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Will intermittent fasting mess with my hormones?

You're gonna hate this, but the short answer is, it depends. As humans, our bodies are always trying to achieve or maintain a state of homeostasis, as such, women have ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜บ fluctuations with hormones, plus ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜บ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ๐˜ถ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ, so IF does have some contraindications. If you are interested in IF, do your research (thereโ€™s TONS of it)โฃ.


The hormones IF affects are widespread, including cortisol, insulin, GnRH, which all control many other hormones in the body, much like a domino effect. โฃ While most people who begin a fasting protocol are interested in weight loss, IF has tremendous additional benefits to the immune system, detox system, gut health, improving insulin resistance (remember, this is a root cause for acne & PCOS)โฃ and more. โฃ But it also can really f*** with your hormones, ladies, so hereโ€™s what you need to know: โฃ โฃ ๐Ÿ”นstudies you read about are performed mostly on men or rats, so take your research with a grain of salt, ๐š๐ฅ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ๐ฌ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐˜๐Ž๐”๐‘ ๐›๐จ๐๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ž๐ฆ๐จ๐ฌ๐ญโฃ ๐Ÿ”นif you already struggle with major with hormonal imbalances, eating disorders or have low blood sugar, IF may not be for youโฃ ๐Ÿ”นthis is NOT calorie restriction, this is ๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐ž ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐œ๐š๐ฅ๐จ๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐ข๐œ๐ญ๐ž๐. For proper hormone development you ๐š๐ฅ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ๐ฌ need to be eating enough calories consisting of protein, fat and fiberโฃ. This is a huge mistake I see many women make when trying to achieve weight loss goals or a higher state of health. Your body needs nutrient dense calories to do anything, and deprivation will not sustain or maintain a health body weight. ๐Ÿ”น if fasting is causing any type of stress, IT IS NOT FOR YOUโ€” this will release cortisol, increasing blood sugar and make insulin resistance worse, go at a slow pace and reap the stress-reducing benefits IF can offerโฃ ๐Ÿ”น longer fasting times are not recommended for some women, a 12 or 16 hour window of fasting is best and a 24 hour window should be the maxโฃ ๐Ÿ”นrefrain from fasting during or right before your period

๐Ÿ”นduring the first 2-3 weeks, fast every other dayโฃ ๐Ÿ”นdrink plenty of fluids during your fast (bone broth, herbal tea and water)โฃ. Coffee is technically allowed, but personally I would stay away from caffeine because it will induce cortisol release ๐Ÿ”นhydrate better by adding sea salt, glycine and lemon or lime to your waterโฃ ๐Ÿ”นexercise is a way to use up the glucose in your blood that may be released if you have insulin resistance so engage in light, stress reducing physical activity on fasting daysโฃ โฃ Start slow: 12/12 is a good place and it may be where you decide to stay. Iโ€™m not an expert on IF, but for women who are dealing with any other health issue, I wouldnโ€™t recommend going over 12/12, however, engaging in this type of fast can increase cell generation (hello glowy skin ๐Ÿคฉ), improve digestion (hello healthy gut ) and lower risks of several major health issues like dementia and heart disease!โฃ


If you do choose to go over a 12 hour fast, again, start slowly and I really recommend doing a bone broth fast. It has enough protein, fat and minerals to supply your body with essentials, it is extremely healing for the gut and the gut lining, but it doesn't have so many calories that it will sabotage your fast. โฃ Additionally, a 12-hour fast isnโ€™t really all that challenging. Most of your time during this fast will be spent sleeping. It just requires you to have an earlier dinner and not to snack afterword. I do not recommend having a late dinner and a late breakfast. Eating too soon before bed has a high potential to disrupt sleep, getting to bed too late impairs your bodies detox abilities, and skipping or eating a late breakfast messes with your bodies production of cortisol and circadian rhythm. Check out last weeks IG post โ€œeasy hormone regulating hacksโ€. Refraining from snacking after dinner just makes good sense and is a good general practice, and I personally find that it majorly impacts my sleep in a positive way โ€”which is a huge win. โฃ โฃ The benefits of this short fast are excellent for giving your digestive system a rest, improvements to the gut microbiome, repairing the gut lining (preventing leaky gut) and for cortisol regulation. These are all foundational in having healthy glowing skin.โฃ

Have you tried IF before? What was your experience like? Tell me your own personal do's and dont's in the comments!






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