Page 1Group 8Group 7Group 7
Beauty Style Fitness Wellness Living #RealTalk #EmbraceYourAge
Stay up to date

Get on the List

Unlock our weekly newsletter packed with tips on living authentically, healthfully, and stylishly at every age.Get on the List: The best beauty, fashion, wellness and fitness tips straight to your inbox

Fasting: Yay or Nay?

Fasting, by definition, is “a willing abstinence or reduction from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time.” But for fitness buffs in particular, the term “fasting” has come to mean a number of things. During a fast, the body converts glycogen into glucose for energy. Once that is depleted, the body goes for fat stores. And that idea excites people who are trying to lose weight.

One type of fasting, called intermittent fasting, has become so commonplace that some of our friends do it. There are a couple of takes on the idea: on the 5:2  plan, you eat normally for five days of the week and cut calories to about 25 percent of normal intake on two nonconsecutive days of the week; another approach calls for you to abstain from eating for 14 hours and then eat normally the other 10.

The Case for Yay

There is research that shows that fasting* has benefits. Last year, Scientific American reported that “a new study shows five days of hunger a month may reduce risk factors for aging and age-related diseases.” Whether your fast calls for you to eat during eight-hour windows or one meal a day, fasting appears to increase the body’s responsiveness to insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar, helping to control feelings of hunger and food cravings. Fasting may also improve triglyceride and cholesterol levels.

The Western model of eating three big meals a day is usually an overload for our system — way too much food than our body knows what to do with. Intermittent fasting can help put you back in touch with how much you really need to eat throughout the day and reset hunger signals that might have gotten lost in the grocery store aisles.

The Case for Nay

We cannot stress this enough: Your body needs fat to function. If you’ve been brainwashed into thinking fat is the enemy, allow us to disabuse you of that notion. As the New York Times so bluntly states, “The sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to play down the link between sugar and heart disease and promote  saturated fat  as the culprit instead, newly released historical documents show.”

Fasting is commonly thought of as a quick way to lose weight. With such hyper focus on weight loss and fat loss in our culture, fasting can be dangerous if not structured and intentional. Think eating disorders (yes, they are on the rise in women over 45), brain damage, organ malfunction, and more.

Jury Says

Fasting, particularly intermittent fasting, can be beneficial if done right. Everyone should take great care when skipping meals, but women over 50 should be extra careful. Do not partake in a structured fast without consulting your doctor first, especially if you’ve got a chronic illness. If you take medication, you’ll have to stop taking it during your fast — which can be a very bad idea.

Fasting should be intentional, calculated, and monitored. Above all, be very self-aware while fasting. If you’re dizzy or feeling “off,” break your fast. No eating plan is worth risking your overall health and longevity.

*Some religions include fasting as a part of their practice. The type of fasting we are referring to in this post is a voluntary lifestyle fast aimed at losing weight and improving health.

Photo: Solid Colours

You Might Also Like

5 Standing Yoga Poses for Lower-Back Pain
Yoga

5 Standing Yoga Poses for Lower-Back Pain

If you have lower-back pain, you are not alone. According to the...

read
Has the Carbohydrate Conundrum Been Solved?
Wellness

Has the Carbohydrate Conundrum Been Solved?

New research studying carb intake in relation to mortality confirms that contrary...

read
5 Recipes for an Unforgettable Holiday Cookie Party
Wellness

5 Recipes for an Unforgettable Holiday Cookie Party

’Tis the season for a cookie party. Legendary cookie baker Dorie Greenspan...

read
Is Sitting Ruining Your Posture?
Wellness

Is Sitting Ruining Your Posture?

