Intermittent fasting can have an impact on hormones for men and women, but women’s hormones are particularly sensitive to signals of external starvation, which can results in increased levels of hunger signals. It’s no mystery that this makes staying with your plan harder, so it’s important to be aware of these effects. For this reason, some doctors recommend that women in particular go with a plan that involves a steady increase in fasting, rather than an abrupt start to the plan.
For women there’s also another way to be sure you’re optimizing your fasting plan to match up with your body’s needs, and it actually involves ditching your plan in the week before your period. Because of a drop in estrogen, women tend to be more sensitive to cortisol. For that reason, it may be best to skip the routine of fasting (but there’s a healthy way to fast during your period).