Intermittent Fasting for Beginners – New Year Challenge (Feb)

landscape photograph of body of water

So it’s just into March and time for an update on how things went in February. It’s time for an update on my ‘gentle’ weight loss challenge. The challenge is taking up intermittent fasting for beginners.

That’s because, if you recall, I wanted to ease into things, focusing on improving my behaviours after a Christmas of binge-eating and drinking. I didn’t want to make it too hard to implement into my daily routine – I wanted sustainability. But, of course, I still want to lose weight and feel better.

This was the plan:

My plan is to focus on healthy behaviours and less on a weight loss target. I’m going back to intermittent fasting, eating only between midday and 6pm every day, cutting back on caffeine, cutting out alcohol, and aiming for a balanced diet. Alongside this, i’ll be walking regularly, and I plan to get back on the Couch to 5k challenge.

Me, January 2022

In January I pretty much managed to do that, and it was actually really relaxed and easy. I even lost a couple of kilos. My plan for February was to do more of the same and throw in some longer foodless windows if i felt like it. I also planned to do more exercise.

The first part went well, maybe not the second. I started pre-season training for cricket, but it’s just an hour a week. I have been quite poor with walking though, and only did 28km in February, a mere 1km more than in January. Finding time and motivation for extra exercise is a challenge, especially now that bass playing has taken up so much of my free time.

I’ve actually been pretty good with my eating routine though, so i’m interested to see how this weigh-in goes.

Weighing in

Here I am on 7th March, compared with a month ago, and compared to my starting point:

  • Mass: 92.5kg (down from 94.7kg last month and 96.6kg overall)
  • Body fat: 32.9% (down from 33.4% last month and 33.9% overall)
  • Visceral fat: 13 (same)
  • Resting heart rate: 57bpm (down from 58bpm last month and 78bpm overall)
  • Respiration rate (awake): 13brpm (same as last month and down from 14brpm overall)
  • Active minutes (weekly average): 272 (down from 284 last month and up from 0 overall)
  • Waist: 101cm (down from 102cm last month and 104cm overall)
  • Belly: 110cm (down from 111cm last month and 115cm overall)
  • Chest: 107cm (down from 108.5cm last month and 111cm overall)
crop person on weight scales
Photo by Andres Ayrton on Pexels.com

I’m pretty happy with this steady progress. I haven’t pushed myself at all really. No need to feel like i’m starving myself, no denial of enjoyment. Without doing anything drastic i’ve lost 4kg in 2 months.

Remember, it’s ‘intermittent fasting for beginners’

I want to remind you that my approach to this whole thing was to ease into it as gently as possible. You might think that skipping breakfast isn’t gentle, and maybe that’s harder for some than others. I wouldn’t start by fasting until 12, I would start day 1 at 10, for example, then increase that gradually.

And don’t forget, you could eat early and skip dinner if you wanted. In fact, according to plenty of research, we are probably better off finishing eating earlier in the day. There are all sorts of reasons you don’t want a meal before bed, but I just find it much harder to skip dinner than to skip breakfast.

The plan for March

I don’t really see any reason to change what i’m doing. I’ve made great progress with minimum effort, so why change things?

See you for the April update!

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