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Discover the benefits of intermittent fasting for women.

Intermittent Fasting In Women

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As ever: if the question/request can be answered briefly, we’ll do it here in our Q&A Thursday edition. If not, we’ll make a main feature of it shortly afterwards!

So, no question/request too big or small 😎

❝Does intermittent fasting differ for women, and if so, how?❞

👆 For the sake of layout, we’ve put a shortened version of this question here, but the actual wording was as below, and merits sharing in full for context 👇

Went down a rabbit hole on your site and now can’t remember how I got to the “Fasting Without Crashing” article on intermittent fasting so responding to this email lol, but was curious what you find/know about fasting for women specifically? It’s tough for me to sift through and find legitimate studies done on the results of fasting in women, knowing that our bodies are significantly different from men. This came up when discussing with my sister about how I’ve been enjoying fasting 1-2 days/week. She said she wanted more reliable sources of info that that’s good, since she’s read more about how temporary starvation can lead to long-term weight gain due to our bodies feeling the need to store fat. I’ve also read about that, but also that fasting enables more focused autophagy in our bodies, which helps with long-term staving off of diseases/ailments. Curious to know what you all think!

~ 10almonds subscriber

So, first of all, great question! Thanks for asking it 🙂

Next up, isn’t it strange? Books come in the format:

  • [title]
  • [title, for women]

You would not think women are a little over half of the world’s population!

Anyway, there has been some research done on the difference of intermittent fasting in women, but not much.

For example, here’s a study that looked at 1–2 days/week IF, in other words, exactly what you’ve been doing. And, they did have an equal number of men and women in the study… And then didn’t write down whether this made a difference or not! They recorded a lot of data, but neglected to note down who got what per sex:

Intermittent fasting two days versus one day per week, matched for total energy intake and expenditure, increases weight loss in overweight/obese men and women

Here’s a more helpful study, that looked at just women, and concluded:

❝In conclusion, intermittent fasting could be a nutritional strategy to decrease fat mass and increase jumping performance.

However, longer duration programs would be necessary to determine whether other parameters of muscle performance could be positively affected by IF. ❞

~ Dr. Martínez-Rodríguez et al.

Read in full: Effect of High-Intensity Interval Training and Intermittent Fasting on Body Composition and Physical Performance in Active Women

Those were “active women”; another study looked at just women who were overweight or obese (we realize that “active women” and “obese or overweight women” is a Venn diagram with some overlap, but still, the different focus is interesting), and concluded:

❝IER is as effective as CER with regard to weight loss, insulin sensitivity and other health biomarkers, and may be offered as an alternative equivalent to CER for weight loss and reducing disease risk.❞

~ Dr. Michelle Harvie et al.

Read in full: The effects of intermittent or continuous energy restriction on weight loss and metabolic disease risk markers: a randomised trial in young overweight women

As for your sister’s specific concern about yo-yoing, we couldn’t find studies for this yet, but anecdotally and based on books on Intermittent Fasting, this is not usually an issue people find with IF. This is assumed to be for exactly the reason you mention, the increased cellular apoptosis and autophagy—increasing cellular turnover is very much the opposite of storing fat!

You might, by the way, like Dr. Mindy Pelz’s “Fast Like A Girl”, which we reviewed previously 😎

Take care!

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