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Fasting with Medical Conditions

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No progress
19 May 2014, 01:00
Hi all,

I'm feeling so discouraged. I've been on 5:2 for over a year now, and my weight loss has plateaued at 4-5 kg loss (and I've got 20-25 kg to go, it's not like I'm 'nearly there'). I basically haven't lost anything further since about Nov last year, when I got to my lowest level (6 kg loss) — it's been slowly climbing up since then.

I have neurosarcoidosis, and am on high doses of an 'organ rejection' immune suppressant. I have a lot of severe fatigue / brain fog etc from CFS too. I also have congenital hip problems which has led to hip, knee, and foot pain, which means going for a stroll or bike ride for exercise is not feasible. And early stages of menopause (which I suspect is the biggest contributor to my weight loss woes).

At the moment I'm just starting back at hydrotherapy for 15 min/week (and that wipes me out), to help a recent knee injury repair.

My husband, who does 5:2 with me, has, of course lost over 10 kg. The bastard ;)

I know there are general health benefits from 5:2, which keeps me going, but I'm feeling so immensely frustrated by it all. I swing between giving up entirely on having any weight loss goal (at least 5:2 helps me maintain my weight, even if it's still too high) — and feeling pressure to lose (as less weight = less hip pain, and I have an artificial hip etc plus self-esteem stuff).

My sports physician says I probably need to be doing daily (but not strenuous) exercise to lose weight, as well as 5:2. I could probably do weights, and chair-based exercise, but most days everything just feels to damn hard. Despite planning to do it, I'm not :/

I stick to about 450 cal on fast days. I started to count calories on my non-fast days, just for a while to see what I'm eating in more detail — but I can't stand to do it (I did daily calorie counting for a year before 5:2, and I just can't make myself do it any more). I suspect I'm eating a bit too much on non-fast days but it just all feels to hard to cut back, right now. Feeling pretty burnt out.

Rant over .. any ideas welcomed.
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Re: No progress
19 May 2014, 01:49
Sorry to hear you are having problems, especially with so far to go. I too am veering into early menopause and have wondered if that is also causing me problems.
Given that it is diet rather than exercise that is the primary contributor to weight loss perhaps you could try ADF,@Nursebean has had significant success recently with it and also suffers from being unable to exercise. @Sue.Q has also got over her slump with low carb.
Hopefully these lovely ladies will see your post when they are up and about later and give you the benefit of their experience.
Despite my own hopeless progress, I keep going as while I am not losing, neitrher am I gaining. Stick with it!! :heart:
Re: No progress
19 May 2014, 05:34
No advice, but loads of empathy. I've also been "stuck" for many many months, and also oscillate between "at least I'm not putting weight on" and "but I want to lose MORE dammit".

Re exercise - could you join a gym, to do upper body/chair based exercises? Or rope in a friend or two to do weights a couple of times a week? Though weight loss does seem to be very much diet and only a small part of it exercise, exercise does have so many other benefits. Mood uplifting, flexible joints, muscle strength, bone density, self esteem etc.
Re: No progress
19 May 2014, 05:40
Thanks ladies! I was so hoping that after a year on 5:2, I'd be at least halfway to my goal ... not only a small way down, with no signs of further progress.

Yeah, I think I need to cut calories a bit on 'feast' days (not quite so much of the feast, although I don't generally go overboard), and I need to up the exercise a bit ... if my sports physician says that's what I need to do, in addition to 5:2, he's probably right (he knows my health situation very well). Sigh.

I do the hydrotherapy with my daughter, and it does help a lot having her doing it too. She makes me go, even on days when I really don't feel like it. Maybe I can get her to start weights with me too! LOL

And yes, KataMac, exactly, with the fluctuating 'mental goals' — that's part of what makes it so hard, my motivation changes all the time.

I wish I had an indoor heated swimming pool. Along with a cute pool boy to keep it clean for me, naturally ;)
Re: No progress
19 May 2014, 07:24
Hi and Welcome @AussieNisi Sorry to hear about your frustration and for some reason you have plenty company
The Scenic Tent is full of us cluttering up the place.
For me I'm still not back to my December lowest yet I did have some family stress for the fist few months of the year and because I don't usually do stress I thought nothing of it at the time, we've all tried different methods to kickstart our weightloss and for me lowering my carb intake worked quite well I did a trial with Debs it worked for me but not for her it was suggested by @carorees That @Debs she go low carb (20g) daily for 3 days so I joined in with advice,
I messed up day one because of my sugar in drinks so on day two dropped my sugar forever and ended up doing an extra day to compensate, you can use "calorie count" or MFP to calculate your carbs and although I'm also not in favour of counting anything its worth the effort, the trial saw me at my lowest, but unfortunately I've recently returned from a holiday with a 4kg gain!!! :shock: my fault totally the desserts were divine, I'm now on the same trial again to blow my gain away
I will bump the trial info for you if your interested.
I'm halfway into my journey but still needing to lose another
50lbs and do know how frustrated you're feeling right now
worth a try I'm thinking for you why not join me and we can trial this together. :clover: :clover: :clover:
Re: No progress
19 May 2014, 08:08
My loss is slow too but I now focus on the health benefits and try to look at the weight loss as an extra benefit. I have spent too many years beating myself up for not sticking to diets so now I do not count anything! I know what is healthy and what is not. I am hoping that by doing 4:3 it will work. So far it seems to be!
Re: No progress
19 May 2014, 08:17
I have also been up and down the same weight since last year. I was going to put my latest weight on my tracker to find that it is only half a pound less than when I last tracked it in November!! :smile: I started doing 19:5 during the week and 16:8 at the weekends to see if it will kick start weight loss and last week was good (2lbs) so I am doing the same this week.
Re: No progress
20 May 2014, 01:40
Thanks all — nice to know I'm not the only one, if nothing else!

