Intermittent Fasting Tips For Women Over 50
If youre considering trying intermittent fasting, here are some weight loss tips to help you on your journey:
- Focus on eating bountiful whole foods that stave off hunger and leave you fuller, longer.
- Avoid empty carbs and fast foods, which only temporarily fill you up before the hunger pangs set in.
- Incorporate an exercise routine to help with fat burning and avoid weight gain long-term.
- Experiment with different eating and fasting windows. Your body will respond better to specific time windows than others, so try a few until you find a rhythm. Women over 50 should start with a 12:12 or 16:8 ratio to allow the body to adjust to this new eating routine.
- Consult with your doctor for medical advice. Your doctor knows your medical history and background and can guide you in approaching intermittent fasting most healthily.
- If you notice weight gain, fatigue, lightheadedness, muscle loss, or insomnia, you might not be getting enough calories. Before you try the diet, use a calorie tracking app like MyFitnessPal to ensure youre getting adequate caloric intake.
- Order an Intermittent Fasting book like the FastDiet from Amazon to stay on track with healthy recipes and tips for daily fasting.
Intermittent Fasting: Women Vs Men
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Like the ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting is a trending diet. A quick internet search for âintermittent fastingâ will yield more than ten million search results. These results link to an enormous number of articles touting the amazing health benefits of this style of eating. And many of these articles are backed by ample, sound, and positive research. So, whatâs not to like about intermittent fasting?
While intermittent fasting can be a great option for men, it is often not as great an option for women. Women need to be aware that intermittent fasting does not affect men and women the same way. Letâs explore.
How To Intermittent Fast
Whether you’re a man or woman, there are several different ways to try intermittent fasting. Here are some of the most popular ones:
16:8 fasting : Fast for 16 or 14 hours each day, and then eat within an eight or 10-hour window. For example, this may mean you stop eating at 7 PM and start eating at 11 AM the next day. This is the most popular form of intermittent fasting as you are asleep for the majority of the fast, making it more sustainable, says Ayesta and McKinney.
Alternate-day fasting: This is when you alternate days of regular eating with days of fasting or having just one meal with less than 500 calories. While this is one of the most well-researched strategies for weight loss and metabolic health, Ayesta says it can be too restrictive for some women and requires supervision from a dietitian or nutritionist.
5:2 fasting: This version has you fast for two consecutive days a week, and eat normal meals the other five days. Due to its extreme nature, Ayesta says it should only be adopted under the supervision of a health professional.
One meal a day: Here, you only eat one large meal daily, typically in the evening. However, this method can lead to binging episodes, says Ayesta, and should be implemented with caution especially for those who are physically active.
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Should You Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting works very well for some women and not so well for others. Its up to you whether or not you add it to your routine.
If you decide to give it a try and see how you feel, keep in mind that you dont have to fast every day. For a gentler approach to achieve the benefits of intermittent fasting for women, try doing a couple shorter fasts per week. And keep in mind that you can change your fasting schedule to align with your cycle, skipping days when fasting doesnt feel good to you.
Alternatively, you can pass on fasting altogether. Health is personal experiment and see what feels right for your body.
And speaking of health being personal, why not take my Power Type Quiz? Its a free quiz that gives you health and lifestyle tools tailored to your unique biology, to help you become your best self. Give it a try!
Top Intermittent Fasting Mistakes For Women Over 40
First of all, how is intermittent fasting for women over 40 any different than younger women? Women over 40 tend to have a slower metabolism, may have hormonal imbalances, and may find it more difficult to change their lifestyle. These top intermittent fasting mistakes address some of these differences that affect women over 40.
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Can If Work For Women Over 50
The short answer is yes. Intermittent fasting has shown promise for both premenopausal and postmenopausal women.
One study looked at alternate-day fasting in 75 obese men and women. For 12 weeks, participants ate 500 calories on fasting days and as much as they liked on non-fasting days.
Regardless of sex or menopausal status, everyone benefited on average. All groups saw similar reductions in fat mass, fasting insulin, insulin resistance, and blood pressure. Interestingly, postmenopausal women saw greater declines in LDL cholesterol than premenopausal women.
Another group of researchers looked at a type of fasting called time-restricted feeding . When you practice TRF, you eat all your daily calories in a compressed time frame.
In the study, obese women ate within a 4 to 6 hour feeding window for 8 weeks. For those familiar with IF protocols, this is somewhere between 16/8 and OMAD.
The results were similar to the previous study. Both pre and postmenopausal women lost weight and showed metabolic improvements.
These are desirable benefits for women over 50. Due to declines in the hormone estrogen, postmenopausal women are at higher risk for weight gain, cardiovascular disease, and blood sugar regulation issues. More research is needed, but IF may help offset these risks.
