Why I Love Intermittent Fasting + How to Fast for Menopause!

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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!

Why I Love Intermittent Fasting + How to Fast for Menopause!

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!

1. Relieves hot flashes and night sweats – IF increases kisspeptin, a hormone that stimulates the ovaries and adrenals to produce estrogen and progesterone.

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 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. Check for more bulletproof food, drinks and supplements HERE and make your fasting days healthier!
  • 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!

Dr. Anna Cabeca, a triple board-certified physician and women’s hormone expert, created the Keto-Green way of eating. It has helped thousands of women who have adrenal fatigue and menopause symptoms. In the 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.

If you’re serious about feeling better, losing weight and getting rid of menopause symptoms, you should take Dr. Anna’s keto-green diet course.
Did I tell you that it’s FREE?
SIGN-UP RIGHT AWAY HERE!

Breeze through Menopause Masterclass

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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References:
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC329619
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2622429
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2439518
oerpub.github.io/epubjs-demo-book/content/m46466.xhtml
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3680567
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6128599
www.annualreviews.org/doi/full/10.1146/annurev-nutr-071816-064634

24 thoughts on “Why I Love Intermittent Fasting + How to Fast for Menopause!”

  1. Avatar

    Hi There; I have been trying intermittent fasting and 42 hours fasting to try and break through a weight loss plateau. Wondering if you have heard of hot flashes getting worse during periods of fasting? I have had flashes for 7 years now and they seemed to be subsiding slightly until I started fasting.

    1. Gita

      Hi Brenda! We haven´t heard about hot flashes getting worse with IF. There are many factors that can affect the severity of some menopausal symptoms. Be sure to take good care of yourself and try to get rid of stress, if it is part of your life.

    2. Avatar
      Natasha Franks

      The hot (menopausal) flashes may appear worse during fasted periods because you are experienced heightened senses. Fasting has been known to increase your body’s sense and even give feelings of euphoria. This is only good news. It’s wonderful to be so in-line with your body.

  2. Avatar

    I love what intermittent fasting is doing for me, my waistline is slimmer than it has ever been and I have so much more energy, and I never bother to think about food like I used to. I feel so much freer, especially when I go out, I no longer think about carrying around a snack, or what shall I eat. 🙂

    1. Gita

      That is great to hear Pauline 🙂 We find IF to be really good as well. It does take your thoughts away from food.

    1. Gita

      Yes, it is true that not all women benefit from IF. If you have a lot of weight to lose, or if you are facing a lot of negative stress, it could bring about negative effects to your body. But many women find this kind of eating pattern to be very beneficial. We are all different.

  3. Avatar

    Hi i have been using the IF lifestyle for 4 weeks now, i am premenopausal. Although the food control is great and my skin and wellbeings good i have more fat around my stomach than ever. I fast between 10pm until next day 12.30pm when i break the fast with fruit then a salad and tuna roll, i then eat again in the evening around 7pm. Can you advise if i am doing this correctly or to change anything. My husband is doing exactly the same as me but has lost a considerable amount from his stomach particularly . Please help.

    1. Gita

      Hi Jo,

      Happy to see you here!

      IF can be good for many women, but it´s different for men so we shouldn´t compare. A lot is happening in a woman’s body during perimenopause. You can read more about it here: https://mymenopausejourney.com/signs-of-perimenopause/.

      Stress is a big factor for not losing fat (read more about stress here: https://mymenopausejourney.com/stress-symptoms/), specially the mid-section fat. Other reasons could be that you eat too little, don’t exercise or if you do, you exercise too much.

      Doing HIIT and some strength exercise is also a good way to go. However, if you have a lot of stress in your life, your body will hold on to the fat as it´s in “stress mode”. It stores all the fat instead of burning them. Our body hears and feels everything, and it will react in a certain way, depending on what we are experiencing.

      Check out Dr. Berg’s YouTube channel. He has a lot of videos about intermittent fasting. In this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRSIFbM8YCo, he interviews a menopausal woman. She’s on a Keto diet (means low carb and high fat) and had good results. If you are more into a vegetarian eating style, you can check out Diana Marchand. She is helping women live healthy lives and especially eating right during this phase. You can find her YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/dianamarchand.

