Diet idea

Hi there, fellow weight shedder. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've heard that extreme low calorie diets that take place over long periods of time are ultimately damaging, because they can somehow negatively affect your metabolic rate.

I'm 189cm tall, and I weigh 180kg as a 23 year old male, it's it's enough for me to consume the recommended 2000 - 2500 kcals to start losing weight. To prevent the onset of any sort of illness, such as type 2 diabetes, I'd still like to somehow expedite the weightloss process (don't we all?). What I propose is a programme where one eats normally (ie 2000 to 2500 kcals a day) for a month, and then one switches to fasting mode and consumes around 1200 kcals a day for a month. The length of these periods may be adjusted (maybe down to 1 week?) This would continue until the desired weight is achieved.

Surely I could boost my weight loss rate with these intermittent periods of near starvation without damaging my body (or damaging it too much anyway)?

Would appreciate if someone could confirm that I can go ahead with this or explain to me why it doesn't work.



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20 Replies

  • I starved for about forty days a d I lost at first but then stayed the same for several weeks. It only went down again once I ate enough. Every time I try that I gain it all back and have more fat than before. Your body goes into starvation mode and preserves the fat to live and you come out worse for it. I have heard of fasting for a few hours to days but not sure that's effective either. Good luck. Just go for the sure thing, slow and steady. People here have lost tons that way and it won't come back so easily.

  • Hey, thanks for the reply. I'm just trying to understand the mechanism behind it. Maybe it's worth bringing down starvation mode to around 2 weeks or something? Hmm.. .

  • I think some fasting is reasonable. Some people do that and hopefully will respond.

  • Hi Onyx2 and welcome.

    I can only concur with everything that Melhall has said and the last line sums it up succinctly "People here have lost tons that way and it won't come back so easily".

    My short term experience (7 months) is that there is no 'quick' weight loss regime that leaves you in a good shape to sustain that weight loss at the end of it.

    I appreciate that you're aware of the weight you've got to lose but the only plan that I'm aware of that includes some form of starvation, is the 5:2 diet (and similar derivatives). However, this is still only a method for losing weight at a sensible rate and not a quick fix.

    1 - 2 pounds of weight loss a week is thought to be a safe and sensible amount and it quickly adds up. Try not to look at the end of the journey but break it down into small trips such as knocking your bmi down by 1 point or your first 5kg or some other achievable mini goal.

    If you haven't already, take a look at the NHS 12 week plan. A large number of people here have used it to good effect (me included).

    All the best!

  • Hiya.

    I agree with the others. Maybe you can intermittent fasting? You eat in a 4-6 hour window each day, I've heard it can be beneficial for those with diabetes. I'm not entirely sure, though.

    I am intermittent fasting. It seems very popular at the moment. If you want to try out fasting, that's one method I'd recommend that you look into more, because it seems the safest out of all the options of fasting, and it's not that big of a disruption to your normal eating pattern. It'll allow you to transition easily on and off this eating pattern. Hell, it may even be a better way to wean yourself into other methods of fasting. It's unlikely to trigger 'starvation mode' if you eat your recommended amount of calories.

    Don't take my word for it, though. I'm not the most educated on it. I'd look into that more!

  • Hi,

    This idea is put into the 5:2 diet, which has a period of fasting and then reduced calories for two days. This method of dieting has been found beneficial to weight loss and heath.

  • I'm going to do intermittent fasting on the weekdays, then I'll try that on the weekends. Then I'll report my results in my weekly experimentation posts.

    Edit: Hmm, after researching, maybe not. I'll have to look into it more.

  • Hello onyx2 and welcome to the Weight Loss Forum

    Firstly, I would not recommed fasting (or such a VLCD) for a month, I'm not a health professional but it doesn't sound healthy to me. We are all different and some find the 5:2 diet works well for them, but in order to maintain a any weight loss whatever you decide to do has to be sustainable long term.

    Here are a few suggestions on how to get the most out of the forum. Please note if you are using the new HU App many of these features are not available so I suggest you use the full website version.

    The first place to look is at the Pinned posts section to the right of your screen (bottom if you're using a mobile), read the Welcome Newbie thread first and move through to the challenges, where we hope you'll find at least one that will appeal to you. Move down to the Topics, to find a variety of threads, collated into specific topics for ease of access and we ask that you also 'file' your own threads, so that others won't miss your important news

    Have a look at the NHS 12 week plan, as many people have had success with it. Also use the BMI checker to find your target calories, it's important to eat enough. This was a major turning point for me, realising I could eat anything I wanted as long as the calories are accounted for. Don't forget to take your starting measurements and a 'before' picture, as they can be very motivating on days that the scales refuse to co-operate

    The forum also have group weigh-ins every day, as well as a new Daily Diary, if you wish to take part. The posts can always be found in the Events section on the 'home' page. And if you just want to chat, to say hello or share any news or struggles then look out for What's Happening Today thread.

