This article was originally written by Nisha Gopalan for Well+Good.
If you're always up for a good gut reboot (hello, humming metabolism and through-the-roof energy), you've probably heard about—or tried—intermittent fasting. The practice of abstaining from food—which has global roots in ancient Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, and Islamic cultures--made a non-religious comeback in recent years, starting with The Fast Diet craze in the UK (where you limit yourself to about 500 calories two days a week, followed by five days of eating pretty much whatever you like).
And that's only one way to approach meal-skipping. (According to Ayurveda, maintaining a 12-hour distance between dinner and breakfast is crucial, for instance.) But whatever type of plan you choose to give your digestive system a break, as proponents argue you should do, you've probably noticed that pro-fasting perspectives have one thing in common: They tend to skew male.
"Fasting can be great. But if you have thyroid, adrenal, autoimmune issues--sometimes not."
Especially for women, there's a fine line between fasting and depriving your body of nutrients, Dr. Myers adds. She encourages women to look at health through a broader lens. Her holistic view considers the impact stress, exercise, and even endocrine disruptors from beauty products can have on your health. "I want to throw out there that food is important. But don't overlook the other issues," she says.
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