The FastDay Forum

Not losing weight?

Help us to help you! Please give us as much information as you can about your situation in order for us to be able to help you as best we can. For example, it's helpful to know your BMI/weight, how much you want to lose, any medical conditions which might affect your weight and (if you've started fasting already) how you do your fasts in terms of splitting up your calories, what you eat etc. Thanks!
Remember, we're not here to judge, we're here to help.

21 posts Page 1 of 2
DAMN menopause
22 Feb 2016, 20:48
Hi everyone, I'm back to the forum after a long hiatus (but haven't stopped fasting--I'm 2.5 years into this WOE) with a problem, and that problem is MENOPAUSE.

I lost 25 pounds in 10 months back in 2013-4 but have only managed to keep off 20 or so of those pounds. My goal weight was 125 lbs. I now weigh anywhere from 130 to 133 lbs on any given day. This despite this rigorous regimen:

1) Fast every day 17 to 18 hours.
2) Do one 24-hour fast followed by 500 calories (then fast another 18 hours until the next day at lunch).
3) Do 2 additional 500-calorie days (usually 200 at lunch and 300 at dinner).
4) Run 3 days a week.

And yet--and yet!--I not only can't lose any weight but am having a hard time maintaining. This is so distressing. My sister is trying to get me to join Weight Watchers again but I'd almost rather gain weight than join WW again. My one ray of hope that I am clinging to is that I may not be drinking enough water in the wintertime.

Any other words of advice?

thanks.

Melinda (P.S., I just read my sig file....ugh)
Re: DAMN menopause
22 Feb 2016, 21:02
Hi @Melinda_in_NC I feel your pain and empathise completely. I am finding it harder and harder to drop any weight as I get into my fifties.
My comments on your eating regime above are that perhaps you are not eating enough on your non fasting days? There seems to be lots of evidence that if you don't eat to your TDEE on non fast days this can stall things. Maybe try going back to traditional 5:2 or 4:3 for a few weeks to see if this shakes things up?
Even at the weight you are not happy with you are still slim and healthy with a good BMI.
Don't go back to weight watchers!
Good luck.
Re: DAMN menopause
22 Feb 2016, 22:16
Thank you so much for replying! I am definitely getting enough calories on my Up days (especially Saturday, which I use to indulge--but even then I usually don't go overboard!). I am thinking about trying Fast 5, but I don't really think that would work. I think I just have to stay the course.
Re: DAMN menopause
23 Feb 2016, 07:13
Hi Melinda. Good to see you back here. I have just visited a nutritional therapist who is a fasting advocate. However she has recommended I stop fasting for a while to even out the blood glucose spikes and keep cortisol down. I gained alot of weight when I was working in the US. Some stress related, but menopausal. I have as a consequence dropped 16:8 and going back to 5:2 to see what happens. However my 5:2 is two or three meals a day. I will let you know what happens. Also you might find this link helpful. Marilyn Glenville is an authority on menopause http://www.marilynglenville.com/womens- ... he-middle/.
Re: DAMN menopause
23 Feb 2016, 09:48
Oh how I hate this menopause! Hate, hate, hate it!! It's been going on for 10 years for me and shows no sign of ceasing. There are slightly less flushes but I still regularly wake up drenched in sweat at 2 or 3 or 4 a.m. During the day I often get flushes which affect just my head and hands...is that a blessing I wonder. Having just your hands and face go bright red, hot and itchy and bead with sweat is very weird and uncomfortable and I find it quite distressing in public. It's slightly more bearable in winter and I dread summer tho moving up north has helped as the summers aren't as hot as they are in London.
I have tried supplements...sage gave me horrendous belly ache and a really bad taste in my mouth. Soya isoflavins made no difference but I continue to take evening primrose oil as I haven't run out yet lol. The only time I felt better was when I was on HRT but I was refused it after 7 years and my Dr won't put me back on it.
I have put back on all the weight I lost two years ago and am back trying to lose it again. Interestingly in the year I didn't fast my weight stayed the same give or take 1kg.
My hair has thinned, my skin is starting to age (at 58), vaginal dryness is sometimes an issue but being single for 5 years means I don't really care anymore lol. I have osteo arthritis in my hands and Fibromyalgia makes me ache all over, I'm tired and quite down most of the time.
Damn, damn menopause!!
I hope you get to lose the last bitof weight! x
Re: DAMN menopause
23 Feb 2016, 11:01
Hi Melinda. Your fasting regimen is much more restrictive than vanilla Fast-5, so going back to that would count as easing off. Easing off is one strategy to try rather than going for ever longer fasts, which might be as unhelpful as cutting calories lower and lower and lower ...

