I’ve been doing the fast 800 for 5 weeks and have lost a stone. It worked amazingly at first and I was loosing about a pound a day. For the last few weeks I’ve still been loosing but only just – about 1-2 ounces per day. I haven’t changed anything and thought I must be reaching a plateau. I spent the last three days ramping up my exercise and increasing the time that I fast between meals (I was fasting from about 8pm-12pm each day and started to wait until 2pm for my first meal instead.) But yesterday I gained. Just a little to be honest – 2 ounces – but I’d really worked hard burning those calories! So a friend today suggested I take a break. She reminded me that the book cites people who took breaks as having done better than those who just ploughed on. As a result, I’ve just spent the last three hours (I did wait until 12pm!) eating… Not unhealthy eating but large quantities and not calorie counted. I don’t really have a plan now for my “break” and I feel a bit sick. In fact, I ate two pieces of “healthy” banana bread (it had apple puree instead of sugar) and nearly puked! Can someone advise me? I’m not going to beat myself up but there is a part of me that is worried that I’ve just undone everything I worked so hard for. There must be a good/perhaps more controlled way of taking a break from the diet? Or maybe I should just jump back on the 800 again right now and not eat for the rest of the day?
We have not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you are have any health related symptoms or concerns, you should contact your doctor who will be able to give you advice specific to your situation.
Hi Kickyfoot! As someone who has been following this lifestyle for 3 yrs, I would have to respectfully disagree with the advice
you have received from your friend. This process is a marathon and not a sprint, and to be successful, you must begin
to look at food in an entirely new way. There is nothing at all to be gained from taking breaks. The way to break through
a plateau is to take a careful look at your macros. Usually tweaking these will get the scales moving again. There is
a great deal of wisdom and knowledge to be found here, so if you could more specific, I think we can help 🙂
Hi Kickyfoot. Interestingly, there have been quite a few comments here recently on the more active topic threads about focussing on scales as a way to measure “success”, and many deciding that they would step away from the scales and focus on other benefits of this way of eating; better fitting clothes, better blood sugars; generally more energy etc. You really should not get worried about a “gain” of 2ozs. Did you measure yourself when you started? That is just as reliable, if not possibly better indication, of how your body is responding – to what as Allie says is a long term choice. Maybe you should limit weighing yourself to say twice a week; or just the once? And do also consider inches, which can melt away with no movement on scales (as has been stressed, muscle and healthy bones are heavier than fat!). And definitely don’t beat yourself up about blips. All best.
Thank you alliecat and sixturkeys for your replies. 🙂 Before I read the Fast800 I had always held the belief that it was dangerous to stop eating for long periods of time because when you did start eating again, your body would lay down the food as fat deposits to store for later as it “thought” there might be a shortage of food. I think I was afraid that after 5 weeks my body has got used to eating so much less and started storing the food as fat. I’m sure none of this makes sense but I think someone told me that years ago and it stuck. I was so excited that I was literally waking up each morning 1lb lighter than the day before, it was very frustrating when I went to loosing just 1-2 lbs per week. I have always eaten what is called the Mediterranean style diet so it was quite easy to adapt as I just had to measure out my ingredients and control the portions. 1/4 tbsp olive oil instead of 1, 1/4 avocado instead of a whole/1 egg instead of two etc. I increased the proportion of greens and other vegetables on my plate. I gave up drinking three months ago so I don’t need to worry about that anymore (although I do have non alcoholic wine and beer as a treat on the weekends sometimes.) I’m 43, have three small children and have always struggled with my weight. I’m doing this for a number of reasons: to be a good example for my kids, to be strong and healthy and live longer so I can be around for them!, to give me more energy and to boost my confidence. I’m already feeling amazing having lost a stone (approx. 6.3 kg). My whole life I’ve felt embarrassed of my body and really want this to work. I have one more stone to loose to get to my ideal weight. I think, like you said alliecat, this is a marathon and not a sprint so maybe I should be happy with loosing less weight per day than I was at the beginning. I imagine it might be normal? Do others slow down like this?
