Intermittent fasting for women 2022

Starving to firmer health


Intermittent fasting for women 2022

IF (Intermittent Fasting) is a big boom today. Is it really healthy to starve for a few hours every day? Can it bring us benefits or, conversely, harm us? What types of intermittent fasting do we have?


The term "IF" or "intermittent fasting" is an eating system built on the fact that we receive food only for a certain, time-limited part of the day (we are in the so-called satiety window) and we fast for the rest of the day (we are in the so-called hungry window).


Intermittent fasting as such does not include any adjustments in calorie or macronutrient intake.


We start from the exact same caloric intake that we had set earlier, with the difference that all calories and macronutrients must be eaten in a given time window for food intake.


Thus, the only change in our regime when switching to IF is to shorten the part of the day we eat and to create a systematic window for fasting.


At the time of fasting, of course, we receive plenty of clean water, and unsweetened tea (preferably black and green), and black coffee is also allowed.


We should avoid anything that contains calories and thus loads our digestive system (ie it breaks fasting and starts digestion). We should also avoid, for example, chewing gum, sweets, flavored drinks, or sweetened tea or coffee with milk.


What is IF?

  • Fasting was part of human evolution. Ancient hunters and gatherers did not have supermarkets, refrigerators, or food available all year round. Sometimes they couldn't even find anything to eat all day.
  • Therefore, nature has arranged it so that they are able to function without food for a long time. But it's not just about the availability of food. People also fast for religious or spiritual reasons.
  • Nowadays, people usually start fasting - so-called intermittent fasting, precisely because of weight loss and other health benefits.
  • For some it may be prevention against certain diseases, for others, it may be convenient to occasionally give up food and cleanse the body, or just disrupt their routine and try something new.
  • But during fasting, you don't have to worry about throwing half your food out of the pantry because it would be "inappropriate."
  • Intermittent fasting is a diet that has no strictly prescribed diet. Of course, what you eat is important, but the emphasis is mainly on when you eat.
  • It is actually an alternation of eating and fasting times. The rules of intermittent fasting are therefore clear - you can only afford food at a time that you set yourself. This way of eating has several different variants, it only depends on you which one you choose.
  • Adhering to intermittent fasting does not mean depriving yourself of food! But choose quality foods, including healthy fats in your diet, and look for alternatives to sweet treats. For example, unsweetened dried or lyophilized fruit is ideal!


History 

  1. When you think about the term "intermittent fasting", you will find that in ancient times, humans were completely natural.
  2. Our ancestors never ate all day, regularly every two hours, as is customary today.
  3. Such a group of prehistoric people was hunting for several hours, and later expending a large amount of energy to catch the mammoth, which they subsequently processed and ate.
  4. If the hunt failed, they fasted or fed the roots or fruits they collected. They hunted and collected once in a while.
  5. Unfortunately, today's man sits on the TV, takes a five-step expedition to the refrigerator, catches some nicely crafted ham, and after five minutes goes to catch cheese and sausage, because everything is easily accessible and within reach.
  6. We constantly hear from all sides how important it is to eat every three hours, we have to eat the most calories in the morning and we must never feel hungry.
  7. Therefore, many of us are forced to have breakfast even though we are not hungry in the morning, they quickly throw a muesli bar full of simple sugars at work in the morning just because "tithing is a necessity, three meals a day are not enough" and have only one a salad for dinner.
  8. with salad, because "give dinner to the enemy, the calories consumed in the evening are immediately stored in fat". How much does this diet coincide with the diet that the human race has followed for hundreds of years before?


Types of "IF"

Different methods of intermittent fasting differ in the length of the fast.


Probably the best-known variant is also a variant for the tough and is known as the "Warrior Diet". In this variant, we fast for 20 hours and have a saturating window for 4 hours.


Other commonly used variants are:


  • 18 hours fast / 6 hours for food
  • 16 hours fast / 8 hours for food
  • 14 hours fast / 10 hours for food
  • 12 hours fast / 12 hours for food


If you look at the last variant (Windows 12/12), you will find that it is actually something that a handful of people observe, without calling it intermittent fasting.


It means having breakfast at eight o'clock in the morning and also having dinner until eight o'clock in the evening.


However, many individuals nowadays eat in a window longer than the 12 hours - it is due to hasty time, work demands ... many people then, for example, have breakfast at five in the morning and dinner until about ten o'clock in the evening.


Our digestive system then does not have time to rest at all, it is constantly supplied with food, burdened with its processing, and many problems can arise from this (not only of a digestive nature).


