Intermittent fasting has been on my radar for around 9 months, as part of my Menopause certification it came up several times with numerous studies showing not just its general health benefits but also its particular benefits for menopausal women.
So what intermittent fasting (IF)? basically its the process of eating (feast) and not eating (fast)
Fasting deprives your cells of the energy they need to work, and your cells never sleep, they are the factories of your body producing everything from collagen to hormones and we have 30 trillion of them.
Fasting forces your cells to look elsewhere for their fuel in a process called Autophagy. The cells gather energy from waste created by their organelles, unused protein and toxins.
Fasting is a natural state for us to be in, we didn’t always have food on tap and it wasn’t uncommon to not eat for a day or so, the problem with our diet now is we constantly eat leaving little time for our cells to detox
What are the benefits of IF? Lower inflammation, lower cholesterol, better energy, better skin, hormone balancing and weight management to name a few. Fasting forces your cells to make new cells but also ‘refurbish’ existing cells, the newer the cells the slower we age.
How does it work for weight control/loss? When you do any kind of fast (see the next section) you should naturally consume less food.
If you combine fasting with healthy, non processed foods and less refined carbs and sugar, which you absolutely should, losing weight can be a natural side effect.
What are the different types?
5:2 fasting – this is probably the one you have heard of as its gained popularity in recent years. You eat normally for 5 days a week and for two days only consume 500 calories
8-hour fasting – A great way to start a more traditional fast, you eat for a 3 hour period on waking say between 7 am and 10 am
then you don’t eat for 8 hours and consume only water, then eat dinner and trying to leave 4 hours between eating and going to bed
12 hour fasting – works on the same principle as the 8 hours but with a longer daytime fasting, for example, eat on waking at 7 am then fast for 12 hours eat dinner at 7 pm and retire at 11 pm
16:8 fasting – a fairly uncomplicated way to fast. If you eat dinner at 7 pm you then don’t start to eat again until 11 am the next day, you then eat in an eight-hour window finishing with dinner at 7 pm and repeat
Concurrent day fasting – Following one of the above you fasts (8, 12 or 16:8) every other day instead of each day so this can be a good way to ease into fasting
Remember in the periods where you are eating follow a nutrient-packed, low carb, healthy diet and during your fast drink plenty of water.
The link below will help you in achieving your goals
Items to include in your diet that can supercharge the benefits of fasting are –
Vitamin D – from eggs and Fatty fish
Omega 3 – from oily fish and good quality olive oil
Green tea – High in anti-oxidants
Turmeric & Ginger – Anti-inflammatory and Anti-oxidant
CBD Oil – Anti-inflammatory properties
When we start to go through menopause (peri-menopause) the way our body metabolizes food changes because part of the process relies on hormones.
It’s very common for women to lay down fat around their middles, even those of us who have always been slim, exercise and eat a healthy diet.
It becomes almost impossible to shift as traditional diets don’t take this change into account.
IF can really help here because our metabolism slows as we get older so consuming fewer calories by fasting is of benefit.
Plus detoxing our cells so they can produce more collagen helps with ageing
Intermittent fasting is well worth further investigation not just in relation to weight loss but also for its long term health benefits
Recommended reads – Click Here for Amazon
Sarah Amber Patterson- Intermittent Fasting for beginners
Katie Simmons – Intermittent Fasting for women over 50
Jennifer Cook – Intermittent Fasting for women 101
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