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How I lost 11.02lb in less than 4 weeks on intermittent fasting

How I lost 11.02lb in less than 4 weeks on intermittent fasting

As mentioned on Instagram (here and here), I have started intermittent fasting and lost 11.02lb (5kg) in less than four weeks.

I’m now down to 7 kilos (15.43lb), 2 kilos lost during Summer + 5 on intermittent fasting.

When I found out that I had finally lost 7 kilos, I burst into tears.
Tears of joy of course but also tears of relief and sadness. The last thirteen years were not exactly a walk in the park weight loss wise.

While being pregnant with Mila at the age of 35, I put on 55.11lb (25 kg).

A figure that didn’t really worry me at the time.
I was 7.87 stone when I got pregnant (50 kg for 1.55m) and was very active. So I just assumed that once Mila was born, I will work out again and lose it all.

Except I didn’t.
Over the years, I lost weight and regained it after being hit by depression and when my father died.
By the time I started intermittent fasting on 08th Sept ’18, I was 70 kg (11.02st for 5.08ft).

 

Weight loss entered on Myfitnesspal since 08th September 2018

According to the NHS BMI calculator, and based on my height and age, I was now on the far end of the overweight bracket with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and Diabetes Type 2.

I was desperate to reach a healthier weight and a figure I would be comfortable with. An extra 3.14 st for 5.08ft was not comfortable.

During these past few years, I ran 10K 3 times a week, gave up coke zero & refined sugars, reduced drastically my consumption of gluten, ate my greens, reduced my alcohol, red meat and dairies intake, had a balanced diet, drank two litres of water/day, saw a Nutritionist, tried hypnosis once, took some probiotic.

Apart from the running and the hypnosis, all these small changes are now habits and part of my lifestyle (you can read lots of articles on the subject in the well-being section).

Although they didn’t have any major impact on my weight loss, they had a lot of other great benefits on my health (I hardly see Doctors these days) and wellbeing.
My skin is looking good too.

Then I started intermittent fasting and I finally lost 5 kilos in less than 4 weeks.

Before I explain intermittent fasting, I want to highlight that I’m not a Doctor, neither have I any medical training. This post is solely based on my experience and you should always consult with a Nutritionist or your GP before starting intermittent fasting. Intermittent Fasting is not recommended for pregnant women and people with an eating disorder.



What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is an eating protocol where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. It doesn’t specify which foods you should eat (although I recommend you eat a healthy, balanced diet)  but rather when you should eat them.

As such, it is not a diet in the conventional sense. You don’t count calories.
You eat as normal during your eating window. During your fasting window, you drink plenty of water, herbal teas, tea and coffee without added sugar or milk.

I find that I graze a lot less on intermittent fasting. Simply because after two main meals within 8 hours, I’m really not that hungry.
As I have a bout of low blood pressure, I entered everything I ate in Myfitnesspal the first few weeks, to make sure I was eating enough calories. You can download the App on your phone.

I also find that if I don’t plan my meals properly during my eating window, then I get hungry during the fasting window. So it’s important you eat enough. By that, I mean enough of the good food (i.e 175g/200g of green vegetables, some proteins & good fats).

The different methods of intermittent fasting

  • The 16/8 method: You are restricting your food intake to an 8-hour window. Then you fast for 16 hours in between. This method also exists with 12/14/18/20 hours of fasting but research shows that the 16/8 is the most efficient.
  • Eat-Stop-Eat: This involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week, for example by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
  • The 5:2 diet: You consume only 500–600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week, but eat normally the other 5 days.

I do the 16/8 method.
I eat between 10am-5pm then fast from 5 pm to 10 am next Monday.
During these 16 hours, 7/8 hours are spent sleeping.

The beauty of this is that it’s quite flexible.

Depending on your lifestyle, you can do 11am-6pm or 12am-7pm 0r skip breakfast and do 1pm-8pm etc…I’m a morning person so 10am-5pm is the best window for me.
It is also recommended you eat two big meals with a large serving of green vegetables (175/200g) and lean proteins so you don’t get hungry during your fasting window.

The 5:2 didn’t appeal to me. My portions are/were always too much for my height and I felt, the 5 days would just encourage me to overeat. Plus I would have struggled on 500-600 calories a day which is very low!!! It may well work for you.

