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I wanted to keep some sort of public journal of my Fasting journey because I know from other areas of my life that - even if anonymous - I still feel accountability to what I write.

Age: 25
Height: 1.75
Current Weight: 75KGs
BMI: 24.49

Brief Background:
Overweight kid. Overweight Teen. I think my highest weight was around 88, but I can't remember exactly. Lowest weight is 63.5kgs.
I lost the difference about 5 years ago (Thanks to a year or so of being depressed. A Silver Lining I'm all to happy to consider) but since then, have been watching it slowly creep back on despite trying to not over eat, and intermittently trying to diet to get it back down, but only managing to slow the trend rather than stop it.

My UserName is BracketCreep for a reason. Not because I'm a creep! But because pretty soon I'll be creeping into the Overweight BMI bracket again if I don't find a better solution.

Strategy: 5:2 or 4:3 depending on my normal days. If I think the normal day is a bit too high, I'll add the extra fast day.
I'll probably just eat a weight watchers or other microwaveable, calorie controlled meal as the main meal on fast days as they're pretty decent and allow some room for dessert as a 'reward'. Probably not the healthiest way to go about it, but I'll adjust to something more wholesome once I'm used to fasting regularly.
---

March 13 - Fast Day I
Food
During the Day:
3 x Cups of Tea w/milk and Sugar (~120)
Dinner:
1 x Weight Watchers Beef Cannelloni microwave meal (255 Cal)
1 x Vanilla Cupcake (160Cal)
1 x Tea (~40)
Total: 575

It wasn't so bad. I found the tea to take the edge of the hunger and be quite sustaining. It helps to have work to do.

---
March 14 - Normal Day
Was aiming for 2100 but had a surprise dinner at my friends, which bumped the total up a bit higher than I was aiming for.
Total cals: 2400

I'll make today (March 15) another fasting day. Didn't sleep well last night though, so am very acidy this morning, which is making the hunger seem worse than usual.
FastDay: The Program - a free 4 week App-based introduction to 5:2 and intermittent fasting.
Welcome @bracketcreeper it sounds as you are off to a good start. The fasts do get easier with time - it might just take a few weeks for you to adjust. Can you cut back the amount of sugar in your tea and that would save you a few more calories - or perhaps try peppermint or a fruit tea with no milk or sugar. I like a mixture of peppermint and liquorice on fast days which has a nice sweet taste. For your treat a recommend you have a piece of fruit or some berries as you will bet the benefit of the fibre to fill you up.
Check in here often and jump in on the Fasting today threads. There is lots of friendly support on these forums and good luck!
Hi @bracketcreeper
You are off to a good start! You have set you goal so you have something to aim for. Most seem to find that the fast days get easier as the weeks go on.
My suggestion would be to add some veggies to the Weighwatchers meal - just grab some frozen veg, or even those individual frozen steam veg packs in freezer section. Hardly any calories in veg (100g beans = 27 cal), and they will really help fill you up. And swap the cupcake for some berries and a dollop of greek yogurt. Strawberries and blueberries are super low in calories - frozen are fine (blueberries 100g = 54 cal). The cupcake will give you a sweet carb/sugar spike but won't do much to curb hunger. :grin:

And @Pilchards Do you have the peppermint tea and liquorice tea in the same cup?
I like a mixture of peppermint and liquorice on fast days which has a nice sweet taste.
Thanks!
Thanks for the tips. The problem is I have cupcakes that need to be eaten, so resistance is FUTILE! hahaha
But I've budgeted for them for the moment, so I'm not to worried about that. I'll try and go for something healthier once they run out.

With regards to the tea etc. Does it matter for fasting purposes? Is it just that the total calories have to be below 600 total for the day?
I understand that choosing healthier/less sugary food options lessens the huger impact, but does it effect the fast otherwise?

I've also as of yesterday stopped drinking Pepsi Max. I have been drinking around a 1.25Litres per day. I don't know if the various health warnings are based in science, but it's my only real addiction, and I know I should kick it. So I am!
---
March 15th
I didn't sleep well last night, so today was quite different than my first FastDay (13th). I had underlying hunger and acidity all day. But I made it to dinner. I did find the combination of bad sleep and fasting made it hard for me to concentrate on work.

Food
During the Day:
3 x Tea with Skim Milk & 1 sugar (~120)
Dinner:
1 x Weight Watchers Lasagne (355)
1x Cup Cake (160)
1 x Tea (40)
Total: 675

So calories today a bit higher than ideal.

