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What is Intermittent Fasting?

And should I be doing it?


I've seen a lot of diets come and go over the years.  One “diet” or way of eating that has gotten a ton of attention over the past several years is Intermittent Fasting (IF).  IF can be effective for weight loss and lowering inflammation, primarily because it focuses on specific blocks of time for “eating” and specific windows for “Fasting”.  IF has actually been around for centuries, and has been studied and marketed more recently as we have learned more about how it affects all stages of life.  I personally did IF for many many years, until I realized my body just didn’t like it anymore. 


Table setting and clock

Here are some of my thoughts on Intermittent Fasting for women specifically:


  • Intermittent Fasting can be a powerful tool if done correctly. Unfortunately, what I tend to see is women causing more stress on their bodies via IF due to undereating, binging later in the day, and depleting their hormones. 

  • Protein is VITAL to metabolism, health, and proper hormone regulation. If you are fasting and not getting enough protein you will risk losing muscle mass, premature aging, and creating more weight loss resistance issues. I would recommend 30-50g per meal depending on if you are doing 2 or 3 meals per day.

  • Who can effectively fast and actually benefit? Overweight men and women, women who struggle with insulin resistance, menopausal women, and postmenopausal women. So...if you are in your 30's-40's, I personally do NOT recommend fasting. 

  • If you are interested or doing Intermittent Fasting you may want to consider skipping dinner (even though this can be challenging).  Most women I work with tend to skip breakfast, but the data shows skipping dinner benefits cortisol levels, digestion, blood sugar levels and weight loss. 

  • Don't undereat! It's really important that you don't use IF as a way of restrictive dieting and/or distorted eating. I see this all the time, and I'll be open and honest - I did that for years! It took time for me to get my metabolism and hormones regulated from doing this. Trust me it's not worth it!


Every person is unique in what works for some may not work for others.  That's why individual plans that take into account your metabolism and lifestyle are key to success.


XO,

Rachel

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