What ways of fasting exist

You can set up an intermittent fast completely according to your needs. It's actually about fasting during the day or week (so you don't eat anything, or really little) and when you're "allowed" to eat. Even though it's largely absolutely individual, there are a few favorite ways from those for beginners to fasting masters.


Diet 16/8

  • With this method, you fast for 16 hours a day and then you have an 8-hour window in which you can indulge in two, three, or more meals. Basically, it's very simple, for example, you can't eat after dinner and skip breakfast the next day.
  • If you treat yourself to the last meal at 8 pm and have the first meal after 12:00 the next day, you will successfully observe a 16-hour fast. You can also change the extent to which you fast. Some people also follow an 18/6 or 20/4 diet.


Diet 5 + 2


  • You eat normally 5 days a week and then limit your intake to 500-600 calories a day for the next 2 days.
  • You can choose two days a week, such as Monday and Thursday, when you treat yourself to two smaller portions of food that contain approximately 250-300 calories.
  • On other days of the week, pay attention to a balanced and varied diet.


24-hour fast


  • Another option is to fast 24 hours a day or twice a week - choose one or two days a week when you will be without food all day (24 hours).
  • It is up to you whether it will be from breakfast on Wednesday to breakfast on Thursday or from dinner on Monday to dinner on Tuesday. Water, coffee, and other non-calorie drinks are allowed during fasting, but no food is allowed.
  • The potential disadvantage of this method is that a full 24-hour fast can be quite difficult for many people. It is perfectly fine to start at 2 pm to 4 pm and move on from there.


Fasting every other day

  • Some supporters of intermittent starvation do not eat any food every other day. Others in these "windows" receive only a minimal amount of calories (up to 500 kcal).
  • It may seem a bit extreme, so this method is not recommended for beginners. With this method, you can go to bed several times a week very hungry, which is not very pleasant and long term unsustainable.


The warrior diet or warrior diet

  1. A warrior's diet is a diet that involves a longer cycle of low food intake with short overeating windows.
  2. This includes eating small amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables during the day and one huge meal at night.
  3. Basically, you replenish only a small amount of energy throughout the day and feast in the 4-hour dining window at night. From a nutritional point of view, this diet is not recommended for most of the population.


"How's it going"

Another way to enjoy the benefits of fasting is to simply skip meals from time to time, for example when you are not hungry or too busy.


So if one day you don't really feel hungry, skip breakfast and just have a healthy lunch and dinner. However, you should not try to catch up.


If you don't have lunch, it doesn't mean you should have a bigger portion of something unhealthy for dinner and then vacuum the fridge at midnight. The usual portion sizes should be adhered to and not overeaten unnecessarily.


What to include in the menu


Intermittent fasting for women 2022

If you want to lose weight with this diet, it is very important that you eat a healthy and balanced diet.


This method will not work if you eat a lot of processed foods or excessive calories from both unhealthy and healthy foods. It also applies to him that he hurts a lot. See, for example, what the recommended daily dose of nuts is!


These have the advantage that they can saturate for a longer period of time. For example, try crunching almonds or fine cashews for breakfast.


During fasting, you can drink water, black coffee, and other calorie-free drinks, which can help reduce hunger. When it comes to improving your health or losing weight, you can calmly follow one of the common diets low-carbohydrate or keto, paleo or Mediterranean as part of intermittent fasting.


How long fasting can be observed

  • It depends on each individual, their health condition, and the purpose of fasting. Of course, for beginners, it is recommended to start lightly.
  • A short period of 8-16 hours is usually recommended in the beginning. Over time, some people choose to fast much longer - they last 48 and even 72 hours. However, a longer period of fasting increases the risks.
  • This includes dehydration, irritability, turbulent mood swings, fainting, hunger, lack of energy, and inability to concentrate. It is not recommended to fast for 3 or more days in a row, as this can slow down your metabolism.
  • However, you can observe an intermittent fast for a long time. By alternating periods of eating and fasting several times in a row, this way can become part of your lifestyle.
  • But listen to your body, and if fasting doesn't suit you, change your diet. You know each other best.
  • When you do not lack any nutrients, you will be satisfied with your diet, you can fast enough several times a year and even long-term at given intervals. Whether you opt for a 16/8 diet or a 24-hour fast, you can repeat them as long as they benefit you.


