Thursday, February 07, 2013

5/2 diet - moving on from ADF

Following my previous post about beginning the alternative day fasting diet. I did alternate day fasting for two months and I didn't seem to lose a pound. I joined the facebook group for Alternate Day fasting and listened to people witterng on about how many pounds they had lost... but then I started to notice a pattern... a lot of the people who were losing weight were on the other version of intermittent fasting, doing only two days a week of fasting and eating normally the rest of the time. I decided to switch to the 5/2 diet. My reasons were that I would experiment to see if I lost more weight on the 5/2 diet rather than fasting every other day, and if I wasn't losing weight *anyway* on the alternate day fasting system, I could keep the health benefits of intermittent fasting without having to keep to 500 calories half the week. And amazingly, when I switched to two days a week instead of every other day, I started to lose weight. I've lost just over a stone and a half since I started this regime, in October. It seems to make no sense, as I am only fasting two days out of seven instead of three or four, but somehow it works. I've learned that I prefer to have a meal in the early evening rather than having my largest meal at lunch time - I found I was getting hungry in the night when I ate my largest meal at lunch time on fasting days. I find vegetable soup is very filling and make that on the fasting days I share with my mother. I have found that the fasting days make me appreciate food soo much more than I used to, and I don't go crazy on non-fasting days, but I do eat what I want. I have often found with other diets that my body seems to adapt to the calories control and I have to drop my intake to keep losing. That hasn't happened with this diet. I'm certainly getting used to the calorie restriction on fasting days, and it doesn't worry me to go all day with only a couple of apples before my evening bowl of soup. The brilliant thing about this diet is that instead of seeing an endless stream of days of restricted eating before you, you only have to tackle dieting one day at a time... and you can always tell yourself that you can eat what you like the following day. As *anyone* can put up with one day of dieting, this makes it an easy diet to follow. There'a an increasing number of websites, menu sites and support groups for this type of eating. Beware though! I have found quite a lot of recipes online which claim to stick to the calories limits and they so don't! You need to check the calories values for recipes that you find online. Everyone is different... some people find they prefer to have one meal in the middle of the day and know that they mustn't eat at all at any other time, others like me will have an apple for breakfast and an apple for lunch and then eat their main meal in the evening. It's whatever suits you best. It's hard to find good research to back up the things people are doing, because there are so many variables. Some animal tests have not allowed the animals unrestricted eating on non fasting days; some have fed their animals a very poor diet; some have made the animals fast completely on fasting days. There aren't many human tests available, and they have the same variables. However, I think that more and more research is likely to be done in this area, and if you are trying to lose weight gradually, it works very well indeed.