WORKING WITH
YOUR HORMONES

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SLIM & STRONG
Ariane Hundt, Clinical Nutritionist (M.S.) & Fitness Expert + Mom of Two

WORK
WITH YOUR HORMONES

Exercise Less & Eat Less

STRESS-SENSITIVE & CARB-SENSITIVE

FOLLOW THIS PLAN DURING DAYS 21-7 OF YOUR CYCLE (the week before and week of your period) 

What's going on?

  • Stress-inducing exercise, such as HIIT, Crossfit, Spinning, long-distance running has a more negative impact now

  • Greater water retention, bloat, digestive sensitivities

  • The drop in serotonin and estrogen can increase sugar cravings 

  • Emotional or workout stress leads to fat storage much faster now

  • Energy tends to drop the week before your period

  • You're more carbohydrate sensitive. Fat storage is more intense after eating sugar and starch

  • Metabolically speaking your fat burning is increased - if carbs are kept low

  • Your lower body and trouble zones (butt, hips, thighs) are more likely to drop body fat with a lower carb and lower stress approach during this low estrogen period

  • The name of the game is to keep carb intake focused on veggies and blood sugar balanced to boost fat burning

FOLLOW THIS PLAN IF YOU'RE IN PERI-MENOPAUSEMENOPAUSE, OR BREASTFEEDING AND DURING DAYS 21-7 OF YOUR CYCLE 

Days 21-7

Nutrition + ACE

  • Aim for 2-4 meals a day, based on appetite.

  • Ideally aim for 2 meals a day and 1 or 2 protein shakes with 20-30g of protein or veggie smoothies. Skip sugar and starch, alcohol, dairy, grains, nuts and fruit for best fat loss. If hungry, add more protein and veggies.

  • If ACE (appetite, cravings, energy) is controlled - Right On!  

 

       If Not, do the following:

  • Increased appetite: check for stress from lack of sleep, excessive exercise, too little recovery, too few carbs or protein.

  • Increased cravings: if it's the week before your period, use dark chocolate (90% Lindt is great) to regulate. If not, check for above.

  • Low energy: get more recovery time or up your carb intake with more fiber. Check for energy drains from too much sugar/starches, lack of sleep or emotional drain.

ExerciseMore & Eat More

STRESS-resistant & CARB-tolerant


FOLLOW THIS PLAN DURING DAYS 7-21 OF YOUR CYCLE 

(THE WEEK BEFORE & AFTER OVULATION)

  • Estrogen and progesterone increase, making you less stress-sensitive

  • You're less carb sensitive, making this a good time for 2 cheat meals a week (or more if you're in maintenance mode)

  • Your body handles stress better, can handle longer duration and intense workouts better

  • Metabolically speaking your body is in a muscle building state. 

  • Your cravings tend to be quieter during this time

  • Your energy should increase

Days 7-21

Nutrition + ACE

Aim for 3-5 small meals a day, based on appetite.

If you exercise more than 90 minutes a day, you should match your carb intake accordingly with 30-40g extra carbs.

 

If ACE (appetite, cravings, energy) is controlled - Right On!  

If Not, do the following:

  • Increased appetite: check for stress from lack of sleep, excessive exercise, too little recovery, too few carbs or protein.

  • Increased cravings: use dark chocolate (e.g. Lindt 905) to regulate. 

  • Low energy: get more recovery time or up your carb intake with more fibrous veggies. Check for energy drains from too much sugar/starches, physical stress (hard workouts) or emotional drain.

hormones

Perimenopause, Menopause,

Post-Menopause

In peri-menopause, the initial fluctuations of estrogen and progesterone can affect your energy, cravings and appetite. As you move through menopause, there will be a permanent drop in estrogen and progesterone, which makes you very carb sensitive and stress sensitive. Belly fat storage is pronounced due to the stress hormones no longer being buffered by estrogen.

The name of the game is to keep carbs limited and focused on fibrous veggies. Fruit should be limited due to the sugar (except for berries). Starchy carbs should be kept to a minimum. They are best eaten with dinner to aid improved sleep or right after a more intense workout.

Lifting weights 2-3x a week is crucial now as muscle loss is pronounced. Focusing on short and intense sessions, accompanied by lots and lots of relaxed walking will keep your body stress-free and lean.

During pregnancy the hormones estrogen and progesterone surge and make you more stress resistant, which is good news because your body is working hard to grow a human! 

Pregnancy

You can afford to eat slightly more in the 2nd and 3rd trimester (we're talking an extra 400 calories max), but you still want to focus on getting good nutrients in for yourself and for your baby's growth, to keep your weight healthy and your energy balanced. 

Your placenta releases hormones that make insulin work worse. That means in the later stages of pregnancy a blood sugar balancing diet is key to avoid gestational diabetes. 

Baby's Hand

breastfeeding new moms 

 

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW:

  • DO YOU HAVE DIASTASIS RECTI?

  • BREASTFEEDING & NUTRITION

  • BREASTFEEDING & WEIGHT LOSS

Breastfeeding Moms & Hormones

After delivery, your body releases prolactin to kick off milk production and estrogen and progesterone drop. Lower estrogen can make you stress sensitive. Given what your body just went through - almost 10 months of pregnancy with raging hormones, plus the stress of delivery on the body and the complete change of life and sleep hours has a tremendous stress effect on the female body. Yes, you are blissed out, but your body will take months to recover from this. Many new moms suffer the stress consequences and experience thyroid slow-down (usually temporary and can be resolved naturally), digestive distress, stubborn body fat, low immune system strength, and mood swings.

The name of the game is to take it easy. Get as much sleep as you can, eat balanced meals several times a day to keep milk supply up and your blood sugar balanced. Walk a lot to manage stress and allow your body to recover.

Do know that after a few months of breastfeeding, your metabolism will adapt and burn fewer calories. If you're wondering why your fat loss has stalled despite the high-calorie needs of breastfeeding, chuck it up to metabolic adaptation. Your body is used to it and has slowed its calorie burn.

Tune into your body's signs to assess the stress level you're under and give your body what it needs - even if it's not what the workout schedule or nutrition recommendation calls for. You are in charge of translating your body's signs into action.

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NEW PROGRAM STARTS MARCH 2022