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Fad Diets

Fad Diets

Written by:    Elizabeth Fay, MS, RD, CNSC

Nutrition Tip: Farewell Fad Diets

Diet trends have waxed and waned for hundreds of years and they’ll continue to make headlines for years to come. Why do fad diets gain so much attention, but then later fizzle? Do fad diets even work?

Fad diets gain traction because they’re new and provide hope. Many people look for a quick fix. We all like something fresh and different that promises results. Some fad diets may show results quickly, but the result is often short-lived. Many fad diets are very restrictive, complex, and/or expensive. Whether the change be weight loss, lowered cholesterol, or increased energy, often people end up back where they started in no time at all. For other fad diets, people never see results, or some experience dangerous side effects from such drastic, unsafe diets. Fad diets make the headlines with big advertising and they grow quickly with large business investments. Unfortunately, fad diets aren’t tailored to your individual nutritional needs.

Nourishment Notes: Know that nutrition is not a one-size-fits-all science. We all need individualized recommendations to meet our goals and needs to maintain results for life. The “diet” we eat shouldn’t be something that starts and stops like bookends. Let’s eat in a way that supports us for life! The foods we eat should balance our health and help us be our best selves, while enjoying our food at every meal and snack.

Spending time to learn healthy habits, mindful choices and developing a sense of balance over all might take more time in the beginning, but overall will lead to changes that last a lifetime.

 

So next time you read, hear or see something related to a fad diet, know you have found a better solution!


Nutrition and Fertility for Women

Nutrition and Fertility for Women

Author: Mattie Hinson, ACE-CPT, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Weight Management Specialist and Health Coach

Factors affecting fertility are great and varied amongst women. Nutrition and exercise can have big impacts for fertility health.

FIRST, let it be known that fertility health is for all premenopausal women. Often, we think about fertility equating to the act of becoming pregnant. While this is often true, your fertility has great impacts on the rest of your body health. In other words, how “fertile” you are is a great indication of your overall health. In fact, having a regular, predictable, and manageable menstrual cycle (not birth control bleed) is one of the best windows into your fertility health.

But, hold on, I said fertility health is for all women to care about even if you are not actively trying to get pregnant. Why? Your fertility is directed by other systems in the body. Often, if you are having trouble with your menstrual cycle, getting pregnant or fertility issues, something else is going wrong in the body. Fertility reflects adequate metabolic health, protects bones, and is important for cardiovascular health.

Luckily, there are some easy things you can do and include in your lifestyle to help increase your fertility and strengthen your reproductive health.

-REDUCE STRESS. This is huge. Stress in any form—be it physical, mental or emotional is a fertility killer. Make sure that you are taking time out of your busy life to do things that you enjoy and to rest.

-TRACK, TRACK, TRACK. Keep a “period journal” and write down everything from feelings, moods, hunger levels, exercise, cervical mucus (yes, you need to pay attention to that). Get in touch with your cycle length, what stressors affect it and how you feel. Having a regular, predictable cycle is a winning way to get pregnant easily. Also, there are lots of apps out there that help you keep track of what is happening with your cycle!

-SLEEP well. Ensure that you get adequate and quality sleep. Aim for 7-9 hours per night.

-EAT PLENTY. Not the time to diet. Living in a calorie deficit may cause ovulation problems which can interfere with your ability to get pregnant.

-FLAX SEED. Include about 1 tablespoon per day. Flax seed is a phytoestrogen that can help

increase natural estrogen levels in your body. It has also been found to help regulate cycles.

-VITAMIN C. You may consider a Vitamin C supplement if you have a short window from the time you ovulate to the time you start your period. This is called a short luteal phase and has been linked to trouble getting or staying pregnant. Vitamin C can help extend the luteal phase!

-FULL FAT DAIRY. Ditch the fat free and low-fat products (and never go back again). Full fat dairy is protective of ovulation while low-fat and fat free dairy has been found to contribute to ovulatory dysfunction.

-FATS. Make sure you eat enough fats which help with hormone production. You will need this to make a baby, folks. Include sources like nuts, nut butters, grass-fed butter, coconut oil, avocados.

