Tips about Intermittent Fasting and Women

Women and Fasting  

    The impact that intermittent fasting has on women is a little different from that of men. The female reproductive system and metabolism are deeply entwined. Usually, women consume less protein than men, and fasting women will usually consume even less. Consuming fewer proteins results in fewer amino acids in the female body. Amino acids are required to stimulate estrogen receptors and synthesize IGF -1 (insulin-like growth factor in the liver).  

    IGF -1 assists in the progression of the reproductive cycle. So a diet low in protein can lower fertility and sex drive in women. Furthermore, for women, estrogen isn’t only needed for reproduction. Women have estrogen receptors throughout their bodies, including in their bones and brains. Change in estrogen balance in a woman’s body can disrupt metabolic function and result in indigestion problems, mood swings, sluggish bone formation, etc.

    So what should women do about fasting?  

    Keep in mind that a prolonged period without food is a significant stressor for a woman’s body and affects their reproductive health. The good news for you is that the intermittent fasting protocols vary. Some are more extreme than others (up to 36 hours), which also proves difficult and challenging for healthy males. When fasting, the length of your fast, your age, nutritional status, exercise, and other stressors in your life are all relevant.   

    If you want to do intermittent fasting, then follow a conservative approach. For example, start your fasting after dinner and don’t eat for 12–14 hours. So you will fast from dinner to lunch the next day. With this method, you are basically skipping only one meal: breakfast. Repeat the procedure every alternate day. So 12–14 hours fast followed by a one-day break and then fast for 12–14 hours again. Obviously, sleeping time will make fasting easier for you. Don’t practice any hard workouts during your fasting day and limit yourself to practicing yoga or low-intensity exercise. Follow a routine that makes sense, suits you, and one that you can actually maintain. If needed, start with fasting two days a week.

Stop Intermittent Fasting If:  

    •       You notice mood swings   

    •       You always seem to feel cold  

    •       Your digestion slows down noticeably   

    •       You start to develop acne or dry skin  

    •       You have problems falling asleep or staying asleep  

    •       Your menstrual cycle stops or suddenly becomes irregular  

    •       Your heart rate becomes abnormal  

    •       You feel a decline in sex drive   

    •       Your hair falls out  

    •       Your stress tolerance declines   

    •       You recover slowly from injury

Avoid Fasting If:  

    •       You have not consulted with a health care professional   

    •       You have a history of eating disorders   

    •       You don’t sleep well  

    •       You are chronically stressed  

    •       You are pregnant

Special Benefits for Women  

    Intermittent fasting has many benefits for adult women  

  •      Anti-aging: The autophagy is triggered during fasting. Autophagy breaks down cellular “waste,” rebuilding stronger, more effective cells and tissues for a cleaner, efficient body. This slows down the aging process.  
  •      Lower inflammation: Many women experience inflammation and swelling, either periodically or regularly. During intermittent fasting, inflammation is reduced.  
  •      Hormonal balance: Intermittent fasting can better regulate hormonal production in the body. This can improve symptoms experienced before and during a menstrual cycle and during other hormonal changes during pre-menopause.

Why Follow the Keto Diet After 50?  

    You will notice many changes in your body when you reach the age of 50. Most common are less muscle, less sleep, and finer skin. The thing that changes most is the metabolism. It slows down with age. A healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and low-abundance meals will have a faster metabolism than a lifestyle that includes consuming large meals and no exercise.   

    The ketogenic diet can help you at this stage of your life. The diet can eliminate carbohydrates and remove fats from your body. When starting keto at this age, start gradually and do not overdo anything. At first, you may feel tired and lack energy, but do not worry, because it is normal. You feel this way because your body is adapting to a new food style.

Keto Diet for Women Over 50  

    When we reach our fifties, things are a lot different. Any changes within our bodies will directly affect how we work, perform, and operate. Most of the body issues will remain the same for men. However, because women’s body chemistry is different, they will face various problems. You can do a few things to cope with these changes, such as changing your lifestyle habits and controlling your diet.

