Intermittent fasting or 5:2 fast diet after 5 months

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I thought you might like to know how we’re getting on with our intermittent fasting (or 5:2 fast diet) that we started in June this year just before we went on our cycling trip along the Danube.


Well, it’s going wonderfully! I’ve lost the 5 kilos I put back on after my initial diet three years ago when I lost 20 kilos, despite the fact that I am now eating a lot of foods I had thought I’d have to give up forever.

I actually look forward to our fast days, when I have 500 calories and Jean Michel has 600, and which we plan according to what’s going on that week but which are usually 3 or 4 days apart. Mondays and Thursdays or Fridays are typical choices, but the beauty of the 5:2 fast is that there are no fixed days.  We continue to always eat the same thing on those days, as it suits us that way.

The amazing thing is that I am not hungry on fast days. I even forget it’s a fast day until lunch and dinner come around (we don’t have breakfast).

The day after a fast day, though, we’re usually pretty hungry. I’ve found that having a good breakfast is the most effective solution to feeling ravenous mid-morning. I’d really rather not get into the habit of snacking again.

After my initial diet, I had eliminated foods such as fresh ravioli, quiche and French fries. We had reduced our wine intake to about once or twice a week which was rather sad because we are both wine buffs. If we went out to dinner, I tried to be reasonable and only order low-calorie foods.  I felt guilty if I indulged AND I STILL PUT THOSE FIVE KILOS BACK ON.

Biscuits made at the Chambord biscuit factory - I prefer the traditional "solognots"
Biscuits made at the Chambord biscuit factory – I prefer the traditional “solognots”

Now I can order French fries, foie gras and fish with beurre nantais and enjoy them without compunction! If we do have a heavy lunch or dinner, we just skip the next meal. I can have those very moorish Chambord biscuits with afternoon tea and a glass of wine with my meal if I feel like it.

We do, however, continue to have well-balanced meals for health purposes. If we have ravioli, I serve it with a tossed salad, for example, followed by fresh fruit. We still more or less respect the “plate-divided-into-four” principle though I’m more likely to spread it out over two meals, with more protein at one and less carbs and vice versa.


Jean Michel was convinced that he would not be able to continue fasting when doing a lot of physical work such as heavy gardening and renovation. I didn’t insist even though I couldn’t see the problem. When we were cycling 50 to 60 kilometers a day along the Danube last summer, we had as much energy on fast days as we did on feast days. But he said it was not the same.

However, as it turns out, he has no trouble fasting when we’re in Blois, despite a much more active life style. He just has make sure he drinks a lot of water to prevent hydration.

The 5:2 fast diet doesn’t suit everyone of course. We have French friends who prefer to reduce the period of nutrition to 8 hours, skipping breakfast, having lunch around 1 pm and dinner before 9 pm, thus leaving a period of 16 hours between the last and first meal each day. Their reference is Le Fasting by JB Rives.

I’d be interested to hear other people’s experience.

You might be interested in my other posts on dieting:

The Natural Skinnies and Us
How I lost 20 kilos after 50 – for good: Part 1
How I lost 20 kilos after 50 – for good: Part 2
How I lost 20 kilos after 50 – for good: Part 3
How I lost 20 kilos after 50 – for good: Part 4
How I lost 20 kilos after 50 – for good: Part 5
How I lost 20 kilos after 50 – for good: Part 6
How I lost 20 kilos after 50 – for good – well almost: Part 7
Where do all those extra kilos come from?
Appetite suppressants anyone? Natural solutions
Intermittent fasting – for better health and less fat
The 5:2 fast diet – fast and feast and still love weight
The 5:2 fast diet on holidays
The 5:2 fast diet (video)
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8 thoughts on “Intermittent fasting or 5:2 fast diet after 5 months”

  1. We’ve been doing it for nearly 12 months now and are very happy with the results. I’ve lost 10 kg, Simon has lost 15 kg. We fast every third day generally, but it is flexible depending on what’s happening in our lives. (For instance, Saturday was due to be a fast day, but you came to lunch 🙂

    We just have a cup of coffee for breakfast, then I’ll have a yoghurt and an apple or similar for lunch at 12.00, Simon will make himself some soup. For dinner I will make something that is 300 – 400 calories / serve that we will both have, and Simon will have a little something to make up calories if necessary. I restrict myself to 400 – 500 calories, Simon 500 – 600.

    Simon really struggles with feeling hungry on fast days. I feel hungry, but it doesn’t bother me so much. I eat and drink whatever I like on non-fast days, Simon is usually rather careful (he’s got a lot more weight than me to lose). We don’t have much problem with headaches due to the fasting (that was something we were initially worried about).

    I’ve reached my target weight, but now I have, realise that I would not be unhappy to lose another 5 kg. Simon has reached his intermediate target, but still has 10 kg to go to reach his real target.

    1. I wonder if eating an egg at lunchtime instead of the yoghurt for you and in addition to the soup for Simon would help with the hunger pangs. My nutritionist told me a long time ago that eating an egg in the morning would help me get through the morning and I certainly feel it works. One fast day, I forgot to make an omelette for lunch and we had yoghurt + fromage blanc for both lunch and dinner. Both of us were hungry that day. It seems that the protein in the egg is what does it.

      I had a headache yesterday during fasting but I was so busy doing things that I forgot to drink water which was probably the reason. It’s only the second time I’ve had a headache.

      And we had a lovely lunch on Saturday!

      1. In fact we do often have eggs for lunch, and I agree, protein is key to controlling hunger (it’s why paleo and Atkins work so well for many people). I will have a boiled egg if we don’t have any yoghurt (and remember there’s quite a bit of protein in yoghurt). Simon will make himself an omelette using a whole egg and 2-4 egg whites. This is useful as I often have leftover egg whites that need to be used.

  2. Glad it is working out and I have to thank you for getting me on to this. I’ve been fasting for a few months now and have lost 3 or 4 kilos but I’m not super strict with it. Sometimes I’ll fast one day per week and then have another day when I might eat 1000 cals and other weeks I’ll have 500 cals 3 times per week. It just depends how I’m feeling. Even being flexible with it I have lost weight so I’m happy!

    1. Andrea, I’m so pleased about that! It’s great to be able to use intermittent fasting when it suits you, isn’t it?

  3. Hey there – after chatting with you I’ve given it a “weak” try…as in a couple of weeks and then not for a week and then back again and even doing it like that I can see some results. I’ve never been one for dieting but have enjoyed this so far!

    1. It seems to suit a lot of people. I’ve noticed that people who don’t have weight problems (such as my daughter) will often instinctively fast when need to. I think it makes you appreciate food in a different way as well.

  4. Oui oui I prefer the 16 / 8 hours of eating everyday …. My body rests and I can go on until 19 / 5 hours with a small snack and a good meal !not difficult at all ! I really love the fasting book and the mails I can share with J B. Rives

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