Does Intermittent Fasting Work for Women?
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Human Window Staff
By Human Window Staff
Updated on April 18, 2019
Expert Content This article contains content contributed by an expert in their field.

Does Intermittent Fasting work for women and is it safe? These are some of the most common questions around related to Intermittent Fasting, which seems now to be more popular than ever.

Intermittent Fasting has become much more popular in recent years – but that doesn’t mean that it is suitable for everyone.

If you’re looking to find out whether Intermittent Fasting works for women, then you’ve landed on the right page.

In this article, we’re going to take a close look at Intermittent Fasting and its many benefits, and we’re also going to examine whether it is safe and works for women too.

We are also going to bring you an exclusive comment from Intermittent Fasting expert, who we asked this exact question.

We’re going to break this article into the following sections:

• What is Intermittent Fasting?
• Does Intermittent Fasting Work for Women?
• Expert Comment
• Anything Else to Consider?
• Wrapping Things Up – Our Final Thoughts

So, with the introductions out of the way, let’s now start taking a closer look at Intermittent Fasting and whether it is suitable for women or not.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent Fasting has become very popular in recent years as more and more people look for ways to improve their health and wellbeing.

Many religions follow principles of some form of fasting, and humans have been performing it, whether consciously or unconsciously, for thousands of years.

In case you didn’t know, the term ‘Intermittent Fasting’ simply refers to various eating patterns that involve fasting (not eating) for short periods of time.

For example, you may choose to fast for 16 hours of the day, and consume your food in an eight-hour “eating window”.

It’s important to note that you can still drink water while fasting. The idea is that you are restricting calorific intake, potentially encouraging your body to tap into its fat reserves and bring about some health benefits.

People often turn to Intermittent Fasting as a way to help control body weight, but it also is thought to have some other benefits.

Intermittent Fasting
(Photo: Adobe Stock)

It could help to improve your relationship with food and promote a feeling of empowerment.

Contrary to what you might expect, many people also report feeling more energized when practicing Intermittent Fasting. It is theorized that that is because a hormone called Norepinephrine may be released while you are fasting.

So, there are plenty of reasons why you may want to experiment with Intermittent Fasting – but is it suitable and effective for women?

Let’s now turn onto the specific question for this article – does Intermittent Fasting work for women and is it safe?

Does Intermittent Fasting Work for Women?

Before we answer this question, we should highlight a few warnings that you should take into account before even thinking about trying Intermittent Fasting.

Firstly, you should not attempt Intermittent Fasting if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have any underlying medical condition.

You should also not attempt Intermittent Fasting if you have a history of eating disorders.

We strongly recommend that you speak to a medical professional to gain expert advice before thinking about trying Intermittent Fasting.

With that out of the way, let’s now take a closer look at Intermittent Fasting for women.

The short answer to the question is ‘yes’, Intermittent Fasting can work for women. However, there are a few things to bear in mind.

For example, men and women have different bodies. It is believed that women may be more sensitive to physical stress than men. This potentially makes men better equipped to be able to cope with periods of fasting.

Unfortunately, because Intermittent Fasting has only recently become a popular and mainstream phenomenon, there is not much in the way of specific scientific research into its potential benefits and effects for women.

That being said, it is thought that women could be more sensitive to starvation signals than men. It is possible that when the female body senses that it is being starved, it could ramp up the production of hunger hormones such as Leptin and Ghrelin.

Again it is important to stress that this is just a theory at this point. There is not much in the way of specific scientific research into Intermittent Fasting for women.

Healthy diet and nutrition
Sticking to a healthy diet is important (Photo: Adobe Stock)

It’s also important to stress that a healthy, balanced lifestyle is crucial to your overall health. You should make sure that you’re sticking to a good diet, getting plenty of rest and exercising regularly to help support your overall sense of wellbeing.

It’s not a good idea to look to Intermittent Fasting as a ‘magic pill’ to solve your fitness problems.

Rather, it would be more sensible to experiment with it lightly at first to see whether it can work for you. Either way, it should be combined with the classic foundations of a healthy lifestyle (diet, exercise and rest).

The above said, many women report have experienced the numerous benefits of Intermittent Fasting and practice it regularly.

At the end of the day, it is only you who can decide whether Intermittent Fasting is for you or not.

It’s important to listen to your body and assess how it feels while fasting.

The simple fact of the matter is the Intermittent Fasting probably isn’t for everyone, so you’ll have to be honest with yourself about how it makes you feel when it comes to making a decision about it.

If you attempt Intermittent Fasting for a week or two and it just doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t for you.

So, to summarize: Intermittent Fasting does work for women. However, you should not attempt it if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have an underlying medical condition or have a history of eating disorders. If you are interested in trying Intermittent Fasting, make sure that you combine it with good lifestyle practices (good diet, enough rest, and regular exercise) – and remember to listen to your body.

Expert Comment

Max Lowery
Max Lowery (Photo: Tom Joy)

We spoke to Intermittent Fasting expert Max Lowery about whether Intermittent Fasting works for women or not.

Max is a personal trainer, online health coach and the founder of 2 Meal Day, which is the simplest, most effective form of Intermittent Fasting.

We asked Max whether Intermittent Fasting works for Women or not – and this was his reply.

Max says: “It’s a good question – it’s one of the most popular articles on my website! The short answer is ‘yes’.

“Men and women are different, and it seems that women are more susceptible to physical stress on the body unfortunately.

“In this urban environment, there is a certain type of man and woman who are under-sleeping, over-training, under-eating, stressed at work, living off coffee and boozing at the weekends. And then they start Intermittent Fasting on top of all of this stress.

“The man might be able to deal with that, because men are better at dealing with physical stress.

“Because women have to reproduce and have more sensitive hormone profiles, and different things going on at different times of the month, the woman may not be able to do those things and fast at the same time.

“But it’s not that Fasting necessarily is the issue [it may be a broader lifestyle issue].”

Check out our full interview with Max Lowery if you want to hear more from him.

Anything Else to Consider?

As always, we should stress that there is no quick-fix when it comes to your overall health and wellbeing.

You should always make sure that you are sticking to a healthy diet, getting plenty of rest and exercising regularly before thinking about trying anything such as Intermittent Fasting.

Making positive changes to your health requires sticking to the right principles across the board.

Sticking to a healthy lifestyle and making good diet and exercise choices should become a way of life rather than something you just experiment with from time to time.

The above said, we are big fans of Intermittent Fasting, so long as it is incorporated into your life in a sensible and balanced way.

It has plenty of benefits and can help to promote a better relationship with food, help with weight control and provide a sense of empowerment.

Wrapping Things Up – Our Final Thoughts

So, that brings us to the end of our look at whether Intermittent Fasting is effective for women or not.

We’ve walked you through the basics of Intermittent Fasting and why it has become so popular in recent years.

We’ve also looked at Intermittent Fasting for women. The short answer is that it should be effective for women.

However, you should not try Intermittent Fasting if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have an underlying medical condition. You should not try Intermittent Fasting if you have a history of eating disorders.

The above said, Intermittent Fasting can indeed be effective and beneficial for women, so long as it is incorporated in a sensible and balanced way, alongside a healthy lifestyle.