Intermittent Fasting Menopause: 4 Benefits and Tips

Last updated 07.02.2024 | by Sabrina Johnson | 7 Minutes Read

This article has been reviewed and fact checked by Dr. Karen Pike, a senior physician administrator and board-certified emergency room doctor actively working in northern California. Read more at our medical disclaimer page.

Hi ladies! Are you in your perimenopause or menopause stage? How is it going?

I know how it feels to be in this transition phase: dealing with all the menopausal symptoms, finding ways to manage them, and visiting doctors regularly to prevent underlying conditions.

Hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and weight gain are some of the symptoms of menopause [1].

However, during the transition, women are most affected by the unexpected changes in their bodies [2], such as weight gain. This common and concerning problem can be scary and challenging to manage.

Recently, one approach that has been gaining popularity in weight loss and enhancing overall health is intermittent fasting.

Never heard of this term? Well, intermittent fasting is a dietary strategy that’s been gaining serious traction in recent years. It helps with weight management, improves blood sugar, reduces inflammation, and much more.

But the real question is, is this trendy eating pattern really an effective way for a smoother menopausal transition?

Today, I will explore Intermittent Fasting, its benefits, and also share the tips you need to know before incorporating this method during menopause.

So, let’s learn about intermittent fasting menopause!

Understanding Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting (IF) is actually a flexible eating pattern that cycles between periods of eating and fasting. 

You already “fast” every night while you sleep, right? IF just extends that fasting window a bit further. 

Studies have shown our bodies are adept at functioning without food for extended periods and that it is beneficial for our health [3]. In fact, metabolic changes occur during fasting, leading to improved insulin sensitivity and cellular repair.

Intermittent fasting is said to be beneficial during menopause as it helps alleviate various symptoms. There are several popular methods:

The 16/8 Method: This involves fasting for 16 hours and having an 8-hour eating window. Many people find this easy to incorporate. You can also start with short durations and later increase the timing. 

The 5:2 Diet: In this, you eat normally for five days and restrict calories on two non-consecutive days. It’s a bit more flexible but requires discipline on those restricted days.

Eat, Stop, Eat: This method involves doing 24-hour fasts once or twice a week. It is not for the faint of heart, but it is effective for those looking for a more intense approach.

Alternate-Day Fasting: You can eat normally on other days, but on fasting days, you must reduce your calorie intake to some extent. 

I started with the 16/8 method. At first, the hunger pangs around mid-morning were real! But guess what? My body adjusted quickly. Now, that morning coffee feels even more satisfying, and I find myself naturally eating less throughout the day.

4 Benefits of Intermittent Fasting During Menopause

With unwelcome guests like weight gain, hot flashes, and mood swings, what if there was a dietary approach that could help manage these symptoms and promote overall well-being during this life transition?

Intermittent fasting (IF) is your answer to controlling these symptoms. Let’s explore some of its benefits and how it can be a valuable ally during menopause.

Weight Management

One of the biggest concerns for many women during menopause is weight gain. Fluctuations in estrogen levels can lead to increased fat storage, particularly around the abdomen. Studies suggest that IF may be a powerful tool for weight management.
Research has found that IF helps in significant weight loss in adults and is also beneficial for overall body composition [4].

Reduces Hot Flashes

While research on the direct impact of IF on hot flashes is still ongoing, some studies hint at a positive connection.

IF may help manage menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, although further research is needed. 

The theory behind this connection lies in the potential for IF to regulate blood sugar levels. Hot flashes can sometimes be triggered by blood sugar fluctuations, so stabilizing these levels might offer some relief.

Improves Mood and Energy Levels

The emotional rollercoaster of menopause can be exhausting.

Intermittent Fasting can promote the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein linked to improved mood, cognitive function, and energy levels. While more research is needed specifically for women in menopause, these findings are promising.

Reduces Inflammation

Chronic inflammation is linked to various health concerns, and menopause can contribute to this issue. 

However, IF is said to have anti-inflammatory properties. By reducing inflammation in the body, IF could potentially help manage some of the discomfort associated with menopause and promote overall well-being.

It’s crucial to remember that further research is needed to fully understand the impact of IF on menopause specifically. That is why it is necessary to consult a healthcare professional before starting any new dietary plan.

Tips for Getting Started with Intermittent Fasting During Menopause

Now that you know about intermittent fasting and its benefits. There are some essential tips to get you started on your journey:

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration is never a good look, and it’s even more crucial during a fast. Water, unsweetened black coffee, and herbal tea are necessities for staying hydrate.

Water is important for various bodily functions, including regulating body temperature and transporting nutrients. Staying hydrated during your fasting window helps you feel your best and ensures your body functions optimally.

Fueling Your Body Wisely

Remember, IF isn’t about starving yourself! During your eating window, focus on high-quality, nutrient-dense foods. 

Eat whole, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. A balanced diet is crucial for overall health and well-being. 

Prioritizing these foods will ensure your body gets the essential nutrients it needs to thrive during menopause.

Listen to Your Body

You must understand that while Intermittent fasting offers many benefits, it’s not for everyone. Pay attention to how you feel: headaches, fatigue, or excessive hunger might be signs that IF isn’t a good fit for you. 

It’s also crucial to consult your doctor before starting any new dietary plan, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions.


Is intermittent fasting safe during menopause?

It depends! While IF offers potential benefits, it’s crucial to consult your doctor before starting, especially if you have pre-existing conditions.

Listen to your body during fasting. If you experience excessive hunger, fatigue, or headaches, it might not be a good fit.

Can Intermittent Fasting help with weight gain during menopause?

Studies suggest IF helps with weight management. It can help regulate blood sugar and promote fat loss, both helpful during menopausal weight gain.

Will Intermittent fasting help with hot flashes?

Research on IF’s direct impact on hot flashes is ongoing. However, stabilizing blood sugar through IF might offer some relief as blood sugar fluctuations can sometimes trigger hot flashes.

Isn’t skipping breakfast bad for you?

Traditionally, breakfast has been called the “most important meal of the day.”

However, research suggests our bodies can function well during extended periods without food. With IF, you’re not skipping breakfast entirely, just shifting your eating window. The key is to focus on a balanced and nutritious diet during your eating periods.

Is Intermittent fasting a magic fix for menopause?

No! While IF has benefits, it’s better to consult your doctor first and focus on a balanced approach for optimal results during menopause.


Intermittent fasting (IF) might be a valuable tool in managing your menopause symptoms. It has the potential to help with weight management, mood and energy levels, and even reduce inflammation.

However, remember to consult your doctor before starting and prioritize a balanced diet during your eating windows.


  • Sabrina Johnson

    Meet Sabrina Johnson, a compassionate author and a seasoned expert in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is a driving force behind Simply Menopause, where her extensive medical knowledge and empathetic nature come together to empower women in their menopausal journey. Sabrina offers culturally sensitive guidance and support through her approachable writing, making her a trusted friend on the path to menopause wellness.

    View all posts