Meet Rachel Sharp, a 26-year-old who works full time in a mortgage department at a local credit union in Lees Summit, MO. She lives with her fiance and a 7-year-old Basset Hound Schnauzer mix, Bowser! Rachel manages several social media accounts and a YouTube channel where she shares how her whole life has dramatically changed in the past 2 and ½ years since she started her health and fitness journey!
Rachel first started Intermittent, alternate-day fasting on September 5th, 2017 after an embarrassing weekend of a failed hike with her boyfriend (now fiance). On that trip, Rachel realized how unhealthy she was and how she needed a change. She was already depressed and unhappy with her body and health, but that day was really the tipping point for her.
She first heard about Intermittent Fasting through her boyfriend, who was doing it for his own health reasons. She did her own research to see if it was something she could do for herself. After finding an article written by Sumaya Kazi, called “How I dropped 50 pounds in 6 months” Rachel had the first glimmer of hope that she had found something that MIGHT actually work for her. So the next day she started, and haven’t turned back since.
The result? Rachel lost 108 pounds of fat since starting IF... but not only was she able to gain her physical health back, she was also able to start gaining her mental health back in the way of confidence and self-esteem! It was something she never had when she was overweight!
Rachell emphasized, “Intermittent fasting is so much more than just weight loss for me. It has honestly brought to life the real me who was hiding behind the shy, clumsy girl I had always been.”
When asked if she has had any setbacks or challenges during her journey, Rachel responded, “Luckily enough for me, I have had my determination and motivation help push me through my journey so I haven’t had but one set back. It was in June 2018, after a month full of weekend social events, I hadn’t lost any weight. I was rather devastated, but just reevaluated the choices I had made that month, and knew what I needed to do to fix it, which was watching how much I was indulging in certain beverages!”
The biggest mistake Rachel notices to people who try Intermittent Fasting is that they are not eating ENOUGH on their eat days. Rachel added, “With Intermittent fasting, you are already putting yourself into a calorie deficit. So on your eat days, it's important to give your body enough fuel to make it through the next fasting day, or the next fasting cycle, depending on how long you Intermittent fast. With that being said though, I have also seen people eat too MUCH on their eat days, trying to double their TDEE to make up for not eating the day before. In doing that, they are pulling themselves out of their calorie deficit, which would basically keep them from losing weight.”
Top 3 Intermittent Fasting Tips
- You HAVE to go into this with willpower and determination. It’s not easy and it will take your body some time to get used to the process of not eating for extended periods of time. This isn't a quick fix, and you have to trust the process.
- Listen to the sign of your body. I am guilty of not doing this… Thee are some days that you are so hungry and your body is telling you so, but you want to keep pushing to make it through a whole fasting day. After you have been doing this for a while, you will know when you are actually hungry compared to when your body clock wants you to think you're hungry. Most “hunger pains” pass within 10-15 minutes, but if it were an hour or more and you feel like you need to eat, just do it. Even just a small something, like a protein bar, can help get you through the rest of the day.
- Drink LOTS of water. It helps you stay full and hydrated which keeps you from feeling hungry anyway!
Top 3 Weight Loss Tips
- It's taken me a long time to try this, but I would say, find balance. You can’t live the rest of your life on an intensely strict routine and never enjoy life. Allow yourself to splurge every once in a while and it will reduce the risk of binge eating! Allow yourself to enjoy those social outings with your friends and families. It's just one day and its more than likely good for you. Your body needs that shock every once in a while!
- Listen to the signs of your body. If you’re feeling hungry, eat, if you feel full, stop, and if you're working out and feel sick or not strong enough to hit all your reps take a step back, because you don’t want to hurt yourself in the long run.
- Give yourself TIME. You won’t lose 20 pounds overnight. It took me a year and two months to lose 108 pounds and even though there were times I felt like it was taking too long for me to hit my goal, I kept going. I’m glad I didn’t give up.
Check out Rachel Sharp's YouTube channel!