Intermittent Fasting means going an extended period of time without eating. Although it might sound like an eating disorder in the making, Intermittent Fasting is simply a different style of eating that is safe, effective and comes with a slew of health benefits when done the right way. This article will include some fasting success stories, as well as advice for those thinking about starting fasting.
Intermittent Fasting Success Stories
1. TedE’s Story
After one year of 4:3 intermittent fasting, I’ve lost 39.8kg (6 stone 3.8lb). My body mass index (BMI) has reduced by 12.28, down to 36.79 from 49.07. I have had to throw many of my old clothes out because they have become loose and comical.
During the second half of my fasting (the latter six months of the twelve), I experienced long plateau periods, meaning little weight loss was apparent due to my metabolism slowing and my body burning fewer calories, strangely, these plateaus seem to only occur when approaching a weight-loss milestone (130kgs, 120kgs), and were usually followed by an abrupt and substantial loss of weight. Whilst I am aware that plateau is quite common around the six to nine-month mark of dieting, I am hoping to get past it and speed up my weight loss process.
I find it is easy to do after a year. On most fasting days, I often eat nothing at all, and sometimes continue the fasting until my afternoon meal the next day if I am not overly hungry.
All in all, I feel fantastic, although I still carry a lot of body weight, I feel much lighter on my feet and more energetic than I was before. I also feel as though my strength and endurance have improved.
2. Nora’s Story
I have had to throw all of my old clothes out and purchase an entirely new wardrobe since fasting. I have just turned 65, my weight is now 127lbs, my body-fat ratio is 27.3%, I have a BMI of 20.2%, and a 29-inch waistline. I am feeling very good and am planning on continuing my dietary plan for a few years or more, to ensure I remain healthy and enjoy the years I have left to the fullest.Here’s how I achieved it:
I use the 5:2 method, whereby I only had to count calories on two days out of seven in a week.During the early stages of the regime I would nibble on snacks the evening before fast days to load up on calories, and the next day whilst fasting I would be thinking about food non-stop. However, this didn’t last that long, and it wasn’t long before I stopped snacking even on non-fasting days.
I found that distributing my calorie intake between the times of 12 pm and 7 pm, and skipping breakfast everyday (as I had always struggled to consume and enjoy breakfast consistently) worked wonders for me.
Once I hit my target weight in March, I decided to change to a 6:1 plan to see how my body would react. What I found was that even when I didn’t fast at all throughout the week by adhering to the 7-hour window (between 12 pm and 7 pm), I was still steadily losing weight. After reading some intermittent fasting success stories, I found that this seven-hour window had been useful for others, too.
After going on holiday, I put on a few pounds, but once I had returned home and re-established my seven hour eating window, I lost the extra holiday weight within two weeks.
3. Jane’s Story
After deciding that it was time to change my eating habits and attain what is considered a healthy weight for my age, I decided to try 5:2 intermittent fasting. I began fasting on the 1st of July 2013, and my body weight was 170lbs (12st 2lbs), as of today (September 24th, 2013), my body weight has dropped to 145lbs (10st 5lbs).
I generally fast on Mondays, Thursdays, or Fridays, depending on impending commitments. I fast from evening meal to evening meal, for 24 hour periods. At one point I attempted to fast for a 36-hour period, but this caused me to have trouble sleeping and left my stomach feeling extremely empty. For this reason, I continued to consume a small, nutritious meal in the evening on fast days.
I began diet by eating complex carbohydrates (whole meal bread, spaghetti, and brown rice), but have swapped these starchy foods for courgette “spaghetti” and cauliflower “rice”, which are delicious alternatives. I have abstained from eating all white carbohydrates, and I log everything I eat into an app on my smart phone which records the calorie content. This provides me with helpful statistics and ensures I adhere to my weight loss goals.
Since fasting I have gone from a size 16 to a size 10, and I am feeling very positive about my appearance. I have read many intermittent fasting success stories to ascertain that I am not alone in my success. I will continue to maintain my fasting plan and work toward my target weight of 139lbs (9st 13lbs).
4. Mary’s Story
After putting a few stone on during menopause, I decided to try intermittent fasting to lose my post-menopausal weight. Starting in September/October time in 2012, I first implemented the 5:2 diet plan but soon began a 16/8 method, wherein I would have 16 hour fast periods and 8 hour eating windows every day. I get great displeasure from counting calories so I found this method best suited for more – simply skip breakfast and don’t nibble in the evenings, how hard could it be? Since fasting I have gone from 140lbs (10st) to around 112/117lbs (8st to 8st 4lbs).
At first I would eat whatever I wanted during the 8 hour eating period of each day, with little to no concern of healthy/nutritious meals. Before long, I began to implement healthier meals and really noticed the benefits from doing so.
At first, weight loss was slow, which can be disheartening, but I persevered and eventually lost the weight I wanted to. I feel brilliant, full of energy and life, and my friends and family say I look better than I have for many years. Intermittent fasting truly has changed my life for the better. I would definitely recommend this method of eating, and this way of life to anyone.
Advice for People Thinking About Starting Intermittent Fasting
Perhaps the best method of intermittent fasting is by restricting food consumption to 7-8 hour windows each day. Because it is the easiest method to implement as it allows for food consumption every day. Reading other’s intermittent fasting success stories can be a great way to ascertain what works for others, which may also work for you.
Some may think that they can eat whatever they want on non-fast days without concern, however, nutrition is very important when attempting to lose weight and for overall health. For this reason, one should try to eat healthy whenever possible. In terms of diet, following the guidelines laid out below will likely prove beneficial:
- Avoid all junk/processed foods and sugary drinks.
- Restrict the quantity of fruit you consume until your weight has stabilized.
- Substitute starchy carbohydrates with healthy fats (as found in olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, butter, eggs, and nuts).
- Consume moderate amounts of protein from organically raised animals.
- Include naturally fermented vegetables, yogurt, miso, kefir, and other naturally fermented foods in your diet.