Fast regain

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  • posted by Healthy Fats
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    Hi there, I completed the Fast800 last week (lost about 6 kilos/13lbs), then did 4:3 for week 9. Granted, it was easter, and I had chocolate and reintroduced carbs, but i didn’t go crazy for the 4 eating days – only 1 would have been over TDEE. But this week I’ve regained by 2.6kg! I could cry. I’ve immediately hopped back on the Fast800. 3 days in, I’ve lost 1.5kg, but now I’m terrified of eating normally again. And by normally, with the exception of the 1 chocolate day, I mean I’ve been sticking to principles.

    I still have about 10kg to lose to get to a normal BMI, and I’m aware that prolonged Fast800 will lead me down a potentially disastrous path metabolically. So I can’t afford to regain.. i need the scale to trend downwards, even if it’s slowly.

    So what do I do? I can’t Fast800 indefinitely. And it looks like I can’t 5:2, because even 4:3 means I’m regaining weight.
    Does anyone know why this is happening to me, and what the answer is to continuing to lose after the Fast800?

  • posted by JGwen
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    The problem is that you re-introduced carbs. –
    The secret to maintenance is to stay low carb, keep your protein levels between 0.6g to 0.8g per kilo of TARGET weight. and make up the rest of your calories from healthy fats. If you want to eat more calories, eat more calories from healthy fat.
    If you keep your carbs less than 20g a day its very very unlikely that you will not be in ketosis (fat burning mode) so you will not cause long term damage to your metabolic rate if you have multiple rounds of the BSD. There are a few of us on the forum who have successfully followed this plan.
    As soon as you have a carb rich day your body will start to store water again to help it process the carbs causing a big jump in weight which will quickly drop away as soon as you settle back into a low carb eating pattern.

  • posted by SunnyB
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    Jgwen is absolutely correct, it’s essential to stay low carb, which means looking out for those hidden baddies on a permanent basis. Yes, have the occasional square of dark chocolate, or even a small dessert if dining out, but make it a rule to live low carb for the vast majority of the time.

    Carbs hanging on to fluid, will account for a lot of that gain you experienced and you are already dealing with that, but there is no reason you can’t stick with the 800 until you are at target weight if you want to. Many of us have stuck with the 800 for months to achieve goal weight and are now successfully maintaining and there’s no reason you can’t join that merry band too.

  • posted by Skipping through the tulips
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    I have a question about what’s normal in terms of glycogen storage when eating a moderate amount of carbs. I’ve tried to google various version on the question and the results don’t appear very scientific.
    At the beginning I chose an arbitrary target weight which I’m fast approaching. I may decide to continue but need to be realistic because losing weight doesn’t equal bodily perfection. after some excellent advice on here, I think I understand that calories and carbs need to be increased slowly till I reach my TDEE. It is not my intention to follow an ultra low carb diet for the rest of my life. I just want to follow the diet I used to eat( I used to eat lots of pulses which I’ve cut out) without the overeating and poor choices which has been a fairly recent phenomenon.
    So, for example.
    I weight 57kg and I’m happy, I spend the next few weeks increasing calories until I reach my TDEE. If I’m upping my carbs, I will be storing some glycogen and therefore water. I understand that for every g of glycogen I store I will also store 3G of water.
    Is it unhealthy to store any glycogen or is a moderate amount ok?
    How much glycogen is it usual to store if you are eating carbs but not to excess?

  • posted by Healthy Fats
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    Thank you both. I’ll have to Fast800 till I hit goal then… i must say, carbs give me an instant “happiness” hit, so it’s clearly a drug of sort for my system. Sadness, but at least I know what the problem was. Pity it doesn’t leave the system as fast as it arrives, eh?

    Good to hear it’s carb intake and not calories that have messed me up. I was worried I’d never be able to eat to satiety again.

    I’m fast800-ing to the rest of this week, hols next week (mediterranean, so there’s hope!), and then I hop back on Fast800 till I hit a Normal BMI. According to my planning spreadsheet that’s 11-12 weeks more. 🙂

  • posted by Patricia1066
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    Hi Skipping,

    Glycogen is the body’s ready store of energy. Dr Fung compares it to the wallet, it doesn’t hold much but it is readily available. It keeps the body supplied with glucose even when no food is being consumed eg when sleeping.

