Last week on the blog, I discussed my ongoing struggles with weight-loss resistance after having my daughter, Gia.
I briefly touched on how I was going back to the foundation of health and hormone balance… balancing blood sugar.
This week, I wanted to dive deeper into this concept, and provide some practical tips for you to implement into your own life!
Making sure your blood sugar is balanced is the key foundation to living a hormone healthy and energized life.
As a FAM and hormone coach, I’ve seen more menstrual cycle charts than I can count.
Some of the most common charting questions I receive include:
How do I…
- Raise my basal body temps?
- Support healthy cervical mucus production?
- Regulate my cycle?
- Reduce PMS symptoms?
- Support fertility for conception?
You can probably guess that my FIRST answer to these questions is this…
Start by prioritizing balanced blood sugar beyond everything else.
The reasoning behind this is simple.
When your blood sugar rises and falls rapidly throughout the day, this is a MAJOR stressor on the body.
It causes your body to feel panicked.
You may feel super tired, fatigued, and moody.
Most likely, this will leave you searching for the next “quick fix” to get your energy and mood stabilized again – coffee, carbs, and sugar.
And while this may make you feel better in the short term, not long after you consume these foods, will your blood sugar spike up and immediately drop back down. Causing the same stressful cycle over again.
The core of hormone balance relies on your body feeling safe and stable (aka living in homeostasis).
The more we can allow our body to be in a state of homeostasis, the more easily it can prioritize hormone balance and healing.
One of the easiest ways to do that is by balancing your blood sugar!
So what are the key steps to doing this?
It all comes down to balancing your plate at every single meal.
Every meal should include a combination of protein, fat, and carbs.
The exact amount of each of these varies per person, their current health status, and their activity level, but I want to provide you with some “baseline” advice!
Here are a few best practices I’ve developed through experimentation on myself and working with hundreds of clients over the years…
Most of the women I have worked with (myself included) feel the most satiated and energized consuming between 20-30g of protein per meal. YES, this might be a lot more than what you’re used to! But, I can hands down tell you that getting enough protein throughout your day is one of the best things you can do to support your hormone health.
Not only does protein provide the body with essential amino acids that support our liver (detox pathways) brain (elevated mood and energy) but it is at the core of supporting a strong body.
Consuming 2 tablespoons of healthy fat at each meal.
Fat turns into essential fatty acids that support heart health, hormone production, mental health, skin health, and MORE.
It is also essential for keeping you full and satisfied in between meals.
We can not produce optimal amounts of hormones without healthy fat in the diet.
This one is a bit trickier because everyone’s needs vary so much.
As I mentioned in my previous blog post, my personal carbohydrate needs have shifted throughout various seasons of my life.
In this current season (15 months after having my daughter) I’ve noticed that my body is not metabolizing starchy carbs as well. So I have been prioritizing carbohydrates in the form of green and fibrous vegetables as well as a smaller amount of fruit and root vegetables.
Experiment with your own carb intake!
If you tend to feel really tired/sluggish or bloated after eating, this might be a sign that your body isn’t tolerating the amount of carbs you’re eating at every meal. If you have also found that you’re holding on to a lot of excess weight – it could be a sign that your protein/fat/carb ratio needs some tweaking (this was definitely a clue for me!).
Remember that we NEED carbs. In fact, low-carb diets tend to have the OPPOSITE effect on women’s hormone health. Causing excess stress on the body and disrupting hormone balance.
It really all comes down to listening to your body, honestly.
Know that carbs in the forms of vegetables, fiber, greens, and root vegetables are the easiest on the body.
Simple carbs like breads, flour, cakes/cookies, and crackers (yes even gluten free versions!) contain less fiber meaning the will negatively affect your blood sugar MUCH faster.
So, while I don’t have a specific “number” to provide you with carbohydrate intake, I do encourage you to choose optimal forms and to listen to your body 🙂
Additional Blood Sugar Considerations:
- Try to eat within 30-60 minutes of waking.
- Eat breakfast before drinking your coffee. This helps curb the effects of caffeine on your blood sugar.
- Try to give your body 4 hours in between meals to fully digest your food and get rid of any excess insulin in your system. But, above all else, listen to your body. If you’re hungry, have a small snack that consists of protein/fat/carb.