Hormonal weight issues is a thing. Whether it's menopause or perimenopause (i.e. the pre menopause that starts somewhere around 35), storing fat around your middle is liklier to happen and it's all your hormones' fault (Ugh!).
We both know that what you eat and how you move can make a HUGE improvement in some of the symptoms of menopause, and weight is definitely one of those symptoms!
And as we both know eating better and moving more can help you stave off other issues like heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis.
But "eat better & move more" is a very non specific thing we hear a LOT, and it's very open to interpretation. Here are 5 things that I recommend you do in order to "eat better & move more" starting today!
First - Hydrate:
AKA drink more water. It's amazing how many women I sit down with who start off by saying, I know I don't drink enough water.
If you know you don't drink enough water, start drinking more water! I know that's easy to say but really it's also easy to do.
Start your day by having a glass of water. Make it routine, and you can even set it out the night before so it;s a brainless thing you do as soon as you wake up.
Don't like plain water? Add in some berries or chopped frozen fruit.
Prefer tea? Steep some sliced lemon and/or ginger or your favourite caffeine-free herbal teabag. This counts toward hydration as well.
You can also keep a large bottle or mug beside you all day wherever you work so it's always easy to grab and have sips throughout the day to make sure you're not getting thirsty. Try downloading an app that reminds you to drink water throughout the day OR set an alarm on your phone to go off every 15 minutes and remind you to drink water. Once it becomes habit you're all good!
Check out this post from my friends at Fitness Jockey for more on how much water you should be drinking each day:
Second - Bump up your intake of those non starchy veggies and dial down on the starchy ones.
Things like (yes, you guessed it) broccoli, kale, beets, cauliflower, celery, peppers, greens, asparagus, mushrooms, etc are all supercharged with the nutrients your body needs. They're also supercharged with fiber which balances blood sugar, ensures efficient hormones removal (super important when it comes to estrogen) and keeps you feeling full & satisfied. Try to include them in every meal and even most (if not all) of your snacks.
Their starchier friends like potatoes, squash, peas, corn and beans should be chosen less often as they contain more sugar (fat won't make you fat but sugar sure will), less fiber and don't have the same amazing benefits as their non starchy cousins,
Want another reason to eat more plants?
Plant-based diets are associated with fewer hot flashes. Bonus!
Third - Flip out your high carb breakfast for one full of fat & protein.
For some crazy reason, our culture favours a breakfast made mainly of carbs like bagels, toast, oatmeal, smoothies etc. From a digestive standpoint alone this makes no sense since carbs digest really fast, leaving us with blood sugar issues, hunger and increased fat storage. Oh, AND the increased sugar cravings in the afternoon (seriously, it's a real thing).
Instead you should be focusing on fats and protein in the morning. These two macronutrients leave you with insanely stable blood sugar which will have you feeling full and satisfied well into late morning. You'll have fewer sugar cravings and be less likely to store fat.
Try swapping out your oatmeal and whole grain toast for my signature Eggs & Avo Breakfast. Just cook 2 eggs any style you like, and serve on a bed of greens (I like arugula). Top with 1/2 of an avocado sliced and anything else you fancy like hot sauce, sauerkraut, radishes etc. Fast, filling & super delicious.
Fourth - Some things you want to cut back on:
Reducing and/or eliminating alcohol, caffeine and processed foods can have a tremendous impact on balancing your hormones naturally without the help of pharmaceutical medications.
With those increases in hydration, whole plant foods, and quality protein, you simply won't have as much room for alcohol, caffeine, and processed foods with added salt and sugar.
You already know that's good news, right?
Fifth - Get enough sleep:
I'm talking 7-9 hours per night. Seriously!
Sometimes menopause can bring on (or ramp up) sleep problems.
The most important thing to do is set a daily routine where you're relaxing with no screen-time (computers, tablet, phone, tv) a couple hours before your bedtime. Electronic devices emit strong blue light which can prevent the release of melatonin, your sleep hormone. Try reading a book or having a bath. It's also important to have dim lights in your surroundings to reduce your exposure to blue light before bed. Regular indoor lighting is usually blue light. Ideally you would use amber or red lights, or even be ultra-stylin' with blue-blocker sunglasses.
Bonus: Attend my brand new (& free) webinar called the 5 Simple Steps To Lasting Fat Loss and I'll teach you the 5 things that I do with each and every client (including myself) to ensure lasting fat loss. Just click the link below to save your seat and come ready for a ton of aha moments.
What do you think? Is there something I missed? Let me know by leaving a comment or sending me an email-I always write back!