According to a survey report published by the International Food Information Council Foundation, one in 10 individuals prefer a fasting diet. Even celebrities like Halle Berry, Jennifer Aniston, Jimmy Kimmel, and Hugh Jackman are fans of fasting. Today we will tap into intermittent fasting for women over 40 and why is can be a life-changing step for you.
Table of Contents
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is not like a low-fat diet or keto diet. It’s not about what a person eats but when they eat.
If an individual has eating cycles between periods of consuming food and periods of limiting the intake of food, it is called intermittent fasting.
There are several ways to practice it and here are some types popular on social media:
Time-restricted food consumption
It includes fixed eating and fasting windows and you can follow it all 7 days of the week. A simple example is having food for 8 hours daily and then fasting for the remaining 16.
It means fasting every alternate day and a lot of people prefer that.
The 5:2 method makes you count your calories any 2 days of the week. For the remaining 5 days, you can stick to your usual diet.
If you don’t consume anything for 24 hours (other than water), it is called a 24-hour fast. You should not do this for more than 2 times per week.
Some people have the misconception that intermittent fasting means having nothing at all, but that’s not wise. You can and should have zero-calorie drinks to make sure your body does not get dehydrated.
Tea, water, and black coffee are some excellent options. They will instantly decrease your hunger pangs and help you feel full when you are fasting.
How does it work?
Are you familiar with the ketosis theory?
It states that your calorie intake will be less when you are fasting. So, your body will burn fat and you will witness fat loss.
Doctors are also of the opinion that intermittent fasting reduces oxidative stress, the process that often causes cell damage. It also betters circadian rhythm which is the normal sleep-wake cycle of a person.
All this contributes to an increase in autophagy (the removal of damaged and old cells from the body).
Cellular inflammation also reduces and so, your body has greater immunity against chronic diseases.
But what about intermittent fasting perimenopause? Let’s find out!
How healthy is Intermittent fasting for women over 40?
With age, most women find it challenging to maintain their weight. This is especially true for someone dealing with menopause.
During menopause, several hormonal changes take place in the female body, thus triggering weight gain. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle that involves nourishing foods and sufficient sleep can minimize these age-related issues.
Intermittent fasting for women over 40 is another healthy alternative to promote overall well-being. Intrigued to know how it can benefit your body and mind? Scroll down to learn about the advantages of intermittent fasting for older women in detail.
Intermittent fasting’s benefits for older women
As explained already, to maintain optimal health as you grow old, you must create a healthy foundation with your lifestyle and diet. Consider intermittent fasting a helpful tool that will make aging a happy experience for you. Here are some reasons why women over 40 find it beneficial:
Keeps your heart healthy
Did you know that heart ailments are a leading cause of demise among older women in America? So, if you want to look after your heart, say yes to intermittent fasting.
The American Heart Association published a study on the impacts of routine fasting on a woman’s heart. You’ll be amazed to learn that it can decrease your chances of having heart attacks and heart failure by 71%.
Aids weight loss
Most women who try intermittent fasting do it mainly to lose weight organically. But is there enough scientific evidence that prove the effectiveness of fasting in losing weight?
The TH Chan School for Public Health in Harvard examined 40 women who believe in intermittent fasting. The research revealed that these women lost 7-11 pounds within 10 weeks.
If you are wondering how this magic happens, it is because of metabolic switching. When you don’t provide food to your body for 8-12 hours, there will be a scarcity of glucose. Then your body will burn the stored fat in the fat cells to give energy to you. So, if you can combine a balanced diet with intermittent fasting, your life will be sorted.
Fasting even has the potential to expand the lifespan of a person. One study closely followed 2000 individuals over a period of 4 years. 20% of the people participating in the study are people who fast regularly. The study discovered that the mortality rates of these people were lower than non-fasters.
As the initial studies have shown positive outcomes, scientists continue to find more links between longevity and intermittent fasting.
Makes diabetes manageable
As per data provided by the Centers for Diabetes Control and Prevention, more than 30 million people in the United States are type 2 diabetes patients. 84 million individuals have prediabetes and so, it is a matter of concern.
To lead a normal life despite having diabetes, medications alone won’t make a difference. The best kind of treatment for diabetes is combining lifestyle alterations and medication. So, healthcare providers advise patients to exercise every day, follow their diet strictly, and manage stress.
If you have type 2 diabetes, intermittent fasting is another home remedy for you. In fact, many women who do it dedicatedly no longer require insulin injections. So, don’t you think you should give it a try and see how it works in your case?
A 2018 study sufficiently proved that intermittent fasting positively impacts a woman’s emotional well-being. Depression and mood swings become a problem before, during, and after menopause. Several women end up taking anti-depressants which aren’t good for the body.
Instead, all should rely on natural ways to cure depression like exercising and spending time with friends. You should also consider intermittent fasting and you will notice less anger, confusion, and stress.
Lowers cholesterol levels
We have already established that intermittent fasting for women over 40 helps them lose weight. But what’s the connection between fasting and blood pressure? When you aren’t overweight anymore, your cholesterol levels are bound to come down and so will your blood pressure.
Intermittent fasting and protein intake
For someone who fasts regularly, a lack of protein will make them lose their muscle mass. Losing muscle mass is already a concern for aging people. So, women over 40 and elderly ladies should have enough protein during their feeding windows. The first meal you eat after fasting for hours should have at least 40 grams of protein.
If you are a non-vegetarian, eggs, pork, chicken, milk, fatty fish, and beef are some incredible sources of protein. Vegetarians can have cottage cheese, lentils, sprouted grains, nuts, seeds, oats, Greek yogurt, beans, and tofu as these are loaded with protein.
Who cannot try intermittent fasting?
Although intermittent fasting is safe for fit and healthy adults, this eating regimen can have adverse effects if you:
- Have diabetes
- Use medications that require additional food intake
- Are trying to get pregnant
- Have low BP
- Are breastfeeding or pregnant
Why consult a dietician before doing intermittent fasting?
When it comes to fasting, a lot of information is available on the internet. So, it can be confusing for you to decide what to do. Moreover, it is not recommended for people suffering from certain health conditions. Hence, visiting a dietician is necessary as you are thinking of making a major change in your existing diet.
So, we may conclude by saying that intermittent fasting for women over 40 is a great idea. It will make menopause less painful, fight depression, reduce insomnia, and keep obesity at bay.
However, this type of diet can lead to protein deficiencies if not done right. So, book an appointment with a nutritionist to ensure your body gets all the necessary nutrients to function properly.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the best intermittent fasting length for women?
Intermittent fasting will prove advantageous if it does not exceed 14-16 hours. So, a 40-year-old woman should include short-term fasts to her dietary pattern. You also need to remember intermittent fasting will work only if you are consistent.
2. How many hours should a 40 year old woman intermittent fasting?
For ladies between the ages of 30 and 50 years, the 14:10 diet is the most sustainable schedule. Dieticians recommend that the eating window should not surpass 10 hours.
3. Does intermittent fasting work for older women?
Intermittent fasting is a great way to keep weight gain in check for ladies over 50. Studies have also revealed that it reduces the changes of suffering from chronic diseases and betters metabolic health.