How to maintain weight while practing intermittent fasting?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 28, 2013 at 12:08 PM

A friend of mine has started doing the 5:2 diet (2 days a week on 600 calories, normal eating for the other 5) for a variety of health concerns to do with aging but he doesn???t want to lose weight, which is reportedly what tends to happen on this diet. What safe foods (i.e. not sugar and not loads of fruit) can he eat on the feed days to maintain weight? Fat isn???t necessarily always very good for this as the Atkins Diet proves. I wonder if it would be helpful for him to eat glucose? Dextrose? Is there any advantage to eating certain foods at certain times of day? I would be grateful for any tips, book recommendations or weblinks.

There is a very entertaining and informative BBC documentary about the 5:2 diet at http://vimeo.com/50912488.



on February 28, 2013
at 12:31 PM

The weight loss on Atkins related to higher fat intake is because high fat is satiating - most dieters naturally don't eat as much when the carb induced cravings are reduced. It would be very unlikely for someone of healthy weight to lose substantially by adding extra fat to top up calorie needs on non fasting days.



on February 28, 2013
at 12:29 PM

Glucose and dextrose (same thing actually) are straight sugars and would almost certainly negate any possible benefits he looks to achieve. There are many better sources of calories - for instance - FATS!



on February 28, 2013
at 12:23 PM

What do you think the Atkin's Diet proves?

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on February 28, 2013
at 12:25 PM

You cannot expect to cut huge amounts of calories and maintain weight.

On average, he needs to eat at maintenance. If his maintenance is 2600 calories per day, he needs 18200 calories per week. Two days at 600 calories is a mere 1200 calories. Leaving 17000 calories for the other 5 days, equaling an average of 3400 calories per day.

What "health concerns" does he think he's helping by fasting twice weekly?



on February 28, 2013
at 06:14 PM

This does not sound like intermittent fasting to me. This sounds like calorie reduction. So of course he is going to lose weight.

On intermittent fasting he would be consuming the same number of calories but within a feeding window. I do the Lean Gains method of fasting (leangains.com) where I fast for a 16 hour window and feed for 8. Basically I feed from Noon to 8PM. It basically means I skip breakfast, which works well as I always had trouble with a Paleo breakfast and getting to work on time.

I have not lost any weight, but I've traded muscle for body fat. It helped me get over a weight lost plateau I felt like I was on.

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