Updated: Oct 25
40 can be a big milestone for many, and physiologically a lot of changes start to happen for women. Read on for my key advice that I share with my clients.
The value of water should not be underestimated. You absolutely should be drinking a minimum of 1.5 - 2 litres a day. Coffee, tea* and alcohol are all diuretics, increasing water loss which leads to dehydration, decreased energy and can also severely impact your cognitive function.
Did you know that sometimes hunger pains are your body’s way of shouting that it’s thirsty? If you feel this way and you’ve recently eaten, suggest having a big drink of water. Chances are the hunger will go away and you’ll also realise how thirsty you are.
*Zero caffeine herbal teas are excluded - fresh mint, peppermint, camomile, dandelion root are all great ways to up water intake, especially when it’s cold!
Reduce refined carbohydrates - yes that means bread, pasta, bagels, biscuits, cakes. Swap for whole grains and complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, sweet potato, quinoa, buckwheat and oats. This is to minimise spikes in blood sugar; refined carbohydrates are very quickly converted into glucose by the body, spiking insulin levels. This continuous spike can lead to insulin resistance which is the precursor for weight gain and Diabetes Type 2.
Complex carbohydrates are just that, complex, so take longer for the body to break down, meaning there is a slow but continuous amount of energy being released. They also keep you full longer, which reduces the need to snack.
Don’t skip meals. It can be a tendency for women approaching middle age to start skipping meals as a way to cut calories, however this is one of the worst things you can do as it plays havoc with your hormones. The key here is the old adage of 3 square meals a day, BUT they must be nutritiously dense and packed with fibre.
It’s impossible to overeat vegetables, fruit, beans and wholegrains - your body will signal that it has enough nutrients and fibre and tell you it's full, so don’t worry. Bulk up healthy meals with grains such as couscous or quinoa, throw beans such as lentils and chickpeas into every meal and add in complex carbs such as sweet potato or bananas. You will feel satisfied for longer, and all the fibre will ensure your gut is performing at 100%. This will lead to an increased metabolism, faster weight loss and aid detoxification of excess hormones.
Don’t avoid the good fat. If you’re unsure what they are and avoid all fats, it’s time to read on!
Good fats are vital for healthy brain function, cell reproduction, aids in reducing inflammation and vital to hormone balance, so should not be missed from your daily diet.
Good fats are sometimes labelled as Omega 3, 6 or 9 or as essential fatty acids. They are found in oily fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines, oysters), walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, olive oil and flaxseeds.