    The fat cells (adipose tissue) are not so easily accessible, but have potential for great storage. Dr Fung compares this to the bank account. There are safeguards preventing easy access. The presence of insulin and cortisol prevents the body using fat as fuel.

    Once you decide you don’t want to lose further fat, you increase your calorie intake.
    You want to eat pulses, and these are high in carbs.

    If you increase carbs above the ketosis level, insulin is stimulated, and wants to use the energy not immediately needed for fat storage, in the liver (glycogen) and in the fatty tissue.

    People without many fat cells don’t increase their fat percentage at this point. Dr Moseley is one of these individuals, his fat was solely around his abdominal organs, and he looked thin even when he had a diagnosis of diabetes T2.

    A reset of optimal body weight may not be quick, it depends how long you lived with the higher fat levels. That means, just because you prefer being at 57kg, if you have lived with 88kg for 5 years your body will seek to reset to this weight.

    The means – increased appetite and if you resist slowing down your metabolism. Hurrah the body thinks! The famine is over, time to catch up on building a fat store.

    Ketosis protects us from the body trying to reset the body weight.

    Staying in ketosis means carbs between 20 and 50g per day, and the level suitable for you will be dependent on the level of insulin resistance you have. If you can lose fat at 50g carb per day, you can probably continue in ketosis at that rate.

  • posted by Skipping through the tulips
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    Well Patricia, that’s just not fair.

    so what your saying is if i go beyond the 50 g of carbs i will get fat again?

    I’m going to sulk for a minute and then think of some “what if questions”

    The first one being ” What if I’m special and i can eat all the carbs i want and not put the weight back on”

  • posted by Birdy76
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    Wow this is a bit of a one to watch although I am nowhere near maintenance but this is food for thought! I didn’t really eat loads of pulses but when I made my soup the other day I realised just how many carbs are lentils! Hence only 50g of them will go in the next time I make it. Skipping don’t feel to crest fallen, I am sure there will be away around enjoying all your favourite foods in maintenance. I mean Allie has a couple of glasses of wine now she is in maintenance. I think it is things in moderation but not like we used to, I mean a small moderation, if that makes sense? 💞🦜

  • posted by alliecat
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    Hi kids! Great summary, Patricia! It’s interesting to note that we are born with a certain number of fat cells, and this
    varies from person to person, and has something to do do with what our mother’s weight and eating habits were
    through the pregnancy, as well as their gut flora, and what bacteria we come into contact with during the natural
    birthing process. This may seem “unfair”, as we can never rid ourselves of these fat cells, but we now have all the
    tools to collapse them once and for all. Go back to carbs/sugar again, and the sneaky cells are all to happy to
    inflate again! In maintenance we learn our individual level of carbs that we need to stay beneath to never undue
    all of our efforts. It’s as simple and as complicated as that. The unvarnished truth is that always being aware
    of the carbs is very much in all of our futures. I’ve just accepted it as my reality, as I watch my sister shovel
    in anything and everything, without every gaining an ounce!

  • posted by JGwen
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    I think that those of us with a lot to loose have an advantage when it comes to maintenance. – We have time for our tastes to change and to get our heads around the fact that we can increase the number of calories from healthy fats. – So veg with butter melted over it and using double cream in cooking to produce rich sauces is for example some of the delights we can look forward to.
    Dr Phinney focuses his research on elite athletes, people who are training for endurance events such as marathons and long distance cycle rides. His definition of low carb for this level of daily activity is 100g, but these are people who are highly insulin sensitive and very active. – This means that their background level of insulin is lower than those who have been eating a high carb diet for a long time and have become insulin resistant.
    This doesn’t mean that you can never, ever celebrate someones birthday, or have a slice of wedding cake. – You can, but then you need to cut back on the carbs, and or fast to use the fat gained and return to balance.
    The only thing I would add to Patricia’s post is that it is important to not confuse weight loss with fat loss. – It is possible to loose weight when eating a high carb, low calorie diet. Thats how slimming clubs work. But that weight loss is not necessarily fat loss. That is why I think its important to either stick under 20g of carbs when you want to loose fat, or use some method of monitoring to test if you are in ketosis to find your personal level.
    ————————————-
    There is a plus side to this discussion. – I have read articles which suggest that it does us good to mirror the lifestyle of hunter gatherers. There would have been times of year when fruit or veg (admittedly wild versions which are much lower sugar than the selectively breed versions of fruit and veg we have now) was abundant and people would eat them to lay down fat so that they have the fat stores for lean periods of time. – The suggestion is that it is important to occasionally step out of ketosis and trigger an insulin spike. To follow Dr Fungs description. If you were constantly drawing on your savings in the bank and never topping them up you would reach a point where you started to worry how long the savings would last and would start counting every penny and current back on spending to make the savings last as long as possible. But if you have your salary going into the bank every month, and then draw that money out over the course of the month you wouldn’t worry and go into an economy drive.
    Our hormone system is a complicated orchestra of different hormones, and it seems logical to me that there is some mechanism which steps in if you are constantly drawing on fat stores and never topping them up.

