Weight Loss NHS
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Following 5-2 eating plan

Hi everyone, am now on week 3 with Tuesday and Friday fasting days. Figured this would be easier for me as I have tried counting calories in past but eventually found it all too much of a faff. First 2 weeks were not easy but yesterday passed without any great angst. However, have now discovered that, because of my age and activity level I am only allowed 1602 cals as maintenance. Has any other 'oldie' had to cope with this? So it looks as if I will have to count calories on the 5 non-fast days or perhaps the easier option would be to cut out lunch altogether and just enjoy breakfast and supper. Also I gave up my beloved wine for Dry January but it looks as if suppers will now be wineless! All this to improve my arthritic hip. Hey-ho.

9 Replies

It is good that you are following the 5:2 diet. I'm not young, but I just followed the basic diet without worrying about calorie counting on the non-fast days. What I did find was that I naturally started eating healthy but tasty meals such as Chicken Stew with Dumplings or Mexican Wraps with Guacamole etc on non-fast days.

I recently watched the BBC Horizon program called 'The Right Diet'.


It may be worth looking at this to work out the diet that is most suitable for you.

When I did the test , I was a 70% 'Constant Craver' and 20% 'Feaster' and 10% 'Emotional' so the recommended diet from this programme was Intermittent Dieting.

Luckily, I have been following the 5:2 diet so I tend to look for good filling low calorie meals for my fast days and then eat normally on the other five days. My overall calorie intake for the week is reduced due to the reduced calories on the fast days (Monday and Thursday) and I was able to loose the weight I wanted to and generally been able to maintain that weight since. On other diet regimes I always put the weight back on when I stopped the 'diet' as I didn't really change my 'lifestyle'.

The reason Monday seems to be a good fast day for me is that it was to allows me to deal with any excesses I may have had over the weekend and psychologically gives me a fresh start to motivate myself for the week.

Good luck with your diet. My recommendation would be to stick with the normal 5:2 diet for a few more weeks and only try changing things if you are not loosing any weight. Hopefully you will just loose the weight like I did!


Thanks for the advice. Out of curiosity I did track my calories yesterday and found that I was just over 1300. I have found that my appetite is lower the day after a fast day.

I too watched the Horizon programme and took the test to discover that I could easy identify with all catagories.

Am following advice and only measuring myself once a month and weighing once a fortnight so have no idea how much I have lost so far.

Time will tell!


I was 62 when I started the 5:2 Diet and my TDEE was 1647 calories (http://thefastdiet.co.uk/how-many-calories-on-a-non-fast-day/) so I tried to stay under that on non-fasting days.

I never eat breakfast now as it always made me more hungry for lunch, so on non-fasting days I have lunch and dinner and on fasting days I just have dinner. I did try and count on MFP each day, but generally I tried to stay mindful of what I was eating, with my low TDEE in mind. I lost three stone in six months so it worked. I'm on a very small budget so wine (I love wine!) tends to be a rarity but I do go to Wine Club each month. :)

The latest BBC Horizon referred to a different kind of fasting, with two consecutive days at 800 calories and a Mediterranean diet the rest of the time, so I wouldn't call that fasting at all. I always tried to stick to under 500 on Tuesdays and Thursdays (sometimes Saturdays as well) mindful that technically I should have been nearer 400.


Thank you so much for sharing your experience. You don't say how long ago you reached your target and whether you have had any trouble with maintenance so I hope your success continues.

I don't think I could drop down to 400c but am considering trying 4:3 as I do need to be fitter for a rather energetic Scottish holiday in March. This is my short term incentive.

I have just finished reading the revised Fast Diet and found Dr Michael Mosley's comments interesting and food for thought especially the health implications. I feel that, if I can stick to it, this diet will give me the best chance of long term ongoing success.


I reached my target weight in April 2013 and have maintained since then by just fasting one day a week. I weigh myself once a week and then can do an extra fast day if I've gained, such as the current post-Christmas extra poundage. ;) Like you, I try to lose a bit more before a holiday so I can forget about it altogether for two weeks, eat, drink and be merry, and then it doesn't take me long to lose the few pounds I've gained. I still run on holiday so that helps and if you're going to be energetic in Scotland you may find you don't gain too much.

Personally I prefer Kate Harrison's book The 5:2 Diet, but naturally I have Michael's as well.

