A Complete Guide To Intermittent Fasting For Women Over 40
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Intermittent fasting. Youve probably heard of it.
Its popular with celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman, and Jimmy Kimmel.
Maybe youve got friends avoiding food until lunchtime each day, or perhaps youve seen it on Instagram.
Intermittent fasting is trendy right now. In fact, a survey from the International Food Information Council Foundation found one in 10 people are following a fasting diet. But the concept of fasting is nothing new. Fasting and even intermittent fasting has been around for centuries.
If youre interested in this nutritional lifestyle change, read on to learn more.
Choosing A Fasting Window That Is Too Short
Women in general benefit from a longer fasting window that isnt implemented every single day of the week, but particularly women over 40. Not only will a longer fasting window help insure that your caloric consumption decreases enough to lose weight , but it will also help you benefit from the metabolic switchover you want.
Switching to fat burning is what I enjoy most about intermittent fasting. It is what makes it so effective at improving your metabolic health and losing weight. Most people start exhausting their glycogen stores after fasting for about 12 hours. However, for your body to produce enough ketones to be in ketosis, you most likely need to fast for at least 16-18 hours . Then, you would want to enjoy this metabolic switchover for a while. I tend to recommend a 20-24 hour fast for everyone, but women over 40 will find it even more helpful as they may struggle with insulin resistance.
Alternate-Day Fasting Benefits
Fasting longer and less frequently is an effective option for women over 40. Alternate-day fasting, in particular, has some major benefits. Alternate-day fasting has been shown to increase lifespan in mice. Also, a study where the metabolic effects of fasting were observed at the 12, 36, and 72-hour marks, found that the resting metabolic rate of the subjects increased at 36 hours. Read What Is Alternate-Day Fasting and Why It Works to learn more.
Intermittent Fasting For Women Over : Results
As you can see, intermittent fasting can be a healthy lifestyle that offers a range of benefits, from burning fat stored in those problem areas to fat-burning to addressing nutritional deficiencies and more.
Its a great option for women over 40 who have been struggling to lose weight and who are tired of trying every diet under the sun to no avail!
Look at these fabulous results:
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Not Cycling Their Diet And Intermittent Fasting Methods
If intermittent fasting for women over 40 involves longer fasts, it also means fewer fasting days. For example, with alternate-day fasting, once or twice a week would be a good goal. If you go for OMAD or the Warrior Diet , I would recommend you some days off once in a while, particularly before your period. Again, I want to emphasize that I am not about making rules up. I do want you to be aware of how you feel on your fasting days. After you have gained enough fasting experience, you will know the difference between how you feel on different fasting days. Some days, you will feel hungry but you will be energetic and happy to keep fasting. Some days, you will feel weak and too hungry to fast longer. Listening to your bodys cues is an excellent way to cycle your fasting days.
Cycling Your Diet
Similarly to not always fasting the same length of time every single day of the month, its a good idea to change things up with your diet. For one thing, it will help you determine which way of eating makes you feel your best, but also, you will notice that your body craves different types of nourishment at different times. Sometimes, eating keto may be just what you need. At other times, you may want to include more carbs in your diet.
Alternate Day Intermittent Fasting
This method is very extreme and hard to sustain as part of a healthy lifestyle. There are two common versions of this method. The first method is similar to the 5/2 intermittent fasting method. However, instead of consuming 500 calories on two days of the week, you would consume 500 calories per day every other day.
The second method involves alternating consuming a healthy diet with the allotted number of calories with a complete day of fasting . Research has shown that this may be a feasible way for normal-weight individuals to extend life expectancy, but it results in extreme hunger and is hard to sustain as part of a healthy lifestyle.
If you choose to do an alternate day intermittent fasting plan, then the fast days should be spread out during the week rather than being back-to-back. For example, fast on Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Friday.
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Create A Sustainable Lifestyle
I talk about intermittent fasting as a lifestyle a lot in my blog posts because its important! Please dont practice intermittent fasting simply to lose weight and give it all up when you reach your weight loss goal. Intermittent fasting over 40 has so many health benefits, you dont want to miss out! You may adjust your intermittent fasting method as you reach your health goals, but it doesnt mean you need to quit intermittent fasting. Overtime, you may need to experiment further as your body and your needs change. Thats the fun part! You are becoming a biohacker!
How To Stick To Intermittent Fasting
Of course, if youre preparing food for others kids, family members or a partner, outside of your eating window, you might struggle to avoid food.
