After celebrating a weight loss milestone (30 pounds! WOOHOO!! Bye Bye Baby Weight!), I decided to write a blog post on intermittent fasting for weight loss.
The intermittent fasting eating plan and lifestyle has “rewired” several ways I think when it comes to eating and digestion.
Before, I usually thought of “dieting” and “eating plans” heavily focused on what to eat and what not to eat. Never WHEN and HOW to eat.
But intermittent fasting for weight loss makes total sense when you think about it! I mean, of COURSE our body needs a minute to breathe and reset.
And usually, way more than we’ve been programmed by our society and environment to think.
In this post, I’ll share:
- How Intermittent Fasting personally helped me
- What Intermittent Fasting for weight loss is
- How to do Intermittent Fasting
- Intermittent Fasting for weight loss benefits
PERSONAL HEALTH HAS BEEN A STRUGGLE
If you read my post on the hormonal weight loss roller coaster, you’ll know my hormones have been in the way of my health for a while.
My hormones have been programmed to think that I’m “starving” or I’m “running for my life” since I was in elementary school. The slightest hint that I was stressed in any way, my body would store every bite I took somewhere on me… just lovely.
Anytime I was wanting to do anything with any sort of physical exertion… my body would almost be sent into shock thinking we must be “running for our lives”.
Because of this, I have had the hardest time losing weight or even just staying in shape. I gain weight while working out! And I’m not talking about gaining muscle and losing inches.
I gain BOTH!
You can imagine that this is super frustrating!
To try and “cheat the system”, I’ve tried many different types of eating plans to see which one my body settles with. My blog post on Trim Healthy Mama shared about how that eating plan helped me with certain things.
Trim Healthy Mama changed the way I thought about foods and which foods were actually healthy. I was able to lose about 20-25 pounds with Trim Healthy Mama, however my mindset while on the eating plan was too food focused.
Just because the food is healthy and low glycemic, doesn’t mean I can just eat around the clock! HA! Especially with my almost non existent metabolism!
Also, if you read my hormonal health post, I shared about another eating plan that helped me sort out some of my hormone issues.
Shape Reclaimed is a great eating plan especially for those with sluggish metabolisms and hormonal issues like myself.
I was able to lose about 50-60 pounds on that eating plan. Which was AWESOME! However, it’s not a plan you can live on. Nor is it a plan you can do while pregnant or nursing.
So since I’ve been one or the other for the past 2 years with Parker James, I was feeling rather stuck.
Just eating healthy or eating “well” was not going to cut it. Which is how I stumbled across Intermittent Fasting for weight loss.
A CHANGE IN MINDSET
A large part of my food issues are centered around my mindset. My hormones make me feel a certain way which then usually makes me want to eat.
I’m an emotional eater. So if my hormones have me shook up and tired and trembling… then I’m going to want to reach for comfort food to make it stop…
My mind would tell me things like, “You’ve had a hard day… you deserve a break… you can always be ‘good’ tomorrow…”
Which would then lead to me being upset that I ate the bad food and thus a cycle of stress eating begins.
This would especially happen at night. When I was done with my day and too tired to “care” anymore, I would throw ALL my hard work of healthy eating out the window because I would need some comfort food.
Night eating (and even in-bed eating!) was a pitfall of mine. All because my “nighttime hormones” would be telling me it was time to cozy up with food.
No matter what eating plan I was following, night time comfort eating was always a hurdle for me!
And, of course, this led to weight gain for me for several reasons. As most of you know, it’s VERY hard for your body to digest food late in the evening.
Also, eating because my stress hormones were on a rampage, meant I was stress eating! Which, obviously, means my body was under stress when I was eating… meaning it’s probably going straight to my thighs!
SUCH a hamster wheel I was stuck on!
IT FINALLY CLICKED
With Intermittent Fasting for weight loss, I am not sure what finally clicked. Since Intermittent Fasting restricts when you eat, my brain is almost like, “NOPE! Kitchen is closed!”
It’s amazing! Like I said, I’m not sure what about IF turned my brain around, but it completely eliminated night time comfort eating for me!
Something about knowing I just can’t eat at those times was much easier than focusing solely on what I eat and how much. Of course, I have to be careful of the foods I eat and to not overeat, but when that was the main focus, it made me almost obsess about the food!
That is why I’m so excited about Intermittent Fasting for weight loss!
WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING?
Intermittent Fasting is an eating plan that involves eating at certain times and fasting during others.
Our bodies need time to digest and process our food. In our society today, we are programmed to eat 3 meals a day. Breakfast first thing in the morning, lunch sometime in the middle of the day, and dinner in the evening.
Many times we snack in between meals as well. This means, at most, our bodies are only getting to digest and rest for an hour at a two during wake times.
When our bodies are at rest, everything in our system slows. Our heart rate, our breathing, as well as our digestion. If we never give our bodies some rest and digest time during wake hours, our system can get backed up!
It is very important to let our bodies have a break more than just while we’re sleeping.
Intermittent Fasting for weight loss is so helpful for keeping your system clear and functioning at it’s best!
HOW TO DO INTERMITTENT FASTING
There are several different ways you can use intermittent fasting for weight loss.
The most basic IF approach is what is referred to as the 16:8. To use this IF method, you only eat during an 8 hour period of the day and fast for the other 16 (hence the name 16:8).
The 16:8 method is probably the most popular as it is the most straight forward.
There are several ways to use the 16:8 IF method. Some people eat in the morning and eat lunch (and possibly an early, early dinner) then fast until breakfast.
