Women who have too much stored energy often have difficulty conceiving for other reasons, many of which affect ovulation. These include insensitivity to the hormone insulin, an excess of male sex hormones and overproduction of leptin, a hormone that helps the body keep tabs on body fat. Excess weight interferes with fertility.
There is no one reason why weight can get out of balance over time. Some people are too sedentary and some eat an unbalanced diet. Some are unaware of portion sizes. Others are emotional eaters. The solution to weight problems will depend on why the weight is out of balance. It is very seldom a simple issue of balancing calories in with calories out.
Here are the key elements of managing successful weight loss.
- Eat a nutrient rich whole foods diet that is balanced in protein, fat and carbohydrates.
- Reeducate yourself about healthy portion sizes. Use smaller plates.
- Practice mindful eating each day – even for the first few bites of each meal.
- Exercise most days of the week, getting your heart rate in the training zone for at least 30 minutes. Always get out and walk after a medium to large sized meal. Vigorous exercise improves fertility.
- Find ways to reduce anxiety and manage stress. Mindfulness based stress reduction is an excellent tool for managing stress and has proven to be helpful in managing unbalanced eating behaviours; depression and other stress related concerns.
- Use the Hunger Scale to find the place of satisfaction vs fullness.
Level E – The stomach is uncomfortably empty and is a deviation from the self-referral path of comfort – try to eat before getting to this level.
Level 0 – 1 – As digestion takes place, there is no remnant of food in your stomach from the previous meal – your stomach seems empty and you feel hunger. You are not starving but there is a definite need to eat.
Level 2 – 4 - This range describes how you feel as you are comfortably continuing to eat and food is being comfortably digested. There is no sensation of hunger.
Level 5 – You start to feel satisfied.
Level 6 – You are full, but at the point of maximum comfort.
Levels 7 and 8 – Your stomach is completely and uncomfortably full.
Level F – You can’t eat another bite and the thought of food makes you sick.