The Ultimate Guide To Intermittent Fasting For Women

Intermittent Fasting For Women ImageYou’re not a guy, and you shouldn’t be trying to intermittently fast as a guy. Intermittent Fasting for Women is something quite different.

When I’ve done my research into intermittent fasting, I’ve noticed that most of the “experts” are men. And although I have learned a ton from them, I’m also not trying to build enormous biceps and pecs!

Men and women store fat differently and men and women definitely burn fat differently. So in a nutshell, women need to approach intermittent fasting differently than men do.

In this blog, my goal is to share with you the best approach for women to maximize their fat burning while intermittent fasting.

First of all, this advice is for all my healthy women out there that aren’t pregnant, breast-feeding or battling any health conditions right now.

We know all too well that us women like to store body fat more than men.  And we know this is because we are blessed with the ability to create life and sustain it. However, that does make it a bit tougher to have that lean and athletic body that many women are working so hard for.

Have you ever gone on a diet with your spouse only to have him lose weight twice as fast as you and consider grounds for divorce because of it? Yeah, me too!

I married my high school sweetheart, Mick, so we essentially grew up together. In our 20s, our diets were very high in carbohydrate and low in fat and we ate every 2 hours without fail.

We also lived in the gym seven days a week.

Mick was WAY leaner than me even though we ate the same types of foods and pretty much did the same workouts.

It was so frustrating.

In our 30s, we spent a little less time in the gym but adopted a higher protein diet. It was at this time that I really started being consistent with intermittent fasting. I got a job at the gym to teach group exercise in the morning and so I started doing that on an empty stomach. Mick was still getting up in the morning and eating breakfast.

That’s when I really started to notice that my physique was catching up to his.

He was still in the mindset he’d lose muscle if he didn’t eat breakfast. You should see him now though…hubba, hubba! Now that we’re both in our 40s, we both intermittently fast together and I will confidently say (even in fear of being tickled to death when he reads this) that through most of our 30s and 40s I have kept a leaner body.

It was this experimental truth that intermittent fasting not only gets you leaner but it’s especially true for women.

Intermittent Fasting for Women – How It Works

Our hormones play a huge role in how we look and feel…HUGE! Human growth hormone (HGH) is the key for women to shed the excess body fat that they’re working so hard to do. And naturally, men have higher levels of HGH than women do. But intermittent fasting for women is an exceptional way for us  to increase our production of HGH so that we can be fat burning machines as well.

Let me explain: HGH production is at its highest during sleep, exercise and trauma. HGH has an indirect relationship with insulin. So when your insulin levels are lower, your HGH is higher (and the very reason it rises when we sleep). HGH rises during childhood, peaks during puberty and then declines from middle age on…BOO!The good news is, is HGH rises when there is no insulin and your bloodstream. This only happens during a fasted state and at the very end of your sleep cycle. As I mentioned earlier, HGH also rises when we exercise… Keep that in mind. We want to get that HGH released as much and as long as we can in order to achieve the lean bodies that we are after.

This is going to happen by you doing 3 things in conjunction of one another. They are:
#1 choosing to get a good nights sleep every night. By getting in your eight hours of sleep every night, you are giving your body time to deplete the insulin in the blood stream and spiking HGH.
#2 waking up and continuing to fast for a few hours in the morning will continue to rise your HGH because you are not eating causing your insulin levels to rise.
#3 exercising in the morning, after a few hours of fasting is another way to continue to get that HGH up and you remaining a fat burning machine.

This is the trifecta when it comes to getting your body to reach for those fat stores, generate lean muscle to increase your metabolism and give you the energy to see results and make it a lifestyle.

So let me give you an example of how to implement this style of fasting. I call it my “11-7” rule. This means that you go to bed around 11 o’clock PM and wake up at 7 o’clock AM. Work out at anytime between 8 and 10 AM and then have your first meal around 11 AM. Have your last meal around 7 PM and close the kitchen down.

It’s a very easy habit to get into and to keep… Even while traveling.

Now I know for a lot of you that timeframe might not work. Maybe you work a night shift or your hours are very erratic. It is a bit harder to find that sweet spot for you but once you create a pattern that works well for you and you can stick with it… Then you will see just as good of benefits as I do with my schedule. It’s all about consistency!

These three habits (sleeping well and fasting and exercising in the morning) all by themselves will give you great results but by putting the three together you will really see a return on your health investment.

