What Is The Best Way To Lose Weight Fast For Women
This depends on how you define fast. Once you are in your 40s and beyond, weight loss will probably not be as rapid as it once was. That said, with a combination of eating the right foods, exercising, getting enough sleep, and watching your alcohol intake, its possible to see results from your weight loss efforts within a few weeks. How quickly youll reach the number on the scale youre aiming for depends on many factors, such as how much weight you have to lose, your own body chemistry, and how closely youre able to follow a weight loss program.
More important than losing weight quickly is keeping it off, and feeling good about it. This may mean changing your habits, long-term. Things like eating takeout frequently, drinking a glass of wine every evening, getting less than the recommended amount of sleep each night, and spending most of the day sitting down can are all weight gain culprits that can be replaced with healthier habits. The good news is, many of the best weight loss programs for women can help you do just that!
One of them could be the key to achieving your weight loss goals! Keep scrolling to shop our picks for the best weight loss programs for women!
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Intermittent Fasting While Pregnant
Like childhood and adolescence, pregnancy is a time of intense growth.
Weight gain is a desired outcome of a developing pregnancy, and is a sign of a healthy, growing baby.
Even though weight gain during this time is wanted, many women feel uneasy about the upward-creeping scale. Women who are especially body-conscious, or those who wanted to lose weight before pregnancy may still think about weight loss during this time.
Some women may even be advised by a doctor to manage weight during pregnancy.
Even if weight management is suggested by a medical professional, fasting is not appropriate during this time.
Instead of restricting food, focus on increasing nutrition: aiming to get adequate protein, healthy fats, quality carbohydrates, colorful vegetables, and fruits.
For more information on nutrition during pregnancy, check out our infographic: What to eat during pregnancy.
You can also improve health and regulate weight gain by exercising, provided thats been cleared by your doctor. If youre curious about what to do, weve got an infographic for that too: How to exercise during pregnancy.
Tips And Common Mistakes To Avoid When Intermittent Fasting Fow Women
To make the transition to fasting easier and to keep yourself on track, remember these points:
- If you ever feel lightheaded or weak when exercising, shorten the session, rest, or drink some water
- If you have an off day where it seems too hard, take a break and hop back on the fasting wagon the next day
- Stay hydrated at all times
- Eat well and include protein, fiber, healthy fats, and complex carbs in your eating window
- Avoid processed foods you want the food you eat to benefit your body rather than be empty calories
- Beware of fast-breakers like toothpaste and medications such as Advil with a coating that may contain sugar
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Ready To Give It A Try
Theres a lot to learn about intermittent fasting, but thus far, human studies show that it can promote weight loss and provide abundant health benefits.
However, any time you introduce a new diet or lifestyle choice, its essential to test the waters. Before going all in, consult with your medical doctor. Also, keep these tips handy to make the transition easier and more sustainable.
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Sowhat Is Intermittent Fasting Exactly
Intermittent fasting is when you allow yourself to eat only during a specified window of time each day, explains Alissa Rumsey, RD, a NYC-based dietitian and the owner of Alissa Rumsey Nutrition and Wellness. It usually involves fasting for a certain number of hours or even days that are spaced out during the week, and theres no right way to do this, says Sonya Angelone, RD, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
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What Can I Eat While Intermittent Fasting
During the times when youre not eating, water and zero-calorie beverages such as black coffee and tea are permitted.
And during your eating periods, eating normally does not mean going crazy. Youre not likely to lose weight or get healthier if you pack your feeding times with high-calorie junk food, super-sized fried items and treats.
But what Williams likes about intermittent fasting is that it allows for a range of different foods to be eaten and enjoyed. We want people to be mindful and take pleasure in eating good, nutritious food, she says. She adds that eating with others and sharing the mealtime experience adds satisfaction and supports good health.
Williams, like most nutrition experts, regards the Mediterranean diet as a good blueprint of what to eat, whether youre trying intermittent fasting or not. You can hardly go wrong when you pick complex, unrefined carbohydrates such as whole grains, leafy greens, healthy fats and lean protein.
What Makes Intermittent Fasting Work
Some people believe that IF has worked for them simply because the limited eating window naturally helps them reduce the number of calories they consume. For instance, instead of eating 3 meals and 2 snacks, they might find that they only have time for 2 meals and one snack. They become more mindful about the kinds of food they consume and tend to stay away from processed carbs, unhealthy fat, and empty calories.