Do you eat fairly low carb?

Other than that, the only comfort I can offer is that a bunch of us lost weight after menopause, though that must seem an awfully long way off. :clover:
Re: DAMN menopause
23 Feb 2016, 11:05
I agree with Pilchards that you may not be eating enough and also that you seem to be at a very good weight/BMI. I would suggest eating more and just trying to maintain at this point.
Re: DAMN menopause
23 Feb 2016, 13:09
Thank you so much to all who have replied. It's good to know I'm not alone in this!

I think I will do as many of you suggest, which is to go back to 5:2. I have been pushing it quite a bit, I suppose. I do think I'm getting enough calories on the UP days, but what you are saying makes logical sense to me.

Oh, and yes, I'm fairly low-carb (meaning processed carbs--I eat pretty damn well, to be honest, with low sugar and few processed foods).

@rawkaren I am interested in your nutritional information. So I should start eating breakfast again, at least temporarily? And do two 500-calorie "fasts" by eating lunch and dinner? That is what your advisor suggests to limit cortisol and insulin spikes?

Thanks to everyone!!!!
Re: DAMN menopause
23 Feb 2016, 13:50
Oh, one final thing I meant to mention above. I am fully menopausal (not peri-), as I have not had a period in one year AND my blood tests reveal diminished levels of estrogen.
Re: DAMN menopause
24 Feb 2016, 06:23
Melinda_in_NC wrote: Thank you so much to all who have replied. It's good to know I'm not alone in this!

I think I will do as many of you suggest, which is to go back to 5:2. I have been pushing it quite a bit, I suppose. I do think I'm getting enough calories on the UP days, but what you are saying makes logical sense to me.

Oh, and yes, I'm fairly low-carb (meaning processed carbs--I eat pretty damn well, to be honest, with low sugar and few processed foods).

@rawkaren I am interested in your nutritional information. So I should start eating breakfast again, at least temporarily? And do two 500-calorie "fasts" by eating lunch and dinner? That is what your advisor suggests to limit cortisol and insulin spikes?

Thanks to everyone!!!!


I am eating breakfast again, although I am someone who has always enjoyed breakfast and do feel better for it. It is low carb though. My fasts are two meals a day. I am also monitoring my BG very closely for spikes and because I'm relatively low carb it is not moving about very much. She has asked me to stop fasting completely and just eat three meals a day but I will find that hard so we are compromising at 5:2. She knows that I'm not in full agreement with her but she maintains that the added stress I carry around with me is not going to help my cortisol. So I'm willing to give it a try and will let you know at the end of March how I have done. @carorees knows more than me on this so may be able to add extra insight. I would stress that everyone is different and you need to try and find a way that works for you. Let us know how you get on.
Re: DAMN menopause
24 Feb 2016, 08:55
i started 5:2 fasting in November 2013 and, in combination with regular gym and swimming, went from 11 stone 4 at my worst to 10 stone 6 at my best. But we moved house in 2015, I got stressed and had a virus for months and am menopausal, and although I walk and cycle a lot, eat pretty healthily and do not look flabby, I am now back over 11 stone ( my boobs have got heavier too, which adds to the weight! I'm 5'4" so my BMI is now 26.5). I am often tired, hungry and/or queasy, and find fasting really hard now. Can anyone advise me on what I could do to get going again, or a different approach for this phase of my life? I would prefer not to fast even more or join WeightWatchers, as it's hard to stick to when you have a (very skinny!) family to cook for.

Thank you.

Edit post
Re: DAMN menopause
25 Feb 2016, 16:00
Hi all
Yep the dreaded menopause.

