Losing weight and improving your health can be a challenge at any age, but it’s especially tough after 60. With all of the changes that occur in our bodies, weight gain of some sort is inevitable. We carry excess weight around our middle (at a minimum), and remaining true to a healthy lifestyle day in, day out, can be tough.
So, the thought of intermittent fasting after 60 is out there as consideration for weight loss. You may have heard about this type of eating window approach as a way to lose weight and improve your health, but you’re not sure if it’s right for you. I’m right there with you, my friend.
As a seasoned grazer and early-morning breakfast aficionado, the thought of refraining from eating for a specified period of time is a bit daunting. So, I decided to do some research to find out more about this intermittent style of eating.
Intermittent fasting can be a great way for women over 60 to lose weight and improve their health, but it’s important to find the right plan that fits your individual needs. With the right approach, altering your eating habits can help you reach your goals without negative side effects.
If you are just starting on your weight loss journey, or perhaps you’ve been working hard at eating nutritiously and need a fresh approach, intermittent fasting may be the right choice!
Please note that I am not a nutrition expert; I am offering this for informational purposes only. Always seek the guidance of a professional, including your physician, before embarking on a weight loss venture.
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- What is Intermittent Fasting?
- Is Intermittent Fasting After 60 Safe?
- The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting for Women Over 60
- What are the Best Foods to Eat During a Non-Fasting Window?
- Can You Eat or Drink Anything on Your Fasting Days?
- How to Start an Intermittent Fasting Plan That's Right for You
- Tips for sticking with your intermittent fasting plan
- FAQ: Intermittent Fasting after 60
- Conclusion: Is Intermittent Fasting Right for You?
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and non-fasting (eating again).
There are different approaches to the fasting/non-fasting hours:
The 16:8 Fast – With this approach, you would eat your regular diet for 8 hours a day and fast for the other 16 hours. For example, if you finished dinner at 7 pm, you wouldn’t eat again until 11:00 a.m. the next day. This is one of the most popular fasting regimens because it’s easy to maintain and doesn’t cause a lot of discomfort.
If you’re willing to forego any type of snacks or food after dinner, and you don’t mind skipping breakfast, this could be the type of fasting plan that will work for you.
The 12:12 Fast – This approach involves fasting for 12 hours each day and then eating during the other 12. For example, you might eat your last meal at 8 pm and not eat again until 8 am the next morning. This is usually recommended for beginners, as it’s not as hard to follow and doesn’t involve cutting out meals.
I’ve been following this method for a couple of weeks now. I made the decision to give it a try after researching for this post. It is more about making good decisions and limiting mindless snacks early in the morning or later in the evening. If I lose a pound or two that’s great, but for me it’s a win if I can maintain my current weight.
The 5:2 Fast – In this approach, you would limit your calorie intake to about 500 calories on the two fast days, and eat normally the other five days. Another name for this is the Fast Diet, made popular by a British journalist named Michael Mosley.
Eat Stop Eat or Alternate Day Fasting – This is an eating pattern where you fast for 24 hours once or twice per week. The goal is to take a complete break from eating for 24 hours at a time, but never fast for two days in a row.
So, on this type of fast you would stop eating after dinner, for example, and not eat again until dinner the next day. You can have liquids such as coffee, water, and 0 calorie beverages, but no food. And, you can decide when you want to start the 24 hour fast – it doesn’t have to be after dinner. You might prefer to start after breakfast, or after lunch.
If you’re in good health and exercise regularly, fasting like this could be something you’d want to consider.
When we fast, our body goes into a fasting state and starts releasing hormones like human growth hormone (HGH) and ketones. These hormones play a key role in improving our overall health: HGH can help build muscle mass and reduce fat; it can also boost our metabolism and improve skin, hair, and nails while we’re fasting.
Many people who try intermittent fasting find that they enjoy the convenience of eating less frequently or not at all during the fasting portion of the plan.
Can you exercise while fasting? Yes, but take into consideration the type of exercise you are doing as well as where you are in the fasting period. If you are in a non-eating period, for example, you might want to stick with less intense exercises. Always listen to your body!
If you do exercise during a fast, be sure to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Overall, it’s important to listen to your body and pay attention to its reaction when trying fasting as a woman over 60.
Is Intermittent Fasting After 60 Safe?
While intermittent fasting can be beneficial, it’s important to remember that it’s not right for everyone. You should consult your doctor before beginning any new diet plan, especially if you take medications or have any chronic medical conditions.
Before starting this eating pattern, women over 60 should consider their overall health and lifestyle. For example, if you have a history of eating disorders or struggle with anorexia, bulimia, or binge-eating disorder, intermittent fasting may not be right for you.
It is a personal decision that only you can make. Overall, if you’re healthy as a woman in her 60s, and you want to try one of the intermittent fasting methods, give it a try and see how it works for you.
The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting for Women Over 60
One of the biggest benefits associated with intermittent fasting is weight loss. Many women find that this plan leads to rapid weight loss, which may be especially beneficial after menopause when your metabolism naturally slows down, more significantly after the age of 60.
In addition, many people lose fat in visceral areas when they reduce their calorie intake over a short period of time. If you have excess belly fat, this can help you shed pounds more easily.
