On the whole, intermittent fasting is considered safe for healthy people.
However, it’s not for everyone and you should seek medical advice on this dieting technique if you are:
- Pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Under 18.
- Diabetic or have blood sugar problems.
- Suffering from an eating disorder.
Intermittent fasting is becoming a popular way to lose weight.
It’s different from other diets because instead of focusing on what you eat, intermittent fasting works by changing when you eat.
There are loads of different ways to fast, a couple of the most popular are:
- The 16/8 method – where you have a 16 hour “fasting window” and an 8 hour “eating window” every day.
- The 5:2 method – where you cut your calories down to 500 a day twice a week, and eat normally for the rest of the week.
As a woman, you might be wondering if intermittent fasting is right for you.
Men and women’s bodies react differently to intermittent fasting, so some women might need to take a “modified” approach to it.
Today we tell you why intermittent fasting is different for women, and how to do it safely.
What are the benefits of intermittent fasting for women?
Intermittent fasting can be a great way to boost your health and get one step closer to your weight loss goals.
As well as helping you lose weight, intermittent fasting can:
- Lower your risk of diabetes.
- Protect your heart and brain.
- Help keep your cells healthy and clean.
- Improve your memory.
On top of all this, women can get a few extra perks from intermittent fasting.
Scientists found that intermittent fasting can help women with polycystic ovaries syndrome (PCOS).
They think that because of how intermittent fasting affects your hormones, it can help boost ovary function and help with infertility in women with PCOS.
Fasting not only helps with PCOS, it can also help with menopause.
Some women put on extra weight when going through menopause, but intermittent fasting can help with this.
Studies found that menopausal women can lose as much weight with intermittent fasting as women who aren’t going through it.
Menopause isn’t just tough physically, but mentally too, and some of its most common symptoms are:
- Mood swings.
- Lower self esteem and confidence.
The good news is that as well as helping with weight gain during this time, intermittent fasting can be really helpful for your mental health as well.
Fasting often goes hand in hand with an improvement in your mood by helping you control your stress hormones, so intermittent fasting can relieve some psychological symptoms of menopause.
What should women know about intermittent fasting?
Even though you eat as normal in your eating windows, some forms of intermittent fasting can cut down how many calories you get.
We use calories for energy, and when we don’t get enough energy, our bodies change how they work.
Womens’ bodies are a bit more sensitive to these energy changes than men’s.
As a woman, you have to be a little more careful when you first start intermittent fasting, until you know how your body will react.
Intermittent fasting can cause your hormone levels to change, and some studies show that estrogen is one of the hormones affected.
Estrogen is important to regulate your mood and maintain good heart health, as well as for reproduction.
Some studies tell us that intermittent fasting can lower estrogen levels, which can affect fertility, menstruation cycles, and pregnancy.
This usually happens when fasting is done too drastically, and it’s important to mention that doctors agree intermittent fasting is safe for most women.
You shouldn’t try any type of fasting if you’re pregnant, trying to get pregnant or breastfeeding.
When you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, you’re eating for two, and you need more energy to support you and your baby.
It’s the same if you’re trying to get pregnant; if you reduce your energy intake too much then your body will think there’s not enough food around to support you as well as a baby.
How can women fast safely?
As a woman, you can still use intermittent fasting as a great way to lose weight and boost your health.
Here are some easy to follow tips that’ll have you fasting safely and effectively in no time.
When you first start out, make sure you have enough to eat in your “eating window”.
This will help keep hunger and headaches at bay when you’re fasting.
It’s important not to cut down on your calorie intake too much when you first start because this extra hunger can lead to overeating and reaching for unhealthier snacks.
As well as eating enough, it’s important that you eat the right food.
A varied, healthy diet helps you get all the vitamins and minerals that you need to stay on top form, as well as helping with weight loss.
We suggest sticking to meals full of lean protein, whole grains, and plenty of fruit and vegetables, so you can get all the nutrition your body needs.
When fasting, you’re allowed to drink water and other calorie-free drinks, and we recommend that you take full advantage of this.
Keeping up your water levels can help with headaches and also help you stay full – so you’re more likely to stick to your fasting schedule, especially when you’re first getting used to it.
Start with 12 hour fasts
Some people suggest starting off with 12 hour fasts to ease yourself into intermittent fasting, especially if you choose the 16/8 method.
Starting out smaller can help your body get used to longer periods of time without food until you’re ready to ramp it up.
When you feel ready, start extending your fasting window.
Everyone reacts differently to fasting, so go at your own pace and only stretch your fasting window when you feel it’s manageable.
Be kind to yourself
This is important for any diet, you can’t be too harsh on yourself.
Everyone slips up, we’re only human, and no one can say that they’ve succeeded at everything first time.
Weight loss takes time, and so does adapting to a new eating pattern, like intermittent fasting.
Remind yourself why you’re trying intermittent fasting, and keep in mind that just because you forgot to fast one day, it doesn’t undo all your hard work.
Only do moderate exercise on fasting days
When you start fasting you don’t know exactly how it will affect you, so make sure to take it easy for the first few weeks until you know how your body reacts to it.
We don’t recommend any strenuous exercise on your fasting days if you’re trying the 5:2 method.
If you’re trying the 16/8 method, it’s a good idea to start out only doing low or moderate impact exercise, like walking, swimming, or cycling, until you know how intermittent fasting affects you.
Does intermittent fasting work for women?
Intermittent fasting is a safe and effective way for you to lose weight and help with your general health.
Women can definitely try intermittent fasting, needing maybe a few adjustments at first.
If you’re looking for a weight loss method that can boost your heart, gut and brain health, then intermittent fasting might be the one for you.
Intermittent fasting isn’t the only way to lose weight, and like most things, it works for as long as you stick to it.
And If you need an extra hand, Miboko is the perfect tool for you.
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