I wanted to share how I am maintaining my weight loss. One of the reasons I’m doing this is because I was a bit lost when it came to the ‘maintenance’ stage and would have really appreciated stories of how people did it. Firstly, a few caveats:
a) I am not asking for anyone’s approval on whether what I am doing is ‘right or wrong’ according to the Fast 800. This is how I want to do it and what makes me happy. For example: I have read the ‘fast 800’ book and I understand the science behind 5/2, low carbs, etc. but I have to be realistic about what I can/cannot do long term – what does/doesn’t work for me!
b) this is my experience of the Fast 800 – I know we are all individuals and my own personal experience may not be the same, or even similar, to yours… this is ‘MY reality’.
c) I have never been pre-diabetic or close to it so one of the medical ‘benefits’ of the diet (low carbs) does NOT apply to me.
I did 800 calories a day for 3 months. Overall assessment: I’m glad that I got the weight off… and in the process, learned how to enjoy vegetables more. The more detailed answer however is that if truth be told, I hated doing it. I did find that in the early days, my concentration got better, and so was my sleep. However, after a few weeks of being on the diet, my concentration went downhill and found it so hard at work – and in my personal life. I just felt I was literally running on empty!
I found ‘keto flu’ to be devastatingly debilitating – not something I EVER want to experience again. (If this was not YOUR experience, I’m truly happy for you – I wish I had more positives to report).
I decided that a low carbs was NOT realistic for me (would never be able to maintain that lifestyle and frankly, I was miserable) so I re-introduced carbs into my 800 diet (e.g. sweet potatoes).
Anyway, after 3 painful months I exceeded my goal weight and it was time to think about ‘maintaining that weight loss’. After some confusion about how to go about doing it (all I knew for sure was that I was A) NOT GOING TO EXCLUDE OR EAT LITTLE CARBS FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE; OR B) SUBJECT MYSELF TO RESTRICTING CYCLES ON THE 5/2 DIET). So, I reversed dieted to restore my basic metabolic rate.
On my first week of the reverse diet, I went from 800 to 1000 calories for 1 week. I then continued to increase 100 calories every week. When I got to 1300, my metabolism fired up and I lost 3kilos (that was a pleasant surprise). A few weeks into my reverse diet, I also decreased my cardio from 40mins daily to 30mins daily… and then to 30mins 3 – 4x a week.
I now eat 1700 calories a day – couple of hundred more when I exercise. I eat anything and everything I want within that calorie allowance, including carbs. My plan is to continue counting calories for the rest of my life to avoid the slow and steady increase of calorie consumption without realising it – this is what I find works best for me: to know how many calories my body needs and NOT to go over that.
POSITIVES: rapid weight loss. Learned to appreciate/like vegetables.
NEGATIVES: more info about maintenance for those of us who want consistency with our diets and don’t want to be subjected to never ending cycles of feasting vs restricting diets (e.g. the 5/2). Poor concentration after a few weeks of being on the diet. Very little/no energy. Keto flu. In MY VIEW: unrealistic diet (low carbs).
Anyway, I don’t know if my experience would help anyone – I hope it does, even if it’s to say ‘you know what, that’s exactly how I DONT want to do it… I’m doing the opposite’ :)). I wish you all nothing but the best with your weight loss journeys, and the next stage that comes after that hard journey is over, successfully keeping it off!!!!