Can you eat yourself to happy?
The answer is yes! MY approach is to Nurture & Nourish yourself through menopause, so enjoy your food but keep it balanced and healthy.
Of course you need to eat the right food for your body type and combine it with supplements and exercise to ensure you are getting the right nutritional balance, but, yes, food can have an impact on how we feel about ourselves and our bodies.
During menopause, our bodies change shape and size due to the hormonal changes in oestrogen, testosterone and androgen, which causes our muscle turns more easily into fat and gets redistributed to our waistlines, and the skin loses its elasticity. It becomes harder to lose weight as our metabolism slows down. Weight gain can affect our sense of ourselves, our self confidence and mood.
The drop in oestrogen hormone can affect our mental health by causing a form of hormonal depression in some women. And its is well documented that hormonal fluctuations can cause stress and anxiety in menopausal women, and hot sweats and insomnia obviously affect our sleep and leave us feeling overwhelmed. There are a range of medical and natural remedies to help with these symptoms, including HRT and anti depressants, as well as yoga, breathing and meditation approaches.
So how can food support you?
Firstly, reduce your calorie intake to approx 1,600 calories for the average post-menopausal woman, and 1,200 if you want to lose weight. Do this slowly, one lb a week only or you'll end up with loose skin.
Secondly, boost your oestrogen levels with naturally occurring oestrogen in food called Isoflavones or Phytoestrogens. There is a list of these food sources below.
Please be aware that:
1. You can't completely replace the lost oestrogen in your body with plant based versions.