    You'll notice a grey box next to people's names, these are achievement badges, and as a new member you have a 'Newbie' badge. We've found that to get the best out of this community, we need to be active on the forum, as it's where we exchange information, get motivation and inspiration and make friends. We hope that you'll join us here, regularly, too. If you have any questions please just ask

    Best wishes


  • I agree. I researched the 5:2 diet myself, and based on the findings, it isn't for me at the moment. I'll stick to my "intermittent fasting", which was initially just a plan to stop me from snacking after supper, lol!

  • What will happen when you reach your ideal weight using this method? How will you maintain? Is this method going to work for you long term?

    To me, a successful way of losing weight teaches you about mindful eating, portion sizes, the different nutrients in food as well as calories.

    As others have said, there's no way to speed up the process that is goi g to be sustainable in the long run... and what is the rush? You have the rest of your life... 🙂

  • I would be wary of this idea.

    As a long term maintainer, I can only confirm that the less you eat the lower your BMR drops. This makes it very difficult to then increase calories and keep the weight off.

    If you google the follow up results from The Biggest Loser programmes, nearly all contestants regained their weight within a year or two. ( look back at my previous posts, pretty sure I attached the link in april )

    On the other hand, it is proven that eating the maximum you can to lose at a slower rate lets the body adjust slowly, it doesn't think its starving, and keeps you at a more reasonable metabolic rate. Result = long term maintenance and weight stays off.

  • Hi and welcome

    I am not a health professional and can only go on my experience

    I was not losing weight and I then arrived here - I did the NHS BMI calculator and WOW it stated the calories I should eat to lose weight - No way was I going to eat that so thought I would eat the lower end of the range - NOPE didn't work

    So I then, after others on here advised, ate mid to high range of the calories and lost 5lb in 1 week - so this does work but you have to work out your maintenance amount of calories in the range and the reduce slightly to loose weight

    Wishing you all the best on your journey - I think Minniewinny has done the 5:2 diet or something similar (I may not have got this right, but will let MW reply), so have tagged them so they can give their experience which may help you

  • I have recently done 5:2 for a week then 4:3 which is eat recommended calories for 5 or 4 days a week, then have 500 or 600 calories on the 2 or 3 days.. (female allowances, male would be higher). I did lose 1 or 2 pounds a week on that.

    I am this week trying eating within a window of the day, for me it's 12-5pm and will see how I get on with this.

    It's not for everyone, and it's always recommended that you take good advice from your go or health professional first, especially if you take any medications.

    Best is to do as much research as possible, this way you will know what, how and why for yourself, not anyone else's interpretation.

    Wishing you success.

  • Hi there, I fasted for a week which lactually went quickly,felt better on a daily basis, I kept busy, lost weight,about 7 lbs in a week,but I saw this as fluid fat!I have 5 stone to lose,over 65yrs,my friend happily does 2 days a week fasting and is not overweight,but so many variables,such as calorie intake ?same daily it varied,and physical activities

  • I believe now,stick to ideal calorie intake daily,if you lose weight,good indication you've started at right amount daily calorie intake,I also believe that if I had done that and not fasted for a week,I prob would have lost weight and felt better each day!😊

  • Hi I don't believe in extreme fasting either as I think it damages the body.

    One thing which no one else has mentioned is something my extremely obese friend told me. Like most of us I get body signals telling me I am full up or that I need to go for a walk etc. after a heavy meal. She said she has lost all her body signals over the years which makes it much harder to stick to any kind of healthy eating and to lose weight.

    Surely fasting over long periods could also cause the loss of body signals too?

  • onyx2 you could also research more on the ketogenic lifestyle

  • onyx2 my experience is of being very ill and losing two stones in about 6 weeks.

    I have had ti fight really hard to keep it off and lose weight now at a tiny, snail pace.

    You need to research what you are doing and make appropriate decisions based on long term health.

  • Michael Mosely has two books, one called the Fast Diet and the other called The 8 week blood sugar diet. You might want to look at them.

  • There is a difference between starving your self and the very low calorie diets such as Cambridge or lighter life. If you opt for something like that for a short period of time you are sure that you get all the necessary nutrients so you lose weight safely. I have done it. Before u embark on something like this though think if you will be able to maintain it after you shed the weight

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