-Exercise MODERATELY. Probably not the time to start a 5-day per week boot camp program or train for a marathon. While exercise in moderation is great for your body in so many ways, it is a stressor. Remember, stress is not so good for fertility. Incorporate moderate exercise like walking, jogging and strength training a few times per week. Skip the high intensity for now.

-PRENATAL. Consider including a high-quality whole foods prenatal vitamin. Ensuring that your vitamin and mineral levels are topped off will help to ensure you have a healthy pregnancy. A LOT of baby development happens before many women even know if they are pregnant so ensuring good nutrition before pregnancy is a great idea.

-ANTIOXIDANTS. These are components in foods like vegetables, fruits and whole grains and work to keep your cells healthy. Instead of trying to aim for one type of antioxidant, include a rainbow of colors on your plate. Antioxidants help make healthy cells which will encourage a healthy cycle and fertility.

-Reduce ALCOHOL. Chronic and excessive alcohol ingestion puts a major strain on your organs and can contribute to nutrient deficiencies. However, don’t be afraid to include alcohol in moderate amounts. There are benefits including antioxidant content, micronutrients, and stress reduction if alcohol is something that you enjoy.

-TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. In whatever form that means. Prioritize your health—physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Chill out and find something to smile about. Have “you” time. Practice self-care. Enjoy the time before you have children. It is ALL so precious.

Remember to reach out to an expert at Nuleeu for more guidance on how your diet and exercise might be impacting your fertility health!

 

 

 

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation to Learn More

 

 

 

 

References:

 

Shmerling R. Fertility and Diet: Is there a Connection? Harvard Health Publishing. 2018. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/fertility-and-diet-is-there-a-connection-2018053113949.

 

Panth N et al. The Influence of Diet on Fertility and the Implications for Public Health Nutrition in the United States. Front Public Health. 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6079277/#__ffn_sectitle.


Meal Planning 101

Meal Planning 101

Nutrition Tip: Meal Planning 101

Nuleeu Membership offers meal plan access to help you meet your goals. Your meal plan offers pre-generated grocery lists and the NuleeuPlus mobile app helps to log nutrient intake to keep you on track.

As you include meals outside of your meal plan and start to meal plan on your own, use these simple steps to get you started.

Nourishment Ideas:

  • Start with shopping your pantry and refrigerator. Look in your pantry for items that can be incorporated in weekly meals. Check the refrigerator for foods that need to be eaten before they spoil.
  • When keeping a budget in mind, review local sales and specials at the grocery store. Take note of which sale items you’d like to include in your meals.
  • Use Nuleeu recipes and explore other recipes online, in magazines, on social media, or shared from friends and family. Look for recipes that incorporate food items that need to be eaten from your pantry/refrigerator list.
  • When choosing recipes, select meals that share ingredients to prevent waste, save money, and help speed up meal prep. Pick recipes that include seasonal ingredients to also save money.
  • If a recipe calls for a specific item, such as fresh produce, but it is unavailable in the store, choose frozen or canned alternatives instead.
  • Write out the days of the week, assigning each recipe to a day and meal. Keep in mind your upcoming schedule. If you have a busy week, meal prepping will be important. If you prefer nightly meal prep, pair simpler recipes for busy nights, and more complex meals for nights that you plan to have more time. If any recipes contain ingredients that may spoil quickly, choose to eat those meals earlier in the week before they go bad.

Come visit us at our next coffee talk to discuss meal planning in more detail! 

 

Membership Benefits

Did you know your Nuleeu Nourished membership comes with an effective and motivating beginner fitness plan?

Click here to learn more!

Monthly Membership


Postpartum Healing with Nutrition and Exercise

Postpartum Healing with Nutrition and Exercise

After focusing 9 months on the nutritional needs of you and your baby, the focus on adequate nutrition continues even after delivery. Maternal nutrition in the postpartum period ( one year after delivery ) is especially important for all mothers, regardless of how you delivered your baby or if you choose to breastfeed.

