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The 5:2 Lab

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saj wrote: It's great to have research quoted - thank you! - but is there any research on incremental slow dieting?


Not seen any, and wouldn't expect to TBH. Clinical trials with interventions look for measurable results in short timescales as the costs and dropout rates are too high on prolonged dieting.

There's published data on 6 month diets with 25% calorie reduction but I haven't seen a sort of phased approach as you describe.

A fat-phobic diet does condemn you to elevated insulin levels and decreased lipolysis I suspect.
I must say that I think that the often-quoted dogma that slow weight loss is more sustainable than fast weight loss is utter nonsense. I have lost weight slowly, I have lost weight quickly and I have always gained it back. The drive to overheat becomes irresistible. I now think that that may be the effect of alterations in hormones such as ghrelin in individuals who have lost weight.
And another thing, I have never completed a diet and deliberately gone back to my previous eating habits. I have each time tried, desperately to follow a sensible maintenance program. But the combination of deprivation and hunger get me every time.

So hopefully this 5:2 method will prove to be different. :confused:
We're all keeping our fingers-crossed on this one! I guess we will know in about a year or so...
byoung103 wrote: And another thing, I have never completed a diet and deliberately gone back to my previous eating habits. I have each time tried, desperately to follow a sensible maintenance program. But the combination of deprivation and hunger get me every time.


I've had the same experience over many decades. However, with the 5:2 diet, I don't have the ravening hunger which has been a feature of most diets, and which only desperation led me to endure - for a while.

Yes, I do get hungry occasionally on 5:2, but mostly I'm less hungry, even on the non-fasting days. So I'm cautiously hopeful.

Of course I'm only losing 1 kilo a month, presumably due to my underactive thyroid, so it's a slow loss for other people, but a reasonably fast loss for me. On other diets I've stalled for 6 weeks, even though still dieting, which is demoralising.

I'm happy to keep on keeping on. My arthritis inflammation has reduced considerably and that in itself is a bonus. Good luck byoung.
Thank you. I do feel different on this plan too. Much less hungry and not constantly craving more food. However I am only 9 days in so early days yet....
I think the calories in/out thing is also overly simplistic. Gary Taubes has written on this extensively. The type of calories matter, our hormones matter, our intestinal flora matter, our environments matter. To what extent they matter is a big question mark, and he's undertaking the research to really unpack the the obesity issue.
I saw a tweet from BJ Fogg recently about how he'll put money on people gaining back weight if they haven't changed their environment. I think this speaks to the idea that we are not adequately accounting for both physical and physiological mechanisms in weight loss.
Thanks 'carorees' for going to the trouble of posting the above.
Like most people my weight crept up over the years. Any theory why the homeostatic system doesn't work both ways ? It seems not to be that great at keeping weight constant. Has it ever been known to promote weight loss to what it thinks is the ideal weight? Perhaps it always latches onto the highest attained weight as the target, but my weight was constant for over 20 years before it started to creep up.
Sorry should have read the paper before asking. The ready availability of food in modern times stretches our homeostatic system to breaking point in the upward direction, and throughout evolution, being underweight would have been a greater risk as well.
allic wrote: I suspect that there may well be a psychological effects as well as the physiological/hormonal ones.

In most diets you are forbidden to eat whole categories of food and so they become inherently attractive. With IF any particular foodstuff is no big deal - if you really want it then you can have it tomorrow! So there isn't really the same falling off the wagon, or coming to the end and rushing out to eat chocolate cake (substitute your "naughty" food of choice) that can easily happen on a more traditional diet.


Agree with this

I'm no expert but I'm pretty sure as well as the very interesting new science on dieting this is also true for me. Probably outweighing any physically negative impact of yo yo dieting is my attitudes and behaviours. Ive long time over consumption and "love" of all things calorie rich. Its worse, as I also have all sorts of poor patterns which add up to eating when not hungry.

I hope 5/2 gives me a chance to balance some of these behaviours and attitudes differently. I want to continue to "treat" myself/occasional "indulge" without the unhealthy and unsightly extra weight piling on. Hoping 5/2 gives an opportunity to balance food behaviours as apposed to be "good "or "bad"

(If it also fits with the biological science, then extra fab)
Found this article, http://www.nytimes.com/1999/05/25/health/95-regain-lost-weight-or-do-they.html, this common wisdom about how dieting in general has a 95 % failure rate might actually be all wrong.

It's based on a study from 1959, with 100 patients treated at an obesity clinic. They were given some instructions to eat less and exercise more and sent home. These "failures" should be no surprise.

It seems we have no idea how many people are successfull in keeping off the weight after a couple of years after dieting, or do we?
carorees wrote: We're all keeping our fingers-crossed on this one! I guess we will know in about a year or so...


Hasn't been a year, but do you have any sense yet as to whether your theories/hopes regarding 5:2's ability to overcome the body's setpoint tendencies are true?
It's hard to say. Clearly many many of us have been far more successful using fasting to lose weight than any other methods we've tried. Further there are people who've reached target and are successfully maintaining. We also know that people who've stopped fasting have put the weight back on (unsurprising but it suggests that any change to the pressure to regain weight from fasting is not permanent if fasting stops). However, we don't know what's happened to those members who're no longer posting...are they still fasting and still losing/maintaining? Without knowing what's happened to them, we can't tell what proportion of starters have success and maintain the loss, so we can't compare with other diets. I think, judging from people's comments that fasting is different but in the absence of a proper trial where we can follow up all the starters, I would need to get an opinion from someone who's been on other diet forums (fora) to see if they feel that the success rate is better (especially for maintenance).
carorees wrote: ...
However, we don't know what's happened to those members who're no longer posting...are they still fasting and still losing/maintaining?
...


This question could likely be answered from e-mail addresses supplied during the initial registration process. A follow up "It's been a while... how's it going with you?" query could be a reasonable approach.
Some additional thoughts:

From the no-longer-posting group, we'd also need to know how long they were doing 5:2, or one of its variants, and the amount of weight that they either lost or gained. Why?

Having the numbers from successful, long term participants skews the results too positively.

And just adding the drop out count to the active member count would skew the results too negatively.

To balance these extremes, some calculation including the number of days-participating, and weight-lost (while NOT in plateau or maintanance) during that period seems prudent.

The numbers from those in plateau or maintenance would negatively affect the results if combined with that of members still in the active weight loss phase.

Ugh. I'm getting a clearer picture now of how complicated defining a consise query to obtain good data and clarifying results can be...
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