Join the discussion below
Dr. Mindy Pelz is a renowned holistic health expert and one of the leading voices in educating women about their bodies. She is on a mission to start a women’s health revolution! Teaching her signature “5-Step Approach”, Dr. Mindy has empowered hundreds of thousands of people around the world to... Read More
- Understand the hormonal hierarchy and how fasting impacts hormone balance in women
- Start with intermittent fasting and gradually work towards getting into ketosis
- Tailor fasting approaches based on age and menstrual cycle to support hormone production and balance
Related TopicsAdrenal Glands, Block Fasts, Dutch Test, Estrogen, Fasting For Your Cycle, Feast Day, Hormonal Hierarchy, Hormone-building Foods, Intermittent Fasting, Ketosis, Long Fasts, Low Progesterone Symptoms, Menstrual Cycle, One Meal A Day, Perimenopause, Post-menopause, Progesterone, Progesterone Levels, Rising Progesterone, Sex Hormones, Testosterone
Mindy Pelz, DC
Okay. So I’m going to go through three very specific pieces of this video. So the first, I’m going to talk about questions that we get around women and fasting. This will be pretty quick. I just want to address a major elephant in the room that we hear all the time. Second, I want to show you how you move from maybe not fasting at all, all the way to what we call fasting for your cycle. If you’re a postmenopausal woman, stay tuned. I’m going to be talking about that in this video as well. And then the third thing I want to go through is what we call the rules. So the rules of fasting for women. And this is going to be based-off on your age group. And I will talk about there are three age groups. I have women under 40. I have women 42, four, 55, and then postmenopausal women. So I will break it down into these three groups, what the rules of fasting should be for you. So let’s start off with the questions first. Is fasting safe for women? The answer is yes, yes, and yes. Number two is fasting. This is a question we hear all the time. Is fasting helpful for women who want to lose weight, prevent disease and slow down the aging process? Heck yeah.
There is more evidence than ever before showing that fasting is an incredible tool for weight loss, incredible for preventing disease, and incredible for slowing down aging. Third question Can women use fasting to balance hormones? And the answer again is absolutely. Now, with this question, you have to be aware of what we call the hormonal hierarchy. Oxytocin is a hormone that controls cortisol. Cortisol controls insulin. Insulin controls your sex hormones. Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. So when you come to fasting, you usually come in the door of insulin. So you got to be aware and I’ll show this as we go through this, this, that, the rules, you’ve got to be aware that all those hormones need to come into play for a woman when she fasts. I’ll explain more in a moment. And then, do women need to fast differently than men? Again, we are back at. Yes, yes, yes, and yes. So when you read an article in the newspaper and magazine that says women shouldn’t be doing shouldn’t be fasting, ketosis is harmful for women. I am in complete opposition of that statement. But women need to do it differently. Here’s the how. And this is sort of the big picture I want you to see. There are four steps that I take my patients through and my Resetter academy members through to make sure that they are successfully fasting and they don’t tank their sex hormones, which is very, very common. So first step, start with intermittent fasting. If you have not done intermittent fasting, it’s 13 to 15 hours. This is a great starting point. Get comfortable there. You don’t need to think about anything else other than start with building an intermittent fasting lifestyle. Once you do that, the second step is that you ask yourself, Are you getting into ketosis? So this is a really important part of the equation because if you’re not getting into ketosis, then you’re going to need to troubleshoot. And I’ve done videos on that of why you’re not getting into ketosis. For every person, especially women, we want to start with the foundational can you intermittent fasting. Can you get into ketosis? If you are asking, well, how do I know if I get into ketosis? This is where we use a tool called a keto mojo. So it is a blood sugar reader and it allows us to see if you’re getting into ketosis. So that’s the second step. Get yourself into ketosis. If you’re not, then you’re going to need to troubleshoot from that point. Okay. Step three, a lot of women, by the way, will stay in those first two steps. But I’m going to encourage you to come into step three because this is where we can really slow aging down. This is where we can prevent cancers. This is where you can get yourself metabolically fit. And that is understanding that there is more to fasting than just intermittent fasting. Once you’ve come to those three steps, now you’re ready to do what I call fasting for your cycle.
