You’ve got to try intermittent fasting for women!
It helped me and many others to get rid of belly fat, or lose my muffin top, and that is what you want too, right?
It’s so simple, and it will also make your life a lot easier. No food to weigh, no counting of calories, and no special food from the grocery store. You’ll have more time in the morning to get ready for work because you skip breakfast, and it’s also great for your stress levels!
Wake up, work out, make a smoothie for later, and off you go. It’s simple, and I guarantee you will lose weight.
What is Intermittent Fasting FOR WOMEN?
Intermittent fasting (or IF) is an eating pattern characterized by eating and fasting windows. IF does not tell you what to eat or what not to eat, but it does tell you when you should eat. Some people may think that this is another fad diet, but it’s not. It is merely an eating pattern based upon years of research and evidence. Before we discuss how to incorporate intermittent fasting into your lifestyle, let’s talk about how our body functions.
How does the body work in a fasting state and a fed state?
A fed state (or an absorptive state) refers to the period when our body starts to digest food and absorb nutrients. This stage begins the moment we ingest food and usually lasts for 3 to 5 hours. When we eat, our insulin levels increase, which makes it difficult for our bodies to burn fat.
Following the fed state is the fasting state (or post-absorptive state), which occurs 8 to 12 hours after your last meal. During this phase, our body relies on stored glycogen (or stored sugar). Blood glucose begins to drop, and so does insulin. With very minimal sugar in the body, our system will switch from using glucose to using fatty acids for fuel.
Since we rarely a fasting state of 12 hours without eating, our body doesn’t burn fat as much as it could in a fasting state. This is why intermittent fasting for women is a better eating plan for weight loss, without changing the menu, the quantity of food eaten, or the intensity of exercise.
So how does this work from the inside?
From the inside, several things happen in our bodies when we are fasting, reaching down to the cellular and molecular levels. For instance, some of our hormones react to fasting by tapping into our fat storage to create energy rather than burning sugar. As a result, fasting becomes a more effective way to lose weight.
Here are some other things that can happen when we fast.
- Our growth hormones increase up to five times their normal count when we are fasting. The increase in growth hormones stimulates the liver to produce a certain protein called IGF-1, or insulin-like growth factor 1. This protein stimulates cell growth throughout the body. As a result, it strengthens the bones, builds muscle and heals injuries of the bone, skin and muscle. Some studies show that IGF-1 can also promote longevity.
- Insulin levels decrease, making it easier for our body to burn fat.
- Our cells in the body initiate repair and remove old proteins that are no longer functional. In short, it cleanses our body to the cellular level.
- Our brain cells are protected from damage, and we are protected against diseases.
How it is IT DONE?
There are various techniques used to practice intermittent fasting. The 16/8 pattern is one of the most common types of intermittent fasting for women. Under this method, there is a 16-hour fasting window and an 8-hour eating window. During the eating window, you can fit in 2 to 3 meals. You cannot eat for the remaining 16 hours, but you can have non-caloric drinks such as water, herbal tea and organic coffee.
To help us understand more about how intermittent fasting works, let’s listen to Dr. Vikki Petersen’s discussion on the subject. Watch this informative video. (7.04 minutes)
A simple illustration…
Dr. Petersen suggests fasting for about 12 to 16 hours. As an example, she cited a simple timetable you can refer to and fit into your average day.
- Have dinner between 6 and 8 p.m.
- If you eat earlier, you can have a snack at around 9 or 9:30 p.m. This will be your last food intake before sleep.
- Go to bed around 10 to 11 p.m., and ideally, sleep for a good eight hours.
- Get up between 6 and 7 a.m., and feel free to drink water. That’s totally fine.
- Don’t think that you can’t exercise when you’re fasting. You can work out moderately for 45 minutes to an hour first thing in the morning and on an empty stomach. This is the best time to burn fat and build muscle!
- Once you’ve finished exercising, take a shower. By this time, it should be around 8:30 or 9 o’clock in the morning.
- By then you can prepare your breakfast, which might be a filling smoothie or another clean meal (comprised of whole foods with no refined sugar) that can be easily prepared. Dr. Petersen doesn’t eat her breakfast until she feels really hungry. As a result, generally she takes her first meal of the day around 10 or 10:30 a.m.
This pattern allows for 13 to 14 hours of fasting, and Dr. Petersen barely notices the fasting hours because she’s asleep for most of that time.
Crescendo Intermittent Fasting for Women
Dr. Axe is among those health practitioners who have tried intermittent fasting. He followed the usual 16/8 pattern, but he did not respond well to it, so he tweaked the method a little, and it worked better for him. This modified version of the normal daily IF is called Crescendo Fasting. According to Dr. Axe, this represents an excellent method of intermittent fasting for women.
How Does Crescendo Fasting Work?
