Intermittent Fasting for Women Over 50
With an increase in the process of aging, the human body naturally slows down when it comes to maintaining its basic functions. The body's ability to retain healthy metabolism reduces, and conditions like arthritis, diabetes, sleep disorders, muscle atrophy become way too common. Women, just like their counterparts, are prone to all these conditions as they cross past the age of 50.
One of the major health issues women face during this phase is weight gain, which also becomes a hassle at such an age, resulting in developing health risks such as heart attacks, cancer, diabetes, as well as achy joints. Therefore, it is essential for women to come up with such a lifestyle that would provide them with just the right amount of nutrition so that they may be able to avoid age-related health issues and keep their extra body weight at bay. Hence, the current article aims to discuss intermittent fasting as a means of weight management and improved health in women over fifty.
Intermittent Fasting for Women Over 50 – What Does Research Say?
In an article by the Journal of Mid-Life Health, different researches were accumulated in order to delineate the role of intermittent fasting in women's health, especially those in their mid-age. In simpler words, intermittent fasting refers to adjusting your eating schedule in such a way that you divide the periods of eating and fasting during the course of a day. The research shows that fasting for women over 50 has several health benefits that include weight loss, improved physical health, and sound mental health. To explain further, let's delve into the physical, medical, and mental health aspects of intermittent fasting separately.
Physical and Medical Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Studies regarding the therapeutic role of intermittent fasting have come up with multiple health benefits that are associated with fasting for women over 50. Following are the significant changes that intermittent fasting can bring to your physical health, according to medical evidence:
- Helps with Obesity & Belly Fat
The first and foremost health benefit that has attracted a vast majority of women into intermittent fasting is its effectiveness in helping to lose belly fat, the most stubborn and unhealthy fat that is accumulated around the abdomen.
- Reduces the Threat of Metabolic Syndrome
Medical evidence also shows that fasting aids in reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome (a condition in which more than one health risk occurs together, leading to a higher threat of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes, etc.)
- Improves Musculoskeletal Health
Fasting also improves muscle and joint health, which in turn lowers the risk of arthritis and lower back pain, a health condition that is common among women over fifty. It also aids in symptoms of musculoskeletal conditions that result from weight gain and obesity in older women. Since intermittent fasting aids in healthy weight loss, it also helps to control conditions that it causes.
An interesting discovery made by researchers regarding the favorable aspects of intermittent fasting indicates that fasting affects the way your body produces hormones. The hormones stir healthy changes to bone minerals such as calcium and phosphate, which reveals that it can lead to improved bone health.
- Helps to Prevent Serious Diseases
Fasting has also proven to have a beneficial impact on the body's ability to fight diseases as serious as cancer. The practice of fasting activates certain processes in the body that indicate a decrease in the growth of tumor and cancer cells. This domain of health benefits of intermittent fasting is still under rigorous research to prove how optimally this method works for combating cancer.
- Supports Good Reproductive Health
Intermittent fasting is also a safe and efficient way to improve your reproductive health in women. It has proved to be effective in treating the symptoms of PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), a condition that results in weight gain, irregular menstrual cycle, excess production of male testosterone, and imbalanced hormones. The condition mainly leads to infertility in women, and if aggravated, PCOS can also cause heart diseases and even cancer. Therefore, the significance or intermittent fasting can be proven through its role in treating reproductive illnesses.
We gather from research and medical evidence that intermittent fasting, indeed, provides a whole host of health benefits to the body, particularly for women who are in their fifties. It is quite evident that women in their 50s encounter various health issues related to physical and mental health, and intermittent fasting can significantly help to deal with such issues by making it a lifestyle choice rather than a diet or treatment.
Mental Health Aspects of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting not only benefits the body but is also a great mental health enhancer. Women in their fifties experience menopausal transition, the majority of who experience unpleasant symptoms throughout the process. The mental impacts on women during this phase include irritability, moodiness, anxiety, tension, night sweat, and emotional instability. To curb these symptoms and allow healthy menopause, studies suggest that fasting is one natural, effective way to promote mental wellness during menopause. Intermittent fasting for women over 50 can help positively impact their mental health in the following ways:
- It improves their mood and self-esteem
- Decreases anxiety and stress
- Fasting helps to reduce the symptoms of depression and improves social functioning
- It is shown to have a positive impact on mood and increases vigilance
As a result of the positive mental effects of fasting, a sense of peacefulness, alacrity in mood, and boost in self-esteem can be achieved even if you are in your fifties. What else do we want, right? A peaceful existence is the biggest of blessings.
After consulting various researches and studies on the positive effects of fasting, the results have proven to be quite convincing. It is, therefore, safe to say that intermittent fasting is indeed a reasonable medical intervention for women over 50 who either want to lose weight or are looking for improved overall health by keeping diseases at bay.
Intermittent Fasting Techniques
Now that we know intermittent fasting is quite an amazing lifestyle choice for women over 50 let us discuss different techniques that women can opt according to their personal choice and preferences. Although there are a variety of types and techniques as to how intermittent fasting can be incorporated into our daily lifestyle, the three generic techniques are as follows:
This type is also known as 12:12 intermittent fasting. In this fasting technique, you consume all your calories at a specific time of 12 hours and fast for the remaining 12 hours. It is the simplest way to begin your journey with intermittent fasting, and all you have to do is follow just one tip that is to stop eating at least 3 hours before going to bed. The rest depends on how you manage to schedule your 12 hours of eating.
The medium difficulty intermittent fasting or also known as 16:8 fasting allows you to eat within 8 hours of the time you have specified for yourself and fast for 16 hours. For example, you may have your first meal at 11 am and the last at 7 pm, which would constitute 8 hours of your calorie intake, leaving the rest of the hours for fasting. This fasting technique is the most popular among the masses as well as researchers as it is more practicable on a daily basis.
As the name suggests, extreme fat fast intermittent fasting as somewhat similar to the 16:8 intermittent fasting. However, in this type, you are allowed to consume only a handful of your carbohydrates and proteins while depending mainly on fats as your source of energy for the day. The best way to successfully follow this type is to consume healthy, saturated fats.
All the above-mentioned intermittent fasting techniques are proven to be effective as they help lower the blood sugar levels and insulin levels of the body. As a result, women over 50 can kickstart their weight loss through any of these techniques, along with a combination of healthy and nutritious food during the eating hours of the fasting window.
Intermittent fasting generally is a safe and healthy way to lose weight and combat numerous diseases just by keeping a check on the timing during which you consume your daily calories.
For women over 50, intermittent fasting is a way out of their medical issues such as obesity, arthritis, joint pain, mental health issues, diabetes, blood pressure, so on and so forth. These health conditions are quite damaging in the long run; therefore, it is better to prevent them rather than allowing them to cause you pain and discomfort along with the monetary burden they bring.
In a nutshell, intermittent fasting is a highly advisable technique that women over 50 or even under 50 should incorporate into their lifestyle rather than adopting it as a diet for the short term. After all, prevention is better than cure!