the odd day was equally part and parcel of my workaday routine when deadlines had to be met. I was using your diet plan in a less formal way without realising I was doing it. So I know it works as far as keeping my weight under control.
    Now, of course, I’m very conscious about all the other things you’re associating with it. I’ve already had a run-in with a GP who wanted to put me on statins to reduce cholesterol. No ta. Diet control and exercise suits me far better. And if it delays the onset of Alzheimers and diabetes, etc. all the better. I only want to live longer if I can keep fit and enjoy the ride. The Fast Diet really does look like a regimen that could achieve that for me. I’m already feeling good on it.
    Good to see so many others are, as well. Including, I must add, my wife; joint problems rule out the cycling for her, but she loves to walk 3 or 4 miles a day – and makes me struggle to keep up with her at times. She has no weight problem, really, but there’s no telling her so. But she’s certainly hoping the 5:2 strategy will keep her fit for longer. And we both look forward to relaxing our self-imposed rules about pizzas and cheesecake (and even occasional cream teas) without penalty.
    You’ve opened up a whole new vista of food enjoyment again.
    Thanks, and keep up the good work.

    My wife and I decided 3 weeks ago to start the 5:2 regime and we are startled by the results. I am a 46 yr old who has constantly battled a weight problem. On the other hand my wife has never had any problems with her weight. We both have lost an amazing amount of weight. We have lost respectively 7.5 kilos and 2.5 kilos and both feel amazing inside as well as dropping clothe sizes.I never thought for a minute that I could do the fasting as I am weak when it comes to food.Not only do I find it easy but it has changed my attitude to what I want to eat. I unashamedly could demolish rolls on bacon without blinking an eye.The problem came later on in the form of reflux. I consider reflux to be the new gout.I now have no reflux and mentally I feel brilliant. Back to my diet and on non fasting days I now calorie count. When I come off a fasting day I thought I would be rushing to the kitchen for bacon rolls etc, that could not be further from how I felt. I was back on the porridge and feeling great. So to any one who thinks they can’t do it, think again, cause f I can do it, so can you!

    Well done Tonyboy, I was smiling and delighted when I read your post as my wife and I started at same time a you guys and have found similar “amazing” results. Having to throw/ donate clothes is a real tangible sign though hate shopping!

    Get occasional headache and watery “taste” during Fast days but feeling so much better in terms of energy, mentally. I prefer to do my Fast days consecutively although I know this is not the recommended pattern, just feels better or me and fast days completed in two days.

    Well done, only way is down!!

    Well done Tonyi79. You have 20 years on me but I am getting my trusty steed out from the back of the shed this weekend and getting back on her. Like you I used to cycle all the time, I averaged 100 mile a week, just using it for commuting. Thanks for the encouragement. I have been on the diet for about 6 weeks now and have lost 7lb at weigh in at four weeks. I know I’ve lost more, but wont get weighed for another 2 weeks. I’m into my favourite jeans again – oh joy, there is a God!

    Help!! I was so good on my fast day Monday but feel so hungry on non fast day. Yesterday thought start with protein had egg and soldiers tuna salad for lunch then ate crisps peanut butter etc. I seem to be thinking about food all day on non fast days. I have weighed this morning and put back the 2lbs i lost on fast day. any advise please. I also agree that you cant eat anything you fancy on non fast days.

    Hi Lynneh, I have posted a comment on ‘making a comeback from retirement’ I think it links in with your dilemma, I am exactly the same as you, you are not alone, I think just try and be kind to yourself and be positive even if these first few weeks we don’t lose lbs we are doing some good in allowing our bodies to rest on the fast days.

    Thanks Jeanette.Your article was very good and also nice to know their are several other people like me hope it settles down.

