Is intermittent fasting a good idea for women? The short answer, yes. Whether you’re trying to lose fat, increase mental clarity or reclaim your health and achieve your wellness goals, intermittent fasting is backed by science to do all these things and so much more.
In today’s video, we’re going to delve into the world of intermittent fasting and why it’s a safe and effective method for millennial moms, even those who are breastfeeding. So, let’s jump right in! Watch below or keep reading!
What is intermittent fasting?
Before we explore the benefits of intermittent fasting for, let’s understand what it actually is. Intermittent fasting is not a diet, but rather an eating pattern that involves cycling between periods of fasting and eating. It has gained popularity in recent years due to its potential health benefits and flexibility.”
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting for Women, Specifically Moms
Now, let’s jump into the incredible benefits that intermittent fasting can offer millennial moms like me.
Boosts Energy and Mental Clarity
As a busy mom, juggling multiple responsibilities can leave you feeling drained. Intermittent fasting can actually boost your energy levels by improving insulin sensitivity and increasing the production of HGH, human growth hormone. It helps regulate blood sugar levels, leading to more stable energy throughout the day. Additionally, many moms report increased mental clarity and improved focus when practicing intermittent fasting. I am one of these moms. I have ADHD and I swear by my IF protocol to get stuff done every morning. If you’ve got preschoolers this can be a game changer maximizing those minimal hours you have to yourself.
Supports Weight Management
Let’s face it: post-pregnancy weight can be a challenge. Intermittent fasting can be a game-changer when it comes to shedding those extra pounds. By limiting the eating window, your body is encouraged to burn stored fat for fuel, aiding in weight loss. It also helps regulate hunger hormones, making it easier to stick to healthier eating habits.
Enhances Gut Health
Maintaining a healthy gut is crucial for overall well-being, especially for moms who want to optimize their nutrient absorption and digestion. Intermittent fasting promotes a healthy gut microbiome by allowing your digestive system to rest and repair during fasting periods. This can lead to reduced bloating, improved digestion, and a strengthened immune system. My clients see a difference in as little as 2 weeks here!
Hormonal imbalances can wreak havoc on a woman’s body, affecting mood, energy levels, and overall health. Intermittent fasting has been shown to have positive effects on hormone regulation, particularly insulin and cortisol. Hormone imbalances can often be blamed for many health ailments and inability to lose weight. During fasting periods, insulin levels drop, while levels of human growth hormone and norepinephrine rise. This combination of changes can lead to weight loss, fat loss, and protect against chronic disease.
Prevent Chronic Disease
Fasting causes cells to initiate a waste-removal process called autophagy. During autophagy, the body cleans house and starts regenerating itself – eliminating dysfunctional, damaged cells to make room for new, healthy ones. Autophagy may offer protection against diseases like cancer or dementia as well as protect the body against negative effects of oxidative stress and inflammation.
How to Practice Intermittent Fasting
Now that we’ve covered the benefits, let’s talk about how you can incorporate intermittent fasting into your lifestyle as a mom because we all want more time and this is something that actually gives you back more time.
Choose the Right Method:
There are various approaches to intermittent fasting, so find one that suits your lifestyle and preferences. The most popular methods include the 16/8 method (fasting for 16 hours and eating within an 8-hour window) but I recommend the 12/12 or 14/10 fasting protocol.
As moms we are do not get enough sleep, we often under eat and are under a lot of stress. Fasting for too long of a window can have the opposite effect of what we want and cause even MORE stress leading to hormonal imbalance. So if you are newly postpartum, sleep deprived, overly stressed, TTC, or nursing, start out with a 12 or 14 hour fasting window. This will allow you to make sure you’re eating enough food to maintain your milk supply and keep your hormones functioning optimally. It’s also, the most sustainable and allows you to enjoy meals with your family!
Experiment with different approaches until you find what works best for you. It doesn’t matter the window but I encourage you to begin at least 2-3 hours before bed.
During fasting periods, it’s crucial to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water, herbal tea, or black coffee with non dairy creamers to keep your body hydrated and reduce hunger pangs. Avoid sugary drinks or excessive caffeine, as they can interfere with the benefits of fasting.
Listen to Your Body:
Remember, intermittent fasting should not feel restrictive or cause extreme discomfort. If you’re new to fasting, start gradually by extending your fasting window over time. Pay attention to your body. If you are not eating enough during the day, fasting is going to be uncomfortable and unsustainable. My clients track macros in addition to fasting to ensure they are getting enough of the right nutrients for optimal health and fat loss if that’s their goal. If you are hungry, please eat!
Why Intermittent Fasting can feel hard, uncomfortable or unsustainable?
If you are not eating enough food during the day, it’s going to hard to fast the following morning! IF shouldn’t be about restriction. Most of my clients are eating at least 1200 calories. Most are around 1600-1800 calories total.
Here’s how to combat discomfort:
- Don’t ignore hunger cues
- Eat balanced meals
- Eat nutrient dense meals
- Stay hydrated
Interested in learning more and want a more personalized approach to see what’s right for you? Get a copy of my Free Masterclass, How To Feel Like A Babe.
Also, check out my 6 week new client coaching program for fat loss.