The benefits of intermittent fasting

They are various reasons to fast:

  • Better health & longevity,
  • Fat loss,
  • Muscles building,
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Better sleep
  • Improve focus and clarity

For weight loss, the major benefit of intermittent fasting is that it allows you to lower your insulin levels.

This is an important point to understand.

Insulin is a fat-storage hormone that serves as a bridge between your cells & the nutrients coming into your body.
When you don’t eat and let your body recover, your body’s insulin level is naturally at its lowest level.
Your body will stop burning fat when your insulin level increases.

Sweets, processed food, carbs and junk food will spike your insulin levels the highest while providing the lower level of nutrients. So don’t think that you can indulge in refined sugars and bad fats during your feeding window.

Lean turkey, chicken have a moderate impact. Good Fats (like avocado) & green vegetables have the smallest impact on insulin levels.

Should you wish to lose weight, you should aim to have food with a low glycemic index level (there is plenty of info on Pinterest or consult a Nutritionist).

For a successful intermittent fasting:

  • Aim to have a healthy, balanced diet during your eating window.
  • Eat real food: green vegetables, lean proteins (salmon fillet. turkey, chicken, eggs),
  • Stay away from processed food packed with hidden sugars and refined sugars (biscuits, pastries, white bread etc.),
  • Break your fast with low GI food,
  • Drink plenty of water to eliminate toxins,
  • Don’t cut out carbs and cheese completely out of your diet as you will miss them and eat more in the long run,
  • Eat food you love so it becomes a sustainable way of eating 

So basically, it’s all about moderation and enjoying everything in small portions.

I hope this answers a lot of your questions about intermittent fasting.
This is the beginning of the IF journey for me and I’m not out of the wood yet. However, for the first time in a long time, I have faith again.
I feel that if I do my job which is eating a healthy, balanced diet and fast for 16 hours. Then my body will have plenty of time to recover and do his job.

I know from your Instagram comments that some of you have seen great results in a very short time and others haven’t seen the scales move.

Please don’t focus on the number on the scales.
Look at how your clothes fit, how you sleep, take your body measurements and focus on the positive points. Then each week, try to assess what you eat and what you need to improve.

Our bodies will react all differently.
You didn’t put on weight overnight so don’t expect to lose it overnight.

Take your time, learn about what food works for you and be patient. We don’t want to tackle this as a crash diet but as a sustainable way of living for a healthier, leaner, happier you.

If you have any questions or had a success story to share while doing IF, please leave a comment below. xoxo

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39 Comments

  1. Corinne says

    Merci. C’est hyper intéressant.
    Persuadée que cette méthode est de toute façon bonne pour l’organisme. Même pour ceux et celles qui n’ont pas de problème de poids.
    Et très sincèrement bravo pour votre perte de poids !
    Bonne continuation♥️

    • Merci beaucoup !! Oui moi aussi je suis convaincue que c’est bon pour l’organisme. En plus de la perte de poids, je dors mieux et je n’ai plus de ballonnements. Je suis également plus consciente de ce que mon corps ne supporte pas car je sens les effets de suite

  2. Wow! It’s so refreshing to hear another positive view on IF, I did it briefly in the past but it was more along the lines of the 5:2 and it didn’t encourage a healthy relationship with food. The 16:8 seems so much more doable.
    I know how hard it is to find something that works, I’m so happy for you!

    • Yes I didn’t think the 5:2 was a great way to approach food. What I like about the 16:8 is the flexibility. I don’t find it hard. The first few days I was a bit hungry but now I’m cruising :-)

  3. Flavie says

    C’est top ! Merci pour tous ces details… juste une petite question : est ce qu’on adopte cette routine juste le temps de l’amaigrissement ou bien pour toujours ?

    • Je dirais que c’est comme vous le souhaitez. Personnellement c’est un protocole que je me vois adopter pour toujours parce qu’il me convient. Je dors mieux, je n’ai plus de ballonnements et je pense que c’est sain pour le corps. Après si j’ai des copains le week-end et que l’on mange ensemble le soir et bien je mange avec tout le monde. J’essaie juste de manger léger avant et après un gros repas

  4. I totally understand how hard it was for you, so super that you find a way to lose weight and yet not to be on a diet! X

  5. This is such a fabulous achievement Karine and how great to feel in control of your weight and diet. So many of us are in the same boat!

