There are a variety of diets women can choose from, depending on the goal or the type of workout that entails a specific diet. If the primary goal is to lose fat and manage overall health, many health and fitness-savvy women may have heard of the intermittent fast.
There are different intermittent fasting methods that women can try, some of which don’t require you to fast for consecutive days at a time, and some which have more specific weight loss targets.
However, there are a few things women must know – both the upside and downside – about intermittent fasting before pulling through with it. Although it has promising health and weight loss benefits, it is essential to watch out for possible negative reactions that may come from your body.
How It Works
Between 12-16 hours, one does not consume anything except water. This is basically how an intermittent fast work. In some cases, you may also have black coffee or tea in between these hours.
Be warned, this might be a little difficult for those who are used to eating for more than 3 times a day. A jump from short break intervals before eating again, to about a 12-hour space of not eating may be a difficult feat.
But if for example you usually finish eating your last meal at 7pm and have nothing but water until around 7-10am, you can say that you have already been fasting without knowing it.
If the intermittent fast is right, you can gain a lot of health benefits from it. This includes: losing weight and becoming lean, a boost in energy levels and stamina, and it may even strengthen your immune system and protect you from cancer.
Precautions To Take
Although intermittent fasting seems like a great way to improve your health and fitness, it does have its downside, especially for women.
Short periods of fasting seem beneficial and safe for a lot of people, but when it comes down to more extended fasting periods, it can trigger a hormonal imbalance in women’s bodies.
The female body reacts quite sensitively when it recognizes signs of starvation. Once the body has identified and sensed starvation, it triggers hormones that tell the body it is time to eat. So, when you fast, and you suddenly change a regular eating pattern your body is used to, it may cause your body to shut down and react badly to the change.
Issues involving reproductive health, and perhaps even worsening existing health conditions may surface. More specifically, hormonal imbalances while doing the intermittent fast may cause:
- Irregular periods or amenorrhea
- Anxiety and depression
- Ovaries shrinking
- Sleeping difficulties
- Early menopause
You need to keep in mind that it is always important to ensure that your body is ready for it before allowing it to undergo the intermittent fast. Do thorough research, and seek the advice of your physician to ensure that your body will be able to take this diet change.