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5:2 Diet 'Rules' & Variations

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" I know they sell the WOE as a eat fish and chips and 20 pints for 5 days fast for two and somehow you'll loose weight, na, that ain't going to happen."

Tips that work for me:

- Pre-plan fast day meals, then I don't have to think about food on the day
- Save the fast day calories for a single meal - mine is at night - otherwise my "hunger switch" is turned on
- Monitor calories on non-fast days if, like me, you still don't understand what normal eating actually looks/feels like
- Re-calculate your TDEE every time you lose 5 lbs
- Don't weigh yourself every day; try weekly, better yet monthly
More personal tips:

- Take a weekly, not a daily, view of calories - eat less on non-fast days if you know you usually over-shoot your TDEE on weekends
- If you are tempted by food on fast days, remember the mantra "I can eat it tomorrow!"
Everyone has provided some outstanding advice!

I just wanted to add, do not be a slave to your scale. Although it might be exciting to see your weight go down the day after a fast, don't be shocked to see the scale go up. The scale although important is not the only tool for assessing oneself.

-Get a measuring tape- measure at most twice a month (the beginning and end)

-Weigh yourself at most once a week- fluctuations will be inevitable

According to MyFitness Pal:

If you have 75+ lbs to lose 2 lbs/week is ideal.
If you have 40-75 lbs to lose 1.5 lbs/week is ideal.
If you have 25-40 lbs to lose 1 lbs/week is ideal.
If you have 15 -25 lbs to lose 0.5 to 1.0 lbs/week is ideal.
If you have less than 15 lbs to lose 0.5 lbs/week is ideal.

Remember we're looking at monthly results, not weekly. You more than likely won't get the expect weight loss on a week to week basis, but you probably will on a monthly basis.**

Good luck!!
Nothing to add to these top tips I'm afraid - think I can agree with most of them, except for me I can't last out til evening and have all my calories at once, I opt for small breakfast, then an evening meal - simply can't make it through the day without something ! I'm much better on a fast day when I'm busy and occupied and I HAVE to have my evening meal planned the day before, otherwise I'm hopeless :)
For me, the top tips are:

1. Plan ahead. I log what I'm going to eat on a fast day into MFP, sometimes days ahead of time, and then tweak it until I'm happy with the daily total.
2. Have a variety of drinks available - a selection of herbal and green teas, and some miso soup/ bouillon.
3. Drink lots of water.
4. DON'T get too hung up on calculating the EXACT number. 25% is an approximation. If you calculate your TDEE, that too will be an approximation. The calorie values given for foods are an approximation. While I'm super-strict about weighing foods on a fast day, I always remember that there's a plus/minus 10% margin of error.
5. Have fun experimenting! Seek out those zero noodles, find ways of cooking veg with no oil, try that crustless quiche recipe.
Melanie Cheeks wrote: 4. DON'T get too hung up on calculating the EXACT number. 25% is an approximation. If you calculate your TDEE, that too will be an approximation. The calorie values given for foods are an approximation. While I'm super-strict about weighing foods on a fast day, I always remember that there's a plus/minus 10% margin of error.

You are SO right!
Thanks for the great tips!
I agree with many of the tips given but want to reiterate the planning bit. On a Sunday and Wednesday I always make a large meal so that I have leftovers for fast day the following days. Spag bol/chilli/lamb curry.....these kind of foods from the Hairy Dieters Recipe book are great and can be served with veg/salad on the fast day.

The other thing is that on fast days I focus on the fact that I'm giving my body/digestive system a well earned rest.
Dont' snack during the day! It makes you hungrier and you won't get the full benefit of fasting. Try eating just one meal (or two like Michael Mosley) and stop there. I see a lot of people who snack or otherwise go outside the rules and then they wonder why the diet isn't working.
My biggest tip would be BE PREPARED.
I find it absolutely essential to plan the day before, so I go to bed the night before a fast day knowing not only where every single calorie is going, but also that its as prepared as possible, measured and weighed out. It gives me so much more peace of mind for my fasting days. I don't find I'm faced with any difficult decisions, beause all my decisions have already been made.

That said, my second tip would be DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU
There is some flexibility built into 5:2, don't be afraid to experiment to find out how it can suit you best. For example, I always have breakfast, lunch and dinner on Fast days, I don't enjoy waiting until dinner so I spread my 500 calories over 3 meals, and I weigh myself every single day which many people would maybe avoid.

So if you hate the thought of feeling restrained by pre-planning your fast days and prefer more freedom, ignore my first tip and go for it.
These things help me on fast days....

keep busy (much harder to fast on a day off than a busy day at work)

Exercise (it makes you feel gooooood! Plus it will demonstrate to you what you can do when you haven't eaten for a while).

Be prepared (supermarkets aren't a fasters friend!)

Eat tasty things! (I use lots of spices to liven up my salads and veggies)
I just want to reiterate what Skykitty says "DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU".

I tend towards being insulin resistant and found that even after a few weeks I was suffering terrible headaches on fast days and sometimes the following day too. I now make sure I go no more that 5 waking hours without something to eat (usually 100 cals at 12.00, 100 cals at 16.00 & 300 cals at 20.30). I have seen no difference with weight/inch loss and feel so much better. I honestly couldn't have continued with the headaches so find what works for you and just go with that.
If you don't like drinking plain water, try slicing 1/4 of a cucumber into a litre or two of water and keeping it in the fridge. I only like lemon in hot water
Tell family and friends. They will be interested.

Come to this forum to read about success and post your own
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