    I’ve been doing it for 4 weeks, have lost 4lbs (probably have another 1/2 stone to lose) and feel great. I find the fast days surprisingly easy, but I had to really register that it’s not “eat what you like” on non-fast days, but “eat normally” – I won’t lose weight if I make up the missed calories on my non-fast days! Obvious but I needed to get that. Maybe others who are struggling to lose weight could benefit from that distinction too? I think the idea is over time one’s eating habits change and ‘normal’ naturally becomes lower calorie/ healthier without having to make too much effort. I remember on the Horizon programme Michael followed Alternate Day Fasting where that really was ‘eat what you like’ on the non-fast days, but IF/ 5:2 is different. Also interesting that he ‘often skips lunch’ on non-fast days, so he is keeping his calories down…Keep it up everyone!

    Found these comments helpful. I lost 6lbs the first week but then out 2lb back on. This was after reading about the American Diet and people still lost weight. I think I too, have been over eating on normal days. I get a bit of a headache, on Fast days and maybe feel a bit nauseous but nothing I can’t handle. If this really works, it’s great!

    A month on the plan. My results: lost 5lbs, bodyfat down 1.98%age points, lost 1″ from stomach, 1/2″ from hips. Muscle is up by 1.03%age points.

    Since Lent started I have tried to avoid as much sugar as possible, so no biscuits, chocolate, sweets and no crisps. I ate fairly healthily before 5:2 but a stone had crept on since September as I had to cut down on exercise due to a hip injury. I’ve only done 4 exercise dvd routines since starting this plan, but I have continued to take the stairs and walk. I use public transport to commute to work so I am fairly active although I have a desk job.

    The last fast day I found the easiest yet. I have been having breakfast and lunch but I’m going to experiment this week and try breakfast and dinner, with an apple as a mid-day snack.

    So, the plan is working.

    Been fasting 5:2 (sometimes 4:3) since Christmas – good weight loss results down 8kg so far. But last week I had my blood chemistry checked.


    1) Fasting Glucose – ideal range: 3.0-5.8 – mine 5.6 so OK, (although the notes say the range should be 3.5 – 7.9?)
    2) Cholesterol LDL/HDL – up to 3.0/0.9 – 1.5 – mine 4.4/1.4 so raised LDL is bad will look to reduce this.
    3) Triglycerides – less than 2.3 – mine 2.0 nice!
    4) IGF-1 – 11.3 – 30.9 – mine 9.2 Wow! that’s like off the scale in a good way, lower is better for this one according to Dr Mosely.

    so a couple of questions – that Fasting Glucose range ? my documents say it should be 3.5-7.9 so 5.6 is right in the middle but the book quotes 3.0 – 5.8, is this a different test?

    secondly IGF-1 9.2! wow that looks low is that as good as it sounds? 🙂

    any info much appreciated.

    Going Well, Feeling Good

    5 weeks in, lost amazing 18lbs, 2″ less in waist, BMI coming down.
    Feel so much better, only negatives are some headaches on fast days and slight stomach discomfort after fast days but nothing serious.

    Did get bloods tested several weeks go but GP said that it was not possible to test IGF-1 but saw a post where somebody had managed to get this checked. Be interested to know how/where I can get this measured??

    I started this soon after seeing the programme in the summer. In that time I’ve lost almost 2 stone. I’ve never felt better. Its great that I can still go out for a curry and a few beers with my mates without having to worry about what it’s doing to my waste line. Work colleagues have been inspired by my success and have also tried to programme and are loving it too.

    Does anyone know what physical changes happen to your fat as you’re losing it? Does it reduce all over at the same rate? From the ‘outside’ boundaries in? Or does it change in density – sort of lighten throughout? I have been on the diet for about a month and my stomach fat feels ‘different’ although measurements are a bit subjective. Measure a little higher or lower or breathe in or out differently and you can change the result by more than an inch easily. I think my face is looking slightly slimmed too but that may be wishful thinking! Weighing tomorrow a.m …..

    Started fast diet 4 weeks ago and today find I have lost 5.25lb! After a lifetime of worrying about my weight, honestly this is the easiest 5lb’s I have ever lost. So if i cant get to my goal weight by restricting my food intake only 9 days a month I never will!!
    I have dealt with the sleep problems I had initially by eating later-8:30-9 but in general the sleeping problem seems to have settled down.

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