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5:2 Diet 'Rules' & Variations

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Eating disorders?
13 Mar 2013, 10:09
I had an eating disorder for many years ( bingeing and then completely over exercising to shift excess calories and masses of guilt) and have managed over the years to calm things down to average bingeing/feeling guilty after eating fattening foods. Before I started this diet in January I read the books and was intrigued to know why this diet isn't a good idea if one suffers from an eating disorder. I am totally pre occupied with thoughts of food every day anyway so how could this make matters worse? I have found that going on the 5:2 actually gives me the freedom that I needed and has helped me to start dealing with the guilt associated with eating certain foods.
Previously I would just yoyo constantly, ie being "good" for a while then everything going to pot! At least with this there is a quick fix when fasting so things don't ever get totally out of control.
I am very interested to hear if anyone else ( and there must be loads of us!) suffers from any kind of obsession with food/eating disorder and how they are getting on with the 5:2. Also does anyone know why we shouldn't do the fast diet? Thanks. :?:
Re: Eating disorders?
13 Mar 2013, 10:18
I would imagine the contra-indication is to do with control, people not recognising when they are already slim and the joy of starving when fasting...but I don't know.

There's certainly an element of people mixing diets and eating bugger-all and some people trying to lose when they already have normal BMI's (though this is a very subjective issue). I would think that if this WoE gets associated with eating disorders, then that would be bad for all of us.
Re: Eating disorders?
13 Mar 2013, 12:01
Yay! Thanks Moogie for this post.
I was scared to admit to my previous eating disorders for fear of being told off for being on 5:2 when the advice was not to for those with a history of eating disorders.
I have suffered from Bulimia as a teenager and at one point was verging on being anorexic. It was much more than wanting to lose weight and more about being in control with an overwhelming compulsion to purge. I no longer consider myself to have an eating disorder and actually wonder how I managed to starve myself so easily, however it was not a choice but a compulsive disorder due to psychological problems which I feel is important to stress. People don't just decide to have anorexia or Bulimia to lose weight, there are other contributing factors.

I think the concern is that fasting could trigger off an eating disorder if there are underlying problems.

My personal opinion of this way of eating is very positive. I now suffer from long term depression managed by tablets and I am very wary of dieting as some have been known to increase depression. I feel that the 5:2 diet has reset my body so that I am able to feel full or hungry. I think brain gave up sending messages as I never learned to listen.

I feel this diet is more sustainable than any other I have tried as I don't feel deprived, I enjoy food when I have it and most importantly I am not in a huge rush to lose weight quickly. That is honestly a first.

I know that when I had an eating disorder I would have never considered following any diet, it is a very personal all consuming thing. I realise that with all diets there have to be guidelines to prevent legal issues and 5:2 is a "New" diet even though it is not a new way of eating.

I plan to post after a couple of months how my depression is with this diet. It is too early to judge yet but I am feeling better than I have in a long time at the moment.
Re: Eating disorders?
13 Mar 2013, 13:34
Thanks BBT053 and Nikki,
You both made some interesting and thought provoking comments. Like Nikki, this is the most comfortable I have felt around food for a very long time. Clearly someone with psychological issues regarding food and someone who doesn't will have totally different experiences on this diet. I would love to be in the other category! In saying that I am very happy on the fast diet and long may it continue.
I hope your depression improves soon Nikki and thanks again for your's good to know one isn't alone!
Re: Eating disorders?
13 Mar 2013, 13:50
I have a sister who has had an eating disorder most of her adult life.
In her case it really isn't to do with the food, but being in control as you have said.
I just want to say good luck to you all. It sounds to me that it is having a positive rather than negative effect on our relationship with food.
Perhaps it might truly help people with eating disorders. I would love to think so. X
Re: Eating disorders?
13 Mar 2013, 17:47
Thanks Bellalou,
It has really helped me as you never get totally out of control with a fast just around the corner. I find fasting very easy. The problem comes the day after in the evening when I can start to binge. I am working on that and hope to relax a bit more after a meal and not keep eating! The diet has helped me become much more aware of over eating though and things have definitely improved.
I wonder what your sister would think.
Re: Eating disorders?
13 Mar 2013, 18:19
Hi Moogie,

How do I post a new topic, the ones that have a gold star on the left. I've read all the fans and still don't know how todo it, thanks,

Ballerina x
Re: Eating disorders?
13 Mar 2013, 18:35
I am a binger and have been since young. For me too it has been an emotional journey from childhood. The fasting reassures me that I still have some self control and the feast days stop me feeling deprived. I have a switch in my brain that is triggered by something, I know not what, and I go into diet mode, lose a couple of stone and feel successful. Then a demon in me says eat and off I go again eating all in sight, gaining weight until the switch is triggered again. I am so tired of this yo yo way of life. I have to take control of my eating and I truly believe 5:2 will help me do it. I have recently lost a stone and a half with weight watchers, got back to size 10, then started eating. I can still get into my size 10 clothes but they are snug. I do not want to follow weight watchers until I die! I too suffer from depression but no longer take any medication. I see this regime as the key to break the self destructive cycle. This is why I keep saying I am doing this for the health benefits not for weight loss. I am looking forward to my fast tomorrow as I have eaten far too much the last few days.
Re: Eating disorders?
13 Mar 2013, 19:02
I too have had an unhealthy relationship with food for the past four years now, ranging from periods of eating as little as possible to periods of eating every item of food in the house and then feeling terrible about it.

