I have been thinking about nutrition and mindset a lot lately, because lots of people are struggling with their nutrition. I think some of it has to do with our mind-sets most times.
It is what do you want to accomplish?
Are you happy where you are now?
Do you really have a big why, for what you say you want to do?
Yes, as we age we do have a drop in our hormones which can make it all that more challenging and confusing, but it is never impossible.
Awhile back I was always looking at magazines, or other women and thinking I wanted that body, or I needed to lose another 10 pounds or so.
I said that but my actions did not match my words, why? I finally figured out that I really did not want it that much, that I was content actually to be at the weight I was at that time.
Because if I had really wanted to lose that weight, I would have been willing to put in the work, consistently, and change a few habits. I went around thinking like that for some time before I figured out what I did want.
Then there were times in menopause, that it did become more difficult to lose weight, and I feel I was lucky to just maintain my weight. I did eat pretty well, and I did lots of movement, gardening, walking, lifting weights, and running.
I had to finally when I was post menopause figure out what I did want, it had been my mindset holding me back most.
So what I say now to myself and others who ask me… it is what you put on your plate, and the end of your fork that gets you the results. You can run mega miles, do cross fit workouts, lift weights and do sprints….BUT if you don’t have a big WHY and get your mind right it’s not going to happen.
Lot’s of my running friends tell me they eat a lot of starchy carbs and packaged foods and treats, they think because they run they should be able to eat anything they want to.
They have always eaten that way and gotten away with it, now they are gaining fat at menopause, and want to be lean the way they always were.
I get told, why is it so hard now? I don’t get it.
I explain how at menopause our hormones especially estrogen and progesterone are declining, so that will effect how we feel, our body weight, our sleep and so on.
I totally sympathize, it can be so hard and confusing as to what to do now. When what you have always done just no longer works for you, who do you listen to there is so much confusing info out there.
I know, I have a million books on hormones, and every darn one of them says something different. Some say testosterone is the forgotten hormone and we need more of that. This week I heard another doctor say on a podcast to be careful of testosterone replacement.
Now my eye’s, were rolling, and I was thinking what next. I always listen to the info, look up studies, and I listen to the conversation or what the studies say, and I take what is useful and discard the rest.
If what I ‘am currently doing is working for me, I do not change it, I don’t care who says what. Low carb, high carb, low fat high fat, sugar is evil and toxic, don’t have any! Really is that practical how many people are going to go around and never ave any sugar?
Yes, sugar is not good for you, I say that all the time cut down on sugar and eat more vegetables, and good quality protein. But I’ll say it right now, I’m not going to give up all sugar or all of anything unless I have an allergy or sensitivity to a food or drink.
I do think if you are struggling with fat loss, and you want to lose weight that both calories and hormones matter.
We do need a calorie deficit, and as we age we need to eat smarter and be willing to have an open mind and try something different and see if it works.
I know that can be really scary, I felt that way when I cut way back on my long distance running I thought for sure I would blow up like a balloon…but I was willing to change what I thought and believed worked and try something different now that I was post menopausal age.
You would never gotten me to give up my running in my 40’s no way, I was just starting my running career and loved it.
So in my 50’s I was ready to listen, and change, I had my mind open and my mindset right, I was still scared. I changed up my diet and my exercise, because what I was doing for so long was just not working for me anymore.
Wicked scary to me, it was Dr Jade Teta and his work that got me to change up my exercise and nutrition, mostly my exercise because by that time I pretty much ate the way I do now.
Although I have it in my running log adding 5 bites of sweet potato to my dinner, as Jade Teta’s book the Metabolic Effect Diet said it would help with sleep. Don’t laugh 🙂 5 bites of starch at dinner was something I did not do.
I had mostly always eaten carbs, or starchy ones after my training, and at dinner just fibrous veggies, protein, and fat. But there is the but again, I was willing to give it a try and see how my body reacted, because I wanted better sleep and it worked like a charm.
Wow! I got off topic sometimes, as I become so passionate on getting it all out. I tell my women friends and they always know what I’m going to say, but they asked.
I say why not cut back on your starchy carbs now, give it a try and see how you do and feel. They are in menopause and there old way is not working, so investigate and try it.
Can you try timing your starch after workouts and see how that feels, or works for you. Some are eating NO fat like we were taught in the old days, low fat, and no fat. Remember snack wells? Fat free cookies? Yeah that does not work, you end up eating more. (like the package) 🙂
Strategies we discussed for diet
- Cut back on your breads, pasta, and BAGALS with cream cheese
- Time your starchy carbs, try after strength training workouts and dinner time.
- Eat more fibrous veggies
- Eat fruit for a snack instead of a bar
- Eat more salads at lunch instead of a sandwich
- Drink enough water, most of them do that
- Eat protein at breakfast instead of that bagel, donut, or muffin
- Watch the alcohol
- Stop the gatorade and other sugary drinks
- Protein for breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Snacks, fruit such as apples, berries, few nuts, cut up veggies, a protein shake plain
For portions sizes I told them to keep it simple, as they are busy women, aren’t we all.
Palm size portion of protein at your meals, a fist of fibrous veggies at your meals, and a cupped hand of starch after your workout, and at dinner. 1 thumb of fats at meals, and see how you feel, it can be adjusted up or down according to how you feel and your results. I’m sure we will talk about it again soon.
I wanted to keep it simple, and told them to try one new thing a time, give it 2 weeks and see how they feel. For most of my friends not having as much starch all day long is a big change. But for menopause and since that was not working for them anymore, its time to try a new way and see what happens.
Strategies for Exercise
- Since they run, and lift weights, I said try changing it up a bit
- Do one longer run, one medium tempo run, one run of intervals or sprints
- Strength training 2-3 days a week, heavy or circuits for 20-30 minutes
- Walk on all days, after runs would be great to lower cortisol and stretch and relax.
- Foam rolling, stretching
- Gardening, and fun time, one friend loves zuma. I said do it all movement is great.
For the runs as they know what I’m talking about, they need to just change it up as some are running this same 4 miler every other day or 4-5 days a week. I said your body going oh! She’s just running again, it has adapted to that. So if they change it up they may she a shift in their weight and they can still do the running that they love, I get that.
Sprint work is great for fat loss, darn I miss my sprinting soon I will be all recovered form my injury and sprinting here I come.
Mixing it up is great it keeps the body guessing, we want to be inefficient, as time goes on they can always change again, or drop a day of running if still to stressed.
But it takes us some time to get our mind around that, or any change, I know, I’m the same way. It took me a week or so to get my mind right about being injured and not sulk about not running and be happy I could walk.
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