The FastDay Forum

Benefits & Side Effects

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I too suffered from the headaches which resulted in me eating breakfast, lunch and dinner on fast days to avoid headaches and ended up consuming up to about 600/700 calories - which although good was not what I wanted from this as it's not exactly fasting is it :) and although I was, and continue to, shedding weight - I'm looking for the other health benefits that go with 5:2. I eventually put it down to caffeine withdrawal (but I only drink 3 cups of tea at most a day and no coffee) - I'm now gradually weaning myself on to decaf tea - to be honest I can't taste the difference. This seems to be the answer for me, although of course I appreciate that it could also be my body adapting to fasting - but there's no harm switching to decaf tea for the long term anyway. Goodluck, headaches are so debilitating especially when you have to revert to bed and a darkened room :( Hope you find the answer and can overcome it
I agree re the caffeine, I had a hard time drinking black tea till I got some decent tea-bags and headaches stopped.
I probably drink what some would term too much coffee at about 5/6 cups a day so I've swapped out the last 2 of the day for decaf to cut down a little. My headache didn't start till about 5pm yesterday and I managed to head it off with a shot of espresso - cant stand black coffee but its a small enough shot that its over with quickly.
Well I'm giving it another try and fasting today. Having read Carorees explanation about blood sugar and the body getting used to using fat stores for energy again I think it is worth me persisting.
Thanks for the comments above. I don't think it is related to caffeine as I am mostly decaf with just two full caf coffees a day and the rest of my drinks decaff. I do need to drink more though so will have some water.
I've had porridge with water and a little milk for breakfast, just about to have some veg soup for lunch. Feel ok just now but it's usually the following day I get the migraine. Watch this space
I agree with all the previous tips concerning water and caffeine intake, and thanks for the note on ketosis -- that one I didn't know.

One note from my personal experience, though: I'm a little paranoid when it comes to headaches because I used to be on blood pressure medicine. I'm glad to say that with exercise I've been able to control my blood pressure and drop the medication (yay!) but I remember that when I was on medication and not exercising, if I skipped a day or two of medicine I would get the most-awful headaches and, of course, my blood pressure would be through the roof.

So, if you are getting headaches regularly for whatever reason, try to get your blood pressure checked just to make sure that isn't what's causing it! :)
I have been doing 5:2 for 4 weeks and find I'm still getting headaches on my fast days. They usually start mid afternoon. I'm have a slice of wholemeal toast and cup of tea for breakfast, fruit tea mid morning with a veg slim a soup and 1 crispbread for lunch. How much water intake should I also be having? Once the headache comes it doesn't shift until next morning when I wake up. Want to continue as have lost nearly 4lbs.
I am fortunate that I rarely, if ever, suffer from headaches. On the first day of 5:2 however I did go to bed with a mild headache. After reading the above, I now think perhaps mine was due to the drop in liquid intake. I usually have approx 10 + cups of instant coffee with milk and sugar every day. I did think it was because of sugar withdrawal - I have 3 level teaspoons of sugar in each cup of coffee (over 30 teaspoons a day!!) I decided not to be too drastic and have opted for 2-3 cups of coffee, with milk and 1 teaspoon of sugar on each fast day. I hope to eventually cut it down to plain black tea with lemon. In the meantime, on my non-fasting days I am still having too many cups of coffee (in my opinion) but I am sticking to the one teaspoon of sugar.
I want to stay on 5:2 for the rest of my life and do not want to sabotage myself at the start.
smargetts wrote: I have been doing 5:2 for 4 weeks and find I'm still getting headaches on my fast days. They usually start mid afternoon.


I, too, am in my fourth week and am still having the headaches. Like my fellow dieter here, they start in the late afternoon. I've kept my caffeine intake approximately the same as pre-diet, so I don't think that's what it is. However, the sodium loss does speak to me. I have problems with that anyway. I suppose I've got to figure out a way to rehydrate other than just plain water since that just makes me have to leave my desk more frequently at work. :wink:
I had my first post fast day headache early this morning. It woke me up at about 5.30am. Thinking back I realised I had cut out two cups of tea just because I didn't feel like it at the usual time. My next fast is on Thursday so I'll be extra vigilant with my fluid intake. It felt just like the headache you get with a hangover which I guess does point in the direction of dehydration.
The more coffee you usually drink the worse the headache and the longer its duration until your body gets back to producing the enzyme that the caffine replaced. A recovery room nurse told me that when someone who has been very sick is in the hospital, the nurses offer coffee and their headache goes away. If you drink a great deal of coffee and stop suddenly it takes about 9 days before the headache goes away, but it does. You can reduce the amount of coffee more gradually allowing your body to accomodate slowly.
Chook wrote: I had my first post fast day headache early this morning. It woke me up at about 5.30am. Thinking back I realised I had cut out two cups of tea just because I didn't feel like it at the usual time. My next fast is on Thursday so I'll be extra vigilant with my fluid intake. It felt just like the headache you get with a hangover which I guess does point in the direction of dehydration.

I was indeed extra vigilant on Thursday and had not even a hint of a headache.
nice one- glad that worked for you.
ps love the chook atavar
This is great information. I am almost half way through a fast day (7 weeks into program) and today I have a headache. Other than day 1, I don't usually. So, I will try the salt as I have drank ALOT of water because I thought that was the problem and it hasn't helped. I'll report back in an hour to tell if it helped.
So a cup of bullion did help my headache, but not 100%. It sure did taste good. Must have been craving the salt. Feel good enough to last the rest of the day. I hate to have made it fasting for most of the day (it's 3:00 PM) and not the entire day. Feels like it would be a waste. So thank you for the tip!
I'm getting a lot of headaches which is putting me right off this diet. I'm unbearable. I've gone sugar free as well. Not sure if its not enough sugar or fluid? Weight loss is slow too. One week I put on then next week it drops?
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