Hi everyone, I’m excited to share my weight loss journey with you, and how intermittent fasting helped me achieve my goals. I hope that by reading my story, you will feel motivated to try this simple and effective strategy for yourself.
My Weight Loss Struggles
I have always struggled with maintaining a consistent weight since I was in my early 20s. I never really dieted, and my exercise regimen has depended a lot on circumstances and time of year, and I tinkered a lot of different eating patterns more than anything else, when I would focus on it.
In 2015, I decided to make a substantial change to my lifestyle. I started to consistently eat smaller portions and exercise strenuously on a regular basis. I used portion control and choosing a relatively healthy meal at restaurants to help me limit the amount of food I was eating each day. I also started biking about 15km per day almost every day to work. I followed this routine for about six months and managed to lose around 60 pounds, even when winter came and I stopped biking. I was happy with where I ended up, and felt more confident and energetic.
However, my weight loss journey continued to be a bit of a roller coaster. In 2018, we had our first daughter. As a new dad, I didn’t spend time or energy often enough to cook healthy meals or exercise. I started to eat whatever was convenient and comforting, often overeating and snacking a lot. My weight slowly crept up until I reached 70 pounds above my ideal weight. I knew I wanted to do better, but what had previously worked wasn’t really possible during a pandemic and working from home with kids around.
How Intermittent Fasting Changed My Life
In July 2023, I decided to try something different. I had heard about intermittent fasting from my dad and watched a few videos. It sounded like a simple and flexible way to lose weight without counting calories or really changing what I ate. I decided to give it a try, along with cutting out refined sugar and sweets since snacking was a big part of my problem.
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that involves alternating periods of fasting and eating. There are many variations of intermittent fasting, but the one that is working for me now is the 18/6 method. This means that I fast for 18 hours every day and eat only during a 6-hour window. For me, I skip breakfast and eat from noon to around 6 p.m., then fast until noon the next day. It basically works out to 2 large meals (lunch and dinner) a day, during which I don’t really limit myself, in amount at least. I will occasionally snack in between those meals.
The nice thing about this diet for me is that it’s not something you have to plan for. The key is having less of the foods you otherwise have around, so you don’t need any special equipment or nutritional requirements, you just don’t eat before noon, and stop after dinner. Sometimes, if we’re busy and out of the house, I won’t eat until 1 or 2 p.m., and it’s totally fine. My appetite adjusted quickly, and now I’m more in control of it instead of feeling like it controls me. The key point in the first video I watched was the doctor saying “you won’t die if you don’t eat x”, which made complete sense as soon as I heard it. I’ve fully committed to this idea now.
Intermittent fasting works by reducing your calorie intake and boosting your metabolism. When you fast, your body switches from burning glucose (sugar) to burning fat for energy. This helps you lose weight and improve your blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure¹².
Intermittent fasting also has other benefits for your health and well-being. It can improve your brain function, reduce inflammation, enhance your immune system, and even extend your lifespan. It can also make you more mindful of your hunger cues and help you develop healthier eating habits.
My Results and Tips
I have been doing intermittent fasting for three months now and I have lost over 30 pounds. I feel really good about it, mostly because it’s working. My clothes fit better, my appetite and hunger levels are under control, and my energy level is higher overall and more consistent. I don’t feel deprived or hungry at all. In fact, I enjoy my food more because I eat when I’m truly hungry and stop when I’m full.
Here are some tips that helped me succeed with intermittent fasting:
- It’s ok to start gradually: Don’t feel like you need to jump into a long fast right away. It’s fine to start with a shorter fasting window, such as 12 hours, and gradually increase it as you get used to it.
- Drink plenty of water: Water helps you stay hydrated, and suppress your appetite. Keep a big bottle of water with you all day, drinking a lot especially during your fasting periods.
- Choose nutritious foods: Although intermittent fasting does not restrict what you eat, it’s still important to choose healthy foods that nourish your body and keep you satisfied. Aim for a balanced diet that includes lean protein, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats.
- Exercise regularly if and when you can: Exercise can enhance the effects of intermittent fasting by burning more calories and fat, building muscle mass, improving your mood, and reducing stress. Aim for some moderate-intensity physical activity several times per week³.
- Listen to your body: Intermittent fasting, especially at extremes, is not for everyone. If you have any medical conditions or concerns, consult your doctor before trying it. If you experience any negative side effects such as dizziness, headaches, fatigue, or irritability, stop or adjust your fasting schedule accordingly.
Intermittent fasting has been a game-changer for me. It has helped me lose weight without feeling deprived or restricted. It has also improved my health and well-being in many ways.
If you are looking for a simple and effective way to lose weight and improve your health, I highly recommend giving intermittent fasting a try. You might be surprised by how easy and enjoyable it is.
Remember, the key to success is consistency and patience. Don’t expect to see results overnight. Stick to your plan and trust the process. You will be amazed by what you can achieve.
Thank you for reading my story and I hope it inspires you to start your own weight loss journey. Good luck and stay healthy!