Yes, weight loss for women over 40 can be more difficult than a woman in her 20s or 30s, but it is by no means impossible.
And by following some simple rules intermittent fasting for women over 40 can actually make losing weight relatively simple.
There are a lot of weight loss plans that work for men and women of all ages. But the two things that are going to give you the best chance of weight loss success are having a weight loss mindset and finding a weight loss plan that suits you.
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Personally, I have found a low – carb diet, such as the keto diet and some type of intermittent fasting (there are several) to be the diets that work best for me. And if I had to choose a single option, it would be intermittent fasting for weight loss.
The good thing about intermittent fasting is it is about “when” you eat and not “what” you eat. So, if you want to follow a keto food plan, you can make that part of your intermittent plan for eating.
Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss
There are many reasons that a person may choose to follow an intermittent fasting style of eating. For most people, it is to lose weight.
If you have been on a number of diets with mixed results or have regained weight, you may want to give an intermittent fasting a shot to see if it is a better fit for you than counting calories.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting (IF) is a pattern of eating that goes between periods of fasting and eating. These periods of fasting can vary from hours to days depending on the type of intermittent fasting method you are using. You can find out more about the intermittent fasting types here.
Pros and Cons of Intermittent Fasting
Like any other diet plan, it has its upside and its downside. You have to decide if the benefits are a good tradeoff for the disadvantages of this way of eating.
Pros of Intermittent Fasting
Once you get used to your new way of eating, you just feel better and “lighter.” The feeling of retained water disappears as well. You should feel the difference in a few days.
If you have weight to lose, intermittent fasting should help you reach your weight loss goals if you can stick with the plan. Eating in a smaller window of time will make easier to consume fewer calories.
Intermittent fasting allows the blood insulin levels to go down far enough and for long enough that we burn off our fat.
I know people that have gotten to a healthy weight in a year by following in intermittent fasting program and this includes women in their 40s, 50s and even 60s.
Insulin resistance can be reduced by intermittent fasting, allowing you to have a lower blood sugar level. This should help prevent Type 2 diabetes.
Some studies show a reduction in inflammation which can lead to chronic disease. I seem to feel less pain in my joints after my first 24-48 hour period of following an intermittent fasting plan.
There are studies that show that heart health can be improved because of the potential of intermittent fasting to reduce the risk factors, such as; “bad” LDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides, inflammatory markers, blood sugar and insulin resistance.
These all add to your risk for heart disease.
There are studies that would indicate that intermittent fasting can prevent cancer.
Brain Health and Anti-Aging
There are also studies that indicate that intermittent fasting could aid in the increase of brain hormones and may protect against Alzheimer’s Disease. Fasting has been shown to increase life span in rats.
Besides the above benefits from studies, I have personally noticed more clarity and increased productivity while intermittent fasting.
My skin also feels healthier. If you are a good candidate for an intermittent fasting eating plan, you could see additional benefits that may not be mentioned here.
There is quite a bit of evidence that intermittent fasting has some real benefits.
The Downside of Intermittent Fasting
It does not matter how good or popular something is there is always going to be some disadvantages and an intermittent fasting plan of eating is no different.
You Will Feel Hungry at First
Okay, let’s face it, if you are used to eating whenever you want, intermittent fasting will probably be challenge the first week, because you are going to be fasting for at least 16 hours.
You may fast longer than that depending on the fasting plan that you choose. One of the things that worked best for me is to sip water or green tea when I feel hungry.
Coffee also works as long as it is black. Anything liquid with zero calories can work, but be aware that some people are impacted by artificial sweeteners.
Workouts Could Make You Feel Sick
Just like other activities done on an empty stomach, strenuous activity, such as working out can cause you to feel nauseated or light-headed.
You may want to change the time you exercise or the intensity of your workouts. I have also heard of people putting small amounts of pink Himalayan salt under the tongue to replace the electrolytes lost during a workout.
Problems If You Have Low – Blood Sugar
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can be caused by fasting. This is the reason that fasting is not recommended for people with Type 2 diabetes.
Low-blood sugar can cause dizziness, nausea or shakiness. It is recommended that people with that experience low blood sugar eat 5 -6 small meals a day to avoid lightheadedness.
Others warn against not being able to form mindful eating habits and taking intermittent fasting too far.
Intermittent Fasting for Women Over 40
It is no secret that as a person ages, losing weight becomes more challenging. But it is not impossible. Many women over 40 lose weight by following structured eating plans. And intermittent fasting is one of these eating plans.
There are several women in my community that have made intermittent fasting a permanent way of eating. Their weight loss ranges from 20 – 70 pounds over a 12 month period.
I also follow this food plan. These women are all over the age of 55 and this plan is allowing them to live healthier, lose weight and enjoy the foods they truly enjoy.
I started out slowly, by fasting from 10pm to 2pm the following day. The first week can be a challenge. I learned to like water and green tea and drank a lot of it.
Having a short period for eating makes it easier to eat fewer calories and for me being able to enjoy the foods I want is a fair trade-off for eating fewer hours each day.
Final Thoughts – Intermittent Fasting for Women Over 40
Intermittent fasting is not necessarily a one-size-fits-all solution to losing weight. There are many variations of fasting eating plans.
You can fast for 16 – 20 hours a day. You can choose to fast for 1 – 2 days a week and then eat normally for the other 5 days of the week.
There is a lot of flexibility when it comes to creating an eating schedule. A simple plan that is easily sustainable, would be to eat only 2 meals a day within an 8 hour period.
One of the best things about intermittent fasting is there is no counting of calories or big meal prep days (unless you enjoy that).
Another benefit if following an intermittent fasting plan is a lower grocery bill. While time and money are not necessarily the best reasons to follow a particular weight loss plan, I will take it.
Start slow and begin eating meals in a shorter window and adjust your eating schedule to fit your life. It really is that simple.
If you are able to get past the first few weeks, you could lose 1 – 2 pounds a week without counting calories.