    I also had my one and only child at 35 and have really struggled to lose all the extra weight which has led to me suffering from sciatica because its just too much weight around my middle for my 5ft2 height!

    I started The Blood Sugar diet and rapidly list weight too as you know. However…a girl’s weekend away has thrown me right off track and I am now finding it impossible to stick to the recommended 800 cals a day. I think what you are doing sounds brilliant. Is there a book you have referred to or do you just stick to the principles you discussed?

    Thank you so very much for sharing. You look fab xcc

    • I’m not surprised !! I wouldn’t survive on 800 calories a day it’s very low. I eat about 1500 calories a day. I haven’t read any book I mostly watched documentaries and videos on YouTube. I’ve added quite a few links to videos I find interesting in my Q&A highlights on instagram so have a look

  6. Yvonne says

    Thank you for sharing! I’ve been in the same situation for about 10 years now an just can’t seem to lose the weight. So are your 2 meals both existing of a protein and veg or do you sometimes have a sandwich? I will give this a try, but know I will need to plan ahead on my meals and hope it works for me too. All the best to you xx

        • Morning I usually have my superfood smoothie and then a small omelette with smoked salmon or a slice of ham and a bit of mash salad or spinach leaves. Lunch is 175g of green vege (spinach a la creme or green beans + proteins (salmon fillet, ham), and then snack is often a yogurt, fruit or hummus on toast or avocado on toast

  7. Suzanne says

    Thank you for sharing your story. I understand your relief in finding something that works for you. I tried 5:2 a few years ago but it left me feeling fatigued with headaches. In June I started 16:8 and it’s working for me too. Slowly and surely I’m losing the extra 20lbs I’ve been carrying for the last 10 years. I have always eaten a balanced diet and have been a vegetarian for 2 years but I could not lose the weight. Now I feel better than I have for years. More energy, better sleep, not always feeling hungry. I feel that I’m in control of food, rather than it controlling me. I’m in my late forties and was apprehensive about what lay ahead, now I’m ready to tackle it head on!

    Can I also ask if you could do a post about your hair? It looks so full and bouncy. Could you recommend any products or supplements?

  8. Blimey, apart from the intermittent fasting aspect of this post I could have written it myself. I was a tiny 8.5 stone when I met my husband. I put on weight slowly over the years and quite a bit more whilst trying to get pregnant. Then after my second daughter I ballooned even further until earlier this year I was about 11.5 stone which felt massive as I’m only 5ft2. I knew I had to do something as I hated how unhealthy I had become and I wanted to be a good role model for my two young daughters. I joined slimming world in May and I’ve lost just under 2 stone so far. Finding a routine and a healthy relationship with food (not a diet) is really hard to do but once you find something that works for you personally it’s such a relief! I’m so pleased that you’re feeling better now and I know how good that feels!

    • Yes and what’s so frustrating that it’s not just about eating healthy and exercise. Each body reacts differently and sometimes it takes ages to find something that works for us

  9. Great article. I have gentle engaged with IF for the past year- I always have a 12 hour fasting period but more usually someplace between 14-15 hours. I have MS and I find it really works for me alongside a healthy diet and gentle, daily exercise. Well done to you!

    • Hi Peggy, I’m so glad it has helped with MS. I watched a documentary recently on a woman who had really painful migraines for 15 years and when she started fasting, it eventually cleared all her migraines.
      I’m a firm believer that eating the right things contributes massively to heal our bodies.

  10. Gabrielle Blackman says

    This sounds brilliant – I’m going to give it a try!
    Well done Karine!
    gxxx

  11. Karin G says

    Magnifique article. Très touchant et très clair. Cela me semble vraiment une direction à prendre pour moi aussi. Alors merci pour l’enthousiasme, l’espoir et le soutien que cela me procure… tellement fatiguée de cette lutte contre moi même!

  12. I have some questions! So, you eat NOTHING after 5pm… but do you drink anything – maybe just herbal tea?

    And are you able to do this 7 nights a week, or are there days when you are eating out or seeing friends or whatever? How many days a week are you able to do the intermittent fasting, really? I have been thinking of trying but I can find so many ‘excuses’ of days when I won’t be able to stick to the timings for various ‘reasons’!

