If you’re anything like me, you’ve been trying for years to lose weight.
I’ve tried everything under the sun it seems, from the keto diet, juicing, and even the master cleanse.
I went vegetarian for a month or two. Then after I failed at that, tried and failed at a 12-week weightlifting plan, too.
Most recently, I had great success with intermittent fasting 16/8.
In May of 2018, I lost 10 pounds pretty effortlessly by fasting at least 16 hours each day, eating all my day’s food in an 8 hour time window.
But I quit that, too.
Why Quit Intermittent Fasting 16/8?
Despite the fast weight loss without really watching what I ate too much or working out too hard, the honest truth is I ultimately found 16 hours too challenging.
Like, at first, it was really easy. But everything is easy when it’s new, right?
Around week 3 I started to get antsy.
Then life threw a curveball when my son got sick and I began to feel the first inkling of falling off.
By the end of the month, I was so excited to share my intermittent fasting before and after pics.
But I went away on vacation in June and never did really get back on track.
I found it too hard to stick to, and very demoralizing to feel like a loser for not being able to keep up.
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Intermittent Fasting 12 Hours
Though it’s taken me so very long to get to even where I am today (I’ve lost 30 pounds overall, kept 20 of it off, but I’m still overweight).
I’m determined to find my path.
I will not quit until I become a healthy weight and size for my age.
I refuse to quit trying new ways of eating and ways of moving that feel right for me and my lifestyle.
So, this time I’m taking some of what I learned from my intermittent fasting 16/8 experiment and applying it to a reduced fasting window of just 12 hours.
Combined with some level of dietary care and movement, of course.
But the main focus is 12-hour intermittent fasting.
Is Fasting For 12 Hours Each Day Enough?
Is fasting just 12 hours enough? Or do we have to do longer fasts to reap the benefits?
Honestly, I don’t know for sure.
Some sources online say 12 hours isn’t enough.
Others say it is plenty.
I think the only way to be certain if anything works for you is to try it out and see!
So, with my birthday right around the corner, I’ve given myself just over a month to try intermittent fasting for a minimum of 12 hours each day and see if I can step into my next year of life a little lighter on my feet.
This is my week one update.
Intermittent Fasting For 12 Hours – Week One Fasting Plan
For the past week, my main focus has just been on cutting off my eating after dinner.
This is usually sometime between 8 and 9 pm.
I do not eat anything again until at least 12 hours later, which puts me at somewhere between 8 and 9 am the following morning.
This has been SO EASY to follow.
I find that I do still struggle with desiring to snack some at night, mostly out of boredom or habit. But it’s not that hard to maintain.
I’m naturally not super-starving in the morning so I find it easy to do more than 12 hours most days of the week. My average is around 13 to 14 hours most days.
But the benefit is on weekends!
During my 16/8 intermittent fasting trial I found it way too restrictive to not be able to enjoy breakfast at home with my family on Saturday or Sunday mornings.
With intermittent fasting for just 12 hours, as long as breakfast is after 9 am, I get the pleasure of dining with my boys!
Intermittent Fasting For 12 Hours – Week One Diet Plan
I’ve chosen to be a bit stricter with my diet this go-round. Nothing is really completely off-limits, but I am choosing to mostly adhere to a clean eating diet.
In a nutshell, it focuses on lean protein, fruits, veggies, and legumes, with a little healthy grain such as oatmeal or quinoa, and minimal dairy.
It’s kind of a no-brainer diet if you ask me.
We all know what a decent diet is for the most part, right?
We know if it’s bacon vs. broccoli, which is better for weight loss.
But sometimes having a guide helps. So, this list is what I used!
I Ate Mostly Clean, But Not Perfectly Strict
I’m never going to be super-strict about anything… it’s just not my style.
So, I did veer off some.
Like I made lean meat for burritos, but still used regular white flour tortillas for the wrapping (that’s not on the list).
But I DID succeed at meal prepping and am proud to say that I have not eaten out ONCE since starting!
I’m making my own pizzas, tacos, burritos, poke bowls (to mimic sushi) and things like that.
I’m still thoroughly enjoying my meals, but I think I’m just being a little more careful and reasonable this time.
Intermittent Fasting For 12 Hours – Week One Exercise Plan
I’m going to be honest, this time I AM focusing on working out more.
I think it’s important for overall health, and I really want good results too! It IS my birthday coming up, after all!
I’m kind of taking it week by week though. Making sure to do something most days of every week, but not necessarily the exact same plan every week, if that makes sense.
For week one I chose to focus on cardio. Just my preference.
I chose to hit a minimum of 10,000 steps per day, breaking it up some with actual “working out” on the treadmill or jogging outside, and the rest just running errands throughout the day.
As long as I’m intentionally moving at least 45 minutes or so most days of the week, any activity is fair game!
12 Hours Intermittent Fasting – Week One Results
Now, the moment of truth! Here are the results from my efforts of intermittent fasting for only 12 hours for one week!
12 Hours Intermittent Fasting Week One Results
Starting weight: 178.9 | Ending weight: 173.7 | Weight lost: 5.2 lbs
Starting body fat %: 39% | Ending body fat %: 37.9% | Body fat % lost: 1.1%
So, as you can see, I lost 5 pounds, 2 inches and 1.1% body fat in one week of fasting 12 hours daily.
But how does this compare to fasting even longer? Let’s see:
It’s pretty darn close! Just a hair of a difference!
This is exciting to me because I find 12 hours fasting so much more reasonable for my lifestyle.
If it’s just a teeny bit of a difference but I can stick with it for the long-haul, then it’s worth it.
A Quick Note About The Scale…
So, the scale is definitely a love-hate thing, but it’s important. I grabbed a biometric scale that tracks more than just body weight so it tells the whole story. The one I got and absolutely LOVE is the Renpho Bluetooth BMI Scale. This scale is so awesome because it’s 1/3rd of the price of the Fitbit Aria scale and has everything you need to track your progress.
I like it a lot because it syncs seamlessly to my iphone and comes with a free app for tracking all my data.
So that’s how I save my sanity when weighing in, and also am able to calculate so much more than just pounds!
My favorite metrics to track with the Renpho scale are BMI, pounds, hydration and body fat… but there’s so much more if you’re a data hound. And the charts and graphs are a visually pleasing way to see your progress in seconds!
12 Hours Intermittent Fasting – Week Two Plan
I’ve got to admit, tracking all these metrics is really helpful. It’s motivating to see these changes on paper because the mirror doesn’t always tell the whole story.
Without tracking, you don’t really know what’s working and what’s not.
But seeing 5 pounds down just by fasting for 12 hours and moving more is motivating, for sure!
I’m not going to get too excited just yet because I KNOW week 3 is coming.
Week 3 is always, always, always the point where I get bored, life happens and I fall off. So we’ll see.
But for week 2 of intermittent fasting 12 hours, I’m going to continue eating home-cooked meals, mostly from my grocery list. I’m turning my focus to lifting weights most days and doing just a teeny bit of cardio… like 10-15 minutes. And that’s it!
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