4. Cheating after weigh in
It’s weigh-in night, and you’ve been really ‘good’ and lost 2-3lbs, which is cause for celebration so you treat yourself to a Chinese (family size bar of chocolate/cream bun/cake?). Or maybe you’ve gained and so you treat yourself to the same to cheer yourself up. This is wrong on so many levels, but seeing food as a treat rather than something to support your body, using food as a reward creates a negative cycle and a damaged emotional relationship with the food. Trust me, I’m not judging because I’ve been there! But the kind of foods that you choose are damaging to your hormonal health and affect your dopamine levels as the more you have of them the more you crave, and it starts a vicious cycle.
5. Becoming obsessed with food
Whether it’s counting calories, points or syns, you become obsessive (and dare I say, a bit boring?). You plan your meals in details and know exactly how much you have left for treats (or wine!) and you analyse it constantly. You’re constantly thinking about the next meal, talking about what you’re eating and worrying about any social occasions you have coming up when you’ll have to go off plan.
6. Too many processed foods and artificial sweeteners
A lot of the free foods and low calorie foods that are encouraged on these plans are highly processed and full of sweeteners and artificial ingredients (just read look at the ingredient list on most of them). These foods not only don’t give your body the nutritional support it needs but the chemicals and substances in them can impair your health and hormone balance.
What to do instead
– Focus on eating real, whole foods rich in protein, healthy fats and phytonutrients, that support your body and your hormones.
– Cut out vegetable oils and margarines and swap for healthy fats such as coconut, olive oil and grass-fed butter
– Omega-3’s from oily fish and avocados
– Drink more water and herbal teas and less caffeine, which raises your cortisol levels
– Eat nutrient rich phytonutrients with every meal, from fruits, vegetables and other plant based foods
– Eliminate white refined carbs and replace with nutrient rich complex carbs in sweet potatoe, quinoa, buckwheat and brown rice
– Cut back on sugar, sweeteners and processed foods
If you’re not sure where to start with making changes to your diet and lifestyle to improve symptoms of the perimenopause than click here to download my Hormone Balancing Recipe Guide, which is a great starting point and includes recipes and foods that both you and your family can enjoy.