maggiealderson

Faster, pussycat! Kill! Kill!

In Fasting on March 19, 2013 at 8:47 pm

tura-satana-faster-pussycat

A quick up date on fasting – and the title above is just a shameless excuse to reference the glorious title of my favourite all time Russ Meyer ‘exploitation’ camp fest movie, which I alway say to encourage myself at the start of each fasting day…

Today was my first fast for two flipping weeks. Not because I lost my commitment, but because I had a run of ill health which meant I had to take enormous numbers of antibiotics and pain killers.

Do not ever try to take four antibiotic tabs and two paracetamol after eating just a banana. Major upchuck situation. So I had no choice but to start each day while I was on the meds with a hearty cushion of porridge, with similar ballast at dinner time.

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It was very frustrating as up to that point it was going rather well. I got off to a bit of a rocky start, until I understood quite how little food 500 calories really amounts to.

I found it much easier to follow my fasting buddy’s routine and eat nothing at all on the day of the fast until dinner. It’s oddly easier. With plenty of tea, the odd cup of black coffee, copious sugar-free gum and the odd apple (50 cals), I’d get to 6pm without being bothered.

It’s really quite weird and makes me wonder why I eat so much on a normal day.

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The other thing that made a big difference to me was then really limiting what I do eat. With my low height, middle age and long yo yo dieting career, I’ve found I had to restrict my calories to more like 300 to get a result.

Once I figured that out (and two boiled eggs, two oatcakes and some broccoli became my new best friends) I was losing one, or two pounds a week – with the greater loss if I exercised.

By the time I hit the nasty infection I’d lost about 10 pounds and had just reached the magic weight below which I start to feel really good – and a whole new section of my wardrobe fits again.

fpussycat3

With the forced hiatus – which also included several days lying in bed motionless like Jabba the Hut – I’ve put half of it back on again, which is maddening. But I’m not giving up.

5:2 fasting works. You lose weight steadily but slowly – and it’s so oddly easy to do, knowing you can eat what you want (without going bonkers) in the morning.

I also feel really good and super energised on the days I do it and one last – amazing – benefit for me, it seems to help my crappy rosacea skin (and Not That Pippa reports the same in comments, so I don’t think it’s a coincidence).

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I’m having another two week break from it when I go to New York next week (I’m human…), but then I’m back on for the long term.

And now here is the trailer from that very special film…

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  1. Maggie, congratulations and thank you from the bottom of my (many) size 36 shoes. That diet is a miracle and so so easy. Admittedly it is probably
    easier to do in a hot Melbourne summer, than winter, so stick to it. I had 3yrs of 3kg to lose and I am very nearly there. (I shall stay on it till they put me in the nursng home.) As 90% of the excess was on my bum and thunder-thighs, I’m now thrilled to be fitting into stuff again and looking and feeling good. And walking the dog is not enough exercise I know. The old exercise bike keeps looking at me but we don’t get together as often as we should.

    Now, as for the clean and tidy bit, that is not coming nearly so easily, and sometimes I just despair. There are so many other necessary, interesting or creative things to do. My desparation solution is to invite friends to visit and the shame of my grotty house forces me into action. If people call in unexpectedly, I nearly die of shame.

    And I love all your books/writing, and was very disappointed that I was unable to meet you when you recently came to Melb.

    Best wishes,

    Sue-by-the-Sea

    • ha ha – I’ve been known to schedule a party to enforce a clear up too, but I always end up throwing things in cupboards, or under the bed. I’ve got to get down to it a DEEPER level. I want to feel less dragged down by STUFF.

      So so glad to hear the diet is working for you. I was really frustrated to lose those weeks – and gain some pounds. I find it so easy to do it’s weird. I find I go to sleep planning a massive brekkie – and then wake up not remotely hungry. I think we’ve all been killing ourselves with this three meals a day rubbish. x

      • Hi Maggie,
        Couldn’t agree more. You are changing my life, and for the better. I have actually just finished going through the newspaper recipe collection. Not strong enough to just chuck, but similar result, and only kept about 10%. Took quite a while though, but now inspired to cook a few in the near future.
        This afternoon might even start on the floor-robe (don’t have a chair in our room). Then who knows…….there is plenty to choose from!

