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Intermittent Fasting Results – What You Can Expect From My Story 2023
Growing up, I was a multisport athlete at college. I was very active, attractive, and fit. But, my body weight was increasing and I started to look fat. One day, after I visited the doctor, my worst nightmare came true. I was diagnosed with PCOS. And my doctor said the only way to deal with it is by lifestyle changes and losing weight.
As I was trying to lose weight, at first, I tried various diets and everything that was supposed to promote fat burning. Initially, they had given me some results, but soon I realized that they are not sustainable in the long run. One day, I came across intermittent fasting and the benefits it offers. Despite being skeptical, I decided to give it a fair try, but with utmost despair, I began my intermittent fasting weight loss journey. To my surprise, it worked well for me and I lost 48 pounds in no time. That’s the most significant weight loss I have ever experienced in my life.
One best thing about intermittent fasting is that there are no strict rules about what you could eat, unlike other diets out there. You can eat your regular food while being on intermittent fasting. And in fact, that flexibility is what made me want to join the intermittent fasting realm.
How I Lost 48 Pounds With Intermittent Fasting?
I began my Intermittent weight loss with spontaneous meal skipping. Slowly, I started practicing different methods of IF such as 12:12 and 16:8. Later, I also included a keto diet and started exercising for 30-60 minutes a day. Cutting down on junk, salty foods, and sugars helped me a great deal. For better health, I ate fiber-rich foods and made sure I hydrated myself well.
How Did I Do To Gain Intermittent Fasting Results?
Throughout my intermittent fasting journey, I tried various intermittent fasting methods. I did not go for all or nothing, instead focused on a slow and consistent process. This way, my body adapted to an intermittent fasting routine and weight loss.
Two Weeks Of Intermittent Fasting
I started initially with spontaneous meal skipping. I knew it would be impossible for me to go straight away with the 16:8 intermittent fasting or alternate-day fasting. Then I was eating healthy even while I did spontaneously meal skipping. Spontaneous meal skipping is nothing but skipping meals here and there. It’s eating only when you are hungry and skipping meals when you are not. You are just responding to hunger pangs and avoiding emotional or mindless eating.
I tried this for 2 weeks and it was the easiest of all intermittent fasting methods. Also kept a check on caloric intake and included healthy fats. I am not a breakfast person, so I used to skip breakfast but if you feel hungry in the morning you shouldn’t skip breakfast but try to skip any other meal. Sometimes, I also ate just one meal a day. But it was only after a few days into the intermittent fasting journey. When I knew my body had adapted to this new diet, I did low-intensity exercises for an hour during this period.
Third And Fourth Week Of Intermittent Fasting
From the third week, I went on with the 12:12 intermittent fasting. This form of intermittent fasting involves 12 hours of eating window and 12 hours of fasting window. According to a study, when we don’t eat for 10-16 hours, our body enters into a fat-burning mechanism to convert fat into energy and release ketones into the bloodstream. This helps to promote weight loss.
This method is ideal for intermittent fasting beginners. The 12:12 intermittent fasting method has a fasting period of 12 hours which is relatively small. So, I made a wise decision by including my sleep hours in the fasting period. This way, I could avoid thinking about food, otherwise, it would have ended up in a relapse. I also exercised for 30 minutes or sometimes High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) for 15 minutes.
The Second Month Of Intermittent Fasting
By now, I was losing fat and lost water weight along with some belly fat as well. I decided to go hard on myself and started a 16:8 intermittent fasting method. This intermittent fasting method involves an eating window of 8 hours and a fasting window of 16 hours. I ate fewer calories but made sure to include good amounts of protein and healthy fat to maintain muscle mass and burn fat.
I also included strength training exercises for more muscle mass. This method was easy and the results were pretty quick. I would keep a count of calories consumed and make sure it was below 1500.
The Third Month Of Intermittent Fasting
I combined the keto diet with 16:8 intermittent fasting. My food intake consisted of only keto-friendly foods and an eating period of 8 hours. I included a lot of healthy fats and proteins. Both the keto diet and intermittent fasting promote significant weight loss. And the decrease in insulin levels is a result of fasting which facilitates fat burning through human growth hormone.
