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Is Intermittent Fasting Healthy For Women

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Does Intermittent Fasting Make You Want To Eat More

Intermittent Fasting For Women Over 50 | Weight Loss & Longevity

You may feel like you are famished when you get to your eating window, but as long as you eat healthy food and keep your calorie count around 1200-1500 per day, you will soon get used to eating less. An excellent way to make sure that you eat what you should when you have an eating window is to meal prep. Spend an afternoon and prepare your meals for the week. Everything you need to eat clean will be ready and waiting in the fridge.

So Is Intermittent Fasting Bad For Women

Well, not necessarily.

But certainly, fasting is not for everyone.

And the truth is, some women shouldnt even bother experimenting. Dont try intermittent fasting if:

  • youre pregnant
  • you have a history of disordered eating
  • youre chronically stressed
  • you dont sleepwell
  • youre new to diet and exercise

Pregnant women have extra energy needs. So if youre starting a family, intermittent fasting isnt a good idea.

Ditto if youre under chronic stress or if you arent sleeping well. Your body needs nurturing, not additional stress.

And if youve struggled with disordered eating in the past , you probably recognize that a fasting protocol could lead you down a path that might create further problems for you.

Intermittent Fasting While Breastfeeding

If youve had a baby and decided to breastfeed, you already know this is a demanding time for your body: You might still be recovering from childbirth, youre probably sleep deprived, and your whole life has been flipped around. Plus, that cute little human you made is now treating you like an all-you-can-drink buffet.

During this time, your body needs extra nurturing, extra nutrients, and less stress. For these reasons, intermittent fasting is likely not a good protocol for breastfeeding women.

Many moms are concerned about losing the baby weight, and may feel pressured and impatient to get their pre-baby body back. Women can still lose weight during this time, but more moderate approaches are safer and will likely yield better long term results.

For safe, sustainable weight loss, try a combination of moderate exercise , and portion management. We made a nifty little calculator to help you with those goals: The Precision Nutrition Calculator.

Also Check: How Does Fasting Help You Lose Weight

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.

Is There Any Science Behind Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting for Women Over 40: Intermittent ...

There is certainly science behind the intermittent fasting diet. That said, it is good advice to be skeptical of any newly hyped diet or exercise fad that claims to be effective for everyone. One size does not fit all. This is a core reason why our industry exists.

Inherently, we know men and women need different things from us as trainers, in the same way that people of different ages, training experience levels, and body types need different things from us as trainers. We hope that the science of nutrition and exercise will catch up to our intuition as trainers one day.

The takeaway from all of this is that science suggests that some males can skip breakfast and receive possible benefits. However, it seems that intermittent fasting for most females is not currently supported by research. Because of this, it is better for most women to eat on a consistent and frequent schedule. Coach your clients accordingly.

Inspired to learn more about how food can fuel your clients fitness goals? Explore ISSAs Nutrition course to educate yourself and provide more expertise to your clients!

Read Also: How To Lose Weight From Intermittent Fasting

Overall Health And Wellbeing

Some people fast simply to reap all the benefits and to feel healthier and more energized. Fasting, in general, is a great detoxifier of the body and just leaves you looking better and feeling better. Some of the first benefits you will notice is improved complexion, healthier hair and nails, and calmer and more balanced digestion.

In this case, you can be more flexible with what you eat as long as you are focusing on good nutrition. You can also engage in a light outdoor exercise like walking or cycling or incorporate some other healthy exercise program into your lifestyle.

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 Pros And Cons For Women

Beverly Meyer, Clinical Nutritionist, MBA

Before listing intermittent fasting pros and cons for women, first ask what is your definition of Intermittent Fasting?; Various versions of IF include:

  • Dont eat between 7 PM and 7 AM
  • Only eat during a 6 or 8 hour window, such as 12 PM to 7 PM
  • Just skip breakfast
  • Reduce calories by only eating twice daily
  • Eat all you want in the hours allotted
  • Fast anytime you want. Once weekly. Three times weekly. Off and on for several months?
  • Confusing, right? ;Oh, and another option: coffee with butter and MCT oil as your breakfast.;

    Some people confuse IF with Ketogenic Diets where fat is a major source of calories and proteins and carbs are reduced. Many people assume IF and Keto go together, but they are different diets with different goals, and yes some people do them together. Heres my article on the secret reason why Keto has become so popular. I promise its not what you think!

