Intermittent fasting is an excellent way to shed excess kilos, improve body composition, and enhance overall fitness. However, it is not easy to follow, especially if you have a habit of consuming frequent meals.
It requires you to control your hunger, adjust your social life and schedule to align with fasting windows and can make you feel fatigued.
But health-conscious people constantly follow it to promote their healthy lifestyle.
Recently, I’ve also done fasting for 30 straight days during the Ramadan month, a fasting month for all Muslims worldwide. And I decided to share my experience with you in this article.
For example, what intermittent fasting pattern I followed, what did I consume during the month, and what physical changes occurred after the fasting period?
This information will give you some insights into what results you can expect from one month of fasting.
Things that you’ll see in this article:
- What is Intermittent Fasting (IF)?
- My 16/8 Intermittent Fasting Result Results in 1 Month
- Intermittent Fasting Benefits
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a time-restricted eating lifestyle that requires you to keep fast for a certain amount of time and eat for the rest of the period.
For example, if you follow a 16:8 IF pattern, you need to be in the fasted state for sixteen hours, and the rest eight hours will be the eating window when you can consume two to three meals.
It means if you eat your dinner at 8’o clock at night, then your next meal will be on the next day at 12 noon (daytime). And between those hours, you can sleep and drink water, but you must avoid food.
There isn’t any fixed pattern of window fasting. It entirely depends on your lifestyle, preferences, and goals.
My Intermittent Fasting Experience
Being a Muslim, I have the advantage of following the fast as it is compulsory for every Muslim to keep fast for 30 days in the month of the holy Ramadan.
Here I will share my experience of how I feel and what changes happened after 4 weeks of intermittent fasting.
What Pattern Did I Follow?
I fast every day from dawn to sunset in the month of Ramadan. It means I fast for approximately 15 to 16 hours between 3 am to 7 pm or 3:30 am to 6:30 pm. So, basically, I followed a 15/9 or 16/8 pattern.
It was a completely restricted fast, meaning I couldn’t consume food or drink water throughout the entire fasting period.
What Did I Consume in the Eating Window?
In the Seher time, which means before 3:30 in the morning, I eat oats and peanut butter; bread, butter, and milk; or oats, dry fruits, and banana, depending on my mood and hunger.
I usually break my fast with dates, then consume other fruits, such as apples, watermelon, papaya, banana, guava, pineapples, etc. Different fruits on different days. I also eat cucumber, tomato, carrots, onion, lemon, and lettuce in the salad.
In fluids, I drink plenty of water and some energy drink to keep myself hydrated and energetic after the fasting window.
I usually take my dinner at 10, in the month of fasting. And eat rice, vegetables, chicken, beans, eggs, cheese, and some Indian foods, depending on what my mother and sister cooked.
So, overall I took three meals, one before dawn time, one after sunset, and one for dinner (two light and one heavy meal).
My 1 Month Intermittent Fasting Journey
When you start workout or fasting, your body takes time to adapt. So, the first week will be challenging, and the same time happened to me in the first week of fasting. I felt hungry, thirsty, and less energetic during the fasting window.
I didn’t feel like eating anything at the seher because of the unusual time. However, it is sunnah to have something before dawn, so I eat dates and drink milk.
I changed my sleeping pattern in the second week. I started working at night till seher time. And during the night time, I drink plenty of water to keep myself hydrated. And I used to sleep after praying Fazr. I also started eating oats and dry fruits in my before-dawn meal.
In the third week, my body and mind were completely settled into the routine of fasting. During this time, I did not feel much hunger and low.
The last nine days also went well. And on the eve of EID, I weighed myself, and the result is outlined below.
My Intermittent Fasting Results 1 Month
First of all, you want to know, did I lose weight or not, right? So yes, I lost 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs) in 30 days of fasting without putting in any effort.
I did not even exercise during the fasting month, but I used to work at home at my desk and pray five times, and they were enough for the daily required activity.
Each day, I was in a calorie deficit, and that’s the reason I lost weight.
Not only do I lose weight, but I also feel fresh and active after the fast. However, sometimes I feel a bit lazy during the fasting window because if you don’t eat & drink anything, not even a drop of water, for the whole 15 hours, it’s normal to feel lazy and tired.
Here’s a quick overview of my 30 days of fasting:
- I lost 2.5 kg without following a proper diet and with no intention to lose weight. I did not even try to work out, which can make me lean.
- I didn’t suffer from fever, headache, or other illnesses throughout the month.
- My digestive system was working better than normal days because fasting prevents constipation and other digestive problems.
- I was feeling more fresh and active after the fast that was helping me in my other work.
Intermittent fasting is good for people who want to lose weight but unsuitable for skinny guys. And to get the best possible result, one has to fully devote to fasting, meaning no cheating with diet and fasting.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. Is Intermittent Fasting Difficult to Follow?
Intermittent fasting isn’t easy at first. When you start, you’ll feel hungry because you have a habit of eating meals on time or at a gap of 3 to 4 hours. But, once you get used to it, you’ll be accustomed to it.
Here’s what happens if you start IF in your daily lifestyle:
- The first couple of weeks will be difficult for you, but after that, you may be used to it.
- What you eat after the fast also matters because you can’t eat anything you want. Consuming low-calorie, high-protein foods may help you lose weight more quickly.
- You need to focus on the four things for a better and faster result: Intermittent fasting, Proper diet, Workout, and Rest
2. Which Intermittent Fasting Pattern is Effective?
You can adjust the pattern depending on your lifestyle, preferences, and goals.
However, most people follow the 16:8 pattern as it is effective, adaptable, and efficient.
Any Intermittent Fasting pattern that responds to your body is good for you.
Each fasting method is effective and has multiple health benefits, including weight loss.
If you are unable to decide which pattern you should go with, you can explore these free books on intermittent fasting. These books will guide how to start window fasting step-by-step.
Additionally, you can take advice from a physician, clinical nutritionist, or dietician to find the best intermittent fasting schedule that works best for you.
3. Does Intermittent Fasting Work The Same for Males or Females?
The fasting pattern may or may not be the same for males and males. Research has shown that IF responds differently to men and women.
Here are some of the reasons why it’s different (based on research):
- Women see less to no improvement in insulin sensitivity and an increase in blood lipids compared to men- in a short duration of fasting.
- Metabolism works differently on men and women during the fast.
- In general, women eat less protein than men. And doing time-restricted fasting may cut protein intake for women.
4. How Long Does Intermittent Fasting Take Time to Work?
One month is the minimum duration to see the positive results. You may lose two to five percent of your body weight in 4 weeks if followed properly.
However, the result may differ from person to person depending on their gender, lifestyle, fasting approach, diet, and metabolism.
Weight loss is more about following the right technique consistently. If you’re trying to lose fat, you must take care of the following things other than time-restricted fasting.
- Eat fewer calories than your body uses during the entire day.
- Incorporate low-calorie foods into your diet.
- Do weight training and cardio workouts consistently, at least three times a week.
- Hit the bed as early as possible and sleep 6 to 8 hours daily.
5. Who Should Avoid Intermittent Fasting
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Children under the age of 16
- Underweight people
- People who are on medication
- And the one who has eating disorders like anorexia.
Intermittent fasting has a plethora of health benefits, such as weight loss, better heart health, maintaining insulin levels, and a healthier digestive system. So, incorporating it into your life may be effective for your health.
It may be difficult in the initial time. But once you get used to it, you’ll feel normal.
However, if you feel discomfort, it would be better to discontinue and consult your doctor.
I hope you got some ideas about how important Intermittent fasting is good for weight loss as well as for overall health. If you really want a healthy lifestyle, then you may try this.