I'm just back from seeing my sports physician — he wants me to give "2:1" (2 days normal, 1 day fasting) a go for a while, and reduce carbs somewhat (although not excessively — just less than what I have now). He's confirmed I really would be helping my feet, knees and hips by weighing less, so I really do need to do it. So I'll report back as to whether it helps matters.
Re: No progress
30 May 2014, 14:01
Hi AussieNisi, I'm so sorry that you are having such a struggle. I applaud you for sticking with it when not seeing the results you want. a lot of folks would have just given up, but you are stronger than that!

Dealing the sarc , hip and other joint pain, menopause AND immunosuppressant drug?? heck, it's a wonder that you can lost at all! you have a strength and determination that most people will never even need.
you physician's suggestion of 2/1 might be worth a try. one thing else to try in addition to all the other great suggestions. I find that I don't do well ingesting a lot of wheat, breads etc. I don't digest them well, and I tend to not lose if I eat much of them at all. try getting your carbs in other forms for a week and see if it makes a difference. make sure you drink lots of water ( I like lemon in mine) my daughter wasn't loosing until she added more water to her routine.

I'm sorry I'm so late to the thread to welcome and support you. been having difficulties with the computer. I'm currently stalled myself, but I'm fairly close to my goal. I can't exercise because of M.E/CFS, and arthritis, but I don't have the added difficulty of drugs that make it hard to lose.

I hope you will keep us posted on how you are doing, and that you can find relief from some of your painful symptoms soon. blessings Phyl
Re: No progress
08 Jun 2014, 00:42
Thanks for your message MountainMyst! Very kind :)

I've actually just decided to have a break from 5:2 for a while (2:1 wasn't helping either) — and I've gone back to calorie counting every day for a short time. Ugh. I don't like it, but it's the only thing that helped me lose significant amounts of weight before (I lost about 17 kg over a year, after being on Pred, a few years back). The plan is once I'm down to a better level, I'll go back to 5:2 for maintenance.

I think it's pretty clear (as a result of a week of cal counting) that I've been eating way too much on my non-fast days. Bugger! LOL
Re: No progress
08 Jun 2014, 08:34
Hi @AussieNisi
Sounds like you've got a lot on your plate - I'm wondering if this isn't a case of too much stress to add agressive fasting to the mix? Have you looked at the articles here? ... h-busting/
You might a more gentle fasting method works better for you at the moment?
Re: No progress
10 Jun 2014, 13:26
Hi AussueNessi, hope you have good results with your plan. We all have to find what works for us. You DO have a lot to deal with! I hope you will come back and let us know how you get on. Good luck and know that we are rooting for you!! Phyllis
Re: No progress
14 Jun 2014, 23:25
Thanks for the link Nicky_94. since I've been doing 5:2 for 13 months, and my plateau lasted for 6+ months ... yeah. Dunno. I'm just feeling some urgency about losing actual weight (ie the number of kilos matters when it comes to the stress placed on joints with every step), because of the recent sudden deterioration in my knees and hips.

My sports phys doesn't want me swimming laps yet (cos of the kicking motion), but I've started to swim laps just using my arms, and with my legs trailing behind me without kicking, that seems to be OK.

My husband wants me to keep on with the calorie counting for at least a month, before deciding anything (so that's another fortnight). If anything, my fall back plan is to go back to 5:2 (which I do prefer!) and be much more careful about what I'm eating on non-fasting days. I'm positive I've been eating way over my TDEE.

And if THAT still doesn't work ... I don't know *throws hands up in air*. I give up (re/ weight loss). I'll keep doing 5:2 for its other health benefits ... but my body just loves to hold onto its fat bits! :'(
Re: No progress
15 Jun 2014, 02:16
If you are going to count calories, why don't you do that with 5:2? You'll be able to have more calories on your non-fast days, than you can on if you are just cutting calories daily. I also second the cutting down on carbs. I keep hearing more and more how that can help. As for counting calories - do you use MFP? I find it so easy to use!
Re: No progress
16 Jun 2014, 22:52
Yes, I'm thinking that what I'll probably end up doing is 5:2, but counting calories on 'non-fast' days to make sure I don't go over my TDEE.

Yes, I've been using MFP for several years, it's a great site / app. I actually contacted the developers recently to suggest they make a new setting so people who are doing 5:2 can easily select whether they're fasting or not each day, and it automatically adjusts the goal calories for that day (ie which you've entered in your settings). They liked the idea, so fingers crossed we'll see it in an update sometime!
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