Does anyone know if having your period would make it harder to stick to a fast? Ive been fasting by skipping meals when I do not feel hunger, not every day, and it's completely effortless. I have my period right now and I've noticed that I'm much hungrier than normal and just wondering if it could be my period or if it's unrelated.
If you're ridiculously hungry, eat. I am always RAVENOUS for the day before and the first 3-4 days, and there is no way I'm going to IF if I'm hangry. (Yes, hangry.)
You are burning a few extra hundred calories per day while menstruating, which isn't license for a free-for-all, especially if you're trying to lose weight... BUT I've found that if I try to IF and I'm starving, I'm more likely to binge when I break my fast, and probably on foods that I shouldn't. Like yogurt or nuts, instead of decent meat and veggies. Do what's best for you.
I also find myself hungrier during the days leading up to my period. I've actually found that if I strategically IF during those days, I have SO much more control over how and what I eat. And by "strategically IF," I mean fast during the times where I'm most likely to start mindlessly eating (late afternoon and after dinner). This usually means eating earlier in the day and eating my last meal before 3pm. As long as I plan my morning meals with enough protein and fat, I find myself very well satisfied throughout the rest of the day. I may get the munchies later on, but I'm not hungry - I just want to eat something. Knowing that I'm fasting prevents me from eating mindlessly, and therefore prevents a binge.
I've had a history of emotional eating, though. I've found that IF works best for me when I'm most vulnerable to emotional eating and potential binges. In this case, that's the week before my period.
You caloric requirement do change with your cycles (drop off during ovulation, increase with menstruation), so I think what is important here is to listen to your body. If you are hungrier, go ahead and eat! I tried really sticking to an intermittent fasting schedule through two or three periods, and found I felt really exhausted and listless, especially towards the evening on days I would normally be fine and energetic. After this experience, I just go ahead and eat when my body is like "hey, I'm doing extra work over here, time for feeding".