Is Intermittent Fasting Safe for Women?

While there has been a general consensus that intermittent fasting is an excellent method for fat loss, there still ongoing debate with regards to its safety and probes on its measure of effectiveness. Let us take a closer look at intermittent fasting and bust this myth once and for all.


Studies on Intermittent Fasting

It may come as a surprise to some of you that there are some clinical studies pertaining to intermittent fasting which have been reported to have detrimental effects on women. However, it is worth noting that these studies seek to investigate the effectiveness of an extreme version of intermittent fasting.  In this unique study, researchers monitored a pool of women who undertook the ‘Eat-Stop-Eat’ fasting method, or what some call the alternating protocol — fast for a day, eat the next, and the cycle repeats — for a period of four weeks. In other words, throughout the entire study-month, these women are basically fasting half of the time. Imagine yourself sweating your knickers out fifty per cent the time, or bury your head in a pile of books half the time for the entire month. That sounds a tad too extreme, doesn’t it?

Well, you can bet your cheeky laced La Senza satin bow knickers it is. Fasting half of the time is A LOT of fasting. And when it comes to an extreme regime such as this, fasting can bring about detrimental effects on thyroid function in women.


Stay Smart and Play Safe with A Saner Method

Women, in particular, need to be smart when giving intermittent fasting a go. While hitting it off the marks and embark on that extreme route may feel exciting and get the adrenaline rushing through your system in the initial stages, the potential strain and damage it may do to your body are definitely not worth the risk. Moderation and common sense are key to living well, so do your homework on the different intermittent fasting methods and pick on that suits you best.

In a nutshell, the ideal fasting window to reap the maximum benefit of intermittent fasting should be in the range of 16 to 24 hours. This can easily be achieved if you adopt the 16/8 fasting method, where you fuel yourself for an eight-hour period of your choice and thereafter, fast for the remaining 16 hours. The most popular timing for this method is between 12 noon and 8pm. So, you essentially start your fast at eight in the evening, continue your fast in the morning when you wake by skipping breakfast and only break your fast later on during the day at noon. This way, you would have already fasted for 16 hours despite the fact that you only missed one meal.

Even this relatively simple yet effective fasting technique can prove to be a problem for some, especially those who are forcing to themselves to abide by this protocol too many days of the week, or worse still, on a daily basis. What they fail to realise is that setting aside just a single day in the week for intermittent fasting is already sufficient to earn a serious chance in burning fat, dropping some pounds like its hot and normalising the hormones. To date, there are no reports or studies indicating adverse health effects experienced with weekly fasting in either men or women.


Who Should Not Delve Into Intermittent Fasting

We hate to be the one who must break it to you, but even what seems like a simple and realistic once-weekly 16-hour fast is not entirely safe for everyone. Breastfeeding mothers, for one, are not encouraged to fast intermittently as this will affect her milk supply for the precious little one. Similarly, if you are suffering from hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s disease, a medical disorder where your own immune system damages your thyroid gland, we strongly discourage you from even toying with the idea on intermittent fasting. If you are on long-term medication, logic dictates that you follow the doctor’s instructions instead of skipping them. And lastly, if you have a running record of any type of eating disorder — whether it is binging, purging or restricting — fasting is not recommended as it can lead to relapses and trigger your insalubrious eating tendencies.


Intermittent Fasting Can Be A Great Fat Loss Tool for Women

There will always be some fancy fad diets lurking around the corner, preying on unsuspecting, gullible women and selling themselves as miracle weight loss treatments. Fasting, as we are all aware of, have withstood the test of time, having been practised for religious reasons, most notably the with the Muslims, and have been known to enhance the mind and body for thousands of years. With state-of-the-art medical research facilities, we now have an in-depth insight as to how fasting benefit the body, regulating blood sugar for a prolonged span of time and permitting the body to expend its own internal stores of fat to seek an alternative source of energy.

We are also more aware now of the health and wellness needs that are specific to women — and when it comes to intermittent fasting, it can effectively help you get rid of the extra kilos and further enhance your physical and mental well-being if carried out in a smart and reasonable way.