Intermittent Fasting for Women with Cynthia Thurlow (Episode 100)

Cynthia Thurlow talks about how to use intermittent fasting to address symptoms of fatigue, anxiety, and weight gain.
Dr. Doni talks with Cynthia Thurlow about how to use food choices as powerful ways to address symptoms of fatigue, anxiety, weight gain, and menstrual irregularities. Intermittent fasting is free and flexible, with potentially life-changing effects.

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Cynthia Thurlow [@cynthia_thurlow], nurse practitioner and CEO of Everyday Wellness Project, shares from her experience as a practitioner and woman going through perimenopause how intermittent fasting changed her life and health.

In this episode of How Humans Heal, Cynthia shares insights from her new book, Intermittent Fasting Transformation. She says that instead of being overfed, we need to be strategically fed.

Women need more options besides prescription medications and surgery. Instead of just taking another pill or hormone for a symptom. We can use food choices as powerful ways to address symptoms. By making small, sustainable changes in the way we feed ourselves, we can address inflammation, insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease, and other health issues caused by “metabolic inflexibility.”

The bulk of us are not metabolic healthy, Cynthia says.

Women are given reflux medications, anti-depressants, sleeping agents, and estrogen replacement. This creates a slippery slope and women are likely to feel wrecked by the time they hit perimenopause. In the sandwich generation, women are responsible for so much. We as women are care takers, but who is taking care of us.

“Women are not “mini men” and cannot fast the same way men do. But women can benefit from intermittent fasting when we make modifications based on our hormones.”

Cynthia ‘s goal is to influence women’s lives in a sustainable way, which is why she wrote her book. In this episode and in the book, Cynthia talks about:

  • As estrogen decreases, insulin sensitivity decreases
  • It shows up as fatigue, anxiety, weight gain, and menstrual irregularities
  • It used to be that restricting food and exercising more would work for weight loss, but in perimenopause, that stops working
  • She is not anti-carb; she encourages women to consume the right carbs
  • Intermittent fasting is free and flexible
  • Align food intake with chronobiology – our internal clock. Don’t eat within 3 hours of bedtime. Eat when it is light outside.

We are so focused on fertility years, and then women feel invisible and unrepresented in perimenopause, and yet we spend half of our lives in that state. Over 35 to 40 years old, indiscretions of snacking or having a glass of wine is more likely to be an issue, increasing inflammation and blood sugar levels.

We need to be eating less often and eat the way our bodies are designed to thrive. We would not be here as a species if our bodies could not go through periods of food accessibility and scarcity, and to use different types as fuel sources. Our bodies are not designed to be in a surplus of food all the time.

When you go to eat a snack, ask yourself, am I really hungry? Or am I stressed or bored and either need to take a walk or go to sleep.

Use of a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) – which is currently by prescription – is one of the most impactful things you can do. It can allow you to experiment with different foods to find out how your body responds to a certain meal. Being aware of what your blood sugar is doing can be hugely influential to understand how stress, travel, and certain foods affect you.

As hard as it can be to admit to ourselves that foods we love are an issue, when we do, it can allow us to make drastic changes in our health and wellbeing.

Listen in to the amazing conversation I had with my friend, Cynthia Thurlow, for more insights about how what you are eating, and when, could be affecting the way you feel. Find her book, Intermittent Fasting Transformation, at 

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