I have recently invested in a blood glucose meter and am checking my BG before and at 1, 2 and 3 hours after meals. I found some meals spike my BGs above recommended levels (120 mg/dl or 6.7 mmol/l at 1 to 2 hours after starting eating) though fasting BG is good (under 85 mg/dl or 4.8 mmol/l). I'm narrowing down whether certain foods spike them more than just total carbs. A half cup of rice, chickpeas, tomatoes, carrots and a little stewed apple in one meal produced a spike of 150mg/dl (8.4 mmol/l) which is way too high, but cutting rice to a quarter cup and no chickpeas was OK. I'm still experimenting!

It could be worth trying to work out your own carb tolerance and see if you can even out the BG spikes as Karen says. Having fat and protein with carbs will slow the carb release and reduce BG spikes.

Cortisol will cause problems as Karen described and if you fast too much you will raise your cortisol levels, so taking a break could be a good idea. I notice that the famine reaction thread was recently resurrected: it could be that if you are struggling to maintain you are bordering on over-fasting. Focussing on getting better sleep and reducing stress could help.

For me I still get many hot flushes daily but my sleep does seem to have improved by use of a high dose progesterone cream. I feel I'm sleeping more deeply and not being woken by hot flushes. I used to wake at 3 or 4 am regularly, now I wake up expecting it to be 3 am and when I check the clock it turns out to be 6 am so I'm counting that as an improvement ( would like to make it through to 7 am, maybe one day...). I have struggled to maintain my lowest weight achieved since starting fasting but am so far keeping just under the weight where I declared maintenance. Because I lost so much, gaining 3lb is not so big a reversal than if I had lost 20lb! I'm not sure how much weight gain is normal at menopause (that is to say if you're eating a healthy diet will you gain weight anyway? I don't think we have reliable data as studies on menopause have not examined people's diets and even if they did they would probably have counted a high carb, low fat diet as being a healthy one!). Perhaps some weight gain is inevitable.
Re: DAMN menopause
25 Feb 2016, 16:49
I have read in more than one place that a half to one stone weight gain is normal for menopause and this also happened to me. I became the proverbial apple shape seemingly over night. Thirteen years on and the hot flushes continue though not every half an hour as they were for the first five years. Ho hum.
My latest blood tests have come back with cholesterol at 7.4 so the doc looked sternly at me but only offered "eat less fat" for advice. Hmmm.
From what I've read over the last 3 years the best way to eat seems to boil down to IF with zero sugar and grains, keeping carbs under 100g daily.
Very best of luck to you all and may good health be with you :0)
Re: DAMN menopause
26 Feb 2016, 17:25
Azureblue wrote: I have read in more than one place that a half to one stone weight gain is normal for menopause and this also happened to me. I became the proverbial apple shape seemingly over night. Thirteen years on and the hot flushes continue though not every half an hour as they were for the first five years. Ho hum.
My latest blood tests have come back with cholesterol at 7.4 so the doc looked sternly at me but only offered "eat less fat" for advice. Hmmm.
From what I've read over the last 3 years the best way to eat seems to boil down to IF with zero sugar and grains, keeping carbs under 100g daily.
Very best of luck to you all and may good health be with you :0)

Some studies have found that people with the highest cholesterol levels live the longest! The cholesterol measures they use are so crude and tell you so little about your health it is best to ignore them imho. http://vernerwheelock.com/?p=838
Re: DAMN menopause
26 Feb 2016, 19:43
Thank you! Very pleased to read this and now hope to live forever :0)
21 posts Page 1 of 2
Similar Topics

START THE 5:2 DIET WITH HELP FROM FASTDAY

Be healthier. Lose weight. Eat the foods you love, most of the time.

Learn about the 5:2 diet

LEARN ABOUT FASTING
We've got loads of info about intermittent fasting, written in a way which is easy to understand. Whether you're wondering about side effects or why the scales aren't budging, we've got all you need to know.

Your intermittent fasting questions answered ASK QUESTIONS & GET SUPPORT
Come along to the FastDay Forum, we're a friendly bunch and happy to answer your fasting questions and offer support. Why not join in one of our regular challenges to help you towards your goal weight?

Use our free 5:2 diet tracker FREE 5:2 DIET PROGRESS TRACKER & BLOG
Tracking your diet progress is great for staying motivated. Chart your measurements and keep tabs on your daily calorie needs. You can even create a free blog to journal your 5:2 experience!