I read this this morning, though it's rather a jaundiced view theguardian.com/lifeandstyl... and I've never had a 'wind-tunnel face' from fasting!

Here I am in the Daily Mail on 7th January tinyurl.com/m7rqecq. The other two ladies’ stories are inspiring!


Wow! What success stories and what an inspiring article. Here's hoping I can eventually achieve similar results.

Interesting if somewhat one-sided Guardian article. Wind-tunnel face, hmm. Last year I visited my 3 year younger sister in Canada. She has always been slim and super energetic (I am much more laid back hence weight problem) but I was surprised to see that her face was far more lined than mine. She commented on this and said that you choose between face or body and, unfortunately,she had never been given the choice. It could of course be down to climate but she has always been ultra careful about using sun protection. I will be keeping a close eye on the mirror!

I have Kate Harrison's 5:2 Recipe Book but, after your comments, I arranged for her diet book to be sent to my tablet and look forward to reading it over the next couple of weeks.

It is very reassuring to read that you have not had any difficulty with maintenance. I feel that I have a better chance of 5:2 becoming my life long way of eating than any of the many diets I have tried in the past.

p.s. You look great and nowhere near your age!

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It's interesting how we all approach the 5:2 diet in different ways. I too am on week 3, 57 and lucky enough to be retired and I've lost 3kgs so far. I am following the approach from the Horizon programme and have Monday and Tuesday as my restricted days.

Restricted days - I don't have any carbohydrates and have had more or less the same meals so far. Bacon ( a bit and lean) and tomatoes, veg or tomato&lentil soup and stirfry with a few prawns or chicken but lots of veg. Then a boiled egg, yoghurt, soup and then a huge bowl of salad and some chicken or prawns. I save fruit for the evening as it is a tricky time for me. I have to save celery and light phili cheese for my snack on Tuesday night as I am beginning to fade a little.

The five days - I am trying to do as they suggest and follow a healthy diet as that's what I need my natural habits for eating to be when I have shifted my weight. I add the calories up at the end of the day sometimes to see if I am on track, generally I'm ok. I have probably tried so many blinking diets in the past that I have an awareness of what's in the products. I am having wine, nowhere near as much (at the moment!!!) and red if I can.

My exercise level is better than it was and I am walking more, I aren't doing any other exercise.

I guess I will hit a plateau at some point and then I will have to review it and probably reduce my calories somewhere, but for now it's steady and ok and I'm determined. I'm fed up of being fat, chunky, unfit and unhealthy.

Which day of the fasting is easier for you?

Keep going...we'll get there.


Hi Gillian

Thank you for replying to my post. It is good to find someone who is at the same stage although I fear you are handling it better than me. I had 28lbs to lose at the start and don't know what I have lost as I am only weighing myself every 4 weeks to reduce the angst of the everyday pluses and minuses.

I am really impressed by your fast day menu. I'm not sure how you manage to squeeze such a variety of food into 500 calories. Like you I have stuck to much the same food - porridge and tbs fat free natural yog for breakfast, eggs, grilled tomatoes and crispbread for supper. This plus milk for coffee (tried and failed with black) is only just doable for calories allowed. Yesterday I was not at all hungry at breakfast time so decided to delay first meal. I then had such a busy day that supper time arrived before I knew it so ended up eating only one meal. Strangely I was not ravenous this morning. Can stomachs shrink so quickly?

I walk as much as I can, also Nordic walking on a Saturday morning though this will increase as the weather improves.

I am currently fasting Tuesdays and Thursdays as those are the days I am most busy. Although I am retired I do some volunteering.

I will let you know my weight loss next Thursday but don't expect it to be anything like yours. At the moment I am resisting the lure of red win - how long that holds out is anybody's guess.

You haven't mentioned how much weight you are hoping to lose.

Keep up the good work!


Hi Lillias. I think you are doing the 'true' 5:2 approach. I have taken mine from the Horizon programme which suggests 600 to 800 calories on the fasting days and I think then you have less on the five other days. I was 80 kgs when I began and I have to get to 66 to be in the healthy bracket - and that's the first figure. If I get to that...hmmm when I get to that...I will be delighted. It sounds like a similar amount.

I live in France and it has poured down this week so not much walking. I tried skipping in the garage but I just couldn't keep going. I do feel better though and, you know, I think your stomach does shrink.

Good luck for the weigh in, can you tell with your clothes?


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