Ladies, this one is for you! Today we want to talk about intermittent fasting as there are still far too many women that do it and just as many people that advise for it without knowing the dangers behind such a diet.
Definition and Benefits
Intermittent fasting became trendy a few years ago as another “groundbreaking” solution for women who wanted to get that dreamy slim body. The principle is quite simple – you cycle between periods of fasting and non-fasting in a pattern, in order to reduce calorie induction and achieve weight loss.
It gets even better (on paper)! Intermittent fasting is also said to improve insulin sensitivity, protect the central and peripheral nervous systems and help sustaining active weight.
Despite all these benefits we are reminded that there are no universal truths in life – as effective as it seemed for some women, others have not felt any difference, or even worse – had problems that seem to be directly connected with this dieting pattern.
Our glands play a major role in the body, performing various interlacing functions. The hypothalamus is key for the internal balance as it releases hormones (like GnRH) that subsequently activate hormones produced in the pituitary gland (LH and FSH). Those two hormones are responsible for producing estrogen and progesterone.
Continuous fasting and starvation is decreasing the GnRH secretion which leads to different levels of LH and FSH. Disturbance in the balance of these hormones in women may lead to menstrual cycle disorders, loss of ovulation and even infertility.
Fasting and YOU
Hormonal balance with women depends on various factors – type of food, its quantity, eating frequency, body fat percentage, total calorie balance. Some women are fully capable to sustain rigorous calorie deficit so intermittent fasting does not influence their internal processes as much. Others are more sensitive to such changes so the diet pattern should be introduced more lightly, something like a test of our body capabilities.
There are some general conditions when you should definitely avoid intermittent fasting:
- Unstable psyche and self-perception problems;
- Tendency for extremities (anorexia, bulimia);
- Chronic stress;
- Bad sleep;
Going back to the point from the beginning – there is no universal diet that works for everybody. If you have tried a light version of intermittent fasting and your body has not reacted well it’s better to stop right there instead of jumping to a more extreme rendition. Don’t neglect the symptoms – it’s your body’s natural way of showing you something might be wrong!