        Do hope you’re feeling better by the day and back to the wonder way of eating.

        Have a wonderful time in NY (lucky you) and just try to keep those huge American portions on the small side.

        Now as for ‘Kill Pussycat’ I nearly did. Slammed the pantry door on his tail, result $713 of surgery and still in doubt if we can save his tail.

        Best wishes
        Sue

      • Puss! Poor poor puss! That is just the kind of stupid situation cats get themselves into with that neither in nor out thing they love to do.

        I could have kicked mine last night, when he decided it was play time in the bedroom at 2 am. I put him outside the door, so then he sat and scraped it with his claws at Chinese torture intervals until I let him in again. Then he started swinging from the electric flexes of the bedside lamps. It’s lucky I adore him!

        Re. your cluttering – great you’ve thrown away some of the recipes, but I would urge you to read The Happiness Project Don’t Get Organized post again. That has changed my approach entirely. Sounds like you spent a fair old time going through those recipes, when you could have just chucked the lot and been getting on with the floordrobe…

        What I understand now is, great as many as the recipes I chucked out may have been, there are new ones every week. If you don’t cook the ones you’ve saved within the next fortnight, can I suggest you fling them? xxx (sorry to be bossy, but I can see myself before I had the light bulb moment!)

      • Maggie, just been reading some of the other comments (instead of tackling the floor-robe) and see mention of drinking diet drinks. I believe this is not good for 2 reasons.
        1) the chemicals
        2) our body is tricked into thinking it is getting sugar, and when there isn’t any forthcoming, then the sugar cravings are worse. Better to just have mineral water. Bubbles seem better than flat.
        Best
        Sue

      • Hi Sue, I am aware of all the controversy about diet drinks and I have noticed that a lot of overweight people seem to be addicted to Diet Coke, but I don’t think one or two a week will do any harm. They don’t trigger sugar cravings in me, just get me through a moment of wanting something that would take me beyond my 500 calorie limit. x

      • You’re right Maggie, on more than one score:
        A couple of diet drinks a week won’t hurt.

        I just counted, I saved 34 recipes! Now that would take montths to use,
        so you can be bossy and tell me what to do. Trouble is I’ve had more years training to ‘hoard’ than you, but it is such a weight removed when the house is decluttered, that I think it is time for drastic action.

        Lovely to hear you adore your cat, as I do Charlie. Thankfully he behaves at night, other than stealing the dog’s bed for a few hours, then around 2am he sneaks in between us and wraps himself in my arms. He really is amazing and so affectionate, but greedy. That’s how his tail was injured,
        trying to tell me he was starving!

        It sounds as though your resolve is sufficient to win with this new way of eating, and I do admire you for getting back into it after being so sick. It’s been fairly easy for me with not much to lose, but it would creep back if I didn’t stick to at least 1 day. Also very interested to read ‘Sleep Diet’. Hope the library can get it in.
        Best
        Sue

  2. Am also finding it easier to just not eat until dinner time. Lots of tea during the day though and sugar free Werthers toffees are a help! Diet ginger beer also good if everyone else is drinking wine.

    • Yes! Diet ginger beer is my best friend too – it just has that little kick, doesn’t it? I just can’t get over how easy I find to stick to this, so much better than ‘normal’ diets when I’m thinking about food 24:7 trying to maximise the joy from minimum food. So much easier to know you can eat next to nothing and not even try to make ‘a delicious meal’. I just have the bare minimum – tonight will be a baked chicken breast and some green veg – and know I can have more the next day. Amazing.

  3. Makes me want to try it actually

  4. Maggie,
    Sorry to hear you have been ill, but happy to hear that you finally achieved that weight loss. I think the 5:2 has been tremendous and I am going to take it to the next level and have my cholesterol checked to see if it has gotten lower.
    We had a blow out weekend at a country picnic races last weekend. I didn’t fret, because on Monday I would eat ‘light’ and get back on track.
    Might wait until after Easter and see how 2.5 months affects the cholesterol.
    Another positive, I look forward to a time, when I do this once a week’ knowing if I have a big blowout weekend two days the next week will see me .
    Enjoying your blogs and being able to pinpoint different avenues of approach from the discussion to see what works well.
    Enjoy New York!