    First, some definitions

    • Eating nutrient-dense foods without starches and sugars
    • With a sustainable amount of calories
    • Consuming those calories in a smaller window of time
    • Thereby creating periods of fasting;

    Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting For Women Over 50

    Intermittent Fasting for Women | Jason Fung ft. Megan Ramos
    • Benefits of Intermittent Fasting for Women Over 50

    Intermittent fasting for women over 50 could help with weight loss and minimizing 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 major 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.

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    Is Intermittent Fasting Good For Women Over 50

    Women over 50 face issues such as lower muscle mass, difficulty in sleeping, achy joints, and a slower metabolism.;

    Intermittent fasting for women over 50 is actually a great remedial method as it helps ward off or minimize nearly all the age-related issues you face over 50. It also helps to keep your weight in check.

    Is Intermittent Fasting Safe While Pregnant Or Breastfeeding

    Because when you are pregnant you are eating for the health of two people, fasting is probably not a good idea. Rather than thinking about losing weight, concentrate on what your body needs to do for the baby. Eat properly to boost maternal fat stores for breastfeeding later.;

    Remember, the food and nutrients you eat are building your childs body and developing their brain. Some pregnant women struggle to have adequate iron stores. Not eating your complete food requirements could cause iron deficiency, starving your baby of needed iron. Your baby is receiving the required nutrition from your body so youve got to make sure its there.;

    As for breastfeeding and fasting, its best to avoid long fasting periods because your baby needs nutritional milk, and fasting may affect both production and quality. While there is not a ton of research or medical warnings not to, Id recommend not fasting longer than 12-14 hours if breastfeeding so as not to interrupt milk production.; Definitely, if you find your milk supplies drying up, try stopping your fasting and eating more regularly throughout the day to see if that helps resolve the issue.

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    Why Do Intermittent Fasting

    Intermittent fasting is primarily done for weight loss, but it has metabolic benefits as well. Ill outline what research has shown for intermittent fasting for women over 40, and what women over 40 could expect from intermittent fasting.

    Benefits of Intermittent Fasting Include:

    Ill review the research around each of these. Ill focus on human research, if I do share animal research, Ill be sure and tell you its animal research . Ive hyperlinked to all the research that I cite at the end of the blog.

    Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting For Women Over 60

    Essential Guide To Intermittent Fasting for Women: 8 ...

    The final deal-breaker is that study after study has proven the powerful and varied benefits of intermittent fasting. Over 75 years of scientific research has conclusively confirmed the following benefits:

    • It improves metabolism.
    • It reduces high blood pressure.
    • It reduces cholesterol levels.
    • It reduces the risk of age-related degenerative diseases like Parkinsons and Alzheimers.
    • It improves insulin sensitivity and can guard against diabetes.
    • It reduces inflammation.
    • It boosts your immune system

    Recommended Reading: How Much Weight Can I Lose With Intermittent Fasting

    Female Hormones And Intermittent Fasting

    Female hormones are more sensitive to diet and other external circumstances. For example, the hunger hormone ghrelin increases as soon as you feel you are underfed.

    Because from an evolutionary perspective, reproduction is the stated goal of the female body.

    However, periods of hunger or other stress jeopardize the health of the offspring. Moreover, in these exceptional situations, the body focuses on the womans survival. Otherwise, she cannot give birth at all.

    Therefore, the following situations can affect the female hormonal balance:

    • Infections and inflammation
    • Too much exercise
    • High stress in everyday life
    • Too little sleep

    Accordingly, one study shows that excessive caloric restriction can have adverse effects on the release of two female hormones :

    • Luteinizing Hormone .
    • Follicle Stimulating Hormone .

    If these reproductive hormones cannot communicate appropriately with the ovaries, periods, or, in some cases, the entire cycle may stop.

    Likewise, the same study states that excessive exercise and psychological stress equally throw hormones out of balance .

    However, as long as you do intermittent fasting correctly, it doesnt cause hormonal imbalance.

    Above all, intermittent fasting is flexible. Therefore, to get started, choose a schedule fitting your daily routine that doesnt add stress.

    If you cant go without breakfast, skip dinner instead. If 16 hours of fasting per day is too much for you, start with 12 or 14.

    /5the Best Intermittent Fasting Method For Women

    There isn’t any doubt that intermittent fasting is effective and beneficial for health in multiple ways. Tweaking it a bit may help women gain amazing health benefits without any side effects. Women should take a more relaxed approach to fast than men. Fasting for a shorter period, periods, fewer days, and taking fewer calories is a better option for them. There are different types of fasting like 16/8, 5:2, alternate days fasting. Here are some ways women can fast.

