Fasting and periods : is it possible not to eat?

Fasting is an ancestral practice widely used and practiced in certain religions. Fasting is simply the act of going without food for a given period of time.

Often, in the run-up to periods (the famous PMS) or during periods, we tend to feel bloated, have digestive problems and also feel tired. Well, fasting can be the solution to regain energy, put your digestive system at rest, and even relieve menstrual pain


Is it possible to fast at periods ?

Contrary to what you might think, you can start fasting during your periods (even if in some religions the taboo around periods persists, preventing women from fasting). In reality, there's no ideal time to start fasting. You can start fasting at any time of the year l. The choice is yours.

On the contrary, starting fasting during your periods can be an excellent way to treat digestive disorders, bloating and other problems that occur during the periods period. 

In fact, during menstruation, many women experience symptoms such as :

  • water retention
  • nausea
  • menstrual contractions and cramps
  • stomach pains
  • digestive problems
  • fatigue during periods

Fasting is known for its numerous therapeutic virtues. It can reduce menstrual pain and uterine contractions l.

Why is that?

When you fast, your liver will use the glucose reserves stored in your body. This is when the famous sensations of tiredness and hunger occur. These sensations are particularly acute during the first 3 days of fasting. In fact, nature's way of doing things is to produce ketones to counteract these effects, restoring vitality and euphoria to the body. When you fast, you also produce antioxidants. lhe body is purified, and this is where you will feel the positive effects of fasting. Among the positive effects of fasting are the following:

  • improved skin quality
  • an improved digestive system
  • a change in your state of mind (generally calmer, more serene and stable), not insignificant during the periods period when you're more likely to feel stressed or sad.

If your premenstrual syndrome (PMS) tends to be quite virulent, fasting may be a solution worth trying! But don't force yourself to do anything: if you don't feel like fasting, there's no problem. Instead, you can learn more about the foods you should be eating during your menstrual period, as diet plays a very important role in the various symptoms you may experience during your cycle. 

You can also lose weight by fasting, but bear in mind that this is not the objective of fasting. Lhe aim is to provide the body with a "detox", to eliminate accumulated waste

What are the reasons for fasting at periods ?

There are many reasons to fast during your periods. The most common reason is torelieve menstrual symptoms

Adopt a new diet

You can also fast to adopt a new diet.

There are different types of fasting:

  • intermittent fasting, which involves fasting for 16 hours a day
  • dry fasting: this type of fasting requires medical supervision
  • alternating fasting, a 24-hour fast alternated with a 24-hour fast

In all cases, whether you're planning to start fasting or change your diet, we recommend that you seek advice from a health professional, whether a dietician, your GP or a nutritionist.

Religious observance: Ramadan and Lent

In some religions, fasting is a common practice. 

Ramadan, for example, is one of the five pillars of Islam. During this period, Ramadans are forbidden to eat from sunrise to sunset.

Every year, millions of Muslims take part.

This proves that fasting is very well tolerated by l. It takes about 10 days for the body s'to get used to this new eating pattern.

Fasting is also found in the Catholic religion. It begins 40 days before Easter. sIt doesn't s't mean not eating for 40 days, but only eating one meal a day. During this period, most people fast on Wednesdays and Fridays. 

Prepare your body well before starting a fast with its periods

The most important thing when you start fasting is to take it one step at a time. Give your body time to get used to this new eating pattern.

SStopping eating abruptly will not solve your periods problems; on the contrary, it can have negative consequences for your body. 

For the periods period, intermittent fasting is the most suitable. Intermittent fasting is the most widely practiced form of fasting, lasting 16 hours. You can start it one or two days before the start of your periods. Here's how to do it:

  • Eat a light meal in the evening
  • The next morning, don't eat breakfast
  • Then eat a balanced meal at lunchtime
  • Don't hesitate to bring a snack!
  • Eat again in the evening, early enough to allow 16 hours between the last meal of the day and the first meal of the following day.

The aim of intermittent fasting is not to eat less than you would normally, but simply to distribute your meals differently.

Reduce and gradually adapt your diet

The first step is to gradually reduce your food intake.

To start with, you can remove certain foods such as excitants (drinks like tea, coffee or alcohol), refined sugars and animal proteins.

Then remove starchy foods such as bread, pasta, rice, etc., as well as legumes and dairy products. 

Finally, on the day before fasting begins, we recommend eating only vegetables.

Entering the fasting period

During the fast, you must not eat any solid foods. Drink plenty of water and herbal teas. S Sufficient hydration helps eliminate all toxins.

You can do sport, and it's even advisable to be physically active. When you fast, your body will draw on your resources; if you stand still without exercising, it will draw on your muscles. Which is not the objective.

Preparing your body for the end of a fast

As with the start of the fast, the end of the fast needs to be prepared. You can take the same approach (in reverse) to re-inserting food as you did to preparing for the start of the fast. 

Often, at the end of a fast, we feel more like turning to healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables: listen to yourself!

What are the contraindications to fasting during pregnancy? periods

Of course, there are contraindications to fasting during your periods.

Although fasting has many benefits, there are also risks.

It's very important to s'hydrate sufficiently (2 to 2.5l of water per day) when fasting. If you don't hydrate sufficiently, you can have an acidosis attack which will cause migraines and nausea.

Another precaution: long-term fasting is not recommended for very thin people. Over the long term, when you fast, the body draws the energy it needs from muscle proteins. This can lead to muscle wasting and a weakened immune system. 

To prevent these effects, it is advisable to supplement your protein intake in the days following the start of fasting.

Fasting is not recommended if you are pregnant, suffering from anorexia, liver or kidney failure, diabetes, etc. Ask your doctor!  

Ramadan and periods : is fasting recommended?

If you're doing Ramadan, you may be wondering whether you should fast during your periods ? We'll tell you what you need to be aware of!

Stop fasting during your period

It's possible to stop Ramadan when you're menstruating. This is a dispensation that allows you to break the fast. The same applies to pregnant women.

The justification for this derogation varies according to the family model. In some families, women must break the fast for health reasons. In others, fasting is broken because women who menstruate are considered impure.

Making up for missed days at the end of Ramadan

Nevertheless, Muslim women who have their periods during Ramadan must make up the fasting days at the end of Ramadan.


The FAQ for fasting during periods

Can I celebrate Ramadan with my periods ?

The periods during Ramadan are a dispensation from fasting. A woman who performs Ramadan and has her periods must stop fasting during the period when she has her periods, then make up for the days missed at the end of Ramadan.

Is it possible to fast during Lent with your periods ?

It's perfectly possible to fast during Lent while menstruating. Fasting days are generally Wednesdays and Fridays. To avoid any problems during fasting, discuss the matter with your GP first.


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