If you are looking for an answer on how to do intermittent fasting for women over 40 then I might give you beneficial insight.
Have you ever wondered why at 40, with your current eating habits and regular exercise, your body can’t lose weight? It seems that whatever you do, your body is against you and you no longer recognize your body.
You feel frustrated, helpless, and confused. I understand how you feel because I feel the same way too. After having 3 kids, I feel it’s more difficult to keep my weight stable now that I am in my 40s.
It is not your fault, that you are having trouble losing weight. Losing weight can become more challenging as we age, and various factors contribute to this difficulty increasing the challenge of weight loss.
Intermittent fasting and hormone imbalance for women over 40 are common however some studies have shown positive results with doing intermittent fasting.
Being a professional healthcare myself, I would recommend doing intermittent fasting over 40 after I have assessed my patients’ health condition. However, if you have problems with:
- You regularly experience low blood sugar level
- You are underweight
- You are immunocompromised
- You have an eating disorder
- You are pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to conceive
I wouldn’t suggest you do intermittent fasting. I would implore you to find the nearest healthcare provider seek help and get medical advice.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern that involves alternating between periods of eating and fasting. It can be an effective strategy for weight loss, but its impact can vary from person to person. The are no rules about how many calories you can take, just when you eat them.
However, I insist that while you are fasting for women over 40, the best practice is you choose a well-balanced and nutritious meal for break fast. Subsequently, you wouldn’t need to worry about counting calories as eating right will help you feel fuller, and eventually, you will lose weight.
Can Women Over 40 Lose Weight With Intermittent Fasting?
According to many studies, weight loss is possible in women over 40 with intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting may help you consume fewer calories which helps you to lose weight and lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
However, some studies have suggested intermittent fasting (IF) may not be as beneficial for women as it is for men. For this reason, women may need to follow a modified approach which I will explain more in this article.
Is Intermittent Fasting Safe For Women Over 40?
There is some evidence suggesting that intermittent fasting may not be beneficial to women compared to men however a modified version of intermittent fasting appears to be safe for most women.
Female bodies are extremely sensitive to calorie restriction. If you are experiencing hunger, mood swings, lack of concentration, reduced energy, headaches, bad breath on fasting days or stop menstruation.
I suggest you stop your current method of intermittent fasting and do crescendo fasting. If you have a medical condition, you should consult your doctor before trying intermittent fasting.
Is Intermittent Fasting Recommended As A Weight Loss Method For Women Over 40?
Women react to intermittent fasting differently compared to men and to reduce any adverse effects, women should take a mild approach to fasting: shorter fasts and fewer fasting days.
Intermittent fasting for women over 40 can be a simple and effective way to lose weight when done properly. Regular short-term fasts can help you consume fewer calories and shed pounds.
Intermittent fasting can be a simple and effective way to lose weight when done properly, as regular short-term fasts can help you consume fewer calories and shed pounds.
Quite several studies suggest intermittent fasting is as effective as traditional calorie-restricted diets for short-term weight loss and average weight loss of 15lbs (6.8 kg) over 3-12 months.
Best Intermittent Fasting For Women Over 40
Crescendo Fasting – Crescendo method fasting is a type of fasting where you gradually increase in intensity. Rather than jump into doing 16:8 intermittent fasting try to do twelve to fourteen hours a few days per week.
It’s best to make these fasting days non-consecutive, like Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for example.
This method helps to ease your body slowly avoid shocking the body too much at once and ensure your hormones don’t react negatively.
Time-restricted Fasting – This is the most popular and well-known form of intermittent fasting. With time-restricted fasting, you choose a specific eating window and a specific fasting window and stick to it every day.
You can choose to do 12-hour, 14-hour, or 16-hour fasts. If you choose 12 hours fast, you would eat between 8 am – 8 pm. For 14 hours you will eat between 10 am – 8 pm.
A 16:8 intermittent fasting has an eating period window between 12 pm to 8 pm.
My advice would be to start slow and learn to listen to your body signals. If you feel you are ok then gradually increase the intensity like in crescendo fasting.
If you are worried, that your body might not get the best results if you do less than 16:8 intermittent fasting then I can reassure you that based on a published study even those who manage to fast 10 hours are able to reduce weight, waist circumference, lower cholesterol, and blood sugar level.
