Fight Menopause with Food

In order to fight menopause with food, you have to take an active approach.

You have to take a look at your diet (if you need help, I’m here) and determine if you are getting enough colorful vegetables and lean proteins. In order to do that, you can’t take a passive approach. You have follow my 3Ps: plan, prioritize and prepare.

Before we getting into those 3Ps that all my nutrition clients follow whenever they add a new habit, I want you to understand the logic behind why eating a rainbow of vegetables and lean proteins are a priority if you want to fight menopause.

What happens during menopause?

When menopause begins your estrogen levels fluctuate drastically which hurts your body’s ability to regulate its temperature. These changes in hormones also lead to that weight gain in the abdominal area.

Estrogen also helps to regulate sleep, wakefulness and REM phases. With all of the ups and downs in hormone levels this can disrupt your sleep cycle.

At the same time your progesterone, which regulates the onset of sleep, lowers and you may have trouble falling asleep which can lead to insomnia and daytime fatigue.

What does Food have to do with this?

You can fight menopause with food by ensuring you have vegetables at every meal, as well as lean proteins. Yes, even breakfast.

The more variety of color in your vegetables you can get on your plate, the better. Each color of the rainbow represented by your variety of vegetables represents a different phytonutrient. Phytonutrients are compounds produced by plants that can help the human body.

By eating a rainbow of vegetables, you are more likely to get more health benefits out of your diet.

Healthline has a fantastic article that gets into the specifics of all the colors and the benefits.

Vegetables help with cell repair, increasing good gut bacteria, are loaded with antioxidants, reduces the risk of heart disease and other conditions that can be affected by our food intake, or lackthereof.

More vegetables, less room for other things

Another benefit to more vegetables is that they add volume to your meals while adding few calories. I’m sure you can understand that weight loss is much easier achieved when you feel full after consuming less calories.

Vegetables also contain fiber which passes through to your large intestine mostly unchanged. While in your large intestine certain fibers help feed the friendly gut bacteria that are essential for good health. All of this makes them an effective weight-loss tool. Not to mention, vegetables are packed with essential nutrients and antioxidants that can lower or help manage many chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes. And here we are, back at the rainbow.

Lean Meats to Fight Menopause

A diet filled with protein can help sustain and create more muscle mass. More muscle mass means more calories burned each day. More calories burned, means weight loss to fight the impending menopause belly.

In the gym we are damaging and tearing muscle fibers so they can repair stronger than they were. That repair process needs protein to supplement all that hard work you are doing.

Focusing on lean meats like poultry, can increase your protein intake while keeping your caloric intake down so you can continue to fight menopause with food.

4 oz of chicken breast is 187 calories – 11% of those calories come from fat.

4 oz of pork roast is 289 calories – 36% of those calories come from fat.

This is why we suggested focusing on lean proteins. You get more volume for less calories.

Plan, Prioritize and Prepare

Here is where you are going to need your calendar.

Take your calendar and carve out these blocks of time starting with Friday evening, going through Sunday.

Friday – block out 30 minutes to plan your meals for the week. Ensure all 21 spots have a protein and a vegetable listed. Start with just 30 minutes. Find a distinct start and end time. Stick to it. If you don’t get to plan the entire week, that is ok, it’s about building the habit of doing this every week, not doing it perfectly every week. That will come over time.

Saturday – block out 30 minutes to create your grocery list from the meal plan you created last night and create an online grocery order for delivery. Schedule delivery for Sunday morning. We have groceries delivered to save us time, money and calories. Money because there will be less impulse purchases and calories because we don’t plan most of the “crap” foods that end up in our cart at the store.

Sunday – block out 1 hour to unload the groceries, chop and prepare your vegetables, batch cook some protein and healthy carbs like sweet potatoes, brown rice, etc.

Look ahead at each day of the week and decide if that nights meal needs to be prepared ahead of time who is going to cook and when, as well as the clean up. If you cook, someone else can clean it up!

Can you see why it’s so important to follow the 3Ps? Without them, you’ll have a “wish” not a plan.

Remember, the best way to predict the future is to build it yourself. Fight Menopause with Food by building your future to be full of colorful vegetables, full of lean proteins and… more to come on the next round: Fight Menopause with Fitness.

Schedule a 10 minute chat with me, Coach Jennifer, to get started. I’ll battle alongside of you!

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