In this blog post, I’m going to share my journey from one month of intermittent fasting for weight loss. I’ll tell you everything you need to know so you can get started losing weight with intermittent fasting too!
Please note that this experience took place sometime in early 2018 before I even considered transitioning to a plant-based diet.
Everything is written from that perspective (which is good for you if you want to lose weight but aren’t yet considering altering your diet!)
Though I don’t eat the same way as I used to, I still fast every day and follow the same protocol as I outline here… so it works! 🙂
Now let’s get started…
Why Intermittent Fasting?
After failing at literally every other attempt to lose weight in my adult life, in early 2017 I first learned of intermittent fasting on Reddit. Over on the r/intermittentfasting forum, people were sharing success stories and amazing before and after pictures left and right! It was intriguing, but I was super skeptical.
Concerned about scary risks like metabolic damage or throwing my body into “starvation mode”, it took me a really long time to wrap my head around the idea that regularly avoiding eating altogether could be a safe, beneficial way to lose weight.
The ONE Book That Changed It All
After expressing my concern, the good folks over on Reddit recommended Dr. Jason Fung’s The Complete Guide To Intermittent Fasting as an intermittent fasting Bible of sorts, so I instantly downloaded the Kindle version and got started reading straight away.
Though I tried to get into it, I found myself too busy with work and parenting to ever sit down long enough to make something out of it.
That’s when I had the bright idea of grabbing the audiobook. Now, THIS was a game-changer!
Not only was I able to devour the entire book in just a few short days while doing other things like driving, cooking, cleaning, and changing diapers, but the audio version was FREE!
You see, if you’re a new Audible member you get your first two books totally free (I did not know this at first). And you can still cancel your membership at any time… so it was a totally risk-free way for me to get the information I needed. (I’m still a happy member though, lol)!
What Makes This Intermittent Fasting Book So Great?
I personally enjoyed it because while personal anecdotes and before and after pictures are exciting and motivating, I see the value in science-backed, professional research letting me know what I’m about to do is safe and truly effective.
Upon listening to the audiobook I felt confident I was making an educated, safe decision, and it was all systems go!
As a bonus, it helped get my skeptical husband on board with fasting too!
He’s the type to swear you MUST eat breakfast first thing every morning and eat every 2-3 hours throughout the day or you’ll fold up and die lol…
So I strategically made sure to play it while my husband was within earshot, and the information helped soften him to the idea.
In a nutshell, this audiobook was the final nail in the coffin that sealed the deal on my trying intermittent fasting!
So, for the month of May 2018, I stuck to intermittent fasting 16 hours a day.
For funsies and accountability, I thought it would be neat to track my progress here on the blog.
Here are the final results!
One Month Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss Schedule
I chose a 16:8 intermittent fasting schedule. The goal was to fast for at least 16 hours daily and eat all my day’s food within an 8-hour window.
This usually meant skipping breakfast and eating around 11 am or noon and having my last bite of food between 7 and 8 pm.
For exercise, I wanted to walk/run at least 2 miles most days of the week and throw in some in-home weight training, usually doing a little yoga and lifting weights with these adjustable dumbbells, and a little yoga at my leisure.
Like 20 minutes a few times a week.
I also wanted to make more effort to just be outside.
Like walk with my toddler to the park and toss the ball around with him.
I didn’t really have a “diet” or off-limits food list, other than sugar.
I’ve had some mean sugar cravings since quitting alcohol 6 months ago and wanted to keep this under control.
Overall I wanted to eat a more wholesome diet, mostly home-cooked foods, but nothing was really on the no-eat list.
My main goal was to just keep an intermittent fasting schedule for one month.
I didn’t want to get too strict about everything else.
I figured keeping it simple would help me see the effect of the intermittent fasting schedule itself, not necessarily compound effects of sticking to a strict diet or workout routine.
Intermittent Fasting Results Before And After
Starting weight: 176.6 | Ending weight: 166.8 | Weight lost: 9.8 lbs
Starting body fat %: 38.8% | Ending body fat %: 35.9% | Body fat % lost: 2.9%
A Quick Note About Measurements With Intermittent Fasting
So, we all know that the scale is definitely a love-hate thing, but it’s important. What I did was get a biometric scale that tracks more than just body weight. The one I use and recommend is the Renpho Bluetooth BMI Scale. This scale is so awesome because it’s 1/3rd of the price of the wildly popular Fitbit Aria scale and has everything you need to track your progress.
I like it a lot because it syncs seamlessly to my iphone and comes with a free app for tracking all my data. So that’s how I was able to effortlessly calculate body fat lost in all my charts!
My Experience Intermittent Fasting One Month
Intermittent fasting for a month will teach you SO much about yourself!
Looking at the photos honestly, I’m pretty okay with the outcome!
I think like most women I’m harder on myself than I probably should be, but the scale, fat percentage, and inches measurements tell a pretty good picture!
The first three weeks intermittent fasting were easy-peasy, though that’s always the case with something new (at least for me). The “newness” of it all and instant results are motivating.
Is that the case for you too?
Things Finally Unraveled
My last week intermittent fasting one month completely unraveled and it was hard for me to stay the course.
Though I fasted properly leading up to the Memorial Day holiday, I ate some foods I shouldn’t have during our holiday celebration, and that was mistake #1.
