I’ve been fasting off and on for a very long time now and sing its praises from the rooftops. After losing over 40 pounds, I find intermittent fasting a simple-but-critical component to maintaining an ideal body weight.
At my highest weight of 196 pounds, I tried everything to lose weight – to no avail.
Only when I finally pushed through fear and doubt and really focused on intermittent fasting did I start to see real change that I could actually maintain!
Today, I weigh less than I have in at least ten years!
But it all started with the very first week.
If you’re considering giving intermittent fasting a try and are curious as to what you might experience in the earliest days of your journey, this piece is for you.
Here are eight things to expect in your very first-week intermittent fasting.
Your First Week Intermittent Fasting
While intermittent fasting is probably one of the most straightforward approaches to dieting and weight loss you can take, you should still do your research. Make sure you know what you’re doing.
I put together a super-thorough guide to intermittent fasting that contains everything you need to know before you get started. Check it out before you begin!
1- Cautious Optimism
First, you might be extremely optimistic – yet cautious at the same time. At least I was.
Prior to trying fasting, I’d seen everyone’s amazing before and after pictures. I saw how people were able to eat great meals that really satisfied them. And I saw how happy and confident everyone was.
I wanted the same for myself!
While I thought that if they could do it, I could do it too, part of me was still a little scared.
I don’t think I’d ever intentionally missed a meal in my life! How would I miss at least one every single day?
But you know what? It wasn’t that bad. At least not all that bad!
Things did get better over time.
So, if this is one of your fears, that maybe skipping meals is going to be hard? I won’t lie, it might be.
At least at first.
But it does get better.
Which brings me to point #2…
2- Extreme Hunger At The Start Of The Week
I’m going to be completely honest with you. Yeah, at times during the very first week, you might be very hungry during your fasting window.
Think about it like this… if your body is used to a constant stream of food from when you wake up in the morning to when you go to sleep at night, intermittent fasting is going to confuse your system.
But if you stick with it past the first few days or so, your body will get used to it! Mine did!
And what a sweet relief it was!
Over time, I came to realize that what I thought was “hunger” was one of two things.
It was either dehydration/thirst (and I needed to drink more water), or it was something I struggled with until I adopted a more whole food plant-based diet: emotional eating.
The good news, though, is that the extreme hunger will pass.
In fact, sometimes you will…
3- Forget To Eat
Yes! Imagine that! Sometimes you’ll actually forget to eat.
When this happened to me for the first time, I was shocked and amazed because believe me, forgetting to eat was NEVER a thing before. NEVER!
Starting with a 16-hour fast was intimidating, but by the time the first week was said and done I’d even had a 20-hour fast and an 18-hour fast thrown into the mix.
And I was feeling so much better, both in my skin and emotionally.
This is such great news because it frees you from obsessing over food and you start to lose weight naturally as your body adjusts.
And when this happens, it brings a new sense of…
4- Confidence & Strength
Pushing past that initial hunger on those days when it felt hard made me feel so good! Because though I can’t promise you it’ll be easy to push through, once you do? You start to realize that feeling a little hungry for an hour or two until you hit your feeding window just isn’t all that bad.
If you’ve never really succeeded at self-constraint or restriction before when it comes to food, you start to feel confident and strong.
Like you can meet your goals, and the proof is in the pudding – you JUST did!
5-The Desire To Exercise
Next, you may also feel a new and sudden desire to exercise!
I think it comes with feeling like you’re doing something good for your body. Like you’re finally in control, you know you’re not going to eat until 12pm and you’re making it happen.
You’re drinking more water, you’re on top of your game, so what else can you do for your body?
Maybe you don’t suddenly want to lift weights like you’re training for the Olympics or anything.
But if you want to lift weights at least just a little, I recommend these adjustable dumbells.
I use them a few times a week and they are a convenient way to get some workouts in.
Other than that, I can recommend walking a little more (even in place)! Do a little yoga. Spend some of the time that you aren’t eating, pushing the needle on the scale even more to the left in any little way you can.
6- Annoyed At The Skeptics
Since intermittent fasting has grown so much in popularity recently, this may or may not be so much of a thing. But oh my gosh…
When I first started intermittent fasting I got so many people talking mess about what I was doing!
They told me it wasn’t the best for my overall wellness, that I’d go into starvation mode and wither away. That it was dangerous. That it was unsustainable. And it just made me feel like crap. But you know what?
I DID IT ANYWAY AND WON.
It was super annoying though.
So, you might get annoyed by people who are skeptical of your new journey.
But you know what you do with that? You use it as fuel to meet your goal. So, when they ask “sis… why are you so slim and hot, and why are you glowing so much? What’s your secret”?
You tell ‘em “starvation mode”.
7- Hope & Belief
In the beginning, you may feel a little timid about the whole thing. Then when you first start to feel that overwhelming sense of hunger, you may feel skeptical.
BUT let me tell you… once you push past the ickiest parts and start to find your groove? It’s like the lightbulb goes off inside your head and you finally feel a sense of hope and belief that it’s your TURN!
Your success story is just around the corner.
I don’t know about you, but after struggling with my weight for so long I think some part of my belief in being able to change just kinda died.
Like, I’d start these diets and workout programs and go strong for a minute, but I knew that it wasn’t sustainable. That I hated eliminating entire food groups. Or I couldn’t fathom the idea of never enjoying some of my favorite foods again.
But intermittent fasting? Though it isn’t a magic trick and there are still rules to follow, it’s the most realistic and sustainable way of eating that I’ve personally ever seen.
And within my first week, I had the hope and belief that I just might make it.
You can too!
8- Joy & Excitement
Finally, results may vary so I don’t want you to feel discouraged if you don’t see results in your first week. It just may take your body a little longer to adapt. Or you may need to make a few tweaks to your approach.
But for many people, weight loss in the first week is really a thing!
In my case, I lost 5 pounds and quite a few inches in my first week and it only added to the joy and excitement I felt brewing already!
Those quick and early wins can give you so much more fuel and encouragement to keep going.
Because you’ll realize there’s truly no limit to what you can do and achieve!
Intermittent fasting works, if you work it!
Overall, intermittent fasting is a great way to jumpstart your new lifestyle.
It’s easy, you can get quick results that motivate you to go further, and it helps you discover what true hunger is like.
I hope this article helped you to understand what you might expect in your first week of trying intermittent fasting.
And that it helps you move a bit closer to getting that dream body that you crave and deserve.