Diet, Food

My Intermittent Fasting Results Blew Me Away—5 Ways It Changed My Life

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Considering intermittent fasting? I tried it for two months, and my intermittent fasting results went beyond mere weight loss.

My Intermittent Fasting Results Blew Me Away—5 Ways It Changed My Life

Just a little disclaimer, I’m not a doctor or nutritionist or any type of health care professional by any means. Just a gal whose mission for the past three years (or is that a decade?) has been to get to the weight where I feel comfortable, happy, and confident with my body. What lofty goals–I know, right? I was at my heaviest over three and a half years ago when I decided to go vegan and thought that weight loss was going to be an effortless byproduct of eating a whole-foods, plant-based diet. But that hasn’t been the case for me.

I wanted to lose around 33lbs because that was the weight I remember feeling my best at. Well, three years and three months later, I was down 22lbs and was generally happy with how I looked but still not where I wanted to be. There seemed to be a persistent layer of fat around my whole body, particularly around the stomach area, that prevented me from getting that lean look I desired. I did running, cycling, yoga and went to the gym, never pushing myself too much with any one of those, but just keeping active because it felt good and was a great way to stay healthy. I wanted something I could sustain for life, not just reach a goal for a split second and then be disappointed when I could not maintain it.

Recently after turning 30, I decided to do a little research on intermittent fasting to see if this was something I could incorporate into my life. There was the 5:2 method that involved eating as usual for five days per week and restricting your calories to 500 for two days per week, a popular method in the bodybuilding and fitness industry. Then there was the 16:8 method that involved fasting for sixteen hours per day and eating your usual amount of food during an eight-hour window, which was a lot more appealing and realistic for me–because guurl, I like to eat and am not interested in calorie restriction.

My Intermittent Fasting Results Blew Me Away—5 Ways It Changed My Life

On the left is me this June 2017 and the right is September 2017.

My Intermittent Fasting Results

What I’ve had to do is basically nothing. I eat my first meal of the day around noon and finish eating dinner by eight, the rest of the time I am fasting. During the sixteen hours of fasting, I end up sleeping for half of that time and the rest of the time I do yoga in the morning on an empty stomach (I have always worked out on an empty stomach) and get on with my day.

What I’ve been eating is a whole-foods, plant-based diet–meaning I don’t eat vegan junk food and keep each meal very simple, fast, and easy, requiring minimal prep time but still totally delicious. My total daily calories amount to around 2,000 per day, give or take, and for a 5’8 woman who is not especially active, that is entirely adequate. I do have a matcha latte or a coffee occasionally in the morning during my fasting time, but I mostly try to just drink water during that period. Some people have a different time gap–say from ten to six or eleven to seven; I just personally prefer noon to eight.

Fasting is hard for the first couple of weeks, and it took some discipline to get my body used to the new routine, but now I don’t crave breakfast and actually feel a lot more energetic and able to get things done. I am more clear-headed and focused in the mornings when my energy is not going towards digestion.

Weight loss has not been significant. I have lost a couple of pounds, but what I have definitely noticed is that my body composition has been changing to look more toned and lean, which is my main aim at this point. I am less puffy and bloated in the mornings and am finally starting to make out a bit more muscle definition all around my body.

My Intermittent Fasting Results Blew Me Away—5 Ways It Changed My Life

My mood has improved particularly in the morning, I don’t know the exact science behind this, but I have definitely noticed that I generally have a more positive outlook on life than I did a couple of months ago.

Looking younger has also been a surprising side effect that I’ve noticed. I don’t know if it’s because my skin has been clearer since doing this, but I do think the fine lines I had before are even finer now. When I was researching this, I found that there have actually been studies that showed that fasting helps to increase HGH (human growth hormone) levels, which is the hormone that regenerates your body and keeps it looking young as well as having a whole host of other benefits for maintaining a healthy body.

What I’ve found so far is that it has been a sustainable daily practice that I will continue doing. The benefits that I have listed above I’m sure will only continue to grow as time goes on. I am excited to experience future intermittent fasting results and feel like this is what’s going to get me over that final hurdle to the body that I always desired.

I hope that this has been useful to you and maybe something you will consider doing yourself if you’re struggling to get a bit more toned. Let me know if you have any questions about this lifestyle; I will be happy to discuss my intermittent fasting results and what I have learned so far!

Have you ever tried fasting? Have you experienced any exciting intermittent fasting results?

Also by Anna: 10 Ethical Yoga Brands That Give Back & Make Seriously Amaze Clothes (Yaaas)

Related: ‘Sexiest Vegan’ Maggie Q’s Genius Advice For Thriving On A Vegan Diet

Always Hungry On A Vegan Diet? 3 Ways To Feel Full & Have Energy For Days

From Fat Burn To Focus, The Perks Of Intermittent Fasting Are Insane. I Tried It

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Photo: Pixabay, Anna Redko

Anna Redko

Anna Redko

Contributor at Peaceful Dumpling
Anna is a writer and a fashion designer who loves creating and making things with her hands. Originally from the UK she has previously lived on an island, in an ashram, Miami and Paris, finally settling in her new base in Los Angeles. She can’t live without yoga; even a day is not cool and is getting into raw vegan food. She is committed to cultivating a loving vibe in and around her. Follow her on Instagram @annagreenstar and check out her website http://www.alexandratextiles.com.
  • Jam Brown

