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Thread: Should Women FAST? page 8

  1. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by windypasswheeler View Post
    Just checked out your health divas forum, nice! I have been utilizing IF for several months to aid in weight loss and give my body time to repair through autophagy. What I really love about IF is the simplicity: no preparing meals, no cleaning up, no packing food to go to work or on a bike ride. It seems like a natural fit for me and I intend to keep doing it.
    Thank you, windypasswheeler!

    We started our health divas blog when we realised that most popular health bloggers are men and research very little on the female population, resulting in inapplicability and contradictions. We don't make money or sell any products, we just do it to help divas out there with appropriate information whenever possible.

    Discussions like this motivate us to research more and spend quite a bit of time and money on that. In fact, we will run our own research study on women and fasting as soon as we gather sufficient test subjects. We will soon post how to sign up for this in our forum.


    Best wishes,
    Health Divas

  2. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by sakura_girl View Post
    I also start to get a little hungry and weak at that point sometimes (I think partially due to the lack of salt),
    I started drinking a little sea salt water. If I know it is a fasting day, sometimes I start with salt water. I couldnt believe how the other day when I had it first thing, it really hit the spot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Omni View Post
    re weight stalls, much like the posts here, his most common response was:
    "you've lost 20lb and held it off for 2 years, then be proud of it, 99% put it all back on".
    I know this is right. Just hard to remind ourselves (myself) of this sometimes. I have been seriously at it for 9 months. Maybe I have another 9 months to go, I dont know, but now that I am doing the right things, I think it should be "NOW dammit!!" But it's nothing but a blip in time when compared to the 20 years of being overweight and not giving a damn.
    65lbs gone and counting!!

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  3. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by gopintos View Post
    I started drinking a little sea salt water. If I know it is a fasting day, sometimes I start with salt water. I couldnt believe how the other day when I had it first thing, it really hit the spot.
    No kidding! Usually if I try to fast for longer than 28 hours, I get super dizzy, and I thought it was just because I always do my fast after training, when I am carb-depleted. I just tried my first >36hour fast yesterday including training in the middle, and with half a lime juiced with some pink sea salt, I could go as long as 41 hours (and possibly even longer!) I'm really excited about this discovery

  4. #74
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    When the sugar-sensitive person tries to stop using the sugar that evokes this wonderful beta-endorphin response, the receptors start screaming. This is called withdrawal. The person experiencing withdrawal may feel cranky, irritable, and out of sorts but never knows it was last night’s sugar binge creating the horrible feelings. Cravings loom large as the beta-endorphin receptors scream and relief is as close as carbs fix. The physical dependence on sugar to relieve the discomfort of withdrawal reinforces the need to use more and more. Here’s where the food/sugar addiction grows into a real problem.
    Nah. I haven't touched added sugar for weeks, fruit for a couple of weeks, and kept my total carbs under 50 g, net carbs under 25 g for 2 weeks. And fasting still doesn't produce the sense of happiness and enlightenment. It produces the negative symptoms. Again, a short 20 min causes endorphin elation in droves. Plus, I lose as much weight fasting as not fasting. My n=1 is: "Fasting Sucks". I think my fasting experience is the same as my cold thermogenesis experience. After doing it for a while I start being phobic of it. I'd try to eat anything, any macros and calories and food quality. But I want to eat something.

    Also, I wanted to add, that as a woman I am growing tired of being shoulded and musted. You should run sprints. You must not eat >10% from fat or carbs or whatever. You have to IF.

    Hells, as if we, women, collectively need more enforcement to comply. I dunno about y'all, I feel that as a gender we are too good at compliance as is. Particularly where losing weight is concerned. The whole Paleo/Primal started with bending the rules, breaking away... and what do we do? We try to set even stricter rules and adhere to them even more.

    And does it work and better than willy-nilly?
    Last edited by Leida; 09-26-2012 at 08:51 AM.
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  5. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omni View Post
    I think we are all sometimes make the mistake of getting ahead of ourselves, I have a number of times in this Primal process, when I started the barefoot thing, it seemed a perfect fit for me, I just jumped straight into the running etc., bit sore for 1st week, assumed just part of the process, ended up with some serious strains throughout my feet, put me out of action for a month, then when I went back, I took it real slow building back up to the same circuit over a month and having rest days in between.
    The Dietary side is the same, every time we feel like diving in head first, we should stand back and really think whether this is a good idea, maybe some baby steps and test the waters first.
    Funny Story:
    Friend of mine was having some life & stress issues and she realised she needed to slow down a bit, so she found herself furiously pushing through a stack of self help books to get up to speed on how to slow down, then the irony struck her, she was hurrying up in order to slow down, that was a turning point for her - just slow down.
    Most of us take a good 20 years plus to become unhealthy, then expect a full turnaround in a month, that's the conventional western medical protocol, we get sick and expect a quick fix pill will sort it instantly, but the reality is it may well take years of the right stuff so I take it as a lifestyle rather than a cure.
    My partner has GD, took her 5 years of the "good stuff" to get her thyroid back in operation, the doctors wanted to remove it at the 2 year mark and were adamant that her thyroid function would never normalise.

