This is my personal story of how I lost weight using intermittent fasting. Keep in mind, I am not a medical professional or nutritionist. Make sure before starting any diet or nutrition plan that you consult with your doctor.
I began to slowly put on weight after the passing of my mother several years back. I had a real YOLO (you only live once) attitude at the time and I remember just stuffing my face whenever I wasn’t incredibly full.
So, this is how it went. I would eat breakfast and I would eat until I was uncomfortably full.
Then, once my food started to digest and I made a little room, completely not hungry I would start eating again and I did this all day long.
Over a period of time I put on about 25 pounds before I finally crushed this terrible eating habit. I suppose I was maybe filling the void in my life related to the loss of a parent.
Looking back, it didn’t really feel that way at the time but I have never eaten that way before and so it totally makes sense to me now that that’s probably what I was doing.
So after that initial 25 pound weight gain, over the next three or four years I put on an additional 10 to 15 pounds!
I was exercising irregularly and not on a concrete diet ever.
I remember getting sick from stress one year and I ended up losing about 10 or 15 pounds which I quickly put on the following year once I was well again.
My turning point was going to the doctors office for a routine check-up and having the doctor talk to me about my weight. I would think prior to that I would’ve had some type of weight loss discussion with my doctor since I was overweight for years before but now it started to impact my health, raising my blood pressure and causing other health ailments.
So I had a total wake up call and I decided I was really ready to lose weight.
Diet Decision Time
There are so many diets out there. How the heck are you supposed to figure out which one is right for you?
For me, it actually wasn’t that difficult. When I was in college I experimented with a bunch of different diets. I had a really unhealthy body image at that time and I remember thinking about food, diet and weight loss 24/7.
From that I learned a lot about eating, nutrition and dieting. I learned what diets work for me and which diets do not.
So, with this in mind I already had a good jumpstart on knowing what diets were not going to work for me and those were:
- Calorie counting-based diets
- Low carb eating
- Cutting out entire food groups
- Super low calorie diets
- Diets which did not allow dessert
And the reason I knew that these diets will not work for me is because I have tried all of them in the past. Some helpEd me lose weight, others did not and some helped me lose weight but then I'd quickly regain it once I got off the diet.
I had never tried intermittent fasting and I knew a little about it so I started researching to see what I could find out.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a way of eating where you eat within a feeding window and fast within a fasting window during the day.
For example, there are 24 hours in a day so you might feed for eight hours and fast for 16 hours or you might feed for four hours and fast for 20 hours. There are a bunch of different ways to structure this feeding/fasting window.
What I really liked about this diet was that no foods were off limits.
There is no cutting out food groups, no meal restrictions, no low-carb eating, and most importantly I didn’t have to ditch dessert, which I absolutely love!
To learn as much as I could about intermittent fasting before taking the plunge, I looked online in several places including Reddit, Pinterest, Google, and Facebook groups. The Facebook groups are really inspiring and you get to learn a lot about the diet and read the stories of people to see what worked for them and what did not.
It’s a real sense of community that you feel so I really love Facebook groups for this.
How did the diet work out?
The diet is super flexible.
I love that I can still enjoy special dinners at home where I make my famous slow cooker pot roast. I can still eat out occasionally (or all the time if I wanted) and I can have Starbucks every single day if I want to.
A lot of people will couple intermittent fasting with another diet like a low-carb eating. And, while this is an option, it’s not something that really interested me. I feel like fasting is enough of a change and it can really be overwhelming to add another diet on top of it but a lot of people do this and are very successful.
I tend to stick to classic 16/8 intermittent fasting window where you fast for 16 hours and eat for 8 hours.
It’s been working very well for me and if I start to plateau or stop losing weight then I’m totally fine changing out the eating/fasting window to continue my weight loss journey.
Because I have a lot of weight to lose, it’s going to take several months for me to reach my goal but in the meantime, I am enjoying my transformation that I see in the mirror, looser fitting clothes, feeling better and getting back to being healthy.
Final Thoughts on Intermittent Fasting
If you’re struggling to find a diet that works for you and you really need a lot of flexibility, try out intermittent fasting. The first three days are the most difficult, trust me but, once you get past that, it gets a lot easier. You can also start to see weight loss beginning in week one. In my first week I lose 4 pounds.
Have you heard of intermittent fasting? What do you think of it?