We haven’t had our blood tested, so we can’t make any judgements about glucose, cholesterol or IGF-1 levels, but we can make some general comments about the observable effects this diet is having on our bodies.*

One month in

We’ve noticed that clothes are getting looser around our middles. I’m able to get into some things that I haven’t worn for a few months (trousers that were no longer comfortable, a tight-fitting dress that wouldn’t do up around my bust).

Weight has been gradually dropping off over the course of the four weeks – but it does seem to vary in unpredictable ways. Quite often, for example, I’ve found that I’m heavier on the morning after a fasting day. It was rather discouraging, the first time I noticed that, but as the overall trend is a downward one, I can’t really complain! We’ve both lost 2kg/5lb in the four weeks but as you can see from the graph below, it hasn’t always been a steady drop.

Weight graph

The ideal weight range for my height and build is 61-67kg/135-148lb or between 9 stone 9lb and 10 stone 8lb. So I’m not too far off the top end of that range after a month of being on the 5:2 regime. I’d like to get to around 63.5kg/140lb/10 stone in the next month or two and once I’m at that point, perhaps switch to a 6:1 version to maintain the health benefits of a weekly fast and keep my weight steady at that level.

Six weeks in

Here’s my updated weight loss chart after six weeks of following the 5:2 regime:

Weight loss graph

There’s been a rather annoying little uptick on the past week, but I’m hoping that’s a temporary blip which will be followed by a drop like those I’ve seen in previous weeks. I don’t think what I’m eating on the non-fasting days varies much from week to week, and I do roughly the same amount of exercise, so these little fits-and-starts are rather mysterious to me. Overall progress is still in the right direction, though!

Seven weeks in

Here’s a telling visual statistic:

Belt notch progress

I’d given up wearing this belt because it had got too tight in recent months, even on the last possible notch. I dug it out of my wardrobe this week and was very pleased to find that it will now do up a whole three notches tighter than it would when I’d stopped wearing it. That’s what I call progress!

UPDATE: My husband has helpfully pointed out that I could have taken the photo of my jeans and belt without me being inside them. You’ll have to take my word for it that I didn’t (and that I cropped the picture in the interest of sparing you the glimpse of midriff that would have been in the shot otherwise!).

Eight weeks in

Graph showing weight loss

I’m now well within my ideal weight range of 61-67kg. My husband is 5kg lighter than he was when he started and has only has 2kg to lose to get into his ideal weight range (according to this calculator). He’s planning to lose another 5kg. I want to lose another two kilos and then I plan on going down to one fasting day a week to maintain that weight and keep the health benefits of a regular fast. Figure-wise, I’ve lost two inches from my waist and two from my hips, which is possibly more thrilling than losing the weight!

Twelve weeks in

Time to update the weight-loss chart:

Weight loss to 10 Nov 2012

Had a bit of a blip after an overseas trip in October. Wonder whether that was longhaul-flight water retention rather than ‘real’ weight gain, though. And another inch off my waist has brought me back to the dress size I was when I got married in 1992! Admittedly there has probably been some inflation in dress sizes since then. I suppose the real test would be to dig out my wedding dress and see if I can get into it…

Fourteen weeks in

Pile of heavy cookbooks

Numbers are all very well, but sometimes it helps to have a more tangible demonstration of weight loss. Since mid-August I’ve lost 17 pounds (7.7 kilograms). That’s the equivalent of these five weighty cookbooks. Seeing the weight in this form and knowing that I’m not carrying it around on my hips makes me pretty happy!

Twenty weeks in

After 20 weeks of intermittent fasting, I’ve reached the lower end of my ideal weight range, a figure I haven’t seen for about 10 years. That’s a total loss of 9kg/20lb. I’ve been very impressed with the way that fasting has enabled the slow-but-steady loss of the middle-aged spread which had crept on to my abdomen in an almost unnoticed manner as I went from my thirties into my forties. Both my waist and hips are three inches narrower than they were when I started fasting.

Here’s a final update of my weight loss chart:

Weight loss over 2012

I will continue to fast, although probably one day a week rather than two, or perhaps at a higher calorie level on fasting days, but keeping at least a sixteen-hour fast twice a week. I think it’s the fact that the body has a good long break from the business of digestion which makes this way of eating so beneficial to health and allows for the using up of fat reserves. I highly recommend intermittent fasting as a way of being able to continue to eat the food you love, while improving your body shape and (with any luck) reducing your risk of developing diet-related diseases.

*Update, 21 Mar 2014 – I did recently have a blood test. Results here.