Intermittent fasting offers many benefits for women over 40. It is especially powerful when combined with exercise. But it’s best to adapt your fasting times throughout your cycle, as the hormonal changes impact your body’s needs.
Turning forty is a milestone for many women. When you turn forty, you don’t feel old, but you don’t feel quite so young anymore either. Turning forty can come with some challenges that you didn’t have to worry about in your younger years. A slowing metabolism, extra weight gain, and hormonal changes have you wondering who that woman in the mirror is. You don’t feel like yourself anymore and you worry about how to navigate these changes. If that sounds like you, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
The good news is, if you’re a woman over the age of forty, intermittent fasting is the perfect strategy to help you manage your weight and balance your hormones as you age. It’s an incredible tool to help you keep your metabolism going strong.
Intermittent fasting will complement your exercise efforts and help balance your hormones, but you’ll need a strategy for optimal results. In this article, we’ll talk about two strategies you can use for fasting in your forties.
And we will talk about the app you absolutely need to achieve your goals with intermittent fasting.
The CDC recommends adults get 150 minutes of exercise per week. That’s only thirty minutes a day, five days a week of cardio and weight training. You know how important it is to get enough exercise. You’ve probably been going to spin class, practicing yoga, or going for a run for years now.
But you feel like you haven’t gotten the results you were hoping for. You may feel as though it takes more and more exercise to keep the scale from moving up. The truth is weight maintenance in your forties is all about knowing the right strategy to use.
When you know how to use intermittent fasting to complement your exercise routine, you’ll be able to burn fat even when it seems like your metabolism has slowed to a snail’s pace.
That’s why timing is everything. To tap into stored body fat for fuel, try exercising in a fasted state. This way your body can access your fat storage more easily than if you eat before exercising.
Whether you’re planning to go for a walk, practice yoga, or lift weights, plan to do your exercise at the end of your fast. And for best results, break your fast with a nutritious balanced meal. Be sure to include plenty of protein and carbohydrates.
Your monthly cycle is another area where it’s best to have a strategy when intermittent fasting. Some people say that women shouldn’t fast because they might stop ovulating. Excessive calorie restriction and excessive exercise can cause your period to stop. But, the truth is, you can practice intermittent fasting safely during your cycle. Intermittent fasting is not a calorie restrictive protocol. When you eat, it’s important to eat until you are satiated and satisfied.
A strict fasting schedule, however, isn’t recommended during your cycle. Your hormones shift throughout the month and fasting too much can affect your hormones. This could cause your PMS symptoms to become worse. You can optimize your hormones by strategically fasting around the time they peak. That’s why it’s important to change your intermittent fasting schedule during the different stages of your cycle.
Right before ovulation, your estrogen levels spike. Your body requires more nutrients and calories for proper estrogen production (3). During your ovulatory phase, you may want to have shorter fasting periods.
Towards the end of your cycle, progesterone starts to rise (4). From day twenty through twenty-eight, or until menstruation starts, fasting can be difficult (5). So be prepared for shorter fasting periods during this time.
On your fasting days, be sure to get plenty of good nutritious foods once you break your fast. Consider opening your window with healthy fats. Then add starchy vegetables and protein to your other meals.
If you’re a woman over forty, intermittent fasting can be the best strategy for maintaining your health. You’ll have the energy to get through your workouts while optimizing fat burning and maintaining muscles. You’ll likely feel happier through your monthly cycle with fewer symptoms. When you build an intermittent fasting strategy around your body’s needs, you may soon forget your age.
If you want to try this, and get in the best shape of your life after your 40, go install this fasting tracker for women only.
1. Hartman ML, Veldhuis JD, Johnson ML, et al. Augmented growth hormone (GH) secretory burst frequency and amplitude mediate enhanced GH secretion during a two-day fast in normal men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. Apr 1992;74(4):757-65. doi:10.1210/jcem.74.4.1548337
2. Welle S, Thornton C, Statt M, McHenry B. Growth hormone increases muscle mass and strength but does not rejuvenate myofibrillar protein synthesis in healthy subjects over 60 years old. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. Sep 1996;81(9):3239-43. doi:10.1210/jcem.81.9.8784075
3. Reed BG, Carr BR. The Normal Menstrual Cycle and the Control of Ovulation. In: Feingold KR, Anawalt B, Boyce A, et al, eds. Endotext. 2000.
4. De Geyter C, De Geyter M, Huber PR, Nieschlag E, Holzgreve W. Progesterone serum levels during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle originate from the crosstalk between the ovaries and the adrenal cortex. Hum Reprod. Apr 2002;17(4):933-9. doi:10.1093/humrep/17.4.933
5. Hirschberg AL. Sex hormones, appetite and eating behaviour in women. Maturitas. Mar 2012;71(3):248-56. doi:10.1016/j.maturitas.2011.12.016
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