Nine months ago, I decided to take control of my health and embark on a transformative journey that would see me shed an incredible 50+ pounds. The secret to my success? Intermittent fasting – a simple yet powerful approach that not only helped me achieve my weight loss goals but also revolutionized the way I approach food and wellness.
Nine Months, Fifty Pounds: “My Intermittent Fasting Success Story”
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, and my insights and experience should not be considered medical advice.
Before diving into my intermittent fasting success story, it’s important to mention that I am not a medical professional. The insights and experiences shared in this post are based on my journey and should not be considered medical advice.
Embarking on a journey of intermittent fasting, like any lifestyle change, may have different effects on individuals. It’s highly recommended that before beginning such a journey, you consult with your healthcare provider or a qualified medical professional. They can provide personalized advice based on your unique health conditions, ensuring that any changes to your eating habits align with your overall well-being.
Remember, health is a personalized journey, and what works for one person may not work for another. Prioritize your safety and consult with a healthcare professional to make informed decisions regarding your health and wellness.
The Beginning: A Desire for Change
My journey started with a simple realization: I needed a change. I have been following a keto way of life for years now, and while successful I was stuck. The scale had not moved in over a year and I was at a point where strict keto did not feel sustainable any longer. I wanted a small piece of cake at a birthday party or some stuffing on Thanksgiving. I had heard about IF (Intermittent Fasting) through YouTube specifically Dr. Berg. Link to his YouTube channel here. Additionally, I picked up the book Delay, Don’t Deny by Gin Stephens. After a little time reading and watching these two sources while being apprehensive (can I do this?) I was also really excited; I was ready to give it a try.
Most people who follow this blog know it’s full of Keto recipes and Keto along with Intermittent fasting can achieve amazing results and make the transition easier – so Keto in tandem especially in the beginning will provide amazing results! I wanted the occasional brownie, French Fry (who am I kidding let’s go plural: “Fries”), or crackers with my cheese and IF allows for this. This time-restricted eating pattern felt like a fresh start, offering a practical and realistic approach to weight loss.
I will also begin posting non-keto recipes – as this way of eating will allow you to partake in Non-Keto foods while still meeting your goals!
The First Week:
I have to say the first two days were tough, I am not going to sugar coat it here – I was constantly hungry and craving food! However, I managed to control my hunger by drinking plenty of water, hot drinks and consuming a small amount of pink Himalayan salt crystals. By the third day, I noticed that the hunger was subsiding, and I felt more energetic. By the fifth day, I realized that I did not even want/ need the full 4 hour window although it was nice to know I could eat. I at this point was typically consuming just one meal a day (OMAD).
The very last day of the week was interesting as I walked the track at my daughter’s gymnastics. I started around 4:30 (30 minutes past my eating window) and had not yet broken my fast, I felt GREAT! I had more energy, and my body felt lighter. The best part of the week was I had lost 4 pounds, I know this includes water weight as your body releases stored glycogen, however, it was an achievement and while I knew that sustainable weight loss is generally slower than that initial week, I felt great and was motivated for week two!
The Next Few Weeks:
By the end of week two, I had lost 8.5 pounds altogether and something unexpected happened…I started to love Black Coffee! At the end of week 3, I lost another 2.8 lbs followed by 1.6 ending week 4. I think I wrote in my journal, I only lost 1.6 pounds but I’m not sure why,1.6 pounds is a huge accomplishment and I was down almost 13 pounds in just 28 days.
Week 9 was the first real challenge of exploring IF as we were on Vacation. My husband said I should just eat normally “Its Vacation”, so on the first day I decided to have some breakfast at the hotel. I ordered an Omelet. It was good but it was a mistake, a mistake because I realized was eating for all of the wrong reasons. I was not hungry I was eating because it was “the thing to do” or what people call “normal”. This is when I realized that IF was going to work for me and was already my “normal”. The remainder of the trip I skipped the breakfast, I still enjoyed a cup of coffee and sat with my family talking about our plans for the day or the memories from the day before. Best part of the trip I lost 2 pounds, yes while on Vacation!
By the end of week 10 I was the lightest I had been in over 20 years, at least as long as I have been married. I had lost almost 25 pounds at this point. It was time to order some new clothes as nothing I had was fitting! I could hardly believe the scale and how great I felt. It was this week that I also started incorporating a 48 hour fasts in once per week. I call it No Eat Thursdays, lol.
I am within my goal window – Yes I have a window of 5 pounds that I would like to stay within. In less than 9 months I had lost 50+ pounds. I started enjoying more foods, and made it through Thanksgiving eat it all (Stuffing, Sweet Potatoes and Pie) and still managed to maintain my weight with IF. I never imagined I would be at my goal before the end of this year – just 9 months later but here I am, sipping my black coffee and sharing my story (I never thought it would be me)!
