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5:2 Diet 'Rules' & Variations

23 posts Page 1 of 2
I read a thread, I'm sure it was this forum, that was written by a man (I think - he talked about helping his wife) about why an overweight woman couldn't lose weight on a 1200 calorie diet. Had to do with being on 'starvation mode' for a long time and how efficent her body would get at storing the least bit of excess, etc.

In the article/thread, it discussed various TDEE calculators, BMR calculations, how to find your body-fat percentage, etc. I thought it was a 'sticky' thread at the top of one of these boards, but I can't find it anywhere!

I'm sure it was this group - it *might* have been something I read on the MFP forums, but I don't think so.

Can anyone help me??

Thank you!
Was it this one?

Or maybe this?

Just did a search for 1200 in the search box, so might be neither!

Sometimes the Google custom search box works better (especially for older topics) as Google is a bit more clever with it's search mechanisms!
tried and drew a blank. "1200" and "starvation mode" are overused on MFP so that's more likely TBH.
You guys are awesome - but you were also correct, it was a MFP thread. It was still interesting and applicable to this woe, too, I think. It basically tells the long-term problems of long-term calorie reduction day after day. I did read 'game over', too, and I wonder if that person's partner wasn't suffering from the same sort of broken metabolism that is described here: ... not-losing

I hope others find it useful - and that I'm allowed to post the reference/resource here? If not, of course please delete and tell me so I don't goof again.
That's very interesting. It does suggest why committed calorie restricters would struggle to adjust to this. They get a triple whammy of loss of structure/control, weight increases & have to eat more than they are comfortable with.

No wonder they panic & give up.
I have a friend who is steadily losing weight for the past 6 or so months by consuming 10% less of her TDEE but twice a month she eats twice her TDEE. Most of her weight loss comes 2-3 days after her two feasts!
You are so right BBT053, that's what i've been struggling with as my Transition from 1250 CR to this WOE - I'm still really wanting to work it out, so plugging on trying to conquer the rising panic as the calorie count rises on non-fast days.
I find your comments very sensible and helpful, thank you!
This is me!!!!! I've been on 1200 cals for ages and ages and nothing has happened. I am slowly trying to relax into eating more and realsied that this might happen. Am enjoying not having the restrictions but want to succeed with this too.
TML13 wrote: I have a friend who is steadily losing weight for the past 6 or so months by consuming 10% less of her TDEE but twice a month she eats twice her TDEE. Most of her weight loss comes 2-3 days after her two feasts!

That's very interesting and it's what I have found too with 5:2. I get a big drop in the weeks after a weekend with high intake. It seems that the more you mix it up the better...very low cal days, low cal says, normal and then over the top days...the average intake has to be below TDEE though!
Presumably if this effect is real it must be because of the effect on the body's metabolic rate i.e. the over-eating pushes up the metabolic rate (the TDEE). It's like tricking the body! I think a reason 5:2 works better for some than regular calorie restriction is that no sooner has the body decided it needs to lower the metabolic rate (because of the fast) than it gets normal food again and it restores 'normal operations'.

I think maybe the body has a bias towards a certain normal metabolic rate. It will modify this when the food intake changes, it heads back towards it as soon as possible when it thinks it is okay to do so. The switch down to a lower metabolic rate ('low power mode' - when we feel cold!) is slower perhaps than the switch back up to full power. Hence why mixing it up can be more effective for weight loss than constant calorie restriction.

Some people may be lucky (or unlucky) enough to have developed a naturally very high metabolic rate (I say unlucky because it might be associated with being overweight, and is the body's way of trying and failing to compensate); in this case feast'n'famine might work even better than the normal feed'n'fast for restoring that very high rate, because the average TDEE (body's energy consumption) will be higher. It will still be the difference between calorie intake and average TDEE that determines long-term weight loss.
I believe this is me too. Been eating around 1200 cals for last 6 years and just maintaining not losing for last year and half and am finding since starting 5:2 i've been doing it 7 weeks and lost 4 lb's - very slow, compared with most. I definately put it down to the above but I think 5:2 is helping to sort my metabolism out (all be it slowly) :)
wow I did not know this!
This explains why i did not lose any weight even though i ate 1200 cals every day for a month! :dazed:
I decided to give it a go and go above my TDEE during 5:2. Not much, just a bit...
We will be interested to hear how you get on TML13. But if you want to keep the same rate of weight loss I would go over TDEE only for a 'treat' or 'feast' day and compensate by going under on another day. If you regularly eat over TDEE you will reduce or eliminate the weight loss from 5:2. Your body's TDEE is unlikely to rise by 100% of the extra calories, unfortunately. If it did, you probably wouldn't be here in the first place! :wink: But mixing it up might work. Most of us do that anyway - whatever our intentions.
The thing is, I'm not sure what my TDEE is. Last week I found that it was 1764. I was definitely eating less than that (I can't reach that unless I eat lots of sweets which I don't want to do).
I kept looking up tho because I thought that 1764 was waaayyyyyy too much for me. I got various results from 1643 to 1959 and only one website said that it is 1279. I found this quite realistic. Since I was always eating around 1100-1200 and never gained weight (until my thyroid decided to go on strike).
Last week I ate an average of 1400 calories and did very well I am thinking that perhaps this is the way to go...
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