Any active forum members on 5:2? A little lonely.

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  • posted by Alibobs

    I’ve noticed that this forum doesn’t see much traffic. I wonder if that is because they just don’t need the same support (and there could be all sorts of reasons for that I guess). Or are there fewer users of this diet? Anyway, hi to the 5:2ers if you’re out there reading!

    Having completed my 8 weeks on the BSD, I’m trying 5:2 to continue my weight loss. I’m planning to fast on 2 consecutive days, have a big break between breakfast (need that) at 7.30am and my other meal at 7.30pm and keep to 500 calories (I think that’s supposed to be slightly more effective in pushing your body’s weight loss reaction). This is my first ever fasting day and it’s coincided with my ToTM; I’m nervous about how bad it might get. I guess I’m reaching out because I’m feeling a little lonely and wobbly. Al

  • posted by Californiagirl

    Hi Alibobs! I’m stopping by to say hello and give you some support! I’m actually just starting my third year (!!!) following the BSD diet and I’ve been maintaining since July of 2016. I did two eight week stretches of full BSD in early 2016 and I lost about fifty pounds to get to goal.
    Since then I have maintained by trying out every single variation that I could devise of the BSD principles, including 5:2 and fasting and full on BSD for a few days and you name it, I’ve done it! The only thing I have NOT done is go back to eating any refined carbohydrates or very many carbohydrates at all.
    I am probably eating about 2200 calories a day on average and I like to move, so I usually do something sporty or active every day, even if it is just gardening. I probably take a full “rest” day every six days or so, or more if I’ve gone skiing or had a big hiking day.
    The most helpful thing has been fasting, so it’s good you are planning to get some of that in to your program. It took me a LONG time to learn to fast — I couldn’t get past 18 hours for the longest time, but once I finally got over the feeling that I SHOULD be eating, I realized I was ok and was able to get to 24 hours. I still haven’t gone past 24 hours because I get really hungry and mentally a little stupid but 24 hours of fasting every ten days or so seems to “reset” my body and I’m doing it regularly.
    I also usually skip breakfast so I go 18 hours between dinner and lunch the next day which also seems to help.
    Sorry for all the background info but maybe it would be helpful to know what’s working for a long time maintainer.
    I think you should try out several scenarios, and see what works for you personally. Every person is different, with their own unique levels of insulin so find your sweet spot and then just stay there. It will become automatic and you can relax into it and enjoy your eating.
    The one thing I truly recommend is to avoid too many carbohydrates — eating those in any large amount quickly results in weight gain for me and if I keep them low (for me, about 40-50 and those carbs are vegetables, maybe a few pulses, a tiny bit of fruit and yogurt and nuts and wine/beer) you can eat to fullness and not struggle with hunger or cravings.
    Be careful to avoid starting up eating lots of breads or sugars because the carb-monster will climb out of its BSD-jail and come back — and that guy is a beast.
    I would say that the lack of food cravings and binge-eating is one of the very best things about keep your carb levels low.
    If you are like me, binge-eating WAS my worst nightmare and I feel liberated from that crazy desire to stuff myself.
    Now I understand WHY that happened and I only wish I knew years ago because I could have avoided so much heartache!
    Do you have a copy of Gary Taubes book, “WHY WE GET FAT AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT”? That book is my constant companion book to the BSD book and if I am feeling weak, I reread it and remind myself why carbohydrates don’t work for people like me with high background insulin levels.
    So, off you go, find your path Alibobs— either 5:2 or back to BSD — you can switch back and forth and still find your future perfect.
    Wow, so good for you! You completed your eight weeks! It is a huge achievement and you should be so proud of that accomplishment! I’ll look for your continuing posts and best wishes going forward.

  • posted by alliecat

    Hi there, Julia, good to see you! I don’t think I’ve read your story from start to finish, so I’m grateful to
    you for sharing it today. I expect your fitness level to about that of a 25 year old, so I congratulate you
    on that 🙂 You put me to shame, I have to admit! You know that I’m a huge proponent of Taubes book
    too – I was fortunate to find it at the beginning of my weight loss journey, and it changed the way I thought
    about food forever, and I’m sure that is the principle reason why I didn’t struggle the same way that some
    others have in the beginning. I’m off to spread the word to my “ladies with lots to lose” on another thread!
    Yours in the sisterhood. 🙂 xoxo

    Wishing you continued success, Alibobs


  • posted by Californiagirl

    Hi Allie!! How’s your weather in the northeast? Did you thaw out from the recent freeze? Is Esnecca surviving with her first year up there and all the cold weather? I haven’t seen a post from her in a while.
    We are sunny here but still cold — I am really hoping spring will get going in earnest — this winter has seemed rather long.