I did notice both on my first fast day and tonight that the Weight Watchers meals actually tasted un-satisfyingly on the sweet side. I wasn't really at all satiated after eating the lasagne tonight, I think partly because it tasted sweet, and also because I'm still acidy in general and that makes me feel hungry. The cupcake was glorious, sugary heaven. I felt a tad hungry still, but sufficiently satisfied after the cupcake and final cuppa for the day that I can get through to bed time, which is in about 30 minutes from now.

Well, another one bites the dust! Tomorrow is a normal day.
It takes only a tiny amount of sugar (or even a sip of a sugar free drink) to take the body out of ketosis - the fat-burning state we're typically in when we first get up in the morning. Both 'sugars' cause an immediate insulin response which in turn shuts down the bodies ability to burn fat while forcing it to store fat instead! Not what we want.

Rather than spread their fast day calorie allotment across the day, many here find that a single evening meal works best to keep fat on a continuous roast for nearly 24 hours.

Teas, coffees, water can be consumed all day. Also drinking a salty bouillon (stock) drink once or twice a day is recommended for the first several weeks to counter the loss of salt. The sodium drop occurs as part of a substantial water release that would otherwise have been retained to digest carbohydrates (that you didn't eat).

A stock drink also counters lightheadedness, tiredness and can improve concentration. All of these are short term signs of the body's relearning how to once again use fat as an energy source. If planning to do something strenuous on a fast day, drink a cup of stock drink an hour before and realize that you won't feel as energetic or as strong as you might have before. This also becomes unnecessary after a week or two.

Taste is enhanced with intermittent fasting so you'll notice many more flavors that you would've completely missed before. Senses across the board seem to come alive. Food sensitivities also seem to disappear.

To help with sleep many find that a magnesium supplement is often helpful.
Cool, good to know.

At the moment, I'm feeling like I'll probably fast every 3rd day. 2days normal, one day fasting. That feels comfortable. After a couple of days, I feel ready to fast again.
Which will be tomorrow!
And @Pilchards Do you have the peppermint tea and liquorice tea in the same cup?
I like a mixture of peppermint and liquorice on fast days which has a nice sweet taste.
Thanks![/quote]

Hi @MerryMelb I buy a brand called Pukka which you can buy online or at Thomas Dux or IGA.
I am sceptical about the claim that one sip of diet drink can have such a major affect on metabolism. What actual scientific evidence is there for this. If it is real what biochemical pathways are involved.
Good. We appreciate skepticism here! Most recent reference: "The Obesity Code", by Jason Fung, Chapter 15 - Diet-Soda Delusion, page 172:

"The important question is this: Do artificial sweeteners increase
insulin levels? Sucralose" (13) raises insulin by 20 percent, despite the fact
that it contains no calories and no sugar. This insulin-raising effect has
also been shown for other artificial sweeteners, including the "natu-
ral" sweetener stevia. Despite having a minimal effect on blood sugars,
both aspartame and stevia raised insulin levels higher even. than table
sugar."(14) Artificial sweeteners that raise insulin should be expected to
be harmful, not beneficial. Artificial sweeteners may decrease calories
and sugar, but not insulin. Yet it is insulin that drives weight gain and
diabetes.

Artificial sweeteners may also cause harm by increasing cravings.
The brain may perceive an incomplete sense of reward by sensing
sweetness without calories, which may then cause overcompensation
and increased appetite and cravings.(15) Functional MRI studies show that
glucose activates the brain's reward centers fully-but not sucralose.(16)
The incomplete activation could stimulate cravings for sweet food to
fully activate the reward centers. In other words, you may be develop-
ing a habit of eating sweet foods, leading to overeating. Indeed, most
controlled trials show that there is no reduction in caloric intake with
the use of artificial sweeteners. (17)"


END NOTES:

"13. Pepino MY et al. Sucralose affects glycemic and hormonal responses to an oral glu-
cose load. Diabetes Care. 2013 Sep;36(9):2530-5.

14. Anton SD et al. Effects of stevia, aspartame, and sucrose on food intake, satiety, and
postprandialglucoseandinsulinlevels.Appetite.2010 Aug; 55(l):37-43.