Congratulations on giving up the alcohol, Kickyfoot. That’s a big step! Our liver has to deal with that first, before we get
back to fat burning. I lost 140lbs over a period of 10 months, and I would say that my rate of loss was fairly average,
after the first 2 weeks when the 1 lb. per day is mostly water. I was very strict with the carbs, just under 20g per day, and
once I began that, I was averaging about .5lb a day the entire time. We are all different though, so be patient with your
self. Your pattern may be to remain the same wt for several days, and then lose 2 lbs. overnight. Just stick with it, and
you will see results. Best to you!
Hi Kickyfoot, you have done so very well! It sounds as though you are on the way to good health, and ultimately, to a weight that is comfortable for your body.
I agree with Allie, that it is best to try to stay on course. Your friend isn’t doing you any favours by suggesting a “break” from the BSD.
It would be better to think of it as staying ON the BSD but having a few more calories for a day or two.
To that end, the banana bread is a nightmare choice — applesauce is just sugar once your body breaks it down into its component parts. So you had an insulin spike to deal with all that sugar and you felt yucky because your body has gotten used to less sugar.
But no harm done — don’t worry — you have not done any long term damage to your efforts. Just start again. At the next meal get back on the wagon and don’t even think that you “blew it”. It takes a lot more to “blow it” and it’s NEVER TOO LATE, repeat, NEVER TOO LATE, to get back to healthier choices.
This is a great moment however, to think about giving up even more simple carbohydrates — it’s not just the appplesauce in your bread, it’s the refined flour as well. Your body doesn’t know the difference between table sugar and simple carbohydrate — your body metabolises it all the same.
All simple carbohydrate triggers an insulin response — and insulin is your “fat storage hormone”.
Insulin also has a horrifying effect on appetite because it clears your bloodstream of blood sugar (packs it away in your fat cells). That’s it’s role, to prepare the body for more incoming food, but when it does that, it leaves you with LOW blood sugar, which triggers your appetite.
Can you get a copy of Gary Taubes book, “Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It”? It is my and Allie’s absolute best recommendation as a companion book to the BSD. It gives you (in easy understood form) the science behind the recommendation to eat low carb/ high (healthy) fat.
Hi alliecat and Californiagirl, I just wanted to thank you both for responding to my post again and thank you for the encouraging words! I “lost” this website for a bit which is why I hadn’t responded (thought I’d signed up on theFast800 website and couldn’t login – silly me). I’m so glad I haven’t lost this forum though as I know I’m going to need the support to get me through to my goal weight. After the banana bread incident 🙂 I went back to my 800 and was very meticulous about counting calories and what those calories were made up of. One of the things I’d been ignoring was the milk (oat milk) in my coffees which was more than I thought. I have now gone back to loosing my 4 ounces per day. (I find it motivating to weigh every day even if it’s only a tiny amount of loss.) I’ve resigned myself to the slow rate of loss as I should still reach my goal by the end of July if I continue. However, for father’s day, I over ate again and gained 3lbs overnight. I know I messed up and can loose it again but I am wondering what happens when I get to my ideal weight as it seems that I’ll have to continue on 800 calories for the rest of my life just in order to maintain. I’m already doing the TRE and can imagine happily continuing with that but can anyone offer any hope for life after reaching my goal? I was just hoping I could relax on all the weighing and measuring after that so long as I eat healthily…?
Hi Kickyfoot — there is light at the end of this tunnel! You will NOT have to restrict yourself forever and you WILL be able to eat to a point where you feel full and satisfied.
HOWEVER, there’s one caveat — it will depend on your staying low carb (probably less than 50 grams per day of carbohydrate) — so going back to old eating habits and sugar and refined flour and a lot of bread and other carbs will cause trouble and start the weight gain again.
BUT, ANOTHER HAPPIER “HOWEVER”, is that your tastes are absolutely going to change as you continue low carb eating and you will not WANT to stuff yourself with the “carbage”.
In his book, “Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It”, Gary Taubes notes that when people follow a low carb diet for a period of time, they can literally state that they lose their appetite for sugar (all carbs turn into sugar in your body) OVERNIGHT — this happened to me and Allie has mentioned it too and I bet there are a lot more BSD’rs that have also experienced it — you LOSE your desire to eat carbohydrates. It is a fascinating phenomenon and I didn’t believe it for one second until I experienced it myself.