  • posted by Katniss
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    Absolutely fascinated by this discussion just wanted to jump in.
    I’ve discarded 15lb so far and am around halfway (or a little less than halfway) to my goal, so I imagine maintenance for me will be in a few months time. Like many others over the years I’ve lost and regained weight through a variety of methods (ww, Cambridge diet, Cal counting etc) and I am determined that this time will be different. So far the weight has been tumbling off me by following a roughly 800 cal a day diet, eating protein and good fats with every meal and eating low carb (no root veg as well as all the obvious pasta, bread etc) and doing the odd 24 hour water fast.
    I don’t know whether I’m in ketosis, but I know that I’m rarely hungry and I’m enjoying this woe. So now I’m a little confused. Should I make sure I’m in ketosis in order to make this ‘diet’ different to all those other times where I’ve lost and gained? And is there not some kind of negative to being in ketosis long term. I have vague memories of negative connotations associated with Atkins and ketosis?
    Fascinated by the science behind all of this and very keen to learn and understand in order to break the cycle once and for all.

  • posted by Scottishgal
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    Wow! This is a really interesting and informative thread and, reading the initial post, I realise I’ve been in the same boat this week and the penny has dropped as to why I’ve been feeling a bit down this week. I did go off track at the weekend but it was a personal choice as I was away for a couple of overnights in a fancy hotel with my OH. I didn’t go mad with the food but did have a few non BSD friendly foods. I didn’t expect to gain 4lbs though so quickly!! And I guess since then I’ve been thinking I’m never going to be able to go off track again without consequences. A part of me has also been thinking where’s the point in carrying on with this……..then I think about the massive improvement to my BG.

  • posted by alliecat
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    Scottishgal, you would have had to overeat by 14,000 calories while you were away to regain an actual 4 lbs of
    fat. (3,500cal = 1 lb). You’ve just witnessed the power of carbs to retain fluid! Alcohol is notorious for doing the
    same thing….Remember how quickly the scales dropped in week #1? Most of that was the steady release of fluid,
    not actual fat. It’s the same process. Be vigilant about drinking 2-3 liters a day, and things will right themselves
    again by being strict about counting your carbs. The longer you can abstain from episodes of going off plan, you
    WILL lose any desire for these foods, but it takes months to break the addiction. That’s precisely why JGwen speaks
    often to the advantage those of us who had a great deal of weight to lose have over those who only need 1 round
    of 8 weeks to reach their goals. Tastes dramatically change, and I wouldn’t be remotely tempted by a piece of
    wedding cake today. I know that it would be a true hardship to force myself to eat it! Sound crazy? Other long
    term maintainers will tell you the same, and it may be something that you simply have to take on faith at this
    stage. I’m approaching 3 years of this lifestyle, and from my vantage point, I’ll never go back to allowing food
    to dictate my health, or minimize what I can do with my life. Just brush yourself off, and get straight back to
    basics. You will be rewarded 100 fold for doing so 🙂 Or as they say in this neighborhood, keep on keeping on!

    Allie

  • posted by JGwen
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    Hi Kitniss,
    There is an american TV program called the biggest looser. Where they take a group of obese people into a large house, put them on a calorie controlled diet but which includes carbs and they have fitness trainers working with them daily. – Its a competition, the one who looses the smallest amount of weight each week is eliminated. The one who looses the most weight over a 30 week period wins a lot of money, but we are talking 100lb plus weight loss over a relatively short period of time, and I noticed that as the competition advances they change the clothes that the participants wear. My guess is this is to mask the amount of loose skin . – What they don’t tell you is the reason there is never a reunion. – They all put the weight back on. – Research shows at the end of the tv program their basic metabolic rate is around 600 calories lower than when they started. So to keep the weight off they would have to continue to eat 600 calories less a day and exercise like crazy. That’s an extreme version of what happens to everyone one on the dieting roundabout that comes with including carbs in your diet.

