Let me start by saying that I’m a real foodie by heart. I have a culinary degree, so I love both being in the kitchen and eating!
I know many of us were brought up to eat 5 to 6 meals a day to keep our energy going, and we believed in this idea. You got to have potatoes, meat and sauce, right? Feeling heavy after a meal was just normal.
Fast forward to today, I eat differently. I fuel my body with the right food, and trust me; pasta isn’t one of them – it has zero nutrients. I eat a Keto-Green diet, and I also fast until lunch. Now I know how I’m supposed to feel after a meal – light, clear-headed and energetic!
My keto-green way of eating did a lot of good things for my health, but intermittent fasting really took off the extra pounds I was wearing. I want you to try it as well – I promise, you will never go back!
11 Ways How Intermittent Fasting Changes Your Menopause Journey!
Intermittent fasting (IF) means that you eat within a certain period of the day or of the week, depending on what IF protocol you follow. It’s one of my “menopause heroes”! Fasting changed my relationship with food and my body.
If our bodies could speak, it would definitely say that it needs a break! The body does not need fuel all the time. Let it rest and it will pay you back big time!
Here are 11 benefits of fasting that will change your menopause journey!
2. Reduces food cravings – IF controls ghrelin, our hunger hormone and increases leptin, our satiety hormone.
3. Better sleep – fasting corrects our sleep pattern and helps us stick to it. Our hormones depend on the right sleep-wake cycle to balance hormones. IF also stimulates melatonin production, a hormone that signals the body when it’s time to sleep.
4. Tames stress – it keeps stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline at bay, helping us manage stress better.
5. Weight loss – through IF we can boost metabolism, help our body detoxify, build muscles, improve digestion and absorb nutrients.
6. Improve brain functions – IF promotes the growth of new brain cells and repairs damaged ones. Fasting also increases the production of a brain hormone called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which sharpens our memory and concentration. This hormone also reduces the risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s, depression and mood disorders. Dr. Eric Berg talks more about what BDNF is and how it helps your brain functioning better [2:25]:
7. Reduces the risk of heart disease – IF keeps our triglycerides (cholesterol) at bay. Less cholesterol = normal blood pressure = less work for the heart.
8. Treats insulin resistance – regulates insulin and makes cells more sensitive to insulin, so glucose can be converted to energy inside the cells.
9. Revitalizes skin, hair and nails – IF increases our production of amino acids, which helps in building and repairing damaged tissues. It also increases collagen, which is food for our skin, hair and nails.
10. Fights aging – increases human growth hormone, prevents oxidative stress and regenerates tissue damage to slow down aging.
11. Prolongs life – reduces the risk of diseases by strengthening the immune system and improving blood circulation to our major organs.
Besides all these, intermittent fasting helps prevent cancer. We live in a world filled with carcinogens or cancer-causing compounds. When we fast, our body can produce more growth hormones, regulating cell multiplication. IF also helps us have better pain tolerance!
Dr. Mindy Pelz has a good video about how fasting can help with our health. The studies show so many benefits of fasting, you just can’t ignore them [11:59]:
How to Start Intermittent Fasting!
There are many intermittent fasting protocols to choose from, but you can start IF in a simple way! My best tip? Stretch your breakfast longer and longer until your body adapts to the change!
Today I follow the 16/8 Protocol. It’s the easiest and most convenient for me. This type of IF has a 16-hour fasting window and an 8-hour eating window.
In my eating window, I fit in 2 to 3 meals. When fasting, water, tea and black coffee are fine. My day usually starts with lemon water (yes, lemons are fine to take) and a healthy and scrumptious salad at lunch. I might have green smoothies, some nuts, avocado, celery sticks or hummus in the afternoon. My last meal is at 7 p.m. I fast for about 16 to 17 hours every day, and I don’t even know it because I’m sleeping most of the time! Easy, right?
I also have tips that I follow to make intermittent fasting more effective and easier! Here are some of them:
- Don’t add sugar or other sweeteners to your beverages.
- Power up your fasting days with a perfect energy-igniting cup of bulletproof coffee! Add in healthy fats, like MCT oil, in your coffee. Always choose MCT oil made from coconut oil and never take too much MCT. Always avoid palm oil products, because palm oil plantations are a serious threat to nature, animals and people. MCT oil from Brain Octane Oil is one good choice based on 100% coconut oil. MCT increases metabolism, burns fat, boosts energy and helps you lose weight.
- Eat clean during your eating window!
- You may feel tired when you first start doing intermittent fasting. Give your body a couple of weeks to adjust.
- Go for a brisk walk at lunch. Walking is a relaxing activity that will help clear your mind and recharge your body for the rest of the day.
- Do your exercise in the morning. It’s a good way to start the day, and you don’t need to eat right after. Lunchtime is fine!
- Drink lots of water, especially during your fasting window! When you fast, you’re also detoxifying, so you have all those toxins gathered up.
- Add more potassium-rich foods in your diet. You can do this by eating more cruciferous and leafy greens! We flush out potassium faster when we fast, leading to keto flu or discomfort because of withdrawal from carbs.
Intermittent Fasting and Ketogenic Diet Are the Perfect Combo!
Doing intermittent fasting with the keto-green diet makes us reach ketosis quicker. Ketosis is a state when the body relies on fats for fuel or energy. This is the secret why you don’t get hungry even if you don’t eat for hours!
In Keto-Green you can eat:
- Alkaline foods such as artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower and other similar veggies.
- Fruits such as avocado, berries, apples and apricots.
- Healthy proteins such as grass-fed meat and wild-caught fish.
- Non-GMO soy from miso and tempeh.
- Healthy fats like ghee, nuts, olive and coconut oil.
- Superfoods such as Maca, Turmeric, Cinnamon and Green Tea.
I enjoy doing intermittent fasting. It’s been part of my life for so long that it has become a habit that I can’t do without!
Some say that it’s unsafe for menopausal women with adrenal problems to do keto-green and intermittent fasting, but Dr. Berg says otherwise! Listen to Dr. Berg clear this up [4:47]:
Remember, we are all different. Start with the basics. Go slow, taking that big leap may cause some unpleasant side effects. Make intermittent fasting a healthy lifetime habit by following my tips above!
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