    Avoid fasting for more than 24 hours at a go.

    12 or 16 hours fasting is the best option.

    Start slow and avoid fasting on consecutive days.

    Drink plenty of fluids and healthy foods during the fasting period.

    Avoid reducing your calories intake drastically

    Perform light exercises like yoga and running in the fastest state.

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    Fasting For Women Vs Men

    From weight loss to longevity, intermittent fasting comes with a long list of potential benefits. Now, a small but growing body of evidence suggests that these fasts may offer a different set of advantages and drawbacks for women than men.

    Intermittent fasting is a blanket term for several different eating plans that alternate between periods of eating and fasting. These diets focus more on when you eat and less on what you eat.

    Time-restricted feeding, for example, limits eating to a certain window of time each day. The popular 16:8 method lets you eat for eight hours and then fast for 16. You might, for example, eat only between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., or between 11:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. In contrast, alternate day fasting is a pattern of feasting one day and fasting the next.

    The benefits of intermittent fasting vary based on the type of fast, its duration, and maybe even your gender.

    We dont know a lot about how the experience with intermittent varies by men versus women yet, says Courtney M. Peterson, PhD, associate professor in the department of nutrition sciences at the University of Alabama, in Birmingham. Researchers are working on unraveling some of these differences and have made some key inroads, she says.

    Women Can Benefit From Intermittent Fasting

    8 Tips for Intermittent Fasting for Women Over 50

    Intermittent fasting can be a simple but effective way to increase your long-term health.

    Nevertheless, it is not suitable for every woman and every situation in life. That is why, for example, pregnant women should not do intermittent fasting.

    The main practical advantage of intermittent fasting is flexibility. Although there are standardized intermittent fasting plans, you can adapt them to your unique everyday life.

    Moreover, you can always spontaneously skip a meal since fasting does not require any preparation.

    Notably, a ketogenic diet suits intermittent fasting best. Not only that you will improve your fat burning with it, but also stay full longer.

    Recommended Reading: Can You Get Into Ketosis By Fasting

    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.

    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.

    For help with nutrition strategies, check out the ISSA article 8 Ways to Eat a Balanced Diet. As this article notes, listening to your bodys natural hunger cues and not skipping meals can help you achieve your health and nutrition goals. By making purposeful, consistent food choices, you can boost your energy while reducing mood swings and overeating.

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    Should Women Over 40 Do Intermittent Fasting

    I think intermittent fasting is a safe option for women over 40. There have been several studies that have included women over 40 that show these diets are a good and safe option. I suggest you work with a registered dietitian, especially if you have type 2 diabetes, or other health conditions that requires a therapeutic diet. IF provides an alternative strategy to the traditional approach to continuous calorie restriction and for many people is a more sustainable approach.

    Who Shouldnt Try Intermittent Fasting

    Intermittent Fasting for Women: The Ultimate Guide to Help ...

    Intermittent fasting isnt for everyone. You should always check with your doctor before trying a new diet, even one thats proven to be beneficial. The following groups of people should avoid IF:

    • People who suffer from diabetes or other blood sugar problems
    • Children under the age of 18
    • People with a history of eating disorders;
    • Pregnant and breastfeeding women

    Read Also: How To Do Fasting To Lose Weight

    Are There Any Long

    There is a growing body of research that suggests that intermittent fasting does have health benefits outside of weight loss. One study published in Cell Metabolism in 2018 linked intermittent fasting and lower insulin levels and blood pressure. Researchers followed a small group of obese men with prediabetessome were put on a 16:8 intermittent fasting diet, while others ate over a period of 12 hours. Both groups didnt gain or lose weight. But after five weeks, the men in the 16:8 group had much lower insulin levels and improved insulin sensitivity. They also significantly lowered their blood pressure and said they had decreased appetites. They werent as hungry as they were beforeeven though they were fasting.

    It might seem counterintuitive, but appetite control is a big benefit of fasting. A recent study in the journal Obesityshowed that people who ate only during a six-hour window, compared to following a normal eating schedule, felt less hungry than the control group, even though both groups ate the same amount of calories. Intermittent fasting has also been linked to increased neuroplasticity, or the brain’s ability to form new synaptic connections and fight injury.

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