    This is not specifically directed at you, just a bit of a rant, see so many posts about impatient weight stalls and people wanting the results right now, I really think they are missing the bigger message, diet is only one small part of it, the minute the vanity bit starts coming through, trim this bit of fat, count the micro's we really are losing the point in my opinion.
    Listened to a Q&A session with Steve Phinney re weight stalls, much like the posts here, his most common response was:
    "you've lost 20lb and held it off for 2 years, then be proud of it, 99% put it all back on".
    I wouldn't mind even if it was directed at me- I make comments to solicit responses that ground me and I always get ahead of myself with diet and fitness. I get annoyed even with myself, when my focus shifts to vanity, so I would imagine it could annoy others. I'm not sure I have much more weight to lose and while I'd love to be that super slender girl who fits into everything nice and smoothly, being a healthy weight, with muscles might not get me there. Every time I reach a goal, a new one is set and this is why I prefer people to give me a reality check. No sensitivity here; good advice.

  6. #76
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    I see we are getting mixed responses regarding women and fasting. Ori Hofmekler wrote this:

    Female-specific responses to fasting raise an interesting scientific phenomenon. Researchers have been finding evidence that there is indeed a tradeoff between virility and longevity of organisms.
    Apparently the same genes that promote human longevity may trigger biological mechanisms that suppress female reproductive capacity.

    Hence, fasting and intense exercise protocols, known to promote longevity, also lower estrogen level and thereby modulate body composition and suppress female reproductive capacity. This is apparently part of an early adaption mechanism to primordial conditions of food scarcity and hardship, which requires increased strength and durability on the account of reproductivity. Hence, hard conditions are not biologically suitable times for pregnancy and child bearing.

    I discussed this issue with Dr. Marc Mattson, Prof. of Neurosciences at Johns Hopkins University a few years ago. According to Mattson, women who fast or are on calorie restriction, have the tendency to get leaner, become increasingly addicted to physical exercise, and lose their menstrual cycle. Nonetheless, they seem to gain substantial improvements in all main biological markers of longevity i.e. increased insulin sensitivity, increased GH secretion, improved lipid profile, improved anti-inflammatory cytokine profile, improved cognitive function, etc.

    Note that fasting triggers the longevity gene SIRT-1, which regulates mitochondrial energy production along with the gene transcription promoter protein PGC-1α, which increases mitochondrial biogenesis and density in the muscle. Yes, mitochondrial energy utilization efficiency is a key to longevity.

    One of the most notable benefits of fasting is its profound anti-inflammatory effect. Fasting increases production of anti-inflammatory cytokines while suppressing pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α and IL-6. Note that pro-inflammatory cytokines produced by fat cells (adipokines) are associated with insulin resistance, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and a shorter life span; whereas anti-inflammatory cytokines, such as adiponectin and IL-15, are associated with improved insulin sensitivity, increased thermogenesis, decreased fat storage, increased muscle regeneration and increased life span.

    Finally, in view of the current epidemic of excess estrogen in females and males, caused by estrogenic chemicals and foods (such as petrochemicals and soy), fasting and IF can be used as an effective therapeutic strategy to balance estrogen and prevent related metabolic disorders and cancer.


    Summary Points

    Don't blindly trust human studies on IF as some of these show misleading results due to major design flaws.

    Don't even think about intermittent fasting if you eat the typical American portions of high glycemic junk food.

    When following an IF regimen you need to make it low glycemic and high in protein and fiber. Eat whole foods, possibly high in dairy and whey protein, along with nutrient dense antioxidant foods.

    Adjust your fuel food according to your specific condition and type of training.

    Your intermittent fasting regimen must make sense. The length of your fasting intervals should be optimized to yield maximum biological impact. What really counts is your net fasting time (period between meals minus digestion time.) It takes your body roughly 5-8 hours to fully digest a meal and shift into a fasting mode. Three to six hours of "not eating" between meals will not be sufficient to put your body in a fasting mode and therefore will fail to get you the results you're looking for.