  • posted by alliecat

    Snow is finally gone, Julia. My windows are open today, and we’re expected to reach 55F. Seasonal at
    least, if not exactly Spring weather! Essie’s “mettle” has been tested this winter, but you know her…She
    will persevere through anything 🙂 She hasn’t been around a lot of late, but I did receive an email from
    her a few days ago, and she’s moving into her dream home this weekend! Exciting times….Fingers crossed
    that she WILL RETURN. Her knowledge is gargantuan and so important to this community, so I’ll keep
    working on her 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • posted by Alibobs

    Thanks so much Californiagirl. I feel comforted and grounded by what you’ve recounted. There is so much in your post, I know I will revisit it several times over the months ahead, for new ideas. My first job though, will be to go find that book!

    [Yes, binging (and the utter futility of it) has been a problem. It has been a relief to live 8 weeks relatively free of that ball-and-chain.]

    I still harbour dreams that maybe a year from now, I will be eating ‘normally’ and maintaining a target weight, just relying on newer, healthier eating habits. Am I fooling myself? Does anyone ever do that successfully Californiagirl or Alliecat? But even as I write this I’m thinking ‘what’s normal?’ I already know I will never regard carbohydrates as an innocuous food group again. I just really dislike the idea of always mentally monitoring what’s going in my mouth. After a teenage history of eating disorders, being hyper-vigilant about food has strong negative associations for me: part of why I found the BSD so challenging. Perhaps I have to work more on visualising and accepting a different sort for future that works for me, rather than clinging to a ‘dream’ that might never be. Sorry, going on a bit, but it does seem to help sometimes just trying to put these things into words. Al

  • posted by alliecat

    Alibobs, just “putting things into words” is a tremendous help! I did ten months of the Fast800 without
    breaks, and 4 of the 11 months I’ve been in maintenance without benefit of the forums, because I didn’t
    even know that they existed until 8/2017. To my everlasting regret, I realize what I had been missing 🙂
    This is just my anecdotal experience, but I found that the more months one strings together without the
    carbs and sugar, the easier it is to leave them behind. My tastes have changed, and the white stuff or
    sugar holds no temptation for me after 11 months in maintenance. I wouldn’t want to test this theory
    by eating them again, however! Taubes book was a tremendous asset to have in my arsenal, and I
    hope that it will be great support for you too. In total, this has been a WOL for me for 21 months, and
    I truly believe that I’m forever freed from a life of yoyo dieting and preoccupation with what goes in
    my mouth, and it is a freedom that I would never have believed possible. I increased my calories very
    slowly in maintenance (wk 1, 850 cal., wk 2, 900 cal., and so on) The weight continued to come off
    during this time, and I’m certain that that happened because I didn’t increase carbs above 25g/day.
    We all have to find our “tipping point”, and for me that is anything more than 40g/day. I can eat up to my
    TDEE, AS LONG AS I keep the carbs at 35g or fewer. I feel as though I’ve been let out of a cage at
    long last, and am looking forward to a happy and healthy future. Keep on posting Alibobs! You WILL
    find what works for you. Have a look at the “After Reaching Your Target..” thread, too. You will find
    as many strategies as there are posters 🙂

    Very best to you,


  • posted by Alibobs

    Thanks both. You really are helping me visualise the light at the end of the tunnel. X

  • posted by Californiagirl

    Hi Alibobs! I understand what you are worrying about because I had the very same worries — will I ever eat “normally” again, will I forever have to be hyper vigilant about eating, will I spend my life mentally monitoring my food intake? I hate living like that too — it is exhausting and depressing to always worry about food intake — either too much, or the right stuff or the number of calories. Aaaagh! Makes a person nuts.
    So I have some thoughts — and this is what worked for me, and maybe they can be helpful to you — first off, I don’t weigh myself and actually don’t want to anymore. I know that is not Michael Mosely’s suggestion but for me, who hates to monitor myself, it feels liberating and it is my way forward. I use a tape measure and I keep track of my measurements and that is my low-stress way of watching.
    By now, I can tell if I’m overeating, and I just throw in a fast day or a couple of BSD days to balance it out.
    A good way to feel free of the hyper-vigilance is to stay low carb. Like Allie says, you CAN eat normally but normally does not mean the old diet that got us fat in the first place.
    We were sadly misled by the diet industry — before the 1950’s, dieting and proper eating were exactly like the BSD. In the Gary Taubes book is an example of the old recommendations and you will be surprised by how different they were from what is recommended today with the stupid food pyramid.
    If you are eating low carb, you can eat a “normal” amount of food. And here’s the miracle — after a period of time, you REALLY will NOT want the sugar and bread and junk ( you are probably mostly there already).
    And that is not to say that you never have a piece of cake — you may have it if you want it (and have your celebration) but you aren’t going to want it as badly. Your body is going to tell you it wants REAL food.
    The continuing low carb diet is going to become easy and automatic. Aah freedom!
    So, work out your sweet spot and find your “tipping point” as Allie says. We don’t have to be “all or nothing” — we can be a bit of everything — and don’t worry about a lifetime of mental monitoring — it isn’t going to be that way.
    Oh, and another great book, for more on the diet industry, and a great (long) read is Gary Taubes first book, “Good Calories Bad Calories”.
    Take care Alibobs!

