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Thread: Intermittent fasting for women page

  1. #1
    Lady Macchiato's Avatar
    Lady Macchiato is offline Junior Member
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    Intermittent fasting for women

    Primal Fuel
    Hi!
    So I know this topic has been lightly covered but I'm struggling to find a concise answer even on google scholar search.
    Basically, I've been eating primal for just under 8 months now, and I feel fantastic.

    I'm currently backpacking in Spain with some friends, and we've found it most convenient to just eat a massive breakfast (bacon, greens, steamed broccoli, eggs, maybe an apple, and whatever other delicious fatty meat and veg is available) and then explore and inadvertently fast for the rest of the day.

    Does anyone know if this might wreck havoc on one's glucose tolerance/general health as a woman who is seemingly sufficiently fat-adapted?
    I feel great upon doing so, but I don't want to accidentally jeopardize hormonal balances or the like.

    Any opinions from personal experience or theorization is much appreciated!

    Thanks a bunch,

    Jenny

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    Hey there, I envy you and your trip to come!!
    About fasting, I would say this (not sure it applies to women but):
    - when you wake up in the morning (assuming you sleep at night), you run on fat and I am sure you know that. This should give you ample energy for the rest of the day if you hike and walk a lot. If you had eaten carbs in the evening the day before, your glycogen store should be OK if you have to add occasional bursts of high intensity activity. Eating should be for repair and replenishing your energy store so I would rather eat in the evening (early enough though, not just before bed time) and then sleep soundly with a body full of nutrients that can be used for recovery during sleep time.

    That's my take on fasting and one meal a day, which I am full adapted to regardless of activity.

    Moreover, know that eating carbs in the evening is not the same thing as eating them in the morning. If you have to eat in the morning, prefer fat and proteins and have your 'tatoes and / or rice or fruits in the evening.

    Cheers!

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    Lady Macchiato's Avatar
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    Interesting!
    Thank you for the response

    I was mostly wondering though, I've read quite a bit that men tend to react positively where women react negatively to fasting and tend to experience hormonal disruptions and inferior insulin responses, so I was curious about whether it makes a difference if one is fat-adapted.
    Most of the studies seem to be done on rats ahah, and doesn't particularly specify their diet prior.

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    dkJames's Avatar
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    I can say that my wife tried to be on the same fasting protocol but could not adapt to it, especially in the last half of her monthly cycle. So I told her: screw it and just eat when you feel like it, just don't snack and prefer fat and proteins early in the day, and carbs in the evening with some good proteins.

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    Leida's Avatar
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    If you can do that easily, hats off and all power to you! Gods, that would be like a dream come true for me to be able to eat just breakfast, and that's it every day.
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    Huarache Gal's Avatar
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    It seems like the jury is out regarding fasting for women. Unfortunately, there hasn't been a lot of research done. I found this article on it very interesting.

    Paleo for Women | Fasting

    My opinion is that if it works for you great. If it stops working, change your WOE.

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    My experience with IFing was really great... Until it wasn't. One of the consequences of a smaller eating period is, often, under eating, which was particularly true for me. I don't know if it was IFing or the inadvertent caloric restriction, but I eventually started missing periods and struggling with full-blown amenorrhea. My energy was through the roof for the first few months of fasting for 15-18 hours a day, but eventually it began to decline.

    It sounds like you're aware that women's bodies need to know that they're nourished and not in a land of scarcity in order to be fertile and healthy. My advice would be much like Huarache Gal's: pay attention to your menstrual cycle and hormones, and do what feels comfortable and stress-free, whatever that may be - whether it's eating once, twice, or five times.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huarache Gal View Post
    It seems like the jury is out regarding fasting for women. Unfortunately, there hasn't been a lot of research done.
    This! Some people have a hard time with IF. Some days I do, other days its a breeze. Women tend to put it down to being women. Men are more likely to decide they are mentally weak or just need more calories. Until there's some decent research, everybody's guessing.

    I think as long as you feel good, you're probably fine. Evolutionarily it doesn't make sense for women to be so much more fragile than men that they're ruined by periodic food shortages.
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    Its hard to say anything conclusive about IF for women. A lot of the studies that non-if people point to are using metabolicly more broken women then men, which makes the study very unfair in regards to women. Obviously someone has to be fat adapted to even attempt fasting and via the studies it shows that non-fat adapted women will struggle verse men; but you have been primal for a long enough period to be fat adapted(hopefully) and should not have the struggles of non-fat adapted women.

    Second you want to do it backwards to what most people do. I have never seen any studies about breakfast then all day fast. But you body does have an easy transition period while you sleep into fat storage burning mode. It will take some time to get get used to when on around lunch when you insulin levels come back down and your body signal eat but you want it to get back into fat burn mode.

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    If it's just for a short while as you are on vacation, I wouldn't worry about it. If you start to lack energy then you'll want to change it up though.

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