I have been thinking back to when I could not drop one pound, I was having sleep issues, mood swings, stubborn weight that did not seem to want to budge.
I could never figure it out what I was doing wrong…
I thought I was eating optimally, and exercising BUT that did not seem to be enough, but why?
Have you ever felt that way?
I have talked to a number of ladies, that say crystal I’m really eating well, and I’am exercising like crazy, plus I do try to do relaxing things.
But they are very frustrated as they are gaining weight, and that is really freaking them out.
Yep! I have Been there, and felt that way many times, I felt like the body had a mind of its own…come to find out now the body does have a mind of its own and it is survival, and keeping its fat stores.
I’m very passionate about health because of my own 15 year struggle with yo-yo dieting, feeling unworthy, and eating out of emotions, beating myself up because I could not stick to a diet.
I felt I was a failure because I could not stick to the diet of that year, but in reality it was the diets that failed me.
It wasn’t until I decided to do it my way, I was approaching 40, and thought my god life is passing me by I’m stuck here in this body I don’t recognize anymore. I was embarrassed to go out, and I knew I did not want to be in assisted living when I was older, or be so over weight that no one could pick me up off the floor if I fell down, and my kids were growing up.
I thought what about grandchildren, do you want to be here to see them grow up…such a wake-up call for me.
My big WHY was health. I wanted to look good, have energy and feel good when I was older.
I loved nutrition, and learning so I read everything I could to learn all I could.
I lost the weight slowly by doing it my way no particular diet just following what we all know deep down. I needed to eat nutrient dense foods and drop the ultra refined foods– all those highly addictive sugary foods.
So Focused on eating protein, veggies and some fruit. I was scared of eating fat back then as it was the FAT FREE CRAZE . I ate a baked potato plain back then 🙂 this was 26 years ago that is all I knew to do.
It was such a simple way of eating, not easy at first believe me as my body wanted all that sugar it was used to getting daily. The slow fat loss was worth all the lessons that I learned along the way for teaching me life long habits.
What I found out over the years just by listening to my bodies bio-feedback ( its signals ) as our bodies are constantly adapting to our diets, and exercise.
- I learned and I still do this to this day is — cycling my diet and just pay attention to my hunger NOT the clock.
- I also do intermittent fasting. I was doing IF (intermittent fasting) before I knew it had a name.
We all fast overnight until you wake up in the morning, right? but for me I usually did not feel hungry until about 11 Am or so, which is a 17 hour fast for me from when I eat dinner at 6 Pm…haha! Who knew….
When I was running long distance, I would jump out of bed in the morning go do my longish runs 1 hour or more on week days. Then stop at the gym lift weights or walk my dog or both….Yikes! So by the time I got home it was mid morning or so.
I had always worked out fasted I just felt better doing it that way. I was not on a diet or protocol.
I know there is so much talk about diets especially at this time of year..
Should we do low carbs, high carbs, primal, paleo, low fat, high fat, Ketogenic, fasting, intermittent fasting it is enough to make our heads spin.
Many women have been asking me what I think is the best which way of eating at mid-life and beyond. I know we all want to know exactly what to eat but no one can really tell you that. Truthfully I don’t think there is one exact way of eating that works for all of us.
I usually say if what you are doing now is not working for you then don’t be afraid to experiment with a new way of eating. Try timing your meals differently eating less often and see what works for you.
The book by Dr Jason Fung, and Jimmy Moore called The Complete Guide to Fasting, is very good. Also The Obesity Code By Dr Jason Fung or the Diabetes Code. I do think we are all different and doing what works for you is the only way to go, try it and see.
I talked to a very nice young woman recently and we talked for awhile on everything nutrition, she said she was not bored loved it.
She asked me if it was ok if she skipped breakfast as she is never hungry for breakfast but felt like she had to eat breakfast because that is what everyone has always said to do.
I said NO listen to your body if you are not hungry and feeling good, then your body is telling you something. It is giving you signals.
- There is nothing wrong with eating when you are truly hungry.
- There is nothing wrong with eating 3 meals and a snack aday IF that is working for you.
- There is nothing wrong with eating 1 meal a day, or 2 meals a day, or 3 meals a day, if that is working for you.
- There is nothing wrong with intermittent fasting ..which is going overnight from dinner (NO snacks after dinner) to breakfast which could be a 12 hour normal overnight fast.
- Or you could try going 14 hours or longer1 day a week until to break your over night fast to see if that would work for you.
- Always go by how you feel and if you are getting the results you are seeking.
- Listen to your body not other people.
Don’t be afraid to change it up with your diet or exercise if it is not working for you. The body is always adapting to what we are currently doing, its pretty smart that way the switch is the magic.