  • posted by MarianneA

    Hi all. I’m new to this forum and reading over your posts. But I wanted to let you know–if could use company and encouragement too when it comes to 5:2! I was doing it, going strong, lost 14 lbs., then I gradually kind of forgot about it. Would love to get back on the wagon.

    Marianne Al

  • posted by Alibobs

    Hi Marianne Al,
    Take my hand and let me help you up and back onto that wagon! Get out all your previous notes or books and go shopping for the things that you know work for you on the 5:2. EVERY day is the opportunity for a fresh start – that is ONE thing that I have managed to cement in my mind no matter how wobbly I get. So tell me, what are you going to do today to start putting the 5:2 back into action?

    After finishing my 8 weeks last week, I was determined to have a few days off the ‘dieting’. The first 2 days my body really didn’t want the extra food or particularly like it. All those things I thought would taste amazing were mostly a disappointment. I forced myself to indulge on days 3 & 4 (like a perverse, stunted form of binging) and that was mostly damned unpleasant. Scales said +7lb! I said enough. I’ve had 2 days of sensible/Mediterranean eating, plus 2 days of ‘fasting’ (keeping to my 500kc target) and 8lbs have come off. Phew. I’m a few days older and wiser. But a lot of that ‘wisdom’ I’ve gained has come from Allie’s and Californiagirl’s posts above, and you’ve read that too Marianne Al.

    Guys (A & C), your ‘normal’ sounds like a future I’d be happy and content with. Now I feel like I understand what the prize might FEEL like, rather than clinging to just an abstract figure on a set or scales or a BMI chart. Because of my mistakes with food in the past, all my memories of being ‘slim’ are entwined with uncomfortable/painful physical feelings. I’ve read your posts several times and it is all, blissfully, starting to sink in and take root. I can’t tell you how much I needed to hear what you had to say. I am now ready and willing to experiment and tweak over the weeks and months ahead to establish what works for me (I’m even prepared to eventually face measuring and tracking carbs to establish what my tipping point is in grams – maybe in a couple of weeks when I’m settled on the 5:2). Can’t thank you both enough.

    Marianne Al, come keep my company on this journey!


  • posted by MarianneA

    Thank you for the enthusiastic welcome! OK, today is a fast day.
    Briefly, my plan for today: I had some protein powder in green tea, 1/3 cup kefir, and 1 tbsp peanut butter for breakfast.
    Coffee and tea with skim milk during the day.
    Oatmeal with berries and nuts for lunch.
    Later on: will have miso soup with tofu and seaweed.
    I have some ACV which I’ll sip if any serious hunger cravings.
    Dinner tonight: not sure yet.
    Wish me luck! Marianne

  • posted by Alibobs

    Luck, shmuck Marianne. You sound like a woman with a plan today! I don’t think you’ll be needing much of that luck stuff.

    Where abouts in the world are you? Much of your menu doesn’t sound like stuff I’d readily pick up in the supermarket (in England) and our time zones seem different too.

    If you can stand me bombarding you with questions, I’ll quiz you on some of those foods stuffs! Might find things to stop me getting bored on fast days plus I’m having to adapt my portion of the family meals on the 5 sensible days. Just lumping extra veg on my plate and taking the big carbs away is not always appealing, so I’m keen to experiment with new tastes if this is going to be my life going forward.

    I notice you weren’t sure what to have for tea. My time on the Fast 800 helped me find a handful of meals that I always enjoy and I can rely on to satisfy me. Plus I’ve made them so many times it’s not stressful to shop for them or prepare them so I barely have to think about a menu for my fast days. I’m very grateful for that (but on the other hand, that way may lie boredom).

