Nutritional Non-Negotiables for Female Runners
December 16, 2021
Personalising Your Nutritional Non-Negotiables
Do you ever find it difficult to get started with changing your food plan and making it stick? It’s a common experience! One of the ways we support our clients is to help them discover and establish their personal nutritional non-negotiables which helps lead them to success in achieving their health goals.
In todays episode we explore:
- What are nutritional non-negotiables and why we feel that they’re important
- Are nutritional non-negotiables the same for everyone or personalised?
- How some nutritional non-negotiables would support mid-life health goals
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What do we mean by nutritional non-negotiables and why we feel that they’re important?
Nutritional non-negotiables are the things that you would never do i.e. totally non-negotiable. So, it’s a tool to help you implement key nutrition practices consistently all the time. The big rocks in our food plan are likely to be our nutritional non-negotiables. They must happen, because they underpin everything else that we do nutritionally to get the ultimate results that we desire.
Are nutrition foundations, the same as nutritional non-negotiables?
Nutritional foundations are broadly what everyone should have in place at least 80% of the time and doing that will promote good health. The next step is to add sports nutrition on top of foundations to promote good running performance.
The difference is that nutritional non- negotiables are more personal to an individual. So, it’s something that will contribute to an individual achieving their health goals, and something that they’ll stand by no matter what, because they know it’s so important to feeling better and performing optimally.
Are non-negotiables the same for everyone or personalised?
In our Healthy Woman Healthy Runners Programme, we explain the range of non- negotiables and how they may impact on midlife health, but there’s always going to be a personalised element. So usually, what we do is help clients rank what would make the biggest difference to them, and then work with them to put new practices in place, so that they’ll soon be living in a way which encompasses their personal non-negotiables.
Typical mid-life health goals and how some nutritional non-negotiables would support health
Based on the feedback we’ve had from clients and women in our face book group;
TYPICAL MID-LIFE HEALTH GOALS
· Being a healthy weight
· Having optimal muscle tone
· Good energy all day – no slumps or dips
· Minimising hot sweats/flushes
· Good quality sleep
There are certain physiological drivers which lead to gaining weight, losing muscle tone, experiencing low energy, peri and menopausal symptoms and poor sleep. So, these physiological drivers tend to be related to fluctuating female hormones during peri menopause and decreasing female hormones in menopause and post menopause. Other factors which are influential are stress hormones, digestion and liver function.
Looking at the role of stress related to hormonal balance
Stress and stress hormones are a key player in disrupting hormonal balance for example:
- Typically In mid-life we have a lot going on with family – children, elderly parents and lots of responsibilities – job, home etc which may put us in a place of chronic stress so it’s likely we’ll have high cortisol levels which may lead to the body storing fat around the middle.
- An increased cortisol production compromises production of sex hormones (known as “progesterone steal” or “cortisol steal”). This effect results in an imbalance of female sex hormones, which could exacerbate peri and menopausal symptoms.
There are some nutritional considerations which may impact positively on managing stress hormones and have a positive influence on balancing sex hormones …
Balancing blood sugar is the cornerstone of all hormonal health, so following a low Glycaemic Load food plan and the 5 healthy routines (part of our Easy Nutrition For Healthy Runners programme) is vital:
1. Eating regularly
2. Eating Protein at every meal
3. Following Plate Balance
4. Optimal Hydration
5. Optimal Activity
It’s also supportive to minimise stimulants such a caffeine, alcohol and sugar as they may lead to a spike in blood sugar which may lead to increased cortisol levels. Our lifestyle is interlinked with how we get the best out of our nutrition. When it comes to managing STRESS one of the most impactful thing you can choose to do is REST. Taking short breaks during the day away will also help you de stress and support hormonal balance.
Helping you establish your nutritional non-negotiables – the circle exercise
The Circle Exercise for Nutritional Non-Negotiables
An easy exercise to do is get a piece of paper and draw a circle then draw another circle around the first circle.
Think about different elements of your food, drink and lifestyle.
On the inner circle list what you choose to let into your life and in the outer circle list again from a food, drink and lifestyle viewpoint what you choose not let into your life.
Remember to link it back to your health vision or goal.
The next step is to highlight which items in each circle would be your non-negotiables.
Don’t pick too many, keep it simple to begin with, you can always add in more later.
The select two that you’ll choose to be your nutritional non-negotiables.
Start to practice them and soon they’ll become your healthy way of life.
ONE KEY ACTION TO GET YOU STARTED
Our suggestion is to do the circle exercise and list what you are letting in and what you are keeping out and from that pick 2 nutritional non-negotiables and start practising them! We’d love to know how you get on – please drop us an email and share what you’ve chosen as your non-negotiables. Just one final note is please don’t use the nutritional non-negotiables as a big stick, use them to nurture and support yourself.