The 5+2 fast diet - a self-experiment

in #life3 years ago

It is January and for many people this means diet time. Unfortunately, almost all diets do not work in helping to bring down your weight over the long term. Indeed, very often the so called yo-yo effect makes things even worse afterwards.

About 3 years ago I heard on the radio about a new diet, which was supposed to be the new wonder treatment: The 5+2 fasting diet.

The rules are very simple: Per week you do two fasting days, during which you eat very little. Men are supposed to stay below 600 kcal, while women are to stay below 500kcal. It is not mandatory to eat this in one meal, but it is suggested to give your body the chance to be free from any digestion for a certain time. That's all. No more rules to follow. On the days you do not fast you can do whatever you want. Everything is allowed.

The diet was said to not only help in bringing down your weight. It was also supposed to have tremendously positive effects on your health:

1.) As the fasting phases are relatively small, your body will not go into emergency procedure. This means that it will not switch into energy saving mode, which will eventually result in the so called yo-yo effect. Also, your body will not lose muscles, which would also be very negative for the energy consumption of your body.

2.) Your insulin level and blood pressure level will decrease significantly. This helps to avoid diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

3.) The level of growth hormones in your blood is said to be reduced, which is said to have a positive effect on the risk to get certain cancer types.

The outlook to being able to combine these positive health effects with losing weight convinced me. I had never done a diet before and said to myself: let's try it.

The first day of the experiment was somewhat tough - but not really. After a few hours without food I got hungry and my stomach started to rumble. But here is the good news: Hunger is not a feeling which gets worse and worse. Instead, it goes away after a while. It comes back later, but its not getting any worse. Also, the stomach rumbling happened only on the first day to me - and never again.

During the day I drank a lot - this is important because you are missing out on the fluids which are normally included in the food you eat. The good news here is that coffee and tea are absolutely allowed - you should try to refrain from drinking it with milk though, but that is a very quick transformation.

In the evening I prepared myself a great meal: Grilled chicken with salad and a light dressing. 600 kcal can be quite a big meal if you try to avoid high caloric ingredients. I went to bed and was quite satisfied with myself.

The next day was great. I had a rich breakfast, pizza for lunch and also some sweets during the days - hey, it was said that everything is allowed.

I tried to begin the week with a fasting day, which turned out to be quite good after the weekend. But if I had a business meeting or an invitation in the evening - no problem, I switched to Tuesday or even Wednesday. The second day was then either Wednesday, Thursday or Friday (which I tried to avoid). I never fasted on the weekends.

During fasting days I developed the habit to go for a run instead of going to lunch. This turned out to be extra efficient.

I have continued like this for two years - I would have never imagined that this was possible - but it turned out to be very compatible with my lifestyle. Overall I lost roughly 15 kg of weight and then stabilized on this level. And it never felt like being on a constant diet - it became a lifestyle. I felt healthy and fit, though I cannot say if the fasting diet really had a positive effect on my insulin and HGH level, but my blood pressure was just perfect.

To be 100% honest with you, after two years I stopped. I had a new job and wanted to spend as much time as possible with my new colleagues. also over lunch time.

As always, if you are used to doing things a certain way, it will not feel difficult to continue doing so. But to re-start again is more difficult. Finally, two weeks ago I have restarted again - and it feels great again.

If you have any question regarding the fasting diet - please let me know. I will keep you posted regarding my development.

(source for all pictures:


Keep it up - sounds as if this might fit me as well!

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[email protected]! WOW, I loved this post, reading this post reminded me of the steps I took a few weeks ago. I decided I'd eat one meal a day at a specific time which I've continued to do to this day. I'm sure I've lost weight tho I've not checked, and I don't expect that I will, but on some days (on a particular day) I'd eat a bit extra, not much, just on the days when the hunger pangs are beating like drums!

Thank you for your comment left on my recent post, as a life coach I see where commitment might be a bit of an issue for you, but with small steps you can achieve your goals of writing that book you speak of. I'm 100% sure that one day you WILL write that book!

I've looked over your posts, they're very interesting and informative and I've learnt a thing or two today - I'm following. Peace.

Thank you @fiercewarrior for your comment. There are various forms of intermitting fasting, the 5+2 method is just one. Some do it every second day and some otheres fast everyday for 16 hours and then eat for 18 hours. I have chosen this method as it fits my life style best.

Thank you also for encouraging me to write this book. Just recently I have read a book again on how to write a book, but time is so limited and therefore I have started to write on steemit as it brings you to a result more quickly ;-)

Can I set you a challenge? Spend 10mins each day thinking about your idea, or ideas for a book, that's all. This challenge might also be something you'd like to write about in one of your posts @rondras, see how it goes! Peace.

Challenge accepted @fiercewarrior. I will keep you updated and will try to write a post about it in the future!

YAAYY!! I'm looking forward to hearing how easy, or hard it was so that other Steemians can learn from your experiences @rondras! You might yet get other Steemians to write that book! Peace.

Sounds doable and kind of logic. So far I figured out that no matter what you eat matters only the calories amount you consume. If you over consume calories even with eating salads etc. you will gain weight. If you stay under the recommended daily norm eating pizza and chips you will stay the same weight or lose it.
Anyway good article and might even give it a try :)

Thank you @gretum. Yes, give it a try, it is much easier than you might think and the days in between are great ;-) I think what is most important to understand that you do not have to be afraid if you are getting hungry - it will get better!

I'm afraid the biggest issue is self control after you do get hungry :)

That might happen of course :-)

I actually did it! Y-day tried staying in 500 Kcal limit. Wasn't as bad as expected. It is just my poor husband had to endure my cranky because I was hungry and sweets deprived mood lol

Great, congratulations! The mood will improve next time. I typically try to do this on work days so that my mood is not affecting my wife ;-)

Respect, that was a quick decision, very good. I also had my fasting day yesterday, and today I am enjoying that I do not have to worry about food.... I also try to do the fasting on work days, so that it does not affect my family life very much. I would not want to miss out breakfast on Sundays ;-)

Uh, got lost a bit among responses :) I know what you mean. That actually might become a fun new experience. Thank you for advice. I'll try to pick my fasting days more carefully too.

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I just posted chapter one of several posts I'm writing on my fasting experiences. I started in 2013 with the 5:2 fast diet and then went on to study fasting as a way to manage my health and weight. These days, after reading 7 more books on the subject of fasting as a therapeutic remedy, I use intermittent and extended water-only fasting and have eliminated several health issues as well as lose 45 pounds. Follow me if you would like to read the posts.

Thank you. I have read your first post. Very interesting. I follow you to see what comes next.

I did 5:2 intermittent fasting for 8 months last year, and I lost 31lbs (14.6kg). It was so easy to do. I had gained a lot of weight due to hypothyroidism, and doing 5:2 helped me get back to my original weight once the hypothyroidism was cured.
I still do one fast day a week to maintain my weight.

The most important thing is to take the decision to change and then be constant. No doubt you will have good results

The more fasting the better, but there is also great importance in the foods we choose to eat too.

From a health perspective you are probably right, but for losing weight all that matters is the energy your are consuming. What would you suggest is good?

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