After your baby has arrived, it’s often too easy to judge your weight and criticize your in-between clothing sizes. Women may set unrealistic expectations about the time it takes to return to a healthy weight, but giving yourself patience and reassurance will serve you best. Just as weight gain during your pregnancy took 9 months, a slow, steady postpartum weight loss is ideal for maintaining a healthy weight long-term. Rapid weight loss through fad diets is always considered unsafe even for non-pregnant adults, but it is especially not recommended in the postpartum period. Be kind and loving to yourself during this recovery time.

Focusing on nutrition during the first month after delivery is important to help your body heal and recover. During the postpartum period, a balanced diet filled with a variety of nutritious foods will help to heal your body and provide the energy it needs. This means incorporating fruits and vegetables, lean protein foods, whole grains, and calcium-rich dairy foods into your meals and snacks. During this busy time in your life, having nutritious foods on hand can help you make healthy food choices.

  • Fruits such as tangerines and bananas are great snacks that travel well when you have appointments and errands to run.
  • Keep lean protein foods options on hand such as low sodium canned beans or freeze pre-cooked beans. Add them to burritos, salads or scrambled eggs.
  • Peanuts, walnuts, pecans, and pistachios are also nutritious protein foods that travel well. Keep them on hand for easy snacks or salad toppers.
  • Pre-washed spinach, kale, or mixed greens help to speed up making a sandwich or salad. Baby carrots are washed and pre-cut to make an easy snack or side dish to your sandwich. Try dipping them in protein-rich nutritious foods such as hummus or peanut butter.
  • Frozen vegetables such as frozen peppers, cauliflower, edamame, or broccoli can save you time when making a stir-fry or casserole.
  •  Whole grain foods such as quinoa, barley, brown rice, and faro can be cooked and frozen to quickly complete that stir-fry or casserole.
  • Calcium-rich dairy foods such as fat free milk or yogurt, as well as non-dairy options such as fortified almond milk or soy yogurt help to restore calcium in your body.

Keep in mind that if you are breastfeeding, your body still requires additional calories than it did pre-pregnancy. Your Nuleeu Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) will individualize your nutrition recommendations to account for this increase in energy needs. Breastfeeding mothers should also continue to take their prenatal multivitamins and discuss all of their supplements with both their RDN and doctor.

Some general recommendations for pregnancy and postpartum from the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans:

  •  Do not start a new exercise program when pregnant and always discuss your exercise goals with your medical provider during pregnancy
  • Stick to what you have been consistently doing for a few month prior to becoming pregnant- with modifications
  • The body is make many changes to prepare for the delivery of the baby, so modifications can be necessary to prevent injury or harm during pregnancy and the postpartum period while you heal
  • If you did not have a consistent exercise plan prior to becoming pregnant, get clearance from your medical provider prior to starting something new
    Start low and slow
    – Low Stress
    – Low intensity
    – Slow pace
  • After the first trimester, avoid exercises that require you to lie on your back
  • Typically, exercise is restricted for the first 6 weeks postpartum, and restarting will be cleared by your medical provider
  •  If appropriate, it is recommend to get 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week during pregnancy and in the postpartum period (moderate = being able to have a conversation without struggle)

Incorporating exercise during your postpartum time is an important key to health and wellness success. Your Nuleeu Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) will provide individualized counseling and fitness recommendations to help you safely meet your goals. Exercise that is both enjoyable and not over-strenuous is recommended during the postpartum period.

 

 

-Elizabeth Fay, MS, RDN, CNSC
-Anne Kristine Etherton MS, RDN, LDN, NASM-CPT

 

 

 

References:
1. Drake, Victoria, et al. “Pregnancy and Lactation: Micronutrient Needs During Pregnancy and Lactation.” Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University, lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/life-stages/pregnancy-lactation.
2. “Pregnancy, Breastfeeding and Bone Health.” National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.bones.nih.gov/health-info/bone/bone-health/pregnancy.
3. Rust, Rosanne. “Tips for Healthy Post-Partum Weight Loss.” Eat Right, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 17 Jan. 2018, www.eatright.org/health/weight-loss/tips-for-weight-loss/tips-for-healthy-post-partum-weight-loss.
4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition. Washington, DC: U.S.Department of Health and Human Services; 2018. https://health.gov/paguidelines/second-edition/pdf/Physical_Activity_Guidelines_2nd_edition.pdf