      Hope you got some good tips that will help you on your Menopause Journey!

      Take Care,
      Gita

      1. Avatar
        Natasha Franks

        It’s better to say that fasting (intermittent or otherwise) is different for every individual rather than spread the belief that it’s different for woman than it is for men. Promoting intermittent fasting at it absolutely basic level (16/8) is not detrimental to anyone and it’s only downfall is that it may OT be enough for many (to start shedding fat). Each individual must play around with the amount of time they fast and also how much they eat during their feeding times, to see what works. Best to not make a set eating plan but rather change up what you eat and at what time so your body is continually trying to adapt. It’s the constant adaptation that challenges your body and gives best results.

  4. Avatar

    Is it possible to actually gain weight when first starting the fasts? I am 56 years old, and I have been doing the 24 hour fasts every 3rd day, 2 off, 1 on. Or just once or twice a week. I weigh myself before I start, and I usually start at night about 10:00 until the following night at 10:00. I think I migh still be eating too much sugar on the non fast days. Your opinion?

    1. Gita

      Hi Sue,

      Consuming healthy, nutritious foods with no sugar and less refined or processed carbs will help a lot. When you have that in place, you can try different kinds of fasts. We like the 16/8 eating pattern and have also tried the 5:2 diet, where you eat less for 2 non-consecutive days in a week. Longer fasts can be good too, but if you are stressed or have adrenal fatigue, the fast could stress the body.
      If you find the scale to motivate you, go ahead and check. But a better way is to use a measuring tape to check your vitals and track your progress. We do tend to go up and down a bit in weight, depending on bloating, water and other things during this time. Focus on less stress, a calm mind, a lot of “you” time, good and clean food and have a fasting window that you like and can stick to. All these will, in time, make you feel your best.
      Good luck,
      Gita

  5. Avatar

    Is 16:8 daily intermittent fasting generally okay for post menopausal women with no health concerns? I’m in good overall health and take no medications, but I do have about 45 lbs to lose. I’m turning 53 in a couple months, and have not had a period in 2.5 years. I started IF 16:8, but all the talk about it being unsafe for women has me concerned.

    1. Gita

      Hi Leila,

      I myself and many I know, do the 16:8 fasting every day and feel really good.
      It is easier to lose weight and I don´t feel so hungry anymore.

      Dr. Berg has an informative video about what you are asking – if it’s safe for
      menopausal women or not. You’ll also get tips on how to do intermittent fasting.
      You can watch the video, “Is it Safe for Menopausal Women with Adrenal Fatigue
      to do Keto and Intermittent Fasting” here: https://youtu.be/u2jYF8GD7Hg.

      Always, if you have concerns, go see a doctor about it.

      Good to hear that you are investing in your health. If you like, do come back
      and tell us how it is going for you!

      Have a great day!

      Gita

    2. Avatar
      Natasha Frankie ks

      IF at this most basic level (16/8) is not detrimental to anyone. This is a basic way to eat and rest your digestive system and everyone should eat in this fashion as a basic rule. This is not actually fasting, you are not starting yourself in anyway. For the confusion in people (woman) feeling afraid it may be detrimental to their hirmones/health, IF should be referred to as Time Restricted Eating (TRE), taking out the ‘fasting’ from the title. I am a 53 year old female who started various forms of TRE 6-7 years ago. I have been doing it constantly throughout this period which has also seen me through my transition from preumenopause to post menopause (at age 50). I realised I had done versions of :fasting’ to keep my weight in check my entire life. Since being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroid disease (auto-immune) age 16, I have had to fight lethargy, bloating,
      Joint stiffness and fat gain). Thank to greater access to information on fasting over the past decade I have learnt (and continue learning) to betterunderstand as my body is continually changing) the physiological process nd I feel in the best shape and health of my life. I have always been a regular (hard) exerciser and have continued to train hard throughout in my fasted state for best training result, including leanness. I am leaner and stronger now at 53 than I have been my whole life. It takes constant self-monitoring and constant changes in eating times/amounts etc to keep your body adapting. Forced adaptation is how the body thrives and improves (the same with changing exercise types/patterns/intensities). Just remember, you have to be your own researcher for your own body. There is insufficient research out to blankly say that woman should be careful fasting for example. Keep your own records and try as many different ways to restrict your eating. It is the rest from feeding where the the fat loss happens but it is when you start the re-feeding where the actual magic happens (the body makes new healthy cells) so choose the best whole foods to support this process. The body is an amazing self-healer and time restricted eating is our second chance to rebuild a new body.