    • I find I feel really energised on my fast days too – and I’ve got more time because I’m not worrying about what I ‘can’ eat to stick to the lastest dopey diet… Nothing is easier than ‘almost something’. x

  5. My neighbour swears by this “diet’ can I just start or should I read about it first?

    Who knows one day I too may be wearing tight white hipsters WITH A BELT

  6. Maggie,
    Finally, I have found a way to diet ,thanks to you. The thought of having to diet the rest of my life, every day , or no result is just too much to contemplate. Let’s face it…..life is too short to deprive yourself of some of the great food we have nowadays so , I honestly find two fasting days easy…..strawberries, tomatoes, eggs, mushrooms . All can be made very enjoyable when you remember you can have that lamb chop or spinach pie tomorrow or the next day.
    The big eye opener for me is just how much you “pop” into your mouth while preparing food. I always felt I didn’t overeat but the hidden extras make a huge difference. I wasn’t aware of how often I did it.
    It is true you sort of feel empowered on the fasting days. AND…..I have a result.
    Hope you are feeling better. New York will cheer you up. You know what I loved there, amongst many things, the ” chopped” salad where you make your selection and they chop it all together. Great for a fasting day!
    Cheers
    Robyn Comino

    • I’m not going to fast in New York! Too much amazing food to stuff in… if i can fit one day in, I will, but don’t want to drag everyone else down.

      I really believe this diet is The One. I feel exactly as you do. The thought of going back to endlessly trying to fashion a bearable day’s eating out of meagre possibilities is a nightmare. You just can’t keep that up.

      And – yes! – the constant bits of small grazing. Daughter’s lunch box leftovers, little bit of whatever I’m cooking, random crisps at meetings and parties. And so weirdly easy not to do it, when I’m in my fasting zone.

      I keep thinking I’ll do three days one week, but I haven’t managed it yet! x

  7. Sorry you have been feeling so sick! It’s good that you got to the stage where you had realised how easy it is to maintain and seeing/feeling the positive benefits – hopefully it won’t be too hard to get back to where you were. And I agree – two weeks in New York deserves a break. So glad to hear your rosacea improved even in winter – that’s the worst time for my skin and it’s just starting to cool down here and was dreading my burning red cheeks returning!

  8. Hope you are on the mend Maggie. And thanks for making me aware of the 5:2 “diet” (we need a new word for this!). I’ve been doing it since January and got down to my ideal weight, and generally feel great. Am dropping now down to one day a week and see how that goes for a few weeks. I don’t want to lose any more weight. The alteration bill would be silly. I know when I have a blowout day, I find my fast days a relief. Just to not feel so full and sluggish is a great feeling.

    • I can’t believe how energised I feel on my fast days. It’s a revelation. It was disappointing how quickly the weight came back on when I was unwell, but I was lying in bed – and having to eat quite a lot of stodge to bounce the pills off. I’m back on it now and not stopping until I’m back in my favourite jeans x

  9. Maggie I started the same time as you first posted on this – around mid Jan? Initially I lost about 2.7kg (hard to say exactly bc my weight fluctuates wildly on a day to day basis) but I have found over the last month I have plateaued and the scales have stopped going down at all. AND I have started adding exercise back into the equation.

    I so want it to work but this week I felt so disheartened that I quickly agreed to lunch with my husband on my first fast day, then yesterday I just couldn’t face a day with no food after a 6k walk/run in the morning. Today I feel re-inspired – especially after reading your post I know I can stick to it today.

    I agree with the comments above I love the fact that on the other days I dont feel restricted and for the first time in years I am regularly enjoying eating curries ( with rice) and pasta and not fretting about what I am putting in my mouth every single day. I have been careful with my portion sizes but I did wonder if in actual fact the 5:2 diet really only works if you are super careful on most of the other 5 days. Michael Mosley does say over time people tend to eat less overall and he regularly skips lunch on non fast days. What have your non fast days been like?