Initially, doing the 5:2 diet set my binging habits off again and I ate far too much during 'feed' days, to the extent that I have actually put ON weight so far (!) but I've stopped weighing myself now and have changed the focus from weight loss to a healthy body, healthy mind and potentially longer, happier life.

This seems to have stopped the binging for me! Also it means that if I do eat too much on a 'feed' day I don't get that terrible guilt, because I know that I'll have a fast day soon and I know that, because I'm fasting, I should get the alleged health benefits anyway :)

I feel like I'm getting the hang of it now and finally feel in control of my eating habits again :)
Re: Eating disorders?
13 Mar 2013, 19:38
Ballerina wrote: Hi Moogie,

How do I post a new topic, the ones that have a gold star on the left. I've read all the fans and still don't know how todo it, thanks,

Ballerina x

The gold stars are automatically generated by the system. To create a new topic, hit the new topic button at the top left of each forum (e.g., go to the Frequently Asked Questions boards just above the announcements is the new topic button). Once you have created your new topic it should appear in the gold starred section!
Re: Eating disorders?
04 Jul 2013, 11:57
Hello Everyone,
I just had to share my experience with 5:2, in hopes that it might help someone else. I have had a lifetime obsession with food and weight, with eating disorders ranging from anorexia (as a teen) to recurring bulimia, (late teen till present). Psychological issues of never being good enough, and soothing/punishing myself with food. I was up to 300 lbs at one point, have slowly lost about 75 lbs through swimming and watching what I eat ALL THE TIME. Kind of tiring, and a lot of guilt still involved. (I swam, therefore I was "good", but I ate a cookie, which is "bad").

So, I've been doing the 5:2 WOE for a couple months now. And just yesterday I realized that I couldn't remember the last time I thought about purging! Remarkable! I am experiencing a new state of comfort around food. I can relax, finally. I pay attention on my feast days, but only loosely, like I think a healthy person might. I don't freak out if I have some's ok now.

I'll just share my version. First of all, I call my "fast" days "Lean Days". Just makes more sense to me, as it's more accurate description. Plus, people are much more accepting of a "lean day" than "fasting", which freaks them out. Feast days are "regular days". I eat lunch and dinner on lean days, and i have about 6 standardized meals that I rotate through I just approach it as, this is what I eat on lean days. Lean protein and veg and some fruit. I'm flexible on the calorie count, it's somewhere in the 400 - 700/day, depending. Counting the calories every time made me obsessive, so I stopped. So does weighing. I weighed once at 6 weeks, and had lost 6 pounds, I'm happy with that. I'll weigh again at the 3 month mark. I'm in this for both weight loss and hopefully mental acuity, as dementia runs in my family.

Anyway, hope this helps someone else, it has really helped me. I am experiencing a sense of freedom and relaxation regarding my food intake that has eluded me for most of my life.
Re: Eating disorders?
04 Jul 2013, 16:48
:like: :clover:
Re: Eating disorders?
04 Jul 2013, 17:05
Gingertea, I think that's a fantastic approach! Welcome to the forums :-)

I also can't call them feast days - it really makes me more inclined to pig out. I like your idea of "lean days" because that's a great positive descriptor. Although I do fast from the time I wake up until about 6pm's dinner, so fast day isn't a complete misnomer for me (especially in winter, when I don't eat until after dark).
Re: Eating disorders?
05 Jul 2013, 16:35
Thanks for the warm welcome Tracie!

Yep...calling it "feast" day really set me up for overeating, so I'll reserve that for special holidays!
Re: Eating disorders?
09 Jul 2013, 08:26
That's pretty amazing, gingertea. You must be really pleased.

I think the advice for people with eating disorders not to follow this diet is just a butt-covering exercise. When I was anorexic (a very long time ago), I ate less than 500cals every day. This WOE would have been far healthier!

Anyway, a bigger worry for me is how obsessed I can get with losing weight, whatever diet/WOE I am following. In adulthood, my usual pattern is to be good at losing, bad at maintaining. It seems unlikely that I will ever be seriously underweight again, but just in case, I though it might be useful for me to publicly declare here that I will not go below 120 lbs. My goal weight is actually about 140 lbs, a weight I haven't seen in a long time. I'll probably try to maintain there for awhile, see how I feel about it, then lose a bit more if I feel like I need to. No lower than 120, though . You heard it here.
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