    Do you always have 3 ‘meals’ on a fast day? Have you tried other patterns and noticed any difference?

    Let me know how you get on, and what the view is like from the top of that wagon! ‘Til next time. Al

  • posted by MarianneA

    Alibobs (and anyone else reading this), to answer your first question, I live in NYC.
    I live uptown and I work downtown, so I have access to many different types of stores.
    There is a brand new Asian market 2 blocks from where I live. I buy the pea protein powder online which is also where I bought the kefir grains.
    What is a Fast 800?
    Also, yes, on fast days I try to have 3 meals, I think. This morning: pea protein and green matcha tea in water for breakfast.
    Lunch: some tea, some coffee, and a celery & sprout salad. I did have a single cookie. I’ll likely have miso soup this afternoon, or maybe even a little sweet potato soup I made.
    I think the ACV and water helps a great deal with feeling satisfied.
    Oh, about last week—Friday–I did fantastic until I got home. My husband ordered in from a restaurant and he ate half of a lovely chicken dish with pasta on the side, and he saved the other half for me. So delicious. Friday is not the best day for fasting, since he often does that on Fridays. Which is great and I can plan around it. I still think I benefited from the fast all day.
    So how goes it in England?

  • posted by AuroraMagic

    Hi Marianne

    Oh gosh know that feeling. I did almost the same. Life took over when I was on a plateau and then I ‘paused’ and never got back.

    However I am restarting now.. (although got foot surgery soon and seeking advice in another topic!) but I’m still reducing and checking what I do.
    The receipe book for the BSD is really helpful in that it lists the cals etc for each prepared meal, and says if you want to double the contents to make them a 5:2 meal then do so etc… everything can be adjusted to suit! 🙂

    I did feel better but my off bout saw me gain a lot more as I comfort eat and with the broken foot and being bed and house bound for 4 months is was awful and neigh bout to do the same again! 🙁 But I have plans to try and combat it ! (bit like a battle anyway!) 🙂
    But from other forums I know people all seem to plateau, and then if one manages to stick with it, then the weight will gradually continue to reduce! 🙂 But is is really tough & demoralising! 🙁

    Perhaps that is when I need to try new receipes and know it’s all still low carb and still ‘good’ for me.
    I see you mentioned skimmed milk, but as I understand it whole milk is fine. The fats no longer being ‘bad’.

    However they do say try black tea ! Or green.
    Can’t say that I am a fan of either! If it’s black I have to have sugar! Green is just yuk IMHO! However many ppl do like it! 😀 God knows what I can drink on this … squash I think!

  • posted by AuroraMagic

    Hi MarianneA
    England IMHO is becomming ‘control’ city! Or how else can we stress out the population! 🙁 However otherwise green & been V warm / hot over recent weeks! Just hearing that they are looking to charge for electricity by every 30 minutes! Gees. Got stupid mayor of London acting like a king and deciding he wants to charge from the North to South circular roads! Utterly outrageous stuff. 🙁
    The land I love but the politics and control is extremely out of hand and getting far worse.

    Fast 800 is eat 800 cal per day, but using the low carb things too … at least that is what I understand it to be. I’m only just beginning to read the books and understand the BSD.

    What is the ACV ?
    The 5:2 says 600men 500 women cal per day, for 2 days, try to be normal good the other 5 days. Many end up seemingly doing 3:4 or more, but it’s personal choice.
    Curioiusly I’ve naturally had days where I ‘run on little’ which I think has perhaps been the reason why I have ‘got away’ with treats etc.

    Sadly I’m no fan of green tea – even mint, which I normally love! I’ve been putting only a splash of milk in my tea to try and ‘reduce cals’.
    Trying to hunt for ‘something’ I might like.
    I need a ‘new’ food diet. And I hope that this is going to be it. There are things in it which I barely even recognise, so I’ll have to learn how to prep and cook them.

    I saw on tv last night a report saying that the rich in society on diets do far better, as (obviously) they buy the better products and can continue on those ‘better products’ for longer!

    So I was looking online to see where I can buy cheaper nuts / seeds etc and there do seem to be a number of places…
    however £7 roughly for 1kg (which isn’t that much in quantity) of nuts etc is desperately expensive!
    So I’ll have to keep looking … I see these foodstuffs as ‘treats’!

    I do like the recipe book by Dr MM’s wife Dr Clare Bailey. Soe interesting things. See I love fish and veg.
    My BIG problem is comfort eating… I don’t ‘binge eat’ as such… but I get times when I want dessert/stodge.
    I am truely hoping this diet will help me rid myself of the need for ‘sugar’.

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