- What had worked for me for many years was eating a half plate of the greens, and fibrous veggies such as cauliflower, brussels sprouts, broccoli, 1/3 cup of berries.
- A controlled amount of the starchy carbs to my tolerance at the evening meal things such as tubers, sweet potatoes, white potato, winter squash, pumpkin etc…
I have found through trial and error that I like to change it up and experiment to see what works best for my body now in my mid 60’s and I now do starchy carbohydrates as a crab up at an evening meal when I feel Need it.
I have found that feasting and fasting, rotational eating windows works for me and I do best on a low carb (primal) way of eating at certain times a year then do well with a Ketogenic diet which is a way of eating and living and I’m absolutely thriving on. BUT if I feel I need a carb up or want an apple, or berries or sweet potato etc I will listen to my body and have it.
I have days like today that I fast overnight for 16 hours and ate around 10:30 Am then other days it could be an 18 hour over night intermittent fast until my first meal the next day around 12 noon.
A couple of times a week I don’t eat until dinner if I’m NOT HUNGRY.
I love actually going dinner to dinner as long as my hunger, energy, cravings are all good then my body is happy and I burn fat for fuel, the body has plenty of fat/energy it can use as needed.
I’m fat adapted and keto adapted and metabolically flexible using glucose at times for fuel or fat at times. I believe we need to be strict if we are doing a ketogenic diet for about 3 months before adding any carb up etc..until you are fully fat adapted and keto adapted the longer the better. If our body is used to burning sugar /glucose it will signal you to eat more often it will be screaming feed me.
I have NO rules around this, if I’m clearly hungry and not just a habit signal then I eat. I love now eating when truly hungry and not by the clock. Sometimes my mind will go wait a minute its lunch time aren’t you supposed to eat…BUT I really hate feeling to full and by listening to my bodies signals of true hungry not a craving then all is good.
When I eat I just eat my normal food that I love, tossed green salad, with canned salmon or tuna or chicken. sometimes an egg omelette with veggies and side sausage. Last meal could be another salad or some sort of protein and veggies and a serving two of fat.
I used to have and loved especially in my long running days, my whey protein smoothie with handful of spinach, a spoon of good fat such as avocado, coconut oil and 1/3 cup of berries. I have not had that for over a year now as it does not stay with me as long as chewing real food sad to say 🙁
So changing it up, all the time, and making sure I eat until full, and doing higher carbs if needed.
My body never perceives starvation mode or like I’m restricting calories.
As I’m not cutting calories, BUT by eating more less often. I’m not getting the same amount of calories daily, it fluctuates and my body likes this and it balances out.
As when dieting the body pretty much catches on fast if we go to low calorie and over exercise the body will slow the metabolism, and give you signals, as in increased hunger, low energy, sleeping poorly, and possibly cravings.
Of course to lose weight we do need to feel slightly hungry not giving the body exactly what it needs to maintain our weight. Dr Michale Colgan a scientist always told me Crystal you need to sneak fat off the body.
Hormones are always involved, but if the bio feedback your body is giving you is positive, and you are losing weight then that is good for you.
Then you have found what works for you right now, but remember the body is always changing and evolving, we must really listen to our bodies then follow our intuition or bio feedback the body gives us.
I would say for many menopausal or women mid-life and beyond a low carbohydrate diet works well. By this I mean, fibrous veggies as the main source of carbohydrates, and a small amount less sweet fruits can work.
Try having one or two fists of Non Starchy veggies, things such as leafy greens and fibrous green veggies, such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, etc at your meals. It is not low carb per say BUT its low starchy carb diet to our own unique tolerance.
This is where fine tuning for your body comes in, and listening to its signals you need to figure out how much starchy carbs you can eat for your body, and as the years go by always adjust by what your body is telling you.
Maybe having no starchy carbs will work for you experiment if what you are doing is not working for you.
I also think that low carb/ high fat or the Ketogenic lifestyle can work for many.
Take away do what works for your body, if what you are doing is working then do not change it.
Lifestyle factors to help with fat loss.
We need to get our stress in that goldilocks range and have our sleep dialed in. Which is so very important for fat loss and feeling good, especially in the menopausal years as our hormones fall and we just react more to stress now than we did when we were younger. A good book is Sleep Smarter.
I’m flexible and just try to listen to my body on any given day, we can just do the best we can do and take one day at a time.
I read a lot of research, and books and don’t change the way I eat because of it, I say that is interesting…if I feel I would benefit I may tweak what I’m doing if I feel bad or am not sleeping, or have low energy.
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