    • You don’t weigh yourself every day do you? I think that’s a route to madness. Everyone’s weight fluctuates depending on water retention etc I’m really strict and it’s once a week, then you really know if you’re making progress and don’t get disheartened.

      I think if you’ve been on a million diets, like me, it will take longer, but I do really believe it will work. I’m maddened that I’ve put the weight I lost back on, but I’m back on it and determined to make it stick.

      Some people feel they do have to watch what they eat the other days. It makes me a bit cross, because it was sold to us that we didn’t have to do that – and the evidence from the alternate day fasters study in America was that they could eat lasagne etc on the non fast days.

      I have to say I’m veering a bit between the two and if I don’t lose the weight, I might try going up to 3 fasts every other week. Mind you, all the evidence seems to show that losing weight more slowly is better for keeping it off. Let’s keep each other encouraged!

      • No I dont weigh myself every day, that would really do my head in. I weighed myself the first morning I started the diet and then the day after. I was weighing myself every fasting day in the morning & then on my next fasting day too. Really even saying I lost 2.7kg is prob an exaggeration – anything I lost is just about back on by the end of the week and by the time I start again the following Monday, I’m still there. I’m finding it’s probably great for me for maintenance , but as for really getting the last 5 kilos off…..not yet. But based on all the positive feedback on here (I seem to be the only one it’s not working for) I will persevere. I will also re -look at my calorie intake on the fast day. I dont want to watch what I eat on the other days – I certainly dont gorge myself on these days but think I have a nice balance between eating what I want but within reason. Thanks for the encouragement Maggie and so pleased to hear its working for everyone else and it’s not just another fad!!!

      • Interesting. I just weigh myself every Monday morning, irrespective of fast days.

        I’ve had to reduce my intake to 350, measuring milk intake and everything, keeping what I eat very very simple so there is no margin for error. You can go over so easily, even at 500.

        I think I need to restrict more because I’ve done so many diets, my metabolism is shot – whch is something Dr Dukan is very clear on in his diet. He says if you’ve been yo yo dieting your entire adult life, it will be much harder to lose weight.

        I didn’t start losing on this until I went down to 350 (not that hard), did more exercise and at nothing (or just an apple) from bedtime the night before until dinner time.

        keep the faith! xxx

      • Ok thanks for the encouragement Maggie – next week I will try the one meal at dinnertime thing and very carefully count my calories….350 calories seems so little…but I’ll give it a go x

      • It seems impossible, but i started off just having one boiled egg and some broccoli, to be really sure. Now I have a couple of boiled eggs, or a chicken breast, but weigh everything assiduously. It’s amazing how little you need – when it’s just the one day. I’ve often thought I’d do two in a row, but I could never face it. Let me know how you get on x

  10. Hello Maggie, Rea Francis here! Have lost your email contact, trying to send you invitation to a soiree at Athenaeum next month when I’m there.
    rea@rfmedia.com.au

  11. Pussy Galore! Did I spy some silicone? Love the clip – there was a band around years ago in Sydney with the same name (Faster, Pussycat…) and it always made me chuckle.

    I have fallen off the wagon big time with my food intake: good intentions but poor focus… I know what to do, it’s just doing it that’s the challenge. Funny, that.

    Good luck with staying on track. I like the fact that you are realistic about temptation ie New York. I think I will be doing some enforced fasting this week : off to hospital for a little visit on Friday (nothing life threatening, just old bat maintenance) so in between pre op fasting and the prospect of hospital food (except for the lime jelly, which I find quite alluring) I think I will be cutting down a bit.