    OMG I’m so happy someone else does this! I struggled with how to eat to be healthy and stay lean for ALL MY LIFE. I’d lose weight maintain it for awhile but then the same 30 to 50lb gain. That cycle happened with all sorts of different ways of eating from the 90s push of all carb Susan Powter lifestyle, to all protein Atkins, Weight Watchers, Slim Fast, Military Diet, The Zone, endless workouts, not enough workouts. The cycle was maddening because I just didn’t have a definite ‘this works for me’ formula. Then I tried the Master Cleanse and it opened me up to the world of fasting. Although it worked for me initially, years later I found it a little too extreme for my system so I started intermittently fasting by accident. I was out of work and depressed so I started eating just one meal a day. Times were lean so the frig being half empty all the time wasn’t a bad thing. My one meal was a full hot delicious dish with veggies, meat or protein and probably some fruit if I felt like dessert later. But I went from 220lbs (size 16) in February 2016 to 170 (size 10) since August 2017. NO WORKOUTS except an occasional dance class. Eating clean begets a clean lifestyle also just like you said. You sleep better, your energy is always good and you start to actually taste natural sugars again. I curbed a lot of dairy and sugar out of my life at that time as well. Weight loss is not a one size fits all journey. Even for the same person at different times in their lives. I am my own example. Does my weight fluctuate up and down 2 or 3lbs yes and I don’t freak out. I eat what I want, I savor my meals and when I do have something rich it’s perfectly fine because overall my eating is clean. I treat my body with respect like she’s my ultimate partner in life, she keeps me safe and I listen to what she wants. If its rest then so be it, movement then let’s go. Live your most joyful life, your body will tell you how it wants to function optimally.

    • Anna Redko

      Hi Jam, Thank you for sharing your health journey. I’m glad that you have found intermittent fasting a good way to keep you functioning at your best! I definitely agree that doing this puts you more in tune with your body, at least that’s what it’s been like for me, as someone who has had a difficult time with that as long as I can remember. It’s still a major work in progress but this is just a tool that helps with getting me to that place. I wish you the best for this journey in getting yourself to the best version of yourself. xo

      • Jam Brown

        Thank you for your reply Anna, I wish you all the best on your journey as well!
        To a lifelong path of wellness!!! <3 <3 <3

  • Tonia Brow

    I love this idea. I recently did a 5 day juice fast and felt fantastic when I was done. I have been pretty lean for the last couple years until I had a terrible reaction to a prescription this April & gained 7 lbs in about 30 days. Now the weight loss is going very slow…too slow. I’m going to give this a try & I’ll let you know how it goes! Thanks😃

    • Anna Redko

      Hi Tonia, I’m glad you’re open to giving this a try. I’ve had a similar issue with weight gain from prescription drugs, that took me years to loose. One thing I would definitely advise is to cater the hours that work best for your life, and not be so rigid about doing the exact amount of hours you’re fasting. If you’re absolutely starving than your body needs food, but just keeping at least 14 hour fasting period. I also only eat whole plant foods, and think that’s an important element of this. Best of luck on your journey. Let me know how it goes. xo

      • Tonia Brow

        Thanks! I’ve been vegan almost 7 years so this inability to lose weight has been strange. I’m 5 days in on the IF. I’m enjoying it. Lots of energy. Today though I am quite hungry! Thanks for the advice!

  • Mimi Kelly Johnson

    Thanks for sharing. Older women in peri menopause reading this blog may need to fast longer each day and only have a 4-5 hour eating window to heal hormones and lose and maintain weight. It is doable. Once you can do 16:8 you can get into serious fat adaption on 20:4. so if 16:8 is not working for you make sure you are fasting clean and going for longer fasts mosts days.

    • Anna Redko

      Hi Mimi, Thanks for the useful tips! xo

  • Noah Cox

    Hey, I like how you spoke more about the changing of your own body composition as opposed to emphasizing your drop in weight. I personally believe that the way you feel and noticing fat loss is more important than what the scale says, because the scale does not always accurately depict one’s fitness journey. What do you eat more specifically, I want to know what kind of food you use that has a minimal prep time and is nutritious. Here is a link to my website and one of my most recent blog posts. Take a look!!! http://noahcoxfitness.weebly.com/blog–resources.html

  • Vivi

    Hi Anna, I know this article is from 4 months ago, how are you getting on? Still doing the diet? I’ve just started IF on the 5:2. I do find it hard to curb the hunger in the evenings! I’m not overweight (5ft6 uk size 10) so I’m nervous that I haven’t enough weight to lose that it will pay off..

  • The Punisher

    I have been following the LeanGains 16:8 strength training program, and the results have been bordering on the miraculous. This lifestyle has not only delivered on every promise made, but even more so. From the first week I noticed that I was sleeping only 5-6 hours a night and bouncing out of bed with vitality. Others reported this as well. A doctor explained that digestion is a major stressor on your body, so getting a break resulted in more energy. Your sleep cycle is lessened because you have a more deep and powerful sleep. I highly recommend this way of life. Get your mind right, and stick with it through the beginning and you will have amazing results.

  • Nikki

    Anna- I am so excited to have read your article! I really want to try this for myself and I can’t wait to start! Do you have more articles showing different foods you eat day-to-day? Also has this affected your menstrual cycle? I read an article suggesting that intermittent fasting can cause hormonal imbalance in women, which concerns me. I’m wondering if that article (which wasn’t specific on the type) was referring to the 5:2 method.

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