First, and most importantly is that I don’t fast – not intentionally at least because if I was to fast on purpose, I’d drive myself crazy. That is the life of a recoveree – and of countless women I know, Eating Disorder or not.
That said, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t reputable reason to believe it’s beneficial.
Some potential health benefits include improved cellular health, improved metabolic markers and weight loss. Studies show that intermittent fasting leads to weight loss in women, but doesn’t lead to any more weight loss than a calorie deficit overall, per a 2022 study in Nature Reviews Endocrinology.
What I do instead of adhere to any strict rule is:
- I omit the 3 meal a day idea which was basically created out of convenience during the Industrial Revolution,
- I let myself eat as much as I want at any given meal (I practice high volume eating which I’ll share in future posts) which might mean allowing several extra hours between eating another,
- I focus on plant protein. I ensure I eat tofu, tempeh, seitan or beans at some point every day. I don’t obsess about any macro.
- If I’m not hungry, I don’t eat and if I am I question – what kind of hunger is this? If I can manage a workout first, I do which pushes eating out an hour or so but if not, I eat. It’s easier to eat before a weight bearing exercise than it is a cardio one, which is excellent news for older women since strength training is essential.Finally,
- I don’t graze. That’s just a personal preference and there’s no judgement there I’ve just come to discover grazing is not an approach to eating that works for me. I eat dinner early, often before the sun goes down.
Fasting can also increase hunger and obsession with food, leading to overeating or a cycle of restricting and bingeing, per a 2022 review in Eating Behaviors. This same study states that in addition to disordered eating, intermittent fasting can also negatively impact mental health, especially in younger people. This is particularly detrimental for women with eating disorders or chronic dieters who have a history of restricting foods or disordered eating.
I believe we are all living in bodies capable of doing healthy dance with life’s rhythms, safely. For me, IF doesn’t happen in the same way or frequency every day but it happens and I manage to “allow windows” of eating and not eating to be considered fasting and therefore, beneficial for MY health.
Most importantly, for you, what’s beneficial for your health?
Feel free to feed the discussion here,
– my daughters leftover smoothie (banana mixed berries & water) 1.5 cups
– 1 cup raw oats
– 1 tbsp chia seed
– sea salt
Blend in a blender & make pancakes per usual, flip when bubbly/browned & top with ⤵️
Orange🍊 hemp maple 🍁 sauce:
– 1 orange skinned and sliced
– 1 tbsp hemp seeds
– 2 tbsp maple syrup
– pinch of salt
Mix & pour over pancakes. Nom digs boo – if I do say so myself.