You could try brushing your teeth after eating to trick your mind into thinking that meal-time is over. As well as this, be sure to remain hydrated try enjoying flavoured herbal teas, to keep taste buds happy.
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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.
Why Is Intermittent Fasting Bad
Restricting food intake to certain periods of time can cause some people to eat more than usual during eating periods in an attempt to make up for hours spent fasting,” says Dr Ruxton. “This may lead to weight gain, digestive problems and the development of unhealthy eating habits. Intermittent fasting may also cause short-term negative side effects at the start such as hunger, weakness and fatigue though these often subside once a routine is established.”
You should also be wary about missing out on essential goodness. Restricting food intake could also reduce intake of vitamins and minerals,” says Dr Ruxton. “In fact, any change of food/diet regime can prejudice vitamin and mineral intake. Take a multi-vitamin and multi-mineral supplement providing recommended amounts of a wide range of micronutrients.
It May Help You Eat Less
Switching to intermittent fasting may naturally help you eat less.
One study found that young men ate 650 fewer calories per day when their food intake was restricted to a four-hour window .
Another study in 24 healthy men and women looked at the effects of a long, 36-hour fast on eating habits. Despite consuming extra calories on the post-fast day, participants dropped their total calorie balance by 1,900 calories, a significant reduction .
Can You Combine Intermittent Fasting With Keto
You can, and many people do. However, I dont because I love my carbs and I can lose weight with intermittent fasting alone.
I do restrict sugar and processed foods because I find that causes me to gain weight and be hungrier. I also personally dont eat fruit because Im allergic to a lot of fruits and I find that fruit seems to spike my blood sugar.
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Low Calorie High Protein Foods
As were easing into Intermittent Fasting, were focusing on low-calorie, high-protein foods that keep us full and take longer to digest. Im using hard-boiled eggs and cheese sticks in this plan because they are both under 100 calories with around 5 and 6 grams of protein, so theyre good choices for a quick snack if youre hungry.
They are also convenient to take on the go, so youre never without something to eat when youre hungry.
Hard-boiled eggs are pretty self-explanatory. By cheese sticks, I mean a cheese snack, similar to this.
Can Women Over 40 Lose Weight With Intermittent Fasting
The answer isnt black or white. A systematic review of 27 intermittent fasting trials found weight loss of 0.8% to 13.0% of baseline weight with no serious adverse events.
In another study, women over 40 were put on one of three diets: Mediterranean, alternate day fasting with 100% of estimated calories, and alternate day fasting with 70% of their estimated calories. The women in the alternate day fasting with 70% lost the most weight and body fat.
This means that alternate day fasting with 70% of calories was better than traditional low calorie eating at 70% of calories without fasting. In a study of overweight women between ages 20 to 69, researchers divided the women into three different diets: daily calorie restriction, intermittent fasting with low carb, and intermittent fasting with low carb and as much protein and fat as they wanted.
Both of the intermittent fasting groups lost more body fat than the daily calorie restriction group, as well as decreased inflammation, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure. According to many studies, weight loss is possible in women over 40 with intermittent fasting.
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Intermittent Fasting For Women Over 40 Can Be A Great Choice To Help With Weight Loss
Intermittent fasting is a safe and effective option for most healthy women over 40 to help boost their metabolism and lower several age-related health factors that often affect us as we age allowing us to stay youthful and healthy longer. For those that want to give their body a second chance and reset intermittent fasting is a great start towards building a healthy lifestyle and healthy body that can hold up to the tests of time.
My biggest tip for you if you are planning on giving IF a try is to make sure to drink enough water throughout the day. Youll still need to drink water during your fasting window to keep from getting dehydrated. Read up on how much water you need to stay hydrated if you are unsure.
Intermittent Fasting: When Do You Eat
There are a few ways to fast. We recommend a variation of what is known as the 16:8 method. This method requires you to fast for 16 hours and eat for eight.
For women however, you could try the 15 hours fasting, nine hours eating approach. This is because eating too little over a long period of time affects womens hormones and thyroid production.
So for example, you would choose your nine hour eating slot say 10am to 6pm, and the rest of the day would involve no eating. This can be adapted to suit your lifestyle. Perhaps you eat out a lot in the evening, so might change your nine hours to 1pm to 10pm, or if you love breakfast first thing, adapt it to 7am to 4pm.
