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).
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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