Of course, you can also choose the kinds of healthy food that you enjoy. While some people opt to reduce their overall calorie intake, others combine IF with a keto, vegan, or other kinds of diets.
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Should I Try Intermittent Fasting
It really depends. If you feel like you have a healthy relationship with food and you do well with parameters, it could be a good fit for you. It’s certainly not an easy diet if you hate the feeling of being hungry, but the fasting periods do get easier with time, Angelone says.
While anyone can try intermittent fasting, ultimately, people who are overweight and/or have high blood pressure or high cholesterol are considered the best fits for the diet, Angelone says.
Youll also want to take a pass if youre pregnant or breastfeeding or if you have a history of disordered eating, says Cording. It can be a bit of a slippery slope into disordered patterns, she explains.
If Youre Just Starting Out
I suggest trying the time-restricted approach first, and going at a slow pace to let your body adjust.
One simple way to keep track of when to eat and when not to eat is to plan on eating your meals only during the daylight hours. When its light out, eat as you need to in order to not feel hungry. But once the sun sets, dont eat. Your body will immediately experience the benefits, and over time youll likely start noticing them.
Lots of people find it helpful to start with a cup of bulletproof coffee in the morning, and then refrain from eating till afternoon. Of course, the fat in the coffee contains some calories. But its a helpful way to start, and many people still lose weight with this approach. Just dont add milk or sugar!
Is Intermittent Fasting Safe For Midlife Women
Intermittent fasting is generally safe and does not result in energy level disturbances or increased disordered eating behaviors, the University of Illinois reviewers concluded.
Still, not every midlife woman should try this eating plan, they said. Those with a history of disordered eating, a body mass index below 18.5, or those who need to take medication with food at regimented times should refrain.
Other experts say people with certain medical conditions may be poor candidates. Women with Crohns disease, for example, might do better on a different eating plan. And those with diabetes are also typically advised to refrain, especially when blood sugar isnt well controlled.
Women May Be More Sensitive To Changes In Nutrient Balance Than Men
Men and women seem to respond differently when fasting or significantly restricting calories. This may be due to kisspeptin, a protein-like molecule thats essential in the reproductive process.
Kisspeptin stimulates GnRH production in both sexes, and we know its very sensitive to leptin, insulin, and ghrelinhormones that regulate and react to feelings of hunger and fullness.9 10
Interestingly, females have more kisspeptin than males. More kisspeptin may mean that womens bodies are more sensitive to changes in energy balance.11
Compared to men, fasting more readily causes womens kisspeptin production to dip. When kisspeptin drops, it tosses GnRH off kilter12, which upsets the whole monthly hormonal cycle.
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The Best Intermittent Fasting Schedule For Women
If you still want to try intermittent fasting, there are ways to dip your toe in.
Considering how much remains unclear, a conservative approach is probably better rather than diving into advanced intermittent fasting.
You might start by keeping a food journal for a few days. Get a sense of what youre eating, how much, and how often.
Are you eating late at night and snacking throughout the day? Do your portions tend to be big and fill you up, or do you prefer lighter meals? Are you getting protein at every meal? Veggies?
Once you have some more awareness of your baseline, you can experiment with intermittent fasting lite. Here are a couple of ways to do that.
Begin by stretching the time between eating. If you normally snack between meals, what happens when you stop? Do you feel ravenous, dizzy, and angry? Does the hunger ebb and flow? Do you actually feel totally fine?
Try lengthening the time between your last meal in the evening and your first meal the next morning. For example, if you usually eat your last meal at 8 pm, and then eat breakfast at 7 am , try eating your last meal at 6 pm, and eating breakfast a little later, at 8 or 10 am .
As you try these experiments, continue to check in with yourself physically:
- Although you may be a bit more uncomfortable than usual, overall, is the hunger manageable? Or do you even notice it?
- When stress spikes, are you more or less reactive?
- How is your sleep?
Also check in with your feelings around food and your body:
Cut Calories For Faster Weight Loss
The key to losing weight is eating fewer calories than you expend. That creates an energy deficit, so your body taps into other sources of fuel â namely, your fat stores â to make up the difference. You’ll be able to lose weight safely by creating an energy deficit of up to 1,000 calories a day, which will allow you to lose up to two pounds per week.
Use a calorie-needs calculator like LIVESTRONG.COM’s MyPlate app to figure out your daily calorie needs, then subtract calories to create your energy deficit. With an app like MyPlate, you can factor in your weight-loss goal, and it will tell you the exact number of calories you need to reach that goal.