Benefits of intermittent starvation

As for the positives of intermittent fasting, they are reported differently, and as usual, each study is different. In general, the following benefits are most often mentioned:


  • Increased insulin sensitivity (so-called insulin sensitivity) and decreased insulin resistance.
  • Stabilization of ghrelin levels (hunger hormone).
  • Increased growth hormone levels.
  • Decreased cortisol levels.
  • Burning fat without calorie restriction and maintaining muscle mass.
  • Positive effect on brain activity.
  • Increasing sports performance.
  • faster regeneration.
  • Reduced feeling of fatigue, more energy during the day, and better sleep.
  • Save time (previously spent eating, preparing, or inventing meals).


Risks 

Of course, every change in our diet and eating habits can also carry risks. Intermittent fasting should be avoided by people who have a problem with malnutrition or food intake, and women who are trying to become pregnant are pregnant or breastfeeding.


And what else to watch out for:


  1. You may feel hungry or weak at the beginning of the diet. This should pass as soon as your body gets used to the new way of eating. Nevertheless, it is advisable to start in a lighter way and gradually add to the body. Definitely do not throw up without preparing for a three-day fast.
  2. So during fasting, you may feel a little tired, hungry, and irritated, but you should never feel bad! If you become ill or have concerns about your health, stop fasting immediately.
  3. All weight loss methods can cause a loss of muscle mass, so it is important to maintain a high protein intake and exercise. The study showed that intermittent fasting causes less muscle loss than conventional low-calorie diets.
  4. May adversely affect reproductive hormones. The germ cell hormone GnRH is extremely sensitive to environmental factors and can also be affected by fasting. There is a risk of reduced estrogen and progesterone production or a determined menstrual cycle. Therefore, it is not recommended for women with these problems.
  5. Remember to guard the necessary nutrients - if you fast regularly, you may lack essential nutrients. This is because regular intake of fewer calories makes it difficult to meet your nutritional needs (especially iron, calcium, and vitamin B12 deficiencies).
  6. It can affect your social life. We will not lie, we like to go out for a good dinner with friends from time to time, but during the fasting period, it can be a problem.
  7. At the same time, care must be taken to ensure that fasting does not slip into some form of an eating disorder. It is not suitable for children and adolescents either.
  8. Although intermittent fasting has many benefits, it is advisable, as with any other dietary intervention, to consider whether this form is appropriate for you. And if so, start with it slowly.
  9. Each of us will be satisfied with a different variant of intermittent fasting and it is necessary to add our health status to the equation.
  10. Be sure to consult your doctor or other professional if you are unsure.


I want to try it. How to start?

Calculate the length of your current "hungry window". For example, do you usually have breakfast at 7 in the morning and dine at 9 in the evening? So your current hungry window is 10 o'clock.


Extend the fast. Try to start by extending your hungry window by two hours. Some may prefer to dine earlier and start fasting earlier, but most of the population sits earlier, postponing breakfast to a later hour and fasting this way.


Gradually, it is possible to work up to a 16-hour hungry window. Do not take any big stride, prolong the fast only when the current hungry window suits you and does not cause you problems to follow.


Be consistent, and regular. If possible, start and end fasting regularly at the same time each day.


For example, breakfast is always at 10 am and in the evening always at 6 pm. If there is a shift of a few minutes or for some reason (celebrations, business trips, holidays ...) you will not be able to keep the window, nothing is happening, but expect that in the next few days, your regime may be easily decided.


Don't be afraid of feeling hungry. Yes, you will be hungry in the beginning. It's about lasting the first few days before your body gets used to the new regimen.


Drink a lot, have a coffee, grit your teeth, and hold on. It will be better in a few days.


Do not make any caloric restrictions. Keep any calories or macronutrients until you are fully accustomed to your intermittent fasting. Reduce calories at the earliest one month after setting a new fasting regime.


Is intermittent fasting suitable for women?

  • Of course. There are several recommendations for the female gender, as opposed to the male one, that is worth reading.
  • For women, even more so than for men, fasting must begin very slowly and gradually.
  • Extend the time of not eating, for example, by an ordinary hour per week, so that the body has time to adapt to the new regime.
  • Women are by nature more sensitive to change, and an attempt at a long fast could only unnecessarily end in failure and reluctance to try again.
  • Due to the menstrual cycle, it may happen that at certain times of the month (especially in the secretory and menstrual phases) a woman needs to receive more energy, more calories, and become hungry.
  • This may also necessitate shortening the hungry window. Therefore, it is good to listen to your body and adjust the time of fasting as needed in the time around the menstruation itself.


Conclusion

Like any diet, "IF" has its advantages and disadvantages and will not suit everyone. For some it will be a discovered treasure, for others, it will not sit down.


But if you are struggling with time, working early in the morning, or having breakfast problems, be sure to give the intermittent fast a chance. You may be pleasantly surprised.




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