Healthy Exercise Without Healthy Food Won’t Work
A combination of healthy food and healthy exercise help you feel good. The missing overlooked link is the daily habits (I call flips in Hot, Not Bothered) that keep you consistently on track when life says you don’t have the time to exercise or eat perfectly today.
While people have come to me for 34 years for exercise, for the specific workouts and tips that keep them injury free, happy, and help them reach goals, even my carefully designed custom programs don’t work without healthy food and lifestyle habits.
Thousands of midlife women I’ve helped in Flipping 50 programs in the last three years, added to hundreds of thousands over the three decades prior, taught me that during perimenopause and after your healthy food is not the same as it once was. It can change sooner and at other highly stressful times in your life, but if it doesn’t, it most certainly will then. Men don’t have the same issue. Younger women in blissful state of life don’t have the same issue even though they may experience some change monthly and during pregnancy. Stress and major hormone upheaval, combined with habit gravity make a perfect storm for you.
In order for the after 50 fitness formula to work for you, you’ve got to connect with your new healthy food choices. Food sensitivities and allergies increase during times of stress. Whether your mind knows it or not, your body finds hormone hell stressful.
Finding Your Personal Best
Allergic reactions are easily detected: food sensitivities are not. That makes it tricky. You have to pick up clues. For women many of these clues get passed off as just facts of life, or their “normal” and accepted without the realization it could dramatically improve.
What if depression, and migraines, or weight gain and achy joints could improve in days without medication or doctor visits or extreme exercise?
Are you putting up with any of these conditions?
- Mood swings
- Inability to lose weight
- Thyroid issues
- Weight gain
- Autoimmune symptoms
Eliminating foods that commonly cause food sensitivities for at least several weeks and reintroducing food to note physical, emotional, and mental changes makes it clear to how you’re affected.
Most common allergies and sensitivities:
- Dairy milk, cheese, cream
- Hen’s eggs
- Soy foods
- Tree nuts
- Winter squash
- Sweet potatoes
A Note on Dairy: Yogurt can be more easily digested by some because it contains Lactobacilli bacteria. Aged cheeses are often more tolerated too. You may want to separate these out and test them uniquely as you reintroduce.
Migraines? Tyramine is an amino acid-like molecule in fermented foods, red wine, yeast, pickled herring and smoked fish that has been associated with migraines. If you have frequent migraines you may want to eliminate these fermented foods as well.
Why Your Healthy Food Choices Change
When the health of your digestive system is compromised like it is at times of extreme stress your tolerance to foods is decreased. Hormone changes, emotional stress, and lack of sleep can all change the effect foods have on you. Your system is compromised when YOU perceive stress. My stress may not be your stress. Each of us has our own sliding scale.
Your Gastrointestinal (GI) tract protects you and ideally lets in broken down food molecules in specific places at specific times. When your system is compromised it lets in food molecules not properly digested. That causes reactions to food you’re not sensitive to because it’s in the wrong place at the wrong time. Your system isn’t functioning well so even foods fine for you begin to cause a problem. That “leaky gut” syndrome means you’re not absorbing nutrients from food. It leads to any of the symptoms listed above.
If you do suffer from gas, bloating, migraines, or achy joints improvements are often rapid when you remove trigger foods. Sometimes improvements are subtler during the elimination phase and your reaction is revealed at introduction. The trickiest side affect to identify is weight loss resistance. Though you may not react dramatically during elimination or reintroduction, your body will release weight (if you’ve made the rest of simple positive lifestyle changes supporting weight loss) when overall stress on the body is reduced. It may take more time.
Side note: I often find that women will do elimination, then find that they don’t react dramatically so they allow those foods to slip back into their diet daily. Then still not feeling 100%, instead of doing what has been suggested and rotating foods, or keeping major triggers out, they seek a blood test to confirm allergies or sensitivities. If you need proof – someone to write a note and tell you “don’t eat this” – it may or may not be there, but your results in the way you physically, mentally, and emotionally feel are the BEST test. We know these foods are most likely to cause sensitivity. Period.
Did you know? You can do the same thing with exercise. You can test and learn, based on genetics, what physical activity may fit you best and what your genes reveal about your physical activity behavior. Or, you can spend time with a coach and a thorough assessment of your personality, hormone signs and symptoms, your time, and and get an exercise plan that you love instead of one determined by a lab test. How you feel simply, doesn’t lie. You are the ultimate test.
Redefining Healthy Food and Healthy Exercise
Your dietary needs are unique. They’re a blend of your beliefs, your personal preference, and your reaction to foods. They change continually. During peri menopause or after menopause your body continues to change. Even though you may have settled into being a creature of habit and breaking it is hard, your body may not respond positively any longer.
Mary was a private client who initially resisted making changes to her diet though it was the one area she most needed to flip. Once she did sleep, energy, satiety, and yes, her weight improved dramatically. It made a big difference in how she felt moving. She was able to increase intensity slightly and add weights for better results. As a retired lawyer working on a manuscript she had some long-established habits of working long hours, skipping meals, and ending the day with a less than stellar meal out washed down with a few glasses of adult beverages.
She was reluctant to change her exercise, until she made the nutrition changes that improved sleep and energy. Weight training was new. Ten minutes twice a week away from her writing at the right time of day gave her more energy and a second wind in the afternoon that increased productivity. If you have a custom program that is defined by your needs it takes less time and less guesswork.
I like to assess change with three questions:
- Is it easy?
- Does it work?
- Can I do it? (permanently)
If you can answer yes to those questions you are going to be all “in.” If there’s no way you’re willing to give up those couple drinks a day or your attachment to sugar, then for you it may not be easy or permanent right now. You’re in a space of wanting change without wanting to change to get it.
No program or coach can help overcome that.
Flips make the difference. If you substitute a positive change for a sabotaging habit (once you know what it is), you can much more easily succeed. Smokers who attempt to quit cold-turkey succeed only 3-5% of the time. I’m not suggesting a weaning off of sugar. You actually do have to quit it, or like cocaine, you’ll want another hit. However, substituting another habit for the emotional dependence you’ve got on sugar is a better path. For every client the ideal substitute is different.
I’m going to stick with sugar, though I could be talking about wheat or dairy. Feeding your body sugar daily (yes, even a little bit) keeps that IV drip going in. Just like medicine that should be in you at a constantly level, the “poison” will be in you at a constant level. Signs of addiction and reliance can be as subtle as needing a “treat” or that after-dinner mint you have to have, reveal the powerful pull of sugar or chemicals in foods.
Those cravings are a clue for identifying either micro and macronutrient deficiencies, or willpower bottoming out because of the way you’re scheduling your day.
When you feel good, you have clear healthy food choices and movement that makes you feel good, it’s easy to do it permanently without feeling it’s a diet.
“I like feeling good.” ~favorite 28-Day Kickstart client quote
If you are ready to take the leap to my hormone-balancing combination of LESS exercise and MORE food you love that loves you back, Flipping 50’s 28 Day Kickstart is a your next step.
Reconnect with what makes you feel good, for good. It’s not a diet: it’s a blueprint for your healthy food.
We assess what makes you feel bad, what makes you feel good, and create a long term plan that fits your real life. You don’t “go back to normal eating,” you establish a new normal… without the bloat, dull skin, lack of muscle tone and start loving life more!
P.S. If you’re one of the thousands of prior Flipping 50 program participants share your experience below! I’d love to hear from you!