For me it probably took about a year of low carb eating — not “perfect” low carb eating, but just going back to it again and again and again. At first you will notice how sick eating junky carbs makes you feel (you already had that happen) and then more and more you will seek out real healthy food and then suddenly, like a lightbulb, you won’t want the carbs.
At that point, you can eat to fullness with healthy low carb choices. I am only truly hungry now just before a mealtime — but I know that just a few walnuts or a piece of salami or a small square of cheese will immediately calm me down as I prepare the meal.
It’s not that I don’t like the taste of carbs — they taste good still, but I just don’t want them. The power of the sugar is gone and I truly think of it as freedom.
I have struggled my whole life and now I realise I had high background levels of insulin my whole life and my family ate wrongly for MY body type. They were not insulin resistant (I was the chubby daughter) but I WAS. So the family diet was all wrong (toast with jam and orange juice for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, potatoes and rice with dinner, cookies and ice cream for dessert).
Then as an adult I adopted the low-fat mantra and stuffed myself with pasta, whole grains, brown rice, cracked wheat, cereals, lots of fruit — I thought I was SO healthy!
What a change when I went low carb! I felt like a grease-eating pig — eggs and cream and meats for breakfast, salads and meats and nuts, avocado, cheese and olive oil salad dressing for lunch, fatty fish or meats and green veg with butter and more nuts for dinner).
But now that seems so normal and my body and my brain are so happy! And I eat as much as I want and I feel full.
Finally, I also think my metabolism has soared on this way of eating. I rarely feel cold, I have a lot of energy — I think eating low carb “resets” your metabolism (likely due to insulin control).
i like your advice and suggestion. I agree with you. Thanks for sharing
Kickyfoot: Please read ‘The Fast 800’ book again including all the troubleshooting. There are three stages which we are encouraged to select from and to move between as needed. The initial Fast 800 stage, the 5:2 intermittent fasting stage and the maintenance stage.
Furthermore the low calorie recipes all have adaptations denoted “MORE SUBSTANTIAL” and “NON-FAST DAY”. For example ‘Speedy Chinese Salmon Stir Fry’ (p.210) recommends we “double the salmon portion, add a portion of wholemeal or soba noodles, scatter over 1tbsp toasted sesame seeds and a handful of cashew nuts” on non-fast days.
Being a balance of protein (fish/ nuts/ seeds), healthy fats (fish/nuts/seeds), fibre (noodles/ nuts/ seeds) and carbs (noodles) this recipe should not have the same negative impact on your body as carbohydrate-heavy (apple puree/ banana/ flour) banana bread.
‘Instant’ weight loss and ‘instant’ gain are likely to be changes in hydration due to the body holding onto more water when loaded up with carbohydrate fuel and/ or mineral salts. One to two pounds a week is completely normal for ongoing fat loss; if you continued to lose large amounts of weight it would be most likely lean tissue and water, not all fat. Again please do re-read ‘The Fast 800’ book.
Dr M also talks about intermittent dieting – yes, just read it in the Fast 800 – where you can diet on the 800 for 2 weeks and then go Med for 2 weeks (keeping it sensible) then back onto the diet. There were stats about men losing more than the ones who were on a 8 or 12 week plan. Theory, they got fed up with it and cheated whereas the 2 on 2 off were more relaxed about the off phase and more accepting of the on phase so stuck to it better.
These results are very interesting, Sunshine. Did you read them in the new book? I’ve always found that the BSD has
a lot of flexibility built into it. As I’m sure you know, taking an “all or nothing” approach is what worked for me most
effectively, though. It’s a damned nuisance being a perfectionist! Has your pool come up to reasonable temperature?
I like to think of you doing laps each day 🙂
I guess I must disagree with the above poster. I spent 10 months losing .5lb per day, and I haven’t lost muscle mass or
lean tissue. It’s been a fascinating journey discarding 140lbs, and keeping it off for 2 years. I do spend more $$$ on
clothing and accessories now, though. 🙂 I feel like a silly teenager again!
I wonder if the Intermittent dieting idea was more successful because it prevented a drop in metabolic rate from calorie counting while insulin levels are to high to allow the body to access fat stores. – I think the greatest looser program runs for 6 months for the winner, so its reasonable to presume that a 12 week program would have some effect.
