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The 5:2 Lab

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ferretgal wrote:
Re: a survey here: I suppose there is bias in both directions--people leaving because they were successful or because they weren't. I'm discouraged by the number of people who say they've lost weight by 5:2/IF but then gained it all, or most of it, back. I don't know what the percentage is, but it makes it seem that IF is no more sustainable or good for maintenance than any other diet, even though I know it works for me and others here. Perhaps the bias is in my own head!


Yes, that's bothered me for awhile too. Makes me less confident that 5.2 is sustainable long-term. But...I think the key is what I touched on earlier: Long-term, the mental aspects are the most important, and the hardest to control. It's not just about "being hungry" or having a depressed metabolic rate. Of course, it helps if you don't have these; then your main battle is with your own mind; not constantly battling your body too. Ironically, it seems one thing that has helped me is I never go on vacation (Brits and Aussies would say "on holiday"), so I've had no reason to stop fasting and get out of the habit. 'Cause I think that making it a (good) habit and not varying it (any more than necessary) is key. Though one of the strengths of 5.2 is its flexibility, that can be taken too far. Once your mind thinks it calls the shots (making exceptions), your habit has been undermined.

@ferretgal I think you're so right. I didn't get to goal before I stopped fasting but I had lost 20 something lbs, with another 20 to go. The holidays were always my down fall. Getting out of the habit and gaining weight, getting disheartened, losing a few lbs (slowly) and then going on holiday again, and so it continued. I think the flexibility of this woe can be a problem as the body and mind work together trying to get us back to our heaviest weight. I now think I need to fast no matter what. It's only a day at a time and my mind is always going to try to talk me out of it. Making it a good habit is key :like:
This article by Yoni Freedhoff re the Biggest Loser findings is interesting:
http://www.vox.com/2016/5/10/11649210/b ... eight-loss

What hampers people more than anything else with weight loss is how success has been defined. Whether that definition comes from the glorification of extreme weight loss on idiotic television shows, or from public health messaging around the risks of obesity, or doctors discussing "normal" weights or body mass indices with their patients, or from personally held desires, the shared goal post is one of losing every last bit of excess weight.
And while losing everything can and does occur, it always needs to carry the proviso, "Results not typical."


He explains that in a survey of women on a weight loss program reaching their goal weights would have represented a 32% weight loss, their "dream" goal a 38% loss, they would be "happy" at 31% loss, consider it "acceptable" at 25%, and would be "disappointed" with a 17% loss.
what happens if your outcome isn't even disappointing? Well, chances are you quit trying, and since weight is a chronic condition, when treatment stops, weight returns.


But the most important part of his article is where he says
it's clear that liking the life you're living while you're losing weight is the key to keeping it off.
and
your best weight is whatever weight you reach when you're living the healthiest life that you actually enjoy.


One of the benefits of fasting is that we get to enjoy food (by eating normally when not fasting) and still control our weight :-D
ADFnFuel wrote: I'd really like to replace the word discouraged which seems fatal to continued interest, with the word disappointed which leaves the door open to possibilities.

To me, discouraged sounds like blaming the diet, and disappointed sounds like blaming the person, and I definitely don't want to do that. I'm pretty sure that's not what you meant, though!

ADFnFuel wrote: A survey might help put some numbers to the success rate and more importantly identify what the others needed to help them succeed (if they can identify it, which itself seems problematic). Are failures due to priority, lack of supporting evidence, motivation, conviction, adherence, biology, psychology, a combination ... or something else? What then are the solutions for these issues?

that's very true. And even if the numbers weren't perfect, they would be better than nothing.

ADFnFuel wrote: One thing I've noticed consistently with returnees is that they almost universally state that they know this works (why else would they have returned?), and that they failed because they returned to their former ways.

That's probably true of any diet. It was certainly true of me on any diet I tried until now. That's my problem: is maintenance working better because I'm paying attention and keeping up with it OR is IF inherently a superior diet?
carorees wrote: But the most important part of his article is where he says
it's clear that liking the life you're living while you're losing weight is the key to keeping it off.
and
your best weight is whatever weight you reach when you're living the healthiest life that you actually enjoy.


