How about a New Year’s Resolution NOT to diet? Why? Well even though the ‘95% of diets fail’ statistic is a myth (source), diets for the most of us don’t work out. Whether trying to lose 5 pounds or 100 pounds, losing weight is hard. Counting calories and putting food on scales can be as stressful as failed pregnancy tests when trying to get pregnant.
It's true that being overweight or eating poorly can cause inflammation but did you know it can actually stop you from ovulating? A poor diet can interfere with hormonal balance even if you are in a healthy BMI range. The good news is that there is a relationship between just a little bit of weight loss and/or healthy eating and regaining healthy ovulation (source). Even PCOS can be reversed by making healthy food and lifestyle changes.
If you missed the blog by Dr. Kyle Willets, here is her personal story on how healing from PCOS naturally.
Ok, I know what you are thinking - didn’t I say to scratch off ‘dieting’ as a resolution this year? Yes, because losing weight by following a diet is too hard. Instead of thinking about losing weight, focus on your health. Diets tend to have a plan that aren’t possible for us to follow in the long term. Instead, make changes that you can live with, and then you may find that in the long run, you can’t live without them.
Within a few months of my 35th birthday I started to gain weight out of the blue. My plan was to eat a salad every day for lunch and no sugar at all minus on Fridays. That was a total fail because I got bored with salad day three and ate a cookie day one (on a Monday).
I forgot that my goal is not to lose weight because that never works, at least for me. Instead I focused on increasing my bodies ability to fight off infections, reducing stress and to be a good example for my children. What would you like to gain from making healthier choices? Would it be to increase your fertility? Have a healthier baby and pregnancy? To reverse having Type Two Diabetes? Only you can decide that intrinsic goal and once you focus on that goal instead of losing weight, you may find that you happen to naturally lose a few pounds with out even thinking about it. If you don’t, it doesn’t matter because if you are eating well and exercising, you are healthier and knowing that makes you feel better anyway.
When it comes to food:
- Add more fruits and vegetables
- Tip: Blueberries have the highest amount of antioxidant power compared to any other fruit. Add just ½ a cup of blueberries to a meal and you will reduce your inflammation and fight free radical damage. Eating either fresh or frozen blueberries provides the same benefit.
- Pick high fiber and low ingredient food items
- Pick a cook book, social media influencer or food plan that you love and that works for your schedule
- Gradually cut out foods that trigger inflammation in your body. The two big ones in our American diets are sugar and starch. I’m still going to eat chocolate, but I don’t need sugar in my bread, pasta, salad dressing or snacks. Do you? If you do need sugar in your salad dressing, maybe you don’t need it in your coffee? Where can you cut back on sugar and still feel satisfied?
The more sugar you cut out, the more your palate will change. You will find that the sugary foods you previously enjoyed are now too sweet.
Your Exercise Routine:
While there are a ton of different recommendations for exercise out there, I find that the magic formula is this: the best exercise is the one that you will do.
Research Backed Exercise Recommendations for Exercise:
Here are the national and international evidence-based physical activity guidelines relevant to men and women trying to conceive:
A minimum of 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity 6-7 days a week and 75 minutes/week of vigorous intensity or if over weight it is recommended to do moderate intensity physical activity for 225-300 minutes/week.
If you are healthy and deemed fit for exercise, here is a sample of a safe trying to conceive exercise regime:
- Run/Swim/Bike/Walk: 2-4 times a week
- Weight Training: 2 times a week
- Stretching or Yoga: 2 days a week minimum
- Rest day: 1-2 times a week