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TOPIC: Intermittent Fasting for Women

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September 27, 2012 6:47 PM
My wife is wanting to try Intermittent Fasting out more seriously (she did it a few days at first, but didn't stick with it too long). How does it work for you? Or does it long term?

Ladies, what is your IF schedule like? 16/8? 18/6?

Just wanting to hear how it went and what you recommend.

Thanks in advance.
September 27, 2012 6:54 PM
I do 14/10 and I love it. This is my second time trying it out though. The first time, I did it for a month and lost my period. I had a bunch of stuff going on then, ended up being lactose intolerant, so I'm hoping that the IF wasn't what messed with my girly bits.

I've been doing it again for about a month and I'm feeling great, but it hasn't been long enough for me to tell if it's messing with my hormones again.

On his site, MB recommends 14/10 for women, and I've read stuff like http://www.bulletproofexec.com/a-bad-combination-for-women-intermittent-fasting-and-paleo/ that suggests it's somewhat common for women to have hormonal disruptions, so I think the longer feeding window might decrease the likelihood?

If she didn't like it, but for some reason is set on trying it, she could start moving breakfast back an hour a day and find a spot that she likes. I sometimes go longer fast if I'm not hungry and shorter fast if I am... so I recommend she pay close attention to what her body wants.
  9684357
September 27, 2012 6:55 PM
I'm currently doing 21/3. Until about 2 weeks ago I did 18/6. There are some who suggest that women should do 14/10, but as far as I'm concerned, 10 hours is pretty much a whole waking day. So I don't see the point in that one.

Really, I think it just depends on the person and his/her schedule and life. It works for me. It's harder on my days off and sometimes I break my fast early on those days, but work days I find it pretty easy. For me, it's long term. I just find it easier to stick to my calories when I don't eat all day. And I'm less hungry because I get to eat big meals instead of a bunch of tiny meals. And I REALLY like that I don't have to constantly think about food. When I tried t eat lots of small meals, not only was I always hungry, but I was always thinking about my next meal.
  5345245
September 27, 2012 7:06 PM
I like the 20/4 on top of two 24's a week. I make it work but this is just my second week. This week isn't going well scale wise, but still giving it a chance.
  20634412
September 27, 2012 10:05 PM
QUOTE:

I'm currently doing 21/3. Until about 2 weeks ago I did 18/6. There are some who suggest that women should do 14/10, but as far as I'm concerned, 10 hours is pretty much a whole waking day. So I don't see the point in that one.

Really, I think it just depends on the person and his/her schedule and life. It works for me. It's harder on my days off and sometimes I break my fast early on those days, but work days I find it pretty easy. For me, it's long term. I just find it easier to stick to my calories when I don't eat all day. And I'm less hungry because I get to eat big meals instead of a bunch of tiny meals. And I REALLY like that I don't have to constantly think about food. When I tried t eat lots of small meals, not only was I always hungry, but I was always thinking about my next meal.


14/10 does leave a pretty large eating window, but I like it, and I seem to be prone to hormonal problems. So I think everyone should find what feels comfortable and natural for them!
  9684357
September 27, 2012 10:15 PM
I did an 18/6 for about 3 months when I was first getting into lifting weights. I have no idea what it did for me, even now. I can't honestly say it helped or hindered a thing. Some days I struggled with my workouts (fasted), other days I soared. I don't try to IF anymore, not because I don't like it and not because I don't believe there aren't benefits to fasting (there seem to be longevity benefits), but mainly because I'm not sure it helped anything at all. I eat now when I feel like it, plain and simple... and that's good enough for me. I do find myself spontaneously fasting some days.

Good luck to her with fasting. Read up on all the benefits. Google PubMed articles on fasting, longevity and specifically females responses to it. There are hormonal issues that are much different for females... and I do think some of my mood and irritability issues with it were to do with hormones and/or blood sugar.

