Menopause and PMS: How to Minimize Their Effects on Your Life Through Food

Menopause and PMS can be a struggle for women and their families.  Ladies, check out this list of dietary advice that can help you make positive  changes in your life and control the impact that menopause and PMS have on your life.  And men, pass along this helpful list to the women in your life to show your support.

For many women, dietary changes are the best place to start. Many women find increasing whole grains may help balance their estrogen levels. You may find getting your 5 fruits and 5 vegetable servings a day and one serving of legumes helps improve hormonal balance and PMS symptoms. Soybeans and soy products contain estrogen like compounds called phytoestrogens that help offset fluctuations in a women’s natural estrogen. According to Mark Messina, Ph.D. associate Professor at Loma Linda University, an expert on soy, women need 2-3 servings daily of soy foods which provide 60-90 milligrams of phytoestrogens. If you aren’t getting that on a regular basis, try especially hard when your menopause ad PMS symptoms are at their worst– it can make a huge difference!

Eating sweets only aggravates PMS. Instead of candy bars, go to whole wheat bread with honey or jam. Women consuming chocolate, coffee, colas, teas, even caffeine medications throughout the day may also be more likely to experience PMS. Some women can tolerate caffeine, and others can’t. You can test it over several months and see how you do.

When you’re experiencing menopause and PMS symptoms, it is also important to get enough protein to keep your energy level high and counteract the added stress and emotional fluctuation that comes from your hormones. Eating healthy foods rich in protein such a beans, legumes, and meat can also give your body good fuel to work off of to exercise, which is an extremely helpful way to mitigate symptoms. By eating the right foods, you can say active, which will naturally improve your mood, lower your stress level, and have positive effects on your fitness and body image. It is a great way to stay busy during this stressful time!

By making small, daily changes to your diet, you can control the effects of menopause and PMS on your routine.  Focusing on making these healthier choices will also give you something to be proud of and focus on, even when you find yourself stressed in other areas of your life.

Why Do People Binge Eat?

End Binge EatingBinge eating, the practice of eating compulsively for periods at a time, is usually caused by emotional triggers that cause bouts of excessive overeating. However, knowing the common triggers that cause binge eating can help you notice an onset before you’re engaged in an unhealthy food situation.

What are common binge eating triggers?

There are six common triggers that nudge on binge eating periods. They include: feeling stressed out or unsafe; a poor self image; low self esteem; a lack of a good support system; and not being able to process emotions in a healthy manner.

These six triggers are deeply rooted in emotional behavior. Coupled with an unhealthy approach to food, this can create problematic behaviors that can derail a good healthy eating plan.  However, if you take time to understand and accept these feelings, it can help you avoid unhealthy food situations and make better eating decisions that will help you improve your health.

A Ring of Unhealthy Decisions.

One of the biggest problems that spur on binge eating are restrictive diets. They force dieters to focus on unhealthy food and exercise extremes, which cause dieters to stress out, feel out of control, and overeat. This behavior, in turn, make them judge themselves and leads to more overeating and unhealthy thinking overall.

Combatting Bad Behaviors.

Knowing what emotions and behaviors will push you towards a binge eating session can help you prevent yourself from making unhealthy eating choices. Make sure that you:

•    Eat at regular intervals throughout the day so that you aren’t overly hungry.

•    Remember that your feelings and emotions are valid.

•    Minimize your time and exposure to unhealthy situations.

•    Develop a strong support system to encourage and push you to make healthy decisions.

The Hungry Heart Program can help you take control of your binge eating by helping you understand what emotions and behaviors are triggering this response. Contact us to find out how we can help you build a more positive relationship with food and create a healthier lifestyle for the future.