Intermittent Fasting for Women – Is It Good or Bad?

January 5, 2015 | By More

 

As people are starting to work on losing the pounds they piled on during the holidays, what is the weight-loss method that a majority of them are following? Fitness leaders say it’s intermittent fasting – hailed as the hottest weight loss trend of January 2014 by NY Daily News, Examiner, CTV News, among other leading news outfits as well as fitness articles and blogs. According to reports, it looks like this fitness craze is going to last and become more than just a passing fad.

As with most game-changing, and therefore controversial, weight-loss methods, intermittent fasting is not without its measured-spinach-intake-3.1critics. Aside from the concerns about its potential adverse health effects – after all, it contradicts the daily food intake that most people are used to – two of the biggest issues are its safety and relevance to women’s physiology. Some studies show intermittent fasting for women as futile, if not disruptive, for the female system. Others however, especially those who have already tried it for themselves, vouch for its effectiveness in helping them lose weight and enhance their overall health.

Intermittent fasting requires you to restrict your calorie intake for a certain number of days every week. There are different variations on how to do intermittent fasting: some recommend alternating your fast days and normal eating days. Other regimes recommend the fast for two succeeding days of the week while letting you eat whatever you want for the next five days. There are simpler versions such as skipping a meal or two, while others have a very rigid and specific structure that you are required to follow.

The premise is by doing away with the mainstream, usual dietary routine of three full meals a day and a snack (or two) in between and eating only at least one-fourth of your daily calories in certain days of the week, you can achieve remarkable weight loss. Other health benefits of intermittent fasting also include increase immune response, longevity and improved mental health – and proponents say there are scientific findings to prove these.

However, the question on whether it is applicable to women or not still persists, mainly because observers say these studies (some done by the world’s leading institutions) have been based on the response and results from male subjects and have neglected to consider how different the female body and hormonal system works. There is also recently published literature that specifically focuses on how intermittent fasting, as a nutritional strategy, does not only offer zero benefits to women; it may even cause harmful side effects.

In the end, some experts say that intermittent fasting should not be viewed in a polarizing perspective – it can be either good or bad, depending on its application and the specific fitness situation of the person. What works for you may not work as well with others, and vice versa. Every body is unique and everyone has specific dietary requirements, so it’s best to consult nutrition and fitness professionals to determine the right diet for you.

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How do you feel about this type of fasting? Have you or anyone you know tried? Please let us know what you think by leaving a comment below and share this article on Facebook and Twitter so your friends can read it to (click on the social buttons you will find on the left.)

 

Category: Diet, Tactics

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