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Old 08-27-2008, 07:40 AM   #1
Bonnie Martin
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Default IF for women?

Just curious - I don't see too many posts about IF'ing from women. Have you guys seen it to be equally as effective for us ladies?

I guess I would be referring to fat loss, better conditioning, mood, energy, etc.

Thanks!
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Old 08-27-2008, 07:58 AM   #2
Tirzah Harper
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I IF in the true sense of "intermittent," more because of appetite than anything else.
I've never black-boxed it to see what differences IF'ing makes over not IF'ing, given no other variables thrown in. I just don't feel like eating breakfast some days.
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:08 AM   #3
Mike ODonnell
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Why does there need to be a specific plan for women? IF can be used by anyone...but what one person does may not be ideal for the next....so it really is just a tool that one has to learn how to implement for them specifically.
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Old 08-27-2008, 12:36 PM   #4
Gittit Shwartz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike ODonnell View Post
Why does there need to be a specific plan for women? IF can be used by anyone...but what one person does may not be ideal for the next....so it really is just a tool that one has to learn how to implement for them specifically.
It does seem (at least from the posts on this board) that statistically IF just "works better" for men. A higher proportion of women doing IF report negative results (muscle loss, cold hands/feet) while most men on this board do very well with it. Since there ARE significant physiological differences I don't think it's a silly idea at all for a woman to try and glean some guidelines from other women's experiences, as long as the first question is always "is this working for ME". My $0.02.
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Old 08-27-2008, 02:34 PM   #5
sarena kopciel
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I IFd for several months last winter and it appeared to work but it got to a stage that I felt it was no longer in my best interests re: hormonal shifts, cold, cravings
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Old 08-27-2008, 04:43 PM   #6
Jane Michel
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Martin Berkhan at Leangains http://www.leangains.com/ (WFS) talks a little about this and says he uses 14 hours for women and 16 hours for men:

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Leigh Peele-I have read some other IF programs and from what I know as well you are 100% right on subjected of the fasted workouts. Some even encourage it so I am glad to see your take on that supports training. We know all to well how people can drive themselves into the ground trying to get those in and out equations right.

Have you found a difference between men and women using this program? Is it safe to say that since women have a less caloric burn they are finding that with NOT TRACKING their intake more carefully that they stall faster?

Martin Berkhan-Due to differences in body weight, body composition and calorie needs, very few women, especially those already within a ‘normal’ weight range, get away with an unstructured approach to dieting. That goes for all diet approaches, not just IF. Sure, a lifestyle approach to IF will likely get a few pounds of you, but it won’t work all the way down to getting really lean for most women. The female body is very adept in protecting against fat loss below a certain body fat percentage and spontaneous eating without logging calories will often set people up for failure, unless they have a very solid track record of dieting in the past (i.e very attuned to their bodies caloric needs).

As we’re on the subject, I’ll also mention that I’ve revamped the diet guidelines I use for my female clients. For example, the fasted phase is now 14 hours by default, not 16 hours which is the case for men. This has brought about much greater diet compliance and less negative symptoms among women. The rationale for changing the guidlines makes a lot of sense based on the amount of feedback I’ve been getting, as well as my research on the topic. It turns out that women has lower plasma glucose concentrations than men after the same time spent fasting. In practical terms, this means that women in general are more likely to get moody and hungry if they go too long without feeding, while men can go longer without experiencing any negative effects, and this is exactly what I’ve been seeing. Men can do 16 hours quite easily, not so with women; for them, 14 hours is the sweet spot.
For me it was effective in that I was probably overeating and daily IF helped reduce the amount of food I was eating - can't possibly go over 1400 cals with Paleo food. But it might have been too big a cut in food intake because I felt really cold all the time. I started eating meals throughout the day to fix it and am now attempting IF again, but just once every few days.
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Old 08-27-2008, 04:44 PM   #7
Bonnie Martin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike ODonnell View Post
Why does there need to be a specific plan for women?
I just noticed that most of the info I've read has been authored by guys or referenced their results, that's all.

I'm going to give it a go to see if it is something that works for me - interesting stuff!
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Old 08-27-2008, 05:07 PM   #8
Eva Claire Synkowski
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thought id chime in as i think ive had positive resutls. ive been IF'ing, with paleo food, for 1.5 yrs now - on average 4+ days/wk with generally 15-17 hr fasts. ive made it over 20 hrs a few times only.

i definitely have gotten leaner, although have put on muscle mass. likely a result of: 1) letting the fat run very high (and its from grass fed meat / butter / olive oil, etc); 2) lifting (relatively) heavy frequently, with not too much metcon; and 3) an overall decrease in metabolism.

ive mixed fasting and work out times in every combination. performance is all over the place - both good (hit lots of PR's fasted), and bad (barely got through a few workouts).

i keep at it b/c generally i dont have the side effects other women have mentioned. or i can get to 15 hours before feeling terrible. i just break the fast if i have to.

for me, the biggest factor of being able to do it consistently is sleep. if you arent well rested (>8 hrs/night) - IF is too tough.
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Old 08-27-2008, 07:41 PM   #9
Mike ODonnell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gittit Shwartz View Post
It does seem (at least from the posts on this board) that statistically IF just "works better" for men. A higher proportion of women doing IF report negative results (muscle loss, cold hands/feet) while most men on this board do very well with it. Since there ARE significant physiological differences I don't think it's a silly idea at all for a woman to try and glean some guidelines from other women's experiences, as long as the first question is always "is this working for ME". My $0.02.
True, most women statistically do suffer from more hypothyroid issues in general (I am not DR to explain why that is)...so IF may effect them differently. As for symptoms reported...men tend to not admit they are suffering from anything...as that's just the stuborness in us even if we were freezing we would say we were fine with a blue face. Hormones are a funny thing....when in doubt, use plenty of sea salt! (Iodine for the thyroid)

Also statistically women tend to respond better to lower carb diets (which may require longer eating windows to make sure the calories are not too low) for fat loss. Metabolism is calorie dependent as well...and women (or at least the ones I come across) tend to not eat that much in general. So too long a fast with IF will lead to too much restriction in calories and to a lowered metabolism over time. Men typically don't have a problem putting the calories down (which could explain more success rate?)...but those that don't, can suffer the same issues.

IF is "individualistic"....so the only way to know how it effects you is to just start slowly and "intermittently" and see what happens.
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Last edited by Mike ODonnell : 08-27-2008 at 08:30 PM.
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