The Basics and Tips for Intermittent Fasting:
1. Choosing the Right Fasting Window:
I opted for the 20/4 method, fasting for 20 hours and allowing myself an 4-hour eating window. This approach aligned well with my lifestyle, making it easier to stick to consistently. Select a method that suites your lifestyle, 16/8 method works great for a lot of people and allows for an 8 hour window to eat.
2. Consistency is Key:
The success of intermittent fasting lies in consistency. Establishing a routine helped my body adapt, and soon it became second nature.
3. Balanced Nutrition:
While fasting, I focused on consuming nutrient-dense meals during my eating window. This not only supported weight loss but also ensured I met my nutritional needs.
4. Avoid Excessive Calories:
Avoid overeating during your eating window and listen to your body. I often start with a nutrient-dense snack when I break my fast. Raw veggies dipped in Cottage Cheese and mustard is a favorite or a ready-made cup of bone broth. This helped me not go crazy when it was time to sit down for dinner. Pay attention to your hunger and fullness cues: don’t force yourself to eat if you’re not hungry and stop eating when your satisfied.
5. Clean Fasting:
Clean fasting refers to intermittent fasting where only water, black coffee, or plain tea is allowed during
fasting periods. The emphasis is on consuming zero-calorie beverages without additives, sweeteners, or any substances that may trigger an insulin response, aiming to maximize the benefits of fasting. I will say there were days I had some LaCrox’s as a treat, and many will say this results in a dirty fast, I limited these!
6. Quality Sleep:
Ensure you get adequate and quality sleep, as it plays a crucial role in overall health and can impact your fasting success.
7. You make the Rules!
Intermittent fasting is not a diet, it is a way of life, there were times over the last 9 months that I did not fast a full 20 hours. Sometimes I indulged in a glass of wine a little past the eating window, there were days that I met with friends and ate lunch or breakfast instead of a fasting window for dinner. Intermittent fasting works but lets be realistic, you have to be flexible – I was able to have this success and plan to continue my success by doing what works for me. This is a lifestyle – NOT A DIET! You make the rules, again I recommend Delay don’t Deny as a good resource book, and you can also listen for Days to other Success Stories on Gin Steven’s Podcast “Intermittent Fasting Stories”.
Results: Beyond the Scale
1. Physical Transformation:
Witnessing the physical changes in my body was undoubtedly rewarding. Clothes fitting better, increased energy levels, and a noticeable boost in confidence were just the beginning.
2. Improved Mental Clarity:
Intermittent fasting not only impacted my body but also sharpened my mental focus. I found myself more alert and productive throughout the day.
3. Establishing a Healthy Relationship with Food:
The structured nature of intermittent fasting helped me reevaluate my relationship with food. I began to view meals as nourishment rather than a means of emotional comfort.
My 3 Biggest Challenges:
1. Dealing with Hunger:
Initially, managing hunger during fasting periods was a challenge. However, staying hydrated, drinking black coffee, and keeping busy helped! After the first week or two, fasting becomes easy – your body adjusts to your eating window and while you might get the occasional tummy growl, you likely won’t be hungry at all!
2. Black Coffee:
Black Coffee! REALLY – how on earth will I skip my morning coffee with cream (or in my old coffee ways “cream with coffee”, ha ha) This had to be one of the biggest hurdles to overcome at first. Black coffee seemed bitter and just did not have the comfort that cream added. One tip I read over and over – and honestly it sounds weird but works, put a little pinch of salt in your coffee – it takes away the bitter taste. After a few weeks I stopped adding salt and guess what…I actually love black coffee now. I don’t even have cream in my coffee during my eating window.
3. Social Situations:
I spent the first week or two on my IF journey without plans, and after that was pretty open to sharing my new lifestyle to friends and family to ensure a supportive environment. Not everyone loves the idea of fasting. Believe me I have heard it all “Your starving yourself” “Just count your Calories”, “This is not sustainable” knowing the science behind fasting will help you field comments and questions. If you really want to know the “science” behind Intermittent fasting I recommend picking up “The Obesity Code by: “Jason Fung”.
Tips for those Starting Their Journey:
1. Start Small:
If the idea of a 16 or 20 hour fast seems daunting, begin with a shorter fasting window and gradually extend it as your body adapts.
2. Stay Hydrated:
Drinking water throughout the fasting period is essential. It helps manage hunger and supports overall well-being.
3. Find a Support System:
Whether it’s friends, family, or an online community, having a support system can make the journey more enjoyable and sustainable.
My Continuing Journey/Conclusion:
As I celebrate the incredible milestone of losing 50 pounds in just nine months, I’m not only celebrating a physical transformation but a lifestyle shift. Intermittent fasting has become more than a weight loss tool; it’s a sustainable approach to health that I plan to continue on my journey to overall well-being.
Nine months, fifty pounds – my intermittent fasting success story is a testament to the transformative power of consistency, determination, and a practical approach to health. If you’re considering embarking on a similar journey, know that small changes can lead to significant results. Here’s to the next chapter of a healthier, happier life!