Dr. Beth Westie and strange advice for women


Hi, I’m new to this forum, this is my first post. I’ve gotten a lot out of just reading and lurking, so thank you.

I’ve been really interested in the topic of fasting lately, then I came across some people saying that women should either not do it, or take a different approach to it because of hormonal effects.

I searched the topic on YouTube and found a video by a Dr. Beth Westie (never heard of her before). She doesn’t seem to be a low carb advocate. Anyway, I just wanted to see whether I’m alone in thinking she’s way off the mark. She advocates women “fasting” but eating a snack every 4 hours, and also drinking something with sugar in it, I guess throughout the “fast.” (???)

If linking isn’t allowed, mods please remove and I apologize, but here it is: https://youtu.be/q7ZhabjH7Ns

I’m wondering if anyone has any good resources to look further into the question of women and fasting. Forgive me if that’s been asked a million times. I tried searching this forum and found some discussions, but I haven’t found too many “experts” going in depth into it.

(Boots on? Balls to the wall? Good start.) #2

Your starting point on any fasting question should be Intensive Dietary Management - Dr Jason Fung or Megan Ramos. The whole ‘women shouldn’t fast’ thing has been around for ages but I’ve yet to hear any compelling reasons as to why. Some women may not do well on it but that is also true of some men.


Thank you for your reply. I have listened to Dr. Fung quite a bit, and Megan Ramos some. I haven’t heard them address it in depth, other than just disagreeing with the idea that women shouldn’t fast/should fast differently. I may have missed something though, so I will keep searching.

I heard that there was one rat study and one human study, plus the anecdotes of many women who say fasting messed with their hormones/cycle. It’s something I wish researchers would take a look at. I certainly don’t want to harm my health or fertility doing something that’s supposed to be so health-promoting. And the benefits do seem to be amazing, even the theoretical benefits are really exciting.

(The amazing autoimmune 🦄) #4

When talking about Dr. Fung and Ramos’s thoughts on women fasting. I think that says it all. They deal with 1000s of patients, it is not a problem for women to fast.

(Ketopia Court Jester) #5

It is for this one. Like safi said,

Oh, hell, yeah.

(The amazing autoimmune 🦄) #6

Obviously for some people individually they can have difficulty fasting but for the whole population of women it is not necessarily a problem.

Every person has their idiosyncrasies that affect them, as the podcasts say we are all snowflakes. So in general women can fast, specific women and men may not be able to.

(Boots on? Balls to the wall? Good start.) #7

Perhaps if you could locate & link those studies then people here could take a look at them. Fair warning though - you’re unlikely to see a lot of love for the rat study :slightly_smiling_face:

I think we all do but quality nutrition studies are seriously thin on the ground & studies on women’s health/nutrition particularly so.

I choose not to fast for my own reasons but I know many women who do it successfully - you really just have to find what you’re comfortable with & what works for you. Eating low carb is a very good start.

(The amazing autoimmune 🦄) #8

I think that is the real key.

Keto welcomes and encourages N=1. Everybody figures out what their body needs. That is the beauty of this. We are all trying to figure out what is best for our health.

Everyone will be a little different. Some people are better off without dairy, some people can’t have eggs others still are trying to do Keto vegetarian.

I feel that here we recognize that we make our own choices and experiences with food

Edit: some how I just earned my first quote badge again😂

(Boots on? Balls to the wall? Good start.) #9

I got that the other day :laughing: along with some rather old ‘likes’. It’s all very weird at the moment.

(The amazing autoimmune 🦄) #10

Sometimes I feel like I am being ignored :joy: but then I re read a thread three days later and find a response. :thinking: yeah with the likes, I click on them and they have gone to very old posts. Very strange.

(Boots on? Balls to the wall? Good start.) #11

IKR? If we could at least have the alerts back I’d be able to keep up but I feel as though I’m wandering around in the dark :sweat_smile:


This is the article I read that discusses this: http://paleoforwomen.com/shattering-the-myth-of-fasting-for-women-a-review-of-female-specific-responses-to-fasting-in-the-literature/#comment-1362

The author comes from a paleo perspective. Yes, there’s never much love for rat studies lol. But there’s not much else to go on. As for me, I fast about every other day, but not more than 16 hours as per Dr. Fung’s advice, since I’m still breastfeeding. I guess I will just continue to experiment on myself and see how it goes.

I just find it hilarious that this Dr. Westie thinks snacking every 4 hours can be considered a fast.

(Boots on? Balls to the wall? Good start.) #13

Every ‘expert’ needs a marketing hook :roll_eyes::wink:

(Boots on? Balls to the wall? Good start.) #14

The conclusion (as per below) seems reasonable enough to me :slightly_smiling_face:

“All women are different. But the literature is so sparse in this area that we cannot make any real statements or predictions about the effects of fasting, other than that we just don’t know,


This was a big buzz in the paleo world a few years ago.

I haven’t read the study recently, but here’s what I think is important for humans: if you’re a sugar burner fasting is stressful. It’s probably a mild stressor if you’re fat adapted and not used to fasting, but if you’re not fat adapted, fasting will put your system into a legitimate energy crisis. Women’s hormones are very sensitive to this because the last thing we want is to get pregnant during a famine, so certain hormones get down-regulated very quickly.

If you’re fat adapted and your system can easily access your fat stores, there’s no crisis: energy can come from the outside or it can come from your hips. The fat-adapted body can slip in and out of eating without much fuss.

There are so many metabolic studies that are done on sugar-burners, and the conclusions are applicable to sugar-burners and only make sense in that metabolic context. ie:
fasting causes muscle loss! [in sugar burners]
fasting can lead to hypoglycemic episodes [in sugar burners]
glucose levels below 70 are dangerous [in sugar burners]

(Bunny) #16

Not too hilarious we hope? (e.g. if your fasting to lose weight rather than for other medical reasons and no weight is coming off i.e. actual body fat being burned, that would not be very hilarious?)

Almost sounds like something that has to do with boosting the metabolism through the thyroid, if your thyroid not functioning correctly? We have seen similar methods like eating every three to four hours to boost the metabolism but it is done very infrequently (not all the time) and perhaps used with fasting?

“Sugars” meaning from natural sources like fruit from berries (organic, no added sugars) etc.

(Sarah ) #17

I’ve been doing IF for almost a month and I haven’t noticed any negative results from it though I know this is not a particularly long time to be able to judge. Dr Becky Gillespie and a few others are great advocates of women fasting because of the hormones.


Yet another chiropractor. I couldn’t watch the whole thing, her advice wasn’t as bad as her hper-enthusiastic mannerisms. But her advice was still bad.