    Rather than call this the blood sugar diet, it would be more accurate (but probably would not sell as well) to call it the insulin control diet. – Insulin’s role is to ensure that the amount of sugar in our blood doesn’t get too high that it causes damage. There are 4.5 to 5.5 litres of blood in the average adult body, and if you are diagnosed as being pre diabetic your blood sugar levels will be equal to an extra 2 teaspoons worth of sugar dissolved in your blood. This fact helps me get my head around how sensitive the body is to carbs. –

    Insulin also works like a switch, when low your body can access your long term fat stores for fuel. When it isn’t the body can not. When your body is using fat as its fuel source that is being in ketosis. Yes I remember that there was a pile of negativity about Atkins back in the day. But I now think that was simply because he was ahead of his time and the research is catching up. Research shows that there is a lot of health benefits of being in this state. The full article the follow comes from gets quite complex, but I thought you might like this quote.

    “You don’t need to be in ketosis to experience weight loss, but it will boost your results in more ways than one. Here is a short list of benefits that are backed of by science so far:

    Ketones Stimulate Mitochondrial Production. New mitochondria are formed in cells after they begin burning more ketones for fuel. Why does this matter? Because more mitochondria means more energy and healthier cells.
    Ketosis Protects and Regenerates The Nervous System. Many studies have found that ketones help preserve the function of aging nerve cells and stimulate the regeneration of damaged and dysfunctional brain cells. For example, one study found that ketones helped patients with acute brain injury improve significantly. If you’d like to take a closer look at how ketosis benefits the brain, check out this article.
    Ketones Act Like an Antioxidant. Burning ketones for fuel reduces the number of reactive oxygen species and free radicals that are produced as a result of energy production. This helps protect the body from the damage and disease.
    Ketones Preserve Muscle Mass. When you lose muscle mass you lose vital years from your life. This is an unpleasant side effect of aging, however, a ketogenic diet may be the remedy. Many studies have found that ketones have a muscle preserving effect. This effect was especially prevalent in people who were restricting calories to lose weight. Not only does this make the ketogenic diet and ketones a great fat loss tool, but a longevity enhancer as well.
    Ketones Help Reduce Hunger. Studies indicate that burning ketones for fuel seems to act as an appetite suppressant. This may be linked to hormonal changes that ketosis makes to our hunger and satiety hormones or the fact that burning ketones for fuel is much more efficient (or both) — but the research doesn’t have a conclusive answer to why ketosis may cause you to eat fewer calories.
    Ketones Help Prevent Cancer Growth. Research shows that ketones can help fight cancer. This is due to the fact that most cancer cells cannot use ketones as fuel. Without adequate access to fuel, the cancer cells have no energy for growth, and the immune system will finally be able to eliminate them from the body.”

  • posted by Skipping through the tulips
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    Scottishgal, I really empathise with you. I understand the science and really appreciate people’ sharing their experiences.
    I know that I more than half of the weight I’ve lost is fat, but most of the initial week was water.
    I haven’t been overweight for most of my life.
    I generally ate what I consider to be a healthy diet ; lots of veg and salads, healthy soup, pulses. Olive oil, Greek yoghurt. I’ve always eaten bread but not much in the way of pasta or rice. Very little processed food. Too much cheese definitely and of course a sprinkling of crap. And definitely too much wine. The crap had increased and my activity levels decreased in the last year which I believe is the root of my weight gain. Being post menopausal also has some effect at least in where my excess weight is stored.
    I find it really hard to understand that if I return the my old way of eating ( without the crap and limit the wine) that I am going to gain everything I’ve lost. I have eaten this way for many years, i don’t have blood sugar problems. I rarely binged.
    I’ve thought hard before sharing my thoughts because I don’t doubt that this WOE as a life choice works for many. I can see it has changed lives enormously and only for the better. What I’m going to have to work out for myself is what works for me as I head into maintenance.
    I hope that no one feels that this is about my judgement of their choices.
    Anyway, I’ve got a couple more kilos to go before I’m planning on changing anything.
    Of course, if I’m wrong you can tell me I told you so!

