5/2 and 16:18 – how it works for me & weigh-in

A summary for anyone that is thinking about starting this.

Slow and steady is how I’ve done this.  I knew that if I became obsessive it wouldn’t work for me long term.  I’d like this to become a way of life. They say it takes 100 days to form a new habit.  I guess I’m there then with 5/2.

Most people are horrified at the idea of eating just 500 calories in a day (as was I), but I quickly discovered that you can get a decent amount of food out of it if you cut out meat and carbs.  Veggie and vegan food becomes your friend and eggs becomes your best friend. There are also plenty of easy options with Weight Watchers meals.

Initially I only did only 5/2.  Beyond eating 500 calories 2 days a week I changed nothing else, I eat and drank exactly the same on the other days. Gradually as the weeks went by I started to eat healthier on the week days and cut out beer/wine Mon-Thu.  Next step was to reduce take-aways and eating out but even now at week 18 we haven’t cut it out entirely.  You can read all about how I learned to cope with hunger on the previous blogs but what I learned during this period was coping with the feeling of hunger.  That it’s not the enemy I used to think of it as.  Unlike my expectation, hanger hasn’t been a huge problem.

At some point half way though I started to do pilates twice a week too. My goal is to increase that to three times a week.  A friend of mine is training to become a personal trainer and she re-intoduced me to my love of pilates.  I forgot how quickly your strength grows.  I’d like to start swimming too.

Next step was starting 16:8, Mon-Fri.  That was hard, is hard I should say.  To eat nothing for 16 hours after dinner and to last to between 10am and lunch proved harder than expected.  I’m still getting used to it I guess.  The first week was a killer.  As the week progressed it got harder.  I had a headache every day. I got more and more ravenous, freezing and struggled to concentrate.

Then I realised I wasn’t eating enough on the non fasting days.  Since then it’s become better.  This week has been much better.  It’s still hard though and yesterday morning I was screaming at the computer as I got asked yet another stupid question.  Luckily I work from home so no one heard me.  I only lasted 15 hours before I devoured a cup of Konjak Noodles (only 32 cals though) 

Up to this point I only had tracked calories on fasting days.  Then I discovered the TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) / BMR (basal metabolic rate) / BMI calculator which gives you a good idea of the number of calories to have on non-fasting days.  You can read more about it here.

So now I have started to track calories using MyFinessPal on the non-fasting days too.

But I still go out on the weekend and enjoy my beers. I don’t count calories on weekends – I just enjoy myself.  I couldn’t do this and cut everything out.  Some may roll their eyes and point out how much quicker I could lose weight if I didn’t.  However if I did it like that, it wouldn’t be sustainable for me.

So the Week 18 weigh-in:

  • Me down 0.3kg, total loss so far: 9.4 kg
  • Him down 1.6kg, total loss so far: 9.7kg

I’m a bit disappointed with only having lost 300g.  I had really hoped that I’d get under 10kg total weight-loss.  However the logical part of me also tries to remind me that growing muscle adds weight.

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