ETA: The nazis who plan to attack me for saying that I had blood sugar issues, that I didn't do it right, etc... you can keep it to yourselves. I'm very well read, and did this long enough to know I had some hormonal issues going on. Keep your closed minds to yourself. Thanks.
Edited by JenKillough On September 27, 2012 10:18 PM
September 27, 2012 10:20 PM
I kept up a strict 16/8 schedule for a few months and it helped me keep my calories down without having to keep track of them. I still sometimes go by it now, but find that counting calories helps more. One huge benefit of having experimented with fasting is that I am no longer afraid of hunger and I don't mind waiting a long time for a good, healthy meal.

When I was researching IF, I found this woman's blog to be inspirational: http://19hours-freedom.blogspot.com/
September 27, 2012 10:25 PM
Try 12 or 14 hour fasts at first and work your way up to 16 hours
September 28, 2012 4:08 AM
I do 14/10 and have been for 5 weeks. I do it because I'm just not hungry in the morning and it fits in with my lifestyle. I feel like a fasted work out does help me personally, I seem to be able to run for a bit longer and also can lift more easily....I don't have the sluggish feeling I sometimes get if I do an evening workout.

I have lost weight, but I'm sure I would have lost that weight without the fasting. Same with the drop in body fat.

Its all personally opinion and choice smile
  19051227
September 28, 2012 4:17 AM
I have been on the weight loss journey since January. I have heard alot about intermittent fasting, but I haven't really researched it. So how it works is you fast for such and such hours and then you eat all your daily calories in just a couple of meals? And during the fast time do you drink water or nothing at all .. I am trying to understand how cramming all the calories in a couple of meals works to help lose weight. Can someone explain it better .. Thanks!
  5966551
September 28, 2012 4:29 AM
I'm only just starting to dabble into IF myself, but I found these three links helpful:

http://www.negharfonooni.com/2012/07/intermittent-fasting-why-and-how-food.html
>One of my female lifting role models discusses her experiences with IF

http://www.niashanks.com/2011/08/three-methods-of-intermittent-fasting/
>Nia Shanks, another role model discusses three methods of IF that's she's experimented with

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/intermittent-fasting
>Free ebook on IF.

Not sure if your wife has already seen some of these resources or not, but thought they might be helpful in helping her do some self-experimentation and find what works for her! Good Luck!
  5420303
September 28, 2012 4:51 AM
I did a cheat's version of 5:2 for 7 weeks, but am taking a break now, while on holiday with extended family.

I cheated by eating back exercise calories to net around 500-700 per day on fast days. I would have struggled if I didn't eat back around 500-600 exercise calories (either not sharing a meal with OH in the evening, or being hungry at work). Had no problems with doing a big cardio workout on an empty stomach. The workout also seemed to stem my hunger. There was another weird effect of working out semi-fasted: I would often go to the gym with a starchy carb craving, and exit the gym less hungry, but which eventually turned into a meaty protein craving. Don't know why this was happening.

I did like the program, as it allowed me to build up a good calorie deficit during two weekdays, allowing me to splurge a bit on the weekend. My cheating means I probably didn't get the other health benefits associated with IF, such as lower triglycerides and better insulin sensitivity.

I plan to go back to this when I am at home again. Maybe see if I can manage it without the cheat of eating back exercise.
  27581299
September 28, 2012 6:41 AM
Thanks, Ladies :) I'll pass the info along... And if anyone else wants to share, feel free!
September 28, 2012 9:48 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I'm currently doing 21/3. Until about 2 weeks ago I did 18/6. There are some who suggest that women should do 14/10, but as far as I'm concerned, 10 hours is pretty much a whole waking day. So I don't see the point in that one.

Really, I think it just depends on the person and his/her schedule and life. It works for me. It's harder on my days off and sometimes I break my fast early on those days, but work days I find it pretty easy. For me, it's long term. I just find it easier to stick to my calories when I don't eat all day. And I'm less hungry because I get to eat big meals instead of a bunch of tiny meals. And I REALLY like that I don't have to constantly think about food. When I tried t eat lots of small meals, not only was I always hungry, but I was always thinking about my next meal.


14/10 does leave a pretty large eating window, but I like it, and I seem to be prone to hormonal problems. So I think everyone should find what feels comfortable and natural for them!

