INTERMITTENT FASTING AND HORMONAL HEALTH
Let's talk about a SUBJECT that I have studied on myself for the past 6 years.....WOMEN going thru changes in hormone changes, getting older, women and the NEW BODY they discover in 40's & 50's....weight gain etc and what IS IN OUR OWN CONTROL with some consistent changes in our lifestyle and habits when it comes to food and exercise!
First, let's talk about Estrogen!!! Estrogen imbalance may show up as:
Poor glucose control
Impaired cognitive function
Decreased bone density
Poor muscle tone
Reduced skin and hair health
Poorer cardiovascular health
A disruption in one hormone system in the body can trigger other hormone imbalances. The other major hormone considerations for women when it comes to intermittent fasting are cortisol, the stress hormone, and thyroid hormone. When cortisol is imbalanced, symptoms include:
When thyroid hormones are imbalanced, symptoms include:
Trouble regulating body temperature
If you pay attention to the health headlines, you’ve probably heard about intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting has been linked with several important health benefits.
But fasting isn’t the same for men and women. If women try fasting but don’t do it properly, it can cause more harm than good. Most women who grew up in my generation do this without even realizing it is their eating habit or pattern.
Intermittent fasting has been associated with numerous health benefits, but it is also linked to hormone disruption in women!
If you’re a women, intermittent fasting can disrupt estrogen balance and throw a wrench in all these essential physiological processes.
But when you know how to use intermittent fasting in a way that is safe for your unique female biochemistry—that is, when you know how to biohack intermittent fasting to improve hormone health instead of harm it—you can reap some amazing benefits.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Simply put, it is going for short or intermediate periods of time without food. This “not eating” window can be as short as 12 hours and include sleep time—for example, you could stop eating at 8:00pm one night and not eat again until 8:00am the next morning and call it a fast—or as long as 16, 20, or 24 hours.
People fast in different ways. Some people try to go 12 or more hours without eating everyday. Others try to go 12 or 16 hours without food a couple days a week. Some people don’t eat for a full 24 hours one day each week.
Studies have shown that intermittent fasting may help improve certain health conditions, including:
Intermittent fasting is associated with improved insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity is an important factor in hormone balance and in overall health
Intermittent fasting has been linked to reduced body fat
Meta-analysis also suggests that adherents to intermittent fasting regimens don’t compensate by overeating during their designated eating windows. In fact, studies suggest that there is a “carry over effect” of calorie reduction by as much as 20 percent on eating days
Intermittent fasting may improve health biomarkers associated with Type 2 diabetes
Intermittent fasting may improve cognitive function and quiet neuroinflammation in the brain
Intermittent fasting may help dampen stress hormone production in certain situations
Intermittent fasting may help lower the risk of chronic health conditions
A woman’s reproductive function is intricately connected to her metabolic function, and vice versa. So anytime a woman’s body gets a “starvation signal” from her environment (like not eating for a stretch of time), it goes into preserve and protect mode, where it holds onto weight (to survive the famine), increases production of the hunger hormones ghrelin and leptin (so that you feel famished and rush to get food ASAP), and slows down non-essential functions
This doesn’t mean women have to miss out on the benefits of intermittent fasting. Instead, I recommend that women follow some simple rules when it comes to intermittent fasting. This will help you tap into the many benefits associated with intermittent fasting while sidestepping the risks.
Don’t fast on consecutive days
Instead, pick no more than two or three non-consecutive days in a week to practice intermittent fasting
Don’t fast for more than 12 or 13 hours at a time. Going any longer can trigger a negative hormonal cascade
Don’t do intense workouts on fasting days
Don’t fast when you’re bleeding
During your eating window, choose the best diet for your hormonal health
If you give this slow and steady approach to intermittent fasting a try for a couple months and feel great, you can consider going for a longer window of time each day without eating (up to 16 hours), but pay close attention to how you feel and drop back to a smaller window—or stop intermittent fasting all together—if you start experiencing symptoms of hormone imbalance
If you start to experience symptoms of hormone imbalance while intermittent fasting, or if the hormone imbalance symptoms you already experience get worse, stop fasting right away. These symptoms include:
Your period becomes irregular or stops
You start having problems sleeping or falling asleep
You notice changes in metabolism and digestion
You feel moody or experience brain fog
Do NOT Try Intermittent Fasting If…
You have a history of eating disorders
You’re pregnant or are trying to conceive
You have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or trouble waking up in the morning
You have adrenal fatigue
You are currently dealing with PMS, PCOS, Fibroids, Endometriosis or other diagnosed hormonal issues
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this – the science of your body is on your side! A great place to start is by testing the decrease in SUGAR from your system and diet. You can get a jump start to your metabolism by doing my 7-Day Sugar Detox: Sugar is the Devil book here! GET STARTED TODAY!