Alternate-day Fasting – As its name suggests, you fast every other day and eat whatever you want on the other days.
The most common way to do alternate-day fasting is by limiting your calorie intake to 25 percent of your needs on fasting days and then eating 125 percent of your calorie needs on feast days.
For example, if you need 2,000 calories per day to sustain your energy, then you would eat 500 calories on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday and 2,500 calories on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.
5:2 Intermittent Fasting – This method is almost similar to alternate-day fasting, the difference is you fast on two nonconsecutive days of the week and eat normally on the other five days.
This method has you eating about 500-600 calories on each of your fasting days.
How Do You Do Intermittent Fasting For Women Over 40?
One of the most important steps before you even start to do intermittent fasting over 40, is deciding when you and your body are ready to start fasting.
This is the most crucial step.
Now, don’t misunderstand that you need to be in perfect health to start fasting. After all, you might want to try intermittent fasting to correct some weight issues or health problems that you are currently facing.
But if you have good stress level management, and are not overwhelmed by life in general you can increase your success rate ten-fold.
Some signs that you are ready to start fasting for women over 40 are:
- You don’t feel completely overwhelmed by stress
- You have enough energy to get through the day
- You feel rested (or at least somewhat rested)
- Exercise makes you feel tired but energized, instead of completely drained.
- You’re able to feel relaxed, rather than completely wound up all the time.
Once you are ready and decide to start fasting. Do it in small, actionable steps, and build on these steps over time.
This will help you from getting overwhelmed and make it easier for you to stick to intermittent fasting for the long term.
The best way is to know your eating habits.
Whether you are practicing small frequent meals or three large meals with snacking in between, you can start by not following a specific fasting protocol but making small changes that will help your transition easier.
If you’re someone who eats a lot of snacks, make it your goal to stick to meals only.
Once you nailed it, try to skip breakfast. When that becomes easy, start eating your dinner early, half an hour or an hour at a time.
Making small goals, and hitting them will help your body to adjust and prepare.
Research shows that those who keep journals are more successful in losing weight and keeping it off for good.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting for Women Over 40
Heart Health – IF helps to lower LDL cholesterol levels by 25% and triglycerides by 32%. The study also showed positive results on both obese men and women able to lower blood pressure as early as 6 weeks.
Diabetes – IF helps to reduce some risks of diabetes by lowering insulin levels and insulin resistance.
Insulin is the hormone that has been tied to weight gain, especially around your belly. Doing intermittent fasting for the hormonal belly can help you tremendously.
In a randomized controlled study of more than 100 obese adults, doing IF for 6 months helped to reduce insulin levels by 16% and insulin resistance by 29%.
Weight Loss – A lot of studies suggest that intermittent fasting women over 40 are as effective as doing traditional calorie-restricted diets for short-term weight loss.
May Help You Eat Less – Several studies have shown that those who are doing intermittent fasting are able subconsciously to reduce their calorie intake.
Reduced Inflammation – Chronic inflammation can cause weight gain and health problems. Some studies have shown doing intermittent fasting over 40 can help reduce inflammation markers.
Improved Psychological Well-being – In an eight-week study, obese adults showed decreased depression and binge eating behaviors with intermittent fasting.
Preserve Muscle Mass – Doing intermittent fasting for women over 40 can help preserve muscle mass compared to a calorie-restrictive diet. Did you know that higher muscle mass burns more calories even at rest?
Best Food To Eat During Intermittent Fasting For Women Over 40
The best food to eat during intermittent fasting is a well-balanced nutritious meal that consists of complete macronutrients: Carbohydrates, Protein, and Healthy Fat.
1/ If you had to choose, eat complex carbs like whole grains, vegetables, and fruits as not only these foods are usually low GI but they are also nutrient-rich and high in fiber which can help to reduce cravings, stabilize your sugar levels, prebiotics, and helps you feel satiated longer.
2/ Protein like lean chicken, meat, fish, etc not only help you to feel fuller longer but help to build your muscle boosting your metabolism.
3/ Healthy fat like omega 3, nuts, avocado, etc is nutrient-rich, high in fiber, and helps to burn fats.
Possible Side Effects of Intermittent Fasting In Women Over 40
Women are more sensitive to fasting compared to men due to hormones.
My concern when it comes to us, women, is that doing intermittent fasting incorrectly can disrupt one of all of these crucial hormones, leading to infertility or trouble conceiving.