One of the benefits of fasting is that we get to enjoy food (by eating normally when not fasting) and still control our weight :-D

He really loves that idea and it is very true. You won't keep anything up for long if it makes you miserable. I find it easier to forget the misery of a fast day (and yes, I still often find it miserable) than the misery of extended days, weeks, on lower cals with few or no treats along the way.
Sorry for the triple post.
I've been reading Stephan Guyenet's blog a lot lately. Here is a nice post about changing the set point: http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2 ... nging.html
MaryAnn wrote:
ADFnFuel wrote: A survey might help put some numbers to the success rate and more importantly identify what the others needed to help them succeed (if they can identify it, which itself seems problematic). Are failures due to priority, lack of supporting evidence, motivation, conviction, adherence, biology, psychology, a combination ... or something else? What then are the solutions for these issues?

that's very true. And even if the numbers weren't perfect, they would be better than nothing.

ADFnFuel wrote: One thing I've noticed consistently with returnees is that they almost universally state that they know this works (why else would they have returned?), and that they failed because they returned to their former ways.

That's probably true of any diet. It was certainly true of me on any diet I tried until now. That's my problem: is maintenance working better because I'm paying attention and keeping up with it OR is IF inherently a superior diet?

Really agree that we will not answer all questions with a survey kind of research, but some information/numbers is better than nothing
On the question of IF as a possible 'inherently superior diet': apart from the fact that this is an empirical question, it is also a question on the kind of criteria that you use. Obviously it is about physiological/medical criteria in short and long term. But psychological/motivational/behavioural criteria are important as well and could be regarded to some extent also as 'inherent aspects' of a diet/way of eating (for instance the fact that your 'diet' allows you to eat without too many considerations on most days of the week).
@Sassy1 and @wmr309 - here is the original post with the info about The Biggest Loser.

Also, this TED talk is very enlightening about why it's so hard to lose weight.

https://www.ted.com/talks/sandra_aamodt ... ually_work
Thanks, I don't think I saw this at the time - I think this thread was posted when I was taking a break from the forum.

Interesting article. The reduced metabolic rate after dieting (compared to what would be expected for someone of that weight) is something that is mentioned in quite a few places. And does seem to affect people who are serial dieters, whatever their diet - including IF (based on what members of this forum have reported).

I looked at some of the other articles that links were provided for in this thread.

All of these just confirm the complexity of weight loss and maintenance, and the variability of what works across the population. None of these articles directly addressed the issue of emotional eating. I do believe that emotional eaters find maintaining weight loss far more difficult than people who became overweight just thru bad habits (eg larger portions and having snacks with cuppas). I also wonder if, on average, women eat for emotional reasons more than men - men eat out of habit - and thus men find it easier to lose weight than women? Just a thought.

The best weight management strategy is not to put on weight in the first place. Of course. And it is a sad indictment on society that we are allowing more and more of our children to become overweight.
I think these articles are mostly about the science and physical difficulty of losing weight not whether a person can stick to it or not. When I'm really "on" emotional eating is not really a problem for me. But I do find that even though I eat way less and way healthier than I used to, that my body is resistant to losing weight or if I do lose it, it comes back so easily.
I think it is simply biologically easier for men to lose weight. They naturally are made up of more muscle. Also they are generally bigger and the more you have to lose the easier it is. Although I'm sure over time it becomes harder.

I do really wish I never let myself gain weight in the first place. I definitely didn't appreciate how thin I was when I was young. Also when I lost weight fairly easily the first time, I thought it would be as easy to do it again.
It is too easy to put on weight and not really realize it (or be good at ignoring the signs). But once you do finally accept that you have weight to lose - well, we all know about what happens next.

So how do we (family, friends, society) help people to not put on weight in the first place? Without making focusing on weight more of an issue than it already is? In a world where we are surrounded by foods with little or no nutritional value, but which are designed to make us want to eat them, and where we are also surrounded by marketing that encourages us to eat such foods, it is not easy. Parents obviously have some responsibility for children's eating behaviour, but it is becoming increasingly difficult for parents to "control" their children's behaviour (in many areas). The education system does try to provide more info on good eating behaviour than it once did, but I am not sure how much impact that has. Society is so much more complex nowadays, that the promotion of healthy lifestyles which, although you also see everywhere, has just too much competition. But I guess we can't just give up...??
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