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Interim target met or not?
13 Nov 2013, 14:32

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Random musings of a fast dieter

Not sure how this blog will turn out, so for now it can be described simply as 'random' but probably quite nerdy and foody!
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A short history...

by carorees on 11 Mar 2013, 20:48

Well, as Moogie has so kindly set up this blog facility, I thought it was my duty as a moderator to check it out! Where to start? At the beginning of my 5:2 journey I suppose.

It was late October and I was standing on the side-lines watching my son playing in a soccer match when one of the other mums commented that she had been fasting regularly but it had not seemed to have improved her memory though she had lost weight.
"Hang on" I said, "back up a bit. What do you mean lost weight, improved memory?" :confused:
"Oh" said she, "did you not see the Horizon programme by Michael Mosley about fasting?"
"Er, no, tell me more." :bugeyes:

So she ran through the general principles and I was immediately intrigued...a diet plan that might actually work? With an actual scientific basis? :cool: Since having done the Atkins diet quite successfully about 10 years ago, I had slipped back into daily coffee and cake, glass of wine or two, plenty of pasta and potatoes and generally increasing weight until, like most people had put on more than before I started the Atkins. I really felt that a low carb diet made a lot of sense but I could not face a cake-free life! :eat: I was despondent about my weight as I could not see how to reduce it without ending up fatter so I had not dieted again and it was taking its toll on my health. It seemed inevitable that I would just get bigger until something gave out and I would pop my clogs. :frown: This new idea really sounded like something that would work...I would not have to give up coffee and cake for good, I would still be able to have some wine and to have pasta, all I had to do was to go hungry on two days a week!

As soon as I got home I googled the programme and found a YouTube video of it and watched, enthralled. I did a bit of searching for the published trials of IF :geek: and checked out some of Brad Pilon's stuff :cool: , found the Mumsnet thread on it :grin: , and decided to have a go at it immediately.

Naturally, I went into the whole thing badly prepared and not expecting to feel absolutely terrible all afternoon and evening :doh: . I wasn't particularly hungry but felt quite unwell. I had not drunk enough and my body was rebelling from not having a regular input of carbs to keep me going. I had decided not to eat anything until dinner time, that way OH and DS would not know I had been fasting and I could keep it a secret until I decided whether it would work. Gosh I was crabby as I prepared dinner that night :angry: ...but the food tasted so delicious, I think I was groaning with pleasure at some points :-P ! As I went to bed I looked forward to the great breakfast I would have when I woke up.

When I woke up? First I needed to get to sleep...I couldn't :yawn: . I tossed and turned most of the night, with a pounding head and generally spaced out feeling. I thought "Well if this is what its going to be like, I can't do this even once a week let alone twice...forever!" I used some of my sleepless time to search the internet for answers and with some relief I discovered stories that it would definitely get easier. I eventually fell asleep, briefly, for a couple of hours before the alarm went off. Breakfast had never tasted so good. But it was odd, because I had hardly started it before I felt uncomfortably odd!

Well, of course, as you all know, the next fast was much easier, and the next even easier still and here I am now coming to the end of my 35th-ish fast :smile: .

I didn't weigh myself for a couple of weeks because I thought I would just see how my clothes felt. I didn't really want to know how much I weighed because I knew it was a LOT. Eventually, I plucked up courage to have a look and yes, it was a shock :shock: . I managed to find a place on the bathroom floor where the scales did not show quite such a high figure though. A week later I weighed again and had lost 1kg! Wow, I was quite amazed actually, especially the next week when again another 1kg had gone! And so it continued with 1kg going each week right up until Christmas :victory: .

In the meantime I summoned up my courage to tell OH about it. I was keen for him to try fasting even one day a week because he certainly has memory problems (and always has had) I hoped fasting might improve his memory. Amazingly, he was keen to join me and started fasting twice a week but instead of having a calorie restricted meal at the end of the day, he had a proper meal. I'll save his 5:2 story for another day.

At Christmas and New Year I didn't fast for two weeks :party: , though I did skip breakfast or lunch most days and at the end of the holidays had not actually gained any weight!

All this time between November and Christmas I had been avidly following MM on twitter and was busy on the facebook groups. I found both useful but most frustrating to use as it was so difficult to find information :confused: . What this needs, I thought is a Forum :lamp: ! Luckily other people were thinking the same thing ;-)

To be continued...

Weight at start: 105 kg; dress size UK 20
Target, 65 kg, reached 15 May 2014 - 18 months after my first fast
Current weight: 66.4 kg; dress size UK 8-10
Maintenance weight range: 64-67 kg
My method: 8 months of 5:2, remainder and maintenance 16:8 + low carbs
My story here
Follow me on Twitter @CJstGR

Nutritional coach for FastDay's sister company, Ways of Eating (
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Re: A short history...
12 Mar 2013, 03:02
Great post! Yes, I'm another failed Atkins dieter. I never lost that much on atkins, because I thought the diet was the most miserable thing I had ever done. Honestly, I felt awful doing it and I had unpleasant side effects. I did lose weight, but the second I stopped, it piled back on, and then some!

I'd love to hear how it's working for your hubby :-)
Re: A short history...
14 Mar 2013, 16:54
Brilliant and I also thought 'so this is it, I just get fatter and older now then' and then there was Dr M to save us all!
Re: A short history...
09 Apr 2013, 12:17
Hi there, great post, and impressive weightloss too! Congratulations! Just wondering if you watch what you eat on your non-fast days? I've just started, in my second week and am curious what works for people on the non-fast days. I love the idea of not counting calories on those days but feel scared/skeptical to trust the science! Would love to know more about your journey with 5:2! Thanks :)
Re: A short history...
10 Apr 2013, 23:59
Re calorie counting: I'm dead lazy so I only keep a very rough track of calories on feed days. I don't weigh but do it by eye so it's highly inaccurate! However I know that if I go over 2000 cals by my guessing then I must really be over what I should be eating!

Generally I don't have to restrain myself though. I think the noting down what I've eaten is enough to make me I really still hungry? I definitely eat less and more mindfully than I used to. If I know there is likely to be a desert after our evening meal I won't have a biscuit or piece of cake earlier in the day. If I had a biscuit with morning coffee I won't have one with afternoon tea. That kind of thing. Also when having dinner with the family, I no longer feel disgruntled if the others have seconds but I don't...if I'm not still hungry I don't have seconds whereas before it was "my right" to have seconds so I did!

I'm fairly sure I would be fine not keeping track on feast days but haven't broken the habit yet! I suspect it's the nerdy side in me...;-)
RE: A short history...
08 May 2013, 21:38
Hi Caroline well I think I must have been in hibernation because I never saw the program or any repeat or read news on diet did see comments m/spencer made in her column 6weeks ago + sent for the book. I'm in the middle of week 4 and doing well (I think anyway)
I'm doing 3 fasts and love this amazing diet, feast day today i've been hungry all day!! but just read your progress well done and I hope to do as well as you, many thanks for the inspiration. Sue :heart:
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