You may be feeling frustrated, overwhelmed and just plain sad while you are trying to conceive. The stress associated with infertility is likened to dealing with a life threatening disease. It’s tough and can be very lonely.
Now add on the additional stress of losing weight and you may feel like throwing up your hands and giving up.
Hang on; I’ve got some solutions for you!
I’ll share why your favorite foods may be hindering your ability to lose weight. Why spending hours in the gym may not be the best idea either! Also how getting a good nights sleep and letting go of your stressors can actually help you lose weight too!
If you are tired of counting calories, trying the newest diet and exercising like a crazy person and still not getting results here are 6 top tips to finally lose the weight for good and get pregnant!
1) Take out the top allergens from your diet for 10 days and determine if you have a food sensitivity. These allergens include dairy, gluten, soy, corn, eggs and peanuts. Also remove processed sugar. When you have a food sensitivity it causes inflammation in your body and makes it very difficult to lose weight. Re-introduce these foods after 10 days and determine if you have a sensitivity. My Fertility Preparation Program breaks down the steps for you! See if this program is a good fit for you by booking your free 15 minute Fertility Discovery Session.
2) Write down what you are eating for 4-5 days and determine how food makes you feel. How is your energy, cravings, sleep and hunger? As you begin to tune into how food makes you feel, you can start to make small improvements to your diet. For instance in order to feel more satiated you may need to add more healthy fats to your diet and lean animal protein or plant protein.
3) Many people struggling with weight can’t get to sleep, have disrupted sleep or just never feel rested. The problem is when you don’t get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep you can become insulin resistant the whole next day. This then sends you on a roller coaster of blood sugar spikes, which could increase your cortisol, which then wreaks havoc on your hormones, making it very difficult to conceive. It’s best to start a sleep ritual, pick a regular bedtime and stick to it (aim to go to bed before midnight), read a non-fiction book, take all technology out of the bedroom, keep your bedroom free of clutter and cool during the night and add some essential oils like lavender to help have a calm and restorative sleep.
4) Exercise is also very important when you are trying to lose weight (but you already knew that, right!?!). Here’s a tip you may not know. Its very important not to over exercise or under exercise. You want to aim for moderate exercise. Over exercise places too much stress on the body. You want to aim for exercises such as yoga, brisk walking, interval training, weight training (3x/week – especially if you have PCOS don’t do more than 3 times per week as you build muscle you can also increase your testosterone which then can cause further hormonal imbalance).
5) Stress Reduction is essential for both weight loss and fertility. It’s time to get real with yourself and really examine the stressors in your life. Is it your job? Is it tension with your spouse/partner? Is it the constant pressure you are placing on yourself to conceive? Doing some deep breathing, meditation or journaling can help identify the stressors and begin to release them. Make self-care a top priority and know that reaching out for support is a sign of strength. Join a support group, contact a coach or therapist for guidance, accountability and encouragement. Also structural stress can be another stressor. If you have a pinched shoulder or something in your body that is out of alignment this can stress. Consider visiting a physiotherapist, chiropractor or osteopath to determine treatment options. Environmental stress is also a factor. Your personal care products and cleaning products can be loaded with toxins, which are placing undue stress on your body. Consider switching to non-toxic organic personal care and cleaning products.
6) Finally you can add some supplements to your routine too. Make sure you are taking a prenatal vitamin. Consider a digestive enzyme, fish oil, magnesium glycinate and to further support the adrenals you can take Vitamin C (2000 mg/day in divided doses 2x per day) and Vitamin B Complex (follow the directions and ensure you are taking in the morning as it could be stimulating to your system). It you determine that you have blood sugar issues or insulin resistance, consider taking Berberine (but you must monitor your blood sugar regularly as it will lower the levels). Studies have found that Berberine works as well as Metformin for diabetes.
Some Further Tests to Consider
1) Food Sensitivity Test – if you are still experiencing symptoms after eliminating the most common food allergens.
2) Blood Sugar Testing – using a glucometer to test fasting blood sugar and blood sugar after a meal (ideal fasting blood sugar is between 80-90 mg/dL. It should return to fasting levels 2 hours after a meal)
3) Iron levels – get this tested by your doctor, it is important to get a complete iron panel including serum iron, TIBC (total iron binding capacity), transferrin saturation, and total ferritin levels.
4) Thyroid levels – your doctor will test for this, but remember it may be flagged as normal, when there still could be opportunity for healing
5) B12 – get this tested by your doctor, the reference range varies but you want to be closer to the high end of the range.
6) Vitamin D – get this tested by your doctor, optimal levels are 50-70 ng/ml of the 25-hydroxyvitamin D.
7) Adrenal Stress Test – we can run this test for you as part of the Find Out Why Program – it will test your hormones to see if there is an imbalance
Remember it may have taken you years of eating the standard western diet to arrive at where you are today. It’s about taking small steps every day. It takes 90 days for the egg to renew itself and 70-80 days for the life cycle of the sperm. Take this time to focus on you and your health. Healthy mom equals healthy pregnancy and baby!
Thank you to Brandy Buskow, Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner for the information and recommendations!
Sarah Clark empowers couples to discover how lifestyle and diet can dramatically impact their chances of conceiving. She was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure at 28 and had both her kids with donor eggs. Not until years later did she discover that the root cause of her infertility was a food intolerance. Ready to gaze into your baby's eyes....but struggling. Download 10 step Checklist here