Intermittent Fasting May Lead To Similar Results As A Calorie
Another review, published in October 2021 in Annual Review of Nutrition did find that TRE, as well as alternate-day fasting and 5:2 eating, all led to weight loss, which they said was mild to moderate . The researchers, from the University of Illinois at Chicago, observed that IF seems to result in the same amount of weight loss as the more traditional calorie-restriction diet that trims roughly 500 calories a day.
Most of the current research on intermittent fasting evaluated only a small number of people and didnt follow them for long, says Ellen Liskov, RDN, a dietitian at Yale New Haven Hospital Center for Nutrition and Wellness in Connecticut. These studies are not conclusive enough to say that intermittent fasting is a dietary plan that all people should employ, she says.
Intermittent Fasting And Women
Although we could benefit from more research on this subject, women should consider what we do know about intermittent fasting before deciding to try this eating style.
Is Intermittent Fasting a Good Weight-Loss Diet for Women?
As suggested above, an intermittent fasting diet is likely not going to help women lose weight. Men are likely to benefit from skipping breakfast or restricting their calorie intake for an entire day once or twice a week. These actions can boost metabolism and lead to weight loss. Women, however, are not likely to benefit from the same diet.
Women who want to optimize their body composition, have consistently high energy, and continually improve their workout performance would benefit the most from a constant calorie intake each day. An unchanging flow of high-quality caloriesârather than intermittent fastingâis likely to lead to the best weight loss results for women.
Do Women Get Enough Nutrients on Intermittent Fasting Diets?
Intermittent fasting might actually prevent women from getting enough nutrients. By maintaining an unchanging flow of high-quality calories, women can ensure that they are getting enough nutrients to maximize their health. Because of this, women, more than men, might benefit from sticking to the old guideline of eating four to six small meals per day.
What Kind OF Women Should and Shouldn’t Try Intermittent Fasting?
What To Do If Fasting Isnt For You
How can you get in shape and lose weight if you find intermittent fasting isnt a good fit?
Learn the essentials of good nutrition.
Fasting or not, you cant go wrong focusing on meal quality: Prioritize lean proteins, colorful veggies and fruits, healthy fats, quality carbohydrates. Crowd out treats, caloric beverages, and processed foods. Cook and eat whole foods. Exercise regularly. Stay consistent.
These basic fundamentals are by far the best things you can do for your health and fitness.
Sure, intermittent fasting may be popular. And maybe your brother or your boyfriend or your husband or even your dad finds it an excellent aid to fitness and health.
But women are different than men, and our bodies have different needs.
Listen to your body. And do what works best for you.
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Help With Cancer Treatments
Scientists are currently studying the effects that intermittent fasting might have alongside cancer treatments on different types of cancer.
Studies are in their early stages, but some researchers believe that fasting may improve the effects of cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, and reduce their negative side effects.
Restricting Certain Nutrients Like Protein May Also Have Different Effects On Women Compared To Men
In general, women tend to eat less protein than men.13 And usually, women who fast will eat even less protein .
Thats a problem because protein provides amino acids, which are critical for the reproduction process.
If amino acids get too low, it can negatively affect both your estrogen receptors and a hormone called insulin-like growth factor .14 Both are needed to thicken the lining of the uterus during the menstrual cycle. If the uterus lining doesnt thicken, an egg cant implant, and pregnancy cant occur.
Hence, low protein-diets can reduce fertility.
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Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss For Women Summary
In summary, intermittent fasting for weight loss for women is all about becoming metabolically flexible. The right intermittent fasting method for you is the one that will teach your body to stop relying on glucose for energy. Once you can do that, you have found food freedom and you are on the path to learning your true hunger cues. Congratulations!
One Downside Of If: Loss Of Lean Muscle Mass
While weight loss for cardiometabolic health is a sensible goal, weight loss from any intervention often entails a concurrent loss of lean muscle mass. This has been a notable finding what I might even call an adverse side effect of intermittent fasting protocols. Given the importance of lean muscle mass for revving your metabolic rate, regulating your blood sugar, and keeping you physically able overall, pairing resistance training with an intermittent fasting protocol is strongly advised.
Finally, the weight loss achieved through time-restricted eating is likely different than the cellular adaptations that happen with more prolonged fully fasted states. At this time, it is hard to determine the degree to which the cardiometabolic benefits of fasting derive from weight loss or from underlying cellular adaptations it is likely an interrelated combination of both.
Nevertheless, it seems clear that in a 24/7 world of around-the-clock eating opportunities, all of us could benefit from aligning with our circadian biology, and spend a bit less time in a fed state and more time in a fasted state each day.
About the Author
Richard Joseph, MD, Contributor
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/10 Or 12/12 Intermittent Fasting
Many women over 40 do better on shorter fasting periods, so these two methods may work better than the 16/8 method. However, the principles are the same. For example, in the 14/10 method, calories are restricted for 14 consecutive hours, and calories are only consumed over the course of 10 consecutive hours. For example, if your last meal ends at 7 pm, your fasting period ends at 9 am, and you may have your first meal or cup of coffee or tea with cream and sugar.