Back pain, leg pain, shoulder pain, headaches. We tend to attribute inconvenient...

read
Put an End to Your Perfectionism
Wellness

Put an End to Your Perfectionism

Earlier this year I had an epiphany: The never-ending feeling that I needed...

read
Holiday Gifts for Women Who Love Wellness
Wellness

Holiday Gifts for Women Who Love Wellness

Don’t stress over holiday gifts for your gals who walk the wellness...

read
Women Who Inspire: Actress and Author Lisa Oz
Living

Women Who Inspire: Actress and Author Lisa Oz

Lisa Oz is the wife of Dr. Oz, but she’s never languished...

read
10 Real Women Who Endlessly Inspire Us
Living

10 Real Women Who Endlessly Inspire Us

They’re not celebrities. They don’t have a ton of money. But they...

read
5 Exfoliators for 5 Aging-Skin Problems
Beauty

5 Exfoliators for 5 Aging-Skin Problems

It seems that with age comes a more complicated skin care routine....

read
I Feel OK About My Neck
#RealTalk

I Feel OK About My Neck

The late Nora Ephron’s essay “I Feel Bad About My Neck” is...

read
Office Hours: How Can I Get Back Into the Workforce?
Living

Office Hours: How Can I Get Back Into the Workforce?

Welcome to Office Hours, where a Fairygodboss expert answers a question from one of...

read
7 Lessons for My Younger Self
#RealTalk

7 Lessons for My Younger Self

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards,” said...

read
Women Who Inspire: Model Gillean McLeod
Living

Women Who Inspire: Model Gillean McLeod

Gillean McLeod, 62, admits being “late to the game” has been somewhat...

read
The Fine Line Holiday Gift Guide
Living

The Fine Line Holiday Gift Guide

From hard-to-shop-for men to the gal who likes it all, the people...

read
Fitness Gifts You Won’t Have to Sweat Over
Fitness

Fitness Gifts You Won’t Have to Sweat Over

If even thinking about shopping gives you a hot flash, you’re not...

read
Perfect Presents Under $150
Living

Perfect Presents Under $150

Holiday gift giving shouldn’t break the bank. We found 13 presents under...

read
Great Gifts for Good Guys
Living

Great Gifts for Good Guys

Why are guys so hard to buy for? We don’t have the...

read
The Tastiest Holiday Gifts for Foodies
Living

The Tastiest Holiday Gifts for Foodies

We got hungry just thinking about wrapping up these tasty holiday gifts...

read
Hostess Gifts to Show Your Gratitude
Living

Hostess Gifts to Show Your Gratitude

Whether you’re just popping over for dinner or staying a few days,...

read
Eat This Now: Ultimate Cleansing Foods
Wellness

Eat This Now: Ultimate Cleansing Foods

If you’re among the millions of Americans suffering from obesity, diabetes, high...

read
Need to Know: Heavy Metals
Wellness

Need to Know: Heavy Metals

Heavy metals are odorless, invisible, and virtually undetectable — but they’re of increasing...

read
Every Wrinkle Tells a Story
#RealTalk

Every Wrinkle Tells a Story

As I approach 50 and beyond, I look at myself differently. Whereas...

read
Problem/Solution: Teensy Bladder Leaks
Style

Problem/Solution: Teensy Bladder Leaks

You laugh. You sneeze. You cough. You do 13,791 burpees at the...

read
Shave Your Face: Yay or Nay?
Beauty

Shave Your Face: Yay or Nay?

Hair removal has long been an integral part of beauty routines. As...

read
How to Get Started With Exercise at 75
Fitness

How to Get Started With Exercise at 75

When you hit your mid-70s, you may feel like your daily routine...

read
5 Hormone-Balancing Foods
Wellness

5 Hormone-Balancing Foods

Are your hormones out of whack? Often the best place to start...

read
The Science-Based Solution for Aging Hair
Beauty

The Science-Based Solution for Aging Hair

There’s no question that our hair changes as we get older. It...

read
37 Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance
Wellness

37 Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance

Hormones play an enormous role in how we look, think, and feel....

read
6 Questions With... Skin Care Pioneer Jane Iredale
Beauty

6 Questions With... Skin Care Pioneer Jane Iredale

Jane Iredale began her eponymous brand in New York in 1994. As a casting...

read
7 Reasons to Embrace Cardio
Fitness

7 Reasons to Embrace Cardio

Cardio is any form of exercise that raises your pulse and conditions...

read
Load More
share
To Top