The FastDay Forum

The 5:2 Lab

40 posts Page 1 of 3
I thought members might be interested in this article about weight gain following intensive weight loss and exercise. In my mind it is validation for the slow and steady approach that this WOL/WOE brings.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/02/health/biggest-loser-weight-loss.html?_r=0
Those shows are so sad, I don't watch them.

I've heard this before, about the slowing metabolism and it not bouncing back. I am hoping a couple days a week of fasting will allow some of the unwanted weight to be burnt, and the normal days allow our bodies to relax and keep the resting metabolic fires up. We'll see. I also think slow can be better.
The article makes for depressing reading. I first read it when it was posted on the Every Other Day Diet by Dr Varady but there was no additional comment whether fasting would be different than any other diet.
I lost 10 kg after about 6-8 months of 5:2, maintained it for about two years but since the start of this year 2kg have crept up and I can't get rid of them. I don't think my eating habits have changed (regular skipping of food, less carbs/sugar, smaller portions) and do as much exercise, but they won't go. My age (49) probably doesn't help.
What the NYT article needs is a serious counter argument:

https://intensivedietarymanagement.com/ ... oser-diet/

A summary? The Biggest Loser consistently dropped resting energy expenditure (REE) which explains why their weight returns after the show.

From the link above:

"The difference is that fasting allows for the numerous hormonal adaptations that keep resting metabolic rates(REE) elevated and preserve lean muscle. We’ve talked (incessantly) about the hormonal adaptations to fasting that seem to be highly beneficial. Decreased insulin. Increased growth hormone. Increased adrenalin. These help maintain resting metabolism so that energy expenditure does not decrease "

Important here too is that TBL's constant food restriction and over the top exercise for months on end puts the body in panic mode - it shuts down REE in an attempt to protect itself. The daily variation inherent in intermittent fasting prevents this from happening.

Bottom line? There's no doom and gloom when it's done correctly with fasting.
Funny, I just came to the forum to post this article!!

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/201 ... t=20160502

We've heard about this before and I think it's very true. I lost 47lbs. years ago and while it was slow I gained all but 10 of it back. 2 years ago, I lost about 20 lbs. due to stress and not eating because of it, and I gained that back in no time. It is very hard for me to lose weight these days. My body is very resistant. So, as a result I've decided to raise my weight goal to something I can live with. I don't want to struggle with my weight my whole life. I want to get to a reasonable weight, buy clothes for that size that look nice and then just try to be healthy. I am very healthy despite being "overweight", so I just need to get somewhere where I am comfortable. I am currently just under 170 lbs and was hoping to get to 140, but now I think 150 would be great, or even 155.
I just read the article, and I was curious what y'all thought about it. Since I'm reasonably new to fasting, and to this site, I was also curious about those who have achieved success/their goal weight with fasting for the long term, and whether they've struggled with the issues that the Biggest Loser group seems to have had trouble with. (In other words - you've gotten to your goal weight through fasting, you've been there for a while - are you still terribly hungry? Do you feel that you burn fewer calories than someone naturally at your weight?)

It makes sense to me that fasting would not cause the extreme metabolic reactions that their method of weight loss would - but....we're all still researching this, you know?

I can really sympathize with the guy who said that it 'feels like a life sentence' - I've felt that way about my own weight from time to time, even though I'm simply overweight, not morbidly obese. It has often felt to me that my body isn't 'working right' - that I eat normal amounts of food, but don't lose, or even gain on them. It feels terribly unfair. But it seems that my personal suspicion that I'm not burning the same amount of calories that a 'normal' person burns might actually be correct. (Exercise never seems to do anything for my weight loss efforts either - only makes me exhausted and hungry, for no results, and what's the point of that?)

Something I have wondered about - if 'sudden' weight loss seems to flip some kind of switch with the metabolism, causing it to work improperly, and 'hang on' to weight, or encourage the body to regain weight - could this be part of the reason that so many women find it so difficult to lose weight after pregnancy? I never had a weight problem until after pregnancy, and after, these pounds are ridiculously difficult to shift. I've often thought that pregnancy screws up the hormones somehow - maybe the things this article has noticed are the same mechanism going on here. I'm sure it feels crazy to the body to 'suddenly' lose a significant amount of weight after giving birth, and might send some bodies into panic mode? I hope someone is studying that.

I think there also needs to be more study (and cross-studies) on people who are naturally thin - and WHY they are. If you haven't see the documentary Why Are People Thin, Not Fat?, I recommend it. It helps prove that weight is NOT a moral failing, but biologically driven. Some people can be force-fed to gain weight, and then either don't gain as much as thermodynamics would predict, or they shed the weight after the experiment without even trying. Science needs to do more to study what's biologically 'working', to better recognize where the biological system is broken.
I hate to always be poo-poo-ing IDM posts, but the article they reference about IF supposedly not affecting REE is about people who have undergone gastric bypass surgery. Am I missing something? My understanding is that the verdict is out on whether IF will be better than any other diet when it comes to mucking up metabolism.

The surprising thing for me from the Biggest Loser study is that their metabolism doesn't start to improve. There was an article a few years ago that tracked things like leptin levels in people who lost weight, and that showed that they did start to improve, but hadn't yet made it back to starting levels. I'll try to dig it up.

It will be interesting to see whether weight maintenance starts getting more attention now. I would really love to see leptin available for weight maintainers. I think the evidence is pretty good that it helps return metabolism to normal.

