Okay….let us be honest here, mastering our diet is probably one of the hardest areas to overcome. We all have our habits and favorite foods. We are stuck in a routine, we have cravings, and quite simply put...we like what we like and we don't like/want to change! But did you know that nutrition accounts for about 80% of your fitness??
Sooo, when it comes to the food part, what should you look for when trying to create a healthy, well-balanced diet? Well, that really is going to vary based on personal health, goals, your activity levels, etc. A person who is highly athletic and active is going to have different nutritional needs than an individual who is highly sedentary.
But, a good rule of thumb when it comes to weight loss and menopausal health and balance is about 40-30-30. 40% carbohydrates | 30% protein | 30% healthy fats
40% Carbohydrates. And I'm referring to whole-food carbs such as whole grains, peas, beans, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds (vs. refined carbs such as cakes, cookies, donuts, white bread, etc)
30% Protein. Protein is often a very neglected area of a woman's hormonal health, but vitally important. The protein sources considered most beneficial are lean meats, eggs, skinless chicken breast, yellowfin tuna, lean ground beef, turkey breast, lean pork, wild salmon, rainbow trout, sardines, etc. If you tolerate Dairy, dairy products such as Greek yogurt, Kefir, cottage cheese, 2%-whole milk, Swiss cheese, Mozzarella cheese (with whole milk), legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, tofu, tempeh, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, quinoa, avocado, peanut butter, almond butter, hummus, even protein powders can be beneficial
30% Fat. Healthy fats during menopause are good for your brain function, your joints, your skin, your weight, and your hormone production. This would include healthy fats found in eggs; including the yolk (which is full of healthy vitamins and minerals); fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna (try to stay away from canned tuna with added oils), haddock, etc; Oils, such as coconut oil, avocado, extra virgin olive oil; Nuts; Dark Chocolate with 70 % or higher cocoa (1 square is sufficient); Full fat yogurt, such as Greek yogurt, Kefir; Seeds, such as chia seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds (high in calcium), flax seeds; Avocados
This should help give you some ideas on how to eat both for weight loss and for hormonal health and balance.
Like I said nutritional needs will vary from person to person and on current health needs, activity levels, and fitness goals, but try the 40-30-30 approach and try to incorporate a complex carb, a protein, and a healthy fat each time you eat. This method should not only help you to trim down but keep your mind focused and your body energized.
And remember, if you're wanting extra support around what food to eat, Here at Vibrant Life LLC, I have a great meal planning guide available to help you create a meal plan that not only works for you but that you can enjoy.