    Have a lovely trip and stay healthy XX

    PS Did the naughty thing and bought some tres glossy magazines to keep me enthralled in hospital

    • Not naughty – a well deserved treat. Try the fast for ONE DAY. That’s the beauty of it. It’s one day. It’s really cold and horrible here today and I would really love a hearty dinner to warm me up, but I know it’s just ONE DAY. Tomorrow I will have porridge and honey for breakfast. But also – don’t beat yourself up. You’ve got enough on with the hospital xxx

  12. Sorry Maggie you have been under the weather but thanks for giving us an update on how your fasting is going.
    You have done well to lose so much in such a short space of time. It took me over 6 moths to lose 8 kilos but only 1 month of being of it to put back 3!
    Like you I have been unwell and on antibiotics but unlike you I stupidly continued to fast 2 days a week. OMG what a stupid thing to do.
    So sick in the GI tract and the worse spasm pain in my oesophagus I thought I was having a heart attack. This is even more stupid as I am an ex nurse and should have known better. My husband who is a GP was furious with me and I promised never to be so stupid again.
    On the wwight loss front in little over a month I have lost 2 1/2 kilos.

    • Not just me then! Tell me something – when you came off it, did you fast one day a week still? I think that’s the deal breaker with this.

      Just as on the Dukan Diet, when they’ve lost all the weight they have to carry on with one Protein day every week for the rest of their lives. If i can just get the rest of this damn weight off I will be happy to do that. It’s not so easy on a cold damp day like today, but normally I rather enjoy the freedom-from-food feeling of my fast day. I feel energised and get more done.

      • Maggie no i didn’t as it was over the holidays but friends who have started 2 years ago now just do 1 day a week.
        I will do this when I finally reach my goal and possibly even 2 days and up it to 600 calories. The key is to ‘save’ the calories for the end of the day but I find if I don’t have something in the morning my brain ‘dies’ mid afternoon. As I work in an area in which my brain is needed I now have a smoothie made with coconut water 6 or 7 blueberries (yes its sounds pathetic I know) and 1/2 tablespoon of protein powder and lots of ice. Its delicious and comes it at around 50 calories but makes a difference to my brain!
        Like you I feel euphoric and so light and joyful next morning its almost addictive.
        I work with people with eating disorders and I am wary of phrases like addictive but I do look forward to how I feel the morning after the fast. Maybe its just that I haven’t had a wine or 3 the night before!

      • Hi Kate – have another look at the Horizon programme. There would be no point in doing 600 cals. It won’t get your body into the zone where it stops non-stop working to digest and process, which is where all the sweet health benefits start happening. One day of 500 will help you maintain, two days of 600 won’t.

        I love the sound of that smoothie, but I find it easier just to be in the kitchen as little as possible. If I get that lag, I grab an apple or a pear.

        I’m glad you raised the eating disorder issue, as it’s something I’ve been thinking about. There was an article in the papers here by a woman who has suffered severe anorexia condemning this diet as the perfect excuse for someone with those issues to restrict their eating.

        It was an excellent piece I could see her point, but while eating disorders are utterly devastating for the sufferers and their families, there is an epidemic of obesity in the UK which is getting so bad it’s seriously stretching government resources. It’s a health time bomb, with all the extra health problems obesity brings – heart disease, cancer, obesity etc – plus the special operating tables, hospital beds etc they are having to buy.

        So while I really sympathise, I think the benefits of intermittent fasting really outweigh those concerns. And as you know – most eating disorders aren’t really about food and body image, but much deeper issues.

        When I first started the fasting and was amazed how easy I found it, especially not being hungry the next day, and feeling empowered by that, I did think – gosh, is this how anorexia starts? – but then I found myself happily tucking into plum crumble and custard and knew it was not a risk for me.

        I would love your professional views on this. xxx

  13. I am on the 5:2 thing again now – thanks to being inspired by you! But now it has a new name – what a relief it is to be a Faster Pussycat!! You know I missed you dreadfully from The Good Weekend. When I was in China years ago, going online and through your “back catalogue” kept me sane. Now I feel like I can chat to you here – which means every so often I pinch myself that Maggie is writing back to me. So, there you go, more adoration from the antipodes.

    • You beautiful woman, you. Where are you based, because I do have a column every Sunday in the Age and the Sun Herald. It’s different, but I think it’s quite fun. But this is more personal xxx ps PURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

      • I’m in Sydney! I have read your Sun Herald column on occasion, I’m just in the midst of two young children and it seems the weekend papers have been sacrificed. Though I am planning to rectify the lack of home delivered papers very soon.