Is Intermittent Fasting Safe For Mature Or Menopausal Women
With so many of us already struggling with menopause/hormone changes, hot flushes, sleepless nights and anxiety the last thing we need is a diet that intensifies the symptoms. All your hormones are interconnected so your diet and eating patterns can greatly influence your hormones. By fasting you will increase the production of the hunger hormones, ghrelin and leptin, which can make your periods more irregular , increase anxiety and affect sleep.
During the menopause, womens bodies are more sensitive to any changes, so its important to gradually build up the length of the fasting window. Test it out to see if fasting and consuming only fluids reduces your menopause symptoms or increases them. If it increases them, it is best to stop as it may not be for you.
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Is Intermittent Fasting Right For Women Over 50
Gutschow is the first to admit that more research is needed on intermittent fasting for older women, but that doesnt mean healthy, older women cant give it a try.
One concern to be aware of in older adults is lost muscle mass that may happen when you fast. Loss of muscle mass may also be a cause for reduced metabolism in older adults.
The good news is that age-related muscle loss can be avoided with regular physical activity. An app like Noom Weight can help you stay on top of physical activity by logging how much you exercise each day.
The Best And Worst Diets For Sustained Weight Loss According To Registered Dietitians
So, does it actually lead to weight loss? Anecdotal evidence has led proponents of the plan to believe so. For the people who can adhere to IF, it does work, Kumar says. But fans of the approach claim theres so much more to IF than just a lean body. Lori Shemek, PhD, a nutrition and weight loss expert in Dallas and author of How to Fight FATflammation, explains to clients that IF may improve their insulin sensitivity , reduce inflammation, and boost longevity by bettering the health of your mitochondria , she says.
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Does Intermittent Fasting Work For 50 Year Old Women
Women in their 50s experience hormonal changes that put their bodies and if that promoting storage mode. Before, their bodies had the hormonal advantage of easily burning fat off. But the opposite happens with perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause.
With menopause, there is a drastic decline and the sex hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. These three hormones alone have a big impact on your ability to lose and gain weight . As a result, youre more likely to store weight in stubborn spots such as your belly and hips.
Estrogen and progesterone also play a significant role with your skin texture, muscle tone, and body shape . With these hormones lower in your 50s, youll be more likely to lose muscle and distribute fat to new stubborn spots like your hips and belly .
This is why its so hard to lose weight for women in their 50s, but not all hope is lost. So how does a 50-year-old woman drop weight when her hormones are out of whack. Women in their 50s have a complicated physiological machine they have to now work with so all conventional diets need to be thrown out the window.
Intermittent fasting is a proven and effective way for women over 50 and younger to lose stubborn weight quickly while also slowing the aging process. What dieting you once were able to use to get results most likely wont work or be as effective as it once was. So youre going to have to step up your game to get rid of that stubborn weight, and intermittent fasting can be the key.
Why Its Hard For Women To Get A Six
We know low-energy diets can reduce fertility in women. So can being super lean. 3 4 5
When you think about it, it makes good evolutionary sense that the body might want a little emergency padding on the abdomen.
Human females are unique in the mammalian world. Get this: Nearly all other mammals can terminate or pause a pregnancy when conditions arent right.
If it doesnt seem like a good time to raise young, embryonic development is paused until conditions improve .6
Youve known this since middle school health class: Female humans cant pause pregnancies.
In humans, the placenta breaches the maternal blood vessels, and the fetus is in complete control.
The baby can block the action of insulin in order to hoard more glucose for itself. It can even make the mothers blood vessels dilate, adjusting blood pressure to get more nutrients.
That baby is determined to survive no matter what the cost to the mother. This phenomenon, which scientists actually compare to the host-virus relationship, is whats known as maternal-fetal conflict.7 8
Once a woman becomes pregnant, she cant sweet-talk the fetus to stop growing. The result: Fertility at the wrong timelike, during a famine could be fatal.
Hence, a little calorie-storage pooch is reproductively protective in case times get tough.
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How To Know If Intermittent Fasting Is Right For You
Intermittent fasting for women over 40 isnt for everyone and its important to understand what works for your body by talking to a healthcare practitioner. Intermittent fasting can be the right fit for you if youre interested in weight loss, improving brain and heart health, physical performance, diabetes, and obesity.
It can also be beneficial for women who have a busy schedule. Perhaps you dont have time to eat an adequate breakfast, maybe you would benefit from an eating window that starts around lunchtime or maybe its another meal that doesnt quite fit into your schedule. Fortunately, intermittent fasting can be flexible and adapt to your needs.
There are some particular women who should not try this diet. Women with a history of disordered eating, BMI less than 18.5, and those who need to take medications with food regularly should withhold from intermittent fasting.
Also, women with certain medical conditions such as Crohn’s disease or those with diabetes would benefit from a different eating plan. Women who are experiencing high stress, such as those who participate in high-intensity interval workouts, athletes, trauma, and more.
