Intermittent Fasting refers to a structured eating pattern that comprises eating and fasting. It has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, although it is nothing new. It has been used for thousands of years by religion and ancient cultures.
Intermittent fasting has a lot of benefits, weight loss is the one everyone focuses on, but I will explain all the benefits here.
Contrary to popular uninformed beliefs, women over 40 can benefit greatly from intermittent fasting.
I have personally helped 100s of women to lose weight, boost their energy levels and improve health using intermittent fasting.
There are many types of fasting. Some types are stricter and require longer, consecutive hours of fasting. In comparison, others may allow breaks every 12 hours.
For the purpose of this article, I will focus on the most popular method of intermittent fasting which is known as 16:8 fasting.
With 16:8 fasting, you fast for 16 hours and eat for 8 hours over a 24-hour period.
Many of my clients are women over 40. When they adopt intermittent fasting with the right mindset, habits, and strategy, it can become an effective weight-loss tool and way of life.
BENEFITS OF INTERMITTENT FASTING FOR WOMEN OVER 40
Let us have a look at the following health and fitness benefits of intermittent fasting for women over 40:
- WEIGHT LOSS
Weight loss is among the most desired advantages of intermittent Fasting that most women over 40 try to achieve. Intermittent fasting restricts the time in which you can consume calories. Therefore making it easier to stay in a calorie deficit (which is essential for fat loss). What’s even better, is that you can eat large, satisfying meals, so it doesn’t even seem like you are on a diet. Additionally, many other diets focus on calorie counting, which can be a useful tool, but is not enjoyable or sustainable for most people. Intermittent fasting can help you to lose weight, without needing to count calories.
2. IMPROVED ENERGY LEVELS
Along with weight loss, intermittent fasting can improve your energy levels. The mid-morning and mid-afternoon slump in energy has become the social norm. However, it is a relatively new phenomenon and is mostly linked to peaks and troughs in blood sugar levels. These peaks and troughs are caused by “grazing” on food all day. On top of this, digestion uses quite a lot of energy. When you aren’t constantly digesting food all day, you free up that energy for other purposes. Many women over 40 report stable energy levels all day long once they transition into intermittent fasting.
3. REDUCED HUNGER
Intermittent Fasting can improve metabolic flexibility. This means you are able to shift effortlessly between using carbohydrates from food to fuel your day and stored energy reserves like fat. This is something we are designed to do. Now we have access to a constant stream of food, your body can become dependent on carbohydrates. This leaves you feeling hungry every 2-4 hours. If you feel hungry all the time, it will make calorie control much harder. Intermittent Fasting can also normalize the two hunger hormones, ghrelin, and leptin. The combination of all of this makes intermittent fasting a powerful tool to take control over your hunger.
4. REDUCTION IN RESISTANCE TO INSULIN
Insulin resistance is when bodies do not respond to insulin the way they need to. It restricts bodies from taking advantage of the glucose in the blood. There are numerous factors behind the root cause of this resistance, and it can even be a product of genetics. Inactivity, poor diet, and obesity are a few reasons for insulin resistance. Luckily, Intermittent Fasting is a panacea you can rely on any day. It lessens the body’s insulin resistance by leveling out blood sugar levels. Being insulin sensitive is going to greatly reduce the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, and I have personally had clients who have reversed their Type 2 diabetes using Intermittent Fasting!
5. INFLAMMATION REDUCTION
Although inflammation results from the body protecting itself from an infection, it can lead to severe diseases.. As researchers have found, Intermittent Fasting reduces the risk of excessive inflammation. When we fast, there is a reduction in monocytes, which are cells in the blood that cause and give rise to inflammation. Inflammation roots from monocytes; hence, a decrease in monocytes reduces inflammation.
Special Considerations for Women Over 40 and Intermittent Fasting
Women do have to be slightly more careful with Intermittent Fasting than men. This is mainly because of reproduction and female cycles. Women are slightly more sensitive to physical stress than men. Intermittent Fasting adds stress to the body.
Contrary to popular belief, not all stress is bad. In fact, controlled stress can mean that the body adapts, and becomes more efficient.
An exercise is a form of stress on the body, and there are many health benefits.
Therefore, during monthly cycles, and menopause, it can be wise for women over 40 to listen to their bodies and be flexible in their approach to intermittent fasting, rather than strict and rigid.
On top of that, unfortunately, because of diet culture and fad diets, there are many women who are undereating, overtraining, undersleeping, and in a constant state of stress.
If women over 40 then try intermittent fasting at the same time as all of those stressful things, problems can occur. Such as missed periods and hair loss.
Any woman over 40 with a poor relationship with food (like labeling foods as good or bad, or cutting out food groups and feeling guilty) should understand that intermittent fasting won’t fix those problems.
In order to improve relationship with food, you must work on your mindset, beliefs and identity.
The benefits of intermittent fasting for women over 40 are numerous. Hundreds of thousands of women over 40 are benefiting from Intermittent fasting all over the world.
I have personally helped 100s of women over 40 to lose weight, boost energy levels, and improve health.
If you want to learn more about my process, I highly recommend starting my FREE intermittent Fasting short course, where I show how to do it properly and get amazing results in a healthy and timely manner.
- “INTERMITTENT FASTING FOR WOMEN OVER 40.” LauraFuentes (https://www.laurafuentes.com/intermittent-fasting-women-over-40) n.d.
- “Intermittent Fasting: What is it, and how does it work?” Hopkins Medicine (https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/intermittent-fasting-what-is-it-and-how-does-it-work), n.d.