Helps To Reach Autophagy
Intermittent fasting is one of the best ways to induce autophagy. Infection, general wear and tear, as well as inflammation, can damage the cells in our bodies and the organelles that make up these cells.
When this happens, lysosomes, which are organelles that exist in the body, locate the damaged areas, salvage what they can, and break the rest of the cells down to recycle them. This recycled material is then used to create new cells.
Of course, waiting a few hours between meals will not induce autophagy your body must be in a state of low liver glycogen to enter this state. This normally takes around 1416 hours of fasting.
Following a 5-day fast can help the body fight diseases and slow aging by increasing its rate of autophagy. However, autophagy, so a more realistic fasting ratio of 16:8, is often the best place to start.
Side Effects Of Intermittent Fasting In Women Over 40
A number of studies have reported side effects such as hunger, mood swings, lack of concentration, reduced energy, headaches and bad breath on fasting days 19 and 20. Considering these side effects, working with a healthcare practitioner can help you to find an IF approach that tries to avoid these effects and works best for your body.
Women Who Should Avoid Intermittent Fasting
While there are many possible benefits of intermittent fasting, some women should avoid it unless cleared by their doctor. Reasons to talk to your medical provider before starting intermittent fasting include:
Pregnancy or breastfeeding: Intermittent fasting is generally not recommended for women who are pregnant, as it may impact the growth of the baby and cause other negative side effects.
Diabetes: Fasting may increase the risk of low blood sugar .
Medications: Some drugs need to be taken with food, so extended fasting could interfere with scheduled doses.
If you have an existing medical condition or a history of disordered eating, talk to your doctor before starting any diet or eating plan.
Getting Started With The : 2 Intermittent Fasting Plan
Now, I believe you should proceed with caution with this plan. While it is a very difficult eating plan, many people swear by it.
In the beginning, it might be hard to avoid cravings. Therefore, on the two low-calorie days, it is a good idea to eat two small meals. The meals should consist of lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, and a teaspoon or two of healthy fats. Furthermore, since you eat only 500 calories, there is no room for added sugars or junk food. You need to make every bite count.
Additionally, for successful weight loss, its essential to manage your cravings and nighttime snacking. Unfortunately, many people overcompensate for the fasting days by overeating on the other days. In order to lose weight, you will still need to stick to your allotted calories or points on your non-fast days.
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Fasting Is Different For Women Than Men Especially As Women Age
When it comes to fasting, women are affected differently than men. Women are more sensitive to changes in hormone levels. This is because survival of a species relies on women carrying a full-term pregnancy and successfully giving birth. Research shows that women who get pregnant while they are starving or malnourished, have a higher risk of death during pregnancy.
Because of this, womens bodies are created to have a greater sensitivity to changes in energy balance. Women have a quicker stress response to fasting than men do, and women have much stronger hunger response and sensitivity to hunger hormones.
In women, prolonged fasting period can lead to increased anxiety, adrenal insufficiency, irregular periods, sleeplessness, and poor bone health.
How To Schedule Fasting Days
For the best results, the two fasting days shouldnt be consecutive. Try to choose them so that you know you wont be tempted: days when there are no celebrations at work or home when you know you wont go out to eat so that you can control more easily what you eat. For most people, those wont be on the weekend, but of course, it depends on your preferences and your schedule. If you find it easier to fast on days when you are off work, feel free to schedule your fasting days accordingly.
As an example, you could eat normally on Monday, fast on Tuesday, eat normally again on Wednesday and Thursday, fast on Friday, and eat normally during the weekend.
Some Of The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
Im a fan of Intermittent Fasting because its worked for me. There are also many benefits of Intermittent Fasting that have been proved by scientific studies.
Heres just a few:
- Insulin levels drop, promoting fat burning and lowering your risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
- Human Growth hormones level increase, also promoting fat burning and muscle building.
- Inflammation is reduced in the body.
Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss Over 40
Intermittent fasting alone will not help you lose weight if youre over 40. It is not a magic pill. Results are person-specific and depend on lifestyle, activity levels, dietary intake, and more.
Can you lose weight by incorporating intermittent fasting into your already healthy lifestyle? Absolutely and it depends on everything else you do. I know this is a very frustrating answer, but thats the truth. Read about how I started running at 40 here.
Some people report between 2 and 8 pounds per month by only adding IF to a healthy diet. If you have kids, eating a consistently healthy diet can be frustrating since kid-friendly foods are not usually healthy.
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