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5:2 Diet 'Rules' & Variations

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Walking: The easiest exercise to do. Easy to sustain and can burn loads of calories depending on terrain. Also recommended by Dr MM. My tip is to map out circular routes with one of the many cycling/running/walking websites. You can enter your weight and other details and it will tell you how many calories you've burnt.

This one works for me:, I've got a few that I've worked out for lunchtime strolls at work and longer ones from home.
FastDay: The Program - a free 4 week App-based introduction to 5:2 and intermittent fasting.
Hide the snacks.

If you have food in the house that you know will push you over your calorie limit on a fast day, hide it so that it's not in plain view. If you can't see it, you're less likely to want it. Out of sight, out of mind.
In line with the "wait 20 minutes after eating" rule, wait 20 minutes before eating.

When you feel hungry, tell yourself that you'll eat in 20 minutes. In the meantime, find something to do to take your mind off it. If you're still hungry in 20 minutes, then eat. If you're not, you were more likely to be feeling mental hunger. I eat a lot when I'm bored, for example.
In line with the previous suggestion, if you don't know what you want to eat, maybe you're not hungry. I find that if I can't say what it is that I'm hungry for, I'm oftentimes not actually hungry. If I can say "I want X", then I'm more likely to eat that and only that, rather than eating several things in the hope that one of them will be the correct one.
Great tips everyone!
For me the planning ahead is important, especially what easy meal I can give the family!
And like some others, I like to keep fast days food very simple, fruit and veges with a small amt of protein. I have gradually moved to having the one meal at night with maybe just some strawberries in the mid afternoon.
Strawberries are my best friend on fasting days!
My biggest problem used to be hunger. If I am really hungry I will have some 100-200 calories of high protein food. That'll control it.

I try to have all 600 cals at night as protein.

I saw in another BBC diet program that protein releases a hormone that makes you feel full. This works really well for me.

This is the easiest diet I have been on.
Best wishes,
Thanks for all top tips! I'm starting today!
Great reading! Thanks everyone!
Thanks for all these tips - I'm a newbie doing my first fast day and found these really useful! Especially the one about a nice hot cup of bouillon - just had a cup and feeling great to face the afternoon...
My top tip is before you even start on this journey take some time out to really get a handle on why you are making this lifestyle change - what will it mean to you (and others) when you succeed and what will it mean to you (and others) if you don't. Have you made a big enough change in your beliefs and values to want to see it through?
Also make a public statement of your goal in a way that if you didn't achieve it then this will cause you a huge embarrassment. When you have something driving you (your new life values) and the prospect of 'losing face', together they make a powerful force for change.
A friend of mine had as his 'statement' that he would give a £1,000 to a particular person that he didn't like - note, not to charity, but a person he detested in the event that he didn't achieve a particular outcome. This together with some new life goals was enough to keep him on track - the thought of this other person enjoying his cash was really strong (for him).

Happy fasting. :smile:
Top tips

I find that if I don't start eating I do better than if I have breakfast.

I also eat the shirataki noodles. These are very low calorie noodles that I buy from a chinese supermarket. They are made of a type of yam fibre they have virtually no calories. They are not quite like real noodles but do fill you up!

I make a kind of soup with cauliflower, brocolli, leeks, onions, stock cubes (or the sachets from noodles), real chillis, worcestershire sauce, and maybe a teaspoon of chutney or something sweet.

I try not to cook for others and distract myself with work.

Best of luck everyone.
I may be late to the party, but here are some things that have worked for me:

mummybunny2005 wrote: I may be late to the party, but here are some things that have worked for me:


Sooooo, I'm guessing you've found it hard then? :wink:
I may be late to the party, but here are some things that have worked for me:

1. I don't eat anything till evening. Mind you, it's best not to leave it TOO late or I become a psycho-bit_h from he_l, but I would be even worse if I had smaller meals during the day (see "Hunger Switch" posts for why I think this is).

2. I work from home some days, and go to the office on others. It's much easier for me to fast in the office than at home. I don't even have a problem declining the inevitable treats, birthday cakes etc. when I'm in the office, but for some reason knowing there's a jar of peanut butter in the cupboard at home and I can't stick a spoon in it is very hard to take.

3. I allow 50 cal per fast day on milk in coffee and tea and subtract it from my 500 per day, so I don't feel too deprived. For that matter, I do not advise restricting caffeine too drastically (if at all) when you start - the headaches can be bad enough with the fasting but with caffeine withdrawal on top of it they would be unbearable. If you want to give up caffeine in your desire to get healthy (a perfectly laudable goal, though not one I share), do it gradually.

4. Someone above said to avoid ready-meals, and I usually do, but if I get home late from work the last thing I want to do is plan and cook a meal. I can't wait much longer than it takes for a microwave to go "ping". I have discovered I'm not crazy about Waitrose ready meals, but have enjoyed (relatively speaking) the ones from M&S (for those in the UK looking for a recommendation). I stock up when they have 3 for 2 offers.

5. Exercise is fine when fasting - I usually do mine in the evening once I've had a meal but that's also when it works best for me from a timing perspective.

6. Breath spray and an extra toothbrush/paste in your desk drawer are your friends. So is a 2 liter bottle of water filled up each day and emptied (into you, not the house plants!).

PS. Please disregard prior aborted post :oops:
Drinking plenty stopped headaches for me. I am addicted to green tea which is 0 calories.
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