Weight Gain And Diet

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Let’s face it, men and women should be equal under the law, but they are not the same!  Yes, there are obvious differences between men and women. We pee sitting down (or at least squatting). We get periods, bear children, and are uniquely “blessed” with perimenopause and menopause. Did you know that we metabolize food very differently from men? Did you know that we even taste food differently from men?

Guess what? We lose weight differently, too.

Staness Jonekos, an author, women’s health and empowerment advocate and one of the original executive producers who launched Oprah Winfrey’s first network, Oxygen Media, spent time researching these differences and pulled all of this fabulous info together for us in her latest new book, Eat Like a Woman.She teamed up with Dr. Marjorie Jenkins to medically review the Eat Like a Woman 3-Week 3-Step program. Dr. Jenkins refers to herself as a “womanologist” and is a 2013 Texas SuperDoc. She is a professor of medicine and associate dean for women in Health and Science at Texas Tech University Health Science Center, where she holds the J Avery “Janie” Rush Endowed Chair for Excellence in Women’s Health. She created the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health at Texas Tech.

If you are like me, over your lifetime you have been on every diet in the book! I wish I had a dime for every pound I’ve lost and gained since puberty! It only took me close to 60 years to realize that dieting is OUT! Eating healthy is IN!

This is why Staness’ book jumped out at me! I like the way she thinks! No more diets….focus on a different eating lifestyle. Rather than grabbing the Snickers bar, grab a yummy 70% cocoa dark chocolate bar.

Week One of the program focuses on breakfast — the most often skipped meal for women but most essential meal of the day. When I eat breakfast, I feel and think more clearly! I am loving the mouth-watering recipes. (The book includes 50 recipes, by famous chefs and celebrities. Many of the recipes feature ingredients vital to women’s health, such as calcium, iron, zinc, folate and omega-3 fatty acids.)

Week Two moves onto lunch and dinner and why the “European” concept of making lunch your biggest meal benefits women. Week Three introduces the important life-changing concept SWEAT: Smart Women Exercise All the Time (love this!), teaching us how to eat before and after exercise and how to continue on the path to obtaining and maintaining a healthy weight for life.

I find there is a direct correlation between how I feel about myself and what I put in my mouth! Let’s stop eating our emotions and start eating to feel good! Without really dieting, you’ll see the pounds melt away and you’ll learn to understand the relationship between stress and your health, interpret the messages your body is sending you, and how to eat to support hormone balance and emotional health. The results?

  • Drop those stubborn pounds
  • Effortlessly maintain a healthy weight
  • Change your relationship with food
  • Reduce your risk of disease
  • Slow the aging process
  • Exercise smarter

The authors encourage women to rethink how they think about food, incorporating the latest science on sex-differences as motivation to practice a healthy lifestyle for each life stage. Here are a few of their tips:

  • Embrace healthy carbs, which are digested slowly and make you feel fuller: whole grains, sweet potatoes, yams, brown rice, beans, fruits, and vegetables. If you eat a “bad” carb, add some protein to balance the glycemic load.
  • Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory benefits and helps fight fat storage. (I add a teaspoon each morning over my half a piece of toast – yum!)
  • Incorporate high-protein foods in your “Menopause Makeover®”: turkey, protein shakes, Greek yogurt, tofu, eggs, edamame, nut butter, nuts and lentils.
  • Banish belly fat: Limit intake of saturated and trans fat and cholesterol; adjust portion sizes; minimize consumption of beverages with alcohol, sugars and caffeine; limit salt and processed foods; quit smoking; take half home when dining out.
  • Add fiber to your diet: apples, strawberries, blueberries, pears, cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, oatmeal, oat bran, lentils, beans, zucchini, brown rice, barley, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, beets, couscous, whole-wheat breads and cereals, seeds.
  • Fight fatigue with small, frequent meals throughout the day (and, of course, get enough sleep!).
  • Drink plenty of water — about 9 cups a day, depending on your activity level.

We don’t talk like men, dress like men, or think like men. Why would we eat like men? We CAN change those old habits that cause us to become members of the sisterhood of the shrinking pants. You don’t have to send yourself into a panic attack or hot flash. A few easy, healthy eating tips will do the trick and can be easily incorporated into your lifestyle. The results — more energy… more clothes that fit in your closet! Give it a whirl: Eat Like a Woman!!

Suffering in silence is OUT! Reaching out is IN!

