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5:2 Diet 'Rules' & Variations

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Hi ,

I'm sure this question has probably been asked before but I thought I might re-present it in case it hasn't.

Q. Are there Ideal types of foods when breaking a fast the next day and conversely are there foods that you shouldn't have directly after a fast.

Reason I ask is that I generally do Mon and Thurs as a 5:2 and Fridays are my day off. On Saturday's I skip breakfast and play Golf and generally don't have anything until about 11.00 am. I figure I have probably fasted on the Friday night for 16 hours as I generally finish eating around 7pm. Now this is where the essence of the question arises, The first thing I have after golf ...a beer and packet of chips , probably 600-800 calories. Even though I'm not overdoing it calorie wise , and I have just burnt about 1200 calories playing golf, is the high fat in the chips coupled with a sudden insulin rise drinking the beer just undoing all the previous weeks fasts and exercise? Does the body work in reverse when its in fat burning mode and take the calories straight to the fat cells without being turned onto energy? Even with the beers I generally don't overeat on the Saturday or the Sunday and I'm back into a fast on the Monday.

Cheers in advance :confused:
Worst foods are any high carb/sugar foods as your insulin levels fall during fasting (a good thing) but this means your body is not ready to react to incoming glucose from eating refined carbs/sugar resulting in a blood glucose spike (a bad thing) and subsequent fall (making you hungry again) and also raising the insulin levels you've worked so hard to keep down by fasting. Eating a large meal generally to break your fast is not a good idea as it can lead to digestive discomfort and some people have found the need to be near the bathroom ;-)

Best foods are a small, low carb break-fast with protein (you will likely not have eaten your usual protein intake the day before) and healthy fats.

Say NO to cereals, waffles, granola, breakfast biscuits, pastries
Say YES to eggs, greek yoghurt and berries, meats, salads, cheeses etc.

Good luck!
Excellent Carorees, :smile:

So I have a crunchy granola sitting on my desk, that claims to be high in protein , I've checked the sugar in it and its 18g per 100. I generally try to stick below 12 if I can, but it looks as though I'll need to give it the flick. While cereals are not the popular choice they can be convenient, if you had to pick one which one would it be(I'm thinking Weetbix?). Think I might just bring a boiled egg or two in the day after a fast.
So, getting back to the beer question, we all enjoy a tipple or two(Well most anyway). If you are going to have a drink I'm guessing choosing a low carb option would be the best after a period without any calorie intake and have just exercise.(Well Golf :oops: )
I love my pale ales and they would probably be the worst type of beer you could have regarding low carb, I guess I can keep them for a special occasion and go low carb after golf.

I also have Apples and Mandarins on my desk, are they ok to have and still have your insulin in check ? Mandarins seem to be very low in calories and seem to satiate me.

cheers again in advance
18g of sugar is four and a half teaspoons! That's a lot, plus all the carbs are just almost sugar (i.e., as soon as they hit the digestive system they become sugar).
Weetabix is low in sugar, yes, but it is high GI, meaning its carbs convert to sugar very quickly and raise blood glucose and insulin...exactly what we don't want after a fast.
There is no cereal I would eat if I had to choose I'm afraid. I would have a handful of nuts instead. (I just have black coffee in the morning anyway!).
Hi @Joestar

How are things going for you? I have been meaning to post on your discussion thread for some while... I will add something there sometime, as it would be good to know a bit more about you and your weight concerns in order to inform our comments!

I understand totally about how convenient cereal is for breakfast when you don't have a lot of time. But as carorees says, processed cereals are not an ideal choice. Lots of people on this forum do not have breakfast, but those who do, do seem to have quite a variety of foods. Processed carbs are to be avoided if possible, but what you eat has to be what will work FOR YOU!

Many people on this forum follow a low carb diet, though there is variation on what people exclude. One of the reasons that low carb diet is supported is that eating carbs may result in weight gain/ difficulty in losing weight if you are insulin resistant (it's much more complex than that, and I am not sure if that simple explanation is correct either), and there are reasons to suppose that people who are overweight (especially if their waist:height ratio is high) may be insulin resistant.

But it is important to understand that insulin resistance is not something you have or you don't - there are degrees of it, and without medical testing, you can't know how much of an issue it is for you.

I don't think anyone would disagree that consumption of processed carbs should be minimised and green leafy veggies maximized (most diets have that in common, I expect), and that added sugar is to be avoided, but there are varying views on the role of wholegrains and starchy vegetables in the diet.