    • Hi Lynne

      Yes when I’m in the fasting phase, I drink a lot. Usually green tea in the morning and herbal tea to favour sleep in the evening and lots of water.
      I usually do this a minimum of 5 days as we have often friends around at WE. If we don’t see anyone at weekends, then I do it 7/7. It’s really something that I find fairly easy and I love how I feel physically.I have more energy, I’m no longer bloated, I sleep well and I lose weight. Re. the hours/days, you can start with a fasting of 12 or 14 hours hours for instance bearing in mind that normally 7/8 hours of that would be spent sleeping. I do 10am-5 pm because it’s perfect for me but maybe it will work better for you to start fasting after dining and then skip breakfast. It’s really up to you.

      • Weird question Karine but do you avoid milk in tea or coffee before 10am and after 5pm? You probably don’t take milk in your tea but I was just wondering if this makes a difference? Xx

        • Hi Katie, I don’t drink coffee and drink my tea black. However, I have read that during the fasting phase, we should drink things with no added calorie so I suspect milk should be avoided.

          You could try with a tiny amount of milk and then if you don’t see results satisfying enough for you, try to cut down on milk

    • I would also take away the “guilt feeling”. Bottom line is you don’t have to do it.
      If I do 7 days great but if I only do 5 days that’s good too as long as you are not overheating like crazy during these other two days. The idea is to do this in the long term, eat everything in moderation and feeling good.
      This is not a diet. It’s just a different way of eating in a shorter time so your body has more time to recover and process the food you’re giving it.

  13. Thank you SO MUCH for this article. I can relate so much. After having my one and only child 7 years ago I had put on 25kg and 10 in the last year. I suffer from chronic back pain due to an injury and scholeosys which as made excercising really difficult, I know do Pilates to build up my core strength and try to walk between 10-20km a week. From a food perspective I eat organic, make everything carb related from scratch as I get bad gut reactions from processed. I suffer from anxiety and was diagnosed with insulin resistance at the beginning of the this year which resulted in the last 10kg this last year. I have had to deal with not having more children due to my back injury and lost my business 14 months ago. I am still struggling with the weight and pain but remain positive. After reading your article I want to give intermittent fasting a go. Can I ask on occasions when you have friends over of go to a dinner party how should you handle your fasting window.

    • Hi lizette,

      I’m glad you found it interesting and I hope it will bring you as much relief as it did to me. Since I do this every day now, when we have friends around, I give myself a break and I eat with them. However, if I know this in advance, I will eat lighter that day and the day after and try to skip breakfast the day after.
      On one occasion, I didn’t. We had friends around the whole WE and ate out on Saturday lunch, evening and Sunday lunch + pancakes for breakfast but I stop eating at 4pm on Sunday and resume my fasting. Usually a day of two with a bit more food doesn’t have a lot of negative impact if you go back to your fasting and a healthy diet after the WE.

  14. Congratulations Karine! I am really happy that you have found a method that has worked so well for you. I wondered how IF has affected your brain functioning? My brain seems to be becoming less sharp (brain fog!) and my concentration is also suffering just with getting older/hormonal changes and I am interested in IF to improve brain function. What did you experience? Thanks xx

    • I sleep a lot better, like 7.30/8 hours solid and I feel I’m sharper in the morning and I have more energy. I’ve started running again and the day I don’t run, I sit in front of my laptop and start working without feeling disrupted by any pangs of hunger. So I usually get quite a lot done in the morning before I break my fast at 10am.
      I also add a few supplements in my morning smoothie, things for the skin, fatigue and memory. I can dig out the names if you want.

  15. Wow! You have inspired me! My weight is ok but I often have a terrible afternoon slump and feel exhausted for no reason. I will definitely give IF a try, starting tomorrow. I would be extremely grateful for any additional tips re. supplements. Thanks so much Karine xx

    • I don’t get the afternoon slump either because I eat between 10 am and 5pm so often I have to force myself to eat something at 4.30pm to make sure I dont get hungry later on in the evening.
      I will dig out the info for you. The memory one is a mushroom powder Steve bought and ironically I can’t remember the name hahaha (mostly because I didn’t really listen to him when he told me:-)

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