This Morning: Early menopause sufferer explains symptoms
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Intermittent fasting has long been a dieting favourite for slimmers everywhere. And some types have been proven to help with moderate weight loss.
But can fasting help menopausal women?
Nutritionist Jackie Lynch, the founder of the WellWellWell Nutrition Clinic who specialise in women’s health and the menopause, explained it’s not for everyone.
She said: “I’m a big fan of this but not all fasting is equal and it’s not for everyone.
“If you have an under-active thyroid, are in a state of chronic stress or diabetic you need to be careful.
“I’m not a huge fan of the 5:2 diet, where you eat healthily for five days a week then restrict to 500 calories for two days.”
But she suggested an alternative for women in their midlife trying to shift unwanted pounds.
“I prefer time-restricted eating within a window. This is called 16:8.
“You’d have perhaps breakfast at 10am and finish your evening meal at 6pm.
“This is particularly great if you have digestive problems.”
She explained it gives the body “time to catch up with itself” and process everything.
“It can really help to speed up metabolism,” she added.
“And the great thing is you haven’t got this yo-yo situation which you get with 5:2.”
After the menopause, women often find their metabolism changes again and may continue to put on fat around their middle due to the many hormonal changes going on inside their bodies.
A review in the 2021 Annual Review of Nutrition indicated that the cardio-metabolic benefits of fasting can help those with obesity, and another study in the Menopause Review suggests that obesity can be connected to menopause in mid-life women, due to oestrogen.
Dr Nirusa Kumaran, medical director and founder of Elemental Health Clinic told Live Science: “The menopause can have different affects on women depending on how they experience it, making intermittent fasting suitable for some and not others.
“During and after menopause, your sex hormones decline, you become insulin resistant, and your metabolism can slow down.
“In some women intermittent fasting can help with these symptoms, however other women may be very sensitive to the excess stress menopause causes.”
Jackie continued to explain to Henpicked that by consuming a “good blood sugar balancing breakfast, a light lunch and your nicely balanced plate for your evening meal”, it can kickstart things if people begin to struggle with a plateau.
But she warned: “You do need to be consistent.
“If you’re doing intermittent fasting you’ll probably need to do it for a few months.
“It might just take a couple of months to see any difference, and I know it’s hard to stick to if you’re not seeing results. But after about two months you’ll see things start to get going.”
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