Women Need to Fast Differently

The topic of Women’s Fasting has brought up fervent discussion more and more. Dr. Mindy explains how women need to fast, underlying how to time their fasts according to your hormones' ebb and flow.

“The first thing that I discovered when I started intermittent fasting was my three o'clock crash in the afternoon went completely away. As my body was making ketones, I didn't need to start to lean for that second cup of coffee, and my brain started working clearly. I started sleeping better!” Dr. Mindy said.

Elated by success, Dr. Mindy started fasting more - 48 hours fast, three-day fast, five-day fast. “Something very unusual happened to me. I started getting call body anxiety, it’s where I couldn't relax. I was anxious, like there was some kind of dread that was going to come over me. I became an irritable anxious menopausal woman.” Shortly, Dr. Pelz found the reason. It was because she wasn't fasting in alignment with her hormones.

First of all, we need to look through the hormonal lens. Dr. Mindy starts from the bottom up: “If you want to balance estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, you are going to need to get insulin under control. This is why so many women struggle with fertility because they have been eating the standard American diet all day, and their insulin is off. Now their sex hormones are off. But, what I discovered in fasting thousands of women is that to balance insulin, you're going to need to keep cortisol in check.” 

However, fasting excessiveness can lead to health issues. “I receive lots of messages from my resetters [members of the Reset Academy]. Women are saying that they gain weight, can't sleep, and have their hair falling out—all they say is that struggling fasting used to work for them, and it doesn't work anymore. What happened is they started to fast so much that cortisol spiked. It began to throw everything off.

“Oxytocin can calm cortisol, and when cortisol is down, insulin will regulate. When insulin regulates, you're in the door to fix your sex hormones, and oxytocin is quite profound to get.”

The fasting world is not paying attention to this hormonal lens. Everything females do come through this lens, and yet we are not taught how to do that. Because we are not taught, we are living with women that are screaming for change.

“What I found in my menopausal journey, we need to get back to our primal roots, and fasting does that. But, our primal roots look way different from men's, so I'm now helping women understand that there are two energy systems. We have our sugar burners, and we have our fat burners.” Dr. Pelz said.

“These two energy systems are both wonderful. By the way, the goal is not to be a sugar burner. But with women, when we're dieting and looking at how to drop weight and feel better, we stay in the sugar burner camp. The fat burner camp says when you go without food, you click into an energy system that will create ketones. Ketones will go up into your brain and will start to heal your brain. They will give you limitless energy, mental clarity, and everything about your life will be better when you learn how to tap into this fat-burning system.”

Tapping into a fat burner. What does it mean to fas in accordance with hormones?

In the chart, you can see the peaks and valleys. The peacocks show that fasting and a food style have to be different. The valleys offer that you can fast as much as you want.

There are three phases women are going to want to pay attention to. The first phase is the Power Phase. “In the Power Phase from day one to day ten, you can fast all you want. You are building an estrogen, and estrogen needs you to be insulin sensitive.” Dr. Mindy said.

The middle phase is the Manifestation Phase. It starts on the tenth day of your cycle and lasts till the fifteenth. “I call it the Manifestation phase because if we want to manifest something that time to do it” - Dr. Pelz explained - “When we're ovulating, we've got all three hormones that are not at its peak. But estrogen and testosterone are at their peak. These are hormones that make us articulate and make our brain function well.”

During this time, you've got a lot of hormones. You want to use those hormones. “We encourage you not to fast a lot during this time. You could do intermittent fasting if you want. Fifteen hours would be fine.”

The third phase is the Nurture Phase. It starts a week before the cycle. “We are going to tank progesterone, and when progesterone goes down, we are anxious and irritable, we're not sleeping, we are no fun to be around. We call that in our culture PMS, but it's not PMS. It's low progesterone.” It is not a good time for fasting.

We know that fasting is an incredible tool for healing, and women need to approach it differently than men. In a monthly cycle, women have three significant hormones that all peak at different times; therefore, the way we fast need to look different for each of these peaks. 

BiohackingCongress's Team is grateful to Dr. Mindy Pelz for joining our biohacking conference and giving an enlightening lecture. 

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Based on the lecture by Dr. Mindy Pelz.