Diet Changes You Should Make After 50  

  •      Eat fatty fish: Eat at least two 3.5 ounces of cooked fatty fish every week, such as herring, tuna, or salmon. This will help you keep your heart strong. These fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fats are essential for eye, heart, and brain health.   
  •      Eat more calcium-rich foods: Your bone health becomes important as you get older. Data shows that about 2/3 of the women over the age of 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis. So you need to eat more calcium-rich foods. Calcium-rich keto foods are:  
  1. Broccoli  
  2. Sesame seeds  
  3. Sunflower seeds  
  4. Chia seeds  
  5. Kale  
  6. Almonds  
  7. Bok Choy   
  8. Sardines 
  9. Canned salmon   

Eat foods rich with lycopene: Lycopene is an antioxidant that can help prevent wrinkles and other skin damage because of UV light. Lycopene can also help prevent some types of cancers, including lung, prostate, and stomach cancer. Here are foods rich in lycopene:  

    •       Guavas   

    •       Tomato  

    •       Watermelon  

    •       Grapefruit   

    •       Papaya  

    •       Red bell peppers  

    •       Persimmon  

    •       Asparagus  

    •       Red cabbage  

    •       Mangos  

     Avoid trans fats: With keto, you have to consume only healthy fats and avoid unhealthy trans fats. Women have some protection against health disease before menopause. Estrogen provides this protection. However, after menopause, women are at serious risk for heart disease. So completely avoid trans fats.

Protein: You need to consume enough protein for healthy muscle mass. After 50, women start to lose muscle mass at a higher rate. Luckily, the keto diet recommends eating a moderate amount of protein, which is ideal for women over 50. As a woman over 50, health experts recommend 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of weight. So you will need a minimum of 63 grams of protein daily if you weigh 140 pounds.   

     Vitamin B12: You need this vitamin for healthy brain function. The best sources of vitamin B12 are fish, meat, and eggs.

Tips for Seniors Who Want to Start  

    Ten Tips for Seniors  

     Count your macros: You need to learn how to count your macros. With time, you will learn how to estimate your meals without using a food scale.   

     Prepare your kitchen: You need to prepare your kitchen with keto-friendly foods. First, remove all the non-keto foods from your kitchen. You do not have to throw everything away; donate to others. Then fill your kitchen with keto-friendly foods.  

     Test to see if your body has entered ketosis: You can check your blood and/or urine to know if your body has entered ketosis. You can find these testing meters on Amazon.  

     Check your health: Before you start a keto diet, check your health and make sure your body can take on the diet challenges.   

     Find an activity you enjoy: If you do not like exercising, then find an activity that you enjoy, such as:  

    •     Tennis: Playing tennis will help you burn more calories and increase agility in the process.  

    •     Kickball: This simple and friendly game will help you burn more calories than you think.  

    •     Racquetball: A casual game of racquetball will make you fitter.   

    •     Soccer: Play hard to burn calories, lose weight, and stay fit.  

    •     Rowing: Moderate pace rowing offers you a low-impact, full-body enjoyable workout.  

    •     Basketball: Play full court, and you will shred fat and stay fit.   

    •     Ultimate Frisbee: The game involves a lot of running and helps you stay fit and healthy.

    •     Beach volleyball: This casual game under the hot sun will help burn calories and keep you in shape.   

    •     Rock climbing: Rock climbing will make you fitter and help you obtain an attractive figure. You can try natural rocks or use an artificial rock climbing wall. The higher you climb, the more calories you will burn.   

     Hydrate properly:  With keto, you need to drink enough water. Drink at least eight big glasses of water daily. Also, drink broth to keep your electrolytes balanced.   

     Supplements: As you age, your body loses its ability to absorb certain nutrients, which leads to difficulties. For example, vitamin B12 and folate are common nutrients that people often lack. 

     The right mindset: Your mindset is important when you are following a keto diet. The proper mindset will keep you motivated to keep going no matter what challenges come your way.  

     Get enough sleep: Sleep deprivation can cause your diet plan to fail. Get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every day. When you are properly rested, you should wake up in the morning without needing an alarm.   
     Keep a food journal: This will help you, especially as a beginner.

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