Digestive Health Hormone Balance (including Thyroid, Adrenal and Sex Hormone Support) Optimum Energy & Healthy Weight
Our 40’s are the perfect time for us to focus on our health. Quite often, our bodies are shouting at us to look after ourselves, as it’s a time when niggling health issues can start to come to the fore!
Maybe you’re feeling fatigued, bloated and low, or you’ve noticed your waistline expanding even though you’re exercising and eating the same things.
Maybe your IBS symptoms are getting you down, or you’ve been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition and you’re not sure how to support your health.
Maybe you’re going through perimenopause and you’re experiencing mood swings, energy dips, sleepless nights and weight gain, as well as hot flushes. Maybe you are postmenopause and you’re still getting these symptoms.
By using a functional medicine approach, I can support you in finding the root cause and underlying imbalances contributing to your unique health concerns and symptoms. I recommend diet and lifestyle changes, laboratory testing and nutritional supplements where appropriate for you. Working with you at whatever level you need.
I have a key interest in female hormones, thyroid and adrenal health, digestive health and autoimmune conditions. And as a fellow ‘woman of a certain age’, this puts me in a unique position to help you make fundamental improvements to your health and wellbeing.
Who is up for a no-snack challenge this week? LIKE this post if you're going to give it a go, and I’ll keep you motivated throughout the week, and answer any questions you have.
Here’s a few pointers
1. Leave 5 hours between meals, and eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. Avoid caffeine in between meals as well, as this will also cause blood sugar fluctuations which may increase hunger signals.
2. Make sure you have a balanced meal at breakfast, lunch and dinner. This means making sure every meal contains a good source of protein (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, pulses, nuts & seeds) and at least ½ plate of veg. Limit carbs and starchy root veg to about ¼ or less of your plate.
3. If you feel hungry, don’t worry, this will pass. It can take a few days to get used to not snacking, but you’ll find that hunger pangs will ease off.
4. Have some water if you are hungry, as this can often help stave off hunger pangs
5. Record how you're feeling. Maybe you're fine in the morning, but not so great in the afternoon? Be curious. Maybe weigh yourself too, if you're trying to lose weight.
If you know you are going to have to more than 5 hours between meals, it’s obviously fine to go longer.
However, if you do feel dizzy or unwell, then please do have a snack and don’t worry about it. Then just try again at your next meal.
Some people with blood sugar handling problems, and/or chronic fatigue can find this difficult, so be patient with yourself and listen to your body. There’s no rush or pressure, and everybody will have a different experience.
As a previous fellow grazer, I personally found it quite a challenge when I started 😱 but after a few days or so of persevering, I found it much easier 😁 ...
Yesterday, we spoke about some of the issues with habitual snacking if you're trying to lose weight.
So what are the actual benefits of not snacking and what’s the best way to do it? Studies show that periods of fasting between meals, probably around 5 hours has the following positive health benefits:
1. Not snacking means that your body has the chance to process your last meal. Your blood glucose level declines after a couple of hours, and then your body will look to other sources of fuel ie your fat reserves. You have a clever in-built bit of machinery that releases fat from your fat cells and converts it into a substance that your cells can use to make energy in the absence of glucose. Marvellous!
2. Just to clarify the above – you will be a better fat burner!
3. You will optimise your digestive function – Think of your digestive tract after a meal as a busy street during Notting Hill Carnival. It’s a bit of a mess, stuff and rubbish everywhere. The street cleaners can only come in to clean once the party has left. It’s the same with our guts – we have our own internal street cleaners – the Migrating Motor Complexes that sweep the rubbish through the stomach and small intestine, after the main bolus of food has passed through. This leads to a more comfortable and optimum state of affairs.
4. A mini-fast between meals can reduce inflammation and switch on DNA repair.
If this is starting to convince you, tune in tomorrow when I give some tips on how to handle not snacking ...