Transform Your Menopause Journey with Intermittent Fasting

Transform Your Menopause Journey with Intermittent Fasting
Cordelia Tan

Cordelia Tan | Author

Cordelia Tan, is a passionate advocate for women's health and well-being. Known as Fasty's number one fan, she expertly blends Eastern and Western health practices, offering a holistic approach to diet and wellness. Her work focuses on empowering women with knowledge and practical strategies for a healthier life.

Are you part of the 73% of women who do not treat their menopause symptoms? Menopause is that inevitable phase in a woman's life that marks the end of her reproductive years. The good news is that, with the right approach and tools, menopause can be an empowering and smooth sailing journey. Like a reset switch in your body, intermittent fasting can offer numerous health benefits to your overall health. 

Keep on reading to find out exactly how intermittent fasting can support you throughout your menopause journey. 

Understanding Perimenopause: How Can Intermittent Fasting Help?

Perimenopause is the transitional phase into menopause which typically starts around the age of 40. During this period, ovaries start to produce less estrogen and progesterone, resulting in hormonal fluctuations. Hormonal imbalance leads to irregular menstrual cycles, mood swings, hot flashes, and night sweats. 

Intermittent Fasting During Perimenopause

Intermittent fasting can support women throughout perimenopause. Women gain an average of 1 pound per year during their menopausal transition. Research suggests that IF can improve insulin sensitivity, known to cause hormone imbalances, difficulty managing blood sugar levels, and encourage weight gain.

Incorporating Intermittent Fasting Into Your Perimenopause Lifestyle

Since your body is already undergoing various internal changes, gradually introducing fasting can help it adjust. Start with less intense IF regimens and eat nutrient-rich foods. Staying well-hydrated is essential when fasting. Fastic can help you keep track of your everyday hydration habits, and send you personalized reminders to maintain an adequate water intake, ensuring you stay well-hydrated throughout the day.

Best Intermittent Fasting Plan for Menopause

Perimenopause transitions into menopause when a woman has not experienced a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months. Menopause typically begins between the ages of 45 to 55. Estrogen and progesterone levels have decreased significantly ceasing menstrual periods. 

Is intermittent fasting good for menopause? When approached responsively and under the correct medical indications, it can potentially reduce menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and mood changes

Popular Intermittent Fasting Methods 

The best intermittent fasting plan for women over 50 will depend on your personal goals, routine, and health conditions. 

Here are the top 3 most preferred IF plans:

16/8 Method

  • Fasting for 16 hours and an eating window of 8 hours, align fasting hours with sleeping hours.

  • It is not an intensive fasting period and aligns well with a daily routine.

  • The 16-hour fasting period promotes ketosis, potentializing fat burning.

5:2 Method

  • Eating as usual for 5 days and restricting calorie intake for 2 non-consecutive days (500-600 kcalories).

  • Improve insulin sensitivity, leading to better sugar control.

  • Does not interfere with daily routine as much as other fasting methods.

Alternate-Day Fasting

  • Fasting days are alternated with normal eating days.

  • No calorie intake limitations (beneficial for menopausal cravings)

  • It requires discipline and may not be sustainable long-term. 

There are plenty more fasting plans ranging in intensity for you to choose from. Fasting alone will not guarantee results. Therefore, it is crucial to implement health-promoting practices in your fasting routine, such as:

  • Nutrient-rich meals

  • Regular exercise

  • Adequate hydration

  • Sufficient sleep

The Fastic app quiz can create tailored fasting plans that adapt to your individual needs. No matter which fasting plan you opt for, complementing it with positive lifestyle habits and the right tools can potentially improve your fasting experience during menopause. 

intermittent fasting and menopause

Can Fasting Reverse Menopause?

While fasting does help improve health by triggering physiological processes such as autophagy for cell renewal, it cannot reverse menopause. Menopause is a biological process and cannot be reversed or delayed. On the positive side, fasting can potentially help balance hormone levels, which is the most prominent menopause symptom.

Extended Fasting and Menopause

Unlike every other kind of fasting, extended fasting only allows you to eat little to no food or caloric beverages for several days to weeks. Undergoing this kind of fast requires you to possess a higher level of commitment. Studies have revealed that extended fasting (5-20 days) drastically increases circulating ketones and mild to moderate weight loss of 2-10%.

Fasting for longer periods through menopause is feasible, however, it must be done cautiously and under the correct medical indications. During menopause, women are more at risk of diseases like osteoporosis, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Due to this susceptibility, it’s recommended you ask your doctor if extended fasting is ideal for you. 

Intermittent Fasting for Postmenopausal Women

Some women may continue to experience menopausal symptoms after menopause, but intensity and frequency might decrease. Practicing fasting can help your body with these ongoing symptoms. The fasting intensity level you go for is up to you. IF can reduce the risk of heart disease, by improving heart health markers like cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

Targeting the “Menopause Belly” with Intermittent Fasting

How Does Menopause Encourage Weight Gain?

During menopause, hormonal changes play a crucial role in weight gain and fat distribution. Lower estrogen levels decrease the body’s metabolic rate and insulin sensitivity, thus making fat storage more efficient and reducing fat utilization. Moreover, estrogen also helps regulate the balance between fat breakdown and storage. When estrogen levels decline, it can increase enzyme activity that promotes fat storage in the belly area. 

A study performed by the Women’s Health Initiative found that medications, like antidepressants and hormone treatments prescribed to deal with hormonal changes in women, promoted considerable weight gain. Therefore, opting for IF can be a good option to approach mood swings instead of medication. Nonetheless, whatever approach you choose, consult it with your primary care physician beforehand.

How Can Intermittent Fasting Help with Menopause Weight Gain? 

When the human body fasts for long periods, mild ketosis starts to develop. This process can occur while we sleep. Ketosis is the process by which the body starts to burn stored fat as a source of energy when glucose reserves are depleted. When the body resorts to stored fat it can lead to potential weight loss. Recent studies showed participants lost an average of 9% of their initial body weight during a 10-day extended fast, confirming that extended fasting can promote weight loss.

Maximize Weight Loss While Fasting with Exercise

Complimenting your intermittent fasting routine with an appropriate postmenopause exercise routine is the best way to get the most out of your IF plan. Exercises that are gentle on the joints are key, they encourage cardiovascular health and do not cause excessive strain on the body. 

Exercising for 30 minutes daily is recommended. Exercises like brisk walking, cycling, and swimming are excellent low-impact options. Resistance bands and light weights help sustain muscle mass. 

What to Look Out For Before Starting Intermittent Fasting During Menopause?

IF may only be suitable for some. Women who are suffering extreme hormonal imbalances or have underlying medical conditions should consult a healthcare professional before taking on any fasting regimen. In addition, individual responses to intermittent fasting can vary. Therefore, listening to your body and stopping when it’s reacting negatively is vital.

Ease Your Menopause Experience from Start to Finish

Practicing intermittent fasting from the beginning to the end of menopause can help lessen menopause symptoms and improve overall health in the long run. Ease your way through your menopause journey with the best tools by your side. Download the Fastic app to find the best fasting regimen for you and your health goals before, during, and after menopause. 

Disclaimer: It is advised to speak with a health professional before beginning intermittent fasting or a diet program. There may be side effects for people with certain medical conditions.

With Fastic, millions of people have achieved their desired weight, overcome disease and regained their quality of life.

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