dr mindy peltz

Dr. Mindy Pelz is a world-renowned holistic health expert on a mission to create a women’s health revolution and what she calls “hormonal literacy”. She is the bestselling author of Fast Like a Girl, and The Menopause Reset, and can be found via her popular podcast, The Resetter interviewing many of the experts our readers love here on TCM, from Dr. Amen to Max Lugavare.

We asked Mindy to share a few keys to fasting for women specifically – a fascinating topic that can help to supercharge your intermittent fasting habits…

What are the top 3-5 benefits to fasting for women? Fasting has so many different benefits! Here are a few of the biggest ones:

+ Weight Loss. A lot of my clients start fasting because they want to lose weight. Studies have shown that fasting is better than regular dieting for weight loss[*], and my clients are proof of that. Many of them have been struggling to diet for years with no results—but fasting just clicks.

+ Healthy Aging. If you want to look and feel younger, start fasting! It decreases bodywide inflammation, which reduces stress on your cells and slows down aging. It also makes your mitochondria—the power plants of your cells—more powerful, meaning you literally produce more energy. After a few fasts, you’ll look younger and you’ll feel energized.

+ Hormone Balance. One of the most common struggles I hear from clients is that their hormones are out of balance. Their cycles are irregular or absent, or they’re going through menopause and feel awful. Fasting can help, especially if you change the way you fast throughout the month, to align with your body’s natural rhythms. It’s amazing how quickly fasting can help balance your hormones.

Why fasting is different for women than men: Men and women are so different! There are major disparities in what we each need for our health, especially when it comes to things like weight loss, hormone balance, nutrition, and healthy aging.

In terms of fasting, the biggest difference between women and men is that women need to change the way they fast throughout the month, based on the hormonal shifts that come with their cycle. Men can fast anytime because their hormones don’t change.

Biggest myth I’d like to bust: It’s a widespread myth that women shouldn’t fast. Usually you hear people say that fasting screws up our hormones and that we’re better off avoiding it. But that’s not true at all. Fasting is an incredible tool for women—we just have to do it slightly differently than men do. As long as you time fasting with your monthly cycle and make a few other small changes, you can get all the benefits of fasting without any downsides.

Which conditions can be especially supported through intermittent fasting? Fasting is great for you in so many different ways, but one benefit I wish got more attention is how fasting can help with menopause.

Menopause can be such a difficult time in life. Your hormones change massively, which can lead to cognitive deficits, muscle loss, osteoporosis, depression, sleep problems, weight gain—all kinds of health problems. But you have a lot more control over menopause than you think, and with a couple small changes—one of the biggest ones being fasting—you can take back your health and feel amazing.

I’ve seen intermittent fasting help so many of my clients through menopause. It’s extraordinary what a difference it can make.

What to know about fasting through your cycle: For women, intermittent fasting is all about timing your fast with your cycle. The basic breakdown is this:

Day 1-10 of your cycle (Menstrual phase) | Perfect time for all types of fasting.

Day 11-15 of your cycle (Follicular phase) | Good time for intermittent fasting, but no longer than a 15-hour fast.

Day 16-19 of your cycle (Ovulation phase) | All types of fasting are okay, unless you have low progesterone, in which case you can use this time to eat lots of hormone-building foods.

Day 20-30 of your cycle (Luteal phase) | No fasting! This is the lead-up to when menstruation starts. Be gentle with your body and focus on eating plenty of high-quality carbs, healthy fats, good proteins, and other foods that will make you feel good.

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