This is one of those topics for which everyone has an opinion and a different experience. So please, remember my aim is to help women and men stabilise their hormonal production, normalise their insulin release, support their metabolism and make everything work smoother for them. Nobody should be in pain at any point in their own body, if everything should work perfectly.
Fasting has been such a hot topic ever since the rise of the ketogenic diet as a trend in social media and fitness circles. But what we hear less is how fasting for a woman should be managed differently – fasting could lead to fertility issues if not done properly.
But why do people fast? Medical studies have shown that fasting:
- Increases energy
- Improves clear-thinking PMID: 17569758
- Improves insulin resistance by reducing levels of circulating IGF-1 increasing insulin sensitivity while not lowering your metabolic rate PMID: 23591120
- Can improve immunity, heart health and lower diabetes https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/86.1.7
- Increases the production of neurotropic growth factor (protein that promotes neuron growth & protection) hence aiding us with neurological stress and conditions PMCID: PMC2622429
Why does fasting cause hormonal imbalance in women?
Women are extremely sensitive to signals of starvation – ramping up the production of hunger hormones leptin & ghrelin.
When women under-eat or experience hunger feeling, these hormones increase their production (it’s a response of the female body to protecting a potential foetus in the womb, whether pregnant or not).
While there are very little studies looking at how the male and female body differ when fasting, animal studies conclude that hormonal imbalance occurs after extended fasting, infertility follows.
How can a woman avoid the negative outcomes of fasting?