This pattern requires us to fast a few days each week instead of every day. Dr. Axe supports this modification because it helps women realize more benefits without destroying their hormonal balance. If you’re new to intermittent fasting, this is a good way to start.
- Fast on two to three alternating days in a given week. For example, you will fast on Monday, Wednesday and Friday OR Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Remember to reserve at least one day for an eating window in between your fasting days.
- You can choose to fast for 12 to 16 hours. If you’re a beginner, you can start with a 12-hour fasting window and then incrementally increase your hours until you reach 16 fasting hours. You can do yoga and light cardio on fasting days.
- Eat normally on non-fasting days. You can also do high impact intensity training or strength training on these days.
- Drink lots of water! You can also have coffee and tea, but make sure you do not add milk or sweetener.
- Follow this pattern for two weeks. Once you have finished a two-week cycle, you can slowly add more fasting days in a week.
Dr. Axe emphasizes that if you jump too quickly into intermittent fasting, it can be hard on your body. This modified version will allow your body to slowly and safely adapt to the changes. Once you have adapted to this schedule, exercise will not be a problem when you are in a fasting state.
Tips for improved intermittent fasting for women
- Make sure that you don’t add sugar or other sweetening agents to your beverages.
- Power up your coffee and tea by adding 1 teaspoon of coconut oil, grass-fed butter or ghee. This provides healthy essential fatty acids, improves energy, stabilizes blood sugar and regulates stress hormones.
- Remember to eat clean on non-fasting days.
- Once you have mastered and adapted to an intermittent fasting pattern, you can try 24-hour fasts once or twice a week. On these fasting days, you will consume only 500 to 600 calories.
- You may notice that you feel a little cold when you fast. If this occurs, get up and move around. Consider it an added bonus, because you’ll burn more calories and fat!
- On fasting days, you may feel tired, and that’s okay. Your body is adapting, and your circadian rhythm is adjusting to these adaptations. Over time, these changes will help you to sleep longer and better!
ADDITIONAL Benefits of intermittent fasting for women
Intermittent fasting is one of the most popular health and fitness trends around the globe today. Individuals, couples and even celebrities are using it to lose weight, improve their health, and simplify their lifestyle.
To further demonstrate the benefits of practicing IF, listed below are some additional benefits you may experience as a result of fasting:
- May reduce insulin resistance as blood sugar is lowered naturally. Helps to prevent type 2 diabetes.
- Decreases the amount of bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) and blood triglycerides, thus reducing the risk of heart disease.
- Enhances digestion and lowers stress!
- Promotes growth of nerve cells, protecting against Alzheimer’s Disease.
- Reduces oxidative stress and inflammation and fights against aging.
- May help prevent cancer and reduce the side effects of chemotherapy.
- Lengthens lifespan in general.
One of the greatest benefits of intermittent fasting for women is that you don’t have to weigh your food or count calories, and there is no special food to eat. You can also continue the method as long as you like.
Things to Consider
Although studies have yielded evidence that intermittent fasting for women is indeed a beneficial eating pattern, it must still be carefully considered. Remember that you may feel hungry at times, especially when you are just starting. You may also feel a little weaker than you are accustomed to, but this is likely only temporary.
When you get used to it, you can adjust your fasting schedule until your body adapts to the new eating pattern. This includes modifications to the number of hours or the number of days you fast. You can work on how your body will react by making personalized adjustments based upon your own unique knowledge of what’s best for you.
The question is, can everybody follow this eating pattern?
Like many other methods of health maintenance, intermittent fasting has some limitations. It is important that you first talk to your doctor, especially if you have the following conditions:
- Diabetes or problems related to blood sugar regulation.
- Low blood pressure.
- Underweight or history of an eating disorder
- Taking medications.
Intermittent fasting for women may also bring about complications, especially for those who are undergoing chronic stress or adrenal gland issues. It can also be a cause of insomnia and fertility problems. If intermittent fasting leads to sleep pattern concerns, this may slow the progress of weight loss.
Additionally, this technique is not suitable for people who are experiencing difficulty controlling their food intake on non-fasting days. Although intermittent fasting doesn’t prescribe a range of food you’re permitted to consume, this does not mean that non-fasting days represent an opportunity for you to eat anything you want. Experts on nutrition and health enthusiasts both agree that any proper weight loss plan should be comprised of whole and minimally processed foods.
Are you ready to try intermittent fasting for women? Leave a comment to share your thoughts about this healthful weight loss plan!
- Fasting enhances growth hormone secretion and amplifies the complex rhythms of growth hormone secretion in man. / US National Library of Medicine
Caloric restriction and intermittent fasting: Two potential diets for successful brain aging / US National Library of Medicine
- 10 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting / Authority Nutrition
Regulation of muscle mass by growth hormone and IGF-I / British Journal of Pharmacology
- Intermittent Fasting: The Good Things It did to My Body / BBC News
- Metabolic States of the Body