Intermittent Fasting For Women Over 50

intermittent fasting for women over 50,

Women past the age of 50 often find it difficult to lose weight. But, the good news is losing weight as you get old is not impossible. Since weight loss is associated with multiple factors, you need to understand why it is more challenging in older age and try new and different approaches for healthy weight loss. 

As we age, the rate of metabolism that plays an important role in weight loss slows down. Blame it on reduced lean muscle mass or physical activities; the struggle for weight loss gets real as you turn old.  

Intermittent fasting for women over 50 has proved to be one of the effective ways to shed some extra pounds. It can help lose stubborn weight and come with several health benefits. 

Continue reading to learn more about intermittent fasting, how it works, and tips on how to start it and make it easy. 

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting involves fasting and eating on a regular schedule and switching between these two at regular intervals for a specified time frame. It is also called intermittent restriction. 

In it, you restrict eating for some hours (fasting period) and resume eating once the fasting elapses. The time allowed to eat is called the eating window. 

It can be understood with an example wherein you are allowed to eat from 8 AM until 6 PM and then fast from 6 PM until 8 AM the next day. This is one way of intermittent fasting. One can prefer several variations in this as per ease and lifestyle. 

Variations In Intermittent Fasting

Daily Method

Daily method of intermittent fasting is the least restrictive way, making it appealing to most women. The general rule followed in this method is 16/8 to 18/6. 

It means the eating window is open for 6 to 8 hours, where you should focus on eating healthy food. Once this time frame ends, you enter a fasting window that lasts 16 to 18 hours. 

The 16/8 method is one of the easiest ways of intermittent fasting; therefore more popular than others. You can also incorporate some variations in this method, like the 12/12 plan, wherein 12 hours of eating is followed by 12 hours of fasting. 

Once you are comfortable with the 12/12 plan, you may transition to more stringent methods and a shorter eating window to lose weight quickly. 

Alternate Day Method

In this intermittent fasting method, you must eat one day and fast the other. 

The day you eat, the focus should be on a healthy diet without any calorie restriction. However, the day you are fasting, the total calorie intake should not exceed 25% of the eating day. 

For this method, you need to know your calorie requirement and intake. So, if you find counting calories useful, this is your go-to method. 

5:2 Method

5:2 method involves eating normally five days a week and restricting calorie intake for the rest of the two days. 

On the days of normal eating, you need to consume only a nutritious and healthy diet that you know is beneficial for your body. You need to limit your calorie intake to 500-600 a day for the next two days. 

You can take entire 500-600 calories in one meal or spread it out throughout the day as per your choice. 

24 Hour Method

It is one of the toughest ways of intermittent fasting wherein you restrict eating for straight 24 hours. Once this period ends, you can enter your eating window. 

You can apply this by eating from breakfast today to breakfast tomorrow and skipping any meal or munching in between. You can also apply this from lunchtime today to lunchtime tomorrow. 

The 24-hour method restricts you from eating; however, you must keep yourself hydrated and have other non-caloric beverages. 

Since this is a highly restrictive method, it is advised to start with less restrictive ways that will train your body to go without food. 

How Effective Is Intermittent Fasting For Women Over 50?

As we age, the rate of metabolism slows down. Besides, indulging in physical activities also reduces. Due to these, the body doesn’t respond fast to different weight loss strategies. 

Besides, midlife is when women start menopause, and hormonal changes are in surge. The decline in estrogen and progesterone hormone is one of the side-effects of menopause that leads to weight gain and a slower metabolism. 

Moreover, aging also leads to insulin resistance, wherein processing sugars and carbohydrates take time. Fortunately, intermittent fasting helps to curb these issues and hasten weight loss. 

Are There Any Side-effects Of Intermittent Fasting?

As the body adjusts to the new norms, some people may face a few side effects. 

  • Bad breath– It usually happens because the body develops acetone as a by-product of fat metabolism, which leads to bad breath.
  • Headaches– Feeling lightheaded in the initial days of intermittent fasting is usual. It is called fasting headaches
  • Hunger pangs– Food cravings and hunger pangs are usual during fasting. One study shows a surge in hunger pangs for those on calorie restriction.
  • Digestive problems– Since you have reduced your usual diet, digestive issues like nausea, constipation, and diarrhea may come. 
  • Fatigue and low energy– The energy goes down as you age, and intermittent fasting may worsen it. However, it subsides as your body adjusts to the new eating pattern. 

Tips To Start Intermittent Fasting

Here are the tips that will cope up your body with intermittent fasting and also tell if this approach is beneficial for you.

Start Slowly, Proceed Gradually

Since your body is new to fasting, giving it time to adjust is essential. Start with the easiest way- 16/8 or 12/12 and gradually proceed to 24 hours if the body allows it. 

Set Your Goals Clear

Ensure your reason for intermittent fasting. Do you want to lose weight or control your blood sugar? It will help you decide the best way or method. 

Focus On Healthy Foods

Even though you have an eating window, you are not allowed to munch on processed and high-carb foods. Likewise, intake of sugary and high-calorie drinks is also not allowed. Pick a healthy diet and non-calorie drinks that can keep you energetic. 

Stay Hydrated

Drink a lot of water to keep yourself hydrated. It also reduces hunger pangs. 

Final Words

A healthy weight loss strategy works best for the body and health, and intermittent fasting is one of them. It also helps in managing diabetes and ensures better heart health. 

Older women can definitely try this method to get an overall benefit. However, if the side effects are intense, it is better to resume your normal eating habits. 

It is always better to consult a dietician or nutritionist before starting intermittent fasting to ensure you consume a healthy diet and reduce the risk of side effects. 

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