I agree. If it works for you, keep at it. For me, I would have trouble staying in my calorie goal and still feeling full. But I personally haven't had any hormonal issues to deal with either.
  5345245
September 28, 2012 10:01 AM
I've been starting to intermittent fast more often now that I am well adjusted to my eating plan. I never liked to eat breakfast anyway. This week, I've done 16/8 every day. I don't really plan to do it, but if I'm not hungry for breakfast, I just choose not to eat.

I do end up having to eat at night in order to get my calories in, but I sleep best if I've had something to eat before going to bed anyway. According to my research and experience with my own body, eating at night is great for me.

I'm losing weight at a good pace, and I'm feeling great. I have to give my dietary choices the credit for my health improvements, but intermittent fasting fits right in.
  19823492
September 28, 2012 10:07 AM
There are minor differences between men and women when it comes to fasting. Keep a minimum 14 hour fast to start getting the benefits. 36-48 hour fasts is were the benefits start to roll off. I enjoy Alternate Day fasting were I go 36-40 hours fasted. I basically eat one day, then fast that night, the next day, and that night. Then I eat a normally the next day and start my fast that night.

I've tried several methods. Lean Gains style 18/16, Warrior Diet 20/4, Eat stop eat (random weekly 24 hour fasting). They are all effective. I suggest trying any of them and see how it goes!
  7985023
October 12, 2012 3:18 PM
I just started Intermittent Fasting about 3 weeks ago, I did find that when I had an over eating spell last weekend that I may have rebounded on the weight. I only fast 2 days a week, 16 to 22 hours. With the research pro and con for women I felt this is good enough, I'm at 35.8% body fat according to my scale and in menopause so some of the problems that women have shouldn't affect me, unless she has more than 25lbs of weight to lose I would recommend a good body fat test. I plan to get one soon because the only reason to go below 20% body fat for a woman is their "work" body builders, dancers, people who have to show off their body or be lifted by someone else. I don't think I would fall into the I must be thin at the cost of my health, but I refuse to allow myself to put that to the test. I don't have to have a six-pack to look my best. Hope this helps and please excuse my soapbox.
October 12, 2012 4:37 PM
bump
October 12, 2012 4:47 PM
I do best with 16/8
October 12, 2012 4:53 PM
been doing 14-16 hour fasts for a few months. I was never really into breakfast and I can stick to my calories better with just 2 meals a day.
  26802050
December 11, 2012 8:00 AM
I have recently started IF 16/8, 3 weeks ago. I currently am on a 1200 calorie a day diet. I have seen dramatic changes in just a short amount of time. My weight when I started was 145 lbs. I am currently at 132 (a loss of 13 lbs in a little less than a month.) This may seem like a lot, but after being on a 1200 calorie a day diet for almost a year and not seeing any results, I decided to incorporate IF and it has helped tremendously. I break my fast at 10am, so essentially I am just having a late breakfast. I stop eating at 6 pm so I am able to eat lunch and dinner during this time period. Yes I do still count calories, but I find it much easier to stay in the 1200 range by also combining IF. Hope this helps!
April 19, 2013 6:25 PM
read
April 19, 2013 7:32 PM
I do 5:2. It is very doable. I like that I can change my days around.
  34232178
June 25, 2013 9:39 AM
I was jsut wondering, do you do this daily even on weekends? or just Monday through Friday?
  20284383
June 25, 2013 9:40 AM
QUOTE:

I have recently started IF 16/8, 3 weeks ago. I currently am on a 1200 calorie a day diet. I have seen dramatic changes in just a short amount of time. My weight when I started was 145 lbs. I am currently at 132 (a loss of 13 lbs in a little less than a month.) This may seem like a lot, but after being on a 1200 calorie a day diet for almost a year and not seeing any results, I decided to incorporate IF and it has helped tremendously. I break my fast at 10am, so essentially I am just having a late breakfast. I stop eating at 6 pm so I am able to eat lunch and dinner during this time period. Yes I do still count calories, but I find it much easier to stay in the 1200 range by also combining IF. Hope this helps!


Do you do this on the weekends too? or just monday through friday?
  20284383

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