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  Reply # 984928 12-Feb-2014 11:24 Send private message

NZtechfreak: I will say this "repair mode" talk smacks of pseudoscience and sets off my BS-ometer. On the fasting days the body will be in a catabolic state in which it consumes its own tissues to meet metabolic demands, and unfortunately the predominant tissue consumed in this state is protein as the body does not have stores of protein in the way it does fat and glucose (protein is contained primarily in muscle, which is not a storage tissue in the sense that the others I mentioned are). It may be this "repair mode" is a dumbed-down way of attempting to make some actual science accessible to laypeople, so I will look into it further (if for no other reason that I will need to discuss the diet with patients who enquire). None of this is to say that the diet doesn't work or is a bad idea per se, only to note that this rationale seems weak (the diet in essence looks to condense the usual daily hypocaloric intake recommended for weight loss into two days, achieving on average the same kind of calorie intake on over the course of a week, certainly I can see how this has adherence benefits). If I were to do this I would be taking care to ensure I was eating adequate high-quality protein amongst those 5-600 calories.


I'll have a read through the book and see if I can put proper language behind it. The idea is when there's plenty of energy the body creates new cells, when there's less it repairs existing ones. The TV show did all kinds of measurements of bloodwork, you may understand more of it than others.

I don't do weight exercises on fast days, as I want to minimise muscle loss. You can take supplements, I've read BCAAs are a good option - can't remember what it stands for, but it's amino acids. I do weight exercises on eating days.

It may just be pure calorie restriction that makes you lose weight, but it makes it easy to restrict calories. Moderate cardio exercise while fasted really does seem to help.




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  Reply # 984929 12-Feb-2014 11:25 Send private message

I practise a similar lifestyle. I fast 16 hours per day everyday so I only eat between 12pm and 8Pm. I also mainly eat paleo so no grains etc. On top of that I exercise quite a lot (running and CrossFit) and have a stand-up desk.

I have found lately that I can run 16-20k in the mornings while still in a fasted state with no issue and in fact I have posted some of by best times in this mode. You can switch your body from using carbs as fuel to using its stored fat so if you are fasting I would recommend doing some exercise as well to increase the burn.

As others have said, unless its something that you can keep up forever, as soon as you stop you will just put it all back on again.

My motto - train mean, eat clean, get lean.




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  Reply # 984933 12-Feb-2014 11:29 Send private message

nzkiwiman: I really need to get my a into g and get into something like this, and this thread helps a lot. Of course saying I am verses actually doing are two different things. My new sitting all day job is taking its toll on me - put on at least 10 (probably 15kg) in two years and my lower back is in crisis.


Do it. Don't tell people you "need" to do something, don't moan about it.

You don't have to spend money. You don't have to join a gym.

Go for a walk. It's summer. Make time.

I've been bitching about not being able to run any distance for years - I am now 5 weeks into a running programme i downloaded (couch to 10k).

Stop talking about it.



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  Reply # 984935 12-Feb-2014 11:32 Send private message

I find walking really effective exercise for fat burning, especially up hills or steps. I have a set of 200 steps up a hill near me that's create. I climb the height of the sky tower three times a week.




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  Reply # 984950 12-Feb-2014 11:40 Send private message

My sister-in-law lost 55kg in the last year. Some special diet involving droplets under the tongue . Sounded like rubbish to me but the results are amazing.

Although, she since abandoned the drops and now exercises 3 times a day and eats cruskits. It may yet become a problem at the other end of the scale but good on her.


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  Reply # 984975 12-Feb-2014 12:01 Send private message

timmmay: Like a lot of people who have sedentary jobs I pack on some extra weight from time to time. I've done all sorts of diets, Atkins (before I went vegetarian, very succesful), low GI (didn't help), raw food (vegan diet, worked great felt awesome but got sick of cold food especially in winter), calorie controlled (worked but slow), muscle building (increases metabolism, really helps), but I've finally found one that I think I can stick with.

