The FastDay Forum

5:2 Diet 'Rules' & Variations

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I was talking to somebody who is doing the fast diet and she said her friend has been doing it for a while but she starts her 24 hours after lunch. Basically she has a proper lunch and then has 500 calories between then and lunchtime the next day so you only have one dinner and one breakfast for 500 cals. Apparently it works just as well and she has been loosing a pound a week.

Has anyone heard of this or experienced in themselves? I would be interested in hearing back from others.

Currently I fast Wednesday and Fridays.

Graeme
Hi Graeme & welcome :)

The 24 hour method is described by Mimi in The Fast Diet book, but to be honest most of the folks here who have posted about trying it have done so because they aren't having much success with it - and have then gone on to try Dr Mosley's original 36 hour ("2 sleeps") version.

The problem with the 24 hour method is that a lot of folks will have lunch on the first day and a late lunch on the second day, thereby making the calorie deficit really minimal - about the equivalent of skipping breakfast. If done 'properly', ie, you only have lunch on one of the days, which then gives you a fast from breakfast on day 2 to dinner on day 2, it may yield better results.

I think most of us find it simpler to just do it over the course of a day, which then gives us a night before & after, thus increasing the length of the fast, while not making us feel like we're dieting 4 days a week (as it may seem on the 24 hour method) instead of 2.
For me, those sorts of things start to mess with the reason I originally liked the idea of the 5:2...simplicity.

wake up on fast day and between then and when I go to bed that night I have no more than 500 calories. Done
Interesting. I am not advocating this approach, just wondered if anyone had heard of it or experienced it. I have been on the 5:2 since August 2012 - inspired by the BBC Horizon programme with MM - and lost about 10 kilos.
Graemeyh wrote: I was talking to somebody who is doing the fast diet and she said her friend has been doing it for a while but she starts her 24 hours after lunch. Basically she has a proper lunch and then has 500 calories between then and lunchtime the next day so you only have one dinner and one breakfast for 500 cals. Apparently it works just as well and she has been loosing a pound a week.


So does she eat lunch on the second day ? in which case it's a 23h fast (sorry, I'm a pedant) and the calorie restriction is limited to the difference between a normal dinner and breakfast and the 500 calories.

Depends what one eats normally at different times I guess, if you do large breakfasts and lunches it could deliver the same calorie restriction.
She didn't specify. I think she was eating lunch at 1200 on one day and then 1300 the next - ie 25 hours. I was curious if anyone else had heard of this.

Incidentally, Michael Mosley's response to this question was: "Try experimenting and see what works for you. We are all different".
It sounds both more complicated and less effective when it comes to weight loss. But perhaps I'm wrong...
Graemeyh wrote: She didn't specify. I think she was eating lunch at 1200 on one day and then 1300 the next - ie 25 hours. I was curious if anyone else had heard of this.


Sounds like a fiddle TBH

The idea is to take a 24h window and have a 75% calorie reduction in that 24h. Without moving mealtimes around.

So a 24h period that starts after lunch at say 1300 finishes after lunch at 1300 the next day, to be followed by a normal dinner. The 500 calories would cover dinner, breakfast and lunch.
izzy wrote: Graeme, if your friend's friend is in it for the weight loss alone, and it's working, then why not? No idea about the other health implications - only time will tell. But if nothing else, it is also getting her used to the feeling of fasting, and if she finds at some point her weight loss stalls, or she wants to try a longer fast, then it shouldn't be too difficult for her.

I wonder how many people have started the 5:2 WOE (or any type of fasting), all fired up, raring to go, and find after 6 hours or 12 hours, they have to eat something, think they've failed, and give up completely. I think there's a lot to be said for gradually building up to a longer fast. If you're used to eating every 3 hours, and can manage to go without food for 6 hours, that's a start. It's basically what I've had to do, and it's the beauty of this WOE - you won't get thrown out of class for disobeying any rules!! :wink:

Personally, I can't wait to join the 36 hour fasters. I'm settling for what I can manage just now :wink:


Izzy, this is such a good post and such an important point. At first, finding something that works is all that matters.

I only recently realised that I have been building up to fasting all my life as I often ate very little or nothing during the day. My downfall was having a huge evening meal or gobbling up all the biscuits or pastries at a meeting. I just needed someone to tell me that not eating all day wouldn't kill me!