This is because changing up your eating pattern can sometimes cause extra stress on your body, which is not ideal for those already undergoing high stress. Stress has shown to increase weight gain through increased cortisol levels. Again, its always important to talk to an expert before deciding this yourself.
My Experience With Intermittent Fasting
Im going to share my intermittent fasting experience as it pertains to my day-to-day activities and routine. As a full-time working mom to three kids, Ive grown to be flexible since no two days are alike.
Below is a sample schedule, on a weekday, where I juggle the kids-work-life routine daily. The schedule below follows a 16-hour fasting schedule, 8-hour eating window.
6:15 am: wake up. Grab black coffee, get dressed, top off black coffee in a to-go cup, and fill up a 24-ounce water cup.
6:45 am 7:45 am: school drop-off loop and head straight to workout.
7:45 am 8:45 am: early morning workout. Whether its a morning run, weights, yoga, or spin movement happens here. I drink water during the workout.
8:45 am 9:00 am: head to the office. Drink water only with Naked Unflavored BCAAs.
9:00 am: I make a Bulletproof coffee at the office.
12:00 1:00: eat lunch somewhere in this hour.
3:00 pm 4:00 pm: grab an afternoon snack. Usually consists of a smoothie with avocado, non-dairy milk, chocolate protein, chia seeds, and ice.
6:30 pm 7:45pm: eat dinner. Depending on the evening activities, dinner can happen anywhere in this timeframe.
8:00 pm: cease all meals .
How do I keep myself from getting hungry in the mornings after a workout? I drink Bulletproof coffee. The recipe is below and you can read about the benefits of Bulletproof coffee for women here.
- 1 tablespoon grass-fed, unsalted butter or ghee
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Options For Intermittent Fasting
There are several different Intermittent Fasting methods, so we compiled a list of the most popular ones for women:
- Crescendo MethodThe Crescendo Method is one of the best ways to ease into intermittent fasting without shocking the body or aggravating hormones. It doesnt require you to fast everyday, but instead encourages you to engage in a fast a few days per week, skipping days in between. Fasting Duration: 1 Day, 2-3x per week Fasting Window: 12-14 hours
Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting For Women Over 40
Many studies have shown benefits of intermittent fasting for women over 40. A review, published in October 2021 in the Annual Review of Nutrition found evidence that intermittent fasting offered improvements in heart health by decreasing blood pressure, insulin resistance, and oxidative stress.
Additionally, the Jama Network open writers found several studies that displayed an improvement in LDL, cholesterol, total cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, fasting insulin, insulin resistance, and blood pressure. Studies have also shown intermittent fasting can reduce inflammation and reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Another benefit of intermittent fasting for women over 40 is increased longevity, as well as, preservation of muscle mass. A list of more benefits includes:
Thinking and memory: studies found that intermittent fasting boosts verbal memory in adult humans.
Heart health: studies show improved blood pressure and resting heart rates.
Physical performance: In a study, young men who fasted for 16 hours showed fat loss while maintaining muscle mass.
Diabetes and obesity: In animal studies, intermittent fasting prevented obesity. And in six brief studies, obese adult humans lost weight through intermittent fasting.
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What You Need To Know Before You Start
I encourage you to evaluate your existing commitments before starting your intermittent fasting journey. Setting realistic expectations for yourself and intermittent fasting will help you achieve your health goals.
If you have an extra busy day or week coming up, consider shortening the fasting period. This will help reduce the added stress and unnecessary pressure to skip meals.
When I travel, Im often unable to do more than 12 hours of fasting due to evening commitments or early morning meetings. The great thing about intermittent fasting is that theres nothing special that you need to schedule before starting intermittent fasting you just get started.
Its important to see if its the right time to do intermittent fasting. If youre going through an emotional or stressful period in your life, trying to conceive, or recovering from an eating disorder, intermittent fasting may not be the best thing for you at this time.
Editorial Sources And Fact
- Fothergill E, Guo J, Howard L, et al. Persistent Metabolic Adaptation 6 Years After The Biggest Loser Competition. Obesity. August 2016.
- Varady KA, Cienfuegos S, Ezpeleta M, et al. Cardiometabolic Benefits of Intermittent Fasting. Annual Review of Nutrition. October 2021.
- Gabel K, Hoddy KK, Haggerty N, et al. Effects of 8-Hour Time Restricted Feeding on Body Weight and Metabolic Disease Risk Factors in Obese Adults: A Pilot Study. Nutrition and Healthy Aging. June 2018.
- Catterson JH, Khericha M, Dyson MC, et al. Short-Term, Intermittent Fasting Induces Long-Lasting Gut Health and TOR-Independent Lifespan Extension. Current Biology. June 2018.
- De Cabo R, Mattson MP. Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Health, Aging, and Disease. The New England Journal of Medicine. December 26, 2019.
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