Achieve Optimal Weight Loss Ketosis
I would say failing to achieve optimal weight loss ketosis is the number one reason why people give up on intermittent fasting because it doesnt work. What does it all mean? It means you need to fast long enough for your body to switch to ketones for energy.
Optimal Weight Loss Ketosis
Did you know that when your body runs out of glycogen, it starts producing ketones from your fat cells? When that happens, your appetite tends to decrease, and you feel energetic and focused. Thats one of the reasons why the keto diet has become so popular. When your body functions on ketones, you no longer have to rely on willpower for weight loss. Read my post Keto Vs. Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss: Which One Is Better? if you are curious about what kind of recommendations I have regarding intermittent fasting and keto for weight loss.
How to Know When You Are In Optimal Weight Loss Ketosis
The first time I achieved optimal weight loss ketosis was during a modified fast. I know simply because I felt different. My hunger wasnt bothering me much anymore. I felt different. If you measure your ketones, you will discover that this switch usually occurs around 1.0-1.5 mmol/L.
I use the Keto Mojo to measure my ketones. Get a 15 percent discount with my affiliate link.
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Getting The Timing Right Is Tricky
There are physiological benefits to eating early in the day. Your bodys sensitivity to insulin is greater in the morning, and people who eat soon after they wake up tend to have better appetite control throughout the day, says Comana.
Ghrelin is the hormone that triggers your desire to eat. When you wake up in the morning, as your bodys ramping up, if you dont feed yourself, your liver glycogen stores get lower, and your ghrelin levels get higher. And then that sometimes triggers binge eating and an uncontrolled appetite, he says.
However, scheduling your eating window early in the day can leave you tempted to snack late at night. In the morning, were distracted. We have an agenda, Comana says. The brain has just woken up. Its fresh. Its charged. But, later in the day, its like a muscle that has done a thousand repetitions. Its weak and fatigued. Faltering willpower combined with evening downtime can make sticking to a fast especially challenging.
Ideally, your workouts should also coincide with your eating window. If you typically train in the evening, fasting can take a toll on your performance and recovery if you cant fuel appropriately. You cant deprive yourself of carbohydrates because thats your fuel for your workout. Carbohydrates are also used for recovery, Sklaver says. And protein, of course, is crucial to muscle-building.
What Is The 1: 8 Diet
The 16:8 diet is a form of intermittent fasting where you break the day into two parts: a 16-hour fasting period and an 8-hour period where you consume all your calories.
The 16:8 stems from the 8-Hour Diet book by author David Zinczenko and Peter Moore , former editor-in-chief of Men’s Health. The two created the plan off the back of the popular 5:2 diet, with the main difference being the longer fasting time between eating sessions. This, they say, gives the body the time it needs to process food and burn away extra fat.
The 8-Hour Diet by David Zinczenko and Peter Moore –
Suzie Sawyer , founder of Nutrition Lifestyle, says, “There are no restrictions on the types or amounts of food that a person can eat during the 8-hour window. This flexibility makes the plan relatively easy to follow.”
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Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting For Women Over 50
- Benefits of Intermittent Fasting for Women Over 50
- Prime Women
- Sat Mar 12
Intermittent fasting for women over 50 could help with weight loss and minimize the chance of developing typically age-related illnesses. In fact, intermittent fasting can lower blood pressure, according to a new study done by Baylor College of Medicine. The study showed that fasting lowers blood pressure by reshaping the gut microbiota.
Of course, in addition to wanting to improve their health, losing weight is a significant concern for many women over 50. A few things that make it tougher to lose weight after age 50 include lower metabolism, achy joints, reduced muscle mass, and even sleep issues. At the same time, losing fat, especially dangerous belly fat, can dramatically reduce your risk for such serious health issues as diabetes, heart attacks, and cancer.
Of course, as you age, the risk of developing many diseases increases. In some cases, intermittent fasting for women over 50 could serve as a virtual fountain of youth when it comes to weight loss and minimizing the chance of developing typically age-related illnesses.
How Can I Suppress Hunger During Intermittent Fasting
- Eat high-fiber foods, such as nuts, beans, fruits and vegetables and high-protein foods, including meat, fish, tofu or nuts, during your eating window, Varady advised. Chewing high-fiber gummies can also help.
- Drink lots of water. People tend to think they’re hungry, when they are really just thirsty, she said.
- Go for black coffee or tea, or cinnamon or licorice herbal teas. These beverages may have appetite-suppressing effects, Varady noted.
- Watch less TV. I know this sounds strange, but while you are watching TV, you are bombarded with dozens of ads for food. This can make you feel hungry, when in actuality, you are not hungry at all, she said.
Remember, being “a little hungry” is the best thing that can happen to you, wrote Madelyn Fernstrom, health and nutrition editor at NBC News, calling it a “true mind-body connection” that helps you recognize fullness.
