Tag Archive: dear kate
  1. Dear Kate: I get cold on a Fast Day

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    Dear Kate,

    I’ve started fasting and find it easier than I expected except for one thing: I get so cold on fast days! Is this normal, and is there anything I can do?

    Mel


    Dear Mel,

    I’m writing my reply with a throw on my lap, a pair of my thickest socks on my feet, and a mug of hot coffee at my side. Yes, it’s a Fast Day, it’s -2 degrees and there’s freezing fog outside, and it doesn’t feel much warmer inside either.

    Brrrr…

    Feeling colder than usual on a fast day is really common: some people get used to it while others (like me) just take steps to make it feel better.

    There are different reasons why you might feel colder. Firstly, your body creates heat when it digests food. So on a Fast Day when you’re eating less, you’re not generating that ‘central heating.’ Also, your body is very good at protecting your vital organs, which means if you’re not eating as much, it may sense that and prioritise them, so your extremities (hands and feet) cool down.

    The good news about being cool…

    The good news, is that your body actually burns calories maintaining a stable temperature, so you’re likely to be using energy that way. This fascinating Dutch research even suggests that turning down the central heating could help us stay slim.


    Down with cold – tips to warm you up again

    Stick on the kettle

    Hot drinks warm your hands and your insides too. Black coffee, herb teas, or especially a lump of fresh ginger and a slice of lemon in boiling water will soon make you toastier.

    Pull on the socks (and the gloves) 

    Your extremities are left to fend for themselves, so help them out with warm socks and, if you do a desk-based job, even fingerless gloves can help (I use these if I don’t want to stick the heating on as I work from home).

    Jump around!

    Being active helps get the circulation moving again. Getting up from your desk every hour and walking for a few minutes will help, or dancing to the radio. Better still, a walk outside (wrapped up warm) will energise you too.

    Want more tips and down to earth advice? 

    You can read much more about my journey, fasting tips and weight loss science, in The 5:2 Diet Book.

  2. Dear Kate: I’m worried about feeling hungry…

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    Dear Kate,

    I really want to start 5:2 as I’ve seen lots of people I know get good results, but I am really worried about feeling hungry on fast days. Does it get unbearable? I’ve always heard that getting hungry isn’t good for me, or my metabolism.

    Alex

    Dear Alex,

    You know what, I felt exactly the same when I was thinking of trying out fasting five years ago. I am a real foodie, and I thought eating only 500 calories might make me light-headed, or grumpy.

    But I researched it and discovered that it really wasn’t risky (there are a few people who need to check first, if you have blood sugar issues or a long-term condition) – in fact, the opposite. It had lots of possible benefits.

    Feel the fear and do it anyway….

    The first day, I was nervous, but I’d planned what I was going to eat, and I also knew that distraction was going to be super-important. So I lined up other stuff to do. I also love black coffee and that was OK for me to drink.

    It was so much easier than I’d expected. It felt ‘odd’ to be eating much less but also freeing – I realised I could do it. Hunger comes and goes – it doesn’t just keep getting worse. And when I did eat my planned meals, they tasted amazing.

    Plus – I knew I could eat normally the very next day. What surprised me even more was that I didn’t want to eat lots the next day. I just ate normally. And then the weight loss began…

    Lighter and happier, five years on…

    There are days when it’s harder than others, but really, it’s much more about the state of mind than the physical side. I love it so much that I still fast every single week!

    Metabolism myths and facts

    Oh, and about metabolism: intermittent fasting can actually RAISE metabolism in some people. Long-term fasting can bring metabolism down but that’s not going to happen if you’re doing it for one or two days.

    Hope that helps! Here’s my final list of tips.

    Top tips:

    • Have calorie-free hot drinks e.g. black coffee, herb teas, green tea – they help with any short-term hunger pangs.
    • Stay busy – distracting yourself means you’ll forget any hunger pangs and they soon subside.
    •  Join the Facebook group for lots of encouragement or download my free podcasts.

    You can read much more about my journey, fasting tips and weight loss science, in The 5:2 Diet Book.