When your hormones are out of balance, it’s hard to avoid packing on the pounds during the holidays. Studies show that from Halloween through the New Year, the average American gains seven pounds!
What are you going to do? Part of the holidays is all the delicious foods. Then you have holiday parties that you don’t want to miss. How can you enjoy all the deliciousness of the holidays and stay trim? Read about what foods help you lose that hormonal weight.
Well, you can watch this video to start:
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I’m going to share with you tips I’ve gathered over the last three decades celebrating big fat Greek Italian family holidays. You know we love to cook and we love to eat but there are ways to enjoy the feasts and not gain weight.
If you follow these five simple Hormone Healing Tips, you’re going to start off the new year Healthy and trim.
Hormone Healing Tip #1 – Eat Like Your Ancestors
I don’t mean your grandparents or your great grandparents, or even your great, great, great, great grandparents. I mean your distant ancestors. The ones who had to hunt and gather to survive. Yep. We’re going back in time… If you follow the eating patterns of your most distant relatives – the Hunters and Gatherers – you’ll maintain a healthy weight.
You see, your biology, your metabolism, and more importantly your hypothalamus is geared for the most primitive of diets. Your ancestors would eat the game they hunted first before turning to plants they gathered. Why? Because there’s more dense calories in meat than in plants. Fresh meat would be consumed after the hunt so it wouldn’t go bad maybe for three to five days and then the hunters would go out again to hunt. The rest of the tribe or village would exist on whatever plant foods had been gathered – seeds, nuts, grains, roots. The carbohydrates provided by plant foods would keep your ancestors going until they could hunt or fish.
Eat like a hunter for three to five days, then like a gatherer for a day or two.
So what does this look like in our modern diet? For 3-5 days, you’re eating protein-rich foods like fish, poultry, meat, eggs, and cheese supplemented by fresh produce like leafy greens, tomatoes, peppers, squash, and healthy fat like olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds. Basically my insulin resistant diet which is one of my gifts for you! Your plate should look like this. Mostly veggies plus one-third protein and one-third healthy fat.
Then for a day or two go ahead and indulge in carbohydrates- yep! You can eat those holiday treats. Go to the holiday parties and enjoy.
Just plan out your week accordingly. The more holiday parties, the longer you’re on my low carb, insulin-resistant diet in between.
Hormone Healing Tip #2 – Fill Up On Healthy Snacks Before You Party
So what happens when you go to the grocery store hungry?
Exactly what will happen if you go to a party hungry? Now we all know what’s offered at holiday parties. Cookies, cakes, chips, dips, rich appetizers, and of course festive cocktails. Think of the holiday dinners and parties as your gathering days. Now the worst thing you can do is show up starving. You will for sure eat too much. So you can help quell your appetite plus get some good nutrition by planning ahead. Stock up on what I call dip veggies – carrots, celery, cucumbers, peppers, snap peas, jicama. Plus healthy dips like hummus. Or my favorite yogurt dip! It’s really easy to make just mix whole fat Greek yogurt, yes Greek it’s stiff enough to be a dip and whole fat because you need fat to satiate your hypothalamus.
Stay tuned, I’ll be sharing the secret to keeping your hormones in Harmony by supporting your hypothalamus at the end of this video. This is super important because your hypothalamus literally controls everything in your body including your weight set point, your metabolism, and your hunger!
Anyhow about that Greek yogurt dip. Just stir extra virgin olive oil into whole milk yogurt and add some seasoning – salt and pepper, herbs, or even pesto – for a quick tasty healthy dip for those yummy veggies. That way you arrive at the holiday party ready to taste all the delicious foods but not gorge yourself because you’re not starving! I have lots more healthy recipes to share with you so be sure and hit subscribe so you don’t miss a thing.
Hormone Healing Tip #3 – Get Active To Raise Your Basal Metabolic Rate
Your basal metabolic rate or BMR is how fast you burn energy. Your BMR is controlled by your hypothalamus. If your hypothalamus doesn’t get what it needs to operate your entire body, it’ll slow down your BMR to save energy for your most vital organs like your heart and your kidneys. The faster your BMR the more you can eat and still stay thin. Yet the short days of winter naturally slows down your metabolism. In order to keep your BMR high or to raise a sluggish metabolism, you need to be active. Exercise yes, but it’s more than that. You have to get up and move. Especially if you have a sedentary job. Try to get up and move, walk, climb the stairs, dance, or do some calisthenic exercise for at least five minutes every hour you sit.
