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What Is Intermittent Fasting For Women

Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting For Women Over 50

Intermittent Fasting Guide For Women
  • Benefits of Intermittent Fasting for Women Over 50
Nutrition

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.

The Best Intermittent Fasting Methods For Women

So, what exactly is a relaxed approach to intermittent fasting? Again, since theres little research done on intermittent fasting, were dealing with a bit of a gray area. The opinions also tend to vary depending on which site you visit, or which health expert you ask. From what weve found, the general guidelines to brief intermittent fasting for women are:

Do not fast for longer than 24 hours at a time Ideally fast for 12 to 16 hours Do not fast on consecutive days during your first two to three weeks of fasting Drink plenty of fluids during your fast Only do light exercise on fasting days, such as yoga, walking, jogging, and gentle stretching

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

Also Check: Will Fasting Help You Lose Weight

Intermittent Fasting: Surprising Update

Theres a ton of incredibly promising intermittent fasting research done on fat rats. They lose weight, their blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugars improve but theyre rats. Studies in humans, almost across the board, have shown that IF is safe and incredibly effective, but really no more effective than any other diet. In addition, many people find it difficult to fast.

But a growing body of research suggests that the timing of the fast is key, and can make IF a more realistic, sustainable, and effective approach for weight loss, as well as for diabetes prevention.

She Experimented To See What Worked

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

There are a lot of different options for intermittent fasting, and Etienne-Mesubi started with 18 hours of fasting and a six-hour eating window. In the beginning it was challenging but within two weeks it became very normal, she says.

She learned that hunger often comes in waves, and if she drank some water or tea, or read to get her mind off the hunger, the wave would pass. The minute I shifted my mind onto something else I wasnt hungry, and before I knew it, I was at my eating window, she says.

She had no trouble skipping breakfast, and sometimes wasnt hungry at noon, so she would push the start of her eating window to 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. and finish eating by 6 p.m.

Recommended Reading: How Long Should I Fast Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting And Reproductive Hormones In Women

Women are more sensitive to calorie restriction and restrictive, low-calorie diets than men. Calorie restriction affects the hypothalamus and the gonadotropin-releasing hormones . GnRH is in charge of releasing two important reproductive hormones, the luteinizing hormone and the follicle-stimulating hormone . Disrupting these hormones can lead to a variety of hormonal issues, including irregular periods, amenorrhea, infertility, reduction in ovary size, and decreased bone density.

The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting For Women

Most women can safely partake in intermittent fasting, Pamela Nisevich Bede, RD, dietitian and author of Sweat. Eat. Repeat., tells LIVESTRONG.com.

“Women find weight-loss success on intermittent fasting for a plethora of reasons, a forced reduced-calorie intake, a low-energy state that prompts ketosis and a thoughtful connection with food in which individuals become more mindful of intake,” Bede says.

IF also opens the door to a wealth of potential health benefits for women specifically, according to a review published in the April-June 2016 issue of the Journal of Mid-Life Health, which connected periodic fasting to:

  • Improved reproductive health in women who were overweight before fasting, by way of decreasing their weight and
  • Protective effects on heart and metabolic health.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that the research looking at intermittent fasting for women specifically is extremely limited, Amy Rothberg, MD, an endocrinologist and associate professor at Michigan Medicine, tells LIVESTRONG.com. Most of the currently available information on IF and female physiology comes from rodent studies, she says.

“There is better evidence from studies of time-restricted feeding, limiting the window of eating during the day, which lengthens the period of fasting at night” Dr. Rothberg says, “and also studies that align eating with our circadian clock.”

Read more:12 Dos and Don’ts of Intermittent Fasting

Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Time To Eat During Intermittent Fasting

The Secret To Intermittent Fasting For Women

By Amy Shah, MD

May 22, 2016

Chances are if you are health and fitness savvy, youve heard of intermittent fasting and its benefits for fat loss and overall health.

But did you know that, if youre a woman, fasting could lead to hormonal imbalance and could lead to fertility issues if not done properly? Here, well discuss the best ways for women to enjoy the positive aspects of intermittent fasting without putting their health at risk.

How Long Should You Intermittently Fast

Intermittent Fasting for Women Over 60 – Thumbs Up!

There are many different approaches to intermittent fasting. While all rely on periodic fasting, the frequency and length of the fasting periods in each of these approaches are different.

In an alternate-day fasting schedule, you fast every other day. In other words, you eat whatever you want one day and then reduce your calorie intake to zero the next day. Not eating anything for twenty-four hours, however, comes with some health risks. Such extreme fasting can impact your mood and well-being and affect your ability to train. Additionally, alternate-day fasting can be difficult to sustain.

Other less severe fasting schedules are more popular. In the 16/8 approach, you fast for sixteen hours each day and eat during the other eight hours of the day. Many people who follow this approach skip breakfast and eat lunch at one oclock in the afternoon. Their fast lasts from nine oclock at night until one oclock in the afternoon of the next day.

Another popular type of intermittent fasting is known as the 5:2 diet. In this modified approach to fasting, you eat normally five days of the week and restrict your calorie intake to approximately 500 calories on the other two days.

Recommended Reading: Does Intermittent Fasting And Keto Work

Options For Intermittent Fasting

There are several different intermittent fasting methods discussed online. Here are a few of the most popular ones.