  6. Avatar
    Lisa Weingartner

    I just started IF, so it is too soon to notice anything, but I am super excited to continue. I am going on vacation in 3 weeks for a month. Twenty-two of the days will be on a cruise. Right now I have been fasting from 8:00 pm to about 11:00-11:30 am. Since I will be cruising and dinner is normally late due to the excursions, is it ok to alter the timing of fasting as long as I get the 12+ hours in or does it always need to be at the same time?
    BTW I am in my mid 50s 😳

    1. Gita

      Hi Lisa,
      Happy to hear that you are excited about IF. I do this myself, as well as many friends and family.
      When I am on vacation, dinners tend to be later than usual. I also wake up a bit later than I normally do. I just push the hours but still keep fasting 4 to 6 hours after I wake up.
      We are all different and we can only tell what works for us.

      Sounds great to go on a cruise :-). Enjoy and don´t be too hard on yourself if you are not following it to the point during the vacation.

      Have fun!
      Gita

  7. Avatar
    Maryann Miller

    I have just started IF but on a mostly daily basis but always take a small amount of coconut oil in my coffee. My husband says we need to eliminate the coconut oil but in your article you say a tsp is OK…… He feels it is not true fasting if we consume fat ….

    1. Gita

      Hi Maryann,

      I’m happy to hear that you’re doing intermittent fasting. I do it myself and I’ve never felt better. It’s easier to maintain my weight too.

      I also add coconut oil to my coffee every morning and it fuels me throughout the day. If it’s working great for you, why change it? If it’s not doing much, you can experiment on other healthy fats like MCT oil. We are all different, coconut oil may not be for everybody.

      I found this interesting article from Medium, “Does Coconut Oil Break a Fast”, you can read it here: https://medium.com/@spdeveer/does-coconut-oil-break-a-fast-5a390f90337.

      Dr. Berg also has a video that you can watch about coconut oil, “Should You do Bullet-Proof Coffee on the Ketogenic Diet with Intermittent Fasting??”, you can watch it here: https://youtu.be/K4UDZoQjvTQ.

      Do come back anytime and let us know how it’s going!

      Take care,
      Gita

  8. Avatar

    Hi I have been doing the IF for a month now, I fast from 8-12 and sometimes more. But I noticed that I missed my monthly period and am not pregnant. I checked online and I saw so many posts saying that IF could affect the menstrual circle.Please what should I do. Thanks

    1. Gita

      Hi Cynthia,

      Missing a period can be caused by a lot of things. Stress, anxiety, medications, contraceptive pills and underlying diseases are just examples, and pregnancy as you mentioned.

      Women are more sensitive to fasting. It can affect our hormones and interfere with the communication in our ovaries.

      You might want to try an easier version of fasting, but first, talk to your doctor about it to be on the safe side.

      Take care ♥
      Gita

    1. Gita

      Hi Julie,
      Happy that you are looking into fasting. It is great for so many things.
      We should fast different depending on whether we still have menstruation cycles or other symptoms, like adrenal fatigue or likewise. We don’t want to stress our bodies too much.

      An expert on fasting and autophagy, especially for women, is Dr. Mindy Pelz.
      My tip is to check this video and find out the best way to fast depending on what phase you are in.

      Do Women Need to Fast Differently Than Men?

      All the best 😘
      Gita

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