I’ve thought of about a million different ways to explain why intermittent fasting works well for women, but the best way I can come up with is a fictional story:
Janet and Kevin met when they were in college.
Kevin, 6’2” and 205 pounds, wasn’t an “athlete,” but he worked out regularly and maintained a muscular build for his height.
Janet, 5’6” and 135 pounds, was involved in plenty of sports when she was a child. She was active in sports ranging from field hockey to soccer, and from swimming to dance, and, as a result, she had a “fit” and athletic build that made other women her age jealous.
Janet didn’t have problems with her weight during college. By her senior year, her weight hovered around 140 pounds, but, for the most part, she had it under control.
Then Janet and Kevin got married.
They both lived busy lives, trying to balance their new careers with something resembling a social life. As a result, Kevin and Janet ate out 2 or 3 times a week. At home, Kevin cooked relatively healthy meals, and they almost always ate breakfast and dinner together.
After 4 years of marriage, Kevin still weight about 205 pounds. He had lost some muscle and was a little “softer” around the stomach, but not much had changed.
Janet, on the other hand, hated her body.
Her once-athletic build could only be described as “thick.” She spent a lot of time stressing about what she ate, how much protein she ate, and how many carbs she ate. She always took her fish oil pills. It was a never-ending battle to keep her weight below the dreaded 160 pound mark.
When work became stressful, she could easily find herself drifting into the mid-160s.
A few days after Thanksgiving last year, she hit the breaking point. She weighed herself before bedtime, and learned that she had reached 170 pounds. This devastated Janet, and she couldn’t understand why it was happening.
She had joined a gym and was going on nightly walks with Kevin, but nothing was working. Her friends said she could be eating too much sugar, but, for the most part, her meals with Kevin were very healthy.
She finally decided her metabolism simply must have slowed down. Maybe it was the stress at work, or maybe it was a hormonal thing she had inherited from her mother.
Janet was gaining weight because she was eating too much. More specifically, she gained weight because she was eating the same serving sizes that Kevin ate.
Since Kevin was maintaining a weight of around 200 pounds and was as active as Janet, Janet was eating enough food to maintain a weight of 200 pounds!
In restaurants, Kevin didn’t order a “big guy” serving size while Janet ordered the “slim girl” size. Both plates were identical. When Kevin made healthy omelets, he didn’t make one for himself and half of one for Janet.
This is the plight of women.
Most restaurant serving sizes are too large for the average man, which means they’re entirely too large for a woman who is 4 inches shorter and 40-60 pounds lighter. And, for the most part, when we cook at home, we don’t “downsize” portion sizes for the smaller person.
Intermittent fasting works well for many women because it gives them a chance to play a little catch up – or, more correctly, to play a little “fall behind.”
Women can eat in a restaurant without having to leave part of their meal on their plate. And women can eat at home without cutting their chicken breasts in half.
Intermittent fasting is a dietary custom/portion size equalizer.