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Intermittent Fasting For Healthy Weight Loss
As weve said, not all weight loss is the same. Its essential to make sure youre losing weight in a healthy way. Can intermittent fasting help with healthy weight loss?
Here, the data are conflicting.
On one hand, intermittent fasting can help improve metabolic health by reducing blood sugar and blood pressure while also improving blood lipid levels.4
On the other hand, two trials suggested that intermittent fasting may not lead to greater weight loss than usual care, or even worse may lead to greater loss of lean muscle mass than usual care or continuous calorie restriction.5
A healthy weight loss intervention also should be relatively easy to comply with and maintain long-term. Fortunately, intermittent fasting may fit that criteria.
One study reported that working adults found time-restricted eating with an eight-hour eating window easy to comply with and maintain for three months.6
That fits with frequent clinical experience suggesting many people easily adapt to time-restricted eating, especially when they follow a low-carb or high-protein diet that helps improve satiety and reduce appetite.7
So, in terms of convenience and ease in your approach to healthy weight loss, intermittent fasting seems to be a winner.
Intermittent Fasting In Girls And Teens
During periods of intense growth, such as childhood and adolescence, fasting isnt recommended.
Most children are born with the ability to regulate their food intake pretty well, provided theyre being given a range of healthy options to choose from.
Teenagehood can be a time of intense self-scrutiny and social comparison, and is often when many young girls consider dieting. Its a sensitive time to change food habits, even when its appropriate.
Instead of restricting food, focus on increasing appetite awareness and mindful eating, and prioritizing whole, nutritious foods.
As much as possible, promote an enjoyable, stress-free relationship with eating, and a kind, caring relationship to the body.
For more on how to support kids to eat well, check out our article: Nutrition for kids: Low-stress strategies and kid-friendly recipes.
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Is Intermittent Fasting Good For Over 50 Women
During midlife, women go through menopause, which causes many changes in their bodies. Certain things like losing weight become harder to do. So, is intermittent fasting good for over 50?
Its not uncommon for women to experience weight gain during menopause. This is because of the change in metabolism that happens around this age. You start to experience a slower metabolism because of a decline in progesterone and estrogen in the body.
In addition, you may have a harder time processing carbohydrates and sugars as a result of insulin resistance. Thankfully, intermittent fasting for women helps your body more effectively burn belly fat for energy. Therefore, it can make it easier to lose weight and keep it off.
Safety And Side Effects
Modified versions of intermittent fasting appear to be safe for most women.
That being said, a number of studies have reported some side effects including hunger, mood swings, lack of concentration, reduced energy, headaches and bad breath on fasting days .
There are also some stories online of women who report that their menstrual cycle stopped while following an intermittent fasting diet.
If you have a medical condition, you should consult with your doctor before trying intermittent fasting.
Medical consultation is particularly important for women who:
- Have a history of eating disorders.
- Have diabetes or regularly experience low blood sugar levels.
- Are underweight, malnourished or have nutritional deficiencies.
- Are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive.
- Have fertility problems or a history of amenorrhea .
At the end of the day, intermittent fasting appears to have a good safety profile. Yet, if you experience any problems such loss of your menstrual cycle stop immediately.
Intermittent fasting may cause hunger, low energy levels, headaches and bad breath. Women who are pregnant, trying to conceive or who have a history of eating disorders should seek medical advice prior to starting an intermittent fasting regimen.
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Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss And Fertility
If youre still menstruating, you need a certain percentage of body fat to maintain normal menses and fertility. When you restrict calories, your body may respond by holding onto the fat you want to lose, which negates any eating plans positive outcome. And if you lose too much fat, you can become infertile or develop amenorrhea.
Amenorrhea is a potentially serious condition in which a woman of childbearing age fails to menstruate. Not only does failure to menstruate make you infertile, but amenorrhea can cause a hormonal imbalance and lead to weight gain, excessive weight loss, thyroid malfunction, and osteoporosis.
If youre concerned with fertility, intermittent fasting could potentially increase irregularities in your reproductive cycles and cause your ovaries to shrink. This has been proven the case in animal studies, but we still need more comparable human studies.
You must consume sufficient calories for healthy, regular menstruation if you choose to participate in intermittent fasting. To keep fasting from affecting your period, try a lighter fasting protocol, like a shorter fast, or fewer fasting days.
Intermittent Fasting And Your Libido
Once again , the research is lacking on women, libido, and intermittent fasting. A study on men who fasted during Ramadan found fasting decreased their sexual desire and frequency of sexual activity, but studies on women are sparse.
Since fasting can impact hormone balance and potentially decrease estrogen, it could negatively affect sexual desire, but no studies expressly point to this. Fasting could also negatively impact your energy or mood if taken too far, which can decrease your desire to have sex.
On the other hand, if fasting works for you and you feel healthy or notice positive physical changes in your body, then it could help with libido. Weight and confidence in our bodies directly impact sexual desire, something backed by research, but also most of us have experienced first-hand. So for women who do well with fasting, a welcomed side effect could be improved libido.
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