Intermittent Fasting Reset: Month One

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It’s been one month since I put into place my intermittent fasting reset plan to lose the 10 pounds that I gained while intermittent fasting. While the results weren’t what I was hoping for, the process of “not losing” a lot of weight turned out to be more benefical to me than actually losing weight!

Intermittent Fasting Reset: Month One

The Recap and Results.

Let’s begin by taking take a look at where I started one month ago and compare that to where I am today. 

MeasurementsOctober 4, 2020October 31, 2020
Weight158.4157
Waist35″35″
Hip44.5″44.5″
Thigh27″26.5″
Bust36″35.5″
Arm14″13.5″

Are these the results that I expected? 

Meh. I’m not too sure honestly. I really didn’t know what to expect. 

Of course I was hoping for an amazing 10-pound weight loss (because of course I was!), but it’s not the outcome I received. 

However, I’m not even a little bit disappointed with these results!

No, not at all!

As I mentioned above, the process of NOT losing weight turned out to me more beneficial to me that losing the actual weight.

What I learned from my “lack of success” has taught me so much and has set the stage for how I’m going to attack month two!

Post Breakdown.

I’m going to break this post down by including the following in each section:

  1. Quick recap of my month one plan for each section.
  2. Review of the progress that I made with each plan in each section.
  3. Provide my plan (including changes) for month two for each section.

This post is super lengthy so feel free to hop on the Table of Contents to read what interests you most!

Intermittent Fasting Schedule.

For me, I consider the fast of my intermittent fasting schedule to be the foundation for my health, wellness, and weight loss lifestyle.

My fast sets the stage for my day each and every day.  So, when I gained 10 pounds I knew I had to take a good hard look at my fast to see if there was something amiss. Was there something that I was doing during my fast that could have stalled my weight loss and potentially aided in the 10 pound gain?

  • Was I fasting clean?
  • Were my fasts long enough?
  • Was I consistent with my fasting schedule?

I’ve been a dedicated “clean faster” for a very long time now so I knew that most likely wasn’t the culprit. I live by black coffee and sparkling mineral water during my fasts. But, what about the length of my fast and the consistency of my intermittent fasting schedule? 

Could that be flagged as a potential problem.

intermittent fasting reset.
Photo by Acharaporn Kamornboonyarush on Pexels.com

Length & Consistency.

Since the COVID shut down my fasting length and consistency have been all over the place. Some days I would open my eating window after a 16-hour fast, others I would go the full 18-20 hour distance. And, yet, other days I wouldn’t fast that long at all. 

My goal for month one was to complete at least an 18-hour fast every day (20-hours if I could) to get myself back on track with my intermittent fasting schedule consistency.

How did I do?

Pretty darn well, thank you very much! 

With the exception of about three days, I fasted successfully (all clean fasts) for a minimum of 18 hours a day all the way up to about 20 hours. Check out my results below!

I track my fast with the Life App. It’s super easy to use and it’s FREE!

Intermittent Fasting Reset Plan: Month One

Important Note: Those three “inconsistent fasting days” happened right before my period began. Surprise, surprise, right? While I was bummed that I was “off-schedule” for those three days, I also gave myself a break because, well…my period. 

The Final Results.

Did the change in my fasting schedule help me this month with my weight loss goals? 

In a roundabout sort of way, yes.

Had I not remained consistent with my fasting schedule, it’s possible I would not have lost any weight or, on the flip side, gained a little weight.

Could I have lost more?

Sure, but I think the reason I didn’t lose more weight has nothing to do with my fast. I do have a theory about my slow results, but I’ll explain that later in this post.

Looking ahead.

Looking ahead to month two of my intermittent fasting reset plan I have to decide if I want to make changes to my current intermittent fasting schedule of 18/6 or leave it “as-is”.

Side Note: Making changes to your intermittent fasting schedule is a common practice among intermittent fasters to get the scale moving in the downward direction again. This usually happens when you lengthen your fasting period or include some extended fasts into your weekly routine.

Potential Schedule Changes.

A few changes I could consider to help me better achieve my weight loss goals are:

  • Add 1-2 extended fasts (24 to 36-hour fasts) to my weekly schedule.
  • Increase the length of my daily fast in my current intermittent fasting schedule from an 18/6 intermittent fasting schedule to a solid 20/4 intermittent fasting schedule or even a 22/2 intermittent fasting schedule or,
  • Try alternate day fasting.

What option will I choose?

I’ve decided that I’m not going to choose any of them.

