There is recent debate about women and the safety of fasting. I reached out to intermittent fasting expert Brad Pilon, author of Eat Stop Eat to set the record straight for you, and here is what he had to say…
“It IS TRUE that many women have had problems when they added fasting into their diet and nutrition plan. But, the question becomes, was the problem the fasting?
It should come as no surprise that there are obvious gender differences in how the human body works. From the way genders look to their unique metabolisms, men and women do have very different physiologies. In fact, there are entire books dedicated to the topic (my favorite being “Gender Differences in Metabolism” by Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky).
Women’s Unique Metabolic Needs
In short, aside from the obvious physical differences in muscle mass and body fat levels, women also differ from men due to women having their own set of unique metabolic and physiologic needs that relate to their child-bearing physiology, and this fact simply can not be ignored when discussing diet and weight loss.
A woman’s ovarian function is particularly sensitive to energy balance and energy flux, which can be explained easily by saying a woman’s body is constantly monitoring the energy available since the energy needs for pregnancy are high. If the energy needed to support pregnancy is not available, or is perceived to be at risk of becoming unavailable, then the body takes steps to lessen the chance of pregnancy.
In fact, it “available energy” is monitored in three distinct ways:
1) Energy Status – The amount of stored energy within a woman’s body. This is most often thought of as body fat or body fat percentage.
2) Energy Balance – The balance between calories in and calories out. Basically whether or not a woman is actively losing weight.
3) Energy Flux – The RATE of calories in and the RATE of calories out. A woman may not be losing weight, but her calorie intake and output are extremely low, or both extremely high.
As an example, a woman with very low levels of body fat (15-20%) may be at higher risk for metabolic changes due to her low amount of available energy, since the amount of energy stored in her body fat may not be enough to support a full pregnancy.
A woman undergoing prolonged severe dieting may be at higher risk for metabolic changes because of the large discrepancy between calories in and calories out, despite still having higher than average levels of body fat.
Known Risk Factors
And finally, a woman who is not losing weight — or is calorie balanced — but the flux is extremely high (athletes who eat and burn 3,000+ calories in a given day) could be at risk of metabolic changes because of the high flux of calories, even though she is in calorie balance and has normal levels of body fat.
So a woman who wants to lose weight must be aware that her unique situation will affect how her body responds to any particular weight loss or exercise program. And this includes fasting. A woman’s current body fat level, her exercise program, and her degree of dieting are all risk factors.
Sadly, this is well-known physiology. Physiologic and metabolic disturbances like the female athlete triad have been studied for years. So people who are saying that fasting CAUSES issues with women’s hormones, without looking at the other possible factors either don’t understand this physiology, or are ignoring it. Both are equally concerning.
Either way, fasting itself I don’t see as the issue, but something that exasperates any one of these three issues. -B”
If you want more info on fasting, health, and fitness, we highly recommend you check out Brad’s best selling book (and take advantage of the ridiculously low special price we negotiated!)
– Eat Stop Eat –
=> THE Book on Intermittent Fasting (lose fat easier, improve blood sugar, get rid of brain fog, improve energy)
11 pounds in 22 days?
Is it REALLY possible to lose 11 lbs. of fat in 22 days? Actually yes… BUT only when you’re a level 4 fat burner. Unfortunately, most people are stuck as level 1 fat burners. So, how do you become a level 4 fat burner to lose up to 11 lbs. in 22 days? Simply eat these foods daily:
Did you know that one of the best times to stretch is right before bed? However…
What stretches should you do? Here’s a 1-minute stretch routine you can do before bed...
Lisa, Yoga Coach
eatlocalgrown / wisemindhealthybody
...easy, 3-minute exercise that completely cured his horrendous snoring! We can both finally sleep!
Today is a good day. Tonight will be even better. Why?
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Did you know that your bodyfat can become "calorie-resistant"?
True. And it's completely unaffected by even the strictest diets... and most intense exercises.
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It's a little-known, calorie-burning hormone we all have... just waiting for the right spark to come alive. It's not thyroid, leptin, ghrelin, insulin, adiponectin, HGH or any other "fat loss" hormone you may know. Read more to find out precisely how to unleash its calorie-burning power:
To your health!
PS - Studies show that it can also reduce your risk of diabetes by 53.7%, a heart attack by 83.3% and stroke by 51.4%. Here's more of the scientific proof...
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat. This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
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Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.