    The female-specific response to fasting or intermittent fasting is no different than the female response to intense exercise. There is indeed a tradeoff between benefits and side effects. And the question "should women fast" raises the same issues as the question "should women exercise intensely".


    Do you ladies agree with this????????????

  7. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by gopintos View Post
    however I read, and not sure where, that women of child bearing years (that still WANT to bear that is) should not fast. That is SO NOT me.... therefore I fast.
    Quote Originally Posted by Health Divas View Post
    Researchers have been finding evidence that there is indeed a tradeoff between virility and longevity of organisms.

    What really counts is your net fasting time (period between meals minus digestion time.) It takes your body roughly 5-8 hours to fully digest a meal and shift into a fasting mode. Three to six hours of "not eating" between meals will not be sufficient to put your body in a fasting mode and therefore will fail to get you the results you're looking for.
    I knew I had read it somewhere but couldnt remember where. And this is where I first read about the net fasting also I think. That digestion time doesnt count.

    It would seem to make sense, to not reproduce when you can't even feed yourself during lean times.
    65lbs gone and counting!!

    Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey

  8. #78
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    And the question "should women fast" raises the same issues as the question "should women exercise intensely
    No, that's a falacy. Those are two separate, distinctive questions every female needs to find answers for herself. Intense exercise is a short-term exposure to a stressor - a person should NOT be able to keep up intensity to >20 min if it is actually intense. Fasting is 14-24+ hour in length stressor.

    I enjoy intense exercise. I don't enjoy fasting.
    Intense exercise does not interfere with my work or life. Fasting interferes with my work and life.
    Intense exercise gives me visible results (improvement in muscular mass). Fasting gives me no results.
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  9. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leida View Post
    Fasting gives me no results.

    I can see benefits short term, but I am hoping that I will see some long term benefits, when stuff is going right on the inside. I won't see the benefits of longevity, well not until I live long Those kind of things are harder to measure. Like if your body is eating tumors and cysts, etc, especially if you don't know you have them to begin with.
    65lbs gone and counting!!

    Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey

  10. #80
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    Looking at things from an evolutionary perspectives you need to consider the conditions that would have prevailed:
    1/ Did we miss out on meals regularly - Yes
    2/ Did we have fixed timing of 3 meal's day - No
    3/ Were there regular days of no food - Yes
    4/ Did we experience extended periods of intense food competition - Yes
    Did this stop us reproducing, obviously not as we are here, food restriction has to be pretty intense and longer term to affect fertility cycles, this may well happen with Eating disorders or with the persistant calorie restriction in pursuit of longevity but I do not think it would happen to a healthy individual on a 16/8 or 20/4 IF protocol even including a 40hr fast once a week, provided the overall calorie intake is sufficient.
    Should women do intense exercise? Well did they during our evolution or were they just sitting ducks when a hungry lion came around the corner, they did what they had to do, they did long distance treks, weight training and sprint intervals in the course of any normal day.
    That doesn't mean that fasting is easy, we are geared to get enough food, so once our bodies say get food then this will affect our behaviours, some more so than others, this may just be due to variation of individual responses or may be driven stronger because of underlying nutrient deficiencies.
    There are a number of physiological responses that indicate periodic food restriction can be beneficial which go from dental health, through gut health, organ health and immune response, we evolved to seek food, but we also evolved to be hungry for extended periods. There is a time for cleaning up and repair and there is a time for nutrition and body building, if our GI tract is constantly full then this takes a significant amount of energy away from other body processes.
    I think IF is beneficial for everyone, but everyone needs to find a method that works well for them, it may be the daily IF or it may be the every second day calorie restriction, or once a week or whatever format. The biggest hurdle that we have to deal with is our brains, we are geared to get food and fill up, in the natural world there was a balance and we had periods of no food because the hunt failed or competition was too intense etc., but these days we have to re-create this situation artificially. This creates the Eating Disorder trap, when does healthy IF crossover to becoming obsessive behaviour? There is a basic instinct we have to seek out high energy foods and conserve energy inbetween and we have brought those into our homes, sometimes less than 10 steps apart, we do not have a driver to exercise and be hungry, those were just par for the course in our natural world so we need to apply a conscious effort to keep the balance.
    There definately seems to be a difference in the way men and women respond to IF, but just like exercise, weight loss & body image neither sex is immune to the psychological risk of going too far, mirrors & scales may have a lot to answer for and that may well be a guide, I have found myself using these more often and wondered when the switch flips from being conscious and becoming obsessive?

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