      • it’s online too – I put the link on Twitter when I remember x

    • Ah, twitter. I am there apparently but it is beyond me! Facebook though has me entirely it seems!

  14. Oh Maggie those pussies made me laugh. I started the 5-2 diet last Friday. On a whim. My first day was spent standing in front of the fridge ipad in hand madly googling the calorie values of its contents. That in itself was an appetite suppressing exercise. Had to do a special pantry shop for day 2.. Miso soup anyone? In the meantime I’m whipping up some raspberry marshmallows. After all today is a feast day. I wonder how many I will dare consume. Have a fabulous trip and avoid the lurgies.

    • I’ve found the less i try and make ‘meals’ on the fasting day, the easier it is. I eat nothing all day – just tea, black coffee and gum, maybe an apple or a pear – then use it all for dinner. I don’t even use all my calories as after 35 years of yo you dieting my metabolism needs a serious kick. I’ll just a boiled egg (90), some weighed broccoli (35) and maybe go wild and have an oatcake. If I’m hungry, I have 2 eggs. Maybe some weight no fat yogurt. It only works for me, if I’m that strict, because it is just so easy to go over 500 cals if you don’t weigh. I abandoned the salty miso…

      • Today is another fast day. I’m bribing myself with pots of tea. Mariage Freres Marco Polo Rouge. You’re absolutely right. The trick is one meal a day. Cuts out the deadly grazing. 500 calories is ridiculously easy to blow. No cooking? Brilliant. Good excuse to send my family out for dinner and get some me time. I keep reminding myself its just one day. Haven’t been brave enough to step on those scales. They are never kind to me. The best thing about this diet is I wake up feeling fabulous the next day. Its strangely euphoric and draws me in to give it another go. I’m trying to fast on Fridays and Mondays so I can ‘feast’ on weekends.

  15. I’ve loved reading your experience on this diet – makes me think about when I shifted my post-baby weight and I did this diet but without realising it – sick husband, house for sale, baby to run around after… two years later my weight is still off for the most part, and I quite welcome any drama that distracts me from food for a day or two every week!!

    Also, love love love your blog. Always brings a smile to my face!

  16. Hi Maggie. I started my 5:2 diet after you posted it on your wonderful blog. I know I have lost inches off my body but don’t know how much weight I have lost as I refuse to ever step on a scale. I have dropped a dress size and am feeling marvellous about it as the smaller size is actually a generous fit as opposed to a snug fit…. I too have had to reduce my calorie intake to approx. 300 to 350 calories per fast day. It is surprisingly do-able speaking as someone who LOVES to eat and I am constantly telling myself “you can have it tomorrow, wait till tomorrow”!
    I’ve tried many other diets in the past but I’ve found the 5:2 diet to be the longest diet I’ve stayed on. It may be a slower weight loss than other diets but it’s one that’s easiest to maintain, for me personally. Oh, btw, this diet does require EXERCISE as does all the other diets. There’s no escaping that! As for anyone wanting to start this diet, try to see Dr. Mosley’s documentary first as it’s more than just about calorie restrictions. The parts about a high meat diet was a real eye opener for me. Never shall I embark on a no carb, high meat diet again.
    So thank you Maggie for introducing this diet to me and have a great time in NY!

    • You are my twin – all 100% my experiences. I’ve wrecked my metabolims yo yo dieting since I was 20, and I didn’t start losing until a) I went down to 300-350 and b) started exercising. Also agree 100% you have to understand the diet. Drives me nuts when people say ‘it’s just less calories in, more calories out’. It ain’t that simple…. x

  17. For you 5:2 girls I offer the following; The Sleep Diet by Carmel Harrington. She is a sleep researcher and in her book she describes the link beween lack of sleep and being chubby. It appears we need 7 to 9 hours a night to keep our metabolism in order. An interesting read.

    • I’ll do it as well as fasting – fasting the answer for me x

      • The message in her book is that with enough sleep the weight loss should remain just that – a loss. Too little sleep causes your appetite hormones to run amok. Anything less than 7 hours is too little sleep and more than 9 too much.

