Intermittent Fasting for Menopause

Intermittent fasting and menopause

Last Updated on December 16, 2022 by Kayla

Menopause is a natural process in a woman’s life, and it can be difficult to manage. One often overlooked aspect of this change is its effect on metabolism. Menopause causes a drop in estrogen which can slow metabolic rate and promote increased body fat. Intermittent fasting for menopause may be one solution to help ease symptoms by helping women balance their hormones while reducing body fat, increasing energy levels, and lowering blood pressure.

What is menopause?

Estrogen is one of the most important hormones for women’s health. It helps regulate many normal bodily functions, including a woman’s menstrual cycle and bone density. It also encourages elasticity, or increased flexibility, of the blood vessels which can have a positive impact on blood pressure and heart health.

Natural menopause is the gradual process that marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years. Menopause can also be surgically induced with removal of the ovaries.

Perimenopause, or the time period that precedes menopause, begins when the ovaries start producing less estrogen. This can happen 8 to 10 years before menopause. The time of onset varies and typically occurs around the age of 40.

During the last two years of perimenopause, estrogen levels decline rapidly and the ovaries stop releasing eggs halting ovulation. Monthly periods seize, and once a year has passed since a woman’s last period, she has officially transitioned from perimenopause to menopause.

Symptoms of perimenopause

The change in estrogen and other hormones can cause a variety of physical and emotional changes in women including:

  • hot flashes
  • breast tenderness
  • irregular periods
  • more frequent urination
  • aching muscle & joints
  • headaches
  • difficulty sleeping
  • vaginal dryness
  • decreased libido
  • hair loss
  • increased irritability, depression & anxiety
  • weight gain

One often overlooked aspect is the effect of hormonal changes on metabolism. Menopause causes a drop in estrogen which causes a slowdown of metabolic rate. When coupled with age-related metabolism changes, this can promote weight gain during menopause. Decreased estrogen can contribute to increased body fat especially around the mid-section. Just what every woman wants – NOT!

Weight gain during menopause

Menopause can be difficult enough without also dealing with weight gain that sometimes accompanies this time period. The most common reason for weight gain experienced during and after menopause is a decrease in metabolic rate, which can be attributed to many factors: lower estrogen levels, increased body fat percentage, and loss of muscle tissue associated with aging.

All of these aspects result in slowing of your metabolic rate which can contribute to weight gain and difficulty losing weight once menopause sets in. The good news is that if you want to avoid unwanted weight gain with menopause, there are lifestyle choices you can make to help reduce the risk of gaining weight during and after menopause.

Regular physical activity, stress management, proper sleep hygiene, and weight loss/maintenance can positively impact risk factors for chronic conditions like heart disease after menopause. Intermittent fasting is an effective tool that can help balance hormone levels while reducing body fat.

Intermittent fasting for menopause

Cycling periods of eating and fasting is labeled in many ways including “timed eating”, “time-restricted feeding” {TRF}, and “intermittent fasting” {IF}. Regardless of what you call it, this eating regimen can be done in several ways, and one that is very effective is the 16/8 method.

This style of fasting involves eating within an 8-hour window each day and fasting for the remaining 16 hours. For example, this might look like consuming all meals and snacks between 10am and 6pm or 12pm and 8pm. Water, coffee, and tea are allowed at any point during the day – both in the fasting and eating “windows”.

Intermittent fasting can help reduce menopause symptoms such as increased body fat, reduced energy levels, and emotional stress. Other health benefits include increased lean muscle, decreased inflammation, and improved blood pressure.

If you’re not experiencing menopause symptoms, intermittent fasting may help you stay healthy and feel better. Intermittent fasting can be a great way to lose weight, increase energy levels, lower blood pressure, and improve hormone levels.

Next steps

Ladies, if you are struggling to manage the symptoms of menopause, intermittent fasting may be a tool you can use to help your hormones and maintain your weight during this difficult time. I always recommend people do their own research on the topic to see if it is a good fit for them. Stick around and check out some of my favorite books on intermittent fasting.

I would love to hear what other intermittent fasting and women’s health topics you want to learn more about. Post a comment below to have your questions answered! Thanks for reading!

Yours truly,

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