Intermittent fasting may also improve your health in a variety of ways:
- Weight loss
- Reduced inflammation
- Lower blood sugar levels and insulin resistance
- Increased energy and focus
- Improved mood and brain health
- Improved heart health
What are the Best Foods to Eat During a Non-Fasting Window?
The best way to make sure you’re not depriving your body of the nutrients it needs is to eat whole, nutrient-rich foods during when not fasting. Some good options for women over 60 include:
- Healthy fats: olive oil, coconut oil, avocado
- Protein: beans and legumes, eggs, chicken and turkey
- Fruits: apples, oranges, pears
- Vegetables: asparagus, spinach, kale
In addition to eating nutritious foods during a non-fasting period, it’s important that you drink lots of water. Try carrying a water bottle around with you throughout the day to stay hydrated!
Is there anything I should avoid eating during a non-fasting window?
Studies have shown that the consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates can actually make a person hungrier after a fast. To prevent this from happening, try avoiding refined carbs like white bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes.
In addition to cutting out refined carbs, you should also try to cut down on alcohol consumption during non-fasting periods. While it’s fine to have a glass of red wine with dinner, overdoing it on the alcohol could leave you feeling dehydrated and lead to headaches or other negative side effects.
Can You Eat or Drink Anything on Your Fasting Days?
If you choose a type of intermittent fast that goes for 24 hours in duration, you’ll want to make sure and stay hydrated during your fasting days, with water (sparkling or not), black coffee, green or herbal tea, perhaps some diet soda if it’s close to zero calories.
What should you eat on your non-fast days?
You can eat regularly and don’t have to avoid foods, although a healthy approach is always wise. Enjoy fruits and veggies, plenty of protein, as noted in the section above.
How to Start an Intermittent Fasting Plan That’s Right for You
Intermittent fasting is a customizable eating pattern that can be adjusted to meet your specific needs. The best way to begin intermittent fasting is by slowly increasing the number of hours you fast until you reach the recommended 16-hour window. Once you’ve established a pattern, it’s a good idea to track what you eat so that you can adjust your calorie intake as needed.
If you feel weak or tired during a fast, try drinking lots of water and consuming electrolytes to help nourish your body with the nutrients it needs.
In addition, be sure to include plenty of healthy fats in your diet to boost energy levels and fill you up before entering a fasting period. Finally, make sure you’re staying active while fasting to help stay comfortable during the 16-hour food-free period.
Tips for sticking with your intermittent fasting plan
Intermittent fasting can be a useful tool in your weight loss and health management plan, but only when you do it the right way. The key to success with intermittent fasting is finding a schedule that works for your lifestyle, goals, and dietary preferences.
In addition, take time to track your calorie intake so that you can adjust your meal plan if needed.
There are a number of apps available to help you track your intermittent fasting plan. Some have free versions, and most include helpful, supplemental information to aid you in your journey.
If you don’t eat enough healthy fats throughout the day while non-fasting, it can be more difficult to stay full during the fasting period. Consider upping your intake of high-fiber foods and healthy fats, such as avocados and coconut oil.
If you’re having a hard time sticking to the plan, don’t be afraid to make changes. You should always feel comfortable when choosing what to eat, so add or take away food groups until you find the right mix for your individual needs.
FAQ: Intermittent Fasting after 60
Am I too old to try intermittent fasting if I’m in my 60s?
If you’re in good health and your doctor gives the OK, intermittent fasting is never too old or too late. If you want to try this plan but aren’t sure if it’s right for you, talk with your doctor first.
How often can I eat during my intermittent fasting window?
This depends on what works best with your lifestyle and schedule. Some people fast for 24 hours at a time, while others do it more frequently throughout the week. Intermittent fasting doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing plan; if you can only fast one day per week, that’s fine!
Will intermittent fasting cause me to lose muscle?
There’s a chance that you may lose some muscle mass when you’re fasting, but this doesn’t have to be the case. If you eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly throughout the week, intermittent fasting shouldn’t cause any major problems.
Can I still enjoy my favorite foods while intermittent fasting?
Absolutely! You don’t have to completely change the food you eat during non-fasting periods; simply make healthier choices when eating your favorite foods.
For instance, if you want to eat pizza during your non-fasting window, try sharing it with a friend and pair each slice with fresh veggies.
As long as you’re eating healthy fats and clean proteins during non-fasting periods, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy your favorite foods every now and then!
Is intermittent fasting safe?
Intermittent fasting is just fine for most women over 60, but only if they do it properly. If you suffer from a medical condition or are struggling with anorexia, bulimia, or binge-eating disorder, intermittent fasting isn’t safe.
Don’t forget that the best way to get results with this plan is through consistency.
Conclusion: Is Intermittent Fasting Right for You?
The best way to determine if this eating pattern is right for you is to decide what your goals are. For many women over 60, weight loss is a top priority. If this is the case with you, intermittent fasting may be exactly what you need.
Our bodies don’t respond in the same way as when we were younger, as you’ve probably noticed! It may take a different approach in order to lose the weight you want, once you’re in your 60s.
Always take care to listen to your body when intermittent fasting; if you feel tired or weak during a fast, make sure to stop. The last thing you want is for this eating pattern to negatively affect your health.
All that said, if you’re curious about this eat/no eat approach to weight loss, give it a try. It might be just what your metabolism needs to help you lose some weight.
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