Intermittent fasting (IF) has become a very popular method for losing weight and improving health. Advocates of intermittent fasting claim that it lowers diabetes risk by decreasing insulin resistance, enhances growth hormone production, which is good for anti-ageing and improves cognition through the release of dopamine.
Intermittent fasting is a way of eating that focuses on WHEN you eat and not so much on WHAT you eat. It involves going without food for a determined period of time. Popular approaches are the 16:8, where you fast for 16 hours (say between the hours of 7pm and 11am), and then eat within an 8-hour window or the 5:2 method where you restrict calories to about 500 calories for two days a week and eat normally the other five days. Others prefer a 24-hour fast once or twice a week and there are a few other variations. As trendy as fasting has become, is fasting beneficial for everyone and more specifically, should women be fasting? It seems the answer is a little more complicated than a simple “Yes” or “No”.
Do you suffer from one or more of the following: fatigue, stubborn weight, belly fat, brain fog or insomnia? If “yes,” then you might need to pay some attention to your body’s stress response system, otherwise known as your HPA axis. HPA stands for Hypothalamic–Pituitary–Adrenal. Our stress response is governed by the interaction between the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands. Stress activates the HPA axis and leads to the release of hormones like cortisol and adrenaline that prepare our body for the flight or fight response. While our body’s response to stress is protective in the short-term, the longer the stress response stays activated, the more damaging it is for our health. A commonly used term for this chronic stress response is “adrenal fatigue.”