While many of these changes could result in a possible “push” off my plateau, I am just not at a point in my process that I feel they are necessary. I’m not totally “off” board with any of them, I just want to see if another idea that I have to lose the weight will work first before I implement any of these other plans. 

Read on to find out!

Daily Weigh-ins. 

Ok, everyone. THIS was a HUGE eye-opener for me. I have been insanely intrigued by daily weigh-ins for a while now but didn’t have the guts to consistently weigh myself every single day. I knew that the ups and downs (mainly ups) of those daily weigh-ins would KILL me, but for the sake of my own “scientific experiment” on myself, I decided to forge ahead. 

Instead of using these daily weigh-ins as a tool to beat and berate myself when the numbers on the scale would climb the tiniest bit, I decided to look at my daily weigh-ins as a learning experience.

And a learning experience it was!

Tracking.

While I used the Happy Scale App to track my daily weigh-ins, I also decided to create my own little worksheet that not only tracked my daily weigh-ins but also tracked my alcohol consumption, days to my period, my workouts,  etc.

I wanted to see if any of these factors stood out in terms of those ups and downs on the scale that I was so diligently tracking on a daily basis.

Intermittent Fasting Reset: Month One
Snapshot of my tracking worksheet.

Sidenote: The biggest factors that contributed to an increase in my weight fluctuations were alcohol and my period. There was a slight increase in weight when I changed my workout routine, but it wasn’t significant enough to consider it a “weight gain” factor.

Weight fluctuations.

On average my weight fluctuated between 1-2 pounds a day. This was INSANE to me. Sometimes my weight would fluctuate between 2-4 pounds in a week. This blew my mind more than just a little bit. 

Take a look at my Week 3 results. On October 18 I weighed 156.6 and then on Friday I weighed 158.6. At first glance, it appears that I gained two pounds that week, but when I consulted my little worksheet I could see that on October 24 I was about 5 days from the start of my period. While I may have gained a little, it’s entirely possible that those additional pounds were from water retention. And then, if you look at Week 4, my period week, my weight slowly starts to trend down.

Intermittent Fasting Reset: Month One
Intermittent Fasting Reset: Month One
Intermittent Fasting Reset: Month One

So many mind games!

I knew that my weight would fluctuate here and there on a daily basis, but I didn’t realize just how much it would fluctuate. Knowing this has helped my mental game when it comes to the number on the scale. I’m not as addicted to it now that I know that my daily results can change as much as they do.

Intermittent Fasting Reset: Month One.
Snapshot of week before and during period.

Final results.

In total, I’ve lost about 1.4 pounds. Based on my Happy Scale App, my current 10 day low is 157. Given that my starting weight on October 4 was 158.4, that makes perfect sense.

Side Note: If you’re interested in using the Happy Scale App I highly encourage you to check out the Help & Support section and read up on their philosophy behind the daily weigh-ins. It’s pretty interesting! Oh, and the app is FREE!

Looking ahead.

I’m going to keep up with my daily weigh-ins for next month. I’ve learned so much just by understanding the ebb and flow of my body’s weight fluctuations that I feel I’m mentally “OK” to continue. It has truly been an eye-opener! 

Side Note: If you are going to go the daily weigh-in route, make sure you’re in the right headspace for it. It can get real discouraging real fast.

Track Measurements.

As most of us know, not all victories are found on the scale. And, since body recomposition plays heavy into intermittent fasting, I decided I wanted to see if there would be any changes to my measurements over the 4 week period.  

To get the best possible picture of how intermittent fasting affects my overall body composition, I decided to track these measurements every month. I figured four weeks was enough time to track these types of changes in my body.

The Results.

As of October 31, 2020, my measurements were:

Intermittent Fasting Reset: Month One
Month One Measurement Results

While I saw no change in my waist and hip measurements, I did lose about half an inch from my thighs, my bust (of course) and my arms.

Honestly, I’ll take it! This confirms for me that there is more happening in my body that is not reflected in the results on the scale!

Looking Ahead.

I’m going to continue with my monthly measurements. Tracking all of my progress is an important part of this process. By doing this consistently, I’ll only learn more about my body and how it responds to this lifestyle I’m living!

Stay tuned for more possible changes in month two!

Water Intake

I had this idea that maybe I wasn’t getting enough water on a daily basis and that dehydration might have been keeping me on that plateau that I’ve been sitting on. I’ve read that a person can retain up to 5 pounds of water at any given time. This water can be hanging out in the cells or around the body. Knowing this, I thought, maybe this could be the reason that I’ve been having issues losing weight. Or, maybe even the reason I may have gained weight? Maybe?

