Women and Fasting: Top Tips for Women Going Through Menopause Part 2

In our last blog post sharing my top tips for women struggling to lose weight, we discussed the importance of fasting consistently.  We talked about how you do not have to follow the same regimen week in and week out, but you need to do something each week to get results.

In this week’s blog post on my top tips for women struggling with weight loss, we are going to talk about the importance of clean fasting.

What is ‘clean’ fasting?

Clean fasting means you are only consuming water, natural salt and magnesium during a fast.  You may also consume tea and coffee, but without the addition of sweetener regardless of it is natural or artificial, and fat. Sources of fat may include heavy cream, MCT oil, butter, ghee, unsweetened almond milk, or coconut cream or milk.

When we first started asking people to follow various 24 or 36 hour intermittent fasting regimens, encouraged patients to add some fat to their tea, coffee and even broth if it helped them be compliant with fasting.  In fact, we still do to this very day, but we consider these items to be aids in the transition from eating multiple times a day to fasting.  Once you’re able to fast with ease, you need to work on reducing these aids, or training wheels as we call them in the IDM Program, and focus on ‘cleaning up’ your fasting periods.

Many people who are new to fasting and using these training wheels often have great success at the start because of the dramatic shift in their diets, but more often than not the use of training wheels will cause us to stall.  This is because many of us are struggling with quite severe insulin resistance and hormonal imbalances.

Most of these training wheels contain food energy and will cause our insulin levels to go up.  If we are trying to combat type 2 diabetes (DMII) or obesity, which are diseases of too much insulin in the body, adding more insulin isn’t going to help matters.

Also, if we’re consuming food energy while we’re fasting, how can we expect to burn stored food energy?  A cup a bulletproof coffee or tea, which often contains a combination of fats, will fuel us for about 4 to 6 hours.  That means for 4 to 6 hours of your fasting period you’ll be fuelling on your coffee rather than your own stored body fuel or fat, which totally defeats the purpose of fasting if you’re trying to drop excess fat.  You want your bodies to be ‘feasting’ off of your unwater body fat rather than the cream or butter in your beverage.

 

Clinical observations

Often a man can use these training wheels, even in excess, and lose weight and reach their goals without hitting any plateaus.  But over the years we have watched women eventually hit a wall in their progress.

Most of the time women struggle to kick the training wheels to the curb because they provide us with comfort.  Throughout most of human history women have been the dominant nurturers.  And somewhere along the line we started using food as a tool to help us provide this comfort to our family and communities.

After a stressful day a cup of coffee with a few tablespoons of heavy cream does not seem like that big of a deal.  Most women say they can find comfort in a creamy beverage and think it’s a good thing since it’s not the cheesecake or bag of potato chips you would have comforted yourself with like you did in the past.  How bad can it really be?

Over the years I have fought some women tooth and nail to drop creamer and sweetener from their tea and coffee after months of plateauing and trying to do extended fasts without results.  Eventually they either make the commitment to cut the cream and stevia or give up.  And every time a woman agrees to cutting out the cream, the weight starts to melt off.

What’s interesting is how much better women feel and how much easier the fasting becomes for them.  Many will often report that they really struggle with fasting, which often results in them adding more cream to their beverages.  But when they cut it out altogether, the fasting becomes so much easier.  Suddenly 24 hours seems like a breeze and even three days of fasting is not a big deal.

 

Tips and tricks for cutting out the creamer and sweetener:

  • Add a pinch of natural salt like Himalayan salt to black coffee or tea to cut the bitterness
  • Use cinnamon to sweeten your beverages or simply boil some cinnamon bark in water to change things up
  • Take mint leaves and a touch of lemon and add them to hot water to make your own peppermint tea, which is also an amazing, caffeine-free, appetite suppressant
  • Try out a variety of herbal teas in both hot and cold water to change things up

Follow these links for more detailed information on why buttletproof coffee, dairy and sweeteners can be problematic for shedding those pounds.

 

In our next post, we’ll talk about the importance of nutrient dense diets for weight loss success:

 

 

Megan Ramos, IDM Program Director

2019-07-23T14:38:46-04:0010 Comments

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Maryann
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Maryann

Hi Megan, is MCT oil powder acceptable or also a stall? Thank you!

rachel
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We would advise to avoid MCT powder. The oil is the purest form and in order to make it into powder, they have to suspend it in sugar or some other horrendous substance!

Hi I’ve been fasting since about April lost 22 pou
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Hi I’ve been fasting since about April lost 22 pou

Hi I’ve been fasting since about April lost 22 pounds are usually do a 21 to 24 hour fast eat on the weekends I have stalled now my problem seems to be that when I do eat on my days off I’m not as hungry so should I just eat what my body can handle these days I don’t know what to do

rachel
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You may want to try mixing up your fasting regime up and try longer fasts such as alternate day fasting. As for feasting, eat only until satiated!

marcy e mcnally
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marcy e mcnally

I was under the impression that mct oil is ok during a fast. I take an eyedropper of CBD tincture daily at night (helps sore legs from working on my feet all day). It’s suspended in MCT oil, I would say it’s about a tablespoon at most ?

rachel
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Yes, this is okay.

Jane
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Jane

This is the regular fasting schedule I’m considering because I think it works the easiest with my work schedule: 22:2 (fast from after dinner Saturday to dinnertime on Sunday), 60 hrs from Monday after dinner to Breakfast on Thursday, 36 hours from dinner Thursday to breakfast on Sunday. Does that sound like it is in keeping with Dr. Fung’s program, or is a weekly fast of 60 hours too much?

Celsa
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Celsa

Hola Megan. Hace aproximadamente 1 año inicié mis primeros ayunos intermitentes tras muchos años de restricciones calóricas para mantenerme en un peso adecuado. A costa de mucho esfuerzo tanto alimentario como de ejercicio, he mantenido mi peso para estar delgada durante 45 años de vida. En los últimos años el esfuerzo cada vez era mayor y en estos últimos 4 años incluso iba ganando peso poco a poco. Me resistía a creer que por envejecer necesariamente tenía que ganar peso y comencé una búsqueda científica al respecto (soy médico, por lo que estoy habituada), de esta manera encontré las publicaciones… Read more »

Anita Nelson
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Anita Nelson

In my coffee, I’m putting a teaspoon of coconut oil and half cap of vanilla (probably 3-5 drops). I hope it’s complying because it’s working for me. I am having trouble giving up saccharin.

Julie Croydon
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Julie Croydon

I forgot to take off my training wheels and have been having cream in my coffee while fasting. Great information, I can now see where I am going wrong.