Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting For Women
Updated: Apr 15
Let’s take a walk down memory lane regarding Intermittent Fasting since it is not just another new fangled health/wellness fad. Interestingly, fasting is an ancient tradition, having been practiced by many cultures and religions over centuries. Therapeutic intermittent fasts were conducted around 1915 for the treatment of obesity. Around 2012 Intermittent Fasting became quite popular when Michelle Harvie and Mark Mattson introduced and popularized it in the UK. Australia shortly followed when Michael Mosley introduced the concept of Intermittent Fasting (reference Wikipedia). Now, when we do research on Intermittent Fasting it seems to be all over the internet.
So, are there health benefits of Intermittent Fasting for women?
The following are some long-term study results on the health benefits of Intermittent Fasting:
Prevention of Obesity
Sustainable Weight Loss
Boost Cognitive Function
Improved Blood Pressure for a Healthy Heart
Reduction of Oxidative Stress and Inflammation
An Increase in Cell Stress Response
Improved Insulin Sensitivity
Knowing there is a "flip side' to everything I want to ensure every women reading this blog is aware of some potential negative experiences that may occur.
Irregular periods or complete loss of period
Shrinking of the ovaries
Now that you have a better understanding of the positive and possible negative factors of Intermittent Fasting you can decide for yourself if this is a lifestyle you may wish to consider.
However, allow me for a brief moment to divulge my own personal experience of Intermittent Fasting from the past three-years. I have experienced a noticeable increase in my cognitive abilities during the fasting stage since I no longer suffer from those mid-afternoon foggy spells. I have energy to burn and I maintain a body-fat-ratio that is in the lean category. I no longer suffer from acid reflux at night and I have much better sleeps.
Now, if you decide to try Intermittent Fasting I would suggest an initial relaxed approach and after a period of time you can consider transitioning into an extended fasting period.
The following are my recommendations for your Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle:
Remember that a majority of your fasting occurs when you are sleeping.
Begin with 14 hours of fasting followed by 10 hours for eating. You will miss breakfast and have a mid-morning snack around 10am. Finish your last meal no later than pm.
Once you have become accustomed to this schedule you can transition to fasting for 16 hours. Basically, you miss breakfast and mid-morning snack. You have your first meal at lunch time. Last meal will be no later than 8pm.
Final phase of your Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle can be 18 hours of Fasting followed by 6 hours of eating. As with the 16 hour fasting you will miss breakfast and mid-morning snack. You have your first meal at lunch time. However, you finish off your last meal no later than 6pm.This phase is the ultimate time frame of fasting/eating recommended for women.
However, there are some considerations when not to do Intermittent Fasting:
Under chronic stress
Have a previous history of eating disorders
Please note that female hormones are more sensitive to diet and other external circumstances.
The following situations may affect the female hormonal balance:
Not enough caloric intake
Body stress based on to much exercising
Accordingly, one study shows that excessive caloric restriction can have adverse effects on the release of two female hormones - Luteinizing Hormone (LH) & Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH).
If these reproductive hormones cannot communicate accurately with the ovaries, durations, or, in a few instances, the entire cycle might also stop.
However, as long as you do intermittent fasting correctly, it doesn’t cause hormonal imbalance.
In my humble opinion Intermittent fasting is safe for women since I have encouraged my spouse, Corrie, and many of my female clients. The long-term results have been simply amazing!
If you do decide to try Intermittent Fasting make sure to listen to your body’s feedback. Easing into Intermittent Fasting by way of starting with shorter fasting windows can help with preliminary signs of starvation and discomfort (these senses will subside). If it becomes too uncomfortable over an adverse period of time I would encourage you to be honest with yourself and simply move on.
At the end of the day, nothing can have a greater impact on your health than a lifestyle consisting of real, whole foods, and prioritizing your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Remember, we only have one life and we can achieve a heightened quality of life by the way we take care of ourselves.
Disclaimer: In my opinion Intermittent Fasting is an incredible healthy Lifestyle choice. However, I encourage you to consult with your doctor prior to commencing an Intermittent Fasting lifestyle.
About The Author: Steve is a Blogger, Videographer, and Personal Trainer. His content creation focuses on Generation X Societal Lifestyles, Health/Fitness and Faith.