What I have noticed about hormones, diet and adrenals…
I noticed in my late 40’s early 50’s I was struggling with sleep issues, mood, hot flashes and frustrated that I wanted to lose 5 pounds for our daughter’s wedding. Everyone that knew me said oh! you have this with all the running you do you will lose that fast.
It is funny I truly believed I was doing everything right BUT my body had other idea’s I know now as NOT one pound came off in 6 months. It was not until I changed things up with my exercise that my body felt it was safe to drop a few extra pounds I thought I needed to lose.
When we start having fluctuating hormones, and are not sleeping and doing to much exercise and dieting our bodies perceive that as way to much stress and it thinks we are running for our life so it stops all fat burning to save our lives.
Lesson I learned was listening to my bodies signals and doing less exercise which scared the hell out of me.
Weren’t we always told to do MORE? BUT when I cut my exercise down to less than half of what I was doing the magic happened those few extra pounds I thought I needed to lose just flew off without changing much else. I found out the just how much sleep, and other lifestyle factors has to do with fat loss as well.
Hormones and midlife changes…..
As young as our 4o’s we may start noticing a few changes going on with our weight, we can start feel anxious, our sleep is disrupted and the weight is shifting more to the middle. These symptoms and more can mean we are now in those peri-menopause years and I do mean years as menopause usually does not happen until about 51 for many women.
The reasons for some of our symptoms is our hormones are now fluctuating wildly up and down which can make some women totally miserable me included this hot flashes were the worst 🙂
In Peri-menopause the ovaries make estrogenic hormones primarily Estradiol and other Androgen hormones such as testosterone and DHEA, we make both kinds.
As time goes on the ovaries are making less of all the hormones, so in a perfect scenario the adrenals will help make them, if our adrenals are not pooped out.
Our adrenals can make menopause go smoothly if they are working well, because of the ovaries slowing down in making our hormones.
We need are adrenals to be running optimally to feel our best in menopause that is ONE reason why some women can breeze through menopause and some do not do as well.
We need to really try and take care of our adrenals which is not an easy job with our environment that can disrupt the adrenals and hormones.
Too much exercise, high sugar diet, highly processed food, toxic chemicals and modern life all effect our hormones and adrenals.
Cortisol needs to be in the goldilocks range.
Optimally you want higher cortisol in the morning, and low blood sugar and generous cortisol output.
- A diet strategy that can help if your cortisol is not in the optimal ranges throughout the day I have found works.
- In the morning or your first meal of the day try having 25-30 grams of protein with good a serving of healthy fats and some greens/veggies which can keep you energized.
- Lunch have protein, veggies, fat and some may want a few 5-10 bites of starchy carbs. But for some just fibrous veggies and greens as your carbs can work. It depends play with it.
- Dinner It is good to have your highest amount of carbohydrates as in fibrous veggies and a serving of starchy carbs which could be anywhere from 1/2 – 2/3 cup serving or one small to medium potato etc. This is where we all react differently but we don’t know until we try it.
- Some may NOTt need them starch carbs every night and some will do better with them for a time, and some might do better at other times of the day.
- The body gives us clear signals on this. For me if I do starchy carbs mid day I feel tired and less energy. Even at my first meal of the day I feel best without starch carbs now. So that low energy is my bodies way of saying/signaling me that it is too much starchy carbs now at this point in my life for me.
- I use them now as a tool at night on occasion when needed for sleep.
The amount and timing of starchy carbohydrates especially will depend on your body that is something I help my clients figure out.
- Eating more of your STARCHY CARBS at night to help lower cortisol as it is naturally supposed to go down through out the day and be lowest at night.
- We want cortisol to be low at night to help us relax, also help us sleep and have the body go into fat burning mode.
- Don’t be afraid to try having some starchy carbs at night to see if they help you sleep soundly and they can make you less hungry in the morning and help fuel a morning resistance training workout too.
- When we sleep soundly that can help us lose stubborn weight, have more energy and just not feel cranky.
SLEEP= is non-negotiable and yes I know menopause does not make that an easy task. Sleep is really the magic fat loss pill if there was one.
When we keep our cortisol in the optimal ranges throughout the day and night =less body fat, and better sleep.
We all have different tolerances and genetics, so some women might be able to have more Starchy Carbs than other women. Our genetics where we come from our ancestors is involved, as is age, activity level etc…
We do need to be our own detectives, eat more starch see how you feel…if you don’t feel good, or can’t seem to lose weight then try less starchy carbs and try more good fats.
I find for me I do more fibrous veggies and sleep well, I only have starchy carbs as needed as a carb up dinner now. I have had to adjust continually throughout the years which the body likes. I also love and find miracle noodles, and brussels sprouts, and carrots they really help me sleep as well.
- Plus try walking to lower the stress hormones NOT power walking. WALKING, is truly amazing to do.
- It is highly beneficial for your health and body to lift some weights 1-2 days a week, as we do lose muscle with age and lifting weights so good for the bones. We need good bones, as hip fractures is a killer. Resistance training has so many positive benefits, it will help with fat loss as well along with a great diet.
- What I have learned and the way I turned around my health was listening hard to my body, and doing less at 60 and beyond.
- Always adjusting my diet and exercise as the body is constantly changing and adopting to what we do.
We can lose fat, on a low carb, keto, higher carb, moderate fat, lower fat etc… there is NOT one way of eating only what works for us and It takes constant adjusting and listening to our bodies signals.
Where you start depends on YOU and your goals, your genetics.
As I always say we are all different and we will all respond to different amounts of protein, veggies, starchy carbs, fruits, and fats.
A program or lifestyle change needs to be adjusted and WORK FOR YOUR BODY, and with consistency, commitment, patience with ourselves and being willing to change it up and learning to listen to our bodies signals we will know how to adjust for life.
The body adapts to what we eat just like it adapts to our exercise, so I use a system that allows for that so that the body won’t compensate and slow down the metabolism with using just a calories in calories out model.
What we choose to eat effects us hormonally. Eating a bowl of broccoli sends a different signal than eating a donut. It is NOT all calories in calories out.
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