After struggling with her own severe menopause symptoms and doing years of research, Ellen resolved to share what she learned from experts and her own trial and error. Her goal was to replace the confusion, embarrassment, and symptoms millions of women go through–before, during, and after menopause–with the medically sound solutions she discovered. Her passion to become a “sister” and confidant to all women fueled Ellen’s first book, Shmirshky: the pursuit of hormone happiness. As a result of the overwhelming response from her burgeoning audiences and followers’ requests for empowering information they could trust, Ellen’s weekly blog, Menopause MondaysTM, was born.

  • Sounds like a sound approach & I’m going to check out the book.

    • Ellen Dolgen

      Finally a book that deals with sex-based science!

  • Great post! The book sounds exactly like what I practice. Men and women are different and we need to think like a woman! It sounds like a book every gal needs. Bravo to women who take control of their own health!

    • Ellen Dolgen

      Agreed, Suzanne!

  • Helene Cohen Bludman

    I bought this book on another health blogger’s recommendation and found it to be very helpful. There are no magic bullets to losing weight, no diet that has long-term benefits. Healthy eating and regular exercise are the keys to losing the weight and keeping it off.

    • Ellen Dolgen

      So true, Helene. I am opposed to diets….healthy choices are something to try to make daily. When I decide to eat something that I know isn’t the healthiest choice….I enjoy it…butnow I get back on track at my next meal! I do think that what you chew has more do to with your weight than what you do. I found this out when I couldn’t come down the stairs for three weeks after broke my knee cap. I didn’t exercise at all…but I told my husband not to bring me anything that was not a healthy food choice. I continued to let my husband cook all of our meals for 12 weeks! I didn’t exercise for those 12 weeks…but I lost a whole size while I was recuperating! I was shocked! Now I am back on my bike…but I realize how important what I chew is to my waistline!

  • It all makes sense. Common sense but for those of us who have a hard time consistently listening to our common sense, it’s important to keep reading things like this, Ellen. You shine in offering us information that we need as we age. I thank you once again!

    • Ellen Dolgen

      I hear ya, Cathy! It is challenging to stay on target…striving to be perfect at it is a waste of time…it won’t happen! But getting up after we fall down…is a good thing to strive for! If my posts can feel like a warm, loving hand to help you up – then I have achieved my goal! My hands out to you and the sisterhood and my heart is grateful for your hand!

  • Kasha Planck

    I love hearing that a healthy life style practices, like daily exercise and eating breakfast lead to maintaining a healthy weight. Also, thanks for providing all of the invaluable resources that you offer.

    • Ellen Dolgen

      I like to shine a light on helpful tips that make sense! Thanks for taking the time to comment, Kasha.

  • linda

    Hi Ellen,
    Love this post! Putting good food and good exercise on the days routine–plus having great recipes to help is key.
    Being raised in an Italian family, the big meal was in the afternoon. I still follow that routine… well most of the time;)

    Thankyou Ellen♡

    • Ellen Dolgen

      I think the afternoon being the bigger meal is very wise, Linda. I always feel better when I eat a light meal at dinner…plus…I sleep better!

  • Sounds like the perfect mix of advice. I will absolutely put this book on my list! Thanks Ellen!

    • Ellen Dolgen

      It is a smart book!

  • I’ve started incorporating some of those tips on my own, and have seen results and felt better in doing so. I can only imagine the results if I incorporated the whole plan!

    • Ellen Dolgen

      That is so exciting, Lisha! Love to hear that!!!

  • you’re singing my song sister. Thanks for the continued motivation.

    • Ellen Dolgen

      Yes…it is quite a beautiful chorus! Good Luck!

  • This book sounds fascinating, and I’ll have to check it out even though I know how to get to my ideal weight – I just can’t seem to stay at it.

    • Ellen Dolgen

      Haha….Lois! I think we can all say that!!!!

  • OK, maybe this is what I need. Something that makes sense. I’ll give it a try. I love the idea that it’s based on women’s needs. Thanks,

    • Ellen Dolgen

      Sandra, it DOES make sense that we can’t eat like men. It is time to start having science based on a women’s metabolism! Give it a whirl…lmk how it goes!

  • Cynthia Richardson

    I also have banished the word “diet” from my life. Now I try to be healthy aim for moderation in all things.

    • Ellen Dolgen

      That is so smart, Cynthia! Thanks for sharing…moderation is the way to go!