It was just a theory, but if I was right, and I drank more water, I might experience that “whoosh” everyone is always talking about. Perhaps, if I was retaining those extra 5 pounds of water weight, and by drinking lots of water, my body may finally agree to just “whoosh” and let it all go?

glass water bottle in hand of faceless man near wall
Photo by Vova Krasilnikov on Pexels.com

Final results.

Well, I’m hydrated. No whoosh, but that’s cool. 

I think there are a lot of factors that result in a loss of weight and inches. At the end of the day, I did lose about 1.5 pounds last month. It is very possible that my increase in water consumption helped with that weight loss. After all the water I drank, I’d sure like to think so.

Moving Forward

I will keep up with my increased water intake. I tend to focus on finishing my two cups of black coffee a day in an effort to help get me to my eating window. This process of mine typically leads me to start drinking my water too late in the day. This leads to a reduced water intake. I need to add more water to my fasting window to keep me nice and hydrated. 

Alcohol Consumption

I had another theory about weight gain/stall and my alcohol consumption. I thought that the amount of alcohol that I was drinking kept the scale from moving in the down direction. I also suspected that it aided in my weight gain.

For a long while, I was getting a little silly with my nightly martinis. I was indulging far more than I should have been. Stress, stress, and more stress played a large role in my increased alcohol consumption. So, for my month one intermittent fasting reset plan I decided to make a few tweaks to my consumption schedule. My plan was to limit my alcohol consumption to the weekends only and to limit my intake to 1-2 drinks per week.

Final Results.

I did OK. For the most part, I only drank on the weekends. The interesting bit is that my weight would start to creep up the morning after I had a drink. It would also take a day or two for my weight to return to where it was before I had that drink. 

Coincidence? I think not! 

Take a look at my October 8 through October 20 weight gain in relation to alcohol consumption. It takes a few days for my weight to start to trend down after consuming alcohol.

Turns out that alcohol can cause weight gain in a variety of ways. For one, it stops the fat burning process in its tracks. Until your body burns through all that alcohol you won’t reach that coveted fat-burning state that all intermittent fasters strive for. Alcohol can also cause gastrointestinal irritation that can lead to bloating. 

Ding ding ding! Have I identified another potential problem?

There are other reasons alcohol can cause weight gain, like increased appetite that can lead to increased food consumption or just an increase in caloric intake based on the type of alcoholic beverage you consume, but I think the first two (fat burn and bloat) are THE major factors in my weight stall and/or gain.

This outcome just makes sense for me. I only drink vodka with olive brine (which doesn’t contain a lot of calories) and I never eat more due to that martini, AND I always close my window (even with my drink) by about 7:00pm. 

It’s very possible that the vodka is stalling my fat burn just enough to stall my progress. It’s also possible that the alcohol is irritating my stomach just enough to cause bloat. Both of these outcomes can cause a slight weight gain the following day.

For me, given what I’ve seen on my worksheet, it makes sense that the fat burn stall and the GI bloat from alcohol are contributors to my weight stall/gain.

Moving Forward.

I can say with much certainty that I have pretty much identified another potential problem area when it comes to alcohol consumption and weight gain/weight stall. I think, for next month, I may limit my consumption to one drink a week, or forgo it altogether and see where that takes me.

Food & Eating Window.

When it comes to food choices, I try to keep it as simple as possible. I try to steer clear of highly processed foods and focus on making meals that contain real, honest to goodness food. I’ve mentioned in past posts that I’m a huge fan of Skinnytaste meals and have found that my family is a huge fan of them, too! I make Gina’s meals about 2-4 times a week.

Check Out: 5 Super Simple Weeknight Meals for Busy Moms

When it came to changing what I did in regards to food this first month of my intermittent fasting reset, I didn’t change much at all. For the most part, I stuck with my homemade dinners, stayed clear of fast food and highly processed food, and maintained what I’ve been doing for the last year or so.

The Results.

Welp, I think they speak for themselves. I saw little difference on the scale and little difference in my measurements. So what was the problem?

Hint: It wasn’t about WHEN, it was about HOW MUCH.

intermittent fasting reset
intermiPhoto by Ella Olsson on Pexels.com

When I went back to review what I ate during my eating window, I noticed the potential problem area right away. Even on days when my window was small (20/4 intermittent fasting schedule days) I was not only opening my window with a small snack, but I was munching throughout my entire window all the way up to my main meal, dinner.

