What happens if you continue to follow 5:2 after you have reached maintenance?

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What happens if you continue to follow 5:2 after you have reached maintenance?

This topic contains 20 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Cinque 5 years, 10 months ago.

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  • When I started 5:2 in April I chose my Goal Weight (GW). The doctor had already advised me to lose 10 lb but I decided I wanted to go from 139 lb to 125 lb (8 stone 13 lb sounded better than 9 stone) and also more motivating to lose a whole stone in weight. I arrived at my GW at the end of June and currently weigh 119.6 lb just by regular weighing and the occasional fast day when necessary.

    However, I often wonder what would happen if I continued doing two fast days a week and remained within a few calories of the recommended TDEE for my current weight.

    According to the statistics I should eat 318 – 500 cals on a fast day and 1273 cals on other days. I have always consumed 450-500 cals on a fast day.

    So, for the next four weeks I am going to record everything on on a food tracker and see what actually happens. Exercise consists of a 45 minute walk every day so that isn’t a variable factor.

    Friday 11 September SW 119.6 lbs
    Friday 18 September CW 117.4 lbs

    So that’s 2.2 lbs having done two 500 cals fast days and keeping to my TDEE of 1273 cals per day this week.

    Rather than aim for 1273 cals on each non fast day I decided to work towards a weekly total of (5 x 1273) which equals 6365 cals. Much more flexibility and choice.

    If the figures seem low it’s because my height is 5’2”.

    Hi gal

    That’s a fantastic weight loss! Really interested in following your experiment. I’ve been overweight/obese all my life and found I exceeded my first 2 goal weights very quickly on the 5:2 and I’m only 2.5 lb short of my 3rd gw now. I too am wandering when will I stop, it’s almost addictive. But it’s still early days for me and the plateau could come any time now:-
    Can’t wait to see your progress and good luck 🙂

    I think most of us in maintenance spend some time finding what works best for us. I found 16:8 kept my weight almost steady, but I have to do 4:3 now and again to keep it down. Maintenance isn’t easy, the statistics log up against keeping all that weight off long term.
    Congratulations on your weight loss so far, and I certainly don’t want to pour cold water on your achievement, but the real challenge is keeping it off. I wish you well with your experiment.

    I agree with you Auriga as I am still trying to find out a good method of maintaining! So far so good, but it is summer and I think I’m in for a challenge when it gets colder. I am very happy with my current weight, and want to continue doing two fast days a week as I enjoy doing them and all along I became interested in intermittent fasting for the health benefits. My little experiment is purely out of curiosity but my original Goal Weight of 125 lbs is the one I plan to stick to.

    Friday 11 September SW 119.6 lbs
    Friday 25 September CW 115.6 lbs

    Well, weight’s still going down easily by sticking to this – might continue experiment to see if I reach 111 lbs but definitely no lower than that.

    It’s an interesting experiment galexinda….you might reach a point where your total calorie intake for any given week equals your output (sounds like a machine!) and then the weight loss will stop and you’ll still get the benefits. In theory. Be careful you don’t go too low for your height, 111 lbs is just under 8 stone isn’t it?

    Thank you for the good advice Auriga. I had to guesstimate some of the calories this week because I was eating out – lunch four days in a row! I think I have just about reached my set point (calories in = calories out) and for the past few weeks have found it enjoyable monitoring my intake.

    Friday 11 September SW 119.6 lbs
    Friday 25 September CW 115.6 lbs
    Friday 2 October CW 115.2 lbs

    My long term plan is to keep below my original goal weight of 125 lbs

    Outcome of four week experiment doing two 500 cals fast days and keeping to TDEE of 1273 cals per day with a daily walk for 30 – 45 minutes at about 3MPH.

    Friday 11 September SW 119.6 lbs
    Friday 25 September CW 115.6 lbs
    Friday 2 October CW 115.2 lbs
    Friday 9 October CW 115.4 lbs

    Well, it looks as if I my weight loss has now rounded off. I certainly would not want to consume less than the weekly total of 7365.

    From Friday 16 October I will change to 6:1 and see how it goes for the next month
    Weekly total of (6 x 1273) = 7638 + 500 = 8138.

    My long term plan is to keep below my original goal weight of 125 lbs

    Hi galexinda – I am really interested in what you have done. It will be interesting to see how you go with 6:1. In the book it is also suggested that you could do 5:2 for maintenance, but with a greater calorie allowance on fast days (amount not specified though) but I haven’t heard/ seen anyone trying this so far. I’ll be watching! (In a non-creepy way ;-))

    Interesting your calorie allowance is in the 1200 region, I’m the exact same height as you and weigh 119lb and my daily allowance (according to the tracker on this site) is 1600ish. Weird? Couldn’t eat less than this tbh…!!

    I came onto this thread to see if anyone had answered your original question with “you’d eventually disappear”. Sorry… dry british sense of humour hahaha!