Our nervous system sends Human Growth Hormone (HGH) to fat cells and breaks them into free fatty acids which are converted into energy. This process is known as ketosis. Ketosis helps reduce body weight and gives you mental clarity. I continued to do HIIT exercises for 30 minutes daily.
The Fourth Month Of Intermittent Fasting
Although I lost most of my body weight during the third month of intermittent fasting, I got bored of eating the same keto food for a month and decided to get back to just doing intermittent fasting. As long as your weight loss methods are sustainable you will lose more weight than you aimed for. That was the reason for me to try various methods of intermittent fasting. This time I went with alternate-day fasting. It is nothing but eating every alternate day.
I was desperate to go on a complete fast on alternate days but it took a toll on my sleep. So I went with modified alternate-day fasting which allows you to consume 500 calories on fasting days. It’s best to practice healthy eating and be in a caloric deficit to lose weight.
Since I wanted to sleep well, I would consume calories in the evening and at night. I continued resistance training throughout my intermittent fasting weight loss journey and I lost much weight and it made a huge difference.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is one of the ancient methods which has been followed for thousands of years for weight loss and body detox. This is an eating pattern consisting of an eating window and a fasting window. This method stresses on the time of eating rather than what foods to eat.
There are various ways to do intermittent fasting, and these methods are split into weeks or days of eating and fasting periods. Intermittent fasting is the healthiest way to lose weight as it does not restrict you to any healthy foods. If you are wondering how much weight you can lose while intermittent fasting, well, I lost 48 pounds with intermittent fasting and exercise. You might lose even more if done right.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting improves your metabolic health and promotes your health journey. It increases the metabolic rate and gains body fat loss. Due to time-restricted eating one tends to eat just enough calories and stay in a calorie deficit. Intermittent fasting also decreases blood sugar levels and improves your insulin sensitivity
Furthermore, intermittent fasting helps lower your blood pressure and heart disease markers. Intermittent fasting is also known to boost the immune system and reduce oxidative stress. It reduces belly fat and helps obese women and men lose weight. With other diets, one tends to lose muscle along with body fat, but it is relatively less with intermittent fasting.
However, I added resistance training exercises to my intermittent fasting journey to build muscle mass. My energy levels were always high throughout this journey.
What Did I Eat During Intermittent Fasting?
During my eating windows, I gave my utmost importance to food consumption, which consisted of whole foods with no refined foods. I avoided junk and salty foods and completely stopped consuming sugars. I ate fiber-rich foods like beans, whole grains, nuts, fruits, legumes, and vegetables.
Also consumed foods that are rich in protein like eggs, meat, tofu, and fish. I included healthy fats like avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, cheese, and fatty fish. Beverages like black coffee, tea, lemon water, bone broth, apple cider vinegar, licorice herbal teas, and cinnamon increase metabolic rate and may also have appetite-suppressing effects. I tried different types of smoothies and fresh fruit juices as well.
If you are wondering how much weight loss is healthy? According to experts, an average weight loss of 1- 2 pounds a week is realistic and healthy. Intermittent fasting has helped me lose weight gradually and at a safe rate. It helped me cultivate healthy habits and lifestyles. I now eat fewer calories through a new eating pattern. And I set an eating window of 8 hours and consume as much healthy food with as little calorie intake as possible.
I continue the 16:8 intermittent fasting method and exercise regularly. Despite all the efforts, your body wants to maintain your natural weight. So, don’t starve yourself. Go easy and in tune.
+ 3 sources
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- Collier, R. (2013). Intermittent fasting: the science of going without. [online] 185(9), pp.E363–E364. doi:https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.109-4451.
- Welton, S., Minty, R., O’Driscoll, T., Willms, H., Poirier, D., Madden, S. and Kelly, L. (2020). Intermittent fasting and weight loss: Systematic review. Canadian Family Physician, [online] 66(2), p.117. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7021351/
- NHS Choices (2023). Healthy weight. [online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/