5:2 – some conclusions

A bit over a year ago, I decided to experiment with the “5:2” Way Of Eating and I wrote about it at the time. I said that I would report back on progress. Well, it has been a while, but I thought that it was time to deliver that progress report …

The idea of 5:2 is simple: reduce your calorie input [to 600 for men] on 2 non-consecutive days each week. The anticipated effect is a reduction in weight and a selection of other health benefits. Eventually a target weight is likely to be reached and you can cut down to just one fast day per week.

My goal was not to lose too much weight – just a little bit. I was particularly interested in some of the purported health benefits – like strengthened immune system.

The executive summary of my results is that not a lot happened over the course of the year.

Some more detailed points and observations:

  • I approached it scientifically – carefully measuring and controling my calorie input each “fast” day.
  • I rarely cheated at all. If I did, I documented the fact.
  • I weighed myself and took my waist measurement each week and recorded the data.
  • My weight fairly rapidly declined, though not far, and then plateaued. Here is the plot:

weight

  • My waist measurement has not changed.
  • I have been generally healthy through the year. No change really.
  • I did not feel hungry all the time on fast days. I did feel that I was “lacking something”. A large glass of water sometimes helped.
  • I saw clear indications that my body was burning fat on fast days. [I found that I needed to pee a lot.]
  • I enjoyed the day after a fast day, but aimed to avoid over-eating to compensate for the deprivations of the day before.
  • I swapped to a single fast day [indicated by the red arrow on the plot] and my weight seems quite steady.

My plan is to shortly stop fasting entirely for a couple of months [at least] and I will monitor my weight in the same way. It will be interesting to see whether I can spot a trend.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at https://blogs.sw.siemens.com/embedded-software/2015/10/15/52-some-conclusions/