  • posted by Scottishgal
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    Thank you Allie, your post really made me feel better about my weight gain.
    I really need to try so much harder but I’m with skipping and her thoughts too.
    I’ll be really honest here. I did the initial 8 weeks and it was great. At the beginning my thoughts were that it was only for 8 weeks and I could achieve that. I always had the carrot dangling that after 8 weeks I could go back to eating my old ways but just not as bad. However, as the 8 weeks went by my thoughts changed and I no longer wanted to go back to my old ways. After the 8 weeks I had lost just over a stone and was at the top end of normal BMI. I honestly can’t remember when I was last at that weight. I bought new size 14 jeans and tops. My work clothes were loose on me. People at work were complimenting me. I got my hba1c done and was over the moon with the result. But the bubble burst and it has all gone downhill since then! I only wanted to lose another half stone but I keep putting on 4 to 5lbs and then losing it again. Some days I feel really motivated and tell myself I’ve done this before and so I can do it again. And then on other days I miss my chocolate and bread and biscuits etc and think “oh go on, just for today won’t do any harm”. I really am up and down and all over the place just now. Life in general is good, apart from work, so I don’t think it’s related to comfort eating. All that’s getting me down is that I keeping putting on and then losing the same pounds. I come on this forum every day, several times a day, as I know if I don’t I will just give up completely and I really don’t want to give up. I don’t want to put all the weight back on and to go back on the diabetic medication that was causing me so many problems.
    Sorry for the long post and the whinge. Just needed to get it off my chest and out there and hope seeing it written down helps.
    I’m going to try fasting again from tonight for as long as possible tomorrow. I did it a fortnight ago and it helped at the time.
    Like you skipping I really need to figure out a way forward that will work for me too. I’m open to any ideas and suggestions.
    I should add that I’m using aldi sugar free sweets as a crutch to get me through the days at work but I know this won’t be helping either…..although on the positive side they have a laxative side effect and will maybe assist me in losing the extra 5lbs…….

  • posted by avisamuelgrey
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    Oh, Scottishgal, I feel your pain! I haven’t lost anything since 30th March, since falling off the wagon after the first 6 weeks. After my biscuit accident at work, I’ve been overeating nuts instead 🙁 and trying to drink water or green tea when I feel the munchies attacking.

    I 100% know that this is boredom and not hunger, it’s a mental fight that I can’t get my head round. My mistake has been reintroducing alcohol at a holiday weekend, and never really ditching it again. Even before starting this WoE, I had a weird relationship with food. I was vegetarian for 21 years, and when I stopped, I had no idea what to eat or how to cook, so I would go to the supermarket and just stand there, knowing I should buy meals but having little interest in anything on offer. So in a way, restricted food isn’t a bad idea for me.

    How do we beat this psychological sabotage?! I think JGwen said to keep thinking of your “why”, why are we doing this? For me so far, this hasn’t been enough to stop the compulsion, so I guess vanity isn’t a strong enough reason 😀

  • posted by Skipping through the tulips
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    Hi avisamuelgrey, I was thinking about you today. There is no point setting yourself up to fail and then beating yourself up. If you buy nuts it’s inevitable ( for me at least) that your going to overeat them. Finding your motivation is the only way to succeed with such a big change. The world around us is full of temptation. What’s changed in the last few weeks that’s lowered your resistance to temptation? Would it work to have a break for a few days then a reset. Success is empowering, can you remember how good your success felt. Did you have more energy? Remembering what made it work last time might help. Maybe maintaining your current weight could be a goal for the next few weeks? Stay with us and don’t give up

  • posted by Katniss
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    Jgwen – sorry for the delayed reply. I don’t get on these forums as often as I should but I’m finding them an invaluable source of information, especially in comparison to the fast 800 Facebook group!

    That has definitely clarified things for me, I watched a few episodes of the biggest loser when we had a UK version – it was pretty short lived and I guess that’s for the same reason. How sad though that people put so much hard work in to losing weight to just pile it back on without them really understanding why.
    I will continue to read up on this woe and all of the current research, I do have concerns about maintenance but I need to get to goal first! Thanks again.

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