Intermittent fasting is one of the most popular trends right now in eating. People are using IF for both weight loss and health benefits.
Intermittent fasting is really an umbrella term for a variety of ways of fasting. Most often, people are really referring to Time Restricted Eating. This is where you avoid eating during a period of time. It can be as short as not eating after dinner and then having breakfast first thing in the morning. It can be longer than that, where you fast all day and then consume all your calories in a single hour. Most people who I hear talking about time restricted eating probably have a 16 to 18 hour window of non-eating, with a 6 to 4 hour window of eating.
Chris and I talked with Gin Stephens about Intermittent Fasting and she provided us with lots of information. If you are interested in learning more about it, I recommend listening to our podcast episode, Intermittent Fasting with Gin Stephens.
Is time-restricted eating effective for post-menopausal women? There’s lots of discussion about IF for the general population but women over 50 tend to have unwanted weight gain so this might be a good option for them.
While I was reading some articles about IF, I came across a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. It addresses weight loss for women over 60.
Intermittent Fasting for Women Over 60
The study enrolled 45 women over the age of 60. The women were randomly assigned to either the control group or to the group instructed to fast for 16 hours. The women assigned to the IF group were told to fast from 8 PM until noon the next day. Neither group was told to change what they ate, but only to change when they ate.
After six weeks, the women who fasted for 16 hours had a loss of about three pounds (1.4 kilos) and fat mass. The control group had no loss of weight. Compliance to the time-restricted eating was good with 88% of the women completing the study. No negative results were reported.
This study only lasted six weeks so the small amount of weight loss is not surprising. Also, it’s worth remembering that the study made no changes to the food the women ate.
This was a small study but appears to indicate that Intermittent Fasting (or Time Restricted Eating) can be a good tool for women trying to lose weight.
I also think it’s great to see studies being done of older women. It’s unusual for studies to be of women over 50, or 60 in this case. It’s unusual to see a study on Intermittent Fasting for women over 60.