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5:2 Diet 'Rules' & Variations

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Which meals do you usually have on a fast day?

Breakfast, lunch and evening meal
Breakfast and evening meal
Breakfast and lunch
Lunch and evening meal
Evening meal only
Lunch only
Breakfast only
No meals
No Snacks
Total votes : 987

Ember wrote: I have a single cup of Marigold Vegetable Bouillon if I feel like it (but it is so low in calories that I haven't counted it as a snack or lunch). But I don't have this every fast day, and I would only have only one mug per day anyway. I have miso soup in the cupboard in case I should ever become desperate and feel like a change.

Apart from that, I have just a large bowl of homemade vegetable soup in the early evening. This means that I don't have to count calories at all, even on a fast day, as a few test calculations showed that it is probably physically impossible to eat 500 calories' worth of vegetable soup if you don't add fat or starches other than the occasional parsnip or single potato (for the entire pot of soup, to help thicken it). Stick to lower-starch vegetables and add no fat, and you get a really low calorie soup, which is very satisfying if you blend it until it is smooth and velvety. My first couple of batches (which I did count carefully) came in at 100 calories or less per serving.

As evidence to support my theory, have a look at which has a range of soup recipes including much more calorific ingredients than I use for my fast-day soup, all coming in at under 200 kcal per serving.

So I think I have a plan that suits me now, in which I don't have to count calories at all, even on fast days. I like to think that there is precedent for fasting like this, in mediaeval monasteries! :-)

Fabulous site! thanks for that. Gonna dart making these soups for fast days :grin:
Coffe with a little cream for breakfast and through out the day and sparkling water. I don't like drinking plain water but the fizzy stuff I love. Don't think I could fast without it. I juice vegies and fruit and have about a 12-16 oz glass of it between 2:30pm and 4pm, then evening meal (vegetarian or fish) between 6:30-7pm. Seems to be working well. When I first began I would have a banana in the morning and it was disastrous. My blood sugar shot up and my appetite was raging the rest of the day. Following a fast day I have my coffee and veg juice for breakfast and I don't feel hungry again for hours. This varies according to my cycle though. I get very hungry just before my period so that is when fasting is the most difficult.
I have been experimenting with a few things but I am finding that a late-morning/early lunch of around 100cals helps give me a boost and I can usually get through til an evening meal around 7pm. I do flag at around 3/4pm though so I'm trying to get a salty/sweet balance in my earlier meal to help with this.
I have a milky (skimmed) coffee for breakfast as I have to take meds, then have as low as possible calorie lunch (usually soup but will now progress to salads as weather is warming up!?), then light supper with plenty of veg. Would love some recipe ideas for filling salads please....
I am doubtful about MM's suggestion breakfast is better than lunch. I get 17 hours until lunch and then 5 until dinner. Where is the evidence that 12 then 12 is any better? I'm inclined to believe that the longer the better, so my 17 beats MM's 12. Ok he gets 2 of them but I understand that fat burning has barely commenced, if at all after 12. Alternatively a 200 cal breakfast or lunch is about 2 hours fuel so you ought to be back on track anyway when that's gone.
For me....a little through out the day, so yes, breakfast, dinner, evening meal and snacks but they have all got to be "the right things" and virtually a mouthful at a time of protein..

I've only just started, but so far having just the one meal on fast days, around evening time when hubby gets home. I find if I eat breakfast or anything really during the day, I seem to activate my appetite, and then food is all I can think about!
I started out two months ago with making a giant, 600 kcal salad in the morning and eating from it spread out during the day. It worked fine, fasting was not stressful. I progressed with adding dried meat, miso soup and some other minor experiments.

After a while I got a bit fed up being obsessed with food and counting calories. It seemed easier not to eat at all.

At first zero cal days was a bit stressful. I was concerned I wouldn't be able to perform at work, but besides being a bit cranky the first times, I have excelled while "starving", and I believe I'm getting used to it. But we'll see.

From what I've read, the scientists behind MM, regarding the health benefits, presently favours zero calories over 600 kcal, and "one meal" rather than spreading them out. Not that any such recommendation matters if it's not sustainable.

I'm a bit surprised though, only 4 % of the members go for the zero option? I love the simplicity, and of course you should expect to lose weight faster, if that's what you're after.
I've just started fasting. I've started out with 3 meals (and no snacks) and I find it very easy. Light breakfast at around 9 (tea/soy milk with a couple of rusks), a vegetable soup for lunch at around 1pm and fish+veggies for dinner at 8pm.
Practically no hunger at all and, if any, I drink lots of water and it goes away. I don't know if it is because I'm so busy with work that I don't have any time left to feel the hunger :bugeyes:
Now I have to see if I lose any weight by doing so because it seems too good to be true :razz:
My first two fast days a had soup for lunch, at around 2pm and then dinner @6/7pm. But I've now cut out lunch as I find drinking black coffee and fizzy water easily gets me through the day, which means I'm having a lovely dinner. I had a roast chicken dinner with roasted veg and a Yorkshire on Monday and a curry with cauliflower rice for dinner on Friday. My plate was so full, it didn't feel like fasting at all!
I think its different for everyone though. I found eating earlier in the day, just turned on my hunger button! I'm not eating breakfast on normal days either and it's fantastic to not feel guilty for skipping breakfast! x
I had been having coffee around lunch time and soup then small portion meal for dinner coming in around fasting TDEE. Really favour liquids until evening meal as now without headaches.

As have stayed same weight whole of September am embarking on 18:6 no carbs on my 5:2 days. Very late lunch with quality protein &salad and still figuring what dinners will be. Tonight was minuscule gado gado no carbs. Been good day gym too so here is hoping to crack plateau
gillymary wrote: As have stayed same weight whole of September am embarking on 18:6 no carbs on my 5:2 days. Very late lunch with quality protein &salad and still figuring what dinners will be. Tonight was minuscule gado gado no carbs. Been good day gym too so here is hoping to crack plateau

Good luck Mary :clover:
I tend to have two late meals - usually an early tea around 4-5pm of up to 200 cals then a bigger meal later at around 9pm of up to 300 cals. I may have a mini snack in between or earlier at say around 2pm. It's rare for me to eat in the morning - if I make a fasting breakfast dish, I'll still be likely to eat it after 2pm.
I have breakfast and an evening meal with snacks. I start the day with about a third of my usual breakfast on fast days then small snack at lunchtime - a tomato or some cucumber, half an apple or a plum or a couple of grapes. Then an evening meal, mainly vegetables with veggie protein. Usually soup or salad or hot vegetables with a home made burger or sausage etc. Sometimes I have a small piece of fruit during the evening. I don't count calories but I know that it is usually less than 500 calories, if it sometimes goes over 500 I'm not worrying.

Since January I've tried 1, 2 and 3 meals on fast days. I couldn't manage very well without breakfast and I gradually ate less and less at lunchtime until I missed it out completely - now I eat a small snack or sometimes a bouillon drink.
It took a while but now I've found what is best for me.
I started by using up all my 500 cals for breakfast, then switched to just having dinner, and now I just do without food altogether. I find it easier not to have to think about eating at all.
I do have skimmed milk in my one and only cup of tea in the morning though :-)
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