Are you a woman on the Intermittent Fasting (IF) diet? This diet focuses on following a daily cycle of fasting/eating. Fun Fact: Studies show fat loss is maximized when fasting for 18+ hours per day. Most diets focus on the food you eat, including calories, carbs, and sugar. However, IF is different and focuses on issues like intermittent fasting schedules for women. Every day you’re required to do fasting/eating “splits” like 16/8, 18/6, and 20/4. You can even do an alternate-day fast that alternates days for eating or fasting. This diet works somewhat like the Keto diet since your body will go into a state of “ketosis” and get energy from stored fat instead of calories.
There are several possible fasting schedules for women when following IF. They include 16/8 Method, Eat-Stop-Eat, and The Fast Diet. These options have similar yet different eating/fasting schedules. For example, you might do a 24-hour fast for two days/week, or just cut calories for two days. It’s a matter of figuring out which variant is right for you. This can be related to your work, school, or home schedule. On the other hand, health experts recommend certain IF variants for women so it’s a good idea to consider them over other options.
What Is Intermittent Fasting All About?
This has been one of the trending diets in recent years. Fasting itself has been around since ancient times. Various religions use it as a way to eat healthier and focus on spiritual matters. For example, the Daniel Fast is based on two fasts found in the Bible’s Old Testament.
In modern times there’s so much food available it can make fasting seem unhealthy. However, studies show that cutting calories seems to be very effective for extending lifespan. One way to do that is by intermittent fasting (IF).
This diet takes a different approach from the vast majority of today’s diets. That’s because they tend to focus on the food that you eat. There’s low-calorie, low-carb, grain-free, no-sugar, and even the caveman diet (Paleo).
These diets can certainly help you to lose weight. For example, low-carb diets like Keto ditch refined grains since they’re high-carb, while Paleo ditches sugar because it’s highly processed. These can help you to consume a healthy diet.
IF takes a different approach because it focuses on WHEN you eat instead of what you eat. This diet uses a cycle of fasting/eating during the week. This could be a few times during the week or every day. For example, you might do a 24-hour fast for a few days weekly.
The goal of IF is to cause your body to get energy from stored fat. In this regard, it’s similar to the Keto Diet. However, IF isn’t always low-carb. What’s more important is whether you do a fasting/eating split like 16/8, 24/24, etc.
Regardless of which option you pick you can lose weight. The reason is that you’ll be eating the same amount of food but burning fat when your body goes into ketosis. This is the body state that the diet is named after. The liver produces “ketones” to fuel the brain and body.
Intermittent Fasting Schedules for Women
There are various intermittent fasting (IF) types that are recommended for women. They include:
This involves fasting 16 hours every day then eating within an 8-hour window. This option provides many health benefits without long-term fasts like 18 or 20 hours per day. Daily fasting for 18+ hours can be quite draining.
This one might be a question mark since IF itself involves periods of eating and fasting. This one ESE requires you to do a 24-hour fast one or two times per week.
The fasting hours should start at 14 to 16 hours. You can then increase the figure to longer fasts when you get used to these figures.
The standard alternate-day fast requires you to alternate 24-hour periods of eating/fasting. This is one of the most extreme diets since you’ll end up doing a whole-day fast for ¾ days of the week.
The modified version requires you to fast every other day. However, the main difference is you cut calories by 20% to 25% on fasting days. A big benefit of this option is you won’t have to make major schedule changes like avoiding exercise on fasting days (it’s tough to do workouts with ZERO fuel).
This involves fasting for 2 or 3 days per week. The fasts themselves last 12 to 16 hours. The fasting days should be peppered throughout the week. One example includes Monday/Wednesday/Friday while the other is Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday. The key is to space out the fasting days so they’re not consecutive days.
This requires you to eat “normal” amounts/times during 5 days of the week. Then during the other two days, you cut calories by 25% of the regular amount. This works out to 500 calories on a 2,000-calorie diet. It’s a good option for women who want to cut calories but not every day.
Top Tips for Intermittent Fasting
Avoid heavy physical activities on fasting days
This includes ones like high-intensity workouts. When you’re getting less fuel from the food you can wear yourself out quickly by doing strenuous activities. Try to go with light workouts on fasting days. This will provide health benefits without draining your energy levels.
Go with high-volume, low-calorie foods
This includes options like popcorn, fresh fruits, and raw veggies. You can eat lots of these items without gaining lots of weight. Make sure to watch additives like butter on popcorn, or heavy dips for veggies.
Use natural seasonings
Options like herbs and spices are low-calorie and high-nutrient. These options can add flavor to your food and make it more filling. Meanwhile, you also won’t be adding lots of calories so it’s easier to stay on track.
Avoid epic cheat meals
This can prevent major weight loss when you consume lots of calories, carbs, and fat after a fasting period. If you eat a cheat meal then enjoy some comfort food without going overboard.
Keep busy on fasting days
This could include work or play. The key is to focus your mind on anything besides food. If you remain idle on fasting days it’s a lot easier to think about or even obsess about food. You should also try to avoid print/TV/web ads that include food advertisements.
Pick nutrient-rich foods when cutting calories
This is critical when you’re cutting calories by about 25%, for example. Go with whole foods like:
- Whole Grains
- Full-fat dairy
Drink enough water
It’s recommended that people drink 2 to 3 liters of H2O per day for good health. You should also consider drinking 0-calorie beverages like black coffee or green tea. These drinks/beverages will help to keep you hydrated and consume some healthy low-calorie beverages after learning intermittent fasting schedules for women.