What I came to soon realize about this little issue is that it was not a potential problem, but a “problem” PROBLEM! This was (I’m almost 99% certain) THE problem. This could very well be THE reason I saw such little progress on the scale last month. This is what I was referring to early in my post.

Even though I fast for 18-20 hours a day, it’s clear that I cannot eat (or at least nosh) for the entire duration of my eating window. I’m not 25 anymore and, as it turns out, that sh*t just won’t fly for a 45 (almost 46) year old woman! 

Identifying the problem.

What did I do when I started my 18/6 intermittent fasting schedule that led me to a 15-pound weight loss?

It wasn’t THAT long ago when I made the switch so what worked for me then SHOULD work for me now. So what was it? (Ugh, it was so clear.)

I did not nosh.

When I switched from my 16/8 intermittent fasting schedule to my 18/6 intermittent fasting schedule, I only brought ONE snack with me to work to open my eating window. That’s it. And, I stuck to just that one snack. That’s all I would eat all day long at work.

Then it dawned on me. When we were ordered to stay home due to COVID in March that one snack turned into multiple snacks throughout my eating window and soon, I was eating too much during my eating window, for months.

Even though I desperately DID NOT want this to be the main cause of my problem (I liked eating those snacks) it seemed very clear to me that this IS the main cause of my problem. This is most likely the primary reason I’m not seeing those results on the scale.

Moving Forward.

I decided that for month two of my reset plan, I am going to very consciously open my eating window with a snack and then not eat again until it’s time for dinner (my main meal). 

I am going to stick to my OMAD+ plan for month two.

Check Out: Intermittent Fasting Schedules Defined to see what my OMAD+ plan is.

My plan for my eating window will look like this:

  • (Snack) – almonds, cheese slices, salami, pickles, dark chocolate.
  • (Dinner) – One of my favorite easy weeknight meals.
  • (Dessert) – Slice of Pumpkin Crunch Cake with a massive scoop of vanilla ice cream.

This is what I did when I lost 15 additional pounds so I might as well see if I can do it again without giving up my dessert! 

Fingers crossed that this is my main culprit!

Month Two – Intermittent Fasting Reset 

Before I close out this post, let’s take a quick moment to very quickly recap my plans for month two of my intermittent fasting reset plan. This plan right here will set the stage for how I proceed for the next several weeks.

Intermittent Fasting Schedule

I plan to maintain my 18/6 intermittent fasting schedule. I will extend beyond 18 hours if I feel motivated to do so, but 18 hours of clean fasting will be my norm for the month.

Daily Weigh-Ins

I plan to continue to weigh myself on a daily basis. As de-motivating as it may be at times, I feel as though I learned a lot about my body’s weight fluctuations. As a brain boost bonus, these daily weigh-ins have given me an opportunity to view my numbers on the scale is a very different light!

I also plan to continue to track my weight and other factors on my own worksheet. I would like to see how the new changes that I’m implementing for month two will have an affect on my daily weigh-ins. 

Water Intake

I think it goes without saying that I will continue to consume more water on a daily basis for month two. I don’t think it will help me lose more weight, but combined with all of the other little changes I’m going to make, I think it will have a role to play in the final results.

Alcohol Intake

It was pretty clear that alcohol affected my weight. Looking back at my little worksheet I can see a 1-2 pound weight gain the day after I consumed my martinis. While the weight didn’t stick around for too long, I can’t help but wonder if I would have had better results if I abstained altogether. That those drinks tipped the scale just enough to affect my overall monthly results.

I’m going to do my best to reduce my alcohol intake even further this month. 

Food & Eating Window.

This is probably the biggest change that I’m going to make this month. I’m not necessarily going to track WHAT I eat (I’ll take a look at that next month, perhaps) but I will change HOW MUCH I’m consuming in my eating window. 

I do NOT want to adjust my intermittent fasting schedule just yet. I want to see if making this small change will be the catalyst to get that scale moving again.

Exercise.

I will mention that I do exercise very consistently, but I have seen no difference on the scale when I do. I consider my workout routine to simply be a part of my health and wellness routine. I do NOT rely on exercise to keep my weight down.

Stay Tuned.

I’m really excited to see what month two will bring me. Tracking all of these little details on a daily basis may seem combersome, but I find the data that I’m gathering about myself to be incredibly helpful. Be sure to subscribe to this blog to track my progress!

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