Intermittent Fasting for Women: A Beginner’s Guide

Intermittent Fasting for Women: A Beginner’s Guide

Ever heard of intermittent fasting? Well, who are we kidding, of course, you have! Regardless, if you’re new to this terminology, this is where you will find everything there is to learn about intermittent fasting.

Intermittent fasting has created a lot of buzz over the recent years. Given the benefits reaped from them, the popularity of this fasting method is only self explanatory. Intermittent fasting isn’t like a regular diet. Rather than focusing on what one eats, intermittent fasting is more of a time centric diet. It lays major focus on ‘when’ the meals are taken and after ‘how long'. 

Intermittent fasting is known to be a successful method for lowering calorie intake and even lower health risks. Moreover, intermittent is most popular for its weight loss claims.

Intermittent fasting tends to affect males and females differently. The female bodies are way more complicated as compared to the male body. Hence, there are a few things to look out for when practicing intermittent fasting if you’re a woman. In this blog post, we will be focusing on intermittent fasting with a special focus on women.

Benefits of intermittent fasting for women 

Listed below are some of the most common benefits of intermittent fasting for women.

  • Improved heart health
  • Heart-related diseases are one of the most common reasons for deaths all over the world. Studies have shown that intermittent fasting can help in lowering LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, thus improving cardiovascular health. 

  • Weight loss and reduced inflammation
  • Weight loss is the most common reason for people to start practicing intermittent fasting in the first place. Given that your meals are timed, people are bound to consume lesser calories and create a calorie deficit. Maintaining a calorie-deficit diet is one of the best ways to lose those extra pounds and inches. Moreover, inflammation is one of the leading causes of weight gain. Hence, a control on that is assured to control weight.

  • Managing diabetes
  • Intermittent fasting has also been shown to benefit people with diabetes. The science behind it is this: When we eat, our bodies release insulin. People with diabetes already suffer from insulin resistance issues. Hence, when meals are time bound, insulin release is going to come under control. This in turn helps with managing diabetes.

  • Preserving muscle mass
  • Maintaining a permanent calorie deficit puts you at risk of losing muscle mass. Intermittent fasting is an excellent way of preserving muscle while living in a calorie deficit. Having a good muscle mass helps in burning those extra calories, even when you’re at rest.

    Recommended intermittent fasting women

    Given their complex body, women need to be a little more careful with what intermittent fasting methods they follow. Given below are the best recommended intermittent fasting methods for women.

    • 24-hour protocol: Fasting for an entire period of 24 hours. Women are recommended to practice it not more than twice a week.
    • Crescendo method/time-restricted fasting: This intermittent fasting method requires fasting for 12 to 16 hours for two to three times a week. It’s best to practice it every alternate day and not consecutively.
    • Alternate day fasting: As the name suggests, you fast every alternate day and follow your regular eating pattern for the rest of the days. You are to consume about 20 to 25% of your regular calorie intake on the fasting days.
    • Fast diet: This intermittent fasting method involves consuming a regular diet for 5 days of the week, and restricting your calorie intake to 500 to 600 kcal on the remaining two days. However, do not do it for two consecutive days. Keep it on alternate days.
    • Leangains method: This method involves the 16:8 method, i.e., fasting for 16 hours and having an 8 hour eating window.

    Who shouldn’t be following intermittent fasting?

    While intermittent fasting is a wonderful way to reap many health benefits, it’s not suitable for all. Here is a list of who shouldn’t be following intermittent fasting:

    1. Pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, women who are trying to conceive.
    2. If you are suffering from or have a history of eating disorders.
    3. Have low blood sugar levels.
    4. In case of nutritional deficiency, malnourisment or underweight. 

    Final thoughts

    Diet and fasting can be challenging territory to explore and should only be done after identifying your body’s needs. This was a beginner’s guide to intermittent fasting for women. When followed properly with optimum precaution, intermittent fasting can be one of the most sustainable eating habits one can develop.