It's a matter of working out what works best for you but also, what you are prepared to accept. Quite a number of people seem happy and healthy and have no problems as a result of excluding a lot of grains and starchy vegetables. But this might not be okay for everyone. (Of course there are people who have allergies to certain grains, but this is not most people, and a separate issue.)

I did cut a lot of these foods from my diet initially but through my reading of various different approaches to weight management, and consultation with a dietician, I have reintroduced wholegrains (especially quinoa - trendy, but it does seem to be a very nutritious food), including bread, and ensure I have a wide range of veg including those not on the very low cal diet list.

I believe this more varied diet has reduced the amount of binge eating I do (although I have not stopped overeating at times - and am currently trying to understand more about why I do this - I certainly don't binge the same quantity anymore!!) - there is an argument that if your body is lacking in particular nutrients, it will "make" you eat whatever is at hand to try to get those nutrients.

In the end it is about trying to work out how your own body deals with different foods and what makes it feel good.

What is going to work for you when breaking your fast? What will you enjoy but will also help make you feel good?

Could you hard boil some eggs in advance? I know not everyone can stomach hard boiled eggs...

As has been suggested, berries and full fat yoghurt (no added sugar) is quick and easy, but I don't find it filling enough. I have made up my own muesli (whole grain oats, assorted nuts, seeds and dried fruits) for mornings when I want to have breakfast but don't have time to make my usual scrambled eggs and porridge. I usually have it with yoghurt, but sometimes full cream milk.

Could you stomach the continental breakfast of cheese, meat, etc, as also suggested by carorees.

I have a (male) friend who makes these wonderful veggie smoothies the night before ready for a quick brekkie. You can add in protein powder perhaps (not sure on my views on this as an additive - I would prefer to have an egg or some yoghurt separately) plus herbs, spices, ginger etc, whatever appeals.

As I mentioned, many on this forum do not have breakfast, so break their fast with a more conventional lunch or dinner meal. So that is also an option.

But if all that is too much work or does not appeal, and packaged cereal is the only thing that suits your lifestyle, assuming you want a breakfast food, look for one with a variety of ingredients and as little added sugar (including honey and all its other variants) as possible. Some of the mueslis are probably the best - look carefully at the ingredients though.

Good luck and best wishes!
Cheers Sassy1 !
A very thorough and informative response.
I've rid myself of cereals for the moment as a lot of them are just too high in sugar. It's certainly a explorative journey and trying to work towards a 'what works best' situation for me is starting to look similar to my golf swing(all over the place) !!
I am sure that I'm more stricter on the fast days than I used to be, but I do often encounter situations of my fasts being sabotaged. I am working towards (loosely) of an LCHF diet and trying to, in the main, have an eating window on my non fast days of no more than 8 hours. I guess if we try to build our own healthy food Pyramid I would be pushing the breads and grains towards the pointy end, with the beer ,chocolates and chips. So I have substituted bread with wraps on a fast day.

A typical fast day would look like this for me
B 6am Coffee( flat white) 10.00am 80Cal Mandarin 40cal
L. 12 noon Chicken breast wing only 1/4 chicken 300cal or Chicken and salad Wrap300cal
D 4-4.30 pm. Nothing or a tuna and salad 120cal.

I'm not sure whether my calorie estimates are out there but if they are close to accurate then it generally means I'm only having 450-550cal a day on my fasts.

I find that I'm getting better results trying to have as little as possible nearing the end of the day as my window opens quite early(if you count coffee as the start of an eating window).
The next thing I think I need to work on is to stop obsessing and try and let these things happen as a second nature type of thing and maybe only weigh in fortnightly or the first Friday of the month. I'm trying to avoid the psychological rollercoaster of good results V bad results. For instance sometimes if I get a bad result I will instantly lash out and 'give up' for a period and just as adversely when I have a good result I will reward with something unsavory. Being back on this wonderful forum is slowly starting to get me the results I have been looking for, perhaps if I take out the constant weighing in every morning it will seem like less of a struggle.
Finally, I happened to see part of Michael Mosley's Eat,Fast and Live longer (for the umpteenth time)again last night , but it reminded me of the nature of the studies that were being conducted and the effectiveness of IF. I was also surprised that he only weighed in at the beginning of and the end of the show which echoes my previous point. :smile:
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