For example, a 27-year-old woman who is 5-foot-4 and weighs 160 pounds and gets about an hour of activity a day needs roughly 2,500 calories a day to maintain her weight. She could drop her calorie intake to about 2,000 calories daily to lose one pound a week or go down to 1,500 calories a day to lose two pounds each week.
Here are some easy ways to cut calories from your diet:
- Choose grilled fish or chicken instead of fried versions
- Opt for mustard instead of mayonnaise on a sandwich
- Eat whole fruits instead of drinking juice
- Choose water over soda or juice
- Practice portion control
- Start your meal with a salad or broth-based soup
- Load up on veggies to give dishes like stir-fry more volume
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So Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss In Women Is Complicated
Womens bodies may just have a greater sensitivity to changes in energy balance.
When our bodies do detect changes, it may disrupt the HPG-axis, and our whole hormonal cycle is thrown off.
This hormonal turmoil can be aggravated further if there are other stressors draining our energy.
Intermittent fasting may decrease estrogen, and decreased estrogen may increase appetite and fat storage.
So fasting to manage your weight? It may be kinda counterproductive. Like getting stuck in one of those Chinese finger traps, the more you struggle, the worse it gets.
How To Optimise Your Fast
Considering these differences, it is important to optimise your fast depending on your sex. While it is important to be aware of the different responses the female body can have when fasting, it should in no way prevent women from completing their fasts.
Luckily, there are endless fasting variations to suit everybody, male or female. While male bodies appear to be more resilient to most types of fasting, for women it may be prudent to avoid extreme types of fasting like the OMAD, or one meal a day fast.
For all fasting beginners of both sexes, it is best to start slow, for example by gradually extending the natural fast everyone experiences when they sleep into the daylight hours.
Women may be more suited to time restricted eating , which alternates between periods of fasting and feasting within one day. Beginners can start with the 12:12. Gradually, as your body adapts to fasting, this can be extended to the 16:8, or even the more intensive 20:4 best suited to experienced fasters.
While sex and gender lie on a spectrum, certain physiological differences between men and women are more fixed and our bodies respond differently to fasting. However, women can still unlock the health and longevity benefits of fasting by being aware of these differences and matching their fasts accordingly.
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But What If I Get Hangry
Hunger is normal during a fast, especially when you first start fasting. However, if you keep a set fasting schedule daily, youll probably find that you begin to not even feel hungry until near the end of your typical fasting window. You might also begin to relate to your hunger differently, recognizing true hunger from cravings.
But dont worry even on fasting days you get to eat some calories! Clinical trials of intermittent fasting typically involve having people eat up to 500 calories on fasting days of 24 hours. There are still scientifically validated benefits of having regular 500-calorie fasting days.
If you ever feel very hungry, hangry, irritable or light-headed during a fast, try the following:
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/6things Women Above 40 Must Keep In Mind When Following Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is one of the most popular diet trends these days. From fitness enthusiasts to celebrities all are vouching for this popular eating-fasting method due to its vast health benefits. The dietary pattern that alternates between eating and fasting is based on the concept that avoiding food for a fixed time helps the body to increase its efficiency. Moreover, the fasting method is safe and hardly has any side effects in the long run. But for women following this eating pattern in their 40s, it is essential to take extra care to gain the most from this.
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.
Pros Of Intermittent Fasting For Women
“There is substantial research to support the therapeutic benefits of fasting,” says Jillian Greaves M.P.H., R.D., L.D.N. Integrative Functional Dietitian at Prevention Pantry Nutrition. “Some potential health benefits include improved cellular health, improved metabolic markers, and weight loss.”Studies show that intermittent fasting leads to weight loss in women, but doesn’t lead to any more weight loss than a calorie deficit overall. However, the structure of IF makes it easier for some to reduce caloric intake.
Intermittent fasting can boost fat burn too. When we eat, blood sugar rises and insulin is released to take glucose to our cells for energy. Extra glucose is stored as fast. If you don’t eat for 10-16 hours, your body will start to use its fat stores for energy.
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that in a fasted state, cellular repair occurs, which is linked to increased longevity, reduced risk of cancer, lower inflammation and improved metabolism. However, many of the studies are in animals and more studies in women are needed.
There’s also emerging research that eating in sync with circadian rhythm keeps chronic diseases at bay. In other words, eating during a 6-10 hour window during the day, when it’s light outside, and reducing nighttime eating.
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