Kate’s 5:2 Diet Success & Maintenance

My dear fellow FastDay-followers,

My apologies for being mostly a silent reader of the forum – the main reason being “being very busy at work”…. But, I owe you an update – and be it only to say thank you for the motivation and great insights I am still getting here!

I have been maintaining now for a year (I reached my goal weight of 62 kg in August 2014, just in time for my wedding – THE trigger for starting 5:2 in the first place!) and I am now, one year in, between 62 and 64kg, depending on form of the day. But I also do not care so much about the exact numbers, I measure myself mostly by dress size, and I am still a size 10. When I feel my jeans getting a bit tight I will make an effort and put in an additional fast day or eating window day, or also 2 (after a holiday) , and then usually I am back on track.

The biggest difference for me is that 5:2 has liberated me from the feeling of being a perpetual victim of dieting! Before 5:2, I would either diet (=be miserable), or not diet but then already know that I would regret it later, thus “be miserable in advance”. I couldn’t remember when was the last time that I had really fully enjoyed a meal, a party, a nice romantic dinner without feeling guilty – or miserable.

All the things I wrote in my first post, last year, about being delighted with this WOE are still true, thus I won’t repeat them here fully.

Instead, let me rather share my experiences with maintaining the weight.

First I tried to maintain with a strict 6:1, but that did not work. The weight would not stay off. So I knew I had to do something more drastic, like going back to 5:2, and because I had read so much about Cortisol (thanks to @carorees for making me aware!), I knew I had to control it. I really do love my job – but it often has pikes of crisis situations, where even if my brain knows that it is “business as usual”, my body still produces the adrenalin and here we join the jolly circle of “cortisol increase>stop-fat-burning-and-start-piling-it-up-at-the-tummy”… I also know I am very sensitive to carbohydrate, I need to keep an eye on it. I don’t make an effort to eat low-carb all the time, but on my fasting days – which I try to do consecutively now – I eat no carbohydrates (except for those included in vegetables or milk) and nothing that would trigger insulin. So I have a very boring Mondays and Tuesdays, with lots of tea and some coffee, but no food during the day (only dinner), and no insulin-triggers.

After that, I am “reset” – and then eat “whatever I want” for the rest of the week – but of course you all  know that what you want has changed as well: less quantities of food, less sugar. I don’t observe TDEE consciously – mostly because I love the simplicity of 5:2 and cannot handle all the data and numbers all the time. I want to keep it simple for me, and the routine I found now seems to allow me to do it.

If I feel that my 2 days were not enough – or I gave up on the evening of the 2nd day, I will try and have some more “eating window”-days during the week, depending on social obligations. I just love the flexibility which I have with 5:2, or intermittent fasting, since my “mix-and-match” isn’t really strict 5:2 anymore.

In summary: I lost 8 kgs with 5:2, over a year (2 days of 500 kcal and 5 days of TDEE-watching), and now maintain with a mix of 5:2 (2 days of 500kcal low carb, and 5 days “eat whatever”) and eating windows on some of the other days. Sometimes I struggle, but so far have always managed to get back on track.

Greetings and much fasting success to you all.

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