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5:2 Diet 'Rules' & Variations

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If you generally need & eat about 2000 cals per day, then two fast days cuts your average cal intake to 1500 and you *should* lose weight over time.

This is the simplistic explanation and of course, it all depends on your own circumstances and eating habits.

The added bonus for me is that you are only ever on a diet for one day. So mentally it is a lot less taxing and/or restrictive.

In real life, how sustainable is one treat a month?
Yes, I think you are! If you eat normally (i.e. what is normal for your height, weight etc) and on fast days have 25% of that, you will be restricting your calories by 20% overall. That should be enough for a steady weight loss of about 1 lb per week. For the average woman this means 2000 cals on feast days, 500 on fast days, but you exercise a fair bit so you could probably have more.

Apart from a few people who have thyroid or other metabolic problems, eating normally on feast days including wine, chocolate, cake, crisps, biscuits etc etc in moderation, is resulting in a good rate of weight loss.

The aim is to do something sustainable, for life. Denying yourself treats is not really sustainable. As others have said, this is not really a diet, it's a way of life.

If I was not losing weight I would add another fast day rather than cut calories on feed days as it is the big difference in calories between fasting and feasting that is supposed to bring the benefits unique to fasting.

So, give yourself a break (and a treat or two)!
I may add here my day has consisted of porridge, pears, spam, scrambled eggs, bread, a couple of hot cross buns, a wee bit of chocolate, some toffees I've just found and a Chinese ready meal with the veggie chilli from yesterday's fast day as an added extra....

I am very full as my tum is defo smaller.

I'm new to intermittent fasting and did my first week last week. The fasting days were fine and I felt great afterwards but I think I've overdone it with the wine since as the two pound I'd shed have reappeared on the scales.

This post has helped me realise that my over indulgence in wine isn't good for my health and it will affect my weight loss overall as it's bumping up my calorie consumption on a feast day so I'm going to be more careful from now on.

Fast week number two starting tomorrow and I'll watch that alcohol intake now.

Thanks guys, I can see this forum helps no end.

Teresa x
Dangerously scary, obviously no alcohol on a fast day leaves me really craving a glass of wine for the next feast day, whereas normally I wouldn't bother. Strange.
I am trying to have tighter control on my feast days and stick to three meals a day with no snacks. I am slowly gaining control over my inclination to binge. Since starting this regime my binge times are greatly reduced in terms of how often and what I consume. It is weeks since I ate a whole packet of biscuits. Whilst I hope I do lose weight my main reason for changing to 5:2 is to improve my attitude to food. This does seem to be slowly happening.
I've noticed this to. And, when I do do have a lapse its no where near like I would have been before. (2bowls of alpen on mon, instead of 2 bars of choc!!
I think you are being overly strict on yourself, especially as you exercise so much. It does depend how much you want to lose and how quickly - a lot of people are choosing this diet because of the lifestyle change rather than just the weight loss aspect. If you can be that strict throughout your diet then pergaps a different diet would be better - one that has quick results as there is no point restricting your calorie intake to 500 a day if you are being strict on other days too. Personally, I chose this because gradually I am losing a bit of weight but it is making me question how I choose what I eat and what I actually need. However, I love wine and eating out and do these things on 3 days a week (usually) without feeling guilty as I am not snacking or overeating on feed days generally. If I have had a huge meal out, I will question the 'hunger pangs' at 11pm and not reach for anything as I know my body can't possibly need it. If you are limiting yourself constantly, then you won't enjoy food or life as much and never know what food you actually 'need' or want...
I eat pretty much want I want (I'm a vegetarian) on my feast days but i find since I have been on this diet i tend to eat a lot less because my appetite has decreased now. I still love ice cream and a glass of wine on my 5 normal days!
The 5:2 plan is having a wonderful effect on my attitude towards food - I am enjoying a much wider variety of foods, don't feel guilty when I eat chocolate and it is making my social life so much easier. I am very strict on fast days with regards to the keeping within the 500 calorie daily limit, but other than that for the first time in many years, eating has become a pleasure and I am feeling much more confident and happy.
Your post was very useful to read Moogie, thanks.
I chose this diet so that I didn't have to count calories. If I was good at that I'd have been doing it all along. The health benefits are important to me too, but my primary aim is to find a way to lose weight which I can sustain. I haven't lost much yet but I have read a lot about how we gradually adapt our eating habits. Having been on every diet imaginable, I no longer know what is 'eating normally' so very much need to rediscover that and I think that's going to take time. What I do know is that despite quite a bit of 'feasting' I certainly haven't put weight on!
Although I sometimes waiver when the scales don't give me the news I want, I have faith that this lifestyle will be one that will work for me.
I am a touch confused about the calorie counting on feast days. If we are to eat "normally" and not to excess, then how does the TDEE number help us? I'm pretty conscience about how many calories I take in on feast days but I was surprised that the TDEE said no more than 1650 cal on feast days. Thoughts?
Clearly eating "normally" doesn't mean exactly as you were eating before - thats what got you so big in the first place !

What I have done is spent an hr in Tessies checking out clorific values and putting the stuff back on the shelves - people must have thought I was a nutter!

Now I am much more "calorie aware" I have eliminated things which have high cals but I dont derive much pleasure from - eg, prawn mayo sandwiches. However I have kept high calorie stuff I like - eg Indian on a Fri night !
Hi everybody,
I have been doing the 4:3 version of this diet for 5 weeks now and I have lost close to 9 pounds. On my four feed days I eat whatever I want. I have had things like cheesecake, a pint of ice cream, chips (AKA as crisps in the UK), real mayo, real salad dressing, real butter, lots of pasta, pancakes with real maple syrup and whipped cream, real cheese, wine (lot's and lots of wine)...and I'm still losing weight. Out of curiosity, I added up the calorie count for one of my feed days. It came to about 2500 calories. I typically eat between 300-400 calories on fast days. My average calories for the week is about 1600, which is enough for me to lose about 1.8 pounds a week. If you find that you are eating too much on feed days, you might want to try switching to 4:3.
"Eat what you like. Fruit. Veg. Pasta. Bread. Chocolate. Ice cream. Crisps. Cheese.

It doesn't matter"

With repeect it seems potty to me to starve yourself one day then stuff your self with ice cream and chooloate the next. You can't ignore the fact anyday that chocolate and ice cream contain mountains of saturated sugars and are therefore not very good for you.

Your advise to "eat normally", which one would hope is a balanced diet, seems to make a lot more sense to me.

Surely the point is you don't have to stress your body on free days (neither must you gorge...).
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