I started to seriously crave fast food after that.
I didn’t cook or meal prep that Sunday as usual, so I wound up eating out a lot that final week.
It all went downhill from there.
My son got sick and we had to take him to the hospital.
Seeing him so unwell was heartbreaking. I literally told my husband “I’m going to emotionally eat my feelings now”… and we went to Fatburger (note this first month fasting took place in the year 2018… I wound up transitioning to a plant-based diet a few years later!)
This was a setup.
Not only did I eat a huge burger and fries, but I ate it late at night well past my feasting window (I usually quit around 7 or 8… I ate this burger at 10:30 pm).
Eating such an fatty, calorie-dense meal so late at night meant my next feasting window wasn’t until 2:30 pm the next day!
With the added fun of making me feel starved early in the morning, too. And not for nourishing food, either.
I caved, and ate more, outside of my feasting window.
More unwholesome food, which I continued to crave more and more of.
After I ate it I’d feel lethargic, have digestive issues and just feel “blah”.
So, I’d eat more.
I never really hit binge eating territory, thankfully, and I only broke the fasting window on that one occasion, but I don’t feel good about unraveling the way I did.
Eating irresponsibly, feeling nauseous, bloated, slow, lazy, and just gross overall has been hard to bounce back from.
It’s a huge lesson to myself to try to be as prepared as possible.
Nobody’s perfect, so I don’t expect to nail it 100% each and every time, but really?
What are they putting in fast food to make it do all that?
After eating mostly clean for the first three weeks maybe my body was used to something different.
The immediate, horrible effects of fast food became glaringly apparent and it’s nothing I want to repeat again.
Glad that’s over!
Intermittent Fasting One Month — Sugar Cravings Still Gone
One of the best outcomes I immediately noticed from day one was the removal of my sugar cravings.
I’m SO pleased that they are still gone!
I ate sugary treats a total of 3 times since starting intermittent fasting, expecting it to re-trigger me.
But it hasn’t!
I’m still actively avoiding sugar for the most part, but I think 2-3 sugary treats each month isn’t too crazy.
I’ll indulge if I feel like it.
At this point, it’s safe to say my sugar addiction is cured!
I feel like a normal lady!
Intermittent Fasting and Exercise
I think my experience for the month is something I can expect for myself, in general, going forward.
Starting out strong in the beginning and tapering out over time, then getting back on track is normal for me.
Throughout the years I’ve always been consistent with exercise overall.
I don’t think I’ve ever gone more than a week – two TOPS – without doing some exercise.
But it’s been common for me to start a new program, last 3-6 weeks, fall off, then pick back up.
That’s exactly what happened this time. And I still lost 10 lbs.
The first couple of weeks were great.
The end sucked. Now I’m back at it.
I’m sure in a couple more weeks something else will happen, and I’ll pick myself up again too.
I’ve learned to be OKAY with this.
This is a huge win for intermittent fasting for me.
I feel like I can do the bare minimum 100% of the time – which is just DO THE FAST.
Some weeks I’ll go beast mode in the gym and eat perfectly…
Other weeks I’ll slip and order out because I don’t want to cook.
But in the end, with the help of intermittent fasting, I’m confident it’ll even out.
I can dig it.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting One Month
Here is a brief bullet-point summary of the best benefits of intermittent fasting for one month, given all the ups and downs I’ve experienced:
- Sugar cravings zero: This is the biggest takeaway. If I never lost a single pound I would STILL do a 16:8 plan just to kill the sugar beast.
- I still lost weight: Even with everything falling apart, I STILL got a good result. That kind of staying power is so important for someone who has problems with consistency.
- Intermittent fasting is simple: I love the simplicity. Even when I “fail” I still won. Out of 31 days, I made my fasting window 30 times. I like easy wins.
- It’s sustainable: No matter how busy I get, how unmotivated I am or what other ills life throws my way, I can do this.
- It’s flexible: If I’m hungry, I eat. Bottom line. The flexibility of picking right back up again without skipping a beat is freeing!
- It doesn’t hinder socializing: We had two holiday celebrations this month. Both times I fit fasting in without having to tell anybody what I was doing. This is important to me.
- It saves money: Eating less sure does. This may be an unconventional approach to saving money, sure, but it does help!
The Downside of Intermittent Fasting One Month
- Hunger is still uncomfortable: I only experienced an uncomfortable level of hunger after eating fast food. Fully acknowledging exactly why this happened, I can still say it was absolutely miserable. I did go ahead and feed myself when this happened, but it was still really terrible. I kind of also felt bad like I let myself down when I did this.
- Some compulsive desire to “push it”: I still feel the desire to push it to longer fasts sometimes, though I’m not going to. Still, the compulsion is there and I’m not really a fan.
Overall – Intermittent Fasting Is A Win
So that just about sums up my experience intermittent fasting for one month!
I hope you got something out of this article and that it helped you decide if intermittent fasting is something you’d like to try!
Keep in mind that it will still require you to change your habits and lifestyle in some way eventually (or else you’ll keep getting the same results you’ve always gotten!)
But you don’t have to do anything drastic other than start, take it one step at a time, be gentle with yourself, get your mindset right, and you’ll be on your way to achieving your dream goals.
I know you can do it and I’m rooting for you all the way!
Happy fasting! 🙂