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5:2 Diet 'Rules' & Variations

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I first became aware of 5:2 when the chefs were arguing about it in the press so thought the idea was fast for two days (500 cals) and eat whatever you like the other days.

Now it seems to be that on the "feast" days you still need to count calories and stay within a traditional diet number of calories (1800). Some are talking about the new fad of TDEE which is even lower for me.

what do people find best - counting and doing what I consider a traditional diet on "feast" days, or literally "feasting" and eating whatever is wanted. I understand that appetites may have shrunk so even on a proper feasting it up day it is likely to be less than before the 5:2.
I don't count calories on feast days at all. I eat sensibly on my 2 mid week feast days and eat and drink (cheers!) whatever I want friday night to Sunday night.
So far works for me.
I keep an eye on calories on feed days as I've found if I don't eat enough I don't get the full benefit on fast days. My sedentary TDEE is currently 1577 and my fast day 395. When I eat 1577 to 1600 cals on feed days I lose 1 kg on fast days that stay on 395 cals. I have found no need to have more than 2 fast days in 7 and wouldn't force consecutive days on my body either.
Best to be kind and logical to yourself :0)
I do eat what I want on feast days, but stay mindful of amounts and divide my treats over several days usually. I may have one feast day a week where I really enjoy myself :oops: - like last week when I celebrated my birthday with wine and lots of different yummy things (enjoyed every mouthful too). By a rough estimate I consumed at least double my TDEE but the scales continued their steady downward trend this week too. I love this WOE! :clover:
I keep meaning to read my 5:2 book again, because I'm pretty sure it says we don't have to count calories on our non-fast days!!

For anyone just starting this WOE, they could be forgiven for being totally confused.
I've found that after a period of watching calories on feast days I can let that go now and trust my reduced appetite and my re-educated estimate of food values. I still have chocolate, wine and treats etc but it's definitely not so much of a binge as it used to be! Smaller portions just happen, and I do not have desperate cravings any more. That's a big benefit of 5:2. It's much more fun not to feel guilty. If I go way above my personal "allowance" (TDEE), it will be evened out over the week by the fast days. :smile:
I am a feast day calorie counter, I use my fitness pal set to maintain. I found I was eating far too much so during the week I count my calories and make an exception for the weekends. So far trying things this way my plateu has gone and I'm down 6lb, some days I still find it's a suprise what I can actually eat and still be under calories.
julianna wrote: I don't count calories on feast days at all. I eat sensibly on my 2 mid week feast days and eat and drink (cheers!) whatever I want friday night to Sunday night.
So far works for me.


I do this too. And yep, it's working for me as well. I may not be losing weight as fast as some, but that's okay with me.
I had set my mind to not counting them on feast days, but the odd thing happend...where i hated counting calories when i was doing weight watchers (points that is) because i had to do so every single day, i know find myself counting them on feast days and not minding doing so. And if i feel like eating a piece of pie on a feast day i still do, just not half a pie like i used to ;-) I'm just nog that hungry any more, and that after only doing the 5:2 for a couple of weeks.
I don't "count calories" but I do make a good estimate of what I have eaten on eating days & record fast day calories so I can make a more or less accurate average of my daily intake over a week. I am a slow loser doing the around average weight loss of 1lb a week. If I go much over my TDEE I don't lose weight. Nevertheless keeping a record is much less stressful than calorie counting because the fast days are always a sort of safety net to balance out any excess eating.
Thanks all for the responses - as I suspected! Find a way that works for me and it seems to work differently for everyone! I expect I will be "good" during the week, but more relaxed at the weekend. I'm also trying to do 14:10 and aim to keep to that at the weekend - which is a big life change for me as I tend to eat over about 15 hours a day.
ifonlyiwasslim wrote: I first became aware of 5:2 when the chefs were arguing about it in the press so thought the idea was fast for two days (500 cals) and eat whatever you like the other days.

Now it seems to be that on the "feast" days you still need to count calories and stay within a traditional diet number of calories (1800). Some are talking about the new fad of TDEE which is even lower for me.


A lot of confusion seems to arise from people mistaking 'eat whatever you like' for 'eat however much you like', they're not the same thing :) Basically no foods are forbidden, but this isn't an open ticket to gorge yourself daily.

TDEE isn't a 'fad', it's a scientific term (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) for what our individual daily calorific needs are. The government tell us '2000 on average for women' and '2500 on average for men', but this is affected by so many factors that the bog standard figure does not apply in all cases. For example if I ate 2000 cals a day, even with fasting, I would at best maintain if not gain. When I was 3 stone bigger, this would have caused me to lose weight though! Now I'm smaller I only need around 1650 to maintain (and with 2 fasting days, lose) weight. So there's a degree of calorie counting going on loosely in my head while I become accustomed to how much my new 'normal intake' is.
I don't count calories at all on feast days and I don't even really take that much notice of what I'm eating. I have found that I sometimes just eat less on some days than others. I have lost 11 pounds in 12 weeks so it's obviously working for me, but I think the secret of this WOE is doing the thing that works best for you. For some like me it's just free-wheeling it, others feel they need and are happier counting calories on feast days too.
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