Beginning. Why did you want to lose weight? What encouraged you to take action and start changing your lifestyle (to try intermittent fasting)?
I had back and health problems and the only reliable, controllable reason was being overweight. I have very young kids, and not only do I want to be able to play with them, but I want to be able to walk my daughters down the aisle if they get married in the future. I knew that my best chance at doing so (both in being alive and in being able to walk) would depend on me getting healthier, starting with controlling my weight. I had tried dieting in the past, but it was too difficult to stick to different diets because I didn’t know what was allowed. I never bothered counting calories; I knew I could do intermittent fasting because I didn’t have a problem fasting for a day or two out of a week.
What was your weight goal?
Ideally, my weight goal is down around 230lbs with more muscle mass, but I set a conservative goal of 270lbs – I was up around 300lbs when I was starting with DoFasting.
Did you have any struggles or setbacks that kept you dissatisfied with your results? How did you feel back then?
I saw limited results when I first started, and my weight varies wildly throughout the course of a week. It is not uncommon for me to lose or gain as much as 2 or 3 lbs between days, and that is weighing myself immediately after getting up and before having any water or anything else. It was a bit discouraging initially to see only limited weight loss, especially since my dad started at the same time I did and saw much better results (he was also stricter in his diet than I was).
What results have you achieved?
I dropped about 30lbs over 3 months, and I’m currently 35lbs down from the beginning of the year.
Which method of intermittent fasting worked the best for you?
The 20-4 method works best for me. I started with 16-8 but found I would eat too many calories over those 8 hours; that, and I’ve grown to handle fasting longer periods of time better.
How long did it take to see a difference?
About a month. The scale was telling me I was changing, but I didn’t really start to notice a difference for a few weeks. My wife commented that she could tell early on.
When did the DoFasting app come into your horizons?
My parents got onto it at the beginning of the year to try to get healthier themselves and challenged me to get on it. I had already wanted to lose weight, and I hadn’t given intermittent fasting a long enough look – that, and I needed a little structure from the outside.
Did you feel any significant health improvements? Increased energy levels or anything similar?
My energy hasn’t changed a ton, but my sleep has gotten better, and I realized how far I’d come when I was able to chase my kids without feeling overly winded or beat. That and recent walks haven’t taken as much out of me as they used to.
What would you like to tell others who are starting their journey?
Find a routine that works, and start slowly. The hardest thing about picking up something new is getting it to stick, and if you set the bar too high, it’ll be way too easy to give up. For long-term results, it has to be lifestyle changes, and those are best made incrementally – make a small change and stick with it for a couple of weeks, then make an additional small change and stick with it. It’ll be far easier to maintain the routine this way.
Additionally, weigh yourself every day. It is much easier to take stock of how things are going if you have a regular weigh-in, and you can adjust day-by-day if you know how it’s going.
One final tip – don’t expect your dream body next month. Be reasonable with your goals – losing weight healthily adds up to about 2lbs per week.
Anything interesting about your journey? Perhaps tips and tricks?
I started not counting calories or doing any extra exercise, just fasting 16-8. I never had problems drinking water, but I had more impetus to consume more with the app. It wasn’t until I switched to 20-4 fasting that the results started to pick up, and that was because I was unable to consume too many calories in 4 hours as I could in 8. Things really got moving when I started counting calories – my biggest hurdle with counting calories is I tend towards perfectionism. So I’d want to get an exact count on things which was only really feasible with the store-bought stuff. When I relaxed a little and realized I could guesstimate calories and do good enough, it suddenly became way easier to track. That was the biggest key to my weight loss. I hadn’t added exercise until recently, which was my plan – once I got a good handle on calories and routines, finding time to add walking was my next step. I’ve already seen a big difference in the last couple of days doing so.
My journey has also been a bit interesting in that I used to focus on weight lifting but switched to just weight loss. I am losing weight rapidly – about 10lbs a month – and it has been clear to me that some of the weight is muscle mass. I am ok with that for the time being, but it has forced me to realize my limitations. I don’t want to get into starvation mode or lose weight too fast, as there are other health detriments to doing so. Having said that, I do have a lot of fat reserves that my body can use now, and I will need to adjust my expectations when those reserves go away.
One additional thing with my journey, I am usually gone on the weekends for my work (my family comes with me) and we go out to eat with clients who sometimes like to treat us. I’ve found that having a cheat day here and there is not the end of the world, as long as it isn’t a habit – if my eating window is significantly longer than 4 hours and I consume more than my calorie limit for the day, it’s not the end of the world. I prepare for a big uptick the following weigh-in and adjust accordingly. It also becomes easier not to overeat when I’ve already set up a habit of eating less than I used to in the past.
Your further goals?!
I plan to get down to a more reasonable weight for my height, hopefully around 220lbs. I’ve hit plateaus before, so I know they’re coming, and there’ll eventually be one I will not get past. Hopefully, if I’m down around 240lbs, I can ease into weight lifting to convert fat to muscle mass. My ultimate goal would be to fit 220lbs with a low body fat percentage, making traipsing in the woods an easier job than it currently is; that is a long way off, but having such good results already is giving me a lot of confidence to keep going.