Women can and should do Intermittent Fasting as a strategy to feel full while losing weight and burning body fat.
Even though women may be more sensitive to hunger, there are strategies to prevent being “hangry” while on a fast.
I used to use the term “hangry” to really describe my emotions while I was feeling hungry, but now I realize that if you’re above 16% body fat, being hungry is simply not an emergency.
And better yet, when you start to understand what the body does when it’s in a fasting state, such as release of epinephrine and norepinephrine (adrenaline), increased growth hormone, and actually increased metabolism—and, by the way, it does NOT slow down—you start to realize the word “hangry” is just a marketing ploy. In fact, intermittent fasting is a safe and effective way to lose fat while you build muscle.
Getting started with Intermittent Fasting
If you are looking to get adjusted to Intermittent Fasting, I suggest alternating a 14-hour fasting period followed by a 10-hour feeding period to get adjusted to a longer fasting period of 16 hours.
After a week or two, increase your fasting period to 15 hours and lower your feeding window to 9 hours, and then once you get adjusted again, increase your fasting window to 16 hours and have an 8-hour feeding window.
How to Handle Hunger
As your body adjusts to the fasting period, try fruit snacks, lemon water, black coffee, and tea, during your fasting window.
If you absolutely must have some cream and sugar in your black coffee, I would recommend having as minimal as possible and start to wean from it as you get adjusted.
I made the mistake of not having black coffee during my fasting when I first tried intermittent fasting in 2012. I couldn’t maintain it and I was definitely hungry with less focus than I would have preferred. I thought intermittent fasting wasn’t for me, but then I started to add these strategies to my plan.
Black coffee and tea will not only blunt the appetite, but the effects of caffeine are increased on an empty stomach.
How Your Body Adjusts Over Time
The adjustment period is about 30-60 days to get used to intermittent fasting. To be able to wean from the fruit snacks, it could take up to a year.
The leaner you get, and the more body fat you start to lose, and the closer you get to 18% body fat, you may want to occasionally add the strategies of a fruit snack in again because it may get more challenging to adhere to the fasting window at a lower body fat percentage.
How to Exercise while on a Fast
I recommend weight training three days a week and intermittent fasting on the days you do not weight train. If you do other activities like yoga, you can still do these lighter calorie-burning activities while on a fast. This allows you to fast better on days when you aren’t expending a larger amount of energy.
- Alternate the days of your fast.
- Fruit, coffee, tea, and lemon water during your fasting window
- Start with a 14/10 ratio of fasting to feeding for 1-2 weeks
- Increase to 15/10 ratio of fasting to feeding for 1-2 weeks
- Increase to 16/8 ratio of fasting to feeding
- Intermittent fast on the days you do not weight train
- Stay productive to keep your focus away from food
Are you ready to dive into intermittent fasting?
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Originally posted by Fervid Fitness on June 28, 2017.