Here is the lowdown on what I thought I was doing, and finding out what the reality is.
1 topic being covered here today folks:
What I thought I was consuming in calories/finding out what I WAS consuming
And the word for today is TRACKING.
I’m going to cut to the chase here and tell you that for about 4 years I have been battling menopausal weight gain. I was saying the same things as many other woman:
I don’t know why i’m gaining weight
I’m not doing any differently
I’m going to the gym 4 times a week and am seeing no change.
Here’s the nugget of wisdom for today. Ladies, you are unwittingly doing a whole lot differently, in particular, you literally have no idea that overnight your appetite has increased and you suddenly find yourself comfortably consuming a whole carton of ice-cream and a packet of cookies with room to spare.
2 hormones affect your food intake, my primary source here is Mary E Pritchard in the Psychology Today magazine. Letpin and Ghrelin. Get to know these names very well. Leptin managed your appetite, and ghrelin increases it. As women go into menopause and oestrogen decreases, Leptin goes on holiday, leaving Ghrelin in charge of running the whole show! I kid you not! What this means is that little by little you are scooby snacking your way into NOT being able to fit into your favourite jeans. I have been on a total mission with this for the past year as I bought what I call ‘investment pieces’ when shopping and there is no darn tootin’ way that I am not getting back into them.
Back to the word for today - TRACKING
On and off (more off), I have used apps like Myfitness Pal very halfheartedly and not really known what the point of it was and what difference it would make. I’m back on it again. Just recently I decided to really get tot grips with what was going in my foot intake and what a shock I got. I was consuming about 2500 calories a day with a huge amount of sugar involved and not enough protein, and a f**k ton of carbs (the really icky kind the high GI index). Crikey.
I have many good challenges, one of them being a sweet tooth, the other that I walk past 3 branches of Greggs on my way to work. The lure of a latte and bacon roll is too too much sometimes, and because I was weight lifing (WAS - Separate post on my findings here next week) it was making me hungry AF.
A bacon roll and a latte - about 500 calories
2 boiled eggs with asparagus and a cup of tea - about 300 leaving me with oodles of calories to use elsewhere.
Get real with your food intake folks, the hurtful bit is that I wasn’t putting on weight for no apparent reason, I as putting on weight because bacon rolls etc 4 times a week, eating huge meals at night after work thinking I was that hungry, stressing myself out which increases cortisol and makes your body hang onto fat. Honestly. I thought I couldn’t win.
If you feel you are in a spiral, or are indeed going through menopause, start tracking your food so you know what is really going on and adjusting it.
I have taken myself down to 1300 calories a day. That sounds alarmingly low, but I am not weight lifting just now, and here is an example of what I am eating in day now and I feel a massive, massive difference.
Breakfast - green smoothie with 2 huge handfulls of spinach, 1 banana, scoop of protein powder, scoop of inulin (fibre) and isotol, with a huge chunk of ginger, some porridge oats to give it substance and maybe some chia seed
Lunch - 1 chicken breast with an avocado, 2 large handfuls of spinach, chopped tomato, squeeze of lime, a table spoon of cooked quinoa.
Dinner - Homemade veggie chillie with a wholemeal wrap, I nearly always go back for a second helping too.
Snacks - clementine and a milky way (phwoah)
Find out what works for you, this is working for me, and I have stopped thinking about food so much because I feel I have the balance right. I am not a nutritionist (then again many people who claim to be aren’t either), this is just an insight into what was worked for me going through the menopause. I really can’t recommend tracking for a week and reviewing whats really going on, and get some advice.
This is a topic which has been driving me literally insane for a few years, I have to thank my colleague Jane Black for a lot of help and input. She actually IS a nutritionist and a darn tootin’ good one at that.
Next Blog post coming up is managing time, then I will rant about giving up my gym membership for a while.
Go forth and conquer.