Intermittent fasting (IF) is the name some nutrition experts give to the practice of occasionally going for extended periods without eating. This fancy name implies that IF is the exclusive domain of the nutritional elite. It’s not. In fact, we all do some form of IF every single day, except we don’t call it that. We call it sleeping. Intermittent fasting is nothing new. Humans have fasted for most of their history, whether it’s during the typical overnight period, during more extended periods of food scarcity, or for religious reasons.
Here are a few benefits of intermittent fasting for women:
- Increased Reduction in Abdominal Fat – Studies published in 2013 showed that a group of women following the 5:2 intermittent fasting protocol, showed greater abdominal fat reduction and improved insulin sensitivity compared to another group of one with the same caloric intake during a week.
- Fights Most Common Types of Cancer Diagnosed Among Women – Among the 5 most common types of cancer among women, cervix, lung, breast, stomach and colorectal, fasting was found to be have a protagonist effect, slow tumour growth, and reduce cancer risk factors and biomarkers in women.
- Reduces Pain Associated With Musculoskeletal Disorders – Studies have shown that fasting helps with inflammation and reduced paint and joint stiffness related to rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. Fasting has shown to positively effect the hormonal secretions thought to be beneficial in improving bone health.
- Improved Sleep and Mental Health – Clinical observations have shown that the early effects of fasting on depression symptoms with an improvement in mood, alertness, and a sense of peacefulness. Subjects observed also have a higher quality of sleep.
- Reduces Blood Pressure, Heart Rate and Cholesterol – A study performed by Varady et al, confirmed the significant cardioprotective actions of IF, such as reduction in blood pressure, and heart rate; and improvements in lipid profile, with decrease in total cholesterol.
- Promotes Reproductive Health – A recent study conducted on women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) revealed that fasting can reduce the chronic sympathetic overactivity in PCOS.
- Overall Weight Reduction – Four weeks of fasting has shown to reduce total weight, body mass index, and waist circumference. Alternate day fasting has been found to contribute to weight loss by improving glucose tolerance.