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5:2 Diet 'Rules' & Variations

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How strict must I be?
22 Jan 2014, 12:05
Hi guys, I'm wondering how strict I need to be on this diet. For instance, if I have a small tangerine (which is about 25 kcals) and it puts me over my allowance, will it REALLY be make or break? Is there any kind of leeway?
Re: How strict must I be?
22 Jan 2014, 12:14
Don't get too het up over it, but try to keep as close to 500 cals as possible...and don't go over too often. Always remember...tomorrow you can eat whatever you fancy. You could have TWO tangerines if you want and blow caution to the wind!

Bean :bugeyes:
Re: How strict must I be?
22 Jan 2014, 12:22
Hi @Bookwormy, and welcome. I guess you've not had time yet to look through the forum but, when you do, you'll find that this is the most forgiving way of eating (WoE) there is! Can't manage a fast today? That's fine, defer it to tomorrow.

As for 25 calories - well, it's a tiny amount, and as long as it doesn't keep creeping up on a repair / fast day then you'll be fine. My repair days vary from a goody-two-shoes 450 to nearer 700 calories (at which point I tend to designate it as a half repair).

Relax :) FatDog
Re: How strict must I be?
22 Jan 2014, 12:25
Indeed, a few calories here and there shouldn't do any harm - in fact I quite often have nearer 550 calories if it means I can have a meal which feels more like a normal meal or if I can then have a hot chocolate or something in the evening :) Don't fret it, but as others have said don't let it keep creeping up!
Re: How strict must I be?
22 Jan 2014, 12:30
Don't worry too much about 25kcals, if it was a 100+ or so, then I would be looking at your eating on a fast to find out why you feel you need the extra calories. As a new faster you will be surprised by how quickly the portion sizes and composition of your fast day meals change. For instance, that tangerine could have been a larger bowl of plain salad.

If you find that you are 'starving' an hour or two after a meal (say breakfast or lunch) it is usually because your blood sugar has shot up, then the insulin has come out and mopped up the sugars and sent you into a low sugar state, meaning you really do feel as if you are starving. Dropping those early meals may be the way to go, as many of us have found. Just one large meal in the evening of a decent size does us nicely.
Re: How strict must I be?
22 Jan 2014, 12:34
Hi Bookwormy - great name!
I found it very difficult to stick to 500 cals, so I was nearer the 700 mark, but I often did 3 days instead of 2. It worked for me, but those with stronger dispositions than me would say stick to around the 500 cals.
Good luck x
Re: How strict must I be?
22 Jan 2014, 12:42
Thanks guys - good to know I haven't blown it already!
Re: How strict must I be?
22 Jan 2014, 12:53
it's quite hard to 'blow it'!
eaten more than 500 cals? If you've missed a meal or gone longer than usual you will get some benefit from fasting
Gone all day and then eaten almost what you would on a non fast day? Still get the benefit of a fast and it's probably 16:8
Missed breakfast and eaten lunch and dinner? that is shaping up nicely to be a 16:8!
I am a great believer of putting a positive spin on it- just try not to kid yourself on if you'r enot really changing anything!
Re: How strict must I be?
22 Jan 2014, 12:54
There is no 'blowing' this diet, no guilt trips, no naughty foods, no-one telling you that you have failed. If you go over badly on a fast day, think of it as a half fast, you didn't reduce your intake to 25% but it was only 50% of your TDEE, so congratulations. Tomorrow you can try again.

There is no forbidden food, though the warning that you can eat whatever you like, just not as much as you would like comes into play. Have your bread and butter, just not half a loaf or a whole slab of butter. Have that cake when you go for a coffee with friends, just don't have 2 and polish off your friends (or the kids). Chocolate is allowed, full fat foods are encouraged on feed days, because they help you to feel fuller and contain valuable fat soluble nutrients.
Nothing is a sin, as long as you are willing to put in the two fasts a week and be mindful on your feed days. Without sin there is no guilt, without guilt there is no nasty hang ups about food or comfort eating.

Just get your fast days down pat at first, then see if you need to do any tweaking to your feed days.
Re: How strict must I be?
22 Jan 2014, 13:24
I don't even count! On a fast day I have nothing to eat until my evening meal and then I have a big pile of salad or veg and a piece of chicken or fish. I have probably 2 cups of black chai with coconut milk during the evening and that's all. I just know that that can't possibly be more than 500 calories and if it is? So what? it works. Just don't let it creep up every time, you must be honest with yourself rather than strict. Good luck
Re: How strict must I be?
22 Jan 2014, 14:05
Hi bookwormy!
I think @Wendy Darling hits the nail on the head
" if it works for you.."
So far,for me, being several stones overweight,my fast n repair day are nearer 600 cals ( always taken in one evening meal,maybe a 60 cal slimmasoup in the late afternoon and often saving 40 cal for a hotchoc bedtime drink)
Have lost two stone in this way since September - so its working for me - so far.
As i lose more, i will come down to 500 and less carbs day to day
Good luck with your journey,it may be trial and error at first,but plenty of great answers to your question here to help you along x
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