    Hi LittleWing

    Having read your post above I decided to increase my daily allowance to 1500 calories a day on non fast days. Well, I did it for seven days which included two fast days at 450-500 calories and my weight went from 115.4 lbs to 118.2 lbs. So last week I went back to a daily allowance of 1250 – 1300 for five days and two days at 450 – 500 and today I weigh 115.2 lbs. Illogical, but it coincides with tests I had done in 1999 when the specialist told me that a standard 1200 calorie a day allowance would result in me putting on weight!

    Hi Gal,
    I totally see where you are going with this. Its not unlike my situation. I am 5ft 4ins and I have been dabbling with maintenance for a few months. Generally I am loosing a little bit every month but some weeks I gain if I up my calories a tiny bit. 4 days a week I have 1500 calories, and the other 3 I mostly stick to 650 calories. I am strict about logging. If I up the calories on fast days to 750 or even 700 I usually gain about half a kilo. In the last 3 months I have gone from 62.5 kilos to 60.3 kilos. I had trouble deciding on an actual goal weight so I guess a range of 60 to 62 kilos is good. Some younger girls at my height want to weigh less but I think I am on the verge of looking too thin. My BMI is 22.7. I suspect that the bit of weight I occasionally put on is water weight. Its just frustrating not being able to stay steady. Anyway I should not complain. I take a size 10 in clothes down from a 16 UK sizes and this is an amazing feeling. Maybe we concentrate too much on the scale? I also tell myself that Xmas is coming so if I do drop below 60 kilos in the next few weeks, it wont be for long !!! Ha ha!! Good luck!!

    I have managed to maintain at 117lb for 4 weeks now just doing 6:1 and eating normally the rest of the time… I reckon at least 1600 calories a day. So our bodies just metabolise differently I guess is the answer, depending on how sedentary one is and maybe a genetic predisposition too. And age?

    Kindle, totally hear what you’re saying re Xmas… but good to know a few fast days of much welcomed virtuousness come the new year will be all thats needed! That’s why I love 5:2. Also yes I get what you’re saying about ignoring numbers – I could aim for the lowest within my BMI range which I think is 7st 12lb and I know I’d look like a bag of bones! Already at the stage where (annoying) people are telling me not to lose any more…

    In answer to the original question and elaborating on LittleWing’s original response; it has been proven at the CERN laboratories that in certain scenarios if fasting is continued indefinitely then the body can become infinitely small and infinitely dense thereby creating a black hole. This black hole has a gravity so strong that it can suck in all matter until it crosses the fasting mass threshold, explodes outwards and expands to become infinitely massive.
    We scientists call this ‘the super starvation effect’ and some even theorise that we are all nothing more than microbes living in the belly of an infinitely large dieter who fasted so much that they filled the entire universe.

    Love your posts Pot-bellied Heron!

    Best answer 🙂 !!!

    A quick update to say I still do two fast days each week (two small meals per day) and no longer calorie counting (bliss) but keeping within a maintenance window of 123 – 127 lbs.

    Hi everyone, I have been following the monthly challenge’s since mid January 2018. I have lost 20lbs and I am now at my goal weight. I am not sure how to do the maintenance part of this WOL.

    I have been doing 16:8 everyday and from Sunday at 8:00pm until Wednesday 12:00pm I fast eating under 500 calories. Starting Wednesday at 8:00pm until Friday 12:00pm eating under 500 calories.

    Feeling wonderful but also a little nervous about keeping the weight off.

    Any advise would be wonderful.


    This is an old thread, but you could check out the Maintenance Chatbox thread for ideas on maintenance – lots of old hands there!

    When I reached goal weight back in April 2014 I was very nervous about relaxing the fasting/ eating and waking up flabby again! It didn’t happen that way, and I actually lost over half a stone while I worked out how to stabilise.

    You have the tools to maintain your weight loss. You know how to lose weight now. You just have to find what works for you.

    I do 16:8 most days, but I don’t necessarily fast once let alone twice a week. It really depends on what/ how much I’ve been eating and how active I am (I don’t eat much bread or pasta these days, and I often go for weeks at a time without added sugar (fasting has freed me from a sweet tooth 😀), so my eating habits are massively different from pre 5:2).

    I weigh myself daily still, and I’ve got to know my normal weight fluctuations through the week, and use my weight as a guide to whether I need to fast or not. I’ve set an upper maintenance limit of 60kg. If I see it once, it’s likely to be water from carbs the day before. If I see it several times then I need a fast day!

    I also don’t necessarily stick to 500 calories on fast days now, sometimes I just go 24 hours with no/low calories and then have a normalish evening meal. And I’d do that if I knew I was going to a restaurant for example, I guess as a way to keep below TDEE for the day.

    So you can be as flexible as you like, or if you need structure you could do a regular 6:1/ 5:2, or even 5:1, 7:2, etc! You will likely need to experiment to find what suits you. But don’t panic, if you don’t get it right and gain a lb or two you can just go back to 5:2 and lose it again!

    Hi Diana,
    I got to the lower end of my healthy weight range, thanks to 5:2, 16 months ago. I still do 5:2. It maintains me.

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