There's a BBC Horizons documentary called "Eat, Fast, Live Longer", which is relatively easy to find online, eg on Vimeo. Michael Mosley (a doctor) tried a few fasting options, and in the end recommended one he calls "The Fast Diet" or "The 5:2" diet. The basic premise is by restricting calories to 1/4 of normal twice a week (500 calories for women, 600 for men) your body goes into "repair mode", fixes things (DNA, cancers, etc, in theory), grows new brain cells (because if you're hungry you clearly need to be smarter to find food), and you lose weight. There's more about it here, though there are better forums around. You can get the book he wrote too, it's here on Amazon (with GZ referrer tag), but honestly watching the documentary is enough and the book has nothing really that important in it.

The way I find easiest is to skip both breakfast and lunch on Mondays and Thursdays - busy days at work so you don't really notice, plus I get to work earlier and leave earlier :) While you can eat during the day I find it best to just have dinner - otherwise you're not really fasting, you're just eating small meals. You obviously have to eat good foods, ideally lower in sugar or carbohydrates, meat, veges, legumes, not so much fruit, grains, etc. A great way to track calories you eat and what you burn through exercise is My Fitness Pal.

Because of an upcoming event I'm doing alternate day fasting at the moment, and I'm having no problems with it. The first time you do it you get a bit hungry, and you do get an occasional pang, but all in all I was surprised how easy it was. Gentle exercise on fast days seems important, yesterday I did around 500 calories of exercise and ate 600 calories, so the net energy balance result is I effectively didn't eat yesterday. Since I wasn't eating all the energy has to be taken from fat - muscle doesn't seem to be burned. Your metabolic rate actually goes up slightly when you don't eat, the opposite of what people who say "eat six meals a day" think.  You obviously eat less calories, which I think is the main way it works, but I think there's some other effect going on to. If you eat to excess on the eating days you won't lose any weight, obviously.

I was put onto it by a guy at work, who lost quite a bit of weight over six months. My Mum's doing it, and has lost about 4kg in a month. I've lost about 6kg in six weeks, and I wasn't huge to start with - the bigger you are the faster you lose weight. I mentioned it to my doctor, who seemed happy with it, and said most people eat far too much and it's not a bad thing to be a bit hungry sometimes.

This is meant to be an informational post for people who might need a bit of help in this area. I'm not particularly interested in debates around whether or not it's a good idea, since it was recommended by a doctor and supported by my own doctor. Fasting is done by many cultures.


Yes friends in the UK tell me this diet has been all the rage (along with a variation where you eat what you like one day, then no more than 500 calories the  next and repeat that pattern) for a while now with whole offices doing it together, even!








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  Reply # 984995 12-Feb-2014 12:33 Send private message

crackrdbycracku: I'm doing this, started at the start of February. 

At first I thought 'Oh, good. I don't have to think too much because on non-fasting days I can do whatever I want'.

What I didn't realise was that fasting two days a week would actually change my relationship with food. I don't eat distractedly any more, I think about the extras such as butter on toast or dressing on salad and I know what hungry feels like for the first time in probably years (amazingly it hasn't killed me).

I've found my food intake on non-fasting days is down a lot because I'm thinking about what I eat more.

Possibly the craziest thing is that I'm enjoying food a lot more, probably because I'm thinking about what I eat more in a positive way.

I'd never tell anybody else to do it, do your own research and figure out what is best for you. But for me this is probably something I'll do for a long time yet. It isn't a diet which I'm looking forward to coming off eventually.  

More power to you Timmmay


Well done. My post mentioned that the fast days might overflow to better eating in the off days, which is exactly what you have said. I'm keen. Beer doesn't have calories eh? Say no, say no!

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  Reply # 985020 12-Feb-2014 12:57 Send private message

tdgeek: Beer doesn't have calories eh? Say no, say no!


As my primary school teacher put it: "you are only cheating yourself". 

I decided to combine my venture into Fasting with Dry February (not for dietary reasons but you know what December and January can be like) so it's party time for me and I am loving it. 