  18. Thank you for introducing us to Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! Love the corrective table etiquette.
    What a great encouragement phrase, I think I might appropriate it for myself.
    Bad luck with being sick, but how wonderful “New York”.
    So fab having you back in the blogsphere xx.

  19. Thanks for the heads up Maggie on the maintenance. I haven’t seen the documentary but have been doing my fasting based on the Johnson diet.
    http://www.johnsonupdaydowndaydiet.com/html/diet-landing.html
    On this for maintenance, you can go up to 650 or more calories but it is every alternate day so your take on the 5:2 still being 500 makes more sense.
    Eating disorders are endemic and we must be careful not to promote a belief that dieting is the road to happiness. As anorexia nervosa has the highest death rate of any psychiatric disorder it is crucial that young girls in particular are educated about the importance of eating in a healthy way. Not for being a particular size but for the health benefits that eating well brings us.
    In relation for the potential of 5:2 to encourage eating disorders my personal belief is probably not. I feel that the 5:2 is far less restrictive than most diets because you can AND must eat ‘normally ‘with no restrictions on the non-fast days. I think this sets up a very different rational and realistic view of eating. I’m thinking that 5:2 is less likely to set up faulty and rigid beliefs about food etc. that most restrictive diets seem to do.
    It is well documented that restricting food over a relatively short space of time can lead to binging and a preoccupation with food. It may be a question of semantics but I don’t see fasting as restricting food. To me and this is my personal experience I feel that I am not depriving my body of food but am actively addressing issues of body ageing and reducing age related disease just as I do when I take a Vitamin D supplement or have my annual mammogram. If I lose a few kilos along the way even better.

  20. Hi Maggie:

    Thanks for the update (and great images).

    It is inspiring to have you be so open with this process. I am particularly interested in how the process is prompting you to be curious about your own hunger levels and cues. Mindless eating (is that the opposite of mindful?) is supposedly one of the elements of overeating, so training yourself to be curious about when you are actually hungry and satisfied will be a skill in maintaining the weight you feel you function at best.
    In all my reading about weight loss becoming aware of your own internal cues is the best insight we can have. So well done.

    Enjoy New York.

  21. Dear Maggie, so hoping you feel better and have completely recovered from your illness. Those heavy antibiotics can make one sqeamish on a full stomach let alone an empty one. Poor girl, hopefully a trip to NY will make up for that unpleasantness – lucky you. Now, I had a fantastic tight red “Faster pussycat, Kill, Kill” tshirt (haven’t seen it since the 90s – now where would it be … Enjoy and be well. BX

  22. A friend and I have been doing the low carb diet. An unexpected benefit has been that our rosacea has cleared up as well. Turns out that many people are sensitive to wheat ( flour, pasta, bread etc) and this can result in rosacea and also gastric reflux. Carbs cause me to feel lethargic too. I’m going to combine low carb with 5:2

    • Funny you should say this as one of my best friends has recently found she is severely gluten intolerant and reading up on it found a reference to gluten and rosacea. I need to try it…

  23. My husband and I did the 5:2 for a few months and had great results. We are now travelling and tried a fast day from 2pm to 2pm and it was easy enough to do.
    We are travelling for several months and may only do it one day a week, just to keep from gaining weight. We eat pretty low carb at home in Sydney but here in the Med we are finding bread irresistible.
    Maggie, loved your article about Sophia & the Chanel handbag on Sunday. Just learning to blog, but once I learn how to do the blog roll, I will definitely add your blog. I really enjoy your writing and your ideas.

    • Thanks Gaila – I’m fasting today, so it’s a good day to get your update. I have nothing from midnight the night before until dinner time the next day. If I start the day eating I find it hard to stop and I think I’d use it as an excuse to get ‘confused’ and blow it. I’ve also found it only works for me if I really restrict my calories as it’s just so easy to accidentally go over and just 50 cals over your 500 can stop you losing. Generally, though, I think it’s the answer for keeping the weight off. At last!

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