Complete Women's Guide to Intermittent Fasting

The best Women’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting

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Complete Women’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting

Body Fat

Essential body fat is approximately 3% of body mass for men and 12% of body mass for women – also stated that women typically have 6-11% more body fat than men, on average

Carb, Fat & Protein Utilization

A study from Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise looked at sex differences in exercise metabolism and concluded that:

Women oxidize more lipid and less carbohydrate and protein compared with men during endurance exercise

Fasting, Catecholamines & HSL

The American Journal of Physiology – Fasting increases levels of catecholamines and subsequently activates HSL

Per the Journal of Applied Physiology, adrenaline burns more fat in women than men – since women have a higher fat percentage than men of the same weight (not only on their bodies but also within their muscles) it makes sense to use this as the primary energy source

Specifically, they are “more sensitive to the lipolytic action of epinephrine compared with men while maintaining similar glucoregulatory effects”

So women burn more fat, less carbohydrate and less protein than men at the same exercise intensity**

How to Begin a Fast

Study from Cell that found that leptin needs to be low as well during starvation for fat burning to occur

Estrogen aids in muscle repair

estrogens act through both genomic and non-genomic pathways to reduce leukocyte invasion and increase satellite cell numbers in regenerating skeletal muscle tissue

Estrogen is anti-catabolic and prevents muscle loss as it has an anabolic effect on muscle primarily by lowering the protein turnover

When Should I Workout

Preferably fasted, but if you can’t, that’s okay – not the end of the world

In regards to how to train and when to push yourself:

Muscle Fibers

A study published in Experimental Physiology found that with strength training women’s muscle fibers are converted to type I fibers, whereas in men they generally change to type IIa fibers

The cycle and gym performance

During the first half (two weeks) of women’s menstrual cycles they have relatively higher levels of estrogen (compared to progesterone). During this half the cycle, women will have experience better recovery in the gym because estrogen promotes connective tissue synthesis.

During the second half of women’s menstrual cycle they have relatively higher levels of progesterone. During this half the cycle, women may perform worse in the gym and have more cravings.

Although there are some contradictor results in the literature, Carter A. et al. Human Physiology 2001 ( compared 17 women taking estrogen-based oral contraceptives to ten control women and found that those taking the estrogen exhibited significantly lower creatine kinase levels (a marker of muscle damage) three days following a 30-minute downhill run trial.

Common Concerns: Thyroid & When to take supplements

Fasting & Thyroid

A study from the European Journal of Endocrinology and a study from the journal Thyroid both found that fasting decreases the concentration of T3 thyroid hormone while thyroxine (T4) and free T4 levels stay the same or only decrease slightly – thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) does not increase