As I remember it a beer has about the same amount of calories as a coke, the difference is I don't know anybody who has sat down and drank a dozen cokes. Alcohol is pretty much out on fasting days, otherwise it's the usual thing ... moderation. Boring but there you go. 

I'm a beer and wine drinker, the way I do it is to drink small quantities of high quality (expensive, for me anyway) stuff. Kind of heading that way with food too. 

Check out the web and maybe consult a doc before starting. It is working for me but everybody is different. 




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  Reply # 985022 12-Feb-2014 12:59 Send private message

Alcohol basically prevents weight loss for me. Once a week absolute max. On my stag day I ate/drank around 7000 calories, four times more than usual. I'd be surprised if anyone can lose weight drinking more than a few drinks one day a week.

If you drink alcohol that has sugar in it (beer, rum and coke, etc) my understanding is the alcohol is used for energy first, so any sugar and food you eat is stored as fat.




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  Reply # 985024 12-Feb-2014 13:01 Send private message

timmmay: [snip] your body goes into "repair mode", fixes things (DNA, cancers, etc, in theory), grows new brain cells [snip]


Lost me right there. Quack.

I've lost 26kg in 14 months through calorie control and exercise. It's slow but building it around changing lifestyle to match what I eat with how much energy I burn has made it sustainable and I have never felt hungry or upset.

Cheers - N


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  Reply # 985025 12-Feb-2014 13:06 Send private message

timmmay: Alcohol basically prevents weight loss for me. Once a week absolute max. On my stag day I ate/drank around 7000 calories, four times more than usual. I'd be surprised if anyone can lose weight drinking more than a few drinks one day a week.

If you drink alcohol that has sugar in it (beer, rum and coke, etc) my understanding is the alcohol is used for energy first, so any sugar and food you eat is stored as fat.


Quick check, beer 5% 330 ml about 130 cals, woodie about 255 for a 375ml. That's 4.8% but I drink 7,s.

Puts it all into perspective, which is a great side effect from this diet. Education and awareness. At the end of the day, calories consumed = energy used is balanced. Plus proper protein etc.

A great thread Timmay!

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  Reply # 985034 12-Feb-2014 13:18 Send private message

Generally, alcohol is bad for you.

Aside from making you behave like an ass, giving you free calories, making you feel ill the next day AND costing a fortune, I am sure there are positives...;-)

Moderation is of course the key - although many people have a generous interpretation of the word 'moderation'!








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  Reply # 985037 12-Feb-2014 13:21 Send private message

My dad has been doing the 5:2 diet for around 6 months now and loves it. He's lost a good amount of weight, but also said he is enjoying food a lot more, and generally feeling better.

I laughed at him when he first told me he was doing it, and told him it wont work and he wouldn't last at it, but have to admit I seem to be wrong.

He said it's just normal for him now, he doesn't feel overly hungry on his fasting days, and doesn't feel like he's missing out or anything.




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  Reply # 985038 12-Feb-2014 13:22 Send private message

Geektastic: Generally, alcohol is bad for you.

Aside from making you behave like an ass, giving you free calories, making you feel ill the next day AND costing a fortune, I am sure there are positives...;-)

Moderation is of course the key - although many people have a generous interpretation of the word 'moderation'!


Yep! Beats me when you read all the stuff about drugs, yet there is a full aisle at Countdown for alcohol. And you are legally allowed to drink these drugs and drive, to a limit

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  Reply # 985040 12-Feb-2014 13:25 Send private message

ajobbins: My dad has been doing the 5:2 diet for around 6 months now and loves it. He's lost a good amount of weight, but also said he is enjoying food a lot more, and generally feeling better.

I laughed at him when he first told me he was doing it, and told him it wont work and he wouldn't last at it, but have to admit I seem to be wrong.

He said it's just normal for him now, he doesn't feel overly hungry on his fasting days, and doesn't feel like he's missing out or anything.


Has he also modified the non fast days? I bet he has to some degree which also reduces calorie intake over a week.

I feel that sustainability is the key,if the diet isn't harsh, you can grow into it, pun intended, so it can become a lowish effort lifestyle change over time

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