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5:2 fasting

cscmoniquecscmonique Member Posts: 1 Member Member Posts: 1 Member
Hello everyone! I just wanted to know; should I be eating my maintenance calories or cutting calories on the days that I'm not fasting? Would eating cutting calories be too much along with fasting?
Thank You in advance for any feedback.

Replies

  • Alyssa_Is_LosingItAlyssa_Is_LosingIt Member Posts: 4,696 Member Member Posts: 4,696 Member
    My understanding is that you're supposed to eat at maintenance on the non-fasting days.
  • mph323mph323 Member Posts: 3,550 Member Member Posts: 3,550 Member
    cscmonique wrote: »
    Hello everyone! I just wanted to know; should I be eating my maintenance calories or cutting calories on the days that I'm not fasting? Would eating cutting calories be too much along with fasting?
    Thank You in advance for any feedback.

    Definately eat at maintenance on non-fasting days. Your total weekly calories should equal the number MFP gave you for weight loss, plus all or some exercise calories. In the context of weight loss, the idea is to only have to deal with two days of severe calorie restriction in order to be able to eat a little more on the other days than would be possible if simply restricting the same amount of calories every day.

    edit for grammar
    edited February 2019
  • sijomialsijomial Member Posts: 18,875 Member Member Posts: 18,875 Member
    It's a seven day a week plan which involves eating at/around maintenance on the five days.
    If you picked the plan because it appealed to you then follow it, don't modify it.

    The two low calorie days are hard but sustainable (well at least they were for me - some people just detest it!) because you are going into a fasting day fully fueled and effectively only dieting one day at a time. Managing your hunger with the thought "it's just for one day, I eat normally tomorrow" is a powerful adherence tool.

    In MyFitnessPal terms you would set your daily goal to "maintain current weight" which will give you your five days maintenance goal but remember that number is for a non-exercise day. That goal is really nnnn + exercise calories. On the two fasting days you just eat up to 500 cals (for a woman) but don't add exercise calories.
  • SFJULES66SFJULES66 Member Posts: 168 Member Member Posts: 168 Member
    Hi! I just started 5:2, and yesterday was my first 500 cal day.
    What I've done is take my weekly total, subtracted my two fast days (2x500=1000) and divided up the balance by 5 for my non-fasting days.
    MFP wants me to have 9,800 cal/week - 1000 =8,800, divided by 5 = 1,760 calories on non-fasting days. Then I add exercise calories as necessary and eat those, too.
    I'm excited to try this approach because I really want days with room to eat more with friends or have a treat. Hope that helps!

    @sijomial -Is it a coincidence that my weight-loss calories equal my maintenance calories when I use this formula? I calculated this with a one pound a week goal.
    edited February 2019
  • TavistockToadTavistockToad Member Posts: 35,747 Member Member Posts: 35,747 Member
    SFJULES66 wrote: »
    Hi! I just started 5:2, and yesterday was my first 500 cal day.
    What I've done is take my weekly total, subtracted my two fast days (2x500=1000) and divided up the balance by 5 for my non-fasting days.
    MFP wants me to have 9,800 cal/week - 1000 =8,800, divided by 5 = 1,760 calories on non-fasting days. Then I add exercise calories as necessary and eat those, too.
    I'm excited to try this approach because I really want days with room to eat more with friends or have a treat. Hope that helps!

    Your maintenance is 1400?
  • sijomialsijomial Member Posts: 18,875 Member Member Posts: 18,875 Member
    SFJULES66 wrote: »
    Hi! I just started 5:2, and yesterday was my first 500 cal day.
    What I've done is take my weekly total, subtracted my two fast days (2x500=1000) and divided up the balance by 5 for my non-fasting days.
    MFP wants me to have 9,800 cal/week - 1000 =8,800, divided by 5 = 1,760 calories on non-fasting days. Then I add exercise calories as necessary and eat those, too.
    I'm excited to try this approach because I really want days with room to eat more with friends or have a treat. Hope that helps!

    @sijomial -Is it a coincidence that my weight-loss calories equal my maintenance calories when I use this formula? I calculated this with a one pound a week goal.
    @SFJULES66
    I think your maths are completely off to be honest or your goal is set up with a weight loss goal unless I'm misunderstanding you.
    Very much doubt your weekly maintenance calories would be just 9,800 unless you are maybe 4'6" and totally sedentary!

    Go to your set up and choose "maintain current weight" to get MFP's daily maintenance goal for a non-exercise day.
  • SFJULES66SFJULES66 Member Posts: 168 Member Member Posts: 168 Member
    Thanks for helping me understand this too.
    I am set up for weight loss, and I always thought that it was just a different way of spending your weekly calories. Because I still need a deficit to lose, I took my daily total for weight loss (1400) and calculated that way. BUT, my calories on non-fasting days are around what my maintenance calories would be on a normal day.
    I read Krista Varaday's book and I could have sworn that I was doing it right. I always assumed that if I ate at maintenance that I wouldn't lose.

    edited February 2019
  • TavistockToadTavistockToad Member Posts: 35,747 Member Member Posts: 35,747 Member
    SFJULES66 wrote: »
    Thanks for helping me understand this too.
    I always thought that it was a different way of spending your weekly calories. Because I still need a deficit to lose, I took my daily total for weight loss (1400) and calculated that way. BUT, my calories on non-fasting days are around what my maintenance calories would be on a normal day.
    I read Krista Varaday's book and I could have sworn that I was doing it right. I always assumed that if I ate at maintenance that I wouldn't lose.