  • Crescendo MethodThe Crescendo Method is one of the best ways to ease into intermittent fasting without shocking your body or aggravating your hormones. It doesnt require you to fast every day, only a few days per week, spaced throughout the week. For example, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.Fasting Window: 12-16 hours
  • Have a previous history of eating disorders
  • Have difficulty sleeping

Additionally, intermittent fasting is meant to complement a healthy diet and lifestyle not act as a way to remedy five days of eating nutritionally-bankrupt foods, such as refined sugar, processed foods and fast foods.

Keto And Stem Cells When Fasting

When you enjoy a keto feast at the end of a fasted period, you are fertilizing the vast crop of new cells with fatthe healthiest, most potent fuel available.

When you combine IF with keto, youre getting rid of tons of damaged cellsespecially those damaged from the bonding of sugar molecules in the destructive process called glycation. At the same time, your body is erupting with fresh, fat-fueled cells!

Lab tests on mice show fasting to result in major reductions in the incidence of lymphomas and tumors. The mechanism at work here is the decrease in glucose and insulinif youre not eating sugar, your body isnt producing insulin.

Fasting along with keto starves cancer cells that rely on sugar while promoting short-term atrophy and cell death in a wide range of tissues and organs including the liver and kidneys.

This controlled atrophy and cell that occurs during IF triggers a period of cellular growth and proliferation. Replenishing these growing cells is crucial. But, and this is a big BUT, if you eat high carb, and other cancer-causing molecules when feasting at the end of a period of fasting, studies show that you actually increase cancerous activities and pre-cancerous lesions especially in the liver and intestines.

A high-fat low-carb diet is not only the best way to get the greatest health benefits out of IF, its also the best way to protect yourself against the possibility of doing your body harm.

Read Also: How To Follow Intermittent Fasting

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.

/5the Best Intermittent Fasting Method For Women

A Beginnerâs Guide to Intermittent Fasting

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.

Read Also: What Is The Best Time To Eat For Intermittent Fasting

It Might Not Be Right For The Morning Exerciser

My biggest setback on this diet: morning workouts sans food. Four or five days a week, I take HIIT or strength classes around 8 a.m. or try to go for a run. Without a little fuel to get me to the finish, I found myself feeling weak and resorted to dialing down most exercises instead of busting my butt.

Because I’m pretty active, Bates had suggested I do crescendo fasting meaning I should follow the same meal plan, but only stick to the 16-hour fasting window on non-consecutive days. This can be a strategy for people who are after intermittent fasting weight loss results but are also active. I chose to ignore that recommendation in favor of trying the full-out plan, and it wasn’t my best idea.

I spoke to another sports-specific dietitian, Torey Armul, M.S., R.D., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, about whether an IF plan is a good idea for the super active. Her short answer: No. “Your muscles need fuel to function properly, and carbohydrates are the most efficient source of muscle fuel. Your body can store carbohydrates, but only for a few hours at a time. That’s why you’re hungry when you wake up in the morning, and why you ‘hit the wall’ during morning workouts if you haven’t eaten yet,” explains Armul. “One of the worst things you could do is to continue fasting after a tough workout since recovery nutrition is vitally important. That’s why intermittent fasting and intense exercise/training for an event just aren’t a good match.”

    What Kind Of Women Should And Shouldn’t Try Intermittent Fasting

    Women who are trying to become pregnant should not try intermittent fasting. Diets with consistent food intake rather than severe calorie restrictions are particularly important for women who want to conceive. This is because intermittent fasting can impact a womans menstrual cycle, leading to missed periods and infertility.

    Intermittent fasting does not only have to be for men. However, we recommend that women ask their doctors about fasting and consider the potential health benefits and risks before trying this or any diet.

    Also Check: How To Successfully Lose Weight With Intermittent Fasting

    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.

    So How Does Intermittent Fasting Work

    8 Tips for Intermittent Fasting for Women Over 50

    Now that you have a general understanding of what Intermitted Fasting is, let’s cover exactly how it works

    One of the main reasons Intermittent Fasting is such a good approach is because your body responds differently when you are in a “fasted” state compared to when you are in a “feasted” state .

    When you eat, your body will spend the next few hours breaking down that food and use it as energy. And as you already know, your body needs this energy in order to function properly. Now, during the fasted state…

    Your body doesn’t have that readily available energy , so it looks for something else to use as energy. And your body is then more likely to use fat as energy because it’s the most readily available.

    Even better, Intermittent Fasting can help teach your body to use the food you consume more efficiently. In short, you are keeping your body at optimal fat burning levels.

    Also Check: How Fast Can You Lose Weight On Intermittent Fasting

    Ways To Use This Information For Better Health

  • Avoid sugars and refined grains. Instead, eat fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats .
  • Let your body burn fat between meals. Dont snack. Be active throughout your day. Build muscle tone.
  • Consider a simple form of intermittent fasting. Limit the hours of the day when you eat, and for best effect, make it earlier in the day .
  • Avoid snacking or eating at nighttime, all the time.
  • Is Fasting Different For Women

    Both men and women have been fasting successfully since prehistoric times. Both genders have the same basic machinery to access stored body fat and make ketones to fuel the brain during times of scarcity.

    Women, however, should pay special attention to reproductive health while fasting.

    There isnt much evidence that fasting impairs fertility in humansbut we know that calorie restriction, nutrient deficiencies, and rapid weight loss can cause irregular periods and disrupt reproductive hormones. If the fasting protocol is too aggressive, this could be an issue.

    Similarly, pregnant and nursing women should be careful with fasts longer than 12 or 13 hours. The potential for nutrient deficiency is too high.

    Also Check: What Does Fasting Mean In The Bible

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