ADFnFuel wrote: What the NYT article needs is a serious counter argument:

https://intensivedietarymanagement.com/ ... oser-diet/

A summary? The Biggest Loser consistently dropped resting energy expenditure (REE) which explains why their weight returns after the show.

From the link above:

"The difference is that fasting allows for the numerous hormonal adaptations that keep resting metabolic rates(REE) elevated and preserve lean muscle. We’ve talked (incessantly) about the hormonal adaptations to fasting that seem to be highly beneficial. Decreased insulin. Increased growth hormone. Increased adrenalin. These help maintain resting metabolism so that energy expenditure does not decrease "

Important here too is that TBL's constant food restriction and over the top exercise for months on end puts the body in panic mode - it shuts down REE in an attempt to protect itself. The daily variation inherent in intermittent fasting prevents this from happening.

Bottom line? There's no doom and gloom when it's done correctly with fasting.
This article about the study is a little more optimistic pointing out that it was a study of a small number of people and that their situation is unique. It also suggests that physical activity can make a difference!

http://www.today.com/health/biggest-los ... ack-t90261
Jason Fung has just posted a new discussion of the Biggest Loser results: https://intensivedietarymanagement.com/ ... explained/
@MaryAnn The reason he gives for using the bariatric surgery paper to support maintenance of REE with intermittent fasting is that in effect bariatric surgery is an enforced fast. I suspect that extrapolating from bariatric surgery to IF is only valid for certain kinds of IF. Perhaps when combined with low carb or if the fast periods are long enough to trigger the fasting adaptations he discusses.
carorees wrote: Jason Fung has just posted a new discussion of the Biggest Loser results: https://intensivedietarymanagement.com/ ... explained/
@MaryAnn The reason he gives for using the bariatric surgery paper to support maintenance of REE with intermittent fasting is that in effect bariatric surgery is an enforced fast. I suspect that extrapolating from bariatric surgery to IF is only valid for certain kinds of IF. Perhaps when combined with low carb or if the fast periods are long enough to trigger the fasting adaptations he discusses.

I don't think it's a valid extrapolation at all. So much more could be going on in gastric bypass. I want IF to be kinder to our metabolism as much as the next guy, but until someone actually does the study, I don't believe it. Given the experiences of people here (on the plus side, people maintaining; on the minus side, fasting fatigue), I suspect there will still be some slowing of metabolism beyond what weight loss explains, but I think it will be better than most diets.
Welcome to the group @SuzyQ93 !

Regarding hunger, check out this thread:

the-5-2-lab-f10/hunger-and-fat-burning-t14765.html
I looked in more detail at the original paper on the Biggest Loser results (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 ... 21538/full) One of the interesting things I noticed was the findings on leptin and insulin resistance (table 2). Leptin (the hormone that tells the brain how much fat reserves the body has and so controls hunger) dropped dramatically during the competition and only partially recovered by 6 years but triglycerides (which inhibit leptin binding in the brain and hence cause leptin resistance meaning the brain does not receive the signal from leptin about how much fat reserves there are) did not drop nearly as much and at the end of 6 years were not significantly different from at the start, thus the low leptin plus the high trigs would have made the contestants very hungry. Also, insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) dropped during the competition but was higher at 6 years than at the start. And we all know that high insulin resistance means high insulin and means fat storage not fat burning. No surprise that the contestants gained back all the weight!
We know that ADF (and low carb also) lower triglyceride levels (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25557754) and that a feasting/fasting cycle can maintain leptin (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8866554). Hopefully (!), together the lower triglycerides and the higher leptin levels with fasting/feasting will help prevent the increase in hunger that as well as any decrease in REE results in rapid regain of weight after a standard "eat less move more" diet
I read the article--yes, depressing, but not unexpected.

I believe that those of us who have been overweight for a significant period already have a somewhat depressed metabolic rate, especially those who are serial dieters. So, although 5.2 has enabled me to achieve and maintain a 15% weight reduction (not as low as I'd like, but better than nothing), I now maintain that loss via two 500 calorie days a week.

I just passed my second fastiversary. I have never missed a light day, though I've gone over calorie-wise a few times. Since hitting this plateau, I've bounced around plus or minus a few pounds; being post menopause, I don't seem to have as much natural weight variation as a woman still in the throes of the hormonal rollercoaster. I am not hungrier than before; if anything, I am more comfortable with the temporary hunger on a light day, even the "chosen" hunger of delaying a meal to fully enjoy a meal later. (Not eating before a meal out.) I think the most I ever lost in one go was on the Zone (mostly because I started heavier), about 50 pounds in less than 6 months.

For me, the biggest challenge of 5.2 is mental; resisting that little voice that says, "Oh, you don't want to fast today! There's CAKE in the kitchen! There's CHEESE in the fridge, and that new BEER you want to try! You can still fast tomorrow..." That's why I feel that establishing the HABIT of fasting is key; I just fast on Mondays and Thursdays, only making exceptions when it's truly necessary...always with the plan of which day I'll sub right then. One planned light day, I wasn't feeling very well, and feeling grumpy and put upon about fasting. So I said to myself, OK, if you really can't hack it today, you can skip fasting today...but then you have to do it tomorrow! After a few hours, I realized it wasn't a big deal and just made that day my light day.
An op-Ed in the NY Times about the futility of weight loss. I'm not saying I agree. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/08/opini ... hone-share
The writers of both this, and the thread's initial article, would find research far more productive and valuable to everyone if they spent more time looking into what actually works rather than what fails.
40 posts Page 1 of 3
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!