Now I know what’s going on in your head right now. You’re asking me, “Well, what do I eat in that 8 hour window?”

That’s a great question but I want you to remember that intermittent fasting for women is about meal timing and not necessarily meal planning. But let me just remind you that if you put junk in your body, you’re going to look and feel like junk. Fill your plate full of things from the farm and not the factory. Look at the ingredients of your food and if you can pronounce them all and the list is no more than 8 ingredients long, then you should be OK.

We’ll cover what to eat specifically on a future blog. Let’s face it Intermittent Fasting for Women has worked for me.

About the Author Melissa McAllister

My name is Melissa McAllister. I just turned 43! I have a son and daughter and my husband and I are new empty nesters! My husband is the reason I eat, drink, and sleep health and fitness. He has 2 speeds, GO and GO Faster. We have been together for over 27 years and married for 22 (yes, he had me at “hello!”). Don’t get me wrong though…I was a Doritos and Coca Cola eating Hoover when I was in school! Fitness has been an essential part of my life for over 18 years. I have the 3 best jobs in the world—being a stay-at-home Mom, business owner, and group exercise instructor for several large fitness chains. I have been teaching everything from yoga to kickboxing for over 16 years. I have also had the great opportunity to train, inspire, and motivate other instructors for the past 10 years. You might even see me in a few fitness videos out there! 😉 Reaching out to others who are struggling to be healthy and happy is my passion. I couldn’t tell you next Fall’s latest fashion must have or what flowers to plant this season, but I can help you achieve your health and fitness goals. With your determination and my motivation, we can find and keep the best YOU! I will inspire by holding myself and those around me accountable!

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10 comments
Carrissa says June 21, 2017

How long does it take to see results?

Reply
Brenda says June 22, 2017

How long before results should start. Plus, I work 8-5 and can’t do must exercise if any during my morning fast period and not able to cook my meals during work day. I haven’t seen a plan for a regular 8-5 work schedule. Please help?

Reply
    VAL says July 9, 2017

    I do her method but a little backwards as it works for me and my schedule. I start eating at 8am and I have my last meal at 5pm on gym rest days. On days I work out, I start eating at 9a and have my last meal at 6p as I usually the gym by 4:30pm. I sleep from 8:30 a.m.-5a.m. Plus I still count macros and stay within my goals. Hope that helps!

    Reply
    Tina says October 24, 2017

    You have to get up earlier than your normal time & start meal prepping on Sundays. I work a 50 hour work week from 630-430. If I can do it you can do it and I’m a mother of 5. It’s all about prioritizing what’s important

    Reply
    Angie says October 30, 2017

    I work an 8-5 job. Cook all of my mails. Prep in the weekends. I’m thinking of getting up at 6 to workout, then eating my first meal at 11 am and my last at 8.😉

    Reply
    heather says November 13, 2017

    The reality is 8 – 5 won’t work on a 8 hour eat schedule. That’s 9 hrs. But if your work or right before work, it’ll work out.

    Reply
Bethany says August 1, 2017

Have you seen intermittent fasting affect your cycles at all?

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Ganga says August 7, 2017

i am 48 years . Have been a trainer for more than 16 years..Now a co founder of ilove9months, dedicated to pregnancy wellness and support services. i have always been muscular and trying to get lean..started IF..Your article was a good read and only encourages me to continue ,,

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Sarah says October 3, 2017

Thank for this it really helps! But since I work on night shift I feel lost as to when I should fast vs eat vs work-out :/
I work 4 days in a row, then 4 days off. When i work my day goes like this: work from 22h to 8h, sleep from 10h to 17h and I usually work out (tabata or cardio Hiit) in my lunch time around 1 or 2h in the morning. The problem I have is that if I dont eat a good meal before going to bed I keep wake up bc I’m hungry 🙁
On days off I sleep from ~3h in the morning to 12 and I usually do more intense work out on those days.
Please help ! I’m kind of lost here.
Thank you so much ❤

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Sara says October 25, 2017

On days I work I don’t get to go workout until 3:30 pm and get home at 5pm. I would have to eat during the day but it’s better to have the workout on an empty stomach. I do that on the weekends but it’s impossible Monday through Friday. Would I eat 7am-3pm and the fast from there or would my eating window be shorter like from 5 to bed time?

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