    The 2 days at 500 cals creates the deficit
  • SFJULES66SFJULES66 Member Posts: 168 Member Member Posts: 168 Member
    @TavistockToad - Thank you. I didn't realize that. And thank you OP for the great question.
  • sijomialsijomial Member Posts: 18,875 Member Member Posts: 18,875 Member
    SFJULES66 wrote: »
    Thanks for helping me understand this too.
    I am set up for weight loss, and I always thought that it was just a different way of spending your weekly calories. Because I still need a deficit to lose, I took my daily total for weight loss (1400) and calculated that way. BUT, my calories on non-fasting days are around what my maintenance calories would be on a normal day.
    I read Krista Varaday's book and I could have sworn that I was doing it right. I always assumed that if I ate at maintenance that I wouldn't lose.

    I haven't read Varaday's book but thought her plan was alternate day fasting rather than 2 days a week fasting?

    (She and Michael Mosley had a bit of a falling out over him referencing her work when her protocol was different to his.)
  • SFJULES66SFJULES66 Member Posts: 168 Member Member Posts: 168 Member
    @sijomial - embarrassed to say I obviously wasn't doing this right. I read the book a year ago and I did mix them up, probably because I just watched Mosley's doc and she was interviewed. It's only day two, so no harm done.
  • sijomialsijomial Member Posts: 18,875 Member Member Posts: 18,875 Member
    @SFJULES66
    Happy to help.
    I found it really effective in achieving a reasonable weekly weight loss. I detest everyday calorie restriction - it just saps my willpower.
    There used to be a couple of 5:2 support groups on here but I think they went very quiet.
  • cmriversidecmriverside Member Posts: 31,811 Member Member Posts: 31,811 Member
    @sijomial

    I don't do 5:2, but could you please answer a question? Did you try to work out on those fasting days? I notice you said not to add exercise cals on fasting days.
  • sijomialsijomial Member Posts: 18,875 Member Member Posts: 18,875 Member
    @sijomial

    I don't do 5:2, but could you please answer a question? Did you try to work out on those fasting days? I notice you said not to add exercise cals on fasting days.

    @cmriverside

    Of course. At first my fasting days were my rest days and I would just go for a walk.
    On the 5 days I trained hard and being fully fuelled on those days really helped.

    But after a while I started to train on the fasting days too, at first it was really difficult and I blew my calories on a couple of fasts as I felt faint and had to eat. But over an extended period of time I progressively worked up to the stage where I could train normally (weights or cardio but wouldn't do very intense cardio), felt fine and no real impact on hunger, no harder to stay within my fast day calorie allowance either (notice I didn't say easy - just not harder ;))
    edited February 2019
  • pierinifitnesspierinifitness Member, Premium Posts: 2,231 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,231 Member
    cscmonique wrote: »
    Hello everyone! I just wanted to know; should I be eating my maintenance calories or cutting calories on the days that I'm not fasting? Would eating cutting calories be too much along with fasting?
    Thank You in advance for any feedback.

    Ask your question at the Intermittent Fasting group where there are a couple people who have mentioned doing 5:2. I'm an IF practitioner but do it "Steady Eddie" style trying to eat goal calories each day, adding to them 50% to 100% of exercise calories. Will be doing OMAD for Lent 2019 which starts next week.

  • Johnd2000Johnd2000 Member Posts: 198 Member Member Posts: 198 Member
    I ate at a moderate deficit (1800) for 5 days and 800 cals on my 2 “Hank Marvin” (rhyming slang) days for about 9 months. I lost rapidly, but couldn’t exercise at the time, so effectively I threw out a lot of muscle with the fat. I wouldn’t recommend that method unless it’s supported by strength training and extra protein.

    For the first year of maintenance, I ate what I wanted, but reintroduced the two 800cal fast days whenever I went over my preferred weight range. That also worked, provided I reacted quickly to small gains.

    These days I’m much more active and can lose weight easily on an average of 2200 cals. In practice, it turns out I’m eating a small deficit for 5 days and a small surplus for 2 days. I didn’t plan to do that, but it just worked out that way naturally.
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member Posts: 7,556 Member Member Posts: 7,556 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    @sijomial

    I don't do 5:2, but could you please answer a question? Did you try to work out on those fasting days? I notice you said not to add exercise cals on fasting days.

    @cmriverside

    Of course. At first my fasting days were my rest days and I would just go for a walk.
    On the 5 days I trained hard and being fully fuelled on those days really helped.

    But after a while I started to train on the fasting days too, at first it was really difficult and I blew my calories on a couple of fasts as I felt faint and had to eat. But over an extended period of time I progressively worked up to the stage where I could train normally (weights or cardio but wouldn't do very intense cardio), felt fine and no real impact on hunger, no harder to stay within my fast day calorie allowance either (notice I didn't say easy - just not harder ;))

    I have a friend who does 5:2 -- originally for weight loss, but she continues to do it at maintenance. She also started with the 2 days as rest days but found when she got used to it she could do her regular exercise on those days. She won't do long runs, but does do 3-5 mile light runs.
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