I have learnt more than I expected to whilst I have been intermittent fasting for 2 weeks, which has given me some more things to think about in how I manage myself and my eating, going forward.
If you are new to this page and haven’t been following along, I have been using the 5/2 method of intermittent fasting (IF) where on my fast days, I have had 24hrs of 0 calories (6pm-6pm) but also managing a Keto diet at the same time.
Prior to beginning this, I had already been doing Keto for around 2 months, so had already gone through the Keto Flu and I came into it with an emphasis on trying to lose weight a bit quicker than I had during the previous couple of months. It was an interesting couple of weeks.
Don’t Weigh Yourself Everyday
This is easier said than done, if you leave the scales in the bathroom. They become a little too addictive and they can really mess with your moods and self-esteem. Sometimes you feel as though you’ve had a great day and then you weigh in and there is no change or you are up from the day before. It messes with you.
There are just too many variables that can change your weight by around 0.5kgs (1.1lb) and it could be as simple as you drank more water yesterday, or you need to go to the toilet or even an electrolyte imbalance could also have an effect.
One mistake I made was to use the scales as my only means to gauge my success, when I should of also taken my measurements, as this would have helped work out any fat loss, rather than overall weight.
In future, I will weigh and measure myself once a week only, as to avoid the daily highs and lows of my little digital friend (or enemy).
Calories In Vs Calories Out
For the last two weeks I have been as accurate as I could with recording my food and water intake in my calorie counting app and being on the Keto diet, it is pretty clear that overeating does not seem to be an issue for me anymore.
My daily calorie goal based on my size was 2560 Cal and my daily calorie intake average for both weeks was around 1,230 Cal. This is taking into account 4 days of fasting and a couple of days of exercise, where the Fitbit automatically adjusts the amount of calories that I am able to consume. (See pic below)
Of course, there was one day that I did not accurately record my food and that was when we went out on a Saturday night and this may have bought the average up to around 1500-1600 Cal for week 1, but even so this would still make my daily average 1,000 Cal below my goal every day.
With this amount of a calorie deficit for both weeks, you would assume that I would have lost plenty of weight?
Carbs Will Halt Your Weight Loss
What I learnt from that night out, where I relaxed on the diet and drank beer, was that almost all the weight that I had lost during the week came back from consuming carbs. Very quickly!
From Saturday morning to Sunday morning, there was an increase of 2.4kg (5.3 lbs)!! Not only that, for the next two days, even though one of those days was a fasting day, I did not lose a gram of weight!
I have mentioned in previous posts that I believe this is due to water retention, caused by the storage of glycogen, because of the excessive amount of carbs consumed that night and it seemed to take about 3 days for that to pass through.
Electrolytes And Micronutrients
It was during the period shortly after the weekend, that I started to think a lot more about electrolytes and micronutrients and if I was getting enough into me. I had noticed that I was getting cramps sometimes and my lips were dry for a couple of days.
I’m not 100% sure if dry lips is a sign of deficiencies with electrolytes, but I took a supplement once a day for a few days and these symptoms went away. Coincidence?
This is an area I want to research more into to and really focus on. I want to make sure that I am getting the right amount of nutrients into my body, because the Keto diet can be a bit restrictive with certain fruits and vegetables which are high in carbs.
Keto Diet Can Be Hard To Stick To
I generally don’t feel that the Keto diet is too hard to stick to, but as I was recording all of my food consumption, I realized that it is actually quite hard to keep your total carb intake below 50 grams. With Keto, it is ideal to keep the carb consumption to around 20-30 grams and 50g maximum.
There were not too many days that I stayed below 50g. I probably averaged closer to 60g. My fast days were pretty much the only days that I was able to keep my carb intake to around 20-30g.
I don’t know exactly if going over 50g of carbs will take me out of ketosis, as I don’t have one of those ketone meters, but I will look to get some answers to this.
Is 5/2 Intermittent Fasting Good For Weight Loss?
I am a bit of an advocate for fasting due the health benefits associated with it, however, I am not convinced that intermittent fasting actually speeds up the process of weight loss. Well, not the way that I did it.
If anything, it may even slow it up a little bit due to slowing your metabolism down. On my fasting days, I also found that I would hit a bit of a brick wall around 10am-midday and struggle a bit with lack of energy and fatigue.
This time period was around 16-18 hrs into my fasting period and it gave me the realization that having a small 200-300 Cal meal at this time, would have been enough to get me through the day more comfortably. I have also thought a bit more about considering a 16/8 fasting method, where you have an eating window of 8 hrs and fast for 16hrs.
Exercise Is The Catalyst For Weight Loss
This may not come as a surprise, but the 2 days where I had a good solid workout or run was where I lost the most weight in a day. I dropped 1kg (2.2lb) from my gym day and 0.7kg (1.5lb) on my run day.
Not only that, the day after exercise, my energy and mood were noticeably so much better.
I think that increasing the days that I exercise to at least twice a week, should speed up my weight loss mission, quite a bit.
Using my Fitbit was really good to use too, as it helped to monitor improvements in my run times and heart rate.
So How Much Did I Lose?
If you happened to read yesterday’s post, you would know that I was worried about hitting the scales today, due to the pizza I ate yesterday. I had a feeling that my weight would have been up from the day before, but by how much was the question.
It wasn’t too bad. There was only an increase of 0.3kg (0.7lb) so I wasn’t all that disappointed. This brings my total weight loss for the 2 weeks to 2.1kgs (4.6lb).
I’m not disappointed with that. I know that it could have been better, had I not had those carb eating days, but it was a real eye-opener to actually see how quickly the weight came back just from one little “cheat day.”
There’s nothing wrong with having these days occasionally, but expect it to set you back a few days if you are trying to lose weight.
What To Do Now…
This week I’m just going to continue on with my Keto diet, and try to get a couple of nights at the gym or out for a run and I’m going to spend some time doing some more research on the things that I have mentioned above.
I didn’t actually expect to take away as much from this experience as I feel that I have and it has opened up some more questions for me to follow up on. This is not the end of my weight loss goals. I still have a fair way to go yet.
Thank you, if you have followed my posts for the last 2 weeks and keep an eye for some updates of my progress.
Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.