I have wondered if the new book is more accurate on carb counts and talks more about ketosis. – But haven’t been curious enough to buy the book. – I do think that Allie’s experience demonstrates the importance of getting carbs low enough consistently.
Hi all, Allie the pool has today reached 25 deg but we are forecast for storms for the next 2 days so we are going to keep it covered to keep the heat in and from Saturday we have wall to wall sunshine – around 30 to 35 degree so I will definitely swimming then.
Back to the intermittent dieting- it is in the new Fast 800 book – page 145 and is called the Matador study. It involved 47 male volunteers so no women (and there would be differences due to fat ratios etc) and they followed a 16 week low cal diet with half dieting on and off for 2 week period. It does not mention the calorie count but says the intermittent group returned to ‘balanced’ eating for the 2 weeks they were off, so no binging. At the end of the 16 weeks the full term dieters lost average of 9kg with the intermittent losing 14kg – note, it does not say if that was per person or across the whole group. 6 months after they had stopped the diet experiment the constant dieters had put back nearly all the weight and the others didn’t – the final figures was 3kg for the full time dieters and 11kg for the intermittent – again he doesn’t say if it is per person – I suspect not. Also the ones who took 2 weeks off lost more fat and maintained more muscle which, as allie suggested, kept their metabolic rate up throughout the experiment. The intermittent dieters were burning an extra 390 cals per day even when not on the diet. The lead researcher, Prof Amanda Sainsbury (Uni of Sydney) said it was consistent with how long a person could stick to a full on diet – 10 to 14 days. When you come off the diet when you are not supposed to i.e. ‘cheat’ you are more likely to eat badly whereas the intermittent ate strictly for the 14 days knowing they could eat reasonably so didn’t get tempted to ‘cheat’ during the diet stage and more likely to be sensible during the ‘off’ plan stage. But this was a very small study and a further study is currently being carried out with a bigger number and including women (by the Uni of Tasmania). Interesting.
It IS very interesting, Sunshine! None of this “science” is static, and new variables are being introduced all the time. Whatever
we are trying to achieve, we need it to be sustainable….I need to check my local lending library to have a look at this most
recent book. Thanks loads for explaining this new study to me, I appreciate it! Enjoy your maiden swim for both of us 🙂
Hi kickyfoot – sounds like we’re in similar situations, I’m 45 with 2 young kids. I also lost quite rapidly in the beginning, but then found I was going up and down a fair bit, and overall my weight loss slowed down considerably. I was pretty shattered one day when I jumped on the scales the morning after a day eating 100% to plan, doing a fast swim session with HIIT and a yoga class…only to find I’d put on half a kg!
But I listened to the advice on this forum that it’s not all about the scales and just kept plugging on. I try to look at the overall trend and not get too disheartened on the days when the scales go up. I have some trousers and jeans that had been too small for me, and when I have a “bad” day on the scales, I try them on and often they are fitting better. I did try only weighing myself once a week, but found that made me more likely to “cheat”.
I too worry though that this diet isn’t sustainable, in that I’ll get to my goal weight (still about another 6kg) but as soon as I “relax” my eating a bit then I’ll start piling it back because I’ve gone into “starvation” mode. I don’t find Michael Moseley’s evidence completely convincing in this area. He primarily points to a study where people fasted for 84 hours and their metabolic rate actually increased. But this really doesn’t talk to the longer-term effect of a very low calorie diet.
This fear isn’t helped by the fact that last week I came down with a virus and relaxed a little – nothing extreme, a couple of pieces of toast, a few squares of dark chocolate and more greek yoghurt than usual….and put on a kg overnight. It’s taken over a week to get back to my original weight.
I too am quite happy eating low carb, but I would like to be able to include more pulses and occasional wholegrains for variety and my gut health. I am also very hungry quite often on this diet (to the point where I get cranky with the kids etc), so I am keen to get back to eating a few more calories!! In the end, though I haven’t lost as much weight as quickly as I’d have liked (or compared too others), I feel like I’m a lot healthier and more positive about my eating and my weight than a couple of months ago, so I’ll just keep plugging on and experimenting with what works for me! Best wishes, vivagee