BG2: The haves and the have nots

As Blubbergeddon enters its second month, it is starting to become clear some people have committed, and others are struggling. ?For the people who are struggling, this is a time to review what you are doing. ?Do you still want to continue? ?If not, that’s ok. ? You may have liked the idea of losing some weight, but you’re obviously not committed to it right now. ?Be honest with yourself, and just quit. ?You can come back again later – there is no shame in it.

For those of you who are struggling and are committed, it must be getting frustrating to see the results being slim instead of you. ?If you’re still keen it may take a critical review of what you are doing. ?Obviously, it’s not working for you as well as it can, and you may need to tweak something.

What follows is my personal experience, and as I’ve said before, all our bodies are different, so even though this works for me, I’m making no guarantees it will work for you. ?You also need to fit it around your own lifestyle, which will be different from mine.

But the thing is that everyone can lose weight. ?It isn’t the body that’s refusing to do it. ?You can simply eat very little and you’ll lose weight. ?That’s not rocket surgery. ?The problem is in your head: ?how do you cope when you have physical and psychological demands on you every waking minute to EAT SOMETHING?

The 5:2 diet works. ?It works by “fasting” 2 days out of the week, and the other 5, you eat whatever you like. ?Of course, if you go bananas over those 5 days, the losses will be offset by your excessive eating. ?So the idea is to get the body to burn fat for 2 days a week, and you can relax and not beat yourself up for 5.

That seemed like a decent deal to me. ?Especially since it allows for you to have “bad days” without feeling you failed and your diet has gone to the dogs.

So here is what it looks like (for me) in practical terms. ?

I’ve cut out most sugars, bread, rice, pasta and potatoes. ? That’s just for any given day. ?Sure, I’ve had a McDonalds, and a coke, and the fries. ?But I can see the results in my data. ?It brings my weight loss to a screeching halt. ?On my binge day 2 days ago, I actually downed two boxes of rice crackers.

I have no breakfast. ?I do not eat until 12. ? This is on all days of the week. ? Some days, just to see if I could do it, ?I only had dinner, but that’s just doing it the hard way for very little additional gain.

On fasting days, I eat 2 eggs and 2 rashers of bacon, or two boiled eggs, or eggs and cheese. ?Low carb, high protein or high protein and fat. ? For dinner I’ll have the pasta sauce without the pasta, or some kind of meat and vegetables or salad. ?BBQs are brilliant here. ?Some roasted capsicum, courgette, onion, a piece of meat and salad. ?It’s a big meal, but the calories are pretty low.

Just doing that, on “fasting” days, kicks off ketosis and I’ll lose between half a kilo and a kilo in 24 hours.

But yes, it’s hard. ?So the next few days I don’t beat myself up as a reward. ?Have some jelly beans with the kids. ?Have a binge on cookies. ?Eat some sandwiches.

And this arrests the weight loss. ?Even though I don’t overeat on my days off, you can see the fat burning come to a halt. ?Here’s my graph.


Can you be hungry for one day a week, if you can eat normally for six? ? I bet you could give it a try. ? As you can see from the graph, you can just about pick the days when I fasted properly, and the days I cheated, and the days I wasn’t fasting at all.

Even so, with all the stalls and setbacks, I’m now 6kg lighter a month later. ?And I only “dieted” for about 8 days in that stretch.

What I think I have sort of settled on, is an “Atkins” (no carb) kind of day when I’m “fasting”, and just a low carb day when I’m not. ? But you can have a few days off too. ?As you can see on the graph, I plateaued twice. ?Once was when I was visiting my mum and the food was just too hard to say no to.

The 2nd plateau is more interesting. ?I was very busy doing physical labour for about a week – something kind of unusual for me… ?I didn’t fast, thinking that all the hard work would burn it off for me. ? And the result? ? I effectively lost no weight.

Fitness is important for other health reasons, but I would seriously recommend that if you don’t?like to be too physically active, you just cut back for the time being. ?You can sit in a chair, or lie in bed, and lose more weight than you can running around the neighbourhood for an hour or more a day.

I have become convinced weighing yourself daily is essential. ?You want to see a direct relationship between what you eat and what you weigh. ?Seeing your weight once a week will destroy that kind of feedback, and you have no idea what you can change to get back on track.

So. ?A month later, and you’ve lost less than a kilo. ?And I lost that in one day. ?Simply by eating 2 eggs and some cheese for lunch, two sausages and a large salad for dinner, and drinking water every time I’m thirsty or hungry. ? Just for one day.

The hardest part is to convince your brain you can do it. ? Give 5:2 ‘fasting’ a try for one day a week, then two days a week. ?It means that from 6pm on day one, you have only about 500-600 cals until 12pm on day 3. ?And you’ll be sleeping twice in that time.

To me, it feels like cheating. ? But as it works, so I’m not arguing. ? If you are having trouble getting started on your weight loss with your current method, give the 5:2 fasting diet a try. ? It works. ? But you will find that your brain is telling you it will be so hard not to eat. ?And you will find your stomach complaining for the first few times. ? You body has been used to easy energy for all of your life. ?Few of you have ever known true hunger.

(partial) Fasting isn’t even true hunger. ?But your body and brain will kick up storm. ? Once you master those impulses, KNOWING it’s only for ONE DAY, and the next 2 or 3 days you are back to eating normally, you can discover that it’s not as hard as you thought.

– Pete