My personal schedule is to just skip breakfast and eat in the window from 12pm – 8 pm.
When I wake up in the morning, I find I can be super productive those first few hours before lunch without having to stop and eat!
I have also found, personally, skipping dinner is difficult for me! Yes, I’ve done it but it is HARD!
24 Hour Fast–
The second Intermittent Fasting for weight loss method is the 24 hour fast.
This method is pretty straightforward. You just don’t eat for 24 hours!
I know, I know… I felt like it would be impossible and SO weakening the first time I tried it. However, it’s not that bad!
I thought of a 24 hour fast as not eating for an entire day but that’s not the case. This method is not eating for 24 hours.
This means you could eat breakfast and lunch then skin dinner and wait until lunch time to eat the next day! Whenever I do 24 hour fasts, that is usually the route I take.
Like I said before though, I really have a hard time skipping dinner. (Especially since I’m usually cooking for everyone else!)
I have found that eating dinner one night and waiting to eat until the next evening works well for me too as a 24 hour fast.
Some people do 24 hour fasts every other day. (That is if their system can handle that!) At this point, I feel like you can train your body to do almost any routine!
Unlike the other IF methods, the 5:2 IF method has more to do with caloric intake than when you eat.
While following the 5:2 method, reduce your caloric intake to only 500-600 for two days a week and eat as you regularly would the other 5.
You can switch up which days you reduce your calories so they’re not the same each week.
This method is a great way to ease into intermittent fasting for weight loss, especially if you know it may be hard on your system at first.
If we’re going to get technical…. The 5:2 method isn’t technically a fast since you are still ingesting food every day all throughout the day.
This is why I say it’s a great way to ease into IF or a great modification if you know your system couldn’t handle a full 16-24 hours without any food.
BENEFITS OF INTERMITTENT FASTING FOR WEIGHT LOSS
After following the Intermittent Fasting for weight loss protocol, I’ve discovered so many different benefits!
First of all, obviously….WEIGHT LOSS! When you are losing weight and your clothes are fitting better (or are even too big!) you feel like you could do ANYTHING!
That is SUCH a good feeling! Intermittent Fasting WORKS! Take if from a mama with hormones out of WHACK! You really can lose weight doing intermittent fasting.
When fasting, your stored fat cells become more accessible which makes them ready to burn! (That’s the goal, right?!)
Also while fasting, your body’s insulin levels out. When you fast, your body heals itself at a molecular level. You are giving your body time to repair and clean out junk in the cells.
Some other benefits of intermittent fasting include things like lowering/leveling blood sugar levels, helping with inflammation (gives the body time to detox and process the fluids instead of digesting food!), as well as heart and brain health and longevity of life!
Yes, it can be hard at times to go without food for an extended period of time, but those benefits above are truly worth it!
HOW HAS INTERMITTENT FASTING IMPACTED ME
As I’ve shared with you before, trying to lose weight is not an easy task for this mama an NEVER has been! Intermittent Fasting has helped me in so many ways besides just losing some weight!
Here are some of my Intermittent Fasting for weight loss victories! (That is, so far!)
I’ve lost 30 pounds in 3 ½ months!
Since May 1, 2020 (when I got “back on the horse” after crazy quarantine mental/emotional roller coaster) I’ve lost 30 pounds!! SUPER exciting!
Sometimes looking back it doesn’t feel like I’ve lost that much. (Probably because I feel like I personally feel I have so much further to go.)
But honestly, 30 pounds is A LOT! The clothes I was barely squeezing into are probably 2 sizes too big now. That is a HUGE victory!
2. I stopped eating at night and stopped taking food to bed as a comfort.
This was a BIG one for me! Like I said above, I would have days where I would eat SO well during the day.
But as soon as bedtime rolled around, I would be all tired and lacking in serotonin (a lifelong issue for me which is also why it’s so hard for me to shed the pounds!) which would make me all “shaky” causing me to reach for comfort food to almost “scratch the itch”.
This was definitely more than a craving. This was my body craving a hormone it was lacking, consequently leading me to foods containing those hormones.
In some ways, I would feel better after eating my little “comfort snack”. However, soon after I would usually have this deep “food guilt” which, as I’m sure you know, can be sometimes worse for you than the food itself.
I am SO grateful that Intermittent Fasting was able to break me of this vicious cycle of self sabotage!
3. My body has had a chance to detox and repair.
I haven’t always done the best for my body. Besides not eating the best off and on over the years, I wasn’t giving it time to rest and restore.
After following the intermittent fasting protocol for almost 4 months now, I can tell my body functions so much better.
My digestion is running smoother and my blood sugars are MUCH more level. I used to be borderline hypoglycemic. The mornings would be so hard for me if I didn’t eat at the exact right time.
Because of that, I was a bit worried right before starting intermittent fasting for weight loss since I didn’t know how my system would handle it.
I’ll be honest… the first day was rough… headaches, shakes, a bit of nausea. But! I made it. And look where I am now! I am SO blown away!
Before trying IF, I would have NEVER believed I could go a whole 24 hours without a single bite of food and just water! I’m still so amazed and proud of my accomplishment!
As I’ve said before, Intermittent Fasting is a great health regimen and weight loss tool. If you’re looking to lose some weight and/or regulate your body’s levels, IF can definitely help!
I would be sure to talk to your doctor first before trying anything too drastic just to make sure every is “all systems go”!
If you do decide to try IF, PLEASE share your results with me! Shoot me an email with the details! I would LOVE to hear from you!!!
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