Now I didn’t say exercise. Of course exercise is important for fitness. You gotta breathe hard and get your heart rate up for twenty to thirty minutes at least three to five times a week in order to gain cardiovascular and pulmonary fitness. But for weight loss, you just gotta get active.
Studies show that overweight people who walk for ten minutes three times a day will lose as much weight as people who exercise for thirty minutes daily and more importantly they’re more likely to keep the weight off. Because being active becomes a habit.
How many steps a day do you think you get?
Try this: put on a Fitbit or even a simple pedometer and count how many steps you take in an average day. Then try to increase your steps every day by ten percent. Everything counts even the five minute walks around the office. Or parking your car farther away. Or making two trips upstairs. In a month you will be fifty percent or active than you are now and I bet your clothes will fit better!
Hormone Healing Tip #4 – Get Enough Sleep Every Night
Sleep is so vitally important to your health. With its extreme sensitivity to the light, your hypothalamus controls your day-night cycle. While you’re asleep, your sleep hormone melatonin begins to reverse insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is why you store body fat, especially in the winter, especially around your middle. That tendency to store belly fat is leftover from when we needed to nearly hibernate for the winter. Except if you don’t get enough sleep, your body is under so much stress that it’ll hold onto the fat. So get some sleep.
How much is enough? Well it matters how old you are. Teenagers need eight to ten hours of sleep. Elderly folks need six to seven. Most of us need at least seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep to have a healthy vibrant metabolism.
And you have to sleep in the dark. Yes, complete absolute darkness. Otherwise you don’t make enough melatonin to start burning that stored fat. You know you’ve gotten enough sleep if you wake up feeling refreshed and hungry. Yes. Wanting to eat first thing in the morning is a good sign that you’re no longer insulin resistant.
So what is insulin resistance? Well, insulin resistance is how our ancestors stored enough fat around their internal organs to survive the winter. It’s what happens to bears in order for them to hibernate for the winter. And that genetics is still active in our bodies. But today, insulin resistance is maladaptive and considered a prediabetic condition. In fact in medicine we call that roll around your middle – your insulin meter. The higher your insulin levels are the more likely your cells start becoming resistant to insulin – not letting it or the glucose it’s escorting into the cells. But not your fat cells. They’ll always let insulin and sugar in and store it for you. Thank you, belly fat! In fact you can thank your hypothalamus. It’s what’s controlling your metabolism including glucose and insulin metabolism. Your hypothalamus is programmed to help you survive even the longest darkest coldest winters.
Hormone Healing Tip #5 – Support Your Hypothalamus To Prevent Hormonal Weight Gain.
So you’re eating super low carb, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and you always eat judiciously at parties. So why do you still gain weight over the holidays? Your hormones are probably out of balance. And your out of balance hormones are telling your DNA that you should be storing fat for the winter.
Your body is a vehicle and you are the passenger. Who’s driving? Your hypothalamus.
Think of your hormones as the software programs of your body. Your hypothalamus is the operating system. With age, stress, illness you may just need an update. Your hypothalamus is just trying to help you survive and it doesn’t recognize your flailing hormonal milieu. So it does the best it can with what it has. And it needs you to give it more nutritional support. Even the best of diets – organic colorful lots of variety – do not always provide all the nutrients necessary for optimal hypothalamic functioning. Since your hypothalamus controls all your hormones, all your neurotransmitters and your immune system, well, when it doesn’t get the support it needs, you get sick or if you’re lucky… you store body fat.
When your hormones are out of balance, it’s hard to avoid packing on the pounds. To help you even more, you can read about my 5 Tips to Help You Lose Hormonal Weight gain as well as my summary post about hormonal weight gain.
If you have any questions regarding hormonal weight gain, please join us in our Hormone Support Group. You’ll have access to that when you sign up for my free Hormone Reboot Training. I’d love for you to join us!