It was only when Amanda Fisher returned from a holiday in Thailand and saw a picture of herself that she said she was ‘horrified’ by her looks.
Prompted to do something, the 32-year-old from the Gold Coast confessed she tried a few fad diets – but ended up in worse shape than before.
As a last-ditch attempt, Ms Fisher turned her hand to intermittent fasting – a practice which sees you fast for a period of time and eat across a designated window.
Since adopting intermittent fasting and a plant-based diet, Ms Fisher has shed almost 30 kilos – and transformed from mum bod to competition bikini bodybuilding fit.
In 2010, Amanda Fisher (pictured before), from the Gold Coast, had somewhat of a mum bod – weighing 92 kilograms – when she saw a photo of herself, she knew she had to change
After trying intermittent fasting, and eating for eight hours every day and fasting for sixteen, she is now showcasing the fruits of her labours – shifting nearly 30kg (pictured)
Ms Fisher (pictured after) said she had tried all sorts of different diets and regimes, before she landed on intermittent fasting – and while it was hard at the start, she soon saw results
What is intermittent fasting?
* Intermittent fasting (IF) is a term for an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating.
* It does not say anything about which foods you should eat, but rather when you should eat them.
* Common intermittent fasting methods involve daily 16 hour fasts, or fasting for 24 hours, twice per week.
Speaking to FEMAIL, Ms Fisher said her desire to lose weight and tone up came when she got back from a holiday in 2010 and was looking at her photos:
‘I saw a photo and thought I looked a lot bigger than I’d thought I was,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
‘I weighed around 92 kilos at that stage and knew something had to change.’
After initially trying and failing with drastic diets including the rapid detox, the 1,200 calories diet and the cabbage soup diet, Ms Fisher began to look into intermittent fasting and plant-based approaches:
‘I tried juice fasting initially, but soon switched over to the 16:8, whereby you eat for eight hours and fast for 16,’ she explained.
Over the course of nine months, Ms Fisher shed the majority of the weight (pictured before and after) to weigh around 65 kilos – she now competes in fitness bodybuilding comps
Ms Fisher credits her amazing transformation to revising her attitude towards fitness and health, adopting a plant-based diet and the 16:8 regime
A typical day on her plate will see the 32-year-old eat lots of fruit, vegetables, protein and healthy grains (pictured: a meal)
She said she finds the diet ‘easy to stick to’, because unlike other diets it doesn’t feel drastic – she said it’s easy to go without for 16 hours of the day (pictured before and after)
It wasn’t long before the 32-year-old from the Gold Coast noticed results.
While it took her approximately nine months to get down to her goal weight – which is somewhere in between 65 and 69 kilos – Ms Fisher said she instantly felt an improvement in her energy levels after trying intermittent fasting:
‘It was easy to stick to, because unlike the other diets, it didn’t feel drastic. It also wasn’t like some fasting models, which see you severely restrict your calories for an entire day – or only eat one meal a day,’ she said.
Amanda Fisher’s 16:8 day on a plate
BREAKFAST: Oats, protein powder, hot water, berries and a banana.
MID MORNING: Fresh fruit.
LUNCH: Corn thins with avocado, tomatoes, sea salt and ground pepper.
EARLY DINNER: Bean burritos, lentil dhal or a huge salad with tempeh.
‘It’s easy to set up the 16:8 once you know what your day is going to look like.’
Speaking about a typical day on her plate on the 16:8, Ms Fisher said she’ll start her day with oats, protein powder, hot water, berries and a banana. Mid morning, she will enjoy some fresh fruit.
Lunch is typically in the afternoon and features corn thins with avocado, tomatoes, black pepper and sea salt.
In the early evening, she’ll enjoy something like bean burritos, lentil dhal or a ‘huge salad with tempeh’.
However, crucially all of this food is condensed into a period of eight hours – before she fasts for the remaining 16.
‘It’s true you might feel a bit lethargic at the beginning, because you’re not used to it, and I don’t recommend cutting everything including caffeine, sugar and dairy all at once (which I did), but it does become easier quickly,’ she said.
When it comes to exercise, Ms Fisher said she tries to do 4-5 weights sessions a week, and then some gentle cardio each day (pictured)
She also competed in three bikini bodybuilding competitions this year, and hopes to do more next year (pictured earlier this year)
Ms Fisher told FEMAIL that she didn’t set out to do bikini bodybuilding competitions, but found herself wanting a goal once she had lost the weight
Speaking about her tips for intermittent fasting, Ms Fisher recommends people have a strategy and make sure they don’t skip breakfast – as they’ll eat more later (pictured after)
Ms Fisher explained it was this photo from a holiday in Thailand which made her realise she was bigger than she had thought she was
Of course, the 32-year-old united her diet with a training plan – the results of which are clear from her transformation photos.
‘I try to do 4-5 weights sessions a week, and then some gentle cardio each day,’ she explained.
‘Doing fitness competitions came about because I wanted to have something to work towards. After I reached my weight goal, I knew I wanted to continue with a goal.
‘I’ve done three competitions this year and hope to do more next year.’
She has also competed in Tough Mudder events, as well as half marathons and more.
‘Try to go for more wholefoods that will keep you full, and utilise it to your advantage. If you can train without having eaten breakfast beforehand in the morning, do that,’ she said
She now competes in all sorts of fitness events, including Tough Mudders, running events and more (pictured)
Lastly, Ms Fisher shared her tips for would-be intermittent fasters.
‘Make sure you have a strategy and don’t just use it as an excuse to skip breakfast,’ she explained.
‘Some people say “I’m essentially doing the 16:8 because I’m not eating breakfast”, but that’s not the way to do it.
Ms Fisher explained that intermittent fasting has helped to curb her boredom eating (pictured: a sample meal)
‘You’ll end up overeating later on. Instead, be prepared for all your meals and don’t use it as an excuse to binge eat.
‘Try to go for more wholefoods that will keep you full, and utilise it to your advantage. For instance, if you can train without having eaten breakfast beforehand in the morning, do that.
‘Fasted cardio is marginally better for fat loss than regular cardio.’
Ms Fisher concluded by saying that while intermittent fasting might not be for everyone, she knows it can yield brilliant results:
‘I used to be a boredom eater,’ she said.
‘I would eat in front of the TV and snack when I found myself with nothing to do.
‘Intermittent fasting gives me a goal, a schedule and stops me from overeating. When done correctly, it works extremely well.’
To follow Amanda Fisher on Instagram, please click here.