Over the years many of us trainers and coaches have noticed something particular regarding males and females and intermittent fasting (correct name: time restricted feeding ‘TRF’).
It’s that our male clients seem to be able to do it relatively easily, whereas on occasion females can struggle.
As I looked into this deeper several years ago, it seemed quite obvious what was going on.
Males are quite linear throughout the month with the hormone changes and more importantly rather predictable, for the most part.
This allows TRF to be implemented rather simply.
Females on the other hand have a more complex process through the month obviously.
Menstruation, the follicular phase, ovulation and the luteal phase.
On top of that the hormones that are regulating the above phases and how a female feels, are very sensitive to energy intake!
Gonadotropin communicates with your pituitary gland to release the luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicular stimulating hormone (FSH).
These hormones help support a female for ovulation and to be able to support a pregnancy. Major factors in female health!
Even TRF for a couple of days can throw off these hormonal influences which in turn makes females feel tired and potentially unwell.
So while men have a simpler task at hand, how can women perform TRF without the negative consequences?
Tailoring the feeding to your cycles is key and of course listen to your body, not your Instagram account.