15. Yang Q. Gain weight by "going diet?" Artificial sweeteners and the neurobiology of
sugarcravings.YaleJBiolMed.2010 Jun;83(2):l0l-8.

16. Smeets, PA et al. Functional magnetic resonance imaging or human hypothalamic
responses to sweet taste ad calories. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Nov; 82(5):ioil-6.

17. Bellisle F, Drewnowski A. Intense sweeteners, energy intake ar.d :he control of
body weight. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jun; 6l(6):69l-700.

18. Ebbeling CB et al. A randomized trial of sugar-sweetened beverages and adoles-
cent body weight. N Engi J Med. 2012 Octll;367(l5):1407-l6."



There have also been numerous references in running-related articles and books about how the brain allows additional exertion because it anticipates an energy source (that will not arrive) from an athlete who sips a sweetened (or artificially sweetened) drink and spits it out.

https://books.google.com/books?id=wa99N ... ts&f=false
Ok. I use Stevia in the raw. I have a cup of tea in the morning with one packet. I have a big cup of iced tea with 1 in it (but I don't drink the whole thing during my fast time, so maybe that's 1/2) and I might have another cup of tea in the evening with one packet. Could that be messing up my fasting? (I'm doing 16:8)
cblasz wrote: Ok. I use Stevia in the raw. ... Could that be messing up my fasting? (I'm doing 16:8)


Each time would indicate an insulin hit of some magnitude - a point where fat utilization would be slowed or stopped and fat storage would restart as the body's countering response in it's attempt to prepare for what it predicts as a potential glucose flood.

The other piece of the puzzle would be the recovery time for the insulin effect to taper off. (Somewhere I read something about insulin half-life... )

Since few people drink a cup of hot tea in one gulp, each sip might be seen as another small squeeze of the insulin pump followed by a period of insulin tapering, followed by another sip...

Consistent sips over a day might prevent fat burning all together.

Yesterday in the 16:8 thread, carorees mentioned this link:

https://intensivedietarymanagement.com/ ... t-htlw-12/

Worth the time to read it, I think.

Skipping the sweetener completely for a few days might tip the balance in your favor.
I have ME and have successfully lostweight and gone from prediabetic to,normal blood sugar using artificial,sweetners as partof a balanced diet. I have done this on both 5.2 and recently 16.8. Still got a lot of weight to loose,but its definately working. I havenoticed that I am using less sweetner in yogurt,as I am reducing my taste for it. Recent LFTs show improvement in markers indicating fatty liver. But I love my diet ginger beer, and like to believe it is not affecting my weight loss. I suppose it depends on what is meant by reduction,in insulin,levels. How long does this one sip,affect last for.
Hi Chingola,

I too am somewhat sceptical about the artificial sugar stuff. But I am sceptical about ALL dietary claims because, to be honest, most of the research is an inconclusive mess without any sort of rigorous controls etc.

One of the things I did when I did loose quite a lot of weight several years ago that probably helped was to replace all sugary drinks (juice, flavoured milk and soft drink) with diet coke or pepsi max. Which was an easy way to cut quite a lot of calories quite easily.

But I also acknowledge that it is chemically enhanced water, and that water is less risky long term... As in, it's better to be safe than sorry.

But I was drinking much too much of the stuff.

---
Weight this morning: 73.9Kgs (Down from 75.1)
I doubt it's fat. I'm probably just a bit dehydrated.

Anyway, fast day today. I find that If I've slept well, my feelings of hunger are quite muted. Hardly noticeable at all until later in the day unless I really focus on them.
Am off to go and make some (herbal) tea.

Have a good day everyone!
18th March - FAST DAY

During The Day:
Tea (no milk or sugar) and water only.

Dinner:
Cottage Pie - 255 Cal
1 x Skim Latte - 80
Glass of White Wine - 83

Late Night:
4 rice crackers - 20
1 x Brownie - 200
1 x Tbspn Mince - 80
1 x Tea w/ Milk & Sugar - 40

TOTAL: 758
Notes: I had dinner then went out to a concert. Had a small skim latte there. Felt fine, no hunger. Had a glass of Wine at Interval. As I was drinking I began feeling really hungry. When I got home, I was ravenous and at more food than I intended as I forgot about the Skim Latte.

---

Question: Is the 600 calories regardless of exercise or is it 600 after exercise calories have been subtracted?
600 regardless of exercise! Exercise will just be a bonus, especially if you do it while you are still fasting!
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