And this ties into the rules. So here are the rules. If you are under 40 years old, then you need to be very careful about fasting around your cycle. So it looks like this from the first day of your period until day 21 of your period, you can fast as much as you want. It really doesn’t make a big difference if you want to do a three-day water fast, if you want to go into a real deep, fast, do it. Then you want to experiment with the eight fasts that are nine fasts. Fabulous. Do it in that time period. But on day 21, when your body needs to make progesterone, you’re going to need to make sure that you are not in ketosis. If you want to intermittent fast starting from day 21 to day 28. Fabulous. But I do not want you in a state of ketosis from day 21 to day 28 because your body is trying to make progesterone. And if you don’t make enough progesterone, it’ll throw your periods off. It can. It can cause your hair to fall out. It can make you infertile. So for women under 40, please, it’s simple. Just don’t go into long. Fast. Don’t go into ketosis. From day 21 to till the day you bleed. So if you have a 30-day cycle, that’ll be the day that you start back up again.
Okay. For those of you from 40 to 55, the first thing I want you to understand is that starting at 40, your estrogen and progesterone levels are starting to go down. Your ovaries are out there like I’ve done it now since for 30-some years. I’m not going to keep making sex hormones. And so they hand the job of making sex hormones over to your adrenal glands. So if you’re under a lot of stress and you’re in between 40 and 55, it gets tricky in that time because your adrenals are working really hard and when you first build a fasting lifestyle, you actually add a little more stress to those adrenals. So my first recommendation to the post, the 40 to 55-year-old woman, is to make sure your adrenals are strong. Second thing, track your cycle. I use something called the Clue app and I look at it to alter my fasting schedule around where I am in my cycle. I am 50 almost 51 years old and sometimes that cycle is 30 days. Sometimes that cycle is 90 days. So I track it. And when you hit day 21, just like for the other woman, the women under 40, you are going to need to pair your fasting down to an intermittent fasting lifestyle and you’re going to need to make sure that you’re leaning into hormone-building foods. Those foods are beans, rice, squashes, potatoes, grass-fed beef, citrus fruits, and tropical fruits. These are not foods that will keep you in ketosis, and you’re not meant to be in ketosis during this time. You need to make progesterone. A couple of different ways that a perimenopausal woman knows that her progesterone is little, is low, a DUTCH test. I love the DUTCH test. A fabulous way for you to be able to see very clearly your hormonal profile. So if you haven’t run a DUTCH test and you’re over 40, I highly recommend it. There are things like if you are spotting like if you spot for a couple of days and then you don’t get your period for another week, that’s low progesterone. If you’re anxious, you’re not sleeping. That can also be low progesterone. So you are going to want to step out of a long, fast. Don’t go into these long fast when those symptoms show up and it’s past day 21. I do not want you doing block fasts. You can do intermittent fasting and I want you doing hormone-building foods until your cycle comes.
If you’re between 40 and 55 and you want to do these blocks fast, you can just do them between date day one and day 21 kind of like the woman under 40. Okay, 55. So here’s what’s cool about if you’re post-menopausal. Now, if you’re listening to this and you’re like, Well, I went into menopause at 47, fine, I put you in the post this is post-menopausal women. That this would be your category. So at 55, you can fast whenever you don’t need to think about your cycle. If you don’t have a cycle. This would be the same for those of you that maybe had a hysterectomy, a surgery. You went into surgical menopause. So if you went into menopause earlier than 55. This still applies to you. So you can fast whenever but what I want you to realize is you do not have a lot of progesterone. If your progesterone is low, it can make estrogen go very high and too much bad. Estrogen is going to be hard on your heart and it’s going to promote different cancers. So we’re back at progesterone. We need to raise progesterone so you can raise progesterone by stepping out of ketosis, either on a weekly basis or on a monthly basis. If you’re going to do it on a weekly basis, I recommend one day a week you do a feast day and that you lean into those foods I talked about the beans, the rice, the squash, the tropical fruits. One day a week you step out and then you go back into your fasting lifestyle the rest of the time. The other trick that we have done is we’ve done five-day periods where we build up post-menopausal women’s hormones. So you can go do a whole month or maybe once a quarter even you can make a decision. Okay, I’m feeling a little anxious. I’m feeling that like I’m not sleeping well. I need to focus on raising progesterone and you can take a five-day period and do hormone building with intermittent fasting. So that is what a post-menopausal woman can do. It’s less important, the timing that a post-menopausal woman fast, but it still is important that you step out of ketosis, and that you are not in extreme fasting all the time. For a woman of any age, the one meal a day, the long fasts over and over and over again is a recipe for tanking your hormones.