I am a perimenopausel woman. Gosh, that seems strange to write, but I am, and this is a transition every menstruating woman will go through.
In an attempt to improve my perimenopausal symptoms, I have stumbled onto fasting; actually, it is more correct to say I have reacquainted myself with fasting. I used to be an intermittent faster, and it worked, and I felt good. My standard window was a 16:8 or a 14:10. I ate in an 8-10 hour window daily, and I was scared to fast longer because I understood that longer fasts were harmful to my hormones.
*how do you see yourself ageing?
New research around fasting and what it means to "Fast Like A Girl" has been making its rounds in the wellness community, and there is even a book about it that boosts the same title. Dr Mindy Pels has greatly influenced my health and well-being, and I want to share some of the information I have learned with you.
Did you know?
Regular fasting can decrease your low-density lipoprotein or "bad" cholesterol. Fasting can improve how your body metabolises sugar, reducing weight gain and developing diabetes, which are risk factors for heart disease.
I read "The Complete Guide To Fasting" by Jason Fung MD, last year. The book was eye-opening, and I realised that "longer" fasts would help me to reduce belly fat and improve Metabolic Health, another buzzword that emerged during the pandemic. But again, before Dr Mindy's book, longer fasts seemed harmful, and I was nervous to try them.
There are more highly refined carbohydrates and sugary snacks on the market
than ever before.
Data during the pandemic revealed the 12.2 percent of American adults were metabolically healthy, which meant that only 27.3 million adults were meeting recommended targets for cardiovascular risk factor management. These are unreal numbers, but no one living in Europe is immune to these concerns and the Standard American Diet is spreading globally. More highly refined carbohydrates and sugary snacks are on the market than ever before. Don't even get me started about the commonplace of soda at all gatherings, from birthday parties to sporting events.
Relearning what and when to eat is a wise investment in your health span, and the information coming out about fasting is profound.
Dr Mindy Pels shares that women will gain a lot from fasting in alignment with their menstrual cycle. She outlines how introducing more root veggies into the diet the week before we shed our lining will increase progesterone at this time. This seems intuitive because so many of us crave carbohydrates and chocolate. She explains that we need to increase carbohydrates and magnesium this week, so we might as well plan ahead.
Most of my clients do not currently track their periods, but a wide array of apps will help you in this matter. Getting reacquainted with your cycle, the hormones that are in focus during different times of the month, and then eating to nourish these phases will allow you to regain your health.
What worked in my 20s is not working anymore. The foods and the exercise routines that worked then are not what my maturing body needs - so I am adapting, and it is the only way.
If you found this blog interesting and want to learn more about fasting like a girl and how it can help you lose stubborn belly fat, improve your insulin resistance, and increase your energy, please stay tuned. I will share my journey and integrate all of this into my coaching.
Be well - listen to your body - keep learning!
Kristen Moss NC
Buteyko Instructor & Lifestyle Coach
Mother of two