Since I have started with a series of articles about fasting, I receive a lot of messages. Many of you thank me and say that this was the method they needed to feel better in their bodies and to achieve their goals easily. There are some, who would like to try but are full with doubts because of the contradictory opinions throughout the Internet. Before I state my point of view I will remind you that whatever you read, whatever advice you receive, you are the only ones who know how you feel. Only you know what is good for your body. The only way is to follow the signals of your body and if you feel fine, to continue. If you do not feel well- try adapting fasting to your needs, if it does not happen again, there is no need to push yourselves.
The main controversy about fasting is if it is suitable for women. You may read a lot of articles on the topic. A lot of stories shared by women who claim that their health has worsen due to fasting. Do you have to believe?
Absolutely no! I like saying that women are not the more special part of population but just the other part of the population. Although our organism is different to the man’s organism, referring to the fact that we have a very important mission related to pregnancy that does not mean that our life and body needs are entirely different. I would say that the “proportion” is different and if for a woman over loading or over stress (whatever the type) could alert the body to shut down the secondary functions such as reproduction system, for men this wouldn’t be so crucial.
This is absolutely true about the training and eating regime. Many women observe negative consequences over their bodies and health when they start training or start following a certain diet, not because the regimes themselves are bad, but because we do not follow them properly.
We take everything as ultimate and do not find the balance. We have too strict approach to training and eating – either we do not do sport at all or we are in a state of permanent overtraining. Either we do not pay attention to the way we eat at all or we put to hard restrictions and bereave our body of the necessary things.
What is my opinion of women and fasting?
I am a woman myself and I follow the fasting protocol – 16/8. I feel perfect and if there is a day that I feel lack of energy or some kind of discomfort, the reason is not the regime itself but the way I followed it.
Many people claim that fasting is stressful for the organism, because it leads to restriction of calories. Is this statement true?
In fact you can do fasting and not be in a calorie regime, quite the opposite. It all depends on how you divide your food, what is its quantity and quality.
16 hours without food are not such a long time. The body has storages that allow it to survive quite a lot of time without food and to be concentrated and energetic.
In fact, the short term stress for the organism has a positive adaptation. It is important to put the stress on the word “short term”.
The problem with women and fasting is that women who pay attention to what they eat, most often praise the word “restriction” – they restrict the amount of food, restrict the variety of foodstuffs and in this way reach an excess in which they do not give the body the necessary things so it can work properly.
If you eat enough and have solid dinner at around 8 or 9 in the evening, there is no reason not to bear without food until 11 in the morning the next day.
If, though, you are from the women scared of food and eat 1 egg for dinner, it is normal the next 16 hours to be stressful for your organism. If you also add up training during the fasting, your body will surely panic.
Having prepared food regime for many women, I notice a trend the amount of food eaten to be limited in the expense of the increase of consumption of energy drinks and alcohol. Every time when a woman complains she has problems with alcohol or another drink, I know it concerns insufficient eating.
Energy drinks as well as the excessive alcohol consumption are also stress for the organism. In fact, not to give enough food to the body stresses it not only because it does not have energy, but also because it lacks very important nutrients, which take part in the proper running of many processes.
With women and reproductive functions the key factors are energy available and the amount of stress. If, in the body, there is a signal of a deficit in energy, then it will turn off the reproductive system, consequently your monthly period can stop. If there is too much stress, the same result will follow.
Generally said what are the problems with women and diets?
- Insufficient eating
- Excessive physical loading
- Substituting nutritional food with energy drinks and alcohol
Does that something to do with fasting?
No, this is just a model that we apply for every regime we follow.
Does that mean that fasting itself is harmful?
No! the way we follow it is harmful.
From my experience, from my work with people and books read, I find that it is easier for women to follow fasting statement, when they have 14 hours fasting and 10 hours break from eating. This makes the regime even less stressful. So if you are a woman and want to try fasting, try with this division of the fasting and eating windows.
Do not forget that fasting does not mean privation and restriction. Fasting is just distribution – different distribution of the meals. This does not suppose restriction of calories or macro nutrients. The emphasis is still on the sufficient quality of food.
Moreover, fasting allow you to eat a little bit more carbohydrates in the evenings and still to achieve your goals. Women and the hunger for sweets are two inseparable things. What can be better than not to fight this desire but to use it in your own favor?
Try and see how you feel. Do not forget that it is not normal not to have energy, to be tired or to feel severe hunger. The correctly followed fasting makes you feel better not worse. If you have any negative feelings, most probably you make some kind of mistake. Think if you have reached some excess and whether you have not mistaken fasting with privation.