My Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss Journey After 40

I have been intermittent fasting for over two years now. After reaching my goal weight a year ago, I started experimenting to find a way to fast that would give me all the benefits without losing more weight. That’s where I am now. I wanted to share my intermittent fasting weight loss journey to encourage you on your journey. This article will include some before-after pictures, practical tips that made a world of difference for me, and some ideas you can try if you struggle to achieve the desired results.

My Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss Journey

UPDATE: I hope you find this post helpful. Want to learn more? Please read this newer version How I Lost Weight After 40: My Success Story.

My intermittent fasting weight loss journey started in my thirties after having my sixth baby. I wanted to lose the extra weight that was getting harder and harder, and nothing seemed to work. I tried all the reset-your-metabolism books and all the diets under the sun, including intermittent fasting. It didn’t matter! I was a slave to my food cravings and could not stick to anything.

2014, after my 6th baby

How It All Started

Then, in my forties, things got really out of control, and I was gaining weight even though I was eating the same way and sustaining the same level of activity. I decided that it was it. I needed to take charge of my health.

That’s how it all started. The moment something clicked in my mind and I said enough is enough. Many women who can’t lose weight know intuitively that something’s wrong with their bodies. That’s why books about “resetting your metabolism” and “healing your hormones” are so popular. What changed everything was the combination of deciding I would make it work and doing a 5-day modified fast.

No matter your life goal, you have to want it bad enough. Otherwise, you make excuses.

In 2019, struggling to stop gaining weight

Modified Fasting

Modified fasting is a doable prolonged fast. Do you know about the benefits of fasting? Fasting is a way to heal your body through a process called autophagy. As it runs out of energy, it starts eating itself. That may sound scary, but don’t worry, it is a good thing. It eats damaged and redundant cells and will replace them with new ones. The more profound healing happens after about three days, and five days is even better.

The problem is that the average person cannot last on a water fast for more than two days. That’s where modified fasting comes in. You get to eat just enough food to continue and benefit from this deep healing.

Read Fast Mimicking Diet Vs Water Fasting: Is One Better Than The Other? to learn more.

How It Went

My first modified fast was the stepping stone that enabled me to start healing and trusting my body. If you read Modified Fasting: How You Can Benefit From Fasting Without Starving, you will learn that fasting helps improve your insulin sensitivity. Once you do that, you will notice less bloating and belly fat and gain freedom over food cravings.

Before and After my first modified fast in Sept. 2019

How Long Did It Take to Lose 30 lbs?

After my first modified fast, I started looking into intermittent fasting again. When I tried intermittent fasting in my thirties, I did the 16:8 method. This time around, I decided to try longer fasts. Here are some methods that I found helpful:

I tend to favor longer fasts because they enable you to get into a deeper ketosis and increase your metabolic flexibility (more on the topic later).

To answer the question, How long did it take to lose 30 lbs? It took two years! I didn’t know what I was doing for the first few months, and I was not losing much weight. As I became more consistent with my intermittent fasting window, I started losing about 2 lbs a month. Then, after a year, I relaxed my intermittent fasting approach because I had reached my goal weight (and lost 20 lbs). Over the next year, I lost about 10 lbs even though I was no longer trying to lose weight.

45 years old and going strong

How It’s Going

So, that’s how it’s going. I went from feeling like I could hardly stop gaining weight to wondering how to stop losing weight. Now, it’s time to figure out how to ensure I eat enough on my nonfasting days to maintain my weight. I mostly listen to my body and do only one 24-hour fast a week to maintain good sleep, my metabolic flexibility, and my overall energy level. If I need to start tracking my food on nonfasting days to ensure I eat more, I will include resources in my 30-Intermittent Fasting Transformation.

intermittent fasting for weight loss for women

Create Your Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss Journey

To get your own successful intermittent fasting weight loss journey, I recommend you follow the following five steps (which are at the core of my Fasting Program):

  • Get started to maximize your success: Learn to track your progress and set realistic expectations.
  • Kickstart your weight loss: Improve your insulin sensitivity with one modified fast or a 7-day Keto Cycle.
  • Become metabolically flexible with intermittent fasting: Teach your body to get in and out of ketosis.
  • Exercise and tone up: Muscle mass burns more energy. Plus, it helps maintain your health and youthfulness.
  • Maintain your weight loss and stop losing weight: After reaching your goal, you define how to include intermittent fasting to suit your lifestyle.

This formula is your key to success.

Practical Tips for Success

I do have some practical tips you can try right now if you want to get started and achieve the results you have been wanting:

  • Go all in: You have to decide that you want it. Intermittent fasting is not hard. In fact, it is super easy. No macro counting, no calorie restriction, and no special diets. You still have to stick with it if you want to see results, though.
  • Start with a short reset: A 5-day modified fast or a 7-day keto cycle will speed up your progress and motivate you.
  • Pick a fasting window long enough to sustain optimal ketosis for a few hours.
  • Enjoy some nonfasting days: It will keep your metabolism guessing and the process fun.
  • Workout but not too much: You don’t want to add too much stress to your new lifestyle. Find workouts that you enjoy and yield results. You may enjoy reading Starting Yoga at 40 or Later: Everything You Need to Know.

I truly wish I had known all this years ago. Now that you do, You can lose weight with intermittent fasting even after 40.

intermittent fasting for weight loss for women

Metabolic Flexibility

I mentioned the importance of metabolic flexibility already. Metabolic flexibility means that your body can switch back and forth from using glucose to ketones for energy.

You must ensure your fasting window is long enough to sustain optimal weight loss ketosis for at least 2-3 hours. Technically, you are in ketosis when your ketone reading is above 0.5 mmol/L, but you will most likely notice the signs of ketosis when you are in optimal weight loss ketosis, which is around 1 mmol\L.

Signs of Ketosis

Here’s what you will notice:

  • Your hunger won’t bother you as much.
  • You will feel energetic and focused.

These telltale signs mean that you have experienced the metabolic switchover. Please read my post How to Start Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss to learn more.

What If Intermittent Fasting Isn’t Working?

In my 30-Day Intermittent Fasting Transformation, you will find a whole section to troubleshoot when intermittent fasting isn’t working. Here, I will share the two most common reasons:

  • You aren’t staying in optimal weight loss ketosis long enough: Try a ketone monitor to test your ketones.
  • You’re not filling up on nutrient-dense foods that nourish your body. Tweak your diet to figure out what works.

It is also very common for women to think something isn’t working when the truth is they have unrealistic expectations. Weight loss with intermittent fasting should be slow and steady. Plus, it is perfectly normal not to lose any weight in one month. Weight loss is not a straight line going down consistently at the same rate. Instead, it looks like a wavy line with ups and downs.

In Summary

My intermittent fasting weight loss journey was slow and steady. It was rewarding, and it taught me how fasting has the potential to change women’s lives. That’s why helping others do the same has become my passion! Now, it’s your turn!