When hormones are in perfect balance, everything in your body will sync harmoniously and make you feel good.
However, if hormones become unbalanced, health problems and uncomfortable symptoms will appear.
Because hormones are involved in so many body processes, even a slight imbalance can have wide-ranging effects hence women should take a mild approach to fasting.
Some reported side effects of intermittent fasting:
- Physical weakness
- Hunger pangs
- Dizzy or lightheaded sensations
- Irritation and emotional distress
Challenges Faced by Women Over 40 Doing Intermittent Fasting
When women over 40 decide to incorporate intermittent fasting into their weight loss journey, they may face some specific challenges:
1/ Hormonal Change
Women in their 40s and beyond often experience hormonal changes, particularly during perimenopause and menopause. Intermittent fasting may affect hormone levels, such as insulin and cortisol, and this can influence weight loss outcomes differently in women compared to men. Some women may find that certain fasting protocols work better for them than others.
Metabolism tends to slow down with age. While intermittent fasting can be beneficial for some individuals, it’s essential to monitor how it affects metabolic rate, especially for women over 40. Some women find that their bodies respond differently to fasting compared to when they were younger.
3/ Nutrient Needs
As women age, their nutritional needs may change. It’s crucial to ensure that during eating periods, they consume nutrient-dense foods to meet their nutritional requirements. Fasting should not compromise essential nutrient intake, especially important vitamins and minerals.
4/ Muscle Mass
Preserving muscle mass is important for overall health and metabolic rate. Women over 40 should incorporate resistance training along with intermittent fasting to help maintain and build muscle, which can aid in weight loss.
Intermittent fasting can sometimes induce stress on the body, particularly if not done in a balanced and sustainable manner. Women, especially those dealing with perimenopause or menopause-related stress, should be mindful of how fasting affects their stress levels.
6/ Adherence and Lifestyle
Women over 40 may have busy schedules, family responsibilities, and other commitments that make it difficult to stick to a strict fasting regime. It’s important to choose an intermittent fasting approach that aligns with one’s lifestyle and is sustainable in the long term.
FAQS On Intermittent Fasting For Women Over 40
Which Intermittent Fasting Is Best For Women Over 40?
Intermittent Fasting that is best for women over 40 is doing 14:12 or 12:12. Based on recent studies doing IF less than 16:8 is beneficial for women over 40 and helps to lose weight, reduces waist circumference, and is good for overall body well-being.
Does Intermittent Fasting Work For Women In Their 40?
Intermittent fasting does work wonders for women in their 40s. Combining it with a well-balanced nutritious meal and regular exercise can help to balance your hormones, reduce weight and waist circumference, and ultimately your body and mental well-being.
What Happens After 1 Week Of Intermittent Fasting?
After 1 week of intermittent fasting, you will notice less bulging and bloating, and a tighter, slimmer look and feel to your midsection. Within this first week, you might lose weight significantly or not, but with your body adjusting you will see positive results in 4-6 weeks.
Which Intermittent Fasting Is Best For Belly Fat?
Limiting meals to a 10-hour window (followed by 14 hours of fasting) is best for belly fat as shown in a study able to reduce waist circumference, weight loss, lower blood pressure, well-controlled blood glucose, and LDL (bad) cholesterol.
How Many Months Should I Do Intermittent Fasting?
Experts suggest doing it for at least 10 weeks to witness some positive changes while doing intermittent fasting. My suggestion is to incorporate a healthy diet when you break fast and do regular exercise.
Does Water Fasting Help Balance Hormones?
To make your intermittent fasting enjoyable, I recommend you try these products:
Fasting for women over 40 can be daunting.
I understand your concerns and how you feel, as I have consulted many women who are facing health problems, and obesity and want to change their life towards a healthier and more meaningful life.
While there are a lot of ways to do intermittent fasting for women over 40, I would always recommend starting small, actionable steps, and building that habits over time.
Always listen to your own body.
Start from 10 hour fasting period to 14 hour fasting period to 16 hour fasting period. Increased the intensity of the fasting period with the crescendo method fasting gradually and your body will work towards you and not against you.
If you feel that this article is beneficial to you, do help me share it with your family and friends. I am looking forward to hearing about your journey doing intermittent fasting and your success story.
I wish you the best of luck and know that I will always be rooting for you.