I think building up the length of time we fast over time from perhaps just a few hours between meals at first, to missing breakfast, to 24 hour water fasts is the way to go. For me, 36 hour water fasting was the obvious next step and I find it easier not to trip the hunger switch on a fast day anyway. Graemeyh's friend is losing a pound a week so if she can keep that up sure she has found her winning formula!!

Overall, sustainability is key.
Izzy you will indeed. It's as much about getting the mind used to it as getting the body to adjust. Best wishes for your journey!
kencc wrote: If you want to consider it in principle, about half the time I do something similar because I find it more convenient. At my normal level of activity, my normal eating would probably be maximum, approx, breakfast 400cals; lunch 400cals; evening (dinner/wine/evening snacks) 1,400cals. Total 2,200cals/day. Fasting meals are 200cals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Therefore my eating pattern may be:-
Day 1 ..... breakfast 400cals, lunch 400cals, evening 200cals.
Day 2 ..... breakfast 200cals, lunch 200cals, evening 1,400cals
I don't calorie count but I have a general idea that's about correct.

A couple of times I've only had a fasting meal for evening and breakfast but then it's not difficult to compensate for eating normally at lunch by, for example, cutting out wine in the following evening e.g.
Day 1 ..... breakfast 400cals, lunch 400cals, evening 200cals.
Day 2 ..... breakfast 200cals, lunch 400cals, evening 1,200cals


Neither of those achieve the target 75% reduction in calories in a day, the first does do 600 cals in 24h but not the second as the two lunches are normal.

To me it looks more like continuous calorie reduction as 4 days you are reducing by up to 50% and then you say "Even then that's not a sufficient calorie deficit to lose 1lb a week and I cut some calories here or there by eating more carefully than normal when it's convenient during the week" so you're reducing other days too and effectively on a moderate calorie reduction all week ?
Not sure about most of the science-y bit but I've been fasting since yesterday lunch (around 1pm) and very much looking forward to my lunch today! Have found it fairly easy to skip dinner and breakfast, I decided to do a 24hr water fast as I didn't think eating 500cal at any point last night/this morning would make that much of a difference.

Not sure if anyone else has tried this, but I'm finding it quite easy. Normally do Tuesdays and Thursdays but I'm going out for dinner tonight and have a big weekend planned so had to improvise!
I attempted this
03 May 2013, 19:13
Where to start. In April, I read ADD ( alternate day diet ) and attempted it and had some success with it. I lost 4lbs. ADD didn't have the flexibility I needed for my life style. Some weeks were 4 fast days and 3 feeds, and I was constantly trying to arrange my schedule accordingly. I personally found that difficult and gave it up after just 2 weeks.

In doing some research on fasting I came across Eat stop eat; which is sort of what you're friend is doing. I ate dinner at 6 on Tuesday and wouldn't eat again till Wednesday 6pm. Not only did I not lose a 1lb I gained it all back.

Back to researching, when I stumbled across Dr. Mosely's doco on horizon. I was sold, a week later I found this forum.

For me, my body seems to respond better if I apply the 36 hr fast. I'm not sure why that is but I would guess that extra 12 hrs was the trick and if it's done twice a week, that's an extra day of fasting.

I guess whatever you can adhere to and still lose and see health benefits from is obviously more important than what others may have success with. You can always return to doing what you were doing if you care to give it a go.
kencc wrote: My amended 5:2 is usually "fasting" 600cals dinner/breakfast/lunch from 1.00pm on day 1 to 8.00pm on day 2 i.e. "fasting" for 31 hours spread out over 2 days.

Both have a calorie reduction of 2,200-600= 1,600cals;


Your second version didn't - you saved 1200 in the evening and 200 at breakfast = 1400 total for the 24h but you catch up at dinner with 1200.

I would maintain that the 5:2 protocol is to have a 75% reduction in a day which as you say for many people occurs after dinner through to before breakfast the day after the following one. The "additional fast" is really only in the daytime say 0700 - 2000 as overnight is a fast anyway, unless you're a shift worker.

With your plan there isn't a calendar day with a 75% calorie reduction. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, but it is more like continuous calorie reduction. There are circadian rhythms at work which may mean there'll be a different outcome, but that's only a hypothesis at this stage.
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