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5:2 Diet 'Rules' & Variations

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I'm soliciting advice from the small group of forum folk who have never been overweight (@Callyanna, that might be you?).

My brother actually noticed on our trip last weekend to see our mother that I had lost weight (shocking - he is not a very observant type). So I explained to him about 5:2 and the benefits of IF. He said he might want to try fasting (our mother has dementia - certainly a motivation for IF).

But he is quite thin - BMI probably between 18 and 19. So clearly he shouldn't do anything that might cause weight loss.

What would be the best approach for him? I don't really think 16:8 is an intense enough fast to be useful with anything beyond the obvious (helps with weight loss because you won't eat as much in 8 hours as you would in 12 or 14). I've been doing 16:8 frequently over the years without thinking of it as a weight loss strategy - without even thinking about it at all, actually. I just wake up late sometimes and only eat two meals.

@Carorees, maybe there are some studies or articles for me to send to my bro?

PS Why didn't I get those genes? My dad used to graze all day long. He would complain sometimes after a meal that he ate too much. And he was thin as a rail, as they say.
The easiest way is to ensure he eats a low carb/high fat diet on fast days so the fat meets his calorie needs. Low carb/high fat is ketogenic if done long enough/combined with fasting. Ketones are neuroprotective and so a ketogenic diet has been suggested as being a treatment for Alzheimers. I would think once a week fasting, preferably a 24 hour fast followed by a high calorie meal (calories from fats not carbs) might work. However, when my OH who is similar to your bro tried fasting for 24 hours followed by eating normally, he lost weight and became very hungry indeed :-( (famine reaction?). I am currently trying to get him to reduce his carbs a bit instead of fasting.

I am not sure we can say that the 16:8 is not intense enough to bring one knows how long a fast is good. If done every day and if combined with a low carb diet, 16:8 probably results in a similar number of fasting hours. The only research has been done with ADF and ADF in mice/rats but as ADF for rodents represents us fasting for one week on/one week off, I think we can't draw any conclusions regarding the efficacy of fasting in humans from the rodents studies, just that fasting can have interesting effects!
When you say 'high fst' what sort of intake are you suggesting? I keep reading about it but haven't really seen any figures - any idea?
Hi wendyjane. :grin: :oops: I'm honoured you're asking my advice although truthfully can only tell you my history and what's worked for me.
I was always a very skinny child with stick thin arms and legs and a very 'picky' eater to boot. My brother to this day is very slim although he eats like a horse. Dad was average build but mum decidedly overweight so can't say if my build is genetic or not.
I only started gaining weight when I left home to go to college eating rubbish and ending up at over 9st at 5' tall and was around that weight when I got married 40 years ago. I was one of those women who suffered badly with morning, or rather all day, sickness when pregnant and immediately after the birth of my second son was considerably lighter than before I got pregnant!
With sensible eating I gradually slimmed down to my present weight of 7st (98 lb), a level which feels right for me and easily maintainable fasting for one day a week and allowing for occasional blowouts.
As to your question, I really don't know whether I'd call myself 'naturally thin' or not. I know I don't need to 'diet' but am following the fasting WOL to prolong my life expectancy and stay fit and healthy. Has your brother seen the MM documentary which might convince him of the benefits of fasting or following 16:8 pattern of eating?
If there's anything specific you'd like to ask me please feel free if you think it might help and sorry for such a rambling post!
carorees wrote: I would think once a week fasting, preferably a 24 hour fast followed by a high calorie meal (calories from fats not carbs) might work.

Thanks, Caroline. I'll suggest exactly that to him, and also remind him to keep a close eye on his weight, so he can quickly adjust his routine if he's losing weight. Same thing goes for his equally thin wife, who recently lost her mother after 13 years of Alzheimer's :cry:

And @Callyanna, I was just thinking that it's funny how I assumed that you have always been fairly thin, just because you are now. Sometimes it's hard to imagine a person as being a different size when you are used to how they are now. This will happen to lots of folks on the forum - in 5 or 10 years, they will have a new acquaintance or friend who will be astounded when told that they used to be fat. I have a neighbor who recently told me she used to be 50 pounds heavier - I'm still not sure I believe her :smile:
loversghost wrote: Hi,
When you say 'high fst' what sort of intake are you suggesting? I keep reading about it but haven't really seen any figures - any idea?

The 'rule' I'm following is to keep carbs below 150g, protein under 0.8g/kg body weight (i.e. around 60g) and the remaining calories made up by fat. So if yourTDEE is 2000, 240 cal would come from protein, under 600 from carbs and 1160 from fat, which is about 116g of fat.
Cheers for that - the